Microwave ovens are excellent kitchen appliances known for heating, reheating, defrosting, grilling, and even baking. They may be utilized to prepare various meals and foods, such as chicken grills, popcorn, muffins, kebabs, pizza, and even reheat frozen food. It speeds up your cooking process and saves your energy and time. However, buying a microwave is not so easy.
The most crucial decision to make when purchasing a microwave oven is the type of microwave oven to choose because there are a wide variety of microwaves available in the market. People often get confused as to which type of microwave oven is best for home use.
You must select a microwave that is appropriate for your requirements and purposes. In this article, I’ll explain the different microwave oven types and their features, uses, etc.
Microwave Oven Types And Uses
Microwave ovens come in a variety of sizes and styles for use in the kitchen. You must select a microwave oven type that is suitable for your needs. There are three primary types to consider when it comes to microwave oven types and their uses: solo, grill, and conventional. Let’s have an in-depth understanding of each one of them.
1. Convection Microwave Oven
Convection microwaves come with a heating element and a fan that creates heatwaves and circulates hot air respectively for speeding up the cooking or baking process. The fan distributes the heatwaves effectively and consistently so that food bakes evenly.
These are the most high-end devices since they can grill and bake separately or together. If you are someone who loves to bake muffins, cakes, pizzas, cookies, etc., a convection oven is a must-have. However, a convection Microwave is the costliest out of all the primary types of microwaves.
Convection microwave ovens have capacities ranging from 1-2 cubic feet. Furthermore, they have wattage ranging from 800 to 1,700 watts. While wattage is crucial, it may not be as significant with convection ovens due to the difference in the cooking mechanism.
Convection ovens are available in three configurations: countertop, over the range, and built-in. The price of a microwave isn’t related much to its capacity and power. Moreover, the most costly convection oven has a 1.4 cubic foot capacity and 1,600 watts of power (as per the reviews). The cost of a convection oven is not exclusively determined by its capacity and wattage. The price of a convection microwave shall depend on several factors such as brand, location, finish, installation, features offered, etc. If all of these features and uses convince you to buy a convection microwave, you should read our article on the best convection microwave in India to choose a convection microwave that fulfils all of your needs and is good value for money.
All of the features of the solo and grill microwaves are available in the convection microwave, like child lock mechanism, digital clocks, timers, etc. However, it may also include the following features:
- Sensor reheating
- Inverter compatibility
- Keep warm
- Durable and premium glass door
- Easy cleaning
- Smart cooking
Microwave ovens are small ovens that cook a variety of dishes quickly. Some of the dishes that I have cooked in a microwave include Kale Chips, Moong Dal and Khichdi. You can find these recipes by clicking on the links. Convection microwaves can also be used to bake cakes, cookies and bread and make pizza, popcorn and chicken.
These microwaves are most commonly seen in commercial kitchens and high-end household kitchens. The convection microwave oven will not be found at your workplace/office, in a dorm, or at your college. Now that you know the uses of convection microwave ovens, let us see why you should buy this type of oven.
- They cook food/meals uniformly
- The cooking time is shorter
- You can prepare more than one dish simultaneously
- With multiple racks, you get more flexibility to cook and keep dishes as per your preference
- Improved crisping and browning
2. Solo Microwave Oven
A solo microwave oven means a basic or entry-level microwave oven intended primarily for reheating your food and beverages, cooking noodles, and defrosting frozen food items. Solo microwave ovens cook by using electromagnetic radiation produced from a magnetron and are therefore different from convection microwave ovens. It transforms energy into heat, which subsequently cooks the food, using watts.
The food and drinks are cooked by combining a turntable and watts. The job of the turntable is to ensure that the item is cooked evenly throughout. They can be utilized in domestic as well as commercial kitchens. Solo microwaves are found in various places, including offices, compact apartments, and commercial kitchens.
