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Microwave Ovens Buying Guide – Glossary

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



Microwave Interior/Exterior

  • Oven Rack(s): Racks allow for multi-level cooking of two or more dishes at a time.
  • Pan: A pan that crisps food; perfect for pastries and pizza.
  • Temperature Probe: A temperature probe is inserted into food being re-heated or cooked. The probe will indicate when the cooking has been completed.

Cavity Dimensions

Dimensions describe the internal height, width and depth of the microwave oven.

Control Panel Readout
  • LCD Display: The time and power levels are displayed on a small lighted screen visible in the dark.
  • LED Display (light emitting diode) is available in three styles:
    • Simple: Only gives time and power level.
    • Self-instruct: Walks you through the programming by telling you what to do at each stage of your cooking.
    • Scrolling: Information is built into the programming. Once it knows what you're trying to achieve, it takes the guesswork out of cooking and directs you step-by- step.

Cooking Measurements

Calculates the power and level of cooking required on food by selecting the type and weight. Measurement is available in imperial and metric on some models.

Display Language Options

Operational instructions on some models are available in several languages.

Door Opening Mechanism

Two choices are available. The push system opens with a light touch. The pull system has a handle to open the door.

Interior Oven Light

A light that switches on while the oven is cooking or when you open the door.

Turntable Diameter (In.)

Refers to the size of the turntable. Dishes that are wider than the turntable will not rotate.


Cooking Options

Auto Cook

Pre-programmed cooking options which will save you time by calculating the time and power for you.

Auto Reheat

Monitors the moisture of the food while it is reheating, adjusting the power level up or down for perfect results.

Browning/Crisping Capability

Either manual or sensor. Food can be browned and crisped in the microwave.

Convection Wattage

Refers to the wattage of the element used during the convection cooking cycle.

Defrost – Auto

Monitors the moisture of the food while it is defrosting, adjusting the power level up or down for perfect results.

Defrost – Express

Pre-programmed algorithms reduce the defrosting time for ground meat, poultry, steaks and chops by about 36%.

Defrost – Quick

Pre-programmed algorithms reduce by about 71% the time required to defrost 1lb. of meat, poultry or fish.

Microwave/Convection Programs

Blends the benefits of microwave cooking with convection cooking. For example, if you select the 'beef' category and enter the weight of the beef, the oven will automatically blend microwave and convection cooking.

Power Levels

Controls the power according to the type of food being cooked and the speed at which it is cooked. Most models come with 10 power levels.


Counts down the seconds, minutes and hours of cooking time.

Over-the-Range Options

Airflow Capacity (Cu. Ft./Min.)

A measure of airflow in cubic feet per minute. The greater the airflow capacity, the better the venting or circulating.

Airflow Method

Single Propeller: Rotates and moves the air just like a fan.

Double Propeller: Two propellers move the air, providing more air flow.

Blower Wheel: Stronger than the propeller, it has a higher airflow capacity.

Twin Blower Wheel: Maximum airflow capacity.

Fan Speed Settings

Choose from a variety of settings. Higher settings move more air and are more efficient for heavy cooking.

Hood Worklight

A light to brighten the work surface.

Venting Options

Interior Venting: The air is cleaned through a charcoal filter and recirculates into the house.

Exterior Venting: The cleaned air is sent outside of the house.