Today, the number of models is so great that a reasonable question arises: "How to choose a microwave oven and not make a mistake?" Let's figure out what to look for in the store or choose a microwave in the online store.
Microwaves - safe or harmful?
Claims that microwave ovens are dangerous, do not correspond to reality - its harm is noticeable only if you every day for 8 hours will stand at a distance of 5 cm from the microwave oven. On each modern model there is a special protective mesh on the window from the inside, and also an electromagnetic "trap". Microwave radiation (super-high frequency) can not penetrate through the tightly closed door. So the minuses of the microwave are more likely to be invented.
The first factor is the cost
The decisive factor in the question of how to choose a microwave for the house will be the budget allocated for the purchase. The average cost of such a device is about $ 150. For this price you can buy a device with a wide range of options. The more expensive the stove, the more functions it has. But simple budget models are only suitable for defrosting / warming up and cooking simple foods. They can cost 60-80 dollars. These models are most often purchased for offices to warm up lunches.
The second factor is the volume of the working chamber
To make your choice correctly, you must also take into account the technical characteristics of the microwave. The most important parameter here is the internal volume of the camera. The recommendations are as follows:
- If the technique is used by one person, the volume can be in the range of 12-14 liters. Such furnaces are also called "solo";
- For two members of the family, 17-20 liters of volume will suffice;
- For a family of 3-4 people, 20-25 liters will be enough. Perhaps, models of microwave ovens with such volume can be called optimal in terms of the ratio of price, functional and capacity;
- Those who cook often and a lot, it is worth buying a model with a volume of more than 30 liters, then even a whole bird can fit inside. The same recommendations are valid if the family has 5-6 people.
The third factor is the power
Such characteristics as the power of microwaves are as important as they are. The advantages of powerful stoves are that the dishes are cooked faster. The power range can vary between 450-1680 watts, but when choosing it is worthwhile to focus on energy costs for a certain culinary process:
- To maintain a dish in a warm state it is enough 100-150 W;
- For the preparation of "delicate" products and slow defrosting - up to 300W;
- To quickly defrost a small number of products - 400 ... 500W;
- Slow cooking / warming up - 550 ... 700W;
- Fast cooking / warming - from 800 to 900 watts.
It should be borne in mind that the power should be proportional to the volume - the larger the internal camera, the more powerful the device.
And do not forget that the power during the preparation of different products should be adjusted (by default it is set to 100%). For example, for dishes of meat recommend 50-70% of capacity, then the product will not become rigid.
The fourth factor is the inner coating material
The pros of proven microwave manufacturers is that they guarantee the quality of the inner coating of the camera. Today, models are frequently produced using innovative materials, but there are several main tested coatings:
- Heat resistant enamel. Practical and easy to care, but not too durable. Enamel, although considered heat-resistant, can not withstand extreme temperatures for a long time, and therefore the service life of such a furnace will be less than 7 years. In order not to aggravate the process of destruction of enamel, it is worth to wash it without abrasive agents and hard brushes, leaving microtscratches.
- Stainless steel. This type of coating is better than the previous in terms of durability, because it does not lose its properties and strength at all because of heating or temperature changes. However, the stainless steel is quickly covered with a greasy coating, so this type of coating will require careful and time-consuming care.
- Among new coatings, bioceramics should be highlighted. It combines all the advantages - easy to clean, durable, durable and reliable, not covered with fat. The only drawback - a high price, about twice as expensive compared to the same on the functionality of the model, but with enamel coating. But the lifetime of the furnace will differ by several times.
The fifth factor is the type of management
The mechanical control, providing two rotary handles for power adjustment and time setting, is familiar and reliable.
And electronic control is a button or sensor. The touch surface is easier to care for than a button, and is also considered more modern.
The sixth factor and the most important one is the functional
Undoubtedly, technical characteristics and appearance are important, but it's impossible to ignore the issue of functional. Before making a choice, it is necessary to decide, for which microwave oven will be used at home - exclusively for heating up or as a full-fledged worthy alternative to the hob or oven?
To begin with, we will understand what microwave ovens know:
- Defrost products. Here you can choose manual or automatic mode.
- Preparation of dishes according to prescriptions. Food is loaded into the camera, and you only need to select a recipe and specify the weight of the product. The power and time are regulated by the oven itself.
- Possibility to program your own recipes. It is provided only in expensive models.
- Convection mode. Furnaces with convection heating ensure a uniform baking of the product. Convection, in fact, is a mode of the oven - and hence, in the microwave oven will turn out ruddy pastry, and in products the useful substances will be completely preserved. The convection mode is considered to be energy-consuming.
- The grill mode allows you to fry meat or fish with a ruddy crust. The grill can be quartz or standard TEN. Quartz works and is more economical, and faster. In addition, it does not require special care, since it is hidden in the ceiling, but the uniformity of the roasting will be worse. TEN grill is a spiral with the ability to adjust the height and the angle of inclination - the roasting is uniform, models with such a grill are slightly cheaper, but they have high energy costs.
- Cleaning the steam will quickly and efficiently "wipe off" the inner surface of food and fat.
- Removing odors. Provides a mode of "ventilation", eliminating the "flavors" of food from the inner chamber.
There are also models with built-in bread maker and steamer.
Some more important tips for choosing
- Method of installation. You can purchase built-in or stand-alone equipment. The built-in is placed inside the kitchen set, allowing you to save space on the work surface, and the stand-alone keeps mobility. In this case, the built-in may be more expensive than usual.
- Color is also important. Choose it so that it matches the color of the kitchen set or finish.
- Correctly select additional accessories. For example, it is very convenient to use a multi-level cymbal stand, with which you can warm up several dishes at once, placing them one above the other.
- Some mikrovolnovkam attached potholders and plastic caps so that the fat does not splash on the walls.
What can not be done when operating microwave ovens
To use the microwave oven was safe, it is worth not to break the 9 simple prohibitions:
- When the door is open, the appliance does not turn on;
- without products in the chamber is not used;
- dishes made of metal, porcelain with gilding or silvering are not put in the microwave, otherwise there are visible electrical discharges, unsafe for the technique;
- frying in oil is not carried out - you can not control its temperature, and therefore the risk of ignition is high;
- eggs are not cooked and do not heat up in the shell, as they can explode;
- products are not placed in hermetically sealed containers - canned food, jars, tied plastic bags;
- products with natural shells (liver, corn, potatoes, etc.) are cut or pierced, otherwise micro-explosions will occur due to bursting shells;
- Do not place incandescent objects on a cold turntable.
See also: We clean the microwave without effort - 5 proven methods.