Today Only! Up to 40% off selected kitchen items. Shop >>Resource Centre>Buying Guides>Appliances> Microwave Ovens Buying Guide – Key Features

Microwave Ovens Buying Guide – Key Features

Microwave ovens have revolutionized cooking. Speedy and smart, they are a modern living must-have for the home.


Key Features

These are the more popular microwave features you’ll find on the marketplace. Features vary from model to model depending on manufacturer and price, so decide ahead of time which are important to you. Don’t pay for features you won’t use.


By measuring the amount of steam released from the food while cooking, the sensor can automatically adjust the cooking time and end when the food is ready. This helps to prevent over-cooking.

Shortcut Keys

With the touch of a button, these auto settings cook, reheat and defrost various foods (e.g. popcorn, pizza, vegetables) without you having to figure out the time or power settings.

Inverter Technology

The inverter delivers constant power when cooking at different power levels, resulting in foods being cooked more evenly. When you select 50% power you get 50% of the power for 100% of the time selected. A regular microwave without an inverter pulses on and off delivering 100% power for 50% of the time.

Convection Cooking

Using currents of heated air, convention cooking makes microwave cooking even faster since two sources of heat are being used. The convection feature allows you to brown foods, which regular microwaving doesn’t. Or use the convection feature alone and get the benefits of a second oven when cooking multiple dishes (note: results may not be as consistent as with a regular, full-size convection oven).

Turntables & Trays

To heat food evenly in a microwave, it needs to keep moving. Most microwaves have a turntable that rotates. A recessed turntable provides more cooking space since it is sunk lower in the oven interior making it lie flat with the bottom of the oven. A removable turntable makes for easy cleaning. A turntable with an on/off option lets you stop the turntable from rotating, which is handy if you are cooking with a large pan that is too long to turn.

Another option is a rectangular tray that moves from side to side, allowing long platters to move and cook more evenly.

Child Safety Locks

An electronic lock-out feature disables the control panel and keeps kids from operating the microwave oven.

In-Door Controls

By placing the controls in the door, there is more interior capacity within the microwave.

Removable Racks

Racks allow you to cook more food at once.


Higher end models offer a steam function where you fill a reservoir with water that then will steam the food while cooking.