These microwave ovens are known as microwaves, and it’s named so because they do not consist of basic design and lots of features. For household microwaves, solo microwaves have a wattage ranging from 550 to 1500W. However, this microwave’s most usual wattage is around 1,000 watts.
Mostly, the cost is determined by the combination of watts and oven capacity. The higher the wattage, the larger the oven capacity and the more expensive it is. It is advisable to choose a microwave with the highest wattage. What’s more interesting is you will find good features with a solo microwave having high watts.
Solo microwave ovens have capacities ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 cubic feet. To give you an idea, 0.5 cubic feet is around a gallon of milk, which isn’t enough to cook most items. Microwaves with a cubic foot of 0.6 generally have a power output below 900 watts.
Solo microwaves can cost anywhere from 4000 to 15000 rupees depending on various factors such as features, Watts, capacity, finish, features offered, and brand. Plastic, stainless steel, and aluminum are the 3 kinds of finishes available for Solo microwaves. The cheapest of all is plastic, followed by aluminum, followed by stainless steel. The price of microwaves increases by at least 5% if it is made of stainless steel. Additionally, the cost is also influenced by the brand. The products from well-known and highly-recognized brands cost significantly more.
These types of microwave ovens are generally found on countertops. Nevertheless, they can also be mounted underneath a cabinet to save some room. Solo microwaves are ideal for small and medium-sized families that use them just a few times per week.
Of the 3 categories of microwaves, solo microwaves have the least amount functions. Most of these microwaves have express cooking (numbers 1–6 corresponding to the number of minutes to cook), a quick-start feature for the most cooked meals, and defrost option. In addition, they also come with digital clocks, child-lock mechanisms, and timers.
Solo microwaves are most commonly utilized for reheating leftovers, heating drinks or food dishes, and defrosting meat. In addition, they can be utilized for defrosting food and even for making pasta or rice rapidly. Even though you can prepare bigger dishes, the flavor won’t be the same as it would be in convection or grill microwave. In addition, low-wattage solo microwaves might not evenly cook your food like grill/convection ovens.
Why should you choose solo microwave ovens:
- They are budget-friendly and some of the best microwaves can be found under 5000 rupees.
- Easy to use and clean
- Requires low maintenance
- Small and compact
- It can be utilized for heating, reheating, and defrosting as well
- Rapid cooking of food
- Comes with timer
3. Grill Microwave Oven
These microwaves allow families to enjoy the taste of grilled food without having to use an outdoor grill. Grill microwaves can be utilized to prepare pizza, chicken, and fish and do everything a regular microwave can. These use specific grill heaters and other equipment to cook meals. You can do grilling, toasting, as well as roasting by using these special cooking coils.
These microwaves cost a bit more than solo microwaves and considerably less than convection microwaves simply because they are so different from microwaves. With a simple push of a button, the grilling features can be turned on. Grill microwaves appear to be far less popular than solo or convection microwaves. This could be because grill microwaves are simple one-button devices or because customers do not believe the microwaves could be used for grilling.
Most grill microwaves have a power range of 900 to 1,700 watts. The higher the wattage, the quicker the cooking duration. The capacity of a microwave and pricing rises as the wattage increase. Higher wattage will be necessary for grill microwaves, as they will not achieve the same grilling flavor. The oven capacity of grill microwaves is far lesser than solo microwave ovens. Their capacity could be anywhere between 1-2.5 cubic feet. The 1,000-watt microwave has a 1.0-cubic-foot capacity.
Even a grill microwave’s pricing is determined by its physical placement (countertop/over the range), brand, features, finish oven capacity, and watts. They cost anything from $85 to $600, depending on the factors described above. The budget of grill microwaves is substantially wider than that of solo microwaves. A majority of the grill microwaves come with a stainless steel finish. As previously said, it is considered a premium characteristic, resulting in a significant price increase.
These types of microwaves can be installed over the range, positioned on a countertop, or fitted underneath a cabinet. The ones set above the range generally have extra features such as fans, vents, and lighting that the countertop microwaves do not. A grill microwave is most likely found in commercial or domestic kitchens due to its pricing and functionality.
