Having a microwave in your kitchen may have saved you more hours of your life than you can count, even if it may not be the most significant technological advancement of our time.
Microwaves may have first appeared to be a luxury when they were first created, but for the majority of us, they have long since become a necessity. In fact, 77% of households today have one, and given that they typically last between 7 and 12 years, every homeowner will eventually need to invest in a new one.
While deciding whether or not to buy a microwave is a simple decision, understanding the vast selection of microwave options is a completely different challenge. We’ve put up the following Microwave Oven Buying Guide that will help you find the finest microwave oven for your kitchen.
Also Read: DSLR Camera Buying Guide
Microwave Oven Buying Guide
1. Select the Type of Microwave Oven
The type of microwave you purchase will rely on your use case and your kitchen’s design layout. There are a few microwave models that can mix in with your home if you’re building a house or entirely remodelling your kitchen. Otherwise, you should definitely choose a microwave that fits your existing area the best in terms of size and type.
Solo Microwave Oven
In the category of microwave ovens, solo microwave ovens are entry-level or basic variants. These are the most basic microwave oven and are good for tasks like reheating and defrosting. Compared to other microwave models like grill and convection, the solo model is less expensive. However, a solo microwave oven cannot be used for grilling or baking. The Solo Microwave oven prices range from Rs. 4,000 to 8,000.
Grill Microwave Oven
A Grill microwave oven features the same functionality as Solo Microwave with an addon Grill feature to grill roast meat and vegetables. A set of grilling coils aid in grilling, toasting, or roasting. A grill microwave is perfect for people who are looking for a microwave that can grill as well as reheat food but are not baking enthusiasts.
Convection Microwave Oven
A convection microwave oven comes with a heating element that produces heat waves and a fan that circulates hot air for baking and cooking food quickly. Technically speaking, the convection microwave oven has a fan that efficiently and uniformly distributes heat waves, enabling excellent food baking. For baking cakes, pizzas, and muffins, a convection oven is what you need. The ability to grill and bake separately or simultaneously makes convection microwave ovens the most versatile microwave ovens.
2. What Ideal Capacity Of Microwave should you look for?
Manufacturers typically state the microwave’s volume (in litres), which includes the entire interior space of the cavity. However, this volume is different from what we measure because a sizable portion of it is not actually usable.
The longest cylindrical object that can revolve within the oven while the turntable is off is the maximum useful capacity for consumers. None of the brands we looked at disclose the sizes of their usable cavities. The full cavity volume, which is about 35 to 45 per cent less than the rated volume, does not match the so-called rated volume either. The volume in which the turntable revolves within the cavity is therefore the usable volume.
The microwave capacity that is ideal for you will depend on how many family members you have and how frequently you plan to use the microwave. The capacity of a microwave oven is calculated in litres. In India, people use microwave ovens more for warming meals than for cooking. On average, a household of two to three people only needs up to 20 litres; a medium-sized family needs between 21 and 30 litres, and a large family with a huge kitchen needs more than 30+ litres.
|Family size||Type Of Microwave||Ideal capacity||Price (Approx.)|
|2-4 Members||Solo Microwave Oven||15-20 Ltr||Rs 5,000 to 7,500|
|2-4 Members||Grill Microwave Oven or Convection Microwave Oven||21 to 30 Ltr||Rs 7,000 to 10,000|
|4-6 Members||Solo Microwave Oven||25 to 30 Ltr||Rs 5,000 to 7,500|
|4-6 Members||Grill Microwave Oven or Convection Microwave Oven||32 Ltr & Above||Rs 12,000 to Rs 18,000|
3. Popular Features You Should Lookout For
1. Auto Cook menu
The availability of the Auto Cook feature makes microwave cooking surprisingly easy. Cooking in a microwave requires a few settings, such as power wattage, cooking time and grill combo which might be challenging for novices.
However, with this auto-cook menu option, all you have to do is specify the sort of meal you want to cook, and the microwave will automatically change the power wattage and cooking time based on the weight of the item and the cooking mode selected.
For instance, all you have to do to create popcorn is push the popcorn button. Or for cooking rice, you can simply select the Rice cooking mode.
It is a microwave operation that is specifically designed for warming frozen food. This is a must-have feature if you occasionally cook frozen food items such as meat and vegetables. And this even comes in handy to defrost leftover food.
The oven must reach a specified temperature before you begin to cook and follow the recipes. This is required if you are trying to bake a cake, or cook a pizza in your microwave. Therefore, you must switch on the microwave and wait until the desired temperature is attained or it is hot. Before making a purchase, check the specs for the microwave oven’s preheating time.
4. Child lock
If you live with kids, they might unintentionally stick their hands in the microwave. Thus, a child lock facility is provided by these features. Typically, a code that functions as a password to unlock is used to facilitate this child lock.
When baking, the interior of a convection microwave oven becomes quite hot, hence a child lock is an absolute must. The child lock even locks the touchpad at the front and disables its functionality so that children cant mistakenly play around with the cooking settings.
5. Interior Build Material
Microwave ovens get dirty from the inside after a few months of use. And while you are heating your food, sometimes food with gravy might boil too much that it spills off making a mess inside the microwave. It is usually recommended to clean your microwave from the inside after a few weeks of use. It is recommended to opt for a microwave that has a ceramic interior, these microwaves are easy to clean and won’t scratch or discolour.
While ceramic interiors are not that common, Samsung is one such brand which has implemented this ceramic interior in all of its microwave lineups.
4. Touch Panel vs Hard Panel
Various microwave models come with different types of control panels depending on the price range they come in. These are typically of three types: mechanical, tact dial type, and feather touch. Mechanical and Tact Dial are typically seen in low-end models, durable and easy to use.
Feather Touch panels enhance your microwave’s design. It has the same touch-screen phone-like ability to detect your fingers and is usually only found in high-end models.
While this should not be the deciding factor, generally the mechanical and tact dial type control panel are much more durable. And these also provide tactial feedback while using it so these are usually preferred by most users.
5. What Microwave Accessories are important?
Online shopping websites are stocked with a variety of microwave accessories, such as microwave oven gloves, microwave-safe cookware, cutlery, bowls, and containers, as well as a microwave stand that can be mounted on the wall in the event that your kitchen counter is at capacity. If you only sometimes use your microwave, a cover is also a good idea.
A unique grilling accessory is a rotisserie. To achieve proper grilling, a motorized steel foundation bar is used. A rotisserie bar makes it simple to grill chicken, mutton, and paneer. However, rotisserie grilling accessories cost an additional one to two thousand rupees and are only included with a small number of microwave ovens. The two rotisserie variations are again the horizontal and vertical rotisserie bars. Heat distribution is best on rotisseries that are rather horizontal. The most widely used rotisserie convection microwave oven is the IFB 30BRC2.
6. Do you need Inverter Technology in Microwave?
Although inverter technology is still relatively uncommon in microwaves, there are various models available. With inverter technology, you can choose to cook your food more evenly at a constant lower temperature. The varieties of food you can create in most microwaves are limited because they don’t offer a lot of temperature settings (convection microwaves being a clear exception). Although they increase your possibilities, inverter microwaves are still not as adaptable as convection devices. If this is something you’re interested in, LG manufactures a very well-liked microwave that employs inverter technology and receives a tonne of positive customer feedback.
Also Read: Printer Buying Guide For Home