Jump to Section
A microwave oven is a kitchen appliance used to heat food. A microwave oven uses an electromagnetic wave that bounces off the walls and vibrates the foods to cook.
The most common type of microwave oven is a stainless steel microwave oven. Microwave ovens come in other materials, like plastic or metal. The material often determines the longevity and price of the microwave oven. A microwave oven is usually a rectangular shape with a window which makes it the perfect size for a plate of food.
Stainless steel microwave ovens last longer than other types of microwave ovens because they’re durable and dent-resistant. Stainless steel microwave ovens also cost more than other types of microwave ovens but are more likely to last longer. Microwave ovens come in all different sizes, with the dimensions affecting how large of a plate you can put in the microwave. If you want to compare it to a convection oven instead, you can also check out our guide on the best convection oven for you.
The history of microwave ovens dates back to 1945. While there are some reports of a microwave-like appliance invented in 1934, the electric fields used in the first ovens weren’t high enough to be considered a microwave oven. It wasn’t until 1945 that the first microwave oven as we know it was invented.
What is the ideal material for a microwave oven?
The ideal material for a microwave oven is stainless steel. Stainless steel microwave ovens are preferred because they are durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
Stainless steel microwave ovens cost more than other types of microwave ovens, like plastic, because of their longevity. The cheapest type of microwave oven is made with plastic materials but is more prone to dents or chips. Plastic microwave ovens are also more likely to lead to inconsistent heating.
People who are concerned about environmental health may want to consider a higher quality microwave oven. There have been some concerns over microwave ovens emitting carbon emissions into the air. Microwave ovens have been considered to be a more environmentally friendly option than a traditional oven.
What are the types of microwave ovens?
The types of microwave ovens are as follows:
- Commercial microwave oven: A commercial microwave oven is a larger-sized microwave oven with more cooking capacity.
- Combination microwave oven: A combination microwave oven is a microwave oven that combines traditional microwaves with hot air.
- Convection microwave oven: A convection microwave oven is an oven that microwaves and bakes at the same time.
- Over-the-range microwave oven: An over-the-range microwave oven is an appliance that hangs right above the cooking range.
- Under-counter microwave oven: An under-counter microwave oven is an appliance that goes directly underneath the counter.
- Built-in microwave oven: A built-in microwave oven is an appliance that is built-in with the rest of the kitchen space and is unremovable.
- Wall microwave oven: A wall microwave oven goes on the wall.
- Smart microwave oven: A smart microwave oven is an appliance with smart controls.
What is the ideal size for a microwave oven?
The ideal size of a microwave oven depends on the amount of food you want to cook at one time. Smaller microwave ovens are better suited for microwaving a single meal or plate of food at a time. Larger microwave ovens can hold larger, family-sized microwave oven meals. A commercial-sized microwave oven may be necessary if you use the microwave frequently.
What size microwave oven do I need? That depends on how much food you want to cook at one time using the microwave oven. If you have 1-4 people in your household, you may want a smaller convection microwave oven between 21-30 liters in size. If you have 4-6 people in your household, you may want a microwave oven between 25-30 liters. If you cook frequently or entertain a lot, you may want a microwave oven over 30 liters in size. You also want to consider power, with the average power rating between 700-1,000 watts.
What are the use cases of a microwave oven?
A use case of a microwave oven can be defined as a specific way in which you use it to cook foods. A few use cases of a microwave oven include:
- Heat frozen meals
- Reheat leftovers foods
- Making a poached egg
- Soaking beans
- Rehydrating bread
- Disinfecting sponges
- Bake potatoes
- Cook bacon
Once you learn how to use a microwave oven, you’ll find many use cases. Microwave ovens have many use cases beyond that of heating food.
Can you use a microwave oven as a conventional oven?
You can use some microwave ovens as a conventional oven. Many, but not all, microwave ovens come with a convention mode.
Can you use a microwave oven to bake cakes?
Yes, you can use a microwave oven to bake cakes. While a convection mode makes baking cakes easier, it’s possible to bake cakes without one.
Can you use a microwave oven for Indian food?
Yes, you can make many Indian dishes using a microwave oven. You can make curry, Atta Ka Sheera, Papad Poha, or even Khandvi using a microwave.
Do microwave ovens affect the flavor of food?
A microwave oven can affect the flavor of food. Higher quality microwave ovens heat foods more consistently and evenly, leading to better tasting food. The settings at which you use the microwave oven can also influence food. Choosing a microwave oven that allows you to adjust temperature settings can help preserve the quality of food.
What are the microwave oven brands?
The best microwave oven brands right now are the following:
- Best overall microwave oven: GE
- Best value microwave oven: Hamilton Beach
- Best over the range microwave oven: Frigidaire
- Best smart microwave oven: LG
What is the lifespan of a microwave oven?
The typical lifespan of a microwave oven is between 6-8 years. The frequency of use and maintenance of the microwave oven affects longevity. Cleaning up spills immediately and using the microwave oven according to the owner’s manual can help it last longer.
The factors that affect how long a microwave oven lasts include:
- Frequency of use: How often you use your microwave oven, including opening and closing the door, affects how long it lasts. This is because the motor works to send waves through the appliance and performance can decrease over time. The seal on the door can also wear down.
