Among other useful appliances used in kitchen and dining, a microwave oven is also a great appliance that helps you to grill, reheat and even bake. Microwave ovens help in cooking a variety of foods and recipes including popcorns, chicken grills, pizza, muffins, cakes, kebabs, and also help to reheat frozen foods. It enables you to save time and efforts by cooking meals in a couple of minutes.
Choosing the type of the oven is one of the most significant decisions you make while you buy it. Overall there are 3 types of microwave oven out there.
- Solo Microwave Ovens
- Grill Microwave ovens
- Convection Microwave ovens
Remember if you get a grill type microwave oven it won’t allow you to bake things. There are various important things you should think about before you select a microwave oven for your kitchen or dining. These factors include size, your lifestyle and habits, and many other aesthetic features. Here are few tips regarding the microwave oven that will really help you to select the right oven.
In short solo microwaves are best for simple cooking and reheating. Grill type is best for grilling and reheating. Convection type is best for baking, reheating and grilling as well.
Convection v/s solo microwave
|Heating method Used||Microwave magnetrons & heating element||Only Microwave magnetron|
|Heating mechanism Applied||Microwave magnetrons cook foods from inside to outside and Heating element cooks from outside to inside in order to make food more brown and crispier||Microwave magnetrons cook food from inside to outside|
Solo Microwave Ovens
These ovens are entry-level or basic models. They have a magnetron that produces microwaves. Solo Microwave ovens are best for 2 to 3 person family and bachelors. They are cheaper as compared to grill and convection grill units. But they cannot allow grilling or baking. Instead, they allow simple cooking and reheating with uniform heating.
Grill Microwave Ovens
Grill type is a microwave oven with additional grilling accessories like heating coils to allow grilling, toasting and roasting the vegetables and meat. Both grill and microwave function can run simultaneously.
Convection Microwave Ovens
Convection type is a microwave oven with a heating element that generates heat and fan circulate that heat to allow faster and better cooking as well as baking. Technically convection is a fan that circulates heat to produce more efficient and uniform temperature for better cooking and baking. For baking convection is a must feature. You can perform baking and grilling independently and/or together.
Deciding what type you need to depend on what cuisine you like to make. This table can best explain and make your decision well informed.
|Milk, Coffee and Tea||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Pasta, Rice and Noodles||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cakes & Breads||Yes|
The capacity of Microwave Oven
Microwave oven capacity is measured in liters and define the amount of food you can manage in one go. It highly depends on your usage and family size.
Generally, for a small family who needs reheating and simple cooking, a Solo microwave oven of 15 to 20 liter is sufficient. However, if the same family needs a grill or convection microwave oven 21 to 30 liters is enough. The larger family needs 25 to 30 liters for Solo and 30 liters or above for grill or convection type.
|Family size||Use||Ideal capacity In Liters|
|(2 – 4 persons)||Solo||15 – 20 Liters|
|(2 – 4 persons)||Grill or Convection||21 – 30 Liters|
|(4 – 6 persons)||Solo||25 – 30|
|(4 – 6 persons)||Grill or Convection||30 and above|
Microwaves are electromagnetic waves with wavelength ranges from 1 meter to 1 millimeter. Microwaves are generated by electron tube known as Magnetron, the core component of microwave appliances. These waves have specific property due to which water molecules in food vibrate, and heat is generated. On this principle, microwave cooks the food. For this reason, it is too much challenging to prepare items that are completely dry.
Microwave hazards and safety
- Never put metallic substances or utensils in microwave ovens
- Only use plastic vessels and utensils that are microwave-safe
- Ensure glass vessels and utensils are also microwave safe
- Do not put baby milk bottle in it
- Use oven gloves (to be purchased separately) while baking or using it as convection microwave.
- The inside room of microwave is extremely hot during the baking process.
- Rumors that microwaves contaminate food items with radiation isn’t true. Read FDA published an article that there isn’t any risk of eating microwave cooked food.
Features in Microwave Ovens
Family with kids are afraid that they can accidentally put their hands in microwaves ovens. The child lock feature is there with a code that acts as a password. Particularly convection type gets very hot from inside during baking, and it must have a child lock feature.
When you need to simplify cooking, auto cook helps a lot. Low end or cheap microwave lacks this. You do not need to set time and configure power, all you need to do is to specify the type of meal you are making and voila.
With this option, you can make your oven a cakewalk, amazingly very simple and easy. Auto cook menu is the crux of quick microwave recipes. While cooking in the microwave you need to specify some settings such as cooking duration and power wattage, which can really be tough enough for beginners, however with this feature you only need to only specify dish, depending on weight of food microwave can auto adjust time and power rating?
Power consumption A.k.a Power Levels
Despite power setting is there, higher the voltage, it will become quicker and more efficient. When you need to cook heavy items or in bulk quantities for a bigger family, consider a powerful microwave oven. For 1 or 2 people, the less powerful oven is enough.
A function specialized to heat frozen items, for instance, frozen pizza in the freezer or last night curry in the refrigerator, defrost function can handle them easily.
Before cooking and following recipes your oven needs to reach a specific temperature. Therefore you have to turn on your oven and wait for several minutes until it reaches the required temperature. This process is called preheating. Therefore before you buy one for you check into the preheating time needed. This information can be checked in the specification manual.
The timer is to configure the duration of cooking, i.e. how long it operates from 30 seconds to 10 minutes or more. Depending on panel type either with LCD touch or knob you can adjust the timer.
There are 3 types of panel, Mechanical, Feather Touch and Tact Dial. Tact Dial and Mechanical panel types usually come in low-end microwave oven models, but they are good at handling rough usage. Feather touch panels add some design, and they can sense fingers, like touch screen phone.
Microwave oven accessories
Amazon, eBay, and other online stores are jam-packed with microwave accessories, including microwave safe cookware, bowls, utensils, vessels, oven gloves, oven stand for wall mounting in case your kitchen do not have ample space on the kitchen countertop.
This is a unique grilling accessory or steel base bar which works on the motor mechanism for perfect grilling of mutton, chicken, cheese, vegetables. However, it comes with only a few newer models of ovens, and it is relatively costly if you need to buy one additionally. There are two types of rotisserie, vertical and horizontal rotisserie bar — horizontal one ha better heat distribution.
OTG or Oven Toaster & Griller versus Microwave Oven
OTG is commonly used for toasting, grilling and baking. When it is about comparing OTG with Microwave oven, it is little confusing what to buy OTG, Microwave oven or both? Convection microwave ovens are the best fit for defrosting, reheat and baking. In contrast, OTG is suitable for professional baking.
Microwave oven recipes
Microwaves or electromagnetic radiation works on the principle of heating water molecules inside the food. Therefore to begin cooking any food in a microwave oven, you must ensure that there must be some water in that food. Despite that neither you can peak in the dish when it is cooking because it is inside the microwave, nor can stir contents of it. Because of this difference cooking in a microwave oven is a little bit different as compared to other types. Microwave quick recipes are famous, and basically, it can deal with margining methods, the heating time duration of microwave and methods of cooking with minimal intervention and without stir when food is under the heat of microwave.
Different Brands of Microwave
You can find ample of microwave brands in the market, out of which LG is considered as the best, based on consumer feedbacks and user reviews we found on Amazon, eBay and other online e-commerce stores. LG is famous for their product quality and excellent customer care service. Beside LG microwave oven, the best are IFB Microwave, Kenstar, Electrolux microwave oven and many more