According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a staggering 94.63% of all American homes have countertop microwaves and 8.5% have two or more.
With so many busy households these days, it is no surprise at all that families on the go rely so heavily on microwaves to prepare meals quickly and efficiently in order to keep going.
As microwaves have advanced in technology since their introduction for home use in 1967, many options have become available. Settings, sizes and types can make choosing the best one confusing. This guide is created to help take the guesswork out of choosing the best countertop microwave.[table id=3 /]
Buying The Microwave Oven: Things to Know Before You Go Shopping
First of all, to make sure your microwave oven shopping experience is the most fruitful it can be, there are few items of information you’ll need to know
before you start shopping. Whether you are going to a retail store or buying online, have the following information handy as you browse through microwave ovens:
- Know how many people you cook for on an average night. Also, if you entertain frequently and plan to use the microwave a lot, know the number of guests you will be cooking for. This will affect the size and power of microwave oven you will need.
- Decide if the microwave will be your primary source of cooking. Some microwaves are meant for strictly reheating or smaller, shorter jobs; other microwaves are better designed for cooking a large meal or for longer periods of heating (e.g. one hour, etc.).
- Know the dimensions of your microwave safe cookware. Will they fit inside the unit you are buying or would you have to buy new cookware / Tupperware? This could nullify any savings you may find on a particular model if you have to buy new items in addition.
- Know the features you want to use. Will you really be using defrost options, cooking options and keep-warm options?
- Finally, know how much kitchen space you have available. Whether you are planning on buying a countertop microwave oven or one that can fit in a pre-determined space such as a cabinet or drawer, buying the right sized microwave is essential.
Figuring Out The Best Microwave Oven Options and Styles
There are more styles of microwave ovens available now than in the past so even if you think you know which style you want, you might want to reconsider when you see some of the newer options available to you:
- Traditional: The most prevalent style of microwave oven, traditional microwaves open with a side-swing door, most commonly opening to the left (handle on the left when facing it). It can be built into a wall or in a cabinet space. Trim kits are available.
- Built-in: This microwave is surrounded by cabinets and has a drop-down door like a conventional oven. These can be installed over your range or above wall ovens.
- Drawer-style: A recent addition to many microwave lines, this is the latest option for slide-out microwave drawers. It is typically built-in below a countertop or under an oven for added room, safer unloading options and more convenience of height.
- Over the Range: Combined with an exhaust hood, this microwave goes over the range helping to keep your kitchen cooler when using your conventional oven (and/or your microwave in tandem).
- Countertop: Although convenient for those who don’t want permanence in the kitchen thanks to its portability, countertop microwaves take up space on the countertop and have no ventilation systems. Many models have options for future build-ins and trim kits.
This guide reviews the 5 of the best countertop microwaves available in the market today.
Kenmore Elite 1.5 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave w Convection Stainless Steel 74153 Review
Nothing defines convenient cooking like a microwave oven. Anyone looking for easy cooking in the shortest time possible, should have at least one equipment of that kind in the kitchen. It may mean the difference between going to work full or hungry.
While there are so many microwave ovens available in the market today, the Kenmore Elite 1.5 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave w/ Convection Stainless Steel 74153 is worth checking out.
So, what does the Kenmore 74153 microwave oven offer?
- 1.5 cu. Ft Space
The Kenmore 74153 microwave oven has 1.5 Cu. ft. of space. That kind of interior volume is quite good yet does not take up too much counter space. It offers the average user the chance to warm or heat sizable amounts of food at once. Most heat-resistant plates of at least a medium size can fit in that kind of space conveniently.
- 1000-watt power capacity
The 1000-watt capacity of the Kenmore microwave oven is worth considering. It allows for high temperatures that will enable users to cook foods easily and quickly. Fast cooking times are always a good thing, especially if time is of the essence.
- Multiple heat settings
The Kenmore microwave oven has 10 power levels whose settings can can be automated. Such settings allow for gradual defrosting, to complete cooking, depending on how fresh or frozen the food is. The multiple power levels allow the user to increase or decrease cooking time in predetermined periods. In addition, the automation mechanisms make it easy for the user to set the power level and then do other things in the meantime. That is convenient for people who have to multitask in the kitchen.
- Microwave/convention cooking
For those that prefer convention cooking, then the Kenmore 74153 is a good choice. The microwave oven allows for the use of both microwave and convention cooking of food. The user can utilize either, or both cooking options depending on preference.
- Stainless steel material
The interior of the Kenmore microwave oven is made of stainless steel. This makes it durable and much easier to clean.
- Kitchen timer
The Kenmore microwave oven has a kitchen timer. The user can therefore set the required time and then do other tasks while waiting for the food to cook. There is no need to worry about the food overcooking.
- LED Display
The Kenmore 74153 oven has an LED display, which is blue in color. The display enhances visibility for users who want to set the timer and power level even under minimal lighting conditions.
- Child lockout function
The child lockout function on the Kenmore microwave oven ensures that children will have a hard time opening it especially when it is in use. This helps to enhance the safety of children when they are in the kitchen.
What’s So Great About The Kenmore Elite 74153?
- The microwave oven is sizable yet compact. It can be used even where there is limited kitchen space.
- One of the best kitchen brand manufacturers in the USA produces the microwave oven. Users can be assured of good quality and reliability of the product.
What’s Not So Great About The Kenmore Elite 74153?
- There is no warranty that comes with the oven.
- The oven does not come cheap.
Is This A Great Purchase?
The convention and microwave cooking alone, make the Kenmore product well worth the purchase in spite of its price tag. It will last long and provide great value for the money.
LG LCSP1110ST Review
The LG LCSP1110ST 1.1 Cu Ft Counter Top Combo Microwave and Baking Oven, Stainless Steel allows you to microwave as well as bake using one appliance. You can cook small items like biscuits, frozen foods and cookies without the need of heating in a big oven. This oven is ideal for college students and for any kitchen.