The microwave oven has been a staple in most homes for decades now. While some use their microwave for movie night or reheating, others have turned microwave cooking into an art form, crafting mouth-watering dishes using only a microwave. Microwave ovens have come a long way since they were first introduced in the late 1960s. They’ve gotten quite a bit smaller, not to mention less expensive, and have plenty of new features to meet the needs of all types of microwave users. Here are some of the newest technologies sweeping through the microwave industry.

Built-In Microwaves
In the past you had two options when selecting a microwave: countertop or over the range. With the increased demands for more seamless kitchen designs, a third option is now available – a built-in microwave oven. These ovens are mounted directly to the wall so it integrates with your cabinetry. Built-in microwaves come in two standard sizes, which correspond to standard cabinetry widths, so if you’re looking for a built-in microwave, make sure you purchase the correct size.

Convection Oven/Microwave Combo
These units are fantastic for people who want a second oven, but do not have the room for a double oven. You get a convection oven, capable of baking or roasting foods at temperatures ranging from 225 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, along with a microwave oven with plenty of features of its own. If you’ve never used a convection oven before, there are a few differences between it and a standard oven, but it would be a welcomed addition to any kitchen. Some of these combo units actually allow you to combine the convection and microwave functionality to cook food in even less time.

Smart Microwaves
It seems the term smart is being applied to everything these days from phones to televisions, and now even microwaves. This new wave of smart microwaves features humidity sensors that continually measure the level of moisture in the microwave and adjust the cooking power and time so all your food comes out perfectly cooked. Smart microwave technology keeps your veggies crisp and your pasta al dente.

Grill Microwave
A microwave that grills? Absolutely. If you love grilling, but aren’t a fan of how long it takes or how often you need to check the food, a grill microwave is the perfect option for you. It allows you to grill your food in less time than conventional methods directly in your microwave. This technology usually requires the use of a special plate, but you’ll have delicious grilled foods in a fraction of the time, without having to leave your kitchen. This microwave heats the grill plate, when used, instead of heating the food directly, allowing you to enjoy perfectly seared meat that is not rubbery.

Microwaves have advanced significantly over the last few decades, giving users more freedom in cooking, while delivering delicious, nutritious, perfectly cooked food. If you’ve longed to use your microwave for more than TV dinners and soup, check out some of the newer models and find out which features are right for you.