How to choose a microwave oven?

Everyone determines the role of the microwave oven in everyday life: for some it is another fashionable “toy”, for others it is a necessary and indispensable assistant in the kitchen. Someone gets it in order to quickly and safely heat up food, for someone it completely replaces the hob and oven. Indeed, in a modern microwave oven, you can not only defrost food, cook soups, stew vegetables, fish, meat, but also bake pies, cook chicken with a delicious crispy crust and other culinary delights. It is only important to choose the right model, and then the cost of new household appliances will be justified, and its owners will be satisfied.
Speaking of built-in household appliances, even experienced consumers do not always know that a microwave oven can also be attributed to it. Meanwhile, special frames have been produced for a long time, with the help of which a variety of models of microwave ovens are securely fixed in the niches of wall cabinets, thereby freeing up space on kitchen tables and bedside tables. Thus, the buyer has the choice of a built-in microwave oven or a solo microwave oven.
What is a microwave oven? The simplest is a cabinet with a door containing a magnetron. It is he who generates the very microwaves or, in scientific terms, ultra-high frequencies (SHF), with the help of which the heat treatment of products is carried out. Under the influence of microwave waves, water molecules contained in food begin to oscillate, heating themselves and heating everything that surrounds them. Thus, the products are, as it were, cooked from the inside. No fat or water is required to cook meat, poultry or fish in the microwave, and the food retains its beneficial properties to the maximum.
Types of microwave ovens
All microwave ovens can be divided into three types:
microwaves and grill;
microwaves, grill and convection.
In any model of the first type, you can defrost, cook and reheat. But to get more varied dishes, microwaves alone are not enough, so many modern models of microwave ovens are equipped with a grill.
The grill is of two types: heating element and quartz.
The spiral of the heating element of the grill is located in the upper part of the working chamber, and sometimes it is also located below. This option allows you to ensure more uniform heating of the products and create that very appetizing crispy crust that cannot be achieved in a simple microwave oven. In some models, the grill can change its position from horizontal to vertical. With all the advantages, the heating element grill has one more thing that so often turns out to be decisive when choosing a microwave oven: models with it cost less than similar ones equipped with quartz.
The quartz grill is built into the top of the microwave oven. It takes up less space than a heating element, which means that the working chamber can accommodate a larger volume of products. The quartz grill is stationary, gains power faster and is much easier to care for. Naturally, you will have to pay a little more for this.
Models with a grill and a convection function allow you to create the most real culinary masterpieces. You can cook in them in five different ways: using microwaves, grilling, as well as a combination of microwaves and grill, grill and convection, microwaves and convection. Convection microwaves have a heating element and a fan that distributes air throughout the cooking chamber. The effect is the same as if you baked food in the oven, but the air in the kitchen does not heat up, and even in the summer in extreme heat, the cooking process does not cause inconvenience.
A good microwave oven with a grill and convection in the presence of an electric kettle and coffee maker in the house allows you to completely abandon the hob and oven. Why take the place of a bulky, albeit familiar from childhood stove, if everything - from broth to compote and pies - can be cooked in the microwave? Such models, installed in small cafes and office kitchens, perfectly cope with their task, allowing not only to heat cooked food, but also to fry chicken or fish, bake muffins, and make crackers.
However, comfort requires an investment of a decent amount, and the dimensions of the oven with convection and grill exceed the dimensions of a simple microwave of the same volume.
Microwave volume
This parameter should be paid no less attention than the type of microwave oven and the type of grill, because the volume of the working chamber depends on how many products you can load and cook at the same time. A microwave oven with a working chamber volume of 8.5 liters is enough for one person, a 13-19-liter model is quite suitable for two, and if your family consists of 3 or more people, you should focus on 23-32 liters. But this volume is not the limit! Those who like to invite guests and have parties will like the oven with a volume of 38 to 41 liters, where you can easily fit a large chicken, duck and even a goose, where you can cook a baked potato or a large pot of pilaf. However, remember that the built-in grill requires a certain place, so ovens with microwaves and microwaves with a grill that are identical in appearance have a different volume of the working chamber.
Control type
The type of microwave oven control largely determines how convenient it will be for you to use it. Each of the methods that manufacturers of this type of household appliances offer today has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The simplest and most reliable is mechanical control. Two rotary knobs allow you to set the power of the device and its operating time. Typically, the timer is set to 30-60 minutes.
Electronic control can be push-button or touch.
The buttons provide a choice of power levels, cooking time, switching to grill or convection mode. To date, this type of microwave oven control is considered optimal: it is simple and fairly reliable. Sometimes a rotary knob is located next to the keypad.
