Microwave ovens are time and effort-saving products in many cases. In addition to their fast heating features, the convenience they provide for quick defrosting of frozen food products makes these ovens indispensable for kitchens.
Microwave ovens have some advantages that make them one of the most important helpers in our kitchens. They are easy to use, take up less space compared to large ovens, and with high energy efficiency, they save us money and time.
These types of ovens can cook your meals with the help of high-powered radio waves, on average 6 times faster than other types of ovens. The fact that they save electricity is one of the reasons to be preferred.
Anyone who wants to thaw frozen products quickly and heat their food faster can benefit from microwave ovens.
Radiation gets trapped and the food starts heating without being exposed to the harmful effects of radiation with the help of the water molecules in microwave ovens. In conventional oven types, the heat transmission waves occur from the outer layers to the inner layers which may cause the edges of a cake to be burnt or remain unbaked. This is prevented by the microwave ovens.
Sizes and Cooking Capacity
There are also products specially produced for regions wherever you want to put the microwave oven. To give examples; You can choose the 14x24x20 inch microwave oven to put it on your countertop. These types of products generally operate with 600-12000 watt power consumption and are not very costly. Built-in microwave ovens are 15x30x26 inches in size. Instead of taking up space on your counter, they work as a wall oven so that they become a part of the overall design of the kitchen.
Microwave ovens with time settings are the most ideal amongst other models in terms of convenience. Thanks to the time settings of these ovens, you don’t have to wait in front of the oven while the meal is being prepared. The alert comes as soon as your food is ready.
The capacity of the microwave oven is also important. If it is bought for home, a capacity of 20 liters will be sufficient to have. However, it is going to be bought for workplaces, it should be higher than 20 liters.
Microwave Options and Styles
Depending on the location you have in mind for your microwave oven, there are two main models; countertop and build-in.
However, there are three main types of ovens based on the cooking techniques; solo, grill, and convection. It’s important to decide what you expect from your microwave oven. You can cook and grill food, and taw frozen food.
- Solo microwaves are ideal for simple cooking, reheat, and thawing. You can make tea or coffee, cook pasta or noodles. Compared to the other microwave oven types, a solo microwave oven is the least expensive, making it suitable for many families.
- Grill microwaves add the grilling option on top of the previous features. You can cook and make everything the solo types can, plus grill pizza, fish, and chicken. Even though it gives multi-cooking options, keep in mind that it can’t be used to bake or roast food.
- Convection models push heat through the microwave using a fan which creates a better cooking environment. Apart from the options listed above for the other two types, you can also bake cookies, cakes, and bread. Because they give more options with the fastest cooking time, they are the most expensive type.
What About the Energy?
Microwaves consume 3/4 less power than normal ovens. For example, an electric oven consumes 1000-1500 watts of energy, while microwave ovens only operate with an energy range of 300-500 watts. So it is much more efficient, but the prices are a bit expensive. In this case, the maximum rated power specified by the manufacturer corresponds to operation at the cheapest position of the control unit. Therefore, choosing a more economical mode will result in less energy consumption per unit of time.
The output power of microwave ovens varies by model, however, larger ovens are typically more powerful than smaller ones. Compact microwaves are usually between 600 and 800 watts while the medium and larger models are usually between 850 and 1650 watts. Manufacturers offer models with various output values.
Best Microwave Oven Brands and Reviews
- Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven: This microwave oven features a built-in sensor function that constantly detects the humidity level of the food during cooking, then automatically adjusts time and temperature for optimal results. Apart from the soften/melt function, the custom defrosting function automatically adjusts the time and power for the food. Scratch and stain-resistant, this microwave oven also minimizes energy consumption with the ECO mode.
- BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 Digital Microwave Oven: This simple yet effective oven has a push-button door for easy access. The turntable 10″ glass is also removable but it doesn’t stop there. This model has a child safety lock, so if your kids are too impatient to wait for the countdown timer to finish, they will be safely prevented from opening the door. The spacious interior gives you simple cooking and reheating options.
- COMFEE’ EM720CPL-PMB Countertop Microwave Oven: This microwave is user-friendly in many ways. By pressing the sound on/off button you can turn off all the microwave sound alerts. The unit is heavy enough so that it wouldn’t slide off a countertop easily, even with a hard tug. The size is small and can easily fit on your countertop but apart from that, it is 700 watt so it takes a little longer to cook or heat things.
- Panasonic Inverter Countertop Microwave Oven: The Inverter Technology generates a shorter cooking time along with consistent, evenly prepared food across a wide range of cooking techniques. You can poach, braise, and steam food to your ideal taste. The 1.2-cubic-foot capacity with 13.4-inch turntable provides far more interior capacity while taking not so much space on your countertop.
- Nostalgia RMO4AQ Retro Countertop Microwave Oven: Small and easily portable, this eye-catching retro oven can cook anything from casseroles to leftover pizza. The buttons give you the whole traditional experience the touch controls can’t while giving as many options as they do. You can set the clock, delay the starting time while the LED lighted control panel guides you to prepare your food.