A microwave oven (more popularly known as microwave) is an essential part of the chore we know as cooking. Although microwaves were first introduced to the market for heating food, now the scope of this appliance has increased much more. A microwave can now be used for cooking for the entire family. In fact, so important a microwave has become that there is scarcely a household that doesn't have one. Read buying guide

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Buying guide

Choosing your Microwave


How does a microwave work?

This is something that you should know because you will be buying a completely new machine. Microwaves are able to generate heat using different techniques and they can heat and cook food depending on the type you buy.


For what purpose do you need a microwave?

As a user, this is the most critical question that you need to ask yourself. There are many who buy full featured microwaves and use them for heating food only. More than being a wastage of what this machine can do, it is also a loss of money for no use. Decide what you want to do and you can choose a suitable device. The most basic microwaves can help you heat food and defrost. There are microwaves that can help you prepare full meals and there are microwaves that you can use for grilling.


Compare the features


Microwaves have so many features that you can easily get confused. There are the standard features like heat, defrost, grill and timer. But there are plenty of other features that you can choose from and these include child lock, turntable, two-level cooking, auto pre-heat and delay start (among others). Some of the modern microwaves have extremely complex button systems and this is something you also need to consider. What you need to do is go back to your purpose and choose accordingly.


Pick the right size


There are essentially two options to consider when you are planning to buy a microwave. Do you need a built-in or a countertop microwave? For both options, the size has to be considered. Microwaves can range from super compact to bulky in size. The smallest countertop microwaves are 18”x13.5”x11” while the largest ones are 24”x14”x18.5”. Similarly there are size differences in built-in microwaves although the range is smaller. The best idea is to measure the size available and choose an appropriate sized microwave.


What about the wattage?


Most microwaves have wattage ranging between 600 and 1,500 watts. The higher the wattage, the faster it will cook. You may be tempted to opt for a microwave with the highest wattage, but it will be a waste of money if you don’t use it. For example, if you have to cook chicken in your microwave, you will not need more than 700-800 watts. So what will you do with a 1,500 watt machine? If you want to consider what the average user chooses, then go for something in the 800 watts range.


Which microwave for which use?


Households microwaves


The most basic microwave is the solo type. This type of microwave performs the most basic functions including heating and defrosting. It can also be used for baking. These machines, like the LG 38L, are able to distribute heat evenly and this is why they are considered extremely useful for heating and reheating food.


Grill type microwave ovens work like conventional grills that can make food items crispier on the outside while retaining their tenderness and juiciness on the inside. This ovens typically have metal wire racks on which the item to be cooked is placed. If you want to grill meat or make food items like kebabs, this is the perfect microwave oven for you. Depending upon the type of grill microwave oven you choose, the Sharp 750W compact microwave oven with grill for instance, you can use it for grilling for more than an hour and a half, enough time for you to grill even the toughest of meat.


The convection microwave oven is the most advanced of all the microwave oven types. In this type of microwave oven, there is a heating element that combines with a built-in fan to create patterns of hot air inside the oven. This pattern continuous till the time you use the oven and this results in even cooking of the food from all sides. These ovens can be used for all types of cooking. You can bake cakes using convection microwaves as well as cook a full meal. If you want to make a food item crispy on the outside as well as the inside, this is the oven that will assist you. The Smeg stainless steel 34l convection microwave oven should be a good choice.


Professional microwaves


If you want to buy a microwave oven for commercial purposes, you need to buy the ones that are especially designed for this purpose. These microwave ovens are large machines and they are astoundingly powerful. They are built in the manner that they can handle continuous use.

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