How Big is a Standard Size Microwave?

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Published: 24th November 2010
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With so many different kinds of microwaves to choose from, many consumers have a hard time figuring out what kind of microwave will best suit their needs. In today's market, there are a lot of different models designed to fit a variety of cooking-needs, and to fit within a broad range of kitchen-styles. Microwave sizes are typically described by a numbered system ranging from 17L-32L. The "standard size" microwave is about a 21L, or about 20"(W), 12"(H), and 16"(D). This size microwave should fit a dinner plate easily, but not a full-size casserole dish. This means that a standard size microwave is great for a single person or couple, or in a family that uses the microwave to supplement other cooking methods, but it probably will not be big enough to do family-size entrees.

Most frequently microwaves of this size are counter-top models-that is, they rest on the counter-top, rather than being installed as part of a customized kitchen either above the oven as a built-in element of the cabinetry; standard size microwaves also are not as portable as some of the new compact mini-microwaves, which can easily be traveled with or stored in a cabinet. A standard-size model takes up less counter-space than a large model, making them a good size for people who may need a larger capacity microwave than a mini-microwave, but lack the counter-top space for a larger model. Many families, however, find that a slightly bigger size microwave-around 27L- better accommodates their needs, allowing them to use the microwave as a primary cooking method and to serve multiple people at the same time.

Before shopping for a new microwave, take an inventory of your kitchen space, and take some time to think about what kind of traffic the microwave will have in your home. With so many styles and sizes to choose from, you will then be able to find a model that works perfectly in your home.

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