How to choose your microwave?

The different types of microwave
The mono microwave
It is the most basic model among all those available. Its functions are numerous, in addition to being inexpensive, because it can be used to reheat your dishes, to defrost them, or to cook them quickly. Plus, it won’t take up much space in your kitchen.

Image for post
Image for post

The microwave duo or grill
This microwave model has the same characteristics as the mono microwave, except that it can also lightly brown your dishes thanks to a resistant layer placed at the top of this appliance, without however cooking them as would be a traditional oven.

The combined microwave oven
This microwave model is the most complete by offering the grill’s essential functions and those of traditional ovens. Depending on the model, this type of microwave can provide a rotating heat system, a steam function, or even a chained steam function. All these characteristics make this appliance one of the most complete, without replacing the power of a traditional oven.

In short, you will choose your type of microwave according to your personal needs and your family situation. If you live alone, you will more easily opt for a mono microwave; if your family comprises 3–4 people, you will go for a duo microwave; and if you are part of a large family over 6, prefer a large microwave.

The criteria for choosing a microwave
The capacity
When you decide to buy a microwave, it is also a question of looking at this device’s power, which is expressed in liters and varies between 9 and 40 liters depending on the model. For singles or couples without children, a microwave with 20 liters’ capacity will be more than enough; for families of 4 people, opt instead for a total of 22 liters; and for large families of more than 6 people, opt instead for a capacity of 26 liters.

The power
The power of your microwave, expressed in watts, is also an essential element since the more energy your appliance has, the more efficient it will be at cooking your food quickly.
For a mono microwave, the maximum power of 750W is more than sufficient. On the other hand, for the two different types, that is to say, the duo and the combined oven, the power will oscillate around 1000W to guarantee optimal operation.

Programming
There are three types of microwave programming: electronic, mechanical, or electromechanical.
Electronic programming remains the most potent programming of all. It can even be accompanied by intelligent functions, depending on the model, such as rapid defrosting, a memory button, a delayed start, or a lock, ideal for protecting children.

Regarding the other two types of programming, they differ mainly in the quality of the timer they offer. Mechanical programming has the significant drawback of providing an imprecise timer. As for electromechanical programming, it has a precise timer in addition to being easy to use.

The choice of the door
How the door of your microwave opens is not an unimportant criterion because the more you use it, the more you will realize the importance of this accessory.
A drop-down door will improve the visibility and accessibility of your microwave. So you can watch your food heat up with ease. The side door is more practical if your microwave is located high up in your kitchen.

The lining of the cavity
Your microwave coating is an essential aspect to consider if you want to have a healthy and easy to maintain the appliance. Among the possible choices, you will be faced with stainless steel, ceramic, or epoxy microwaves. But all manufacturers will advise you to opt for stainless steel for the reasons outlined above.

Lifespan and price
Here are two last critical criteria. Note that the lifespan of a microwave depends on its type. You will be heading towards 5 years for mono and duo microwaves, while combination microwave ovens, it will be double, or 10 years.
As for the price of these household appliances, they also depend on their type and their capacity and programming. The base price is around 50 euros; 100 euros for the duo and 150 euros for the combined oven. Note that these devices can go up to 800 euros for the integrated range.

Possible options
All household appliances have additional options than the base model, depending on the brand and its price. To name a few of these options, you can choose to memorize a cooking time as well as its temperature or keep it warm at the end of cooking, ideal for your morning cup of coffee.

The steam function is also available depending on the appliance, allowing food to be cooked without drying it. As for the “stop tray” function, it will enable you to block the rotation of the glass tray so that all your food will be cooked evenly, even when it is placed in large dishes.

Finally, some models will offer you a browning or crisping dish, which will allow you to skillfully prepare crispy dishes such as pizzas, fries, or quiches.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store