Oven - All types, varieties and features explained

Oven - All types, varieties and features explained

Guide and Advise

Modern microwave ovens have cutting-edge functions like grilling, convection, and steaming to prepare delicious meals quickly. However, buying a microwave is necessary for most people, whether it is for your first home because your previous one is broken or your kitchen requires an upgrade. Once you have made up your mind that you need a microwave oven in your kitchen, you must do a little homework to get the best use for your money. This post will provide a microwave oven buying guide and discuss the styles, configurations available, and things to keep in mind while buying a microwave oven.

Difference Between a Convection Oven and OTG

An OTD is used for testing and grilling. For example, you can quickly grill meat and toast bread. A convection microwave oven can perform all these functions and can also reheat, cook and de-freeze, which an OTG cannot do.

Some of the differences are given below:

Heating method: An OTG oven can cook juicy and crispy food like kebabs, meats, and tikkas. When cooking with an OTG, heat radiated from the coil and is absorbed by the food. A fan is present, but most of the heat is dissipated directly under the coils. Convection uses a microwave with a fan for heating purposes.

Capacity: The capacity of an OTG may go up to 60 litres, whereas a convection microwave's capacity reaches just 32 litres. Therefore, OTG might be the better option for large batches of food.

Preheating: An OTG oven can take up to ten to fifteen minutes to preheat; a convection microwave only takes five minutes. This can reduce the cooking time considerably.

Cost: Although an OTG has a lower initial cost, the energy efficiency of a microwave oven is higher. A microwave oven saves money over time by using 20% less energy than an OTG.

How to Choose a Microwave

Average Cost of a Microwave: Small models of microwave start at around 4000 Rs, and mid-sized models start at a range of around 9000 to 22000 Rs, but most tested ones cost 35000 Rs and up. Models designed to make up about 22000 and up in cabinetry or wall cost only.

Space and Location: Before you buy a microwave, please look over where the microwave works best for you and the space available. For example, medium-sized models are usually over 18 inches deep and 20 inches wide, and large microwaves can be an inch or two larger. You will also want to factor in height, but a countertop model should fit well unless you have very low cabinets.

Type: Countertop microwaves are the most widely sold. OTP models are that: they are set up on the range. The built-in category includes models that are designed to be surrounded by cabinetry or built into a wall. This category comprises microwave drawers, which can be installed beneath a countertop or under a wall oven. Additionally, specific countertop models-but not all-can be transformed into built-ins with a kit.

Microwave Types

There are five different types of microwaves.

Countertop Microwaves: You can place them on any flat surface, making them easy to reach, move around, and take with you. Some can even be installed into a cabinet with additional trim kits for a built-in look. Countertop microwaves come in various sizes, features, and price points. For example, the Panasonic countertop microwave offers a greater capacity of 2.2 cubic feet of cooking space. 

Over-the-Range Microwave Ovens: These microwaves are installed between the cabinets above your range to free up counter space. They also act as a vent, filtering smoke and steam from the ceiling. These popular models often come with the latest features, although back-to-basics microwaves are also available.

However, over-the-range microwaves may be suitable if you have limited room on the counter or enjoy a centralized workspace with the microwave and range in the same area. If you want a two-in-one appliance, choose an over-the-range microwave that removes the cooking smell from the kitchen.

Low-Profile Over-the-Range Microwave: An over-the-range microwave is an ideal option for some kitchen layouts. However, some models do not fit well in some range hoods. A low-profile over-the-range microwave designed for a slim space without sacrificing capability. Some models are fully vented and can work in place of a full range hood. They can easily replace an existing over-the-range microwave that is hanging too low.

Built-In Microwaves: Built-in microwaves are installed right into pre-existing cabinetry, bringing clean lines and a modern look to the kitchen. The microwave door usually opens from the top, not the side, like an oven. Several people place the built-in microwave above their wall oven to maximize space and provide easy access to both.

Moreover, built-in microwaves offer premium features and finish at potentially higher price points than a countertop and over-the-range options. If you like the idea of a built-in microwave over a wall oven, consider a wall oven microwave combo.

Microwave Drawers: As the name suggests, microwave drawers slide out for use and are installed on the countertop or under a wall oven. The location of this microwave makes it a more convenient and safer option for all family members.

Features to Focus On

Turntables and Trays: As one of the most convenient and common ways to increase temperature uniformity, a turntable is used in the microwave oven as a tray to carry and rotate the heated material to improve the temperature uniformity microwave could.

Quick Keys: The 1-minute or 30-second key requires just one tap to increase the preset cooking time, whatever power you select. It also allows quick adjustments to your previous setting-pressing the button more than once multiplies the time extension.

