If you are looking to understand about different types of microwave ovens, then you are at the right place. Since microwave ovens do not come cheap, it is necessary that you should know about different types of microwave ovens so that you can make informed decision.
All microwave ovens work by producing electromagnetic radiation that heat up the water molecule inside the food. There are different types of microwave ovens based on their functionality.
Different Types of Microwave Ovens
We have listed these ovens along with their pros and cons. Microwave ovens can be divided into 3 types.
- Solo Microwave
- Grill Microwave
- Convection Microwave
|Feature||Solo microwave oven||Grill microwave oven||Convection microwave oven|
|Heating methods||Microwave radiation only (which comes from magnetron)||Combination of microwave radiation and heating element||Combination of microwave radiation, heating element and fan|
|Uses||Reheating, Defrosting, simple cooking||Grilling, toasting, reheating, drosting and simple cooking||Baking, grilling, toasting (basically everything that other ovens can make plus baking)|
|Capacity||Usually 10 – 20 litres||Usually 15 – 20 litres||Usually 20 – 35 litres|
|Ideal Family Size||Bachelors and couples||Mid-sized families||Mid to large families|
|Temperature Settings||Usually no auto-cook option that has predefined temperature settings||Constant monitoring and manual adjustment of temperature may be required||Most convection models have auto-cook option with predefined temperature settings|
|Price||Price starts from even less than Rs 4,000||Price starts from Rs 5,000||Price starts from Rs. 8,000|
1. Solo Microwave Oven
Solo microwave ovens are most basic type of microwave ovens. These ovens are good for reheating, defrosting and simple cooking. It consists of a magnetron element that produces microwave electromagnetic radiation to heat the food from inside to outside. With this microwave oven, you can cook rice, noodles, pasta, popcorns etc. It comes in lower capacity and as a result consumes low power as compared to other microwave ovens. Thus, it is ideal for bachelors and couples.
- Lower price
- Comfortable to use and clean
- Ideal for couples and bachelors
- Consumes less power
- Not ideal for grilled or baked food
- Has less capacity
2. Grill Microwave Oven
Grill oven is one step ahead of solo microwave ovens. You can use them to do all the basic cooking, reheating and defrosting just like solo microwave ovens.
On top of this, you can make grilled food such as kebabs and tikkas and also make toasts. Thus, it can be used for grilling and basic cooking. This is possible with the help of heating element present in the oven apart from magnetron for microwave radiation.
The heating element heats food from outside to inside. This makes the food brown and crispy. And microwave radiation heats the food evenly even on the inside, ensuring proper cooking.
You also have an option to use the grill without microwave option. Also, There can be difficulty in regulating temperature so users need to monitor food to avoid undercooking or overcooking it.
It consumes higher power as compared to solo microwave ovens and also cost higher. It is ideal for medium sized families. It should not be confused with OTGs (Oven toaster grill), which does not use microwave radiation to cook food.
Read: OTG vs Microwave oven
- Lower price than convection oven
- Can be used for grilling and basic cooking
- Ideal for small and medium families
- Option to switch of microwave feature
- Consumes higher power than solo microwave ovens
- Cannot be used to bake food
- Frequent monitoring of food required
3. Convection Microwave Oven
Convection microwave oven is the most popular type of microwave oven. It comes with a magnetron to produce microwaves radiation, heating element to heat food from the outside and a fan for even circulation of hot air.
This is a multipurpose microwave oven that can be used for baking, grilling, reheating, defrosting, cooking and so on. Thus you can use it to make dishes such as brownies, cookies, cakes, pizzas, muffins, pasta, noodles, tandoori chicken and so on.
This type of oven is costlier than solo and grill microwave ovens and usually come in higher capacities. Thus, they are ideal for medium and large families.
Key Features in Convection Ovens
Auto Cook Menu: This option allows for convenient cooking. All you have to do is select the dish from the menu and select the weight of the food. The microwave oven will automatically adjust the timer and temperature as per the weight and dish type. Most of the convection microwave ovens comes with several cooking pre-sets.
Steam clean: Many convection ovens come with steam clean feature that helps in easier and faster cleaning of the oven
Defrost option: High end convection models come with precise defrosting options where you can control the defrosting by setting the weight of the food to defrost. This is possible because power levels and defrosting time are set automatically as soon as you select weight of food to be defrosted.
Digital control panel: High end convection microwave ovens come with digital control panels. These are easy to use and help in packing multiple features into the oven.
- Can be used for grilling, baking, cooking etc.
- Ideal for medium and large families
- No monitoring of food required
- Auto cook menu comes with predefined temperature settings
- Faster cooking due to higher power
- Consumes more power
|Re-heat, Defrost Food||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Rice, Pasta, Noodles||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Grilled Chicken, Paneer||Yes||Yes|
|Veg and Non-Veg Kebabs||Yes||Yes|
|Cupcakes, Mugcakes, Breads||Yes|
|Pizza, Muffins, Tortillas||Yes|
Types of convection microwave ovens based on placement
Convection Microwaves ovens can be further divided based how you want to place them. These are of mainly two types.
1. Built-in Microwave Oven
As the name suggests, built-in microwave ovens are built into cabinets and therefore cannot be moved easily once installed.
These type of oven have become quite popular off late as they help in saving space and complement modular kitchens quite decently. They typically come with steel finish and rotating knobs.
These ovens are difficult to move. Also, installing and uninstalling requires help of professional. Therefore you have to decide in advance where you have to place it. Usually, users place it at eye level or below the gas stove. If you choose to place it at eye level, you need to have tall kitchen units, while placing it under the gas stove can result in discomfort due to heat while the food is getting cooked.
- High end design
- Saves kitchen space
- Costlier than counter top microwave ovens
- Difficult to move, install and uninstall
2. Countertop Microwave Oven
These are most common types of microwave ovens. You can place them on the kitchen counter or a table top. They are easy to install, uninstall and move. These ovens are usually less costlier and a wide range of models is available.
- Lesser price
- Easy to move
- Takes up kitchen space
Microwave ovens are of 3 types. Each of them come with their own pros and cons and should be purchased after these considerations. That being said, convection microwave ovens are the most popular in the market as they are multipurpose and can be used for baking, grilling, toasting and so on. However they are come at quite higher price point. Solo microwave ovens are very cost effective and can be used for basic cooking and heating. Grill microwave ovens are least popular types of ovens as users tend to buy solo microwave ovens to get a cheaper alternative or a convection oven to get added advantage of baking.
If you have any questions, do let us know in the comments below and we will help you.