Since their initial launch in the late 1960s microwaves have become ubiquitous. I remember seeing one for the first time in the late 1980s in my Grannie’s house as she couldn’t believe it had cooked something in two minutes as my Granda stood grinning ear to ear. Before that, cooking your food with instead of nuking it with radiation was the only way to cook. Today I doubt many people don’t’ have a microwave, due to their convenience. If you’ve got an old microwave sitting in your corner and want to upgrade, you don‘t have to lump for the cheapest model out. In this blog, we’ll look at some of the features available to help you find the right oven for you.
If you’re intending to use your microwave for the occasional ready meal or cup of hot chocolate you won’t be too concerned about the capacity of your microwave. The standard capacity for most microwaves is 26 litres, and that size will house a standard dinner plate with no problems. This is handy for reheating meals without having to move them into a Tupperware container of some kind.
Power is an important thing to check for your microwave. The higher the power output rating the watts the quicker it will cook things. This is important as cooking times vary hugely between different power ratings. There was a time 600W was the standard but today 800-900W seems to be the standard, though lower powered devices still exist.
Some microwaves have a defrost feature. This allows you to defrost meat, fish and bread defrosted quickly and safely. Though a defrosting feature is handy there are a few things you’ll have to do to ensure defrosting is done correctly. You will have to turn and rotate your food to ensure no parts of it start to cook. This is possible in things like minced beef and chickens, where wings might start cooking while the core of the chicken might still be frozen solid. The defrosting feature works best on liquids if I’m being entirely honest.
Some microwaves function as combination ovens, which means they have traditional heating elements for cooking like a standard oven. Other models have specialised programmes for specific food types and are designed to make things easy (in my experience they are cryptic and never produce results). As ever with products, shop around and find one that has the best features/price ratio for you.