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What's new in microwaves

by Alison Stanton on Dec 4, 2015

From convection ovens to touch-screens to high-tech innovations, the last few years have brought about plenty of advancements in microwave oven technology. Be sure to ask your homebuilder about what microwave options they offer as standard or optional in your new home.

Here are a few ideas to get your discussion started:

Bluetooth technology

Connectivity is an exciting type of technology in new microwaves, said Heather Koyama, GE Appliances product manager of microwaves and ventilation. GE has recently launched a range and over-the-range microwave that will sync up with each other with the help of Bluetooth technology.

“The new feature, called Chef Connect, creates a more unified experience in the kitchen by allowing the range to connect with the microwave,” Koyama said, adding that Chef Connect also syncs the range and microwave clocks so they maintain the same time. “The over-the-range cooktop light turns on automatically when the range cooktop is turned on and there is also an option for the vent fan to turn on when the cooktop is in use.”

Touch-screen features

The latest built-in microwave ovens from Jenn-Air include a feature called Speed-Cook that provides a modern touch-screen interface. 

“Speed-Cook offers faster results than conventional microwave methods by combining microwave, broiling and true convection,” said Mariane Kingston, Brand Experience, Jenn-Air. What that means is that today’s microwaves are multi-purpose in nature, Kingston said.

“For example, the microwave on the Jenn-Air microwave/wall oven — which is a built-in wall oven with a built-in microwave — can also be like a second oven so it’s extremely versatile,” she said. “You can easily cook multiple dishes at different temperatures, or when you want to cook a single entrée, you can use the microwave instead of the oven.”

Convection microwaves

Another type of microwave that is getting a lot of attention lately from new-home owners is the convection microwave oven. 

As Koyama described it, a convection microwave oven allows home cooks to achieve a golden-brown finish on foods that warrant it.

“The microwave heating element combines with a fan to circulate warm air evenly around foods for convection cooking providing a baking/warming feature and allowing the microwave to be used as a second oven in your kitchen,” she said. 

Microwave drawers

New-home owners who want to save counter-space may opt for a microwave drawer, Kingston said. Jenn-Air offers a microwave with a drawer that opens and closes with the touch of a button. The drawers offer flexibility to meet different kitchen designs, Koyama said.

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