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Understanding Microwave Oven Features

Understanding Microwave Oven Features

What do all those microwave oven buttons mean? Here’s a short guide on the most common features.

The microwave oven may be one of the most amazing kitchen appliances to date. It lets you cook food and sustain yourself at the press of a button in far less time than an actual oven would. For some people, it’s the only way they know how to fend for themselves in the kitchen. As time goes on, microwave ovens have gotten more advanced and complex. If you’re in the market for a new one, read on for some of the more common microwave oven features you might want to look for on your new appliance.

+30 Seconds

This is a feature of many microwaves that allows you to increase the time by 30 seconds with ease. It is also a simple way to warm an item for 30 seconds without having to push any other buttons. Sometimes this is a separate button, but usually, it is part of the start button. 


This feature allows you to defrost frozen things much quicker than having them sit out in the fridge, on a counter, or in a bowl of water. Usually, the defrost feature includes settings for different types of items and even for different kinds of meat, automatically setting the defrost temperature and time based on the weight you input. 


The convection setting puts the “oven” in “microwave oven” but can also considerably raise the appliance’s price tag. It is essentially a way to cook things that would normally go in the oven in the microwave instead, and at a fraction of the time. These products include cakes, pies, cookies, and other baked goods. Since it uses a separate cooking element, it does make the whole microwave a more complex appliance.  

Child Lock

This is a great feature if you have young kids. On a microwave equipped with it, you usually engage the child lock by pushing the start button three times. You can disengage it by pushing the cancel button three times. The purpose is to lock the door so that a child cannot open it and try to pick up something hot or do anything dangerous.

ADA Compliance

Some microwaves offer ADA compliant features, such as one-handed operation, larger digital text or buttons, or other features that make it easier to use for people with disabilities. 

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