- Maintenance and upkeep: Maintaining your microwave oven makes it last longer. This means carefully opening and closing the door and using the settings as designed.
- Material selection: The initial quality of the microwave oven makes a difference in how long it lasts. Stainless steel microwave ovens last longer than plastic ovens.
- Installation: How and where you install the microwave oven also affects its longevity rates. Installing your oven in an easy-to-reach place can reduce wear and tear.
The cost of a microwave oven ranges from $50-$400. Smaller, countertop microwave ovens with less space are on the lower end of the range, whereas larger built-in microwave ovens with more room may cost even more.
How does culture affect the usage of a microwave oven?
While the microwave oven may have been invented in the U.S. many cultures all over the world use this popular appliance. You can find microwave ovens in households all over including in Europe or Asia. Microwave ovens are primarily found in the U.S. though, with over 90% of households owning one. This could be due to the fact that Americans prioritize fast, easy meals.
What are the relevant kitchen tools to a microwave oven?
The most relevant kitchen tools connected to a microwave oven include:
- Microwave-safe utensils: Microwave-safe utensils can be used to mix foods.
- Microwave-safe dishes: Microwave-safe dishes are a must when reheating or cooking foods in the microwave.
- Kitchen knives: A good set of kitchen knives lets you prepare your foods before cooking them in the microwave.
- Micro-wave save lids: A microwave-safe lid allows you to cover your foods.
What is the primary difference between a microwave oven and a convection oven?
The primary difference between a microwave oven vs a convection oven is their cooking method. A microwave oven bounces electromagnetic waves around to vibrate the food particles, whereas a convection oven circulates hot air using a fan. Some microwave ovens come with both cooking options.
Another difference between a microwave oven and a convection oven is the outcome of the cooked foods. A microwave heats foods that have already been cooked, whereas a convection oven is also capable of cooking foods.
What are the features of a good microwave oven?
Here are 10 features of the best microwave oven:
- Power: You want to choose a microwave that meets your household’s power needs.
- Controls: Choose a microwave oven that has the controls most useful to you, including the ability to brown or reheat foods.
- Removable racks: Removable racks in a microwave oven can make it easier to keep it clean.
- Auto-programming keys: Auto-programming keys reduce the time it takes to program the microwave oven. Programmable keys may include 15 or 30-seconds, or popcorn.
- Convection capabilities: A microwave oven with convection capabilities allows you to cook your foods in addition to reheating them.
- Smart settings: Microwave ovens with smart settings allow you to control the timer and other features from your smartphone.
- Noise: Some microwave ovens are louder than others. Choose one with a decibel rating that works in your household.
- Safety: Many of today’s microwave ovens have built-in safety features that remind you when you’re food is done cooking.
- Size: You want to choose a microwave oven that meets your household’s size needs.
- Design: Microwave ovens come in all different designs, including material and color, so you can choose one that kits your kitchen look.
What are the parts of a microwave oven?
The parts of a microwave oven include the following:
- Door: The door is where you place your food before reheating it.
- Controls: The controls are where you set your microwave oven’s timer.
- Power cord: The power cord supplies power to the microwave oven.
- Turntable: The turntable rotates the foods for an even heat.
- Cooking unit: The cooking unit or cavity, is the enclosure of the microwave oven.
- Cooling fan: The cooling fan helps the microwave oven maintain a consistent heat.
- Wave guide: The wave guide directs the magnetic waves to the food.
- Transformer: The electrical transformer helps to supply power to the unit.
What are the repair options for a microwave oven?
If your microwave oven breaks, you may be able to replace one of the parts. A few of the parts available for microwave ovens include:
- Door: The door of your microwave oven may wear out over time and you may be able to replace it.
- Controls: Certain controls can wear out over time and may be replaceable.
- Cooling fan: The cooling fan can stop working over time.
- Turntable: The turntable can break but can easily be replaced.
What is the difference between a microwave oven and an air fryer?
The primary difference between a microwave oven and an air fryer is the cooking method of each appliance. A microwave oven reheats foods by bouncing waves throughout the unit, whereas an air fryer fries foods using hot air.
Another difference between a microwave oven and an air fryer is the taste of foods cooked using each type of appliance. A microwave reheats foods, giving you a similar taste to how they were before refrigerating them, whereas an air fryer makes foods crispier and fried.
How did the microwave oven get its name?
The microwave gets its name from its ability to transition energy through foods. The microwave oven uses a high frequency of waves to vibrate and generate heat.
You can spell microwave oven as: m-i-c-r-o-w-a-v-e- o-v-e-n.
You can pronounce microwave oven as: mai-kraw-wayv uh-vn.
What is another word for a microwave oven?
A microwave oven may also be referred to as just a microwave. It may also be referred to as a range, roaster, or cooker.
What is the history of the microwave oven?
The history of the microwave oven dates back to 1946. American engineer Percy Spencer invented the antique microwave oven right after World War II using technologies from war. The first microwave oven was called the Radarange and was first sold to Americans in 1946. It took a few years for the microwave oven to take off as the original models were too large.
Today, most households own a microwave oven.