by Joe Henry | April 04, 2017
Whether you've got a huge and hungry family or are on your own for the first time, everyone needs a good microwave. It's truly a miracle appliance, letting children fend for themselves during mealtimes, college students survive their dorm years, bachelors and bachelorettes freshen up week-old burritos, and harried moms and dads prepare dinner-for-all with the push of a button.

And microwaves also say a lot about your lifestyle. 

Want a simple device without many frills? Pick up Toastmaster's 1.4 cubic foot stainless steel microwave oven. It has a digital touchpad, 10 different power levels, two defrost settings, and six auto-cook menus. Moreover, it's easy to set up and attractive to look at. It's available through Power Sales.

But say you're an individual with a more complex array of cooking needs. Say you're a bit of a gourmand whose foods are more intricate than a Hungry Man or a Tupperware casserole. In that case, the Breville BMO734XL Quick Touch Microwave Oven, available through PMC/Almo, will do you right.

It's got "smart settings" designed to automatically detect the proper power level for the food you're cooking. Touch the smart button, and the microwave will let you select common foods in three different modes: cook, reheat and defrost. 

Internal sensors measure humidity in order to calculate cook time and the Breville BMO734XL also recalls common tasks. Soften a lot of butter? Defrost a lot of chicken? One touch, and you're ready to go.

The problem with most microwaves is that mostly they do one thing: microwave. But say you're a parent who won't allow pizza rolls in the house. An ordinary kitchen box just won't do. 

If you want to roast or bake or grill, you're out of luck. Unless you get the Cuisinart CMW-200 microwave and grill, also available through PMC/Almo. This device does both microwave and traditional heating, so it powers different cooking modes including convention roasting, baking, grilling, warming and of course microwaving. 

And yet, it's remarkably easy to use. Choose a mode, select a temperature, set the time and push to start.