Conventional microwaves work by converting electricity into micro-waves, which heats up the food. Only the food inside the microwave is heated, making conventional microwaves fast and efficient. They are usually the cheapest type of microwave available.
Convection microwaves also use micro-waves to heat up food, however it also has a heating element and fan to heat up and circulate air throughout the cavity. It is a great option for busy kitchens, as it has the ability to crisp, bake, brown or broil, just like a traditional oven! Convection ovens generally have a lot more features, but they can be a lot more expensive compared to conventional microwaves (depending on the model).
Are Watts Important?
Microwave power is measured in watts (wattage). Although wattage is definitely something to consider, you shouldn't purchase a microwave purely on the watts it has.
Larger cavity microwaves will need more watts to heat food compared to a smaller microwave. If you will be cooking large amounts of food, you should look at a high-watt model.
Should I look at the Settings?
Nowadays microwaves come with all sorts of different settings. Examples are bake, reheat, defrost, grill or toast. Basic models will have heat and defrost settings. You should look at the settings different models offer, and decide which ones will suit your cooking needs.
There is no point in paying for a microwave that offers a massive amount of settings if you will only end up using one or two.
What about the size?
There are a large variety of sizes available. The capacity can be anywhere from a large 44 Litres to a small 20 Litre model. You should consider how much food you will be cooking at once, as well as how much space you have available in your kitchen. Be sure to measure your space before starting to compare models.
Some mid to high end microwaves have sensors. These sensors automatically adjust the heat to ensure food is cocked evenly. Some even have sensors to turn themselves off when ready. Microwaves with sensors are great as it means you don't have to check on the foods progress - it checks for you!
Is It Easy to Clean?
Microwaves can be difficult to clean. It is best to look at models that are very easy to clean, to make your job is as easy as possible. Features such as removable turntables, flatbed technology, grease filters and non-stick interiors are all great features you should look out for.