The microwave oven has become a standard piece of cooking equipment in almost every kitchen today. The need for a way to cook food quickly and easily has led to this ubiquitous adoption. Adding a microwave to your other kitchen appliances is an easy task if you have a big kitchen with plenty of countertop space.
It’s a lot more challenging in a small and compact kitchen. If you live in a small apartment then you know how hard it can be to fit everything in without having your kitchen become too cluttered. Fortunately there are some very small microwaves on the market today.
Buying a small microwave oven doesn’t mean having to sacrifice too much cooking power or even features. Some of the smallest microwaves from good brands like LG still have some of the great features you normally only get in larger units. When buying a tiny microwave to fit nicely into that last spot in your kitchen you need to keep a few things in mind.
Take note of all of the dimensions quoted by the manufacturer. Length, height and depth are all critical. Take accurate measurements of the spot you want to put the microwave in and make sure that each dimension gives you sufficient space to place the microwave in comfortably. Even the smallest microwave still might not fit nicely because just one dimension is too big. When considering the depth measurement also remember that there is normally an area at the rear that bulges out a little to accommodate the magnetron. Some microwave manufacturers don’t include this “bump” in their depth dimension.
A lot of the time the volume figure (in cubic feet) is quoted as a microwave size comparison. This gives you a quick idea of the size but you need to know the internal width and depth to know what the maximum size plate is that you could put into the microwave. If you’re looking for a way to cook in your car or truck then you really need to pay close attention to each of the dimensions to make sure it will fit. There are some good portable microwave oven options that are fairly compact and work of 12V.
Every microwave will have a section of venting on one of the panels. Make sure you know which panel before buying one. If it’s going to be placed under a low shelf then you can’t have the vents coming out the top. If it’s going to be hard up against a panel on the left or right then, likewise, you need to be sure that the vents aren’t on that side.
Not all microwave doors open to the same side. If it will be up against a side panel then it’s best to have the door open to the opposite direction. It’s also important to remember that when the door opens the thickness of the door will add to the overall width of the microwave as it begins to open. This means that if it’s up against a panel on the door hinge side it will bump up against the panel when the door opens.
If you’re just going to be making some popcorn or defrosting frozen food then you don’t need a lot of power. If you plan on cooking more substantial food then you’re going to need some more power. It’s probably best to be aiming around the 750W mark. The best small microwave ovens will offer you power in this range. Don’t underestimate what you can cook in a microwave that has sufficient power. There are some great recipes that you could make work, even in a small microwave.
The cheap small microwaves will have simple rotary timer dials and a few power settings. The more expensive units will have preset cooking features and more intelligent defrost and power management features. These are nice to have but they do push up the price.
Whether you’re planning on making popcorn in your dorm room or something a little fancier in your compact kitchen you’re sure to find the best small microwave if you follow our simple tips. Take your time and measure your countertop space very carefully. With a little planning and some research you’ll be able to find the best tiny microwave for that little spot.