Along with refrigerators, microwave ovens have become one of the must-have appliances for the kitchen. Apart from cooking and baking, microwave ovens are quite useful when you have to reheat food quickly. Their compact size and quick cooking have made microwave ovens an indispensable part of every kitchen. Depending on what you plan to cook using your microwave oven, your food habits, and the size requirements, you will have to buy a microwave oven that suits your needs. Here are two basic types of microwave ovens based on the heating method:
- Conventional microwave oven: These ovens heat and cook the food by emitting microwaves that pass through the plastic and glass containers. These ovens use the basic microwave technology. These have just one cooking mode and are often available in the affordable range.
- Convection microwave oven: These ovens have a heating element and a fan that circulate the heated air in the oven. These ovens heat and cook food more evenly compared to conventional microwave ovens. These are also known as speed-cooking microwave ovens.
Microwave ovens also differ based on their size, style, and the mode of storage.
- Countertop microwave ovens: These are the most popular type of microwave ovens preferred by consumers. These have the smallest size and are compact and quite portable. They are the simplest and easiest to install and use. Just place it on the countertop, plug it, and use it. An average countertop microwave oven can be 18 inches wide by 12 inches tall and 14 inches deep. Their power range is between 500 and 1000 Watts, and they have a capacity of 1 cubic foot. These ovens are used for small incidental cooking tasks such as thawing frozen foods, reheating foods, and making popcorn. The price range depends on the size. Midsized countertop microwave ovens have a price range of $70 to $500, and a large size can be from $105 to $650.
- Above-range microwave ovens: These are also known as over-the-range microwave ovens. These ovens can be installed above your kitchen range. These have built-in systems and exhaust fans to filter the smoke and vent steam. A majority of the above-range microwave ovens have multi-speed fans that recirculate the air. Some models have exhaust fans that start on their own if the stove top becomes overheated. This protects the microwave oven from overheating. The price of these microwave ovens can range from $170 to $1300, depending on the features you need in the oven. These are wider than countertop ovens with average dimensions of 16x30x15. The volume can be from 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet. These ovens consume power ranging from 600-1,200 Watts.
- Microwave oven drawers: These are one of the latest types of microwave ovens in the market. These are like drawers and do not consume kitchen counter space like countertop microwave ovens. The installation is a bit difficult, and you may have to call in an expert to install your microwave oven drawer. These are often high-end microwave ovens with a higher price range. Also known as built-in models, their price can range from $500 to $5000 and even higher. The average dimensions can be around 15x30x26 and can change depending on the type. The internal capacity or volume of these microwave oven drawers is from about 1 cubic foot to about 2 cubic feet or more. The power required is about 600 to 1200 Watts.
Before buying a microwave oven, check the available space in your kitchen, the capacity of the oven you require, and the budget.