We can’t imagine our life without the best microwave oven. In the constant time-note mode, only she will help to quickly prepare breakfast for herself or dinner for the whole family, in a few minutes it will unfreeze meat and convenience foods. But in order for the best microwave oven to really turn out to be a useful acquisition, and not just occupy a place on the table, before buying, you should ask what criteria you should pay attention to first of all.
The manufacturers of best microwave ovens – which company to choose
To begin with, you should limit your search by compiling a list of manufacturers of household appliances that you trust. If there is no personal preference, you can use our list of trusted brands.
The best microwaves today produce:
1. Panasonic; 2. BBK; 3. Bosch; 4. Samsung;
Their microwave ovens are rich in functionality, quality and reliability – these are the models that are presented in our rating of the best microwave.
Those who are looking for a gift to someone they know can safely take any stove that is in the TOP “Vyboroved”. But if you are serious about buying household appliances and want it to meet all your requirements, you will have to delve into the nuances and listen to the advice of experts. This will help to make a choice and find your ideal stove.
Principle of operation and microwave device
A microwave oven is a kind of mini-cupboard with a spacious camera behind the door and a control panel placed on the facade. Inside there is a pallet (usually rotating around its axis), on which it is necessary to install dishes with products for heat treatment. But the most important thing in microwave technology is hidden from view.
We are talking about a magnetron – an electric generator of waves that accelerate the movement of particles. His work is set up in such a way that the greatest influence of the generated radiation is experienced by water molecules contained in the products. It turns out that vegetables, meat, and puddings are cooked from the inside – that’s why the process of cooking dishes in the microwave takes less time.
The radiation is fed into the chamber through a waveguide hidden behind the wall and is reflected from the internal surfaces, allowing the dish to warm up more evenly. To enhance this effect, some models are equipped with additional waveguides.
Another important element of the best microwave is the fan. The cooler removes the excess heat that the magnetron emits, otherwise, it will simply fail. Heated air is directed into the chamber through special openings and also participates in cooking. It also displaces the water vapor that accumulates inside the furnace.
Manufacturers do not forget about protecting a person from harmful microwave radiation. To do this, the microwave is equipped with a shielding casing, and behind the glass of its door, there is a fine-mesh metal mesh that traps electromagnetic waves and reflects them back into the chamber.
Types of Best Microwave Ovens
Conventional Microwave Ovens
We just examined the standard microwave device in detail but did not affect the operation mode of the magnetron. Until recently, it was the same for all models – the generator periodically turned on and off for a few seconds.
Depending on the duration of these intervals, it was possible to obtain a certain heating power with a constant performance of the magnetron itself, which always gives a maximum.
Large selection of “classic” models in stores;
Fewer components – lower risk of failure of the furnace itself.
Due to the permanent effects of microwave radiation, foods are digested, lose their shape and most of the vitamins.
Inverter Microwave Ovens
The new technology for changing power used in these models allows not to turn off the magnetron, but to regulate the intensity of the radiation itself. Simply put, microwave waves here affect products all the time – throughout the entire cooking time.
Thanks to the inverter converter, a bulky transformer was eliminated from the circuit, so that modern furnace lost a little weight, and at the same time gained other positive qualities.
Better preserve the structure of products and the number of nutrients;
The absence of a transformer allowed to increase the volume of the chamber without changing the dimensions of the case;
Reduced overall energy consumption.
Less resource of work of the main components and expensive repairs;
Inverters cost higher than classic microwaves.
Microwave Oven Selection Options
Built-in or freestanding oven?
In principle, it is a matter of organizing space and your financial capabilities. Neither in volume nor in functionality, built-in microwaves do not differ from freestanding ones.
If there is not enough space in the kitchen, it is better to integrate the microwave oven into one of the cabinets or a pencil case by placing it at the chest level. This technique is more expensive, but it fits perfectly into the furniture wall and does not occupy usable space.
In all other cases, it is better to buy a suitably sized separate model. Moreover, it can be installed on brackets or transferred to a wide windowsill, where it will not interfere.
The more eaters you have and the larger the servings, the more spacious the microwave should be. Also, the volume of the camera must be correlated with those purposes for which the best microwave oven is purchased:
1. For simple heating of dishes, as well as cooking for 1-2 people, compact models with a volume of 13 to 20 liters are enough.
2. If you cook for 3-4 people every day, take the stove more voluminously – up to 32 liters inclusive.
3. To bake the carcasses of a large bird and to cook full-fledged dinners for a large family is more convenient in a microwave oven with a volume of at least 40 liters.
The simplest solo microwaves are only suitable for defrosting, heating and cooking foods. If you are going to use the microwave as a full-fledged oven, it should have additional functions:
3. Steam module.
Each of them complicates the design of the microwave, increases its cost and energy consumption, but at the same time seriously expands the scope of application of this technique.
A microwave oven with a grill will allow you to almost completely abandon the oven, bake meat and fish in a microwave oven, as well as cook pies and muffins with a golden-brown crust. But when buying, be sure to pay attention to the type of heater.
Today, manufacturers offer a choice of two main types of grills:
A metal tube with a core heated up to +650 ° С is considered the most reliable and durable, and it is also relatively inexpensive. In some models, the heating grill is made movable or folding, which is very convenient. However, he has one serious drawback – it takes too long to warm up.
