Choosing a good microwave oven is not an easy task, but it is easily solved. It is important to take into account a dozen parameters, evaluate the everyday tasks that the microwave oven will “solve”, and also deal with the functions that are relevant for you.
Types of microwave ovens
Modern microwave ovens are divided into three types, but their cost within each group may differ several times:
one. Microwave ovens, otherwise referred to as solo ovens. The cheapest segment — you can buy a device for 1.5-2 thousand rubles, but there are expensive models with great design and quality of internal parts from advanced brands like Bork and Gorenje, the cost of which can reach 10 thousand rubles.
Solo ovens are used for reheating food, defrosting food and cooking some dishes in automatic programs (eg pizza, vegetables, fish, soups and cereals).
The cheapest options for such ovens are suitable for completing an office or workplace where there is a need to heat food. Models are more expensive, with a set of additional functions and programs — a great option for the home if a high-quality oven is used for basic cooking.
2. Grill ovens. They combine the possibility of standard heating and cooking rather complex dishes from vegetables, meat, fish. The cost of such a device starts from 3-4 thousand rubles. A microwave oven with a grill can replace the oven if you love to cook dishes with “that very crispy crust”.
3. Ovens with grill, microwaves and convection. If you want to choose a microwave that will become a complete replacement for the oven, then this is the perfect choice. The convection function provides endless possibilities for culinary creativity, ensuring the highest quality of cooked dishes. The cost of such furnaces starts from 7-8 thousand rubles. In ovens with convection, 10 or even 20 automatic cooking programs are implemented, as well as the possibility of combining modes:
- microwaves + convection,
- grill + convection,
- grill + microwaves.
Convection is a function implemented by the fan installed in the microwave oven. With its help, streams of hot air are created, which heat food better and faster than a grill or simple microwaves.
four. Another type is inverter ovens. More often, this technology is used in appliances with a grill and convection in order to reduce the space occupied in the kitchen. In these furnaces, the hardware is reduced as much as possible, and the volume of the chamber is increased. Inverter ovens use energy «intelligently» by automatically adjusting the temperature during the cooking process. Panasonic pays great attention to inverter ovens; models with this technology are rare among other manufacturers.
Microwave oven selection options
Much in this matter depends on the available budget, but even if you have 20 thousand to spend on a stove, the most expensive model with a set of many functions will not always be relevant. For example, ovens with a volume of 30-40 liters will occupy a significant part of the kitchen space, but only the warm-up mode will be used. In this case, a reasonable and correct choice is a solo oven.
Internal chamber volume
Microwave ovens are equipped with chambers from 12 to 40 liters. The largest volume is more common in convection microwave ovens, as this allows you to fit a large amount of food and whole carcasses of birds into the device, as in a conventional oven. The oven for heating is equipped with a chamber of 12-17 liters, this is quite enough for defrosting and preparing simple dishes.
Choosing a microwave in accordance with the number of people in the family is not the right decision, as some people like to cook a lot at once, so that it lasts for 3-4 days. But if you prefer fresh dishes and opt for a grill or convection oven, then 20-30 liters will be enough.
Secret: to reduce the space occupied by the oven, pay attention to the back wall of the appliance. If it is convex, then this will slightly increase its volume.
The power of microwave ovens depends on their type:
- for solo devices, the maximum allowable power is 800-900 watts. This is enough for heating, defrosting and cooking simple dishes, a more powerful oven is an extra waste of electricity;
- for microwaves with a grill, the optimal power is in the range of 1200-1500 watts. But 800-1000 W may not be enough;
- for devices with convection, the power should be at least 1350 W, but it is better to give preference to devices with a power of 1800-2000 W.
If electricity is very expensive in your area, and you cook often, then it is quite appropriate to purchase a microwave with less power.
Camera inner lining
- Enamel painting. The inner coating is used in the cheapest models of microwave ovens. Short-lived, crumbles after six months of active use of the device. Well-known stove manufacturers do not use such a coating, but with market novelties and unknown brands, you need to be on the lookout.
- Heat resistant enamel. Refers to an inexpensive type of coating. Of the advantages, relatively simple care for the coating can be noted — just wipe it with a damp cloth after each use and wash thoroughly 1-2 times a month. But such a coating is unsuitable for high temperatures, so convection ovens must have a different coating. Enamel is sensitive to mechanical damage, it must be handled with care.
- Stainless steel. Reliable and durable material that is not afraid of scratches or temperature. Requires thorough maintenance, as grease easily sticks to steel, but special acid-free products must be used. Do not use hard sponges or brushes.
- Bioceramic and antibacterial coating. Expensive and high-quality coverage. Contaminants are removed as quickly and easily as possible, the coating is not afraid of scratches, but with a strong impact it can crack.