Racks:  These let you expedite things up and cook multiple dishes at once. They also improve convection cooking by allowing heat to build up beneath the cooking vessel. But you may also have trouble fitting a coffee mug into some models unless you remove the rack, so check when you shop.

Child Lock: If you have kids and want a hassle-free cooking experience, remember to buy a microwave that allows you to set a passcode to unlock the device. That way, you can be sure that your kids won’t be exposed to any unfortunate risks.

Convection Cooking, Grilling, and Browning: These characteristics give your kitchen the appeal of a second oven. But none of the tested models provides the results you will get from a regular oven or grill.

Sizes and Cooking Capacity: Exterior dimensions are essential when installing or replacing a built-in microwave or over-the-range. However, full-size countertop units take up a lot of counter space. Allow extra space on all sides. Check the product description of each microwave oven before buying.

For convenient access, you need at least 66 inches from the floor to the bottom of the cabinet when measuring for over-the-range microwave ovens.  Moreover, at least 30 inches gap must be between the cooktop surface and the bottom of the cabinet.

Be sure your new microwave will meet your cooking needs. Cooking capacity refers to the internal area. It ranges from 0.7 cubic feet, excellent for small spaces and basic reheating, to 2 cubic feet or larger for full cooking capability.

Energy Savings: There are currently no energy-saving certified microwaves on the market, but you can still find ways to save time or energy. Look for a microwave with variable power settings for better cooking performance while using less energy.

Popular Microwave Features

Below are listed 13 popular features of microwaves.

Smart Technology: Several new microwaves have smart compatibility so that you can control the device via an app, Bluetooth, or voice assistant. These features help you multitask while you cook or monitor the cooking process.

Convection: Convection cooking uses a fan to circulate hot air around the dish, resulting in more evenly cooked food.

Speed Cook: Speed cooking combines the functionality of convection cooking with microwaving. You will get the results of a conventional oven at the speed of a microwave.

Sensors: To avoid overcooking, microwave oven sensors automatically change time and temperature as needed. Moreover, sensors measure the emitted steam to determine when the food is at the optimum temperature.

Non-stick Interior: Non-stick interior coatings make cleaning easy. Simply wipe down the plastic interiors with a damp cloth. In addition, stainless steel interiors also wipe clean and do not absorb odours.

Turntables, Trays, and Removable Racks: The turntable in a microwave rotates the food while it's cooking to ensure even heating. A tray can be used to catch any drips or spills that may occur during cooking.

Moreover, a removable rack can be used to elevate food and allow for more even heating or to cook multiple items at once. All of these features can be useful in improving the cooking process and making it easier to use a microwave.

High Wattage: Using a high wattage setting on a microwave means that the appliance is operating at a higher power level, which results in food heating up more quickly. Microwaves typically have power settings ranging from 600 to 1200 watts, with some models offering even higher wattage levels.

When using a higher wattage setting, it's essential to be mindful of the cooking time, as the food may cook faster than expected. It's also crucial to ensure that the food is evenly distributed in the microwave to avoid overcooking or undercooking certain areas.

Additionally, high-wattage microwaves can be more expensive and consume more energy, so it's essential to consider your cooking needs and energy usage when selecting a microwave.

Filters: If you use your microwave without a range hood, prefer a charcoal or recirculating filter to reduce cooking odours.

Preset Cooking Times: With this feature, you just press a button to start cooking. Designed to defrost or cook dishes for the optimal amount of time, you can often find options for pizza, popcorn, potatoes, and frozen dinners.

Inverter Technology: Engineered to provide steady heat over a short range, the inverter technology maintains an even percentage of power. Several microwaves alternate between low and high heat when you heat something at less than 100% power.

With the constant temperature of inverter technology, it is possible to make better-quality poached fish and omelets. Panasonic, Farberware, LG, and Samsung offer microwaves with inverter technology.

Grilling: By surrounding the food with intense heat, a grill option sears the outside of the food and prevents the rubbery texture that sometimes results from cooking meat in a microwave. Samsung offers a slim fry feature that combines grilling with hot air circulation to create crispy food inside and out without added oil.

Steam: Streaming is a convenient way to quickly prepare foods such as vegetables and fish; the steaming option keeps food moist without adding fat. This handsome cooking method also allows you to poach eggs in your microwave.

Top Microwave Brands

   Samsung

   Panasonic

   LG

   Bajaj

   IFB

   Morphy

   Lifelong

   Godrej

   Whirlpool

   Pigeon

   Inalsa

   American Micronic

   Agaro

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