In this section, we will discuss the different characteristics of microwaves. This analysis will help you decide which option is best for you. We emphasize an idea you’ve already seen throughout this article: you need to evaluate what you’re going to use it for. Don’t pay for features you won’t use, and then miss some you don’t have. Certain microwaves are ideal for browning, gratin and heating food.
What is a microwave, and how does it work?
A microwave is an appliance used to defrost, heat and cook different foods. It does this by producing electromagnetic waves. Inside is a generator, known as a magnetron, which is capable of converting energy into waves. These are appropriate for performing the annotated tasks. Electromagnetic waves are carried using the waveguide to the compartment where food is placed. Inside they bounce off the walls. Because the food is on a turntable, the waves reach all its parts. In this way, a homogeneous result is achieved. There are different microwaves, some models with more advanced functions and others with more basic options.
What are the pros and cons of microwaves?
Cooking speed is one of the main advantages of microwaves, but it also has many other benefits. We set out in a table the advantages and possible drawbacks of this popular household appliance. Pay attention!
- Saving time and energy
- Useful for thawing
- Easy to use
- Reduce oil consumption
- Prevents nutrient loss
- You have quite affordable options.
- It is not possible to make frying.
- It is necessary to use containers specifically valid for microwaves.
What types of microwaves are there?
- As you know, there are different kinds of microwaves, and one of the most recent is convection cooking. That is, using hot air currents. So you don’t get ready, we show you the types of microwaves you’re going to find at the market. Notes! Basic microwave: It’s the simplest model of all. They have no grill option and are usually moderately priced. They often have basic functions such as heating and defrosting food. They are also able to cook certain foods that require low cooking.
- Microwave with grill: These models are very popular with users. They have an extra “grill” function, making them ideal for gratin, roasting and browning food. Its price is usually higher than basic microwaves. However, it is still affordable.
- Microwave “combi” or microwave ovens, also called “convection”: It is the most advanced microwave model. Their versatile combination of traditional oven and microwave in one appliance makes them ideal for people looking for the greatest possible functionality. Among its most innovative functions is to cook with hot air.
Is it a good idea to bet on a microwave without a grill?
Microwaves that do not have grills are very suitable for defrosting food. When it comes to heating, they usually have correct results. However, if you want to cook, it is not the most suitable model. You will make simple preparations, but nothing more; a recipe something more elaborate needs other kinds of features. They are totally safe and effective appliances for the work for which they are designed. They are also very suitable for heating prepared dishes and, also, their price is significantly lower than that of other models with more performance. The risk is that in the future, you will miss other functions. Microwaves are the ideal choice for people looking to optimize their time.
What does a microwave with a grill offer?
- With a microwave with a grill, you won’t just defrost or heat dishes because they tend to have more functions. This type of appliances increasingly has more advanced features, as you will see in the following list: Gratin. You can brown or gratin the top of the chosen dish, so you’ll get a crunchy effect on your recipes.
- Gastronomic finishes. You’ll get better finishes in your recipes by taking advantage of the microwave’s cooking speed.
- Easier operation than an oven. So you’ll be less at risk of burns.
It is a device that will allow you to opt for a faster and easier kitchen. Depending on the model chosen, you will be able to prepare more or less complicated recipes. As a clear result, the price of microwaves of this type is higher than when they do not have a grill.
Is it worth investing in a microwave oven?
- The most advanced model of all is the microwave oven. They have many functions and, in many cases, can replace traditional ovens, although not always. In general, you’ll be able to perform the same tasks as with a microwave and additional ones. That is, you can heat and defrost, but also cook with hot air. Let’s look at it in a list: Time-saving. The cooking time of the food is faster than in a traditional oven.
- Space-saving. You won’t need an extra hole anymore. You can use the appliance daily for heating and at specific times to cook “baked”.
- Energy-saving. You’ll reduce your energy consumption, as you’ll need less time to prepare your favourite dish.
Did you know that experts don’t always recommend betting on this option because sometimes it doesn’t get the most out of it or doesn’t replace the conventional oven? On the latter aspect, it is necessary to clarify that although it performs some of its functions, it does not always fulfil all because of its size and power.
What microwave do you need?
In this table we show you the type of microwave you need, depending on how you will use it. It’s a summary of everything you’ve seen so far. It will help you make your decision, so take good note of the following aspects:
“The fact that the cooking times of the vegetables are short and that they do not need to be immersed in water makes them better preserve vitamins and minerals than with other cooking.”
Are microwaves safe?
One of the questions that many users raise is whether the microwave is a totally safe appliance. The truth is that those sold on the market have passed all the controls and offer you risk-free use. In the following table, we clarify some aspects of this issue that are sometimes so controversial:
What extra features do microwaves offer?
- Several features offer some, but not all, microwaves. Pay attention to the following aspects: Cooking sensors. The cooking sensors are perfect for giving the right point to your dishes.
- Lock for children. It is true that almost all of the microwaves you will find on the market comply with all regulations. But you should check that the chosen model has some extras, such as double closure or locking system for children.
- Control panel. In this type of panels, you will find all the useful options that the microwave has. Depending on the type, they will be simpler or more complicated. It’s best to combine a good number of features with easy use.
- Energy-saving. Interestingly, they have a power regulator to save energy when possible.
- Memory. Some microwaves have memory functions. This will remind you of the time and power needed to prepare some recipes. Also, to heat milk for a coffee.
