In this technology-driven era, the use of microwave ovens has become an essential part of our kitchen. A microwave oven is an exceptional kitchen appliance that would do many options from food cooking, leftover-warming and defrosting. It is an outstanding kitchen partner for every home cook.
What is Microwave Oven?
The microwave oven is a revolutionary kitchenware resulted from an accidental discovery by a self-taught American electronic engineer, Percy Spencer in 1946. It is designed for the convenience of your quick kitchen tasks. Unlike the conventional ovens, which cook food starting from the surface. Microwave ovens cook your food from within. It was originally used by commercial cooks and is gaining popularity among home cooks nowadays. It saves your cooking time and makes your food even tastier. It is even power efficient and utilizes less electricity.
The microwave oven functions through emission of an electromagnetic wavelength at a high frequency to facilitate agitation of the water molecules in our food. This causes vibration, which eventually results in a resistance with the other water particles and generates heat. This is the mechanism of how the microwave cooks food from the inside. Microwave cooking necessitates the presence of water since it responds to moisture for even distribution of microwave radiation. The non-ionizing radiation is not harmful. Most microwave ovens feature rotating plates to ensure the even cooking of food.
What is Countertop Microwave Oven?
Among the several types of microwave ovens, the Countertop Microwave Oven was the first to be marketed. The countertop microwave oven is the most affordable and portable type. It can also be taken to any place though it occupies your counter space. Following the launching of the first type of microwave oven, follows the Over-the- Range (OTR) and Cabinet-Mounted. These types save your counter space but are more costly, non-portable and even need a professional technician for installation. Though all types share the same convenience to users.
Countertop microwave ovens deliver quick delectable foods at your convenience. They are available in different brands, models, and sizes that suit your modern lifestyle. You could also get fancy with food preparation using your microwave oven. It serves beyond basic kitchen tasks such as boiling water, popcorn popping, and warming leftover pizzas.
Which makes the Best Microwave Oven?
Just like in any product, the best ones always have the highest price. Prior to purchasing your microwave, you might want to consider features which make a microwave oven exceptional among the rest.
- Turntables, Grids, and Trays
– This type of microwave oven provides more convenience, the turntable automatically rotates food allowing even, and thorough cooking. In addition, grids are good for grilling meats and enamel-coated trays are suitable for baking a variety of dishes.
- Touch Control Panels
– This modern sensor technology allows clear and easy operation.
– The 1-minute or 30-second quick keys allow adjustments such as extending the pre-set cooking time, maintaining selected power level, and setting time extensions.
– The shortcut keys take the work in popping popcorns, defrosting and some models even have additional options for cooking pasta, oatmeal, and stew.
- Metal Racks
– Models with metal racks serve as a separator, allowing you to cook multiple dishes at the same time.
- Child Safety Lock
– A touch-control lockout feature enables you to prevent unauthorized use – helps you keep your children safe.
- Stainless Steel Interior
– Stainless steel improves movement of microwaves in the oven, leading to excellent cooking results.
Why need a Microwave Oven?
Microwave ovens are more convenient than the traditional ovens in terms of cooking speed. Some food nutrients are retained in foods cooked in the microwave because the fast-paced cooking does not destroy the food nutrients. Foods do not get burned or overcooked due to its automated timekeeping features.
Our lifestyle has become a fast-track and we all need to catch-up with time. Using a microwave oven in cooking our meals saves your energy and a lot of time. To add-on its convenience, you can almost do all your kitchen job with this kitchen appliance such as grilling, baking, reheating and thawing really fast. This is likely the reason why microwave became a popular kitchen partner in most households.
Are you looking for the best countertop microwave oven? Do you want quick, warm meals all the time? Here are the five best picks for the best microwave ovens along with their product reviews to keep you guided.
Our Top Five Best Countertop Microwave Oven
The Panasonic NN-SN651BAZ microwave oven in black has a high-class and compact design, powered with the latest Inverter Technology and Inverter Turbo Defrost features that fits your fast-paced lifestyle. The inverter technology has perfected cooking with this microwave oven, in delivering delectable foods. It also comes with a 13.5-inch turntable which precisely simmers and warms the entire food evenly without overcooking the surfaces. The power output is 1200 Watts, it has automatic features that let you cook, reheat and keep foods warm through the One-Touch Genius Sensor. This medium-sized microwave oven is designed with more interior capacity while taking less space on your counter top. The glossy touch-button controls and four digit display panels make it look sophisticated. It includes very convenient features such as a quick minute timer for you to set cooking or reheating in a single minute interval, it has a delayed start and child safety lock.