There are two types of grill used in microwave ovens:
- TEN — the grill is located on top or on the side, there are models with a double grill (top + bottom or on the sides). Electric grill appliances are cheap and provide good quality cooked food, including a great crispy crust. The disadvantage of such a grill is a large occupied area;
- a quartz grill is installed in the upper part of the chamber, it is more expensive, but takes up very little work space.
Quartz grills are equipped with expensive models of microwave ovens for the home.
Microwaves are equipped with three types of push-button mechanisms. The first is mechanical control. It has round handles, usually 2 or 3. They regulate the time and temperature. The advantages of such a mechanism: rarely breaks, clear control. Cons: Difficult to clean, impossible to set seconds. The cheapest models are usually equipped with mechanical control, but you can find a combination of electronics and mechanics in the middle segment.
Button control. Microwaves with such a system have an attractive appearance, make it easy to set programs and seconds. But dirt accumulates between the buttons, which is difficult to clean.
Touch control. An expensive version of electronics that looks flawless, but often breaks due to power surges. The most important plus is ease of care. It is easy to wipe the touch panel, dirt does not accumulate on it, unlike buttons and mechanics.
Microwave safety for the home
Modern equipment reliably protects you from outgoing radiation. For this, a special coating is provided for both the chamber and the appliance door (a special mesh on the glass). To make sure that the necessary protection is available, check the device certificate: it should say that the device has been tested according to 4 levels of security.
Advice: when choosing a microwave according to its parameters, test it for protection against outgoing waves. To do this, put the phone in the oven, close it and call from another mobile. If the signal passes without problems, the protection of the furnace is not the best. If there is no signal, then the device does not pass microwaves at all.
How to choose a microwave for heating?
If we analyze the parameters above, we can conclude that a microwave oven for heating:
- should not be more powerful than 900 W;
- the coating of the working chamber must be made of heat-resistant enamel or stainless steel;
- enough volume of 15-17 liters;
- grill and convection are not needed.
If there are children in the family, then it is better to give preference to a microwave oven with push-button or touch controls, since the second-by-second heating of children’s products is in high demand.
Review of the best models of microwave ovens
Every self-respecting brand, except perhaps the high segment, offers a wide selection of microwave ovens. The selection is based on customer reviews and analysis of the technical characteristics of the devices.
One of the cheapest models of the Russian assembly. Designed for heating and defrosting. Also, the pluses include Russified mechanical control and heat-resistant enamel coating. The minus of the model is that there are no additional functions, a small area of the rotating plate.
Inexpensive model designed for heating food. Pros: heat-resistant enamel, 5 power modes, mechanical control. Of the minuses, one can single out only the lack of an automatic mode for defrosting products.
Samsung ME 731KR
A more expensive microwave option for heating. It combines the best parameters: 800 W power, bioceramic coating with antibacterial effect, 30 automatic programs for cooking popular Russian recipes. The oven has push-button control, there is an automatic defrosting function. The volume of the oven is 20 liters. A minor minus is the dark glass of the door.
Inverter oven with grill. It has a stylish design, perfectly warms food. Microwave power — 1000 watts. Inside, the device is covered with heat-resistant enamel, and the volume of the chamber is 27 liters. The best option for a small family. Of the minuses — touch control.
Great microwave oven for the home with a 900W grill. Inside is made of stainless steel, externally — impeccable German elegance. The volume of the microwave is 25 liters. It has a child lock. Of the minuses — an unpleasant loud squeak and a small number of automatic programs.
Gorenje GMO 23 ORA ITO
Incredibly stylish black microwave with 900W quartz grill. The stainless steel interior and child lock are the undoubted pluses of the model. Equipped with a large number of automatic programs and modes, only touch control can be distinguished from the minuses.
Bork W 521
The standard of German quality is a microwave with a quartz grill. The power of the waves is 700 watts, and the grill is 1000 watts. Stylish silver design and comfortable handle. The device provides push-button control, many automatic programs. There are no downsides to this technique.
Elegant built-in oven with grill and convection. Push-button control and high-quality interior coating that is easy to clean. Several automatic programs will help you prepare impeccably delicious dishes as quickly as possible. Of the shortcomings of the equipment, only its cost, close to 20 thousand rubles, can be noted.
Korting KMI 925 CX
Stylish microwave oven with grill and convection. Pros: quartz grill, a set of optimal functions and automatic programs, grill power 1100 W, child lock. Of the minuses — the price and a small volume of 25 liters.
Watch a helpful video on how to choose a microwave oven:
A properly selected microwave oven is a reliable assistant in the kitchen, which will ensure quick heating and defrosting of food. When choosing a multifunctional model with a grill and convection mode, you will get very tasty dishes and, most importantly, healthy. After all, a good microwave oven, subject to the correct temperature regime, retains 2-3 times more vitamins in foods!