How to choose the microwave?

Rohan Mathew

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This type of oven can be used to heat, grill, defrost and even cook! If you don’t have one yet, you’re not from this century. And if you have it, surely you have to renew it. On the kitchen worktop, built into the furniture, higher or lower … no matter where it is, the important thing is that it is. And it is that for decades the microwave has become the protagonist of the furniture of every self-respecting kitchen. And it is not lacking in dining rooms or cafes, offices …

There are some tasks in the kitchen, such as toasting or roasting, that remain the property of the conventional oven, the one that has always been the case. However, in many homes, the stress and busyness of daily life, and the rapidity with which the routine forces to cook, mean that the microwave is used more and more. While the oven, whether electric or gas, has become a household appliance for weekends or special occasions, the microwave is the faithful friend of every day. From the moment you put the cup of milk in the morning until you heat the tupper with lunch at the office or pre-cooked food at night, it is present in your daily life. Without forgetting that there are many microwave recipes.

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With grill or without grill?

As for its functionality, you will find them of various types depending on the uses you want to give it. You can be the typical one that only heats up, or a real cooker that squeezes the appliance to the maximum and uses it to make succulent dishes without the help of more pots or pans.

Microwave without grill: if you are one of those who only heat and defrost we recommend that you limit yourself to a simple microwave with which you do not complicate your life much. It is also advisable if you already have a conventional oven.

Microwave with grill: but if you are going to cook, grill, steam … even fry! (everything is possible if you are looking for a good technique) you must invest in a last generation device that meets all your needs. One of the great virtues of a microwave is that if you choose it with a grill you can enjoy great cooked dishes without having to turn on the conventional oven. You will save a lot of light and time, and your dishes will be just as tasty.

In any case, whether it has a grill or not does not usually raise the price of the appliance. So, given the choice, always choose the one that has the most benefits, because you never know.

The most innovative microwaves

Since the first microwave oven was marketed in the United States in 1947, a few innovations have been incorporated.

Convection microwaves: Like electric ovens, some microwaves also incorporate cooking with hot air currents, known as convection, which achieves a uniform finish, speeds up the process and requires less power. They are suitable for cooking all kinds of recipes that need to be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. They get a healthy, fast and low temperature kitchen.

Steamed microwave: They work thanks to a boiler that generates steam, which is transmitted to the upper part of the interior of the microwave. The moisture that is generated adds juiciness to the food, which does not dry out and maintains its flavor better. They also need to use less oil.

Crisp Microwave: Incredible but true. This function, included in some high-end microwaves, allows to achieve a crisp and golden finish and texture, similar to that of frying in oil. However, a specially designed Teflon plate is necessary to reach temperatures of more than 200 degrees.

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Size, power and respect for the environment

In the market you have at your disposal different sizes of microwaves. There are capacities from 17 to 30 liters. In the largest you can put family pizzas and whole chickens, they are wide-plate devices with great depth. The smaller ones are useful when the use comes down to heating.

The most common microwaves have a power of about 800-900 watts, while those with a grill can reach 1,000 watts. On the contrary, if the appliance is 600 watts, the cooking possibilities are reduced.

In accordance with European Union regulations, the energy label specifies the level of respect for the environment, with A being the most efficient and respectful and G the least. Currently the most recommended rating is A +++.

How much can a microwave cost me?

The prices range between 50 and 400 euros, it depends on whether you want it simple and very basic, or more powerful and with more utilities.

In addition, when you buy a microwave you will have to stock up on several much-needed accessories. The first is a special microwave cover, so that the food does not splash during the process and to keep the interior of the appliance clean. Remember that you cannot use metal utensils, or you will cause a short circuit, or non-microwave-specific plastic elements. You will also need a special cooking pot and the grill base in case it is not included when you buy it. A pair of gloves to avoid burning yourself is also a good idea, especially when grilling.

There are specific containers for microwaves to cook all kinds of foods or poach eggs that will allow you to prepare pasta dishes, fish, vegetables and much more in just a few minutes.

Microwave cleaning tips

Whether it has been stained because you forgot to put the lid on or not, you need to maintain good hygiene of your appliance. Do not forget that it is food that you put there. We recommend that you clean it every time it gets stained, and that you do a deep cleaning at least once a week. For this you have special products on the market, but you can always choose to wash it with a conventional dish soap. Of course, do not forget to unplug it!