Microwave Oven Types Microwave Oven Buying Guide Microwave Oven Parts and Functions

Microwave Oven Types Microwave Oven Buying Guide

Introduction

Microwave oven initially gained popularity for reheating frozen foods. But now, it has evolved to become one of the most important kitchen appliances that can cook a variety of dishes within minutes. The new-age microwave ovens feature many auto-cook settings so that even a first time user can operate those efficiently. As you get along with your microwave, you will see that a large number of delicacies can be conveniently prepared with this device, saving both time and effort.

This buying guide will familiarize you with the general features of microwave ovens; categorize them as per their overall design and targeted end-users, thus helping you to choose the right oven to meet your requirements. You will also get to know about a few indispensable accessories that you should buy along with a microwave.

Who is this buying guide written for?
  • Those who want to prepare food fast and fuss-free
  • Those needing to reheat food on a regular basis
  • Working parents as well as singletons
What is a microwave oven?
A microwave oven is an electrical kitchen appliance that can heat or reheat food items instantly without employing any heating element or fire. New-age microwaves have features and functions to cook, grill and bake a variety of dishes easily.

Microwave ovens work using a high frequency radio wave of about 2.45GHz, which vibrates the water and other liquid molecules within any food item. These liquid molecules are vibrated at such a speed (unnoticeable with naked eyes) that it generates tremendous heat. The generated heat cooks the food within a very short span of time.

Microwave Oven Types

Convection type
Grill typeOven (solo) type

Convection type:

Any convection type microwave oven features a fan and a heating element to create air flow patterns inside the oven. The continuous hot air flow ensures optimum browning of the food evenly from all sides. Convection modes are suitable for baking and can be used to make food crispier from both inside and outside.
  • Features a fan with a heating element to create air flow inside the oven
  • Circulated air browns food evenly from all sides
  • Circulated hot air prevents high speed cooking and ensures even heating up of the entire oven cavity
  • Ideal for baking and making food crispier from inside as well as outside

Grill type:

Grill type microwave ovens are more focused on cooking foods like a conventional grilling, which browns food items, making them crispier from outside and juicer from inside. Many ovens feature grilling as a mode and this is ideal for making kebabs, tikkas and even parathas. Microwaves in grill mode can operate for a long period up to 99 minutes to prepare crunchy foods.
  • Works like a conventional griller using microwave radiation
  • A metal wire rack comes for this type of cooking
  • Browns food items to make them crispier from outside and juicer from inside
  • Features up to 99 minute long grilling time for preparation of a variety of food items
Oven (solo) type:

This type of microwave oven is the basic type that offers uniform heat distribution ideal for baking, reheating, cooking as well as defrosting food items. Solo ovens are sufficient for you if you don’t plan to use or combine grilling and convection modes in order to prepare lavish dishes.
  • Works like a basic oven using microwave radiation
  • Reheats and defrosts in seconds unlike conventional ovens
  • Offers uniform heat distribution, thanks to the turntable
  • Suitable for baking, reheating, cooking and defrosting food items
Countertop microwaves:

These types of microwave ovens are designed to be placed on your kitchen platform. You may choose to place it on the top of any other stable platform including other appliances. However, care must be taken to ensure free air circulation around this appliance.
  • Can be placed on your kitchen platform
  • Can be rearranged as per the space available in your kitchen
Over-the-range microwaves

You can integrate these types of microwave ovens in to a modular kitchen cabinetry or even with a compatible cooktop. Also referred as over-the-counter ovens, these will keep the stylish decor of your kitchen intact without looking like an add-on.
  • Integrated into modular kitchen cabinetry
  • Maintains the decor of your kitchen 
Microwave Oven Parts and Functions:

