Saturday, 17 May 2014

Investing in Kitchen Appliances: Stainless Countertop Microwave

The microwave oven has become an irreplaceable feature in most kitchens. So much so, the young ones planning on the culinary journey plunge in and get a shiny stainless countertop microwave that will turn all their vegetables into delicious curry and their frozen food into palatable food; that is the aim of the outing.

Criterion for choosing microwave ovens
As the not so young ones, who need to replace worn out parts and carry out repairs on their aging ovens have found out, every shiny box does not convert. First, there is the price. Every model has a price within tens of dollars of each other and offers the same functionality. So, what does one choose?

Choosing from the top Brands
The top brands are Panasonic, Sharp, Whirlpool and Amana. Haier, Kenmore and Sanyo microwave also get mention but mainly in the compact microwave section, where the brands are almost clones of each other. Stainless finish makes them easier to maintain.

Cooking efficiency
Potato to popcorn, frozen dinner to pizzas, the time and presets make the difference between each model. Consider cooking lasagna or grilling chicken legs in the microwave. Cooking with models having a power rating of 1200 W is a pleasure. With the 800 W type of microwaves, you end up with soggy pizzas, unfrozen portion of chicken legs and the time taken can be 20 minutes more than if you used the more powerful models. Even popping popcorns might prove irksome with the oven only turning out 50% efficiency if you used the settings given on the oven.

Learning about the settings
Many of the brands do not care if the settings are not proper. It is up to the user to find out what the correct grilling temperature is and for how long they have to be cooked. This is not so with the more expensive brands having a price range of around $300. If there are basic models, which can make you popcorn for $60 why do people look for those hovering near the $1000 mark? It is all about settings – pop your food in, push a button and your dinner is ready!

Dimensions and cooking space
Bigger models do not necessarily mean larger cooking space. The interiors of most ovens have around 1.6 cubic feet space while the compact ones have only 0.8 cubic feet space. The dimension of the turntable is 9.6” to 10.4” for compact models and about 12” for the larger ones. Program settings are available for different foods but not all models will have all the settings. Some may not have settings for soup while others would ignore pizzas.

Choosing the one for you

The stainless countertop microwave cooks your food with the energy it has. The difference lies in the choice of the food: some delicate items like mushrooms and omelets cook well under lower heat while grilling and roasting is best done with a powerful model. Amana and Panasonic deliver good power and heat and require less cooking time. Sharp though it is pricy, does not have as much power but is ideal for making your eggs. To wrap it all up, it would do you good to read the customer reviews about the product beforehand; it will save you a lot of grief.

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