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Shopping checklist: Microwave ovens
Presets: Check what presets the microwave oven has and make sure they are useful to your needs. Presets provide an easy way of cooking certain types of food without having to guess or estimate time and power settings.
Microwave type: Is it conventional or convection? Make sure you get a microwave that's going to cook what you need it to cook. If you plan to cook traditional oven dishes - such as roast lamb - a conventional microwave will be up to the task.
Sensors: Sensors are an excellent feature and they will save you from interrupting the cooking or reheating process to check how the food is cooking. Sensors assist the microwave to automatically cook or defrost a food item evenly, rather than cooking the outside and leaving the inside cold, which many people experienced using early microwaves ovens.
Touchpad controls: Touchpads are a neat feature of any electronic device, but on a microwave it can also help when cleaning the face of the appliance. Touchpads generally have no cracks for food to gather in, and can be wiped clean with a wet cloth. They're also easy to use.
Trim-kit availability: Trim-kits allow you to mount a microwave or build it into a cabinet. If you think you'll need to position your microwave anywhere but on the benchtop it will need to have a trim kit - make sure the model you choose has one available.
Size: The size of a microwave is very important. A larger microwave is going to take up more room, but buying a microwave that's too small for your needs is not useful in the long term. Consider your cooking needs and choose the size carefully.
Maintenance: Look for non-stick surfaces, removable components and, where required, grease filters to ensure the microwave is easy to clean over time.
Built-in grills: Grills can be messy but may also be a necessity for your needs. Ask about different models with grills to decide whether it's right for you.
Warranty: Always check the warranty provided with the appliance and what it covers. Ensuring your appliance is covered by warranty can save you a lot of time and money later should it break down.
Location: Consider your kitchen's storage space and how you will access the microwave. Consider an over the range or hood combination microwave to save space, but make sure it's accessible for placing food units in it.