The touch panel is completely smooth and provides for the possibility of fully automating the cooking process. Usually with its help you can pre-program a number of your favorite recipes, and in some models such recipes are already included in the program. You just need to specify the weight of the products and the type of dish that you want to receive. The oven itself will set the desired time, select the mode and at the end of the process will beep.
Unlike plastic buttons, touch buttons do not have a pronounced relief and are triggered by a light touch.
Additional features and accessories
One of the additional functions of the microwave oven is the ability to supply steam, which helps to prevent overdrying of certain foods during their preparation. Thanks to this function, food cooks two to three times faster and retains its natural texture.
The possibility of airing the working chamber can be called a trifle, but very pleasant. The smell of fish or meat with spices is removed in a matter of minutes, and shortly after preparing a hot dish, puffs or pies can be baked.
The multi-level plate rack allows you to heat several dishes at the same time.
With two grill racks, you can cook twice as much food in one "session".
Some ovens are equipped with an auto-weight function, that is, they are equipped with built-in electronic scales. In such models, there is no need to indicate the weight of the products placed in the working chamber - the microwave oven will determine it itself.
The Krusty Plate, otherwise known as the Crisp, allows you to fry food on it like in a frying pan. It is made of special metal and heats up to 200°C.
The “Double emission” function declared by the manufacturer means that the radiation source is bifurcated. This separation contributes to a more uniform heating of the products and increases the efficiency of the oven.
Sometimes microwave ovens are equipped with an interactive mode, with which even a child can cook. The leading question is displayed on the display, and you only need to answer it for the next one to appear. Some models voice duplicate the messages displayed on the electronic scoreboard.
Electronic cookbook - this feature will greatly facilitate your wallet during the purchase and life after the "smart" microwave oven is delivered to your home. Even a child can cook with the help of a collection of recipes, you just need to understand how to use it. However, in our computer age, children are much better friends with electronics than adults.
Chamber Interior
The inner coating of the working chamber may be different.
Enamel is perhaps the most common. Cleaning is simple and does not take much time: just wipe the walls of the microwave with a damp soft cloth.
The ceramic coating is almost impossible to damage, at least when the stove is used for its intended purpose, in accordance with the instructions. Particles of fat do not linger on it, and those that accidentally remain on the walls are easily washed off with a sponge or napkin.
The stainless steel working chamber has an attractive appearance, high strength, and is able to withstand high temperatures for a long time. But, unfortunately, caring for it requires a little more time.
Some cheap models of simple microwaves can simply be painted "under the enamel". Given that such ovens are more often used to heat cooked food, this coating can last quite a long time. But with prolonged exposure to high temperatures, exactly what will happen to the paint will happen: it will simply peel off.
How to decide on a brand
As the experience of shopping - electronic and completely real - shows, prices for microwave ovens range from $ 100 to 2200 euros. And if a certain price difference between different types of ovens is understandable - it includes the cost of a grill, a convection fan, a display and a touch screen, then microwave ovens with the same set of functions from different manufacturers make you think. Why pay, say, six hundred when the same thing can be purchased for four? The same, but not the same. Try comparing inexpensive production models with high-end ones, where every detail is tested and fine-tuned to work perfectly! Maybe this is a trifle, but using solid expensive equipment is much more pleasant than its cheap counterpart. In microwave ovens from Miele, Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau or Kuppersbusch, the very touch of the surface material, door glass, buttons or control knobs pleases. Models of such well-known brands are a stylish design, the presence of additional functions and pleasant little things, and it is also a guarantee of flawless operation.
Service life and warranty
The manufacturer's warranty for microwave ovens is usually 1 year, while the stated service life varies from 5 to 8 years. Some stores provide a three-year warranty service for models made by well-known manufacturers.
And finally
With all the variety of functions of a modern microwave oven, it is worth remembering that the main thing in it is not a built-in toaster, hood or receiver, not the ability to independently access the Internet, and certainly not the ability to “speak”. Microwaves, grill and convection - that's what you need for daily cooking or reheating food.
The liquid crystal display is a pleasant thing, but not too adapted to "our" voltage drops. The touch control panels also react “painfully” to a power outage, so if you are determined to purchase just such models, take care of buying a stabilizer. However, keep in mind that you will have to pay from 70 to 200 conventional units for it.
It does not matter which microwave oven you decide to choose: built-in or solo, with a full range of functions or the simplest, the main thing is that it meets all your requirements and becomes a real helper in the kitchen, and not beautiful expensive furniture. In this article, we talked about the main parameters by which you should choose a microwave oven. And only you can determine the desired color and shape.

How to choose a microwave oven?
How to choose a microwave oven?
How to choose a microwave oven?
How to choose a microwave oven? How to choose a microwave oven? How to choose a microwave oven?

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May 20, 2024 21:11:19 +0300 GMT
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