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Bring your leftovers back to life with the best microwaves on the market

Whether you’re short on time or just need a snack now, the microwave is a staple of American households for a reason: They’re fast and versatile. A traditional microwave allows you to steam veggies, melt butter, and reheat your leftovers. With some creativity, you can even cook entire meals in the microwave, or take on some fun DIY projects.

Not all microwaves can get the job done though, especially if you’re one who values the quality of your food — some microwaves heat unevenly, while others send lingering smells around the kitchen. To help you expedite your search for the perfect microwave and narrow down your choices, we’ve taken the initiative to find some of the best microwaves on the market. So, prepare to bid adieu to undercooked food, and say hello to leftovers that taste just as good the second time around as the first.

The best

Maytag Over-the-Range Microwave in Fingerprint-Resistant Stainless Steel With Sensor Cooking (£379)

Maytag’s over-the-counter range lets you cook a lot of food at once.With 2 cubic feet of space, this appliance has plenty of room for oversized dishes, and an included rack lets you stack plates on top of each other, too.

There’s also a button to stop the turntable, if your irregularly shaped dish is knocking into the sides. To help prevent a frozen lasagna from being molten on the outside and icy on in the inside, Maytag’s microwave uses sensors to automatically adjust the cook time and power settings, cooking your dish more uniformly. The microwave is also made with a stainless-steel interior that’s designed to make cleaning splatters easier.

To help keep the smell of your nuked food from wafting through the kitchen, the microwave also comes with a charcoal filter. Plus, this microwave won’t be taking up precious space on your countertop. Buy it now from:

Best Buy Home Depot

The rest

Has great convection: KitchenAid KMHC319ESS Convection Microwave Oven (£599)

The KitchenAid convection microwave oven promises thoroughly cooked food in a matter of minutes, whether you’re using it as a conventional microwave or taking advantage of its convection feature. The 1,000-watt appliance also includes a sensor steam/simmer cook cycle that provides the exact amount of time and power needed to warm up different types of food. In addition, the stainless steel interior acts as an oven cavity with a 1500-watt convection element, meaning you can bake cookies or cook chicken at temperatures up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

This device has 1.9 cubic feet of capacity and comes with two racks that allow you to cook multiple dishes at the same time, as well as a 14-inch turntable to ensure even heating. There’s also steam-cleaning feature to make wiping up spills simple once your food is cooked. Buy it now from:

Best Buy

Fits anywhere: GE JES1072SHSS Countertop Microwave Oven (£91)

The GE JES1072SHSS stainless-steel countertop is a nice upgrade from your college-era microwave that still fits in cozy kitchens. The microwave oven cooks with 700 watts of power on a glass turntable and features one-touch buttons for express cooking. The 0.7-cubic-foot-capacity microwave also features an easy-to-read LED display, sound control, a child lock, and an option to add more cooking time if needed.

Efficient and reasonably size, this GE microwave offers even cooking without a ton of frills. Buy it now from: Home Depot

Looks sleek: Samsung MG14H3020CM Countertop Microwave (£229)

If you’re looking for a microwave that both versatile and easy on the eyes, then the Samsung Countertop Microwave is it.

This microwave sports a shiny mirror design and an asymmetric shape for a sleek, premium look. The 1.4-cubic-foot interior is built with a ceramic enamel interior that is both scratch-resistant and easy to clean. This 950-watt microwave also comes with an array of auto cook options and a grill option, which uses a separate heating element to better cook crispy foods such as pizza.

The combination cook mode uses a mix of grilling and microwaving, giving you more cooking options. An included ceramic plate helps keep food from getting soggy. Buy it now from:

Amazon Home Depot

Great value: Danby DMW7700BLDB Microwave Oven (£66+)

Though it doesn’t boast convection or grilling options, Danby‘s DMW7700BLDB microwave still gets reheating right. At 0.7 cubic feet of capacity and under 18 inches wide, the oven fits perfectly in kitchens that suffer from limited counter space. The 700-watt microwave features 10 different power levels, one-touch cooking, a turntable, and an oven light.

