Cooking in the microwave has revolutionized the way we prepare meals, especially for people who have little time available to spend in their kitchen. Today, more than 70% of homes are equipped with one of these household appliances.
Using microwaves, it’s easy to defrost your favorite dish, heat your morning coffee or afternoon tea, bake a pizza or even roast a chicken.
But to make a wise choice, you must know essential elements, such as its lifespan, its price, its functions, its capacity or its power to name a few.
How to choose your microwave?
Easy to use, in addition to being discreet and versatile, microwaves are among the essential household appliances in your kitchen. But among all the options available on the market, you have to look at the selection criteria that we will present to you in the following paragraphs.
The different types of microwaves:
The mono microwave
It is the most basic model among all those available. Its functions are numerous, in addition to being inexpensive, because it can be used to heat your dishes, to defrost or cook them quickly. In addition, it will not take up much space in your kitchen.
Duo microwave or grill
This model of microwave has the same characteristics as the mono microwave, except that it can also lightly brown your dishes thanks to a resistant deposited at the top of this appliance, without, however, cooking them like a traditional oven would.
The combined microwave oven
This microwave model is the most complete, offering the basic functions of the grill, as well as those of traditional ovens. Depending on the model, this type of microwave can even offer a fan heat system, a steam function or even a chained steam function. All these characteristics make this appliance a most complete model, without however replacing the power of a traditional oven.
Criteria for choosing a microwave:
When you decide to acquire a microwave, it is also necessary to be interested in the capacity of this device which is expressed in liters and which varies between 9 and 40 liters according to the models. For singles or couples without children, a microwave with a capacity of 20 liters will be sufficient; for families of 4 people, opt instead for a capacity of 22 liters; and for large families of more than 6 people, opt instead for a capacity of 26 liters.
The power of your microwave, expressed in watts, is also an important element since the more your device has high power, the more efficient it will be to cook your food quickly.
For a mono microwave, the maximum power of 750W is more than sufficient. On the other hand, for the two other types, the duo, and the combined oven, the power will oscillate around 1000W, in order to guarantee optimal operation.
The programming of a microwave can be of three types: electronic, mechanical or electromechanical.
Electronic programming remains the most efficient programming of all. It can even be accompanied by intelligent functions, depending on the model, such as a rapid defrost, a memory button, a delayed start or a lock, an ideal function to protect children.
The choice of door
The way in which the door of your microwave opens is not an unimportant criterion, because the more you use it, the more you will realize the importance of this accessory.
A drop-down door will improve the visibility and accessibility of your microwave. So you can watch your food heat up with ease. As for the side door, it is more practical if your microwave is high in your kitchen.
The lining of the cavity
The coating of your microwave is a very important aspect to take into account if you want to have a solid and easy to maintain the appliance. Among the possible choices, you will be confronted with microwaves in stainless steel, ceramic or epoxy. But all manufacturers will advise you to opt for stainless steel for the reasons explained above.
Here are the last two very important criteria. Be aware that the lifespan of a microwave depends on its type. For the mono and duo microwaves, you will go towards 5 years, while the microwaves combined oven, it will be double, that is to say, 10 years.
The possible options
All the household appliances have additional options compared to the basic model, available according to the marks and their price. To cite some of these options, you can choose to store a cooking time and its temperature, or keep it warm at the end of cooking, ideal for your morning coffee cup.
THE DOOR: SIDE OR DROP-DOWN
The way the oven door opens is not without influence on its daily use. A drop-down door improves visibility and accessibility to the cavity. On certain folding doors, it is also possible to place your dish before plunging it into the oven. Check during purchase. The side door is preferred when the oven is placed high. But contrary to what is generally done on refrigerators, it is not possible to change its opening direction, from right to left. In the kitchen, it is, therefore, necessary to provide a location that does not interfere with the opening/closing of the door.
DIFFERENCES IN VOLUMES
Depending on the model, the capacity of the cavity varies from 13 to 42 liters. The larger the composition of the fireplace, the more the chosen volume should be. If you choose a grill or combination microwave oven (which therefore allows you to cook dishes), it is preferable to go towards volumes greater than 23 liters.
As with many other household appliances, microwave ovens are taking on more and more functions. For example, memorizing a cooking time and temperature (to heat the morning coffee) or keeping it warm at the end of cooking. Latest of these options, the steam function. According to the manufacturers’ claims, it makes it possible to cook food while preventing it from drying out.
The browning dish supplied with some microwaves makes it easy to prepare crispy dishes. This round dish with a rim is made of a special material that heats up quickly in the microwave.
The microwave cooking method has revolutionized meal preparation. Today, more than 70% of homes have it. Essential elements should be known before buying a microwave oven, a device that you keep on average for ten years. The “tray stop” function blocks the rotation of the glass tray and thus allows large rectangular dishes to be introduced into the cavity. Since rotation is hindered, cooking may not be uniform. To compensate, it is advisable to turn the dish at least once during cooking.