Compact and multi-functional, microwave ovens have transformed the way food is prepared or cooked. These small appliances are increasingly replacing traditional ovens and find their ideal place in tiny kitchens, studios kitchenettes, hotels and B&B rooms, offices and anywhere there is the need to quickly warm up or cook food. They make for a handy solution in the absence of a traditional kitchen. In spite of their modest size, microwave ovens are equipped with all the needed basic functions and almost always show a stylish design that integrates ideally in any context, from classic to contemporary. Microwave ovens are perfect to quickly defrost or warm up food, with no need to use the kitchen burners which consume more energy. In traditional cooking systems, such as electrical and gas, for the conductivity process, heat diffuses from the food outside to the inside. Microwaves propagate heat through two processes, that is to say the dipole rotation and the ionic polarization, both taking an extremely short time, so that food is warmed up quickly and more heterogeneously than with conventional methods.
Types and characteristics of microwave ovens
The market offers a variety of microwave ovens models. These appliances can be positioned on the countertop, built-in or mounted on the wall and are available in the most diverse shapes, generally clustered as compact, medium and large size.
The difference is made by specific characteristics and functions. The basic model allows to cook, warm up and defrost food and has no extra option; an increasingly available function in microwaves is the grill that browns food just like traditional ovens. This is the case of combi-microwave ovens. Lately producers have been more and more winking at design, launching models that range broadly for colors, with nuances that combine perfectly with the furniture and appliances of any kitchen space. But how many typologies of microwaves do exist? The most popular are definitely countertop microwave ovens, available in all sizes. That’s a ready-to-use model, in the sense that it only needs to be unpacked, positioned on the counter and plugged to the sock to be ready for use. Another strength point is that it can be easily moved or carried from one place to another. Built-in microwave ovens, on the other hand are a great solution if there is limited space, as they can be installed into a cabinet or the kitchen furniture. Due to their positioning, these microwaves are different from countertop microwave ovens, the side panels being unfinished. In general, design models are available in medium and large sizes, whereas technology-wise they are multi-functional, almost always combining convection cooking and grill. The latest frontier is represented by over the range microwave ovens. Such aesthetically catchy appliances add an especially elegant and sophisticate touch to the kitchen space, adding also to its functionality as they can be placed above the cooking hob. They are generally equipped with an accent light in the lower part in order to light up the counter and with a vent and aspiration system to suck smells and steam just like any other cooking hood.
Microwave ovens for all needs
No matter what kind of oven you are thinking buying, it is essential and crucial that the model you opt for fits within the space of destination. Built-in microwave ovens, for instance, need to match with the space of the furniture or cabinet where they will be installed. When measuring, it is important to leave some free space on the sides for aeration. Installing a countertop microwave oven is simpler as it only requires an empty surface, although for it to be steady, this needs to be at least as large and deep as the oven itself. The most advanced, next generation models of microwave ovens also feature a convection cooking system. Alike any other traditional oven, a convection microwave makes use of an internal vent for the air circulation and of microwaves to heat food from the inside to the outside. A really unique cooking style making for the extreme versatility of this model.