Danby’s small-yet-powerful microwave also comes with an easy-to-read LED timer and clock. It offers standard features and a small footprint, but it doesn’t sacrifice quality for a bargain price. Buy it now from:

Amazon Home Depot

Editors’ Recommendations

LG’s Cloi home robot gets camera shy at CES press conference

LG kicked off its CES press conference Monday, January 8, with a slew of smart home announcements, but it was the mishap of Cloi the camera-shy robot that threatened to steal the show. LG ‘s cute Cloi smart home robot, perched atop a small table, was supposed to help Vice President of Marketing David Vanderwaal figure out the best setting to wash clothes and help find a recipe on LG’s premiere Instaview ThinkQ Refrigerator. Instead, all he got was a shy robot which — after initially engaging with Vanderwaal — did not respond.

The robot continued to blink but otherwise remained mute, leaving awkward pauses in the presentation while the audience waited for its reply. Vanderwaal took the mishap in stride by tapping the screen of the fridge directly to continue his demonstration. “Even robots have bad days,” Vanderwaal quipped to some awkward laughter from the audience.

Cloi, a curvy little countertop smart hub robot device, is about a foot tall with a head and a screen face that blinks. It is supposed to work like a smart hub for LG’s ThinkQ smart home platform, controlling things like air purifiers and washers and dryers. The device is also supposed to help, among other things, find recipes to cook based on ingredients in your ThinkQ fridge and help you automatically preheat the oven when you have made your recipe choice.

It debuted at CES 2017, but there is no current release date or price for the public. In addition to announcing smart home appliances at the press conference such as the LG Styler, a de-wrinkling closet-like device that steams your clothes, and the LG ThinkQ Sidekick washer and dryer, LG solidified its footing in the robot market by debuting three other concept robots for commercial uses at restaurants, airports, and hotels. A serving robot features a tray and will serve food and other products.

The porter robot will be able to carry luggage and assist with check in and check out at hotels, and the shopping robot includes a bar code reader that scans in products when you place them into the robot’s shopping bin.

A multilingual airport robot is currently being tested at South Korea’s Incheon International Airport and is designed to assist travelers by giving information about flights.

Editors’ Recommendations

Here’s how to clean an oven without harsh chemicals

Cleaning an oven has a bad rap because putting your head in to scrub the walls conjures up images of Sylvia Plath. But it still has to be done from time to time. If you go for a long time without cleaning out the walls and shelves of your oven, it can start to smell funky whenever you heat it up. Depending on what type you have, there are a few different ways to go about cleaning your oven.

If yours is of the self-cleaning variety, congrats; this will be way easier for you. If it’s an older model without that feature, you’ll have to do a little more work. In either case, here’s a quick tutorial on how to clean an oven without using any harsh chemicals.

Inside the Oven

The inside of the oven is one of the most neglected parts of a kitchen.

It’s on of those “out of sight, out of mind” kind of things. Gunk can build up on the walls, and the more you cook the harder it is to scrape the grime off. Self Cleaning Oven

If you don’t know whether or not your oven can clean itself, look on the nob and there will be a setting for cleaning. This process isn’t complicated; all it does is heat the oven to a really high heat and burn off everything stuck inside. Your oven will emit a pretty terrible smell, so open windows and keep kids and pets away from the kitchen until it has cooled.

Step 1- For some ovens you have to lock it yourself, but others lock it automatically whenever you start the cleaning process. Step 2- Press the button or move the knob for cleaning. Step 3- It takes anywhere from two to six hours to complete the process and the door will unlock when it’s finished.

Step 4- Let it cool for a couple hours before opening it to avoid scalding grease. Step 5- When you open the door, there will be a pile of burned grease and leftover food. All you have to do is sweep or wipe that out and the inside is done.

If the racks still have some gunk on them, you can take them out and soak them in the sink for half an hour and then wipe everything off. Non-Self Cleaning Oven Many older ovens don’t clean themselves, so you have to use some elbow grease.

