Wednesday, 23 August 2006
|1015 - Dead microwave blues|
While nuking last night's dinner, vakkotaur's 10-year-old Sharp microwave gave up the ghost. Fortunately, it waited till there were just 10 seconds left to run, so that wasn't a problem.
Even so, being modern American guys, we're really dependent on the thing. My 25-year-old Kenmore was getting tired even before I moved to Fairmont and put it in the basement; it'll keep us going, but only just long enough to go buy a new one.
The good news is that microwave ovens are getting cheap and plentiful. I went to the same appliance store we bought the rest of our appliances from, and they've got a good selection, with nothing over $200. The local ShopKo has a good selection, too, and they're all under $100 (though the ovens are smaller).
I did get one surprise, though. The guy at the appliance store was surprised to hear that the Sharp would do what he called "sequential cooking": you can tell it to cook for 4 minutes at 50% power and then 6 minutes at full power, for example, and it'll do it uninterrupted. It appears that that's not something microwave ovens do any more. Another misfeature we had in one Whirlpool microwave oven at a hotel we stayed in was that the beeper didn't shut off even if the door was opened; the salesman assured me that wasn't a problem any more.
We've got a bit of a space problem, but fortunately, it's not bad enough to keep even the biggest 2 cubic foot oven from fitting. The current one is 1.2 cubic feet, and we really haven't had problems with things not fitting, so I expect we won't try to get much bigger. I do want 1100 watt output power, but that seems to be pretty standard on all but the smallest these days. Beyond that, I really don't have much of an opinion. Anyone else have any?
current mood: surprised
current music: Ted Nugent - Cat Scratch Fever
I've been using the same microwave for 13 years now. It lacks a turntable inside.
Get one with a turntable (though I suspect it would be hard to do otherwise these days.)
The one that went out was a Sharp Carousel, so we've gotten quite used to having the turntable. Lack of a turntable is a deal-breaker, but as you say that's unlikely to be a problem.
That's the first actually useful feature in a microwave since the turntable.
Otherwise I'd suggest one where you can actually set the power in Watts, and don't have to do the math from percent-of-max-power all the time.
It's a useful feature, all right...it's too bad that none of them seem to list it as a feature, which either means that it's ubiquitous or that they decided it wasn't useful and dropped it.
There's exactly one food item I've cooked at other than 50% or full power (Aunt Jemima French Toast breakfast sandwiches need defrosting at 30%, for some reason), so the number of watts wouldn't seem to be very useful as a feature.
I cook everything at one of two settings. "Full Power" and "Automatic Defrost" :)
Around here most microwave-ready food has the cooking time listed as minutes-at-X-Watts, where X is anything between 500 and 850. Bloody annoying, that is.
Oog. Yes, that would be annoying. Here, it's x minutes at x%, and they say something like "these times were developed using an 1100 watt oven; your oven may differ, and these times may need to be adjusted". In your case, yes, I'd definitely want a setting for number of watts.
So, this is a pretty delayed comment on this and you've probably already purchased a microwave, but as someone who worked service desk at the said ShopKo this past summer, I believe I only saw one microwave come back. That's not an absolute warranty, as we've only a 90 day return policy (unless one wants an extended warranty, which is rarely the case), but we've had a lot more TVs and such come back. Not trying to convince you to buy it there, just giving a bit of assurance for one of the places (Though, in all honesty, I'd really suggest Dan's...).
And now I'll stop leaving random area-related comments on your LJ, 'cause you're probably finding it a bit odd. ;)