The Westinghouse WCM660B is a small-size countertop microwave oven. Its design is inspired by simplicity and high standard. It is a space-saving kitchen appliance, yet do not compromise in delivering quick and delectable foods right to your dining tables. The interior capacity is 0.6 cubic with a 9.5-inch turntable dish. It can't be easier to operate with its mechanical-rotating dial controls. The 30-minute timer set with audible cooking alarm helps the user prevent accidental entering of longer cook-time over the touch-button types which make it safer to use. The 6-power levels make it even more suitable for various cooking ventures from low to high and in-between. It utilizes 600 Watts of power in cooking. The microwave is easy to clean and is low maintenance. You can simply remove the turntable glass and do the washing. With its compact design, it perfectly fits in small areas like studio pads and apartments.
The Breville appliances are popular for their well-designed and exceptionally high-quality products. The BMO734XL model is a medium-sized countertop oven which has many automatic features making it a smart countertop microwave oven. The Quick-Touch feature makes this model easy to use in adjusting the power level and time setting to suit your cooking needs. It has a unique power adjustment – This dynamic power adjustment feature enables the user to set both power and time during cooking, warming and unfreezing of food products. It is energy efficient by utilizing 1100 Watts of power. The interior capacity measures, 1.2 cubic foot. The covering and door handle is made of stainless steel, adorned with painted metallic casing. The major breakthrough of this model is the Sensor IQ Reheat and Cook features which recognize humidity and automatically regulates cooking time to match with the food being cooked. Making it the ideal kitchen partner.
Sharp is a world-renowned appliance manufacturer and had gained costumers trust over the years. They are best known for their expertise in designing elegant and revolutionary microwaves. The Sharp ZR331ZS countertop microwave oven is designed to satisfy your everyday cooking needs without compromising function over quality. It is a medium size countertop microwave oven that provides a lot of placement choices. The contemporary design of this microwave oven comes in a scratch free glass door that complements its modern style.
This is a medium-size countertop microwave oven has a capacity of 1.1 cubic foot and 11.25 inches carousel turntable to deliver evenly cooked foods. The Settings innovation includes auto defrosting features that ensure precise thawing of frozen foods, an easy access +30 seconds key for a quick start, and One-Touch control setting for popcorn and liquid refreshments. It has a 1000 Watts power output, and 10 cooking power levels.
The Hamilton Beach is a dynamic and compact small-sized countertop microwave oven. Perfect for your small-space kitchen. It only measures about 0.7 cubic foot with the dimensions 17.3 x 13.4 x 10.2, designed to fit small spaces and is quite a handy microwave oven. You may use a standard-size dining plate in the absence of a turntable. The power output of this microwave is 700 Watts, great for energy saving. It has Quick-Touch Buttons and a 6-set menu making it
easy to operate. It also has a child lock safety buttons – keeping you children safe. Its 10-power levels really address your cooking needs. The microwave oven comes in the red shade which makes it very attractive to women, and mostly women are the ones preparing food in their homes. No wonder it’s a best-seller, aside from its attractive sleek design it will make your home cooking quick and easy.
Microwave Oven Maintenance and Care Tips
Microwave ovens are kitchenware designed to make your busy urban lifestyle easy and hassle-free. Observing proper maintenance and care guidelines to maximize their functions to last long is very important.
- Make sure to securely close the oven door when using.
- Aluminum foils and other metal-containing objects should not be placed in your ovens since they insulate heat and create sparks.
- Do not use certain plastic containers unless labeled safe for microwave use.
- Do not microwave anything tightly sealed food containers
- Be cautious in heating liquids
- Clean your microwave oven regularly;
- Make sure to unplug your oven. Use a damp cloth for cleaning the internal surface with warm water and a detergent solution.
- Avoid using abrasive cleansers.
- If damaged, always go to a professional technician to fix it.
It’s undeniable that microwave ovens have become a must-have kitchen appliance. Taking proper maintenance and care become necessary for us to learn. These helpful machines must be protected from food spills and erroneous handling. You won’t like your microwave oven emitting a rotten smell and get damaged or rusted.
As certain, microwave ovens have enabled home cooks to experience the benefits of their quick cooking and easy operating features. Each selected product has its own unique innovation. Yet every product partakes similar features – fast speed cooking, automatic features and power efficiency.
When selecting a microwave oven, always take these basic considerations in mind – the capacity, smart sensors, quick-set touch panels, power efficiency, child-lock features and of course the price. From then, you can narrow your choices to which model that perfectly suits your cooking needs. Have fun shopping!