Microwaves Ovens

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Things to Know Before buying Microwave Oven in Nepal

By far, the microwave oven is one of the great inventions of the 20th century. It has made our life a lot easier. It is also called an electronic oven. They cook food employing high-frequency electronic waves called microwaves. These microwaves penetrate our food up to 2 inches.

They are small box-like structure that cooks our food relatively faster than any conventional cooking method. While cooking our food, it is subjected to a high-frequency electromagnetic field. The water and other molecules inside the food absorb the microwaves producing the heat inside the food. Due to the heat produced inside the food, our cooking time is highly reduced.

Types of Microwave Oven

Microwave ovens are kitchen appliances to reheat, grill, or even bake your food. You can cook a wide range of food items like popcorn, chicken grills, kebabs, pizza, or muffins. It can cook your food within a few minutes; saving your precious time and energy.

One of the most critical decisions while buying a microwave oven is deciding what basic type you want. Basically, there are 3 types of microwave ovens; all serving different purposes.

  • Solo Microwave Oven
  • It is a very basic type of microwave oven. It works great while reheating, cooking, and defrosting. However, a solo microwave oven can not grill or bake. For someone with very basic needs, it will just be fine.

  • Grill Microwave Oven
  • As the name suggests, such microwaves can do both grilling and all other tasks of solo microwaves like reheating, cooking, and defrosting. It is suitable for someone who does more than just cooking i.e. grilling and no baking, roasting, or crisping.

  • Convection Microwave Oven
  • A convection microwave can grill, bake, roast, brown, and crisp your foods. It can perform all the functions of other microwaves and more. That’s why such microwaves are more popular but also more expensive. They have a fan to circulate the heatwave efficiently so that the food can be cooked or baked faster.

Capacity

We measure the capacity of the microwave in liters. The number of liters indicates how much food we can cook in one go. While buying a microwave, you should be well acquainted with the capacity you will need, depending on the size of your family and usage.

The capacity of the microwave varies with the type of microwave, you want to buy. For example: for a small family of 2 -4 members, 15- 20 liters microwave oven is enough but for the same size family, you need 21-30 liters of grill or convection type microwave oven.

Here is the table showing the capacity of the microwaves in relation to the family size.

Family Size Type of Microwave Ideal Capacity
2 to 4 members Solo Microwave Oven 15 to 20 liters
2 to 4 members Grill microwave Oven/ Convection Microwave Oven 21 to 30 liters
4 to 6 members Solo Microwave Oven 25 to 30 liters
4 to 6 members Grill Microwave Oven/ Convection Microwave Oven 30 liters and above

Features of Microwave Oven

Here are the features of a microwave oven, you must know before buying a microwave oven of your own.

  • Child Lock
  • You must consider this option if you have children in your home. They may put their hands accidentally in the microwave. So, with this feature, you might be able to avoid the risk. Generally, you are facilitated with the lock or code which is like a password to unlock the microwave oven. Especially, in the case of the convection microwave, you need a child lock feature as its interior gets very hot.

  • Auto Cook
  • In case, you need to simplify the cooking or you don’t know the time settings very well, this is the option for you. This feature is available only in high and medium-end microwaves. You won’t be bothered to set the time, manage power configuration, or anything: you just have to specify the type of dish you are cooking.

  • Power Consumption
  • Microwave ovens have a power setting to adjust the power consumption. The more voltage you put in, the faster and more efficient the cooking will get for you. In case, you need to cook for a large family or heavy and bulky food items, you should consider the more powerful microwave setting and vice versa. This feature is also called the ‘Power Level’.

  • Defrost
  • This is a special microwave feature that enables you to heat frozen food item very easily. For instance, you can defrost frozen meat from your refrigerator easily using this feature.

  • Preheat
  • While cooking any food you need your utensils to reach a certain temperature before you start cooking. For this purpose, you need to turn the microwave open and wait for some time till it reaches the desired temperature. This process of heating before cooking is called preheating. You may check the time required to preheat your microwave oven before you purchase.

  • Timer
  • This is a really handy and important feature to have in the microwave. It allows you to specify how long you want to operate your microwave from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. Depending on the panel, you can specify your cooking duration in your microwave.

  • Rotisserie
  • It is a special type of grilling accessory you need while grilling your food. It is a steel bar that rotates with the help of a motor system to ensure even grilling of your food. You can easily grill your chicken, or mutton paneer with the help of a rotisserie bar. It comes only with a few types of microwave ovens and they may cost you some extra money. This bar can be horizontal or vertical but the horizontal one is better due to even heat distribution.

