Some models of microwave come with accessories, giving you even more cooking options. These can include microwaveable pizza pans or vegetable steamers.
Microwaves controlled with rotary dials (as opposed to touch controls) are referred to as being ‘analogue’. Many find the tactile response of an analogue microwave more satisfying to use, and as such the choice is down to personal preference. Read more and find out which type of microwave is right for you here.
With an ‘auto cook’ programme, you simply need to enter the weight (and on some models, type of food). Your microwave will then automatically select an appropriate oven temperature, power output and cooking time.
Much the same as the Auto-Cook setting, Auto-Defrost helps to take the guesswork out of your food prep. Simply enter the weight (and on some models, type of frozen food) and your microwave will calculate the best time and temperature to defrost your food.
A Bosch feature, AutoPilot 7 is a range of seven pre-set automatic cooking and defrost programmes to cover a wide range of uses.
A feature on some Samsung models, Browning Plus uses the microwave’s built-in grill to give your food a little extra texture and flavour.
Designed to be fitted into your kitchen units, built-in microwaves give your home a modern, seamless look.
If you’re looking for the right microwave to suit your needs then capacity is an important factor to consider. This dictates how much can be added to the microwave at any one time – those that often cook large meals may wish to opt for a larger model.
By using random pulses of energy, this feature helps your microwave to defrost food faster.
Child Lock features ensure that children or people unfamiliar with the microwave can’t adjust your settings or cooking time accidentally.
Also known as a ‘Combi Microwave’, these models offer more flexible cooking. Combination Microwaves bring together microwave energy, a grill and convection heating (fanned hot air), meaning they can heat, crisp, roast and brown food as you would with a conventional oven.
Microwaves with a deodoriser function can help to remove the smell of food or smoke after cooking is complete.
Some models of microwave combine dial and touch controls, so you can get the best of both worlds.
Many microwaves use their LED/LCD display panel to show the time when the appliance is not in use.
‘Easy Cleaning’ microwaves are hard-wearing, stain resistant and wipe down more quickly than other models.
A minimal, modern-looking dial control, featured on some Samsung models.
This Samsung function reduces the standby power consumption of the microwave, saving energy and reducing running costs.
Flatbed model microwaves do not have an internal turntable, freeing up more space for your meals.
Glass turntables are easier to wipe down, for faster cleaning in the case of any spills.
Some models of microwave include a grilling function alongside their standard microwave cooking. There are two types of grill – quartz and radiant. Quartz grills heat up in just a few seconds, and can be combined with a turntable feature for more even cooking. Radiant grills take around five minutes to get up to temperature, but tend to be a little more powerful.
This Samsung feature offers a great way to grill food in your microwave. By triangulating heat between the appliance’s grill, heat reflectors and fan, this feature circulates hot air to cook quickly and evenly.
This Samsung setting blasts powerful jets of hot air from 60 evenly distributed air holes. This feature cooks food 50% quicker than a traditional convection oven, and features a larger fan. HotBlast technology is great for cooking food crispy on the outside, while keeping moisture in the middle.
This feature ensures that food is evenly heated, for better texture and flavour.
An LCD Panel allows you to check cooking times and selected programmes at a glance.
An LED display allows you to check cooking times and selected programmes at a glance.
Some models of microwave are capable of storing your settings, so that you don’t have to input them again the next time you use the appliance. If you regularly cook, defrost or heat up the same dish, then this feature could save you time.
The power of a microwave is measured in watts (W). A higher wattage means more powerful cooking, and shorter cooking times.
Various models of microwave will have different pre-set programmes upon purchase. Pre-set programmes help to take the guesswork out of your cooking, and generally comprise of settings to reheat, defrost or cook popular meals.
Microwaves with a grill function generally use either a quartz grill or a radiant grill. Quartz grills heat up in just a few seconds, and can be combined with a turntable for more even cooking.
This function can be found on a number of models, and helps to defrost food at a faster rate.
Microwaves with a grill function generally use either a quartz grill or a radiant grill. Radiant grills take around five minutes to get up to temperature, but tend to be a little more powerful than quartz ones.
Microwaves with dial controls are referred to as ‘Analogue Microwaves’. Rotary Dial controls can be turned to select cooking modes, settings and cooking time.
Microwaves with side opening doors are the standard, with a majority of models using a door with a side-hinge.
By circulating hot air around the microwave, this feature offers a healthier way to enjoy fried foods. With just a touch of oil, SLIM Fry can give fried foods a crisp and crunchy finish.
This Samsung feature monitors air humidity within the microwave to ensure that dishes such as vegetables and pasta maintain their humidity and flavour.
This function gives you the option to turn the model’s turntable on or off, meaning you can microwave large plates or dishes that wouldn’t have enough space to rotate.
Standard, ‘solo’ microwaves offer a cheaper option than other models, but lack the range of cooking types (e.g. grilling). These are a perfect budget option for those that only need their microwave to do one thing.
In addition to microwaving, grilling and convection heating, some microwaves also include a steam cooking function, providing a healthier way to prepare your food.
As opposed to dial controls, touch controls feature a panel of buttons to adjust settings and cooking time. Whether you choose touch or dial-based controls is ultimately down to personal preference, so pick whichever system works best for you.
Whereas most microwaves use a single antenna to cook, models with a Triple Distribution System use additional antenna slots for a wider and more even distribution of waves. Also known as Triple Heat Distribution.
A turntable in your microwave rotates food as it cooks for more even heating.