These microwaves are ideal for single families who plan on cooking many times per week. Additionally, they are suitable for people who live in apartments or condos and want the taste of grilled food but don’t have access to one.
Grill microwave ovens come with a variety of features such as power grill, eco mode, plus combo grilling, and turntable on/ off. Combination grilling has the advantage of cooking meals in less time. The feature power grill enables you to utilize only the grill. Using this feature might slow down your cooking process. One should use the turntable OFF feature in case they are cooking with any grill features. The eco mode enables the users to use less energy, save money, and cut down on their electric bills.
Grill Microwave ovens can be utilized to make popcorns, heat leftover food/soups/drinks, and defrost. You can also cook fish, chicken, and steak with these microwaves, just like you would on an outdoor grill. Moreover, they are suitable for almost any type of cuisine and any size of food. The one exception is that these microwave ovens are fantastic at baking.
Why should you use grill microwaves:
- Prepare a wide range of foods
- Defrost your meal
- Grill your meal in the same manner as the hotel’s BBQ grill
- It’s simple to clean
- It’s simple to maintain
- Cooking time is reduced
4. Other Types of Microwave
a) Countertop Microwave
Placing the microwave on the counter is the most basic option. These microwaves can be purchased at a very reasonable price (most over the counter microwaves come under 10000 rupees) without compromising on the quality or features. When you require customized placements, the price generally rises.
Another advantage of a countertop microwave is that you can move it about the kitchen quite easily. You won’t be able to accomplish that with any built-in models. However, it’s not the best location since it’s lower and uses up counter space. However, in case you got no choice, it’s preferable to have it on the counter than nothing at all. If possible, install your countertop microwave in an area where you won’t require much counter space.
b) Over The Range Microwave
An over-the-range microwave oven is usually found above the stove. It is used for 2 reasons: it’s an ideal location for a microwave oven and serves as a hood above the stove. You can choose between two types of over-the-range microwave ovens: conventional or convection.
It’s up to you to decide which one is best for you. Additionally, there is a slew of other features that can come in handy. The lights and vent fans are two things you’ll have to deal with in the case of the over-the-top microwave oven. When designing your microwave oven room, envision the style of lighting and fan you want to use. The lights can be installed beneath or above the stove/induction.
The disadvantage of over-the-range microwaves is that they are more expensive. A majority of them are over $100 and go up to several hundred dollars. Additionally, you may require assistance in placing the unit above the stove, which may increase the cost.
c) Under The Counter Microwave
It is a basic form of microwave that’s modified to be fitted into the cabinetry of your kitchen. Any homeowner with a small kitchen will appreciate the under cabinet microwave. This appliance’s elegant form makes it an appropriate accent to any kitchen, and its small size eliminates the need to stress about where to keep your new equipment. Furthermore, some models include a venting system that may be easily integrated into your current cabinet. However, a disadvantage to these microwave ovens is that you have to bend down every time for using them.
d) Built-in Microwave
If you’re remodeling your kitchen, a built-in microwave oven is a great option. These microwave ovens allow you to bake or grill whenever you want. You’re adding a piece of décor to your kitchen when you install a built-in microwave oven. As a result, you must select a microwave oven that complements the décor of your kitchenette.
These types of microwave ovens leave a lot of room for counter space. When buying a microwave oven, you may or may not have a budget in mind. If you want to get one of these, you need to set a large budget. The pricing of different models of microwave ovens differs. A built-in microwave oven is a costly kitchen appliance. It’s an investment, so even if you consider buying it, you’re investing.
With this, we come to the end of our article on microwave oven types. It is important to select a microwave that you would enjoy using, or you will have to settle for something less competent and efficient. Moreover, pick a variant that is in alignment with your preferences and requirements. Hence, it is prudent for you to consider all the types and features of the microwave before buying one.