Types of panel

There are 3 types of panels available in the microwave oven. They are:-

  • Mechanical
  • Tact Dial Type
  • Feather Touch
  • Mechanical and the tact dial type usually come with the low-end models and they can handle rough usage. Feather Touch panels add to the design of your microwave. They usually come with high-end models of microwave ovens. Just like the touch screen of your mobile phone, it can sense your fingers. You can choose modes and adjust settings with the help of finger touch.

    Microwave Oven FAQs

    • Are microwaves dangerous for people?
    • No, it’s not. As long as you have closed the door of the microwave during operation, it’s safe. However, when the door is left open, microwave energy can be risky for us. Additionally, you should also not attempt to repair on your own. Instead, you must seek professional assistance.

    • Does prolonged exposure to microwaves cause long-term health issues?
    • Some studies indicate the risk of health problems with prolonged exposure to microwave energy. In contrast, it’s very natural to be exposed to some low-level radiation.

    • How do I know if there is a leakage in my microwave?
    • Although, you can test the leakage on your own with the help of kits available on the market. However, it’s recommended to contact a professional for a thorough inspection.

    • Why do some foods explode when heated in a microwave?
    • Food items like eggs and potatoes explode when heated in the microwave oven. This is due to the microwave's high energy, which penetrates food items more deeply than conventional cooking techniques. The water molecules inside these food items get heated as quickly as the outer layers. As the water molecules expand due to the heat and can’t escape, it bursts. To avoid such occurrences, you can reduce the power level while cooking.

    • What sort of microwave should I buy?
    • It depends on your need. First of all, you must know your requirements and then look for the model that best fits your requirements. But you must know, the higher the wattage, the more heat microwave will generate. Also, you should look for the review of the other customers who are already using it.

    • Does the microwave loses power over time?
    • There might be lots of different views regarding this topic. However, the fact is that your microwave should perform just as well as it did the day you bought it.

    • Why does the food I cook in the microwave have tough and cold spots?
    • The microwave energy is beamed into the interior of the microwave oven and then dispersed with the help of a metallic stirrer or rotating carousel. Although the energy distribution is consistent sometimes the food may be cooked inconsistently. Some parts of the food may be overcooked and other parts may be undercooked.

    • Why is there moisture in the interior of my microwave oven?
    • Condensation is the phenomenon responsible for the moisture inside your microwave. Especially, when you cook food items with very high moisture content, it’s apparent. However, these moistures will dissipate within 10 to 15 minutes. You should be aware that the steam around the door of your microwave is normal. And, you must make sure that no items are blocking the airflow in your microwave.

    • How can I clean my microwave?
    • Most of the spills, dirt, and splatters in the microwave can be cleaned easily with soap and a sponge or paper towel. However, you must avoid commercial oven cleaner, cleaner containing ammonia, or bleach as they may have corrosive effects and make the plastic brittle. You can clean both the interior and exterior of the microwave oven with this same procedure. To clean the control panels, use soft and damp clothes. After the cleaning is done, you must dry it immediately.

    • Can I use metal or aluminum foil in my microwave oven?
    • Metal utensils should not be used in a microwave as the metal will not allow microwaves to penetrate the food. Therefore, the food behind the microwave will not be cooked. For your information, foil and metal can be used safely in the convection microwave.

      Aluminum foil is used to protect a certain part of the food from overcooking. For instance, it may be used on the leg tips of the chicken, wings of the turkey, and legs of the lamb to prevent these parts from overcooking. However, you must be aware that no food should be completely covered with aluminum foil.

    • How do I know if the dish is microwave-safe or not?
    • To know, if the dish is microwave-safe or not, you should follow these steps.

      • Fill a cup with water first.
      • Place that same cup in the oven beside the utensil or dish you want to test. Don’t pour the water into the dish, you want to test.
      • Microwave for one minute.
      • Now, check if the dish is cool and water becomes hot, your dish/utensil is microwave safe. Else, if both the water and dish get heated, it’s not microwave-safe.
    • Is it safe to dry food or herbs in my microwave?
    • Well, it’s not recommended to dry fruits, vegetables, and meats in the microwave oven. Sometimes, in the process of drying, we may burn the food items. However, the herbs containing the minimum amount of moisture can be dried with certain precautions.