Thanks to the development of microwave oven technology, there are now many different types of microwave oven available on the market; but, with having different features and the ability to do different things, it can be difficult to know which one to buy. This guide aims to help you out when it comes to choosing the best microwave oven to suit both the style of your kitchen and your lifestyle.
This is also known as a solo microwave and is a microwave oven in the standard form, heating up and defrosting food. This simple style of microwave is often all that most households require – reheating leftovers, warming a ready meal when there’s no time to cook, or even bringing a forgotten cup of coffee back to life. Food that is safe to be frozen can also be defrosted in a solo microwave. These microwaves don’t brown food like an oven would, but they’re an excellent time saver when it comes to cooking.
The combination microwave gets its name from being an oven and microwave combined; as well as heating food quickly, it can also crisp and brown when required, just like an oven would – so really you are getting the best of both worlds – hence why the microwave and oven combo tend to be a little more expensive than other models. Most microwave combi ovens come also come with grills, using their convection heating properties to cook food in a similar way to a real oven.
Grill microwaves possess all the defrosting, reheating and cooking properties of a regular microwave, but also have a grill function, meaning they can brown and grill food, most coming complete with a special metal rack that doesn’t damage the microwave oven like normal metal would. These microwaves are often a little more expensive than regular microwaves due to the additional grilling function, which also makes them great for cooking pizza!
Flatbed microwaves don’t include a spinning plate like a traditional microwave would and as a result, they are designed to cook dishes more evenly. The food doesn’t need to spin around, and so different shaped dishes can fit inside, and the cleaning element is a lot easier.
Which microwave is best for you?
Choosing and buying a microwave that’s right for you all depends on what you want to use your microwave for, how often you’re going to use it and the type of food you’re going to be cooking in it.
Reheat, defrost, and make food quickly – All that you need to do this is a standard microwave, which is also a great money saver.
Defrost, Reheat and effectively cook and brown food – If you’re going to rely on a microwave to cook your meals in the same way an oven would (using convection heating) then your best bet is the combination microwave.
Reheat, defrost, healthy cooking – The microwave and grill of course performs all of the expected functions of a regular microwave but with the addition of a grill setting. This won’t allow you to grill quite like you would on open heat usually provides a raised platform so foods like meat can cook and the fat can drain off, making for a healthier cooking alternative.
What style of Microwave will fit in your kitchen?
Microwaves are built in a range of different styles, suiting different kitchen set ups. Here are the most common:
These are easy to install as they are placed on top of your kitchen counter and simply plugged in, meaning they have great portability and can be moved to different places in the kitchen or can be stored in a cupboard or out of sight when not in use if you wish. There are some fantastic designs that can fit in with, if not complement your kitchen’s existing décor and style.
A built in microwave
If you like things clean and tidy, you might choose to have a microwave built in to your kitchen, sitting close to your oven for a unified finish. The benefits of this not only include neatness but also the fact that a significant amount of counter space is freed up, which can be ideal for small kitchens.