Do you need a high quality microwave for all your heating and defrosting needs?
Or you prefer just a grill or combination microwave?
Perhaps, a little in-depth research will reveal the best microwave that will suit your needs within your budget.
What type of microwave do I need?
Generally, there are 3 types of microwave you can get which include;
- Microwave Only : This type of microwave can only help you to heat up and defrosts your food
- Combination Microwave: Also known as combo, with this microwave, you can roast, heat, crisp and brown your foods like you do when using a conventional oven.
These types of microwaves are also referred to as “solo” microwave. They are simply basic microwave however they are perfecr for simple tasks such as warming up your soup, reheating your cup of coffee, cooking potatoes or just heating your meal before eating. They can also be used for defrosting food.
If all you need is just a simple efficient way to complete heating tasks in less time than it would take when using a conventional gas or electric oven, then the basic microwave is a very good option for you. However, bear in mind that these basic microwave don’t brown food. They can’t compete with ovens and cookers when it comes to little sophisticated tasks like grilling or roasting meat.
- Microwave-only are cheapest type of microwaves.
- They are widely available in different models giving you an option to choose as you like.
- They are very portable
- Simpler design
- Good for defrosting, heating and reheating
- Their functions are limited when compared to combi microwaves
- Solo microwaves cannot roast or brown foods
Let’s take a look at how combination microwaves work. This type of microwave offers you more cooking flexibility than your everyday basic solo microwave. This is mostly because – as the name suggests – combination microwave combines a grill, a microwave energy and also allows convection heating (I.e. fanned hot air) hence you can be able to use them to roast, heat, re-heat, crisp and brown your food just like you do with a large conventional oven. If you are looking to do more than just heat up your soup or defrost your food, a combination microwave would be the best fit for you. With combination microwave; you can bake your cake and even be able to cook with the heat sources independently or together.
Combination microwave also offers you more advanced option like setting the time to cook your meal and the correct combination of microwave, grill and convection automatically. You may need to read the instructions on the manual of your microwave to know guidelines for cooking various items.
Accessories like rice steamers, vegetables and browning shelves can help you get the right finish and also make delicious, appetizing healthy meals.
- Offer extra cooking options than basic solo microwave
- You can use it to cook just like conventional oven – but quicker
- It comes loaded with extra auto functions and features
- More expensive than other microwaves
- Bigger than solo microwaves
- Can take more time to understand the functionalities
This type of microwave has a combination of normal microwave cooking with a heating element. You can use grill microwaves to carry out all the normal duties of a standard microwave, which include; defrosting a ready meal, cooking a jacket potato, heating and re-heating your dinner and so on. However, the grill function that comes with this type of microwaves allows you to brown food. If you want to cook more complex meals, grill microwave gives you the option of cooking with a combination of microwave energy and heat from the grill.
Grill Microwaves are equipped with metal racks in order to bring your food closer to the grill element.
- It can perform general microwave cooking functions.
- You can use it to crisp and brown your food
- Great for making Pizzas
- Comes with a metal rack to bring food closer to the grill
- It does not allow convectional heating just a combination microwave
- More expensive than the basic microwave
What To Consider Before Buying Your Next Microwave
Find out the oven size: Microwave ovens have two sizes; compact (usually .8 cubic feet) and full size (usually 1.2 cubic feet). If you are to choose the larger microwave ovens, you will have a higher wattage (power) than the usual compact oven. The wattage of microwave ovens ranges between 600 to 1,000 watts. Full size microwaves being produced recently may offer even higher wattages.
Consider microwave wattage: Microwave ovens with higher wattage cook faster than the ones with lower wattage
Consider features: Microwave ovens come with lots of sophisticated functionalities and feature such as defrost setting. Some microwave oven offer specialized cooking like TV dinner setting or a popcorn setting
Consider purchasing a microwave oven that has variable settings: The advantage of having a microwave with variable settings is that it allows you to choose the power setting required to prepare your food. Settings go from high to low, with 100% being high and 10% being low on most ovens. Meals like casserole or stews are typically cooked on 50%.
Consider purchasing a programmable microwave oven: The importance of this feature is that it allows you to program multiple cooking settings. For instance: You could program the microwave oven to start cooking the food at 100% power and then finish cooking it at 50% power
Consider purchasing a microwave oven with a turntable: The benefit of this feature is that it turns your dish automatically for you while cooking, so that you don’t have to stop and turn the dish yourself.