 
Microwave oven parts and components are usually those that make this popular household appliance work efficiently. The oven is a box like structure made of metal having a front opening built in which has a door. One side on the door has hinges and the other side includes a latch. Behind the see-through door is a mesh which helps in the representation of the microwaves. The construction of the latch within the device offers a few mini switches with regard to extra security. The unit shut down automatically if ever the door is unlatched. The door will stay close until the appliance will be run. The device cannot be run till the door is closed.
The inside of the microwave oven is named cavity. This microwave oven part is constructed of stainlesss steel. After the cable is plugged in and the switch is on, the microwave is able to use. The outside even offers the display and control panel to offer information for what must be accomplished. Right behind this particular control panel is a circuit board that operates this kind of product as well as helps make your instructions appear.
You will find there’s fan inside which sucks in air flow through vents located in the side as well as across the circuit board as soon as the oven is operational. This air is blown from your cooling fins of the magnetron. It then slides out of those cooling fins and also gets ducted past the light and enters the particular cavity by holes positioned in the cavity. Air allows in picking up moisture from the food preparation procedure taking place and guides it out of the oven through exterior vents in microwave oven.
You will find temperature receptors that can detect in case something is too very hot and the product will de-activate automatically if perhaps some thing is certainly bad. The control circuit provides power to the higher voltage transformer. Furthermore, it contains a capacitor and also big diode with its secondary section. This particular microwave oven part helps to secure the microwave oven form to be damaged.
The particular magnetron is one of the essential microwave oven parts and is the source of microwave generation inside the oven. It’s stimulated by using a relay procedure and the microwaves generated are led to the cooking food chamber via a little window.
THE microwave resistant turn table is positioned on to the floor of the cavity to provide rotation to the foods so your foodstuff is cooked equally. This specific turntable is operated with the help of a little knob like structure, that is linked by a belt to some low rpm motor.
The elements as well as circuits of a microwave oven are quite dissimilar to those contained in Televisions and other appliances. They present some complicated as well as exclusive difficulties with regard to technicians as well as technicians. They are usually unique and vary from company to brand name. In case there is any breakdown of microwave oven parts, it is best to obtain authentic spares fitted by just qualified personnel to get basic safety and longer life of the device.
How to use Microwave Oven:

Read the instructions and safety warnings thoroughly. There's a lot of stuff you need to know in that little booklet.
Plug your microwave in. Don't plug too many appliances in at once, or you may cause a power outage.
Set the time that you want to microwave something for.
  • If your microwave has a dial, turn it clockwise until the screen displays the desired time.
  • If your microwave has a number pad, type in the desired number of minutes followed by the desired number of seconds.
  • You may have to press "Cook" on your microwave before the time set will activate the microwave.
Apply your understanding to microwave specific items.

  • Start with Bake a Potato in the Microwave. If you are baking just one or two potatoes, or a sweet potato, reduce the power so the outside doesn't scorch by the time the inside is done.
  • Warm a plate of leftovers at low power.
  • Warm a milky coffee at medium power and check carefully when to stop so the milk retains its goodness.
  • Make s'mores in a microwave for a graphic demonstration of a microwave's power of cooking food through all at once: the marshmallow rapidly becomes extremely large.
  • Cook something big (but not huge, leave plenty of space on the sides, and stack loosely so some microwaves can enter into the core of the pile) at full power. For instance, a few pounds of potatoes to be mashed, piled all together plastic wrap or washed and returned to a plastic bag they came in, at full power. (Try fifteen minutes on high for five pounds.)
  • Microwave chopped-to-size vegetables before frying them to get the inside somewhat soft without having to burn the outside.
  • Make Microwave Popcorn, whether in a ready-made bag or in a covered bowl with a little oil (look around for a recipe). You might not expect from the rest of this article that it would work well, but it does. Follow the directions carefully; stop microwaving sooner rather than later -- it's better to have a mostly-full good bag rather than a full scorchy bag. This generally should be done on full power to make steam to pop the little kernels rather than slowly fizzling the moisture out of them. Try elevating the bag off the microwave floor for more even cooking if you get a lot of uncooked kernels alongside some burnt popcorn.
Understanding Your Microwave
Understand how a microwave oven heats food.

