Types of microwave ovens you need to know about

Is it time to buy a new microwave oven?

Types of microwave ovens you need to know about

Are you a single parent? Or an overworked college student? Or perhaps just someone who’s general idea of a hobby isn’t spending time sweating over the stove? Chances are then, that the microwave is perhaps one of your best, if not the best, friends of all. If that is the case, then we’re sure you’d be interested to know that today happens to be Microwave Oven Day! That’s right! As humble an appliance as it is, microwave ovens happen to be one of the most influential inventions of all time.

How were microwaves invented?

The microwave, like many other famous inventions, was invented by accident in 1945 by an engineer named Percy Spencer. Spencer was leading a radar project for the defense giant, Raytheon. While testing a new vacuum tube called magnetron, he discovered that a chocolate bar in his pocket melted due to the heat. He then decided to try another experiment by placing some popcorn kernels near the magnetron, which began to pop soon after. He realised that the low-density energy from the magnetron could cook food quickly, and thus, the first microwave was born.

Types of microwave ovens and how to buy the right one

Now, don’t worry. We won’t bore you with a history lesson, but here is a little microwave 101 to help you make the right choice, when you happen to be looking for one! Have you ever wondered if all microwave ovens are the same? Sure, they do look the same, and are all made on the same basic premise, right?

Actually, no! Microwave ovens, depending upon a number of criteria such as wattage, capacity and functions, are of many different types! While some of their features may overlap, there are three basic types of microwave ovens one can purchase, depending upon their usage.

Types of microwave ovens you need to know about
Convection microwave ovens

Convection microwave ovens have a heating element which creates heatwaves and a fan which distributes the heatwaves in an efficient manner to heat and bake food evenly. They mostly have capacities of between one and two cubic feet, and wattage ranging from 800-1,700 watts. The most feature rich of all types, convection microwave ovens can be used to cook a number of dishes, ranging from the humble dal khichri to pizza, as well as cakes, muffins and cookies!

In addition to standard features, convection ovens are also offered with features such as inverter compatibility, keep warm, sensor reheating, smart cooking, and so on. Bearing in mind the range of functions they can perform simultaneously, convection ovens are more often than not, used in commercial kitchens.

Some convection microwave ovens also perform the function of grilling food, adding flavour to it, and the classic charred marks which we so love! Convection grill microwaves are an easy, affordable alternative for you if you enjoy throwing outdoor barbeques for friends and family on a warm Sunday afternoon, but do not have the space or time to do so. Grill ovens more often than not lack the myriad of features one sees in convection microwave ovens, but are more complex than solo microwave ovens.

Solo microwave ovens

Solo microwave ovens as the name suggests, are the most vanilla of all three varieties, and are intended only for basic functions such as reheating food and beverages, and defrosting. Solo microwaves achieve this by using electromagnetic radiation produced from a magnetron. The waves it produces, causes the molecules in food to vibrate and produce heat, ensuring the food is cooked.

The turntable on which the food is placed and cooked ensures that it is cooked evenly. Solo microwave ovens have capacities ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 cubic feet, and have a wattage ranging from anywhere between 500 to 1500 watts. Owing to their limited functionality and basic design, they are mostly suited for quick use to heat food in office pantries, and/or small households consisting of no more than two members. Solo microwaves aren’t suited to cooking, but one can use them make basic poached eggs, instant noodles, tea or coffee, and so on.

Well, there we have it! We do hope you enjoyed reading our two cents on the humble little microwave. If you’re still wondering which ones to purchase, head on over to our buying guide!

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