There are a few ways to tackle the nooks and crannies of your oven. The first and easiest way is to get oven cleaner like Easy-Off, spray it all over everything, let it dry and wipe it out. If you’re worried about fumes from the cleaner or the environment, you can make your own cleaner using baking soda and water.

Step 1- Remove the racks and soak them in warm water and dish soap for a couple hours. Step 2- Add 4 tablespoons of baking soda to a spray bottle and fill the rest with water. Shake it up to dissolve the baking soda.

Step 3- Spray evenly on every surface. Step 4- Let it soak for an hour. If you go back and the grime is still really stuck on there, spray again and wait another hour.

Step 5- Wipe it out with warm water. You can use a car windshield scraper to get off the really stubborn parts. Step 6- If the walls are still grimy after you’ve removed the baking soda, dilute two tablespoons of white vinegar with warm water and quickly wipe everything down.

The vinegar will react with the baking soda and make it come right off with a washcloth, which leaves a nice shine. After rinsing and drying the racks that have been soaking, put them back in and the inside of the oven is done.

Cleaning the Door

You can clean the door of your oven the same way you did the inside with either oven cleaner or baking soda. If you have a window in the door, you can use glass cleaner on the inside and outside of the window.

Get rid of any food or grease that has dripped down from the stove top onto the outside of the door with warm water and soap.

Stove top

Cleaning the inside of an oven sucks, so take a break before moving onto the stove — you’ve earned it. Step 1- Remove all the grates and if those need to be washed, let them soak in some water like you did with the oven racks. If they look okay, just stack them to the side.

Step 2- Here you are faced with the same choice you had before, whether or not to use industrial strength cleaner or make your own. If you’re making your own, use the same baking soda and water mixture from before, then follow up with vinegar just like before. Step 3- Put whichever cleaner you choose onto the entire area of the stove and wash it off with warm water.

It’s basic cleaning, so we trust you can handle it from here. Step 4- Replace the grates and you are ready to start cooking. Not all stoves have grates, and if that’s the case, you obviously won’t be removing them to clean.

For a glass-top stove, you’re going to need special cleaner to avoid streaks, and that can be found at a grocery store. To use, just put a little on the top and use a warm washcloth or green scrubbing pad to scrub the entire top, then use warm water to rinse it off. You can dry it with a towel or let it air dry depending on when you need to start cooking.

Now that you’ve conquered the oven, grab yourself a glass of spiked eggnog to celebrate.

[Image courtesy of Kamila Starzycka/Shutterstock]

Editors’ Recommendations

Kärcher SC1 Premium Steam Cleaner, Handheld and Steam Mop In One – Yellow

The SC 1 Premium Steam Cleaner is Karcher´s smallest, most compact & inexpensive steam cleaning device. A simple, highly portable handheld design allows the SC 1 to be moved from room to room with little difficulty, & a long floor nozzle supplies the…

  • Kills 99.99% of bacteria of all common household bacteria.
  • 3 bar pressure for deep cleaning. Cotton cover for manual nozzle and floor cloth  For sparkling clean results
  • Boiler safety valve.
  • Innovative floor tool cleans up to 35% more effectively.
  • 3 bar pressure for deep cleaning.

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Shark Lift-Away True Pet Corded Lightweight Upright Vacuum Cleaner – NV340UKT – Bordeaux – Recommended

Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology captures and holds over 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuumNo loss of suctionShark’s Lift Away Technology with a lightweight detachable podAdvanced swivel steering allows you to maneuver in, around and under obstacles in your home with ease and control

  • Shark Lift-Away Technology with a lightweight detatchable pod
  • Anti-allergen complete seal technology captures and holds over 99.9 percent of dust and allergens inside the vacuum † Particles 0.3 microns and larger
  • No loss of suction* *Based IEC 60312-1 Standard; Item weight – 6.2 Kilograms
  • LED lights to help you spot concealed dust lurking under your furniture
  • Perfect for Pet owners with Pet Power Brush attachment removing pet hair from carpets and upholstery with ease

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