Types of Microwave
Shopping for a microwave can be overwhelming. While some promise to have enough features for you to whip up a whole roast dinner, others are simpler with only a microwave function. If you’re looking to learn more about your options, you’re in the right place.
A solo microwave offers the most basic cooking functions. It’ll microwave your food using radio waves, heating quickly and evenly, but doesn’t offer grilling or convection cooking.
If you don’t feel you would benefit from these functions, a standard solo microwave is a simple budget option. There’s plenty of choices available and they usually have defrost functions too. Surprisingly, the phrase ‘microwave oven’ doesn’t necessarily mean the microwave has an oven function. Lots of solo models are listed by retailers as microwave ovens.
A microwave with a grill is the same as a solo model, but with the addition of a grill.
This gives you the option to brown and crisp food, either independently or after microwaving (with multi-stage cooking). You’ll usually receive metal racks to raise your food up to the grilling elements, which are situated in the roof of the microwave.
There are two different types of grills – quartz and radiant. Quartz grills heat up in seconds and are available on high-end microwaves. They are sometimes combined with the turntable feature for even results. Radiant ones tend to be a little more powerful but take around five minutes to heat up.
A combi microwave provides three different functions. It acts as a grill, microwave and convection oven, for more flexibility of use. Combis are a great solution if you find yourself running out of oven space regularly, or you want to save energy when cooking a meal for one or two.
Convection cooking works by using a fan to circulate hot air evenly around the cavity. You may be able to combine this with the microwave function, for faster (yet still perfectly crisp) results. Often, they’ll look more like a small oven than other microwaves, with a drop down door and adjustable horizontal wire racks.
Some of the high-end combi microwaves benefit from a steam function too, providing 4-in-1 cooking functions. Steam is a healthy and delicious cooking method, maintaining the vitamin levels in your vegetables.
A built-in microwave is sometimes referred to as integrated. These models are designed to free-up workspace by seamlessly fitting in alongside your kitchen units. They’re available in any of the types above but are most commonly combi or steam designs.
Built-in microwaves are designed to free-up workspace by seamlessly fitting in alongside your kitchen units.