When you head over to your favourite ecommerce platform to buy a microwave oven, you see that hundreds of different models are available for sale.
Some of them are called solo microwave ovens whereas few others are called convection ovens!
You might think, how am I going to find one for my kitchen if you know nothing about microwave ovens?
But don’t worry! We got your back!
I’ll help you find a perfect model for your kitchen. All you have to do is spend an extra five minutes reading this article.
In this article, I’ll tell you exactly how to choose microwave oven step by step.
And when you reach the end of it you probably have an idea of what you want and which type of models is best suited for you.
So, without any more fluff, let’s get straight into the guide.
When you are going to purchase a microwave oven, here are the parameters that you need to consider,
Let’s dive deeper into each of these parameters so that you get a better understanding of what to expect.
1. Microwave Oven Type
There are three different types of microwave ovens available in Indian market and they are called Solo, Grill and Convection microwave ovens.
Each of these models have its own purpose and are made for different categories of customers.
First thing you need to find is what kind of customer you are and select the oven type made for your use cases.
1.1. Solo Microwave Oven
Solo ovens are the basic category of microwave ovens, that are mainly used for reheating, defrosting and cooking basic food items.
However, it cannot be used for cooking dishes that require baking or grilling.
If you are someone who is looking for a microwave oven mainly for reheating already cooked foods and defrosting frozen meats, then a solo microwave oven is perfect for you.
1.2. Grill Microwave Oven
Grill microwave ovens are the category of microwave ovens that have the feature to make grilled food items like tandoori, grilled chicken, etc.
Along with grilling, they can be used for reheating already cooked items, defrosting frozen meat and cooking basic meals.
By feature wise, grill microwave ovens are mid range ovens that stand in between solo and convection ovens.
Compared to convection microwave ovens, the only facility grill microwave oven lacks is baking. Grill microwave ovens cannot be used for cooking dishes that require baking.
If you are looking for a microwave oven to satisfy your cravings for grilled food, then grill microwave ovens are the best for your needs.
1.3. Convection Microwave Oven
Convection microwave ovens are the most advanced category of microwave ovens.
Convection Ovens have the ability to bake and cook food items through the process of microwave convection.
Apart from baking, these ovens can be used for reheating, defrosting, grilling and cooking hundreds of dishes.
By feature wise, convection microwave ovens are top level ovens that have all the features of solo and grill ovens combined.
If you are someone looking for a machine that can cook whatever you want, then you must go with a convection microwave oven.
Once you’ve decided on what type of oven to choose, then the next important thing is to select the capacity.
In Indian market you get microwave ovens from 17 Litres to all the way up to 40 Litres.
You must choose the capacity according to your family size.
While choosing capacity, it is necessary to consider the future changes in your family because you won’t change microwave ovens every year like other gadgets.
As a general rule of thumb, you can follow the below table to choose the capacity.
|Bachelors||17 – 20 Litres|
|Couples||20 – 23 Litres|
|3 – 4 Members||23 – 25 Litres|
|4 – 6 Members||25 – 32 Litres|
|6 + Members||32+ Litres|
This is a general rule for people purchasing convection microwave ovens considering that you cook a lot of food.
If you are looking at solo or grill microwave ovens, you can purchase a smaller capacity than that mentioned in the above table.
It is because reheating or grilling requirements for the majority of Indian households does not exceed 25 Litres in capacity.
Power consumption is directly related to the performance of a microwave oven.
If the power consumption is high, a microwave oven will heat and cook foods faster.
But choosing a microwave oven based on power is not a good idea because of the differences in power rating for different types.
Solo microwave ovens have only one power rating called microwave power whereas Grill microwave ovens have three: microwave power, grill power and maximum power.
Convection microwave ovens have a total of 4 power ratings: microwave power, grill power, convection power and maximum power.
So it is not practical to consider all those values while making a decision.
But ensure that all those power levels are above 700 watts, so that you get a medium performance.
For the best performance, try to buy a model with 2000+ watts for convection power and 1000+ watts in all other ratings.
Price is one of the most important factors the majority of the consumers are concerned about.
Like every other product, price is directly related to the quality, benefits and brand value of the model.
If you want advanced features in a highly durable build with best customer service and warranty, then you must be ready to spend some extra money.
Solo microwave ovens have less features and functionalities compared to grill or convection microwave ovens, hence the price is also on the lower side.
