AmazonBasics Microwave: 5 tips you need to know

Be smarter than your smart microwave with these tips.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
3 min read

The AmazonBasics Microwave is an Alexa -connected heating machine that seems like it may just be the next step in smart appliance evolution. 

Since it's not like your parent's microwave, there are a few tips on how to use it that will make things easier. Here's what you need to know.

Heating beverages

This is a 700-watt microwave, not the conventional 1,000-watt that you're probably used to, which means you'll need longer cook times. Though using the AmazonBasics microwave will require some guesswork, the microwave does have some preprogrammed commands that can make things easier. Your best bet when making commands is to simply tell Alexa what you're heating and how big it is. 

With beverages, tell Alexa how many cups you're heating. For example you could say, "Alexa, heat one cup of coffee." Alexa is preprogrammed to know how long to heat it so that it comes out steaming hot.

Reheating and cooking food

Beverages are pretty simple. Food's are harder. You need to make sure to specify if you're actually cooking food or just reheating it. Plus, sizes can get tricky.

If you're heating up a plate of different kinds of leftovers -- think a chicken breast, mashed potatoes and a side of veggies -- you would say, "Alexa, reheat one dinner plate." If you're heating one specific dish, like a slice of lasagna, you need to be more specific by saying "Alexa, reheat 5 oz. of pasta." 

For some foods, you don't need to specific about the size. For instance, you would say "Alexa cook one potato," instead of "Alexa, cook an 8 oz. potato." Potatoes, hotdogs and corn-on-the-cob seem to be the only exception to the size rule. You just need to let Alexa know how many of them you're cooking.

Alexa can calculate heating ranges for foods that are around 0.5 to 3 cups (4 to 24 fluid ounces) or 3 to 32 oz. in general. There are some variations, though. Check out AmazonBasic's full list of commands in this PDF.

Ordering popcorn

One of the most intriguing features of the AmazonBasics Microwave is that it can automatically order popcorn for you. 

To set up the Auto Popcorn Replenishment feature, open the Alexa app, tap the Devices icon (a little house shape with spoons) and select Auto Popcorn Replenishment. Then, follow the onscreen commands. 

Once you get your popcorn, the microwave will count how many bags you heat up and will automatically reorder when you are getting low on the yummy supplies. 

If you ever want to stop popcorn delivery, switch brands or change payment options, you'll need to go to the Microwave Settings page in the Alexa App. 

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Making popcorn

Now that you've got ordering popcorn sorted, it's time to make some. You can use the command, "Alexa, cook 2 oz. of popcorn," to get things started or press the Popcorn button

Beware, though. Amazon recommends microwaving no more than 3 oz. of popcorn at a time. Big bags can burn because they won't quite fit right on the small turntable.

Watch this: How to make perfect microwave eggs, every time

Prevent tots from fouling things up

As soon as your little ones see you talking to the microwave, they're going to want to, too, which can lead to chaos. Thankfully, this microwave comes with a child lock feature. 

To turn on child lock, press the Pause button until the microwave beeps and then, press and hold the 0 button for two seconds. Now, the voice commands and keypad are turned off until you turn them back on. To turn off the child lock, just repeat these steps. 

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