How to select microwave oven suitable for your family

Microwave ovens are great kitchen appliance to reheat, grill or even bake. Microwave ovens are helpful in cooking a wide range of recipes and food items including popcorn, chicken grills, kebabs, pizza, muffins, even reheat the frozen food. It cooks in minutes, saving time and energy.
Do you know if you buy Grill type microwave oven then you cannot use it for baking !!! There are several factors to consider before selecting the best microwave oven for your home, based on your family size, food habits and other good to have features. We hope below buying tips will help you in selecting right microwave oven. In fact, you can use our microwave oven selector as well to choose the right microwave oven.

Microwave oven types

Most important decision during microwave oven selection is which microwave oven type to buy. There are three types of microwave ovens are available in the market.

  • Solo microwave oven
    Solo microwave ovens are entry level models in microwave oven category for simple cooking. Best fit: for Reheat, simple cooking
  • Grill microwave oven
    Grill Microwave ovens are provided with additional grilling accessories. They are best suitable to grill meat or vegetables like Paneer.
  • Convection microwave oven
    Convection microwave ovens use a fan and a heating element to create air flow patterns inside the microwave oven. Best for grilling and baking. For example, IFB 20SC2 convection microwave is most popular convection microwave oven.

The decision is based on what you cuisine you want to cook. Based on the cuisine you can choose the right type of microwave oven from the below table.

Food to cookSoloGrillConvection
Re-heat food
Milk, Tea, Coffee
Rice, Noodles, Pasta
Pop-Corn
Grill Paneer
Kebabs
Grilled Items
Tandoori Chicken
Brownies
Cakes & Breads
Pizza

You can check best Solo microwave ovensGrill microwave ovensConvection microwave ovens links to know more about best solo, grill and convection microwave ovens. Read more on microwave oven types.

Microwave oven capacity guide

The capacity of the microwave oven is measured in liters. It is the indicator for how much food you can cook at one go. As said above, Microwave capacity depends on your family size and usage. Follow above section on microwave oven usage and corresponding microwave type mapping. Below we are listing a table to calculate the capacity.

Ideal capacity of microwave oven depends on the family size and usage Someone famous in oven selection 😉

Essentially it says for a small family, for Solo type micro oven, 15-20 liters is enough, But for the same small family, for Grill or Convection type 21-30 liters is sufficient. The large family it requires 25-30 liters for Solo type For other types, it would be 32 liters and above. Read more on microwave capacity guide.

Family sizeUsageIdeal capacity

(2 to 4 members)
Solo Microwave Oven15 to 20 Liters

(2 to 4 members)
Grill Microwave Oven or
Convection Microwave Oven
21 to 30 Liters

(4 to 6 members)
Solo Microwave Oven25 to 30 Liters

(4 to 6 members)
Grill Microwave Oven or
Convection Microwave Oven
32 Liters and above

Microwave technology

Microwaves are electromagnetic radiations, the combination of electrical and magnetic waves. Microwave wavelengths ranges from one meter to one millimeter. These waves are generated inside the oven by electron tube called Magnetron. Thats why Magnetron is core components of microwave oven. When you turn on the microwave this Magnetron releases microwaves inside the oven compartment. Microwaves have particular property due to which water molecules in the food vibrate and generate the heat. This is the microwave oven principle and the way food is cooked in microwave. This is the reason it is difficult to cook completely dry items in the microwave oven.Popular Microwave Articles

Microwave hazards and safety

  • Do not put metal substances or metal utensils inside the microwave oven
  • Use only microwave-safe plastic utensils
  • Make sure glass utensils are microwave safe
  • Do not put baby milk bottles in the microwave oven.
  • Use microwave oven gloves while baking as convection microwave oven. The microwave oven inside will be very hot during the baking process.
  • Internet is full of rumors that microwave ovens contaminate food with radiation. Please see Food and Drug association of America (FDA) published on their website that microwave ovens do not contaminate food. There is no health risk in eating microwave cooked food.

Microwave oven features

Here the some of common words, phrases that are used in microwave description while online purchasing. To know the meaning of each microwave descriptive words, you can refer below list.

Child lock

If you have children in your home, they may accidentally put their hand in the microwave. So these features provide a child lock facility. Generally this child lock is facilitated with the help of code which act like a password to unlock. Convection microwave oven interiors get very hot when you bake and child lock is must feature in that case.

Auto cook

In case you want to simplify the cooking, this option will do the need. Economic or low-end microwaves won’t have this feature. You don’t need to set time, and power configuration, all you have to do is to specify the dish type, that’s it.

Power consumption

Apart from that there is power setting, Higher the voltage, it will be more efficient and quicker. If you like to cook heavy food items or bulk quantities for a large family, consider a more powerful microwave. If you cook food only for one or two people, then a less powerful microwave is enough. The same feature is called as ‘Power Levels’ as well.

Defrost

It is a microwave operation specialized in heating the frozen food. Say you want to heat the yesterday curry from the refrigerator this is the right option to use.

Preheat

Before you start cooking and follow the recipes the oven needs to reach certain temperature. So you need to turn on the microwave oven and wait for some time till it is hot or reached the required temperature. The above process is called as preheating. Look for the preheating time required for the microwave oven in the specifications before you make purchase.

Auto Cook Menu

Auto cook makes the cooking with microwave is cakewalk, surprisingly very simple. In fact auto cook menu feature is crux of ‘quick microwave recipes’. When you cook in microwave oven you need to specify few settings like power wattage and cooking duration, which can be difficult for beginners. But with this auto cook menu feature all you need to do is to simple specify dish type you want to cook, depending on the food weight microwave will auto adjust the power wattage and time. For example to make popcorn all you need to do is to press pop corn button, thats it.

Timer

Allow you to configure the cooking duration. You can specify how long the microwave to operate from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. Depending on the panel type either with knob or with LCD touch you can specify the duration of cooking.

Panel Types

There are three types of control panel types, namely Mechanical, Tact Dial Type, Feather Touch. Mechanical, Tact Dial usually comes in low-end models and can handle rough usage. Feather Touch panels add the design of your microwave. It can sense your fingers, just like a touch-screen phone. Feather Touch usually comes in a high-end models.

Microwave oven accessories

Online stores are full with various microwave accessories including microwave oven gloves, microwave safe cookware, utensils, bowls, vessels, microwave stand to mount on to the wall in case you do not have enough space on kitchen dashboard. Microwave oven cover is also helpful to cover if microwave is used rarely.

Rotisserie

Rotisserie accessory is a special grilling accessory. It is a steel base bar that works on motor system to ensure perfect grilling. Grilling of chicken, mutton, paneer can be easily done by rotisserie bar. But rotisserie grilling accessory that comes along with only few Microwave Ovens and microwave ovens with rotisserie accessory costs one to two thousand rupees extra. Once again there are two variants in rotisserie – horizontal rotisserie bar and vertical rotisserie bar. Relatively horizontal rotisserie has better heat distribution. IFB 30BRC2 microwave is the most popular rotisserie convection microwave oven.

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