When choosing a microwave oven for your home, it is worth considering first of all the technical characteristics and functional features of the device.
We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the rating of the best microwave ovens according to reviews from experts and buyers.
- Which microwave oven to choose: what to look for
- Types of microwave ovens
- Types of microwave ovens by type of installation
- Types of microwave ovens for door placement
- Microwaves with hinged door
- Microwaves with a hinged door
- Heating modes
- The main criteria for choosing a microwave oven
- Additional functions
- Top manufacturers
- Microwave Oven Selection Video
Which microwave oven to choose: what to look for
When choosing a microwave oven, you should pay attention to the following parameters and characteristics of the device:
View (built-in and free-standing);
Door type (hinged or hinged);
Grill and convection;
The manufacturer of the device is also important.
Types of microwave ovens
Microwaves can be classified both by the type of installation (and then they are divided into built-in and free-standing), and by the way the door is located (hinged or hinged).
Types of microwave ovens by type of installation
While most microwaves are freestanding, recessed designs also exist. There are no special differences in technical characteristics between them, the only question is the presence of an external case.
Embedded do not have it. Instead, they integrate directly into the kitchen set. Therefore, these microwave ovens look very stylish. The only problem is that when repairing such a device, you will have to partially disassemble the kitchen set in order to take out the broken stove.
On the other hand, built-in microwave ovens do not take up the workspace, as free-standing ones do. In addition, devices designed for self-installation can be more powerful – due to the effective thermoregulation system through the holes in the housing.
If it is very important to preserve the work space in the kitchen by providing a large countertop area, you should pay attention to the built-in models. In all other cases, a free-standing one will do.
Types of microwave ovens for door placement
The door in microwave ovens can be hinged or hinged. They differ in the type of locking device.
Microwaves with hinged door
Microwaves with a hinged door do not have a separate locking device. Instead, conventional mechanical latches are used. The door itself is equipped with a handle, and opens if you pull it.
Microwaves with a hinged door
The hinged door is not equipped with a handle. Instead, there is a dedicated button on the front of the microwave to open the door.
It is better to choose a microwave oven with a hinged door. It has an ergonomic, flat front surface. In addition, it is safer to use, so it is better suited for use in homes with small children.
Microwaves use microwave radiation to heat food. However, depending on the functionality of the device, it can be supplemented with 'Grill' or convection functions.
Standard microwave ovens, also called 'mono', are designed to heat and defrost food. It is quite difficult to cook any dish in them – unless, of course, its composition is 'optimized' for this particular type of cooking.
In microwave ovens with the 'Grill' function, in addition to the microwave emitter, a heating element is also installed. Therefore, they can be used not only for heating, but also for preparing various dishes – including meat and fish. An important advantage of the 'Grill' function is the formation of an appetizing grilled crust.
In microwave ovens with the 'Convection' function, a heat exchange system is additionally installed. Thanks to the movement of hot air, such devices can cook baked goods and the like.
The more functions the microwave has, the better. However, in the 'Grill' mode and with active convection, energy consumption increases significantly. Also, additional functionality leads to an increase in the price of the device – microwave ovens with grill and convection cost from 10 thousand rubles, while 'mono' – from 2 thousand.
Nevertheless, if the budget allows, it is worth purchasing a multifunctional microwave oven.
The main criteria for choosing a microwave oven
Important characteristics that determine the functionality of a microwave oven are power, volume, cover material and type of control.
The temperature and heating rate of food depends on the power of the microwave oven. The higher it is, the faster the device will cope with defrosting or even cooking some dishes. For heating ready-made food, the power does not really matter (in particular, a dish that is heated in 1.5 minutes at 800 W will heat up at 500-600 W for 2 minutes).
Microwaves designed for 600-800 watts are optimal for home use. More powerful ones should be taken only if you plan to use them for cooking.
Not the most important parameter that doesn't really matter. The fact is that microwave waves penetrate into the product by about 2.5 cm, and the rest of the 'thickness' heats up due to natural heat exchange.
