Microwave Oven Buying Guide

Microwave Oven is great for reheating pizza, thawing frozen foods, popping popcorn, and much more. In addition to saving time, a microwave oven also saves energy. It can eliminate a tremendous amount of wasted energy in the kitchen, from the energy needed to preheat a conventional oven to the waste involved in heating a kettle of water when all you need is a cup.

If you are in the market for a new microwave oven, you’ve probably discovered that the range of models and options can be confusing. Should you buy a countertop or over-the-range model? What are the best size and power capacity for your needs? How does a microwave convection oven differ from a conventional microwave?

It used to be that microwave ovens were near all the same—simple appliances that could thaw frozen hamburger, reheat leftovers, and pop popcorn in only a few minutes. They had a reputation for quick convenience but little else; today, it’s estimated that 90% of American homes have a microwave oven in the kitchen, and there are many varieties of these appliances.

Microwaves combine speed with versatility and technology to create a smart kitchen appliance, in an array of styles and colors.

Microwave oven types

The most important decision during microwave oven selection is which microwave oven type to buy. There are three types of microwave ovens are available in the market.

Solo microwave oven

Solo microwave ovens are entry-level models in the microwave oven category for simple cooking. Best fit: for Reheat, simple cooking

Grill microwave oven

Grill Microwave ovens are provided with additional grilling accessories. They are best suitable for grill meat or vegetables like Paneer.

Convection microwave oven

Convection microwave ovens use a fan and a heating element to create airflow patterns inside the microwave oven. Best for grilling and baking. For example, IFB 20SC2 convection microwave is the most popular convection microwave oven.

Microwave oven capacity guide

The capacity of the microwave oven is measured in liters. It is an indicator of how much food you can cook at one go. As said above, Microwave capacity depends on your family size and usage. Follow the above section on microwave oven usage and corresponding microwave type mapping. Below we are listing a table to calculate the capacity.

Family size Usage Ideal capacity

(2 to 4 members)
Solo Microwave Oven 15 to 20 Liters

(2 to 4 members)
Grill Microwave Oven or
Convection Microwave Oven
21 to 30 Liters

(4 to 6 members)
Solo Microwave Oven 25 to 30 Liters

(4 to 6 members)
Grill Microwave Oven or
Convection Microwave Oven
32 Liters and above

Microwave technology

Microwaves are electromagnetic radiations, the combination of electrical and magnetic waves. Microwave wavelengths range from one meter to one millimeter. These waves are generated inside the oven by an electron tube called Magnetron. That’s why Magnetron is a core component of the microwave oven. When you turn on the microwave this Magnetron releases microwaves inside the oven compartment. Microwaves have particular properties due to which water molecules in the food vibrate and generate heat. This is the microwave oven principle and the way food is cooked in a microwave. This is the reason it is difficult to cook completely dry items in the microwave oven.

Microwave hazards and safety

  • Do not put metal substances or metal utensils inside the microwave oven
  • Use only microwave-safe plastic utensils
  • Make sure glass utensils are microwave safe
  • Do not put baby milk bottles in the microwave oven.
  • Use microwave oven gloves while baking as a convection microwave oven. The microwave oven inside will be very hot during the baking process.
  • The Internet is full of rumors that microwave ovens contaminate food with radiation. Please see the Food and Drug Association of America (FDA) published on their website that microwave ovens do not contaminate food. There is no health risk in eating microwave cooked food.

Microwave oven features

Child lock

If you have children in your home, they may accidentally put their hand in the microwave. So these features provide a child lock facility. Generally, this child lock is facilitated with the help of code which acts as a password to unlock. Convection microwave oven interiors get very hot when you bake and child lock is must feature in that case.

Auto cook

In case you want to simplify the cooking, this option will do the need. Economic or low-end microwaves won’t have this feature. You don’t need to set time, and power configuration, all you have to do is to specify the dish type, that’s it.

Power consumption

Apart from that, there is a power setting, Higher the voltage, it will be more efficient and quicker. If you like to cook heavy food items or bulk quantities for a large family, consider a more powerful microwave. If you cook food only for one or two people, then a less powerful microwave is enough. The same feature is called ‘Power Levels’ as well.

Defrost

It is a microwave operation specialized in heating frozen food. Say you want to heat the yesterday curry from the refrigerator this is the right option to use.

Preheat

Before you start cooking and follow the recipes the oven needs to reach a certain temperature. So you need to turn on the microwave oven and wait for some time till it is hot or reached the required temperature. The above process is called as preheating. Look for the preheating time required for the microwave oven in the specifications before you make a purchase.

Auto Cook Menu

Auto cook makes the cooking with a microwave is a cakewalk, surprisingly very simple. In fact, the auto cook menu feature is the crux of ‘quick microwave recipes’. When you cook in a microwave oven you need to specify a few settings like power wattage and cooking duration, which can be difficult for beginners. But with this auto cook menu feature all you need to do is to simply specify dish type you want to cook, depending on the food weight microwave will auto adjust the power wattage and time. For example, to make popcorn all you need to do is to press the popcorn button, that’s it.

Timer

Allow you to configure the cooking duration. You can specify how long the microwave to operate from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. Depending on the panel type either with a knob or with LCD touch you can specify the duration of cooking.

Panel Types

There are three types of control panel types, namely Mechanical, Tact Dial Type, Feather Touch. Mechanical, Tact Dial usually comes in low-end models and can handle rough usage. Feather Touch panels add the design of your microwave. It can sense your fingers, just like a touch-screen phone. Feather Touch usually comes in a high-end model.

Microwave oven price

The price varies on microwave oven type and price.

  • The solo microwave oven price ranges from Rs. 5,000 to 7,000.
    depending on the capacity of the microwave oven.
  • Grill microwave oven price is in between Rs. 8,000 to 10,000.
  • The Convection microwave oven price varies from Rs. 12,000 to 18,000.
Microwave oven type Price Helpful links
Solo microwave oven Rs. 5,000 to 7,000.
Grill microwave oven Rs. 8,000 to 10,000. Best microwave ovens under 10,000
Convection microwave oven Rs. 12,000 to 18,000.

Microwave oven vs Oven Toaster and Griller (OTG)

Oven Toaster and Griller (OTG) is a well-known kitchen appliance exclusively to bake, grill and toast. It is a little confusing which one to buy – microwave oven, OTG or both!!! A convection microwave oven is the best fit for reheat, defrost and baking for beginners. Whereas OTG is most suitable for professional bakers who want top-class baking. Do read Microwave oven vs OTG guide to know more.

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