A microwave is one of the most useful appliances that adds value to a kitchen. Owning a microwave does not just make your time spent in the kitchen easy and fast but it also helps in bringing out that hidden chef in you. We all know that microwave ovens are time-saving. However, it is also important to pick the right microwave according to your needs and usage. If you are wondering what are the various things you need to consider, our microwave buying guide will walk you through it.
There are various types of microwaves, with different features and capacity. An ideal microwave can be used for a minimum of 10 years. This happens only when you choose the right model. So, how do you know if you have made the right choice? Read through our microwave buying guide to determine the various aspects to mull over before making a choice.
Types of Microwave
The first important aspect that we will talk about in our microwave buying guide is, ‘type’. The different types of microwaves in India consist of solo, grill, convection and oven toaster grill. Which microwave is perfect for your kitchen depends on your cooking style and choice. Let’s take a look at what sets them apart from each other.
Out of all the types, solo microwaves are the most basic and simplest models. These microwaves are best suited for basic functions like heating, defrosting and cooking simple recipes like pasta or coffee. Moreover, a solo microwave does not support grilling and backing options. As these microwaves are the most basic types, they are available in a very economical price range. Additionally, a solo microwave is most suitable for bachelors and a household with 2 members.
Similar to a solo microwave, a grill microwave comes with the addition of a grill. These microwaves can be used for heating, cooking and grilling. The grill function on these microwaves combines both microwave-only and grilling function to cook the food. They are comparatively more high-priced compared to solo microwaves. However, these microwaves cannot be used for baking purposes.
If you enjoy baking and trying out new recipes in the kitchen, then a convection microwave is apt for you. These microwaves support all the necessary functions like heating, cooking, grilling and baking. The grilling and baking functions can be combined or used independently on a convection microwave. As these microwaves offer various cooking functions, they are also expensive compared to the other models.
Oven Toaster Grill
Oven toaster grill also known as OTG is used for functions like baking, grilling and toast. OTG’s are mostly preferred by professional chefs and bakers. An Oven Toaster Grill will take a lot of time to heat and cool. Also, they consume a lot of power. So, if you are an amateur with love for cooking, then a convection microwave should be your pick.
Space & Location
The next thing on our microwave buying guide is space and location. You need to be sure about where in the kitchen you will be placing your microwave and how much space you can spare. One question you need to ask yourself is will you place the microwave on the counter or have it inbuilt? The type and size of the microwave will depend on this majorly. If you buy an overly large microwave and do not have space to place it in the kitchen, it spoils the purpose of having a microwave.
The size of a microwave is measured in litres. So, higher the litres, more food can be cooked at one go. Nevertheless, how many litres microwave you should choose depends on the number of people living in the house. Take a look at the table below to understand what capacity is ideal for your house.
Types of Panels
It is the control panel which gives you complete access to operate a microwave. All the buttons on the control panel are assigned to perform various functions. The different types of panels include:
Just like a touchscreen smartphone, a feather touch microwave can sense and respond to a slight touch of your finger. A microwave with feather touch control panel looks more aesthetic and elegant. Additionally, these high-end microwaves are also easy to clean.
Microwaves with mechanical controls are the most basic and entry-level models found in the market. These microwaves come with a dial for operating various settings and temperature. These microwaves can withstand rough usage and last for a long duration.
Similar to the mechanical panel, tact dial panels can also withstand rough usage. Even the design is similar to a mechanical dial, with the differentiation of electronic circuits for operation. These jog-wheel control microwaves are easy to understand and operate.
Features to Look for
After you have narrowed down on the type, capacity and panel, here are some of the features that you can look for.
Most bakery items like cakes, bread and cookies require the microwave to reach a certain temperature before being cooked. In this feature, you can turn on the microwave and let it pre-heat to your desired temperature before starting off with your grilling or baking.
If your refrigerator is stocked at all times with leftover or frozen foods, then you most certainly need a microwave with the defrost feature. The defrost function will thaw and get rid of all the ice to unfreeze the food.
The dishes become exceptionally hot when they come out of the oven. It is advisable to have child-proof doors on microwaves. The keypad can be used to lock and release the door handles.
The auto cook menu enables new recipes with the same food items. Enter the weight and leave the rest to this feature so that a new dish is cooked.
Be wise enough to choose a microwave with a turntable. The added advantage of this type is that you do not need to turn the dish every other time you do your microwave cooking.
Most microwaves these days definitely come with this feature. You can set a particular amount of time to cook the food. Once the time is up, the microwave will automatically stop the cooking process and ring a bell to let you know that your food is ready.
The power consumption in a microwave is measured in watts. A microwave is more efficient when the voltage is higher. However, this depends on the type of food that you generally cook. If you are going to be cooking meals for a huge family, then you need a microwave with higher watts. Similarly, if your cooking is going to be limited to a minimal number, then a less watt microwave will suffice.
So, we come to the end of our microwave buying guide 2018. If you are ready to make a choice, you can also take a look at our list of popular microwaves in 2018. You can also take a look at our microwave buying guide infographic by clicking here.