Of all the home appliances that exist, one of the most used is the microwave. Created in the 1940s, it became popular around the 1960s, when they began to be mass produced and purchased by the vast majority of North American families.
This useful appliance has many advantages to offer, such as the ability to heat food quickly and easily, as well as defrost it in a matter of seconds without the need for a conventional oven. These benefits make the microwave highly appreciated today as users do not have enough time to cook every day. With this appliance, consumers can have food ready in a healthy, tasty and quick way at all times.
However, thanks to today's innovative technologies and advances, we can find different types of microwaves on the market. Each of them has certain technical characteristics that adapt to the specific needs of users. This makes it not easy to decide which microwave should be purchased. Therefore, in the microwave comparison guide, we are going to present the different types of microwaves, their main technical specifications and what they have to offer.
What is a microwave oven and how does it work?
The microwave oven is an appliance frequently used in homes to heat food in a few minutes or defrost ready-to-eat meals. This appliance was created, as happens many times in history, accidentally. In 1950, Percy Spencer, an American electromechanical engineer, was experimenting with a magnetron for use in airplanes and ships. In one of these experiments, he realized that a chocolate bar he had in his pocket had melted due to the heat given off by the magnetron, and this is how what we know today as a microwave oven was born.
Its operation is based on the interaction of the electromagnetic wave with the water molecules found in all foods.
We refer to the fact that the microwave produces high-frequency electromagnetic waves that end up shaking the bipolar molecules of the food, producing a movement that generates heat . Therefore, the moment the appliance is turned on, an electrical circuit is established that generates energy through the magnetron, which transforms that electricity into powerful microwaves. The electromagnetic wave then propagates throughout the microwave until it penetrates the food to agitate the water molecules, generating heat through friction and heating the food.
Over time, experts have begun to improve the technology of this appliance, which is why today we can choose from a wide variety of microwaves with different technical characteristics. To help you choose the model most suitable for your needs, below, we are going to present and compare the different types of microwave ovens so that you can find the right model.
Microwave without grill: convenience at a low price
The classic compact microwave, the most basic, is the appliance without a grill. It is a simple and cheap model that can cost around €40 to €50 and from which you cannot demand too much. In fact, this microwave fulfills three basic functions: heating food to the desired temperature, defrosting, and cooking, as long as it has a power greater than 1000 watts. Its simplicity, efficiency and low price make it the most popular basic microwave in homes that do not have too many pretensions. We refer to the fact that it is a device designed mainly to heat food quickly through the emission of electromagnetic waves. Therefore, we are surprised that it is a hassle-free solution for those who have little time to cook, but also do not want to spend too much money to meet their basic cooking needs through the defrost program.
Best Microwaves with grill: greater versatility
The microwave oven with grill is a slightly more sophisticated appliance compared to the model that we are presenting in the previous section. What differentiates it from the basic device is the incorporation of an electric resistance in the upper part that allows you to gratin or roast different types of food, in addition to the defrosting function . It is one of the best-selling and most popular appliances today because it not only allows you to heat and defrost food, but also allows you to gratin and roast food. Thanks to this function, you will be able to obtain a crispier texture on the surface of the food. As if this were not enough, we have to highlight the fact that, although it is a little more expensive compared to the microwave without grill, it is still an economical model whose price is between €100 and €200. Its versatility, greater functionality and good value for money make it one of the most popular and preferred microwaves by consumers.
Convection microwave: the power of hot air to cook or heat evenly
Over time, microwaves have evolved and new technologies have been incorporated, and this is how the convection microwave was born. This model not only has the traditional function of heating, defrosting and grilling food, but also incorporates a convection system.
In short, it involves installing a fan on the back or side wall of the appliance so that hot air circulates around the food, evenly distributing the heat. In this way, it is cooked at lower temperatures and in less time. Thanks to this added functionality, you will be able to brown and toast like a conventional oven does, but using less electricity and also taking advantage of the grill functionality. Likewise, it is a model highly appreciated by consumers because it also allows steam cooking and baking without problems or limitations. Now, it should be noted that its enormous versatility and usefulness makes it a device with a higher price.
Best multifunction microwave ovens: all-in-one solution
If you want to take versatility to a new level, then the multifunction microwave is the perfect solution for you. It is a comprehensive device where you will not only be able to take advantage of the microwave, grill and convection functions. The device will offer you other specialized and technical features, such as the steam and slow cooking options.
The key advantage of this device has to do with the fact that it allows you to save space in the kitchen and time, as it combines several functions in a single appliance. It is then the recommended model for those who need to cook in a limited space, because with a single device they will be able to perform multiple tasks to be able to eat healthy and delicious in a short time. In any case, it should be noted that the wide variety of functionalities integrated into this device makes it a little more complex to get familiar with the different configurations. In addition, it is also important to point out the fact that it is a more complete microwave whose price is high, if we compare it, especially, for example, with the model without grill, which is the most basic device. Let's forget that, after all, this is a high-end oven that has many automatic programs with different power levels.
Integrated microwave: personalized design and functional elegance
For those who are looking for a solution to be able to cook quickly, but that at the same time integrates perfectly into the kitchen design, the answer is the integrated microwave. What differentiates it from the devices we have presented previously is the design.
In fact, it is a device that is designed to be installed in built-in spaces or kitchen cabinet countertops to offer a more elegant and personalized appearance. Built-in microwaves can have various styles and sizes to satisfy aesthetic needs as well as cooking demands (heating and defrosting). What captures attention is not only its attractive design, but also the integrated functionalities that depend on the type of model you want to buy, such as the conventional microwave, the multifunction microwave with timer and turntable or with grill.
Choosing the Right Microwave for You
In short, as you may have realized yourself, today you will be able to find the perfect microwave for you on the market. The model to buy depends on the specific needs you want to satisfy. Those looking for convenience and economy will be able to choose a microwave without a grill. Those who prefer a higher level of versatility may prefer models with grill or convection from the best brands (Cecotec, Samsung, LG, etc.), while those who have certain demands when cooking will surely prefer a multifunction microwave oven with more than 40 automatic programs and six levels of operation.
If aesthetics are the priority for you, then the right solution is the integrated microwave with personalized designs.