In India, you could get a high quality advanced solo microwave ovens well under INR 6000.
Grill microwave ovens stand in between solo and convection ovens, solo being the cheapest and convection being the most expensive.
If you have a budget in the range of INR 6000 to INR 10000, you can get advanced grill microwave ovens with a host of features.
If you want a medium level convection microwave oven, you need to spend at least INR 10000 and premium models from brands like LG and Samsung will cost you up to 30K INR.
Whenever we buy a product we should be aware of all the benefits it has to offer. Microwave ovens are a kind of product that comes with a host of features and benefits.
Some of the important benefits or features you can have in a microwave oven are described below.
5.1. Auto Cook Menus
These are the pre-programmed automatic cooking options which do not require any manual intervention after setting up. T
he majority of microwave ovens with digital controls come with a lot of auto cook menus.
Solo microwave ovens have the lowest number of auto cook menus and convection ovens have the highest.
Some of LG’s models have more than 400 auto cook options for you to choose from.
All you have to do is touch or press a button after placing the raw food in the turntable and the microwave oven will take care of the rest for you.
5.2. Keep Warm
This feature allows you to keep the cooked food warm until you serve.
It is a great feature for the people who would like to eat warm food and don’t want to reheat before serving.
5.2. Combi Cooking
This is a feature which uses both microwave heating and grill or convection to cook a food item.
It is a short form for combination cooking where all the powers of a microwave oven are used.
5.3. Auto Defrost
Defrosting is one of the basic features of microwave ovens. Earlier days, it was manual defrosting where you had to enter the power and time manually.
But advanced microwave ovens have the facility of auto defrost, where you don’t need to enter anything.
All you have to do is place the frozen meat inside the microwave cavity and press the auto defrost button and the oven will automatically set the timer and temperature.
The deodorizer is a function present in most of the advanced convection microwave ovens that removes every foul smell formed inside the cavity after cooking multiple dishes to keep the cavity fresh.
5.5. Steam Clean
The Steam Clean functionality removes grease and oil residues in the interior of the cavity with steam.
This functionality is currently available only in most of the expensive models.
5.6. Steam Cook
This is also a similar feature like steam clean, but here steam is used to cook food.
There are several food items like idli which can be steam cooked.
Steam Clean feature is available only in expensive models that have steam clean feature.
5.7. Motorized Grill
There are microwave ovens featuring 360 degree motorized grills (rotisserie) which can be used to make barbeque dishes like paneer tikka, chicken tikka, etc with high perfection.
5.8. Digital Control Panel
Earlier days, microwave ovens had complete manual control where both timer and temperatures are controlled with two rotating dials.
But when things started moving towards digital, most of the brands adopted the digital control panel with either membrane based touchpad buttons or tact buttons along with LED display for displaying timer information.
Also, some of the premium models from LG and Samsung have full glass touch screen panels.
Currently, only low cost solo and grill microwave ovens have manual controls, rest all models have digital control panels.
While setting the temperature and timers, digital control panels are more accurate compared to fully manual.
These are the important features/benefits you should look for when buying a microwave oven.
Apart from these, some other additional safety features like child lock, sensor malfunction protection, protection against overheat and voltage fluctuation etc are some other essential features that you need to look into.
6. Warranty & Customer Service
Once every technical decision is made, the next thing to consider is the brand, warranty and it’s customer support.
And, this is the most controversial decision you will have to make.
A lot of people have some love for certain brands and they don’t find this step hard, but others have a really hard time choosing a brand.
Also, it is very hard for me to choose a brand for you without knowing your location and demography.
It is because customer support depends entirely on the region where you live. Research for the brands and find a brand that has a good reputation and customer support in your locality.
All the products have a minimum of brand provided 1 year comprehensive warranty.
And some brands like Samsung, IFB, etc provide additional warranty on magnetron and cavity which is a nice initiative that can give peace of mind for years after purchasing.
Also, if you have some extra budget you can always go for an extended warranty scheme if any is available.
Now you know how to choose a microwave oven, then it’s time to actually choose one model from the hundreds available in the market.
You can check out our dedicated articles on different types of microwaves ovens available in India.
In those articles we have in-depth reviews of best models in each category so that you get maximum value for the money you pay.
If you still have any questions regarding choosing a microwave oven, no worries! Just ask your doubt in the comment section below and I will respond to you as fast as possible.
For now, thanks for reading.
Have a great day.