However, it will be difficult to fit large dishes into ultra-compact microwaves with a volume of less than 10 liters. Therefore, it is advisable to purchase devices with a capacity of more than 15 liters.
In microwave ovens, the coating of the inner container can be made of stainless steel, enamel or ceramic. There are also models with bioceramic enamel.
Stainless steel without additional coating is quite rare. This material is distinguished by its optimal practicality – it can easily wipe off dirt of almost any kind. Until scratches appear. Mechanical damage not only spoils the appearance of the surface, but also leads to the appearance of stubborn dirt that is difficult to remove even with the use of special cleaning agents.
Enamel coated stainless steel is more scratch resistant. However, mechanical damage leads to material degradation. However, it takes a lot of effort to scratch or chip the enamel. Therefore, this material is found in the vast majority of microwave oven models.
Common ceramics are often found in microwave ovens with grill and convection. The main advantage of this material lies in its excellent thermal insulation properties, which ensure that a high temperature remains in the working vessel of the device. However, ceramics darken over time and also tend to accumulate unpleasant odors due to their porous structure. Therefore, the recommended operating period for such microwave ovens is no more than 5 years.
Bioceramics are relieved of this disadvantage. It retains the thermal insulation properties of conventional ceramics, but at the same time has a dense and smooth structure. Therefore, this material does not darken over time, and also does not become impregnated with odors, and at the same time it is very easy to clean – it is easily washed off any dirt. .
The best materials for microwave ovens are enamelled steel and bioceramics. Therefore, it is worth choosing microwave ovens with such a coating. The only question is the price – enamel microwave ovens are inexpensive, while bioceramic ones are of the middle or premium class
The control system in microwave ovens can be mechanical or electronic. They differ not only structurally, but also in terms of ergonomics.
Mechanical control is two or three dials on the front panel. Through them, the operating mode (power or preset programs) and the timer are set.
Electronic control is a keyboard (mechanical, membrane or touch) on the front panel. Similarly, through it, the timer, power and operating mode are configured.
The type of control does not affect functionality. Only ease of use depends on it. In this case, choosing a microwave is based on your preferences.
Additional functions that determine the practical qualities of a microwave oven include:
Odor removal – ventilation mode of the working container of the microwave oven. It is quite convenient, especially if a ceramic coating is used and aromatic dishes were heated in the device;
Radiation protection – an automatic system that turns off the microwave when the door is open. Almost all devices are equipped with this mode;
The heating mode to the desired temperature is a fairly convenient and useful function that is found in electronically controlled microwave ovens;
Combination with a double boiler is realized by means of an additional accessory – a 'pot', in which water boils and a dish is prepared;
The automatic defrosting mode is intended, as the name implies, to defrost various foods. In it, the microwave independently determines the radiation intensity and other operating parameters. Therefore, the products are thawed, and not boiled;
The microwave uniform distribution system ensures accurate, all-round heating of the food. A fairly convenient function, thanks to which ready meals are warm, including inside;
Child protection – the function of blocking the start and control of the microwave until a certain button or key combination is pressed;
Programming recipes – the function of memorizing certain sets of settings (temperature, power, time, etc.) by the microwave. This function is useful only for people who often cook or heat the same food;
Smart features like connecting to Wi-Fi or launching from a smartphone. Useful modes for geeks or simply owners of a 'smart home'.
These functions make the microwave more convenient to use. Therefore, it is worth choosing models equipped with them based on your needs or just desires. Well, the budget, of course.
Some of the best microwave oven manufacturers are:
Samsung, Panasonic, Supra – in the budget and medium price segments;
LG, Bosch, BBK – in the middle and top price segments.
You can also highlight premium microwave ovens Panasonic with convection mode, but among the manufacturers of built-in models – the German company Siemens.
In the following articles, our experts will tell you how to choose the right multicooker for the whole family and the secrets of choosing a mini oven for the kitchen.
Microwave Oven Selection Video
Attention! This material is the subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a purchase guide.