Microwave oven Buyers guide
Be it defrosting frozen food, popping corns, steaming ldlis or grilling meat, Microwave ovens can be used to heat food or cook complete meals in minutes. With simplified settings and intuitive features anyone can use a Microwave easily, even if they haven’t mastered stovetop cooking.
How a Microwave oven works
A Microwave oven uses ‘micro’ or radio waves to heat food. It does not use fire in any form but uses electromagnetic waves to heat food particles. It does this by agitating water and fat molecules present in the food.
This energy gets convert. into heat that cooks the food. And that too uniformly. Another important benefit of electromagnetic waves is that it is not absorbed by many kinds of plastic, glass or ceramics.
Hence it is safe to heat or cook food only in vessels made from these materials.
Choosing the right kind of Microwave oven
Before purchasing a Microwave oven consider the following:
What is your primary use for the oven
Microwave ovens come in 3 different types — Solo. Grill & Convection. Think of the main reason why you want to purchase a Microwave oven – and the type of the most cooked cuisine.
Solo Microwave oven
This is the basic kind of Microwave oven. It comes with a ‘Microwave only’ mode. It provides uniform heating for defrosting, reheating or cooking food. However, you cannot grill or bake in a solo Microwave oven.
Grill Microwave oven
A Grill Microwave oven is a Solo Microwave oven equipped with heating coils and can be used to grill, toast or roast food. The grill function comes as a mode or setting and requires use of a grilling plate or a metal rack, which ensures that the food is close to the grill. This type of Microwave oven is ideal for making kebabs, tikkas and parathas.
Convection Microwave Oven
A Convection Microwave oven uses a combination of the two technologies – microwave and convection. It can be used to bake anything from cookies and cakes to lasagnas and pizzas. Unlike a regular or a Solo Microwave oven a Convection Microwave oven lets the food cook through to be real crisp. It does this by using a fan and a heating element to circulate hot air uniformly in the Microwave oven. Ana result the food takes time to cook and comes out ‘browner’ than would be possible in a Solo Microwave oven.
Think about the cuisines you would cook and choose the appropriate model from the table alongside.
The capacity of a Microwave oven is measured in liters (L), which is the volume of space available inside. While deciding the size it is important to consider the space available for installing the Microwave oven.
Features to look for in a Microwave oven
Microwaves are available with an array of features. The more the features, the more the price. Some of the useful features to look out for while comparing models are:
Metal body finish
Plastic, which is economical, is replac. with a shiny or matt finish metal body.
Apart from improving the aesthetics this is more durable, long lasting and easier to clean.
M automatic sensor measures the humidity of food to determine if the food is cooksd properly or not When the food is cook., the Microwave oven gets turn. off automatically.
This prevents the food from overcooking or burning. You will ne. to enter the food type and quantity for the sensor to deliver accurate resul..
Auto defrost makes the task of defrosting a breeze. All you need to do is enter the type of food and its weight and the microwave selects the best program for you.
It will defrost all types of food like Chicken or Paneer, without cooking it.
Many microwaves come with auto settings for common recipes likc Oatmeal. Pasta, Pizza, Idli, Popcorn, Chicken Tikka, etc.
You can insert these racks and cook more than one food at a time. This can help you saves time and energy, especially if you cook in small portions.
Child Safety Lock
An electronic feature that prevents children from operating the microwave by putting a number lock. Consider investing in this only if you have children at home or will have young kids at some point.
Safety precautions while using a Microwave oven
- Don’t use the Microwave for deep-frying, canning, or heating baby bottles.
These applications don’t allow adequate temperature control for safe results.
- Do NOT use metal utensils inside Microwaves.
Use only Microwave safe utensils.
- Only use Microwave safe glass utensils for foods that get particularly hot.
Hot food melts some plastics, such as butter tubs, causing migration of plastic into the food.
Tips on Microwave oven usage
- Leave a portion of the bowl/cooking utensil uncovered.
This allows the steam to escape.
- While cooking a larger amount pause and stir the contents a few
This ensures that the food is heated evenly and there are no ‘cold
- After removing an item from a Microwave oven leave it to stand for 2-3 minutes.
This will allow the heat to continue to spread