Initially, microwave ovens were only used for reheating food. However, the newer types with advanced features have made them more versatile. They are used for cooking noodles, grilling meat, and baking confectionaries. There are different types of microwave ovens based on their technology and the installation process. Below are those classifications,
Types of Microwave Ovens
Based on their technology, there are three types of microwave ovens. They are,
Solo Microwave Oven
This is the most common microwave oven. It performs basic tasks such as reheating food and beverage, cooking noodles and defrosting frozen food items. They have both domestic and commercial purposes.
They have a small capacity within a range of 0.5-2.5 cubic feet. With this capacity, you can not place more than one bowl or pan inside the oven. They have a watt range of 550-1500, with the most common one being 1,000 watts. As their watts is very low, it takes a considerable amount of time to heat the food.
These ovens lack advanced features. They come with basic features such as timers, digital clocks, express cooking, and weight defrost. Due to their small size, you can place them anywhere. You can place them on countertops or fit them inside a cabinet to organize space.
The solo microwave ovens come with three types of finishes – stainless steel, aluminum, and plastic. Due to the lack of advanced features, their prices are very low.
Grill Microwave Oven
This is an upgraded version of the solo microwave oven. It lets you do everything a solo microwave oven can. Besides, you can also use it for grilling food items such as chicken, fish, and pizza.
These ovens have a slightly larger capacity than solo microwave ovens. They have a capacity range of 1-2.5 cubic feet. Additionally, they have a watt range of 900 to 1700 watts.
Besides having all the features of a grilling machine, they have combo grilling, power grilling, and eco mode. The combo grilling allows you to use both the griller and microwave at the same time. When you use the power grilling, the unit uses only the griller and cooks the food longer than under normal settings.
Most commonly, the grill microwave ovens come with a stainless steel finish. The price of these ovens varies widely, but, they are more than that of solo microwave ovens.
Convection Microwave Oven
These are multi-purpose ovens that allow you to perform basic oven tasks, grill food, and besides, bake foods. The convection microwave has a different set of fans and a heater. The fan pushes through the microwave that results in faster cooking.
Their capacity is similar to that of the grill microwave ovens with 1 to 2 cubic feet. Their power range is also similar to grill microwaves within the range of 800 to 1700 watts. You can opt for a higher capacity and higher watt convection microwave to cook faster.
They have all the features of the solo and grill microwaves. Besides, they come with advanced features such as inverter technology and easy cleaning.
The prices of convection microwaves are very high. Furthermore, you will have to pay additionally for the installation. There are different types of installation – countertop, above the range, under cabinet, under counter and the built-in. Among them, the built-in installation costs the most money.
Based on the place of installation, microwave ovens are of two types. They are,
Countertop Microwave Ovens
As the name implies, these microwave ovens are placed on the counter. The best thing about them is that there is no cost of installation. They are very portable and you can move them easily. You can frequently change their location and organize space.
The only drawback is that it occupies valuable counter space.
Above The Range
If you don’t want to place the oven on the counter, then we have got the next best thing for you. You can install the above the range counters above your stove. It helps free up counter space. Furthermore, installing these ovens at eye level increases your convenience in operating these ovens.
The major drawback is the installation cost of these ovens. You won’t be able to do the installation yourself. Moreover, once installed, you cannot move these ovens.
Another great option to free up counter space is by installing the oven below your upper cabinet. Like above the range ovens, they are also installed at eye level.
This method is not workable for every kitchen. Furthermore, you might have to go for a compact-sized oven if the distance between your cabinet and countertop is less. And, not to mention the installation costs.
The under counter microwave ovens are installed below the counters. When you have sufficient space under the counter, you can fix these ovens beneath them.
Installing the oven under the counter causes a lot of inconveniences. You will have to bend down every time you use it. Hence, it is not generally preferred by many.
These ovens are becoming one of the most popular choices in recent times. The built-in ovens are directly built into the cabinets. They are installed while designing the kitchen or during a kitchen renovation. They blend in seamlessly and can be installed at any height level.
The only limitation is that once you have designed your kitchen, you won’t be able to install this.
Frequently Asked Questions?
The solo microwave ovens are entry-level ovens that can perform basic functions such as reheating, cooking, and defrosting frozen food. If you have grilling and baking needs, then you need to invest in a grill microwave and convection microwave respectively.
Yes, you can use a convection oven to reheat food. Additionally, you can also use it to grill and bake food.
It is a multipurpose oven that can be used to reheat, grill, and bake food items. The convection microwave oven has a fan that pushes the heat over the food that helps cook sooner. Additionally, it comes with numerous features such as inverter technology, smarter cooking, sensor reheating, and easy cleaning.
The grill ovens are not ideally suited for baking purposes. Heat should be produced evenly from above and below the food. So, the grill oven should have advanced temperature control settings. Even then, there is no guarantee and the food may be burned or half-baked.
You can install the countertop and under the cabinet ovens by yourself. But, they might still need some electrical wiring if there is no plug point. The other ovens such as built-in and above the range ovens need professionals for installations.
If the rating of the microwave oven is less than 3000 watts, it does not necessarily have to be hard-wired. Still, we recommend you to hardwire just in case to be safe. For ovens rated over 3000 watts, you will have to hardwire them.
Microwave ovens have become one of the most common kitchen appliances. As explained, they come in different types, sizes, and features. Depending upon your cooking needs, you can opt for an entry-level solo microwave oven or the advanced convection oven.
If you have any additional queries or doubts, you can let us know using the comments section, and we will help you out.