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LG microwave is big on function

This new over-the-range model uses radiant heat to keep food warm until it's time to eat.

I have four small kids, so when we plan a large dinner with friends, I do as much cooking as possible ahead of time. But I also live in Houston, so running the oven at 170 degrees to keep the food warm until we sit down to eat doesn't exactly thrill me. I've tried microwaving cooked food, but it delays the start of the meal, because each item has to be placed inside and heated. When I cram in several dishes at once, the turntable sputters, and I end up with spills all over everything.

The LG over-the-range microwave with warming lamp in stainless steel.
The LG's look is sleek, but you'll have to get used to the keypad placement. LG

LG's new over-the-range microwave provides a unique solution--it incorporates a warming lamp using radiant heat---not a bulb or microwaves--that can be set to one of four predetermined temperatures for up to 90 minutes. And it has a roomy 2 cubic foot interior that lets you place large casseroles up to 15 inches long on the sliding tray while the turntable underneath holds dishes up to 12 inches long. So you can serve dinner without breaking a sweat.

Of course, you can use the microwave in a more ordinary fashion as well. An extra-wide viewing window lets you keep a close eye on the food while it cooks. And the machine uses humidity-sensing technology to determine when food is cooked and automatically turn off. No more rubbery reheated chicken!

The keypad runs along the bottom edge of the microwave, which keeps controls at eye level, but also puts them within reach of my very tall four-year-old---not exactly a plus for me, but maybe your children are better behaved (or shorter).

The new LG comes in white, black, and stainless to match any kitchen decor, and retails for $459 to $529 depending on the finish you choose.