Cooking Consultant: Kenmore Microwave Buying Guide

July 26, 2017 by Kenmore

The microwave was a groundbreaking invention that helped usher in a lifestyle of convenience and simplicity. We think your shopping search should be the same way. Check out this quick guide to sort out all the details and find the right microwave to start heating things up around your kitchen!  

Tip #1: Style It

The first thing to consider is style. Between countertop, over-the-range and built-in models, there’s a microwave that’s a perfect fit for your kitchen design, space constraints and personal aesthetic.

Countertop Microwaves: If you have extra counter space, this style is ideal. It is, by far, the easiest to install. Just place the microwave on your countertop, plug it in and you’re good to go! Plus, because it’s portable, you can take it with you when you move.    

Over-the-Range Microwaves: Because these microwaves are installed over your range and double as oven hoods, they save space and maximize function. You can choose between a model that vents to the outside or one that employs multi-speed fans that circulate the air through replaceable charcoal filters. As an added bonus, most models include lights to illuminate the cooktop.       

Built-In Microwaves: Sleek and seamless, these microwaves offer a fully integrated look for any modern kitchen. They are made to be placed among custom cabinets or paired with a full-sized, built-in wall oven to save space and offer added convenience.

Tip #2: Fit It

Your microwave should not only be the right size for your available space (be sure to measure height, width and depth), but also the right capacity to suit your needs. But there’s also wattage to contend with. The more watts, the more cooking power — and more cooking power means faster and more even cooking. Generally, a 700-watt microwave will boil a cup of water at room temperature in 2.5 minutes. So how do you figure out the right size/capacity/power combination? Here’s a good rule of thumb:

Size:          Capacity:          Wattage:   

Compact     <1.0 cu. ft.         500–800 watts

Mid-Sized    1.0–1.5 cu. ft.    801–1,000 watts

Full-Sized    1.6–2.0 cu. ft.    1,001–1,400 watts

Largest        2.1 cu. ft.+         1,401+ watts

Compact microwaves are just big enough for one dinner plate and ideal for smaller spaces like apartments, offices and dorm rooms. (Some people even use them on boats and RVs.) Conversely, full-sized models are typically roomy enough for most warming dishes. They also often feature a few more bells and whistles…             

Tip #3: Feature It

When it comes to today’s microwaves, thawing, reheating and popping popcorn have become pretty standard. Innovative features now let you brown, roast and grill essentially, you can cook an entire gourmet meal for the family using just the microwave. Check out these cutting-edge features that combine exceptional performance and convenience to make life even more amazing.

Convection Cooking: Cooks foods more quickly and evenly, whether you’re defrosting, cooking or reheating. This feature’s fan and heating element give you more cooking control, so your food comes out hot and delicious every time — no frozen centers.

Sensor Cooking/Reheating: Takes the guesswork out of cooking by monitoring steam emitted from the food and adjusting time and temperature accordingly it even automatically shuts off power to prevent overcooking. Simply make a selection for foods like bacon, frozen dinners, rice or casseroles, and let the microwave do the rest!

Quick Touch Controls: Deliver easy access to a wide selection of preprogrammed settings, like Popcorn, Melt/Soften and Potato. One touch controls let you automatically cook for 1-, 2- or 3-minute cycles, so you can toss in a meal or leftovers with less fuss.

Powerful Venting/AirGuard™: Helps eliminate smoke from the cooktop and odors from the whole kitchen while you cook. You no longer have to worry about that fish smell hanging around after dinner and overstaying its welcome!

Child Lockout: Provides kid-safe cooking with the touch of a button. Securing the microwave from activation, it keeps children safe and helps prevent melted toys.

Easy Cleanup: Sleek stainless steel and special interior coatings wipe clean with a damp rag and stay odor-free.

Turntables, Trays and Removable Racks: Organize your cooking space to warm more at once. You can feed the entire family!



Dish Details: Kenmore Dishwasher Buying Guide
Laundry List: Kenmore Dryer Buying Guide
Laundry Helper: Kenmore Washer Buying Guide


The Kenmore brand represents 100 years of trusted performance, backed by exclusive features and innovations that no other brand can bring to the table. We’re always evolving to ensure day-to-day tasks are taken care of with faster cooking, better cleaning and more living throughout the home.