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CDA Buying Advice – Microwave FAQs

Have some unanswered questions about microwaves? We’ve taken the liberty of answering some of the most frequently asked questions…

What is the difference between a microwave and a microwave oven?

There is a lot of confusion around this question. Is your appliance a microwave or is it a microwave oven? Microwave is short for microwave oven so yes, your appliance is technically a microwave oven, but you may wish to simply call it a microwave. 

So to answer this question, you can call it a microwave or microwave oven and it will refer to the same appliance.

What is the difference between a microwave and a convection oven?

You may be wondering what the difference between a microwave and convection oven is? Surely, they do the same thing and heat up food, right? In fact, there are differences between both appliances, to find out more keep reading our expert guide.

A microwave uses waves of radiation to heat the moisture in your food which ultimately cooks it, whereas a convection oven (also known as a fan oven) heats the food by circulating heat around the oven cavity via a fan. 

Because of the fan, the entire oven cavity will be heated thus cooking the food evenly. However, microwaves use radiation to excite molecules within the food you are cooking, causing them to vibrate which in turn creates heat and warms the food from the inside out. The turntables within a microwave ensure that all food is cooked evenly like a convection oven. 

Convection ovens cook food a lot faster than normal ovens, but microwaves cook around 25% faster than conventional ovens. This can depend on the food that is being cooked as foods with high fat or water content such as eggs or fish will cook more quickly.

If you prefer to brown your food rather than just cook it all the way through, then maybe a convection oven is a better choice. Microwaves simply cook the food straight through, they don’t brown or broil like an oven that uses a more traditional heating method. 

Now that you know the differences between a microwave and convection oven which one will you choose?

Can microwaves be recycled?

So you’re buying a new microwave, but how do you get rid of your old one? Maybe you have been thinking about just putting it in the normal bin along with the rest of your rubbish, but no, this is not allowed. 

Microwaves are also known as e-waste such as items like televisions. 

So what should you do if you have an old microwave that you no longer want? Well, there are many ways that you can dispose of your microwave correctly and safely:

Check with your local appliance store or larger retailers as they may offer a service for removing your old microwave, however this may come at a cost, so do some research into it beforehand. 

It is also a good idea to check with the manufacturer of your microwave as they may also be willing to take it off of your hands for safe and responsible disposal, however, this is not a common service so be sure to check before. 

Some local authorities collect small electrical items as part of normal kerbside collection, but if they don’t, you can recycle your large or smaller items at household recycling centres. These can be found all over your town or city just look out for them, details of which can usually be found on your local councils’ website. 

Alternatively, you can head to the ‘Recyclenow’ page and type in your postcode to easily find a recycling location near you. 

How many litres is a standard microwave?

There are a number of microwaves available in the market in various sizes, with different specifications on offer. 

Typically, a family size microwave ranges from 20 to 25 litres, with the ability to cook and reheat all of your family favourites. 

The majority of CDA’s freestanding and built-in microwaves are 25 litres, the perfect size for a family kitchen. Whilst the VM550 wall unit microwave oven boasts a handy 17 net litre capacity and our VK902 combination microwave oven, which features a grill and convection oven plus an incredible 40 net litre capacity – more than enough space to fit your meals in. 

How many watts does a microwave use?

Microwaves are becoming more and more powerful which is great for us, because it means we can produce hot food quickly. Microwave power is measured in watts (W) and the rule of thumb is the higher the wattage, the higher the power. 

The typical wattage of a standard family-sized microwave is around 850 to 900W, but if you were to choose a microwave with an advanced specification suitable for a catering, you would usually find a higher wattage of up to 1,100W.

All of CDA’s microwaves come with a maximum of 900W, but our wall unit microwave has a slightly lower wattage of 700 and is still capable of cooking your food perfectly. 

How was the microwave invented?

The story of how the microwave was invented is a really great one, it was discovered by accident! Over 70 years ago a Raytheon engineer called Percy Spencer was testing something called a ‘grade magnetron’ whilst developing microwave radar transmitters during World War 2. He discovered that the snack that he had in his pocket had melted due to the microwaves from the radar. 

After this discovery Percy tested this machine with different foods including eggs and corn kernels (popcorn). He found that by concentrating and directing the microwaves it could heat food, and this is how the microwave was born.

Today around 93% of UK households own a microwave oven and have become an essential part of the kitchen, used for quick hot food. 


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