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FAQ About Microwaves

When microwave ovens first hit the market in the 1970s, they were large, energy-hungry appliances that were really only good for reheating leftovers. Today's microwaves are smaller, more powerful, and packed with smart features that make them great for not only reheating, but also for cooking and keeping food warm.

What is the difference between a convection microwave and a traditional microwave?

A standard microwave oven uses, you guessed it, microwaves to heat up food. A microwave convection oven, on the other hand, combines the radiant heat of microwave technology with the hot air flow of a convection oven. It's equipped with a fan that circulates the heated air for more even heat distribution, allowing you to grill, brown, and roast foods.

What styles of microwave ovens are there?

There are 3 main styles of microwaves, each with its own benefits.

Over-the-range microwaves are designed to be installed above your stove and therefore allow you to keep your precious countertop real estate clear. They feature built-in exhaust fans to vent steam and smoke from your stovetop burners.

Countertop microwaves are the most common type out there. Also known as portable or compact microwaves, they're easy to install, and you can take them with you when you move.

Built-in microwaves offer the standard microwave conveniences but with the added bonus of being integrated into a custom cabinet to save valuable countertop space.

What microwave size is right for me?

If your kitchen space is limited or you just want a basic microwave oven for thawing food and reheating leftovers, opt for a 0.7 to 1.2 cu. ft. model. If you're cooking for the whole family, consider a larger capacity microwave (available in sizes up to 2.2 cu. ft.

What features should I look for when buying a microwave?

In addition to standard preset buttons like “popcorn,” some models offer features like a “Keep Warm” function, which delivers steady but very low power to keep food warm until it's ready to be served. Features such as child lock make your kitchen safer, while options like sensor cooking, delayed start, and multistage cooking expand your cooking possibilities.

Want more info? Check out some of our resources:

Microwaves 101: How to choose the best microwave oven for your kitchen
Prepare for that great Canadian winter: kitchen and dining room essentials
Best Microwaves for Back to School as Rated by Best Buy Customers


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