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Microwave Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy a new microwave.

Getting Started

Small appliances can perform large tasks. Take the tears out of chopping onions with a food processor or mini-chopper, mix dough with your food processor, make fresh smoothies in the blender, deep fry your favorite fish - the list is endless. For advice on selecting the perfect small appliance check out our quick reference guide to small appliances. If you need further assistance contact our Gourmet Shop Sales Associates at 888-228-5800.

Types

Small appliances can perform large tasks. Take the tears out of chopping onions with a food processor or mini-chopper, mix dough with your food processor, make fresh smoothies in the blender, deep fry your favorite fish - the list is endless. For advice on selecting the perfect small appliance check out our quick reference guide to small appliances. If you need further assistance contact our Gourmet Shop Sales Associates at 888-228-5800.

Features

Auto Defrost
This preprogrammed feature lets you automatically defrost meat, poultry, and seafood, by entering the weight.
Auto Cook Menu

Choose the type of dish and the serving size, and cook many of your favorite foods without adjusting cooking times and power levels.

Auto Reheat

This feature allows you to reheat foods by simply pressing the Auto Reheat key and entering the number of servings.

Avantium

GE's newest Over the Range microwave technology. It combines microwave energy, oven heat and quartz energy for fast convenient cooking.

Child-Lock Out

A feature on some microwaves that allows you to lock the control pad so that children won't be able to activate the microwave without supervision. Most child-locks require a pass code or touch command.

Convenience Cooking Control

This feature is only available on some models. Convenience cooking controls are preprogrammed controls that let you cook common foods, like popcorn, potatoes, roasts, and more. Similar to Auto Cook.

Convection Oven Microwaves

Are microwaves that have a built in heating element and a fan which shortens traditional cooking time. By utilizing "Combo" cook, food can be done in half the time.

Conventional Microwave Ovens

Cooks with microwave energy only.

Control Display (Elctronic Control vs. Manual

Each make and model varies when it comes to control display. Most are electronic keypads that operate at a touch of a button; others include manual controls which have to be turned like a rotary dial to operate.

Cooking Power (watts)

Cooking power is noted as wattage. Wattage often ranges from 600 to 1300 watts depending on the brand and model. The more wattage a microwave has the faster it cooks and heats.

Delay Start

Allows you to start cooking food at a later time.

Door Clearance

Is the actual clearance you have when the microwave door is wide open.

Express Cook

This feature preselects time-cook food at a touch of a button, usually on maximum (high or 100%).

Family Size

Is in reference to the size of some microwaves. Family size ranges from 1.2 to 1.6 cubic feet and has wattage ranging from 1000 to 1300 watts.

Full Size

Is in reference to the size of some microwaves. Full size is larger than a Family size but not by much. Full size ranges form 1.8 to 2.2 feet and has wattage around 1200 watts.

Inverter Turbo Defrost (Available only on Panasonic Microwaves)

Inverter Turbo Defrost™ lets you defrost foods up to 49% faster than the powerful auto defrost feature. This advanced microwave sequencing system uses the Inverter low power delivery system to distribute microwaves with appropriate combinations of regularity and irregularity, with no standing time. This means that your food can be defrosted all the way through. Not available on all makes and models.

Multi-Lingual Menu Action Screen/Function Key

Whether you speak English, Spanish, or French, the menu action screen scrolls step-by-step cooking instructions in all three languages.

Oven Rack

Some microwaves include a cooking rack that is placed inside the microwave to elevated food; this allows you to cook more than one thing at the same time. Should only be used with large quantities of food.

Inverter Microwave Technology

Conventional microwave ovens operate on only one power level. When you program them to cook at lower levels, they "pulse" delivery of 100% power and remain idle the rest of the time. Panasonic Inverter Technology allows for true multi-level power settings, similar to a "Dimmer" switch on a light. The consistent delivery of microwave energy also helps delicate foods to simmer without overcooking the edges and surface.

Popcorn Key

The popcorn key lets you pop a single bag, usually 3.5 oz., of prepackaged microwave popcorn automatically.

Turntable

Turntable microwaves have an actual turntable in the microwave that rotates food while it cooks, this allows food to cook evenly and more efficient. The turntable is usually made of glass.

Trim Kits

Available for some countertop microwaves. A trim kit surrounds the microwave to give it a built in appearance.

Sensor Cooking

Sensor cooking customizes the power level and time for each food. This customizes your reheating and cooking functions for various foods.

Quick Minute

Use the quick minute feature to set cooking times in multiples of one minute or to add minutes to a current cooking session.

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