What size microwave should I buy?

Written by lee morgan
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What size microwave should I buy?
Determine which size microwave you need. (microwave symbol image by FotoWorx from Fotolia.com)

The options you'll see when shopping for a microwave can get overwhelming. While all microwaves share the same basic technology for heating and cooking food, their similarities beyond that are limited. One of the big differences in the various models is the physical size and capacity of the microwave. Consider your needs carefully and determine the best course of action based on a few factors.

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Space Consideration

Perhaps the most important factor in deciding on the size microwave you should buy is your space limitations. If you have the room for the largest microwave on the market, you may wish to have it. But if you are like many people, you'll need to evaluate how much space you can spare realistically. If you're looking for a countertop model you'll have the most options for size, but you'll also need to make sure you get one that leaves you enough room for food preparation. The larger microwaves can use up a lot of space on your counter and make an otherwise good sized kitchen suddenly seem too small. Most likely you'll want to go with something in the middle range of sizes and within your budget.

Bigger Is Better

If space is not a concern and you have lots of room for all of your kitchen needs, then you should buy the largest microwave you can afford. Bigger is better when it comes to microwave ovens simply because they offer more opportunity for use. Instead of simply heating up a plate of leftovers, you may be able to cook entire meals in the microwave, particularly if you get a convection microwave that will bake and perform a number of other cooking functions.

Just For Plates

If you don't generally prepare large meals, aren't much of a cook or if you live alone, your only purpose when it comes to microwave use is likely to be heating up frozen dinners or reheating a plate of leftovers. While a larger microwave with extra functions is handy to have, you may feel it isn't much of a priority in your life. Still, you'd like to be able to heat up that can of soup without using a soup pot and the range. If this describes you, don't waste your money on a big, fancy machine. Look for a compact model big enough to hold your dinner plate and without taking up too much space. Simple, entry-level microwaves that accomplish basic heating functions are available at reasonable prices.

Big Power

Physical microwave size usually correlates with its power. The power of microwave ovens is measured in watts. The wattage of a microwave will determine how fast it can cook a meal, according to the Home Tips website. If you want a fast-working model, look at a larger capacity microwave. Many larger microwaves deliver 1,000 to 1,600 watts, while a mid-size microwave will usually deliver 800 to 1,000 watts. If you choose the compact version, remember that you'll only get 500 to 800 watts of power, which could take twice as long to heat foods.

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