Selecting Microwave oven
Microwave ovens are today a must have kitchen appliance for homes. It helps ease cooking as well as to heat or defrost food items. Before buying a Microwave oven, We must look for certain specific features and qualities. In the market OTGs(Oven-Toaster-Griller) are also competing with Microwaves while the former uses heating element and not Magnetron and waveguides. Microwave ovens uses Magnetron which is essentially a vacuum tube. It generates energy that heats food. A wave guide inside the walls of oven helps direct the energy to cook food and the chamber which prevents radiation leaking outside.
There are different types of Microwave ovens targeting houses, hotels etc. The main types are:
1. Convection Oven
Convection type Microwave oven features a fan and heating element which creates airflow patterns inside the oven. Continuous hot air flow helps optimum browing of food equally from all sides. This type of Ovens ar ideal for baking and cooking crispy food items like broasted chicken for e.g.
2. Grill type Oven
This type of oven works similar to conventional grilling. It browns food items crispier from outside and juicier from inside. These types of ovens can work as a griller and can be used for continuous cooking for even an hour or more. A metal wire rack is used inside the cooking area of these ovens inside which raw chicken, beef or veal is grilled.
3. Solo type Oven
Solo type ovens are the basic ones featuring uniform heat distribution that is useful for baking, reheating, defrosting food items. these are the most common type of ovens. It usually contains a turntable where items to be cooked or reheated can be placed.
1. Humidity sensor
Ovens with humidity sensors measures the steam inside the food cooking chamber and when the food is done, shuts off after sensing the steam(humidity).
2. Power rating
Microwave ovens are generally available with a power rating from 600 to 1500 Watts. Small ovens are generally having a wattage of 600-900, medium types starts from 900 to 1200 and high end ones go up to 1650 Watts.
Other specific features to look for are: Auto defrost and Steam cooking, Short cut keys and Ovens with dial type control panel which are rugged and lasting.
Solo type ovens are small (19- 23 litres), are simple to operate and significantly cheaper than other models mentioned above. The price range is from Rs 4000 to 8000.
Grill type ovens are having a grill, can be useful for toasting, grill and broasting. Their size varies from 18-28 litres. They are not a replacement for Rotissorie or a Tandoor, but is enough for home usage. The price range is from Rs 5000 to 15000.
Convection type ovens offer both microwave energy and heat. they are expensive than the other two types. These types of ovens uses a convection heat cycle along with microwave energy for fast cooking or baking. the cooking time usually needed is half that of solo or grill type. Metal containers also can be used in convection ovens. Price starts from Rs 8000 to 25000.
For average home use, Solo type or grill type are enough. Another aspect to look for is the brand name. Some brands are associated with quality while some of the lesser known brands are infamous for magnetron failures and failing latches and locks after some time.