Microwaves penetrate and generate heat at depth within water-bearing food. In contrast, almost all other cooking methods heat the surface only, whether by conduction as in cooking with a fluid such as hot air (roasting), steam (steaming), oil (frying), or water (boiling), or non-penetrating radiation as in broiling. (Convection is merely bulk flow facilitating conduction).
  •  Microwaves do not cook from the "inside out", but do cook thin food essentially all throughout at once, and reduce the depth within thick food to which conduction from the rest of the food must carry heat.
  • Unlike boiling, etc. there is no hot dense fluid to carry heat to the interior of a large pile of food. Don't overstuff the microwave oven, even with somewhat loose items such as a big stack of potatoes.
A microwave generally cannot cook food that does not contain much water, including something that is light and fluffy, well.
  • Don't microwave something that contains little water for more than a minute or so before the microwave has a few minutes to rest, and put a cup of water in the microwave (which will get hot) with it to absorb the otherwise unused microwaves. This will help keep the microwave from overheating and damaging itself with surplus microwaves.
  • Generally, don't expect something that is supposed to dry out in the cooking process, such as a cake, to turn out well unless you use a special microwave-adapted recipe.
Microwaves tend to have many hot and cold spots from "standing waves". A turntable reduces this problem by moving the food through hot and cold spots. Very thin, flat solid food cannot conduct heat through itself rapidly to the cold spots. In some microwaves small or thin items cook better if they are supported above the floor by, for instance, an inverted bowl under a plate.
Understand how heat flows through food

A cooking method heats only the outside of a food item or in a microwave, the outer layers, perhaps an inch, enough to cook a two-inch-wide chunk more or less all at once. The heat must flow through the food to cook the rest.
In a microwave, heat must also flow from better-heated to worse-heated spots.
Water-based food most food, and the only kind that microwaves can cook cannot get hotter than 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees centigrade) until all of the water in the spot being heated has been boiled away. Applying more heat than sufficient to keep the outside from cooling below that point does not increase the rate at which heat flows into the interior to enable the cooking reactions (and to a very small extent, perhaps, be absorbed by them) by conduction through the watery bulk of the food. It only dries out the outside faster.
You may be familiar with this principle through cooking a steak. One should use high heat only to scorch the surface, then low heat to cook the interior to the desired level of overall doneness without ruining the exterior.
Pressure cookers keep water from boiling until it reaches a higher temperature, and, so, also cook extremely fast. But they are more or less limited to boiling (or, in the case of specialized commercial pressure-fryers for frying chicken, deep frying).
Sometimes it is desirable to cook the food at an even lower heat, to allow the interior to reach the desired temperature and sit at it for a certain period without the outside having to get much warmer. This takes longer because there is a smaller temperature gradient to drive heat flow, but, even with the longer cooking time, can keep the reactions that would overcook the outside at near-boiling temperatures to a minimum.
Consider sous vide. Try showing off with something "sous microwave", then seared, but start simple perhaps by poaching an egg in plastic wrap and be extra careful that anything involving raw meat or otherwise potentially hazardous is cooked through to a temperature sufficient to kill anything in it. Use a meat thermometer at several points. (There is little risk of something new bad developing in food during a microwaving process itself, because that is pretty fast.)
It is very important not to overheat something containing milk, such as hot chocolate, even to boiling because the milk can irreparably separate.
Watery foods, such as watery soups, can cook well at higher heat levels because they carry heat through themselves by convection. (Thick soups will not convect and will instead bubble locally and spit under excessive microwaving power.)
Consequently, turn down the power if microwaving just a few items of food so the outside and hot spots are not overdone by the time the rest is done. Generally, use half power if heating something other than at least a large mugful of watery liquid or a heap of food a few inches high at least; even less--"defrost" setting or one-quarter power for something already cooked and at risk of overcooking such as reheating chicken.
If you have been scorching the outside of items before cooking the inside, just reduce the power at first--you don't necessarily have to increase the cooking time. Remember, the overly-high heat wasn't cooking the food faster, just drying it out.

Understand the side-effects of other cooking methods, and choose to include them if you like.
  • Some cooking methods, such as frying, smoking, or boiling with salt or spices, also add material and thus flavor to the food. Microwaving doesn't add anything, so add all the flavoring (including "liquid smoke", smoke particles collected in a very efficient manner and dissolved in liquid) you like to the food before or after cooking. Add conservatively: only a very small fraction of the medium in which something would otherwise be cooked is actually absorbed into the food.
  • Some cooking methods add water to the food. Some, such as boiling (with water to be discarded) add way too much, so that it leaches out vitamins. Generally all that is needed with items prone to drying out is some plastic wrap with a few holes to prevent pressure buildup, but if something is on the edge of overdrying, add just a little water and cover it.
  • Some cooking methods dry out the outside of the food. Microwaving will liberate steam and re-moisten it, so if a crispy outside is desirable, generally microwave to get the inside mostly done, then cook the outside.
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