2. Quartz grill
It has a heating element in the form of a nichrome spiral, only it is enclosed in a glass tube and reaches its maximum power in a matter of seconds, giving out +800 ° С. Due to the fragility of the shell, such a grill is often hidden behind a metal grill – this extends its service life but complicates the care of the stove.
There is a microwave on sale in which both types of heaters are used. This design allows you to significantly expand the list of dishes prepared in the best microwave and actually turns it into an oven.
As in electric ovens, the convection mode here provides a fan mounted inside the chamber. It drives hot air, preheated by the grill, allowing dishes to bake more evenly and faster.
The presence of such a function is justified only if you do not have a full oven, and you really want to cook goodies and pastries.
To integrate a steam generator in a microwave oven, developers often have to sacrifice a grill – with all the ensuing consequences. If equipment with a heater and a steam module installed simultaneously enters the market, it turns out to be prohibitively expensive and not too roomy.
In general, the function of a double boiler in a microwave oven can hardly be called mandatory, so you should not spend money on it. Especially if you are looking for an inverter model that does not dry out food. Well, supporters of a healthy diet can always buy a special container with a double boiler and prepare healthy dishes in it using the standard microwave mode.
Type of control
Traditionally, the management of small household appliances is implemented using mechanics or electronics. However, in the case of a microwave oven, attention should be paid to the convenience of the controls themselves:
1. Rotary handles
An excellent choice for microwave ovens that are not overloaded with unnecessary functions. Such control is simple and understandable, especially people who are in love with it. The best part is that with the help of handles you can change the operating mode of the best microwave directly during cooking.
2. Mechanical buttons
They are installed on microwaves, where the number of programs does not exceed 10-12. It’s great when each button has its own mode so that you can select the desired recipe with one click. It’s just that it is not very convenient to clean such a panel, and the mechanisms here are unreliable.
3. Touch buttons
A modern option that allows you to manage numerous cooking programs. It’s very easy to take care of a flat waterproof panel, but its usability will depend on the sensitivity of the sensors.
The inner coating of the camera
This point should not be discounted since the simplicity of care for the microwave oven and its service life depend on the coverage.
There are enough options here, but not all materials can be called a good choice:
1. Ceramic spraying – very smooth, environmentally friendly and always has an aesthetic appearance. If you choose a more expensive microwave with a bioceramic surface, you will also get an antibacterial coating that preserves more vitamins in the products.
2. Stainless steel is a durable and durable material, although scratches remain on the shiny surface. Microwave ovens with such an internal finish are more expensive, but the dishes in them cook faster.
3. Enamel – a cheap type of finish that is used in budget models. It is not difficult to wash it from fat, but it is impossible to use abrasives since a fragile layer can become scratched.
4. Acrylic is another inexpensive option, although not widely used. The reason is that acrylic coatings are not suitable for high power equipment – they can only be used in non-grill solo ovens designed to heat and thaw foods.
Optional microwave options can also be convenient if you intend to use the microwave for daily cooking of various dishes.
In this case, we recommend that you pay attention to the following functions:
1. Automatic programs
Thanks to them, you will not have to experiment with the power and operating time of the microwave. Smart technology itself will select the optimal mode for specific products. Only here you need to remember that auto programs are installed separately for defrosting, heating and cooking. When buying, be sure to specify in which particular modes they are supported, and in which – not.
2. Steam sensor
This option is even better since the microwave is not only guided by a given program but also evaluates the condition of the dish by the amount of steam released. If necessary, the microwave oven can independently change the heating power or turn off earlier than the timer will beep if the food is already ready.
3. Step-by-step cooking
A convenient solution for lovers of frozen convenience foods. Here you can set several commands at once, according to which the stove will first unfreeze, then cook the product, and at the end brown it with a grill. And all this without the participation of the owners.
4. Maintaining the temperature of ready meals
In this mode, microwaves can work up to one and a half hours. However, the maximum possible temperature in the chamber at this time will not exceed +25 ° C, that is, hot food will still not be.
Which microwave oven is better to choose
1. In the office or in a bachelor apartment, where the microwave requires a minimum of functions (to warm up lunch, boil water, unfreeze processed foods), you can buy the simplest and most low-power solo model of small volume – up to 20 liters. Such an oven is also suitable as a gift for elderly relatives, especially if you choose a device with simple rotary controls.
2. If the family likes the variety on the menu, and you don’t have time to stand by the stove on weekdays, take an inverter microwave with a quartz grill. It is better to give preference to models of an average volume of 25-30 liters. Convection mode is not necessary, but with a good condition of the wiring in the house and the availability of money for an expensive purchase, you can afford this option. Management is desirable to choose a touch, the display is welcome.
3. There is no way to install a full-fledged oven or do you have a large family? Look for the most capacious 40-45 liter inverter microwave. Ideally, if it has two grills (upper and lower), convection, as well as the maximum number of modes and automatic cooking programs. Management – only touch.
How much is a microwave
1. The simplest microwave solo can be purchased at a price of 2400 rubles to 13 thousand. True, there are still super-brand models worth up to 30-40 thousand rubles.
2. Models with a grill are sold at a price of 3 to 22 thousand rubles.
3. If you want to add convection to the main modes, get ready to part with the sum from 5 to 40 thousand.
4. Inverter microwaves are not cheap – in stores, they ask for from 7 to 40 thousand rubles.
5. The most expensive are the built-in models. Prices for such equipment range widely from 9 to 160 thousand.