How to choose the right Microwave oven for your kitchen

Tips & Tricks

This article will help you if you are looking for the best microwave for cooking and baking or you seek the best microwave oven for heating. An oven is an essential part of the modern kitchen. But not all ovens are created equal. The best microwave ovens are not just the ones that have loads of features but also have to meet your visual and specific kitchen requirements.

Types of Ovens – Oh, don’t worry, there’s not too many!

The most common question that the salesperson will ask you when you go to buy an oven is – “which type of oven you want?” The market is flooded with a variety of ovens such as Gas Ovens which are great for roasting, Electric Ovens which are considered the best microwave ovens for cooking and baking and Toaster Ovens which are like a grill and ideal toasting and making pizzas and such.

Again electric ovens are available in two types, Conduction and Convection. A convection oven cooks food at lower cooking temperature, whereas a conduction oven requires a higher temperature setting and hence uses more electricity too. Then you also have a Roaster oven, but this has limited use and therefore not popular. Before you decide on the type of oven you need, let’s see why you MUST have an oven in your Modern kitchen.

Importance of an Oven in the Modern Household:

Today, women are shouldering the responsibility to manage both work and home. Also, men too, have started sharing kitchen responsibility to an extent. As such, every kitchen needs appliances that reduce manual work and save time and energy. Ovens do precisely that…
• Oven facilitates quick, hassle-free cooking
• Even elaborate dishes with longer cooking time can be cooked in minutes
• Can prepare a variety of tasty recipes and please your family members
• No need to watch the food, and no constant stirring needed. Just keep it, set it and forget it!
• Nutrients are better preserved when food is cooked in an oven
• Hassle-free cleaning
• Save space
• Last but not least it adds to the modern kitchen decor

With so many advantages of microwave ovens, they have to be mandatory in the modern kitchen. If you are planning to buy a microwave oven, you need to understand a few aspects before heading to your favourite eCommerce website or electronics store to buy an oven.
Here is a quick list to help you in your journey to get the perfect cooking and baking oven.

Type of food do you cook is vital to the purchase a microwave oven:

If the purpose is to heat then the best microwave ovens for heating food would be a solo oven. If you need an oven for home baking, you need a convection oven. If you love cooking continental food and need the best microwave oven for baking and heating, you’d be happy to go for a feature-rich smart microwave oven. It comes with several pre-programmed cooking options that allow even a novice cook to prepare anything from lip-smacking pizzas to pastas and more.

Microwave Oven Capacity:

Size matters, not just for the amount of food that can be baked and cooked but also because each one of us has different spaces for installing microwaves. A microwave with 21lts to 30lts capacity will suffice a family of 2 to 4 members. For a family of 4 to 6 members, you must go for an oven with 32lts or more. Also, if you love hosting parties at your home, you must consider buying a large capacity oven.

Budget for your Microwave Oven:

One of the most important considerations before buying an oven is the budget. And that’s true for all of us who are not buying a microwave for commercial reasons. The price of an oven depends on its type (gas or electric), smart features and capacity. Generally, the base model price of a solo oven will be lowest. Convection ovens are priced higher than the solo ones, and there’s one available for every budget. If you believe in getting the best and budget is not an issue, then you can opt for some of the best brands like IFB, Samsung, Faber, Bosch, GE, Siemens and much more. You can compare the prices of various models on Amazon or many other e-commerce sites.

Microwave ovens with Smart Features:

Some microwave ovens have additional features such as a self-cleaning option, pre-programmed menu settings for several recipes, humidity sensor, defrost settings and more. So, depending on your personal choices and usage, you will need to choose the model with features you can utilise for your daily and weekend special cooking. For example, if you refrigerate a lot, you will need the defrosting feature in your oven.

Understanding Wattage in Microwave Ovens:

Most oven recipes need higher wattage. Higher the wattage, the higher the amount of heat generated thus leading to a faster cooking cycle. So your best microwave oven for cooking and baking should be in the 1000 – 1200 watts range.

Microwave Warranty & Reviews:

Check the warranty offered by the company, longer warranty is always better but may not come with all Brands.

Check online reviews and also ask your friends about which, according to them, is the best oven for cooking and baking. A real microwave users experience is the best guide when it comes to making the final decision. Even if you are looking for a cheap microwave oven, it’s better to check the reviews before purchasing one!

Budget Ovens v/s Expensive ones – Which is better?

Well, there is no definite answer to this. But one thing that comes out glaring when comparing cheap microwave ovens with the top tier models is that the expensive ovens offer better insulation which ensures proper distribution of heat and thereby uniform cooking. Also, costly models will provide more features and will have more built-in menus to facilitate hassle-free cooking. Ovens in the higher price range last longer than the cheap microwave in general due to better build quality and standardization of components.

Consider these points before investing in a microwave oven for heating, cooking or baking.

Utensils to Use and Avoid in ovens:

Generally speaking, you can use metal utensils such as stainless steel and aluminium in an oven. But Ceramics and glass are the ones that qualify for use in a microwave. But before you buy any utensils for use in your microwave, check for the “oven-safe symbol” beneath the crockery. Food grade silicone can also be safe in the microwave.

Do not Use plastic and wood utensils in the oven. Even high-quality plastic when used in a microwave, may be harmful to your health. Wood may warp in the oven, so must not be used. Also, do not use metal utensils with plastic or wood handles in the oven.
When using microwave-safe glass in the oven, ensure you avoid what is known as temperature shock. For example, putting a glass in a hot oven or placing glass from hot oven directly to cold water.

A final note about the Difference between Ovens and OTGs before you decide on the best microwave oven brand for yourself

While there is hardly any difference between a microwave oven and an OTG, each uses a different approach to heating.

An OTG uses coils for heating. The coil gets heated, which in turn heats the food and cooks it. The heat distribution doesn’t happen evenly and therefore, when you cook in an OTG, chances are that the food is overcooked on the outside, while it may still be raw inside or simple be unevenly cooked.

A microwave, on the other hand, uses microwaves to heat and cook food. The heat is distributed evenly throughout the oven and therefore, the food cooks better in the microwave.

Cooking and heating food in OTG is time-consuming as compared to cooking in a microwave oven.

Smart features such as defrosting and pre-programmed menu are available only in microwave and not in an OTG

An OTG will be cheaper than a microwave in most cases but the bigger ones can be expensive too.

A microwave can prove to be a boon in your busy lifestyle. Buy one that meets your specific requirements and budget. Whether you want a cheap microwave, or the latest and the best microwave for cooking and baking, make an informed decision. Happy Cooking!

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