Having changed the way we think about cooking, today's microwaves are a far cry from the earliest models - nowadays they're multi-functional! Here's all you need to know before you buy.
Use our product guide to find the right microwave for you.
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* Auto/ Express/ Instant cook: These programmes will cook certain foods for a fixed time at the touch of a button.
* Auto defrost: Look out for models that will calculate the exact time for you if you type in the weight of the item you want to cook.
* Multiple grill settings: The higher the grill wattage, the faster your food will brown. More than one setting on high-powered grills is best, so you can choose to grill with a high or low heat.
* Child lock: Locks the door to prevent the microwave being opened by little fingers.
* Catalytic cleaning: A special lining that grease doesn't stick to, making it easier to keep your oven clean.
* Delay start: Means you can programme your microwave to cook while you're out.
* Preheat: Quickly heats the convection oven, using microwave and grill.
Five points to consider before you buy a microwave
1. Buy a combi rather than a standard model. It may be a bit more expensive, but you'll get a whole lot more for your money - a microwave, oven and grill in one.
2. Combined power means faster cooking. A high-wattage microwave combined with a grill or oven cooks up to two thirds faster than anything else.
3. The more power settings it has, the more versatile it will be. Some models have up to 11 settings, though five is plenty for most basic tasks.
4. A wide range of oven temperatures is most useful. Low temperatures of, say, 40℃ can be useful for warming plates and oven-drying foods like tomatoes or peppers.
5. You'll need a capacity of at least 25ltr if you have a family. The biggest mircrowaves are about 32ltr.
Use our product finder to find the right microwave design for you.
Visit housetohome's directory to find kitchen retailers in your local area.
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