|Appliance Glossary: Microwave Ovens
|Look up the definition of terms and phrases related to
|A - C
| D - G
| H - P
| R - Z
A - C
Additional time settings
Touchpads that let users add from 30 seconds to 10 minutes of cook time - or a
programmable amount - at one touch.
Adjustable sound levels
A volume control for the alert signal at the end of cooking time.
Found in over-the-range microwaves, the air filter and the built-in exhaust fan help to
reduce smoke and odors produced by cooking foods on the range below.
Approximate manufacturer's price
To calculate the approximate manufacturer's price, brandwise researches the
manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) and the minimum advertised
price (MAP) through retailers nationwide. When we are able to collect it,
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both prices, brandwise displays the highest price charged by a brandwise
retailer for that specific product. Because of that, the price consumers end
up paying may be slightly lower or higher than what they see on the site,
depending on which merchant is selected, sales in progress, special offers
and other variables.
Automatically uses pre-determined times and power levels to defrost food according
to food category and weight.
A light installed on the bottom of over-the-range microwaves that illuminates the
surface below and is programmable to go on and off at certain times.
Baked goods option
A pre-programmed touchpad for heating, cooking, or defrosting baked goods.
Bi-level cooking rack
A rack that lets you cook more than one item at the same time.
An electrical heating element that causes food to color or brown and crisp during
A microwave that is intended to be installed in a cabinet or wall in locations other
than above the range.
The volume of the oven cavity measured in cubic feet.
A preset feature that heats up casseroles or stews.
Design feature intended to prevent child accidents by locking the control panel.
An oven that combines the cooking functions of a microwave and a convection oven;
also called a microwave/convection oven.
An electric oven that uses a fan to circulate hot air, allowing food to brown and crisp.
An electronic sensor that measures the steam or humidity released by food in the
microwave and automatically determines cooking time as needed.
Cooking complete reminder
An alert that sounds when cooking has finished and continues to sound at intervals
until the door is opened.
A light on the bottom of an over-the-range microwave that illuminates the cooking
A microwave designed to be used as a standalone unit on a flat surface.
The units used to measure the capacity of a microwave. The capacity of microwaves
ranges from 0.6 cubic feet to 2.0 cubic feet.
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D - G
Defrost sensor option
A sensor that measures the steam or humidity frozen food lets off and automatically
determines defrosting time.
A feature that lets you pre-program when you want the oven to begin operating.
In the display window, this shows a tutorial and examples of how various options and
The area where the time of day, cooking time or other information is shown. This
varies from a simple time display on some models to scrollable operating
instructions on others.
The way the oven distributes microwaves in the cooking cavity. There are three
types: single emission (where one port shoots the microwaves), dual (two ports) or
multiple (three or more).
Whether the door opens to the left or the right.
A fan built into an over-the-range model that is designed to reduce odors and smoke
from cooking foods on the range below.
Exhaust or recirculation
Found mostly in built-in or over-the-range models, the user is given two installation
options: connect the exhaust fan to ductwork to exhaust odors and smoke outside
the home or recirculate and filter smoke with a ductless installation.
Food index menu
A list of foods whose cooking times have been pre-programmed into the control panel
in some models.
Fresh vegetable option
A preset feature that cooks fresh veggies to optimal doneness.
Frozen food option
A pre-programmed touchpad for cooking frozen foods.
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H - P
A guide for users that varies from model to model. It may provide helpful instructions
for certain functions or let users program certain options.
Hot liquid option
A preset feature that heats up liquids such as coffee, tea, soup or water.
The light inside the microwave that goes on when the door is opened or the unit is in
A preset feature that cooks meat, according to weight, to an appropriate doneness.
Message reminder function
A programmable feature that lets a user leave messages and/or keep track of
appointments and events by entering alert notices into the control panel.
A feature that gives prompts in English, Spanish or French.
A built-in microwave, equipped with an exhaust fan, that is designed to be installed
above a range or cooktop. Generally, over-the-range microwaves offer both ducted
and ductless venting options (see Exhaust or recirculation).
Popcorn preset option
A touchpad with pre-programmed times to cook a bag of microwave popcorn.
A device that measures the amount of moisture released by a bag of microwave
popcorn and shuts the oven off when the popcorn is properly cooked.
The settings on the microwave that control the percentage of power output,
commonly given in 10-percent increments ranging from a low power of 10 percent to
a high power of 100 percent.
Foods such as pizza or frozen entrees for which times are already programmed into
the control panel so the dishes can be cooked or heated at the touch of a button.
A preset feature that will provide low-level heating to food or plateware.
Quick start option
A way to quickly start the microwave oven without pressing the start pad. There
could be a pad called quick start or a number pad serving as the quick start option.
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R - Z
A shelf inside a microwave oven or a combination microwave/convection oven that is
designed to support cookware and increase cooking flexibility.
An option that lets a user program cooking times into the microwave for favorite or
frequently cooked recipes; the term varies by brand.
An option on some units that allows food warm-up at the touch of a button. Some
models employ a cooking sensor for this; others offer pre-set times.
Automatically repeats the last cooking command entered.
A label stating that the oven has been tested and determined safe by such
organizations as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Electrical Testing Lab (ETL) and
has passed microwave performance standards set by the FCC and the DHHS (Dept.
of Health & Human Services).
A feature that ensures that some area of the turntable returns to its original position
upon completion of cooking; used mostly for coffee mugs and small items.
Pre-programmed cooking times usually ranging from 30 seconds to 10 minutes.
A rotating device in the center of a unit that promotes more uniform cooking by
allowing the food to be cooked evenly on all sides without stirring. Turntables are
raised or recessed.
An option that allows the unit's turntable to be turned on or off; with the turntable off,
the oven will accommodate larger dishes.
A microwave oven that can be installed under the countertop.
An electrical unit of measure describing the amount of microwave electricity
effectively delivered while the oven is operating. The higher the wattage, the faster the
brandwise LLC 1999/2000. Reprinted by permission.