- Cooking by weight. Certain models have the cooking mode by weight to make it easier to get the exact point. In some cases, the defrosting by weight is added.
- Quick start. Both the quick start modes and the option to add 30 seconds more to cooking are efficient.
When it comes to making a microwave, it’s good to consider several important aspects. They are those who will make you opt for one option or another. But best of all, they will allow you to make the best purchase decision. Therefore, please pay attention to what we show you in the following lines.
Dimensions, space and design
The space you have is essential when considering buying a microwave. Therefore, you will have to measure! But there are also two fundamental types in terms of dimensions and space:
- Canopy microwaves. That is, they are small appliances that are built into a kitchen cabinet. Generally, they include a framework that depends on a straightforward installation.
- Desktop or stand-alone. They are the most common and plug them into a power outlet. They are usually placed on a kitchen countertop.
Design is another issue to consider. It is good that it combines well with the rest of the décor of your kitchen, especially with the appliances. If they are all made of steel, it would not be perfect to opt for a white microwave.
The capacity of a microwave is always measured in litres. Smaller ones usually have about 17 litres, while larger ones reach 40 litres. To make it easier for you, we’ll show you a list of sizes and sizes that you’re sure to appreciate. Notes!
- 17 to 23 litres. If you’re going to heat or defrost food, it doesn’t need to be higher. If you are a single person, a 17-litre person will suffice, while if you are two, it will be enough with a 23-litre one. The dimensions of one of 20 litres usually range from 44 to 45 centimetres in height, between 33.5 and 34 in-depth and between 25.7 to 26 cm wide.
- 25 litres. If you intend to cook more elaborate or oversized recipes, you are interested in a microwave with at least 25 litres. It is the right capacity for large dishes and also to make use of the grill or grill.
- From 36 litres. Large microwaves are not common, but they are necessary for large families or heating large amounts of food. As a general tonic, its dimensions are 65 cm high, approximately 47 cm deep and about 52.6 cm wide.
Power and energy efficiency
Most microwaves have a power of between 700 W and 900 W. This range is enough for most uses, but as you can imagine, iou will need more power. If you want speed Also, you should look at several aspects, which we summarize below.
- Grill or grill. If the microwave you are buying has a grill, also called a “gratin function”, it must reach a minimum power of 1,200 W or more. This power is usually indicated apart from that of the microwave.
- Convection. Also called “multifunction”, they are microwaves that work like an oven, so they need more power. Generally, they have more than 1,000 W of power only for this function, so if we add the watts, they can perfectly reach 2,500 W.
- Energy certification. We can assume that you are interested in your microwave being energy efficient talking, so you will need to consider the label according to the European Union (EU). This certification ranges from A to G. If you are looking to save on the electricity bill, in addition to taking care of the environment, choose the one closest to the A.
Programs and functionalities
Most microwaves integrate various buttons and indicators that tell us what functionalities they have. In fact, these small appliances are no longer used only for heating or defrosting but can also roast food or grill. Let’s look at some extras of undoubted interest:
- Digital display. Manual models are indeed cheaper, but if you need speed, you will be delighted with a microwave with memory (the device will memorize the heating time of a cup of tea, for example). They also include other functions, such as defrosting program or startup scheduler, among others.
- Predefined cooking programs and QuickStart. If you have a microwave that includes preset programs, you can cook various dishes at the touch of a button or colour. The QuickStart feature allows you to press an indicator and add 30 seconds more operation to the device to warm up your favourite drinks.
- Child lock. If you don’t have kids, the same is not a function of your interest, but if you have infants at home, you will thank them, do not hesitate!
- Disconnecting the turntable. Not all microwaves include this feature, but it may be of interest if you’re interested in introducing wider cooking fonts. Generally, the appliances that include it have an advanced heat distribution system inside.
- ECO function. Like the previous feature, not all devices include it, but it’s of great interest if you want to save energy.
- Food weight and cooking sensor. Some microwaves include a feature with which you can easily cook by simply selecting the type of food and its weight. If it integrates a cooking sensor, you will know when food is ready because the appliance detects it automatically.
- Inverter technology. It’s a handy feature wit which you can regulate the power while saving time and energy.
Currently, most microwaves comply with all safety regulations. Still, make sure it has a child lock or dual-lock system. Never neglect this important aspect when making your purchase. You’ll avoid trouble in the future.
In this regard, take into account the thermal safety of the appliance. Some devices reach high temperatures when they are in full operation, and since the end of 2013, there are limits inaccessible areas to avoid accidents. These are the limitations:
- Plastic. 90 oC
- Glass. 85 oC
- Metal. 70 oC
- Coated metal. 75 oC
However, manufacturers can increase the temperatures indicated by up to 45 oC by simply adding an adhesive. You should opt for good brands or consult with the seller before purchasing if you are concerned about thermal safety.
A microwave is an increasingly essential appliance in the kitchen. It performs functions as basic as heating milk or defrosting bread and, in some cases, can also prepare elaborate recipes. Its functions will depend on the model chosen. More complete models have a higher price, of course.
When purchasing your microwave, you need to consider certain aspects—the features you want, its design, its power, or if it has interesting programs. It would help if you did not overlook safety in all its aspects, including thermal safety. In any case, if you don’t already have this appliance, it’s time to get it.
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