It is a very valid ally in the kitchen because it allows you to carry out numerous cooking or defrosting operations in a practical and fast way. We are talking about the microwave oven that, over the years, has been able to evolve and offer itself in numerous variations and with increasingly richer functionality.
To clarify some things, we have created this guide that will help you understand what the functions are really important for this type of product.
Here we had selected some of the best quality Panasonic inverter microwaves that are given below.
Panasonic Inverter Microwaves Buyer Guide
Not Just for Defrosting
When it was invented, the microwave oven revolutionized the way we prepare food, in particular, because of its ability to defrost it very quickly. The technological evolution has increased its versatility, allowing it to be used also to heat dishes, both pre-cooked and those to be cooked from scratch.
The first choice you will have to make, therefore, is to decide if you need an essential model, only to defrost and heat already cooked food or an appliance with many more functions, to be used in place of a traditional oven.
In this second case you will have to focus on a product that is gaining more and more space on the market: the microwave with the grill, or with the ability to cook and brown food, thanks to a device that uses infrared rays to ensure proper cooking and give crunchiness to food.
A further step forward, in terms of completeness of the technological equipment, is represented by the function combined with the use of a plate called Crisp, made with particular materials capable of conveying the heat onto the food in a uniform way. In this way, you can make the dishes more crunchy, fry using very little oil, and even prepare and let rise cakes and soufflés.
The microwaves are divided into two categories with different price ranges: those built and those that can be placed anywhere. The former are designed to be inserted harmoniously into your kitchen, often lined up together with the traditional oven in order to create a real cooking zone.
They are on average larger and cumbersome and their purchase must be “studied” in order to adapt the design of the environment to their presence.
Traditional microwaves are easier to place, to which a shelf and a power socket are sufficient to be operational. They are typically smaller in size and have a capacity ranging from 18 to 30 liters, depending on your needs in terms of space and quantity of food to be heated.
Steam Cooking and Forced Air
One of the cooking possibilities offered by this microwave oven, which is not always present on other models of the same market range, is the steam oven. Through this function, it will, therefore, be possible to cook suitable foods while preserving everyone’s vitamins and nutrients. In addition, a steamer is also offered which makes it extremely useful for quickly cooking pasta.
Another cooking mode offered by this versatile microwave oven is the “ventilated air” one that Whirlpool makes available by calling it Forced Air. This is obtained thanks to the presence on the back of the microwave oven of a fan which takes care of spreading the heat as uniformly as possible over the entire surface of the food inserted inside. This is a function that is easier to find on a normal kitchen oven.
How to Use the Microwave?
Many people have a microwave in the kitchen but how many really know how to use it? How many make proper use of it that goes beyond quickly defrosting or reheating pre-cooked food? Yet we are sure that if you knew where to get your hands, you would probably no longer be able to do without this appliance.
Difference Between a Common Oven and A Microwave Oven
First of all, in our opinion, it is good to know the difference, even if of a general nature, between a common oven (gas or electric current) and a microwave oven. In the first case, the transmission of heat occurs by radiation or by conduction.
The part that heats up first is the external one while, in a second moment, the heat reaches the center. In the case of a microwave oven, especially with food rich in water, the inside heats up faster than the outside.
The Container Does Not Heat Up
Those who use the microwave oven will have noticed that the food container does not heat up, or at least only minimally. This is due to the fact that, unlike a traditional oven, the air is not heated.
Now, why do we happen to grab the microwave safely and burn ourselves? In this case, the fault lies with the food which, when heated, transferred part of its heat to the plate.
Choose the Right Temperature
The most common mistake made when using the microwave oven is to set the temperature to the maximum, whatever you put in it, regardless of whether it is cooked or simply heated.
Instead, you must rely on the instructions that accompany the oven and set the correct temperature as set on the recipe book, almost always present, for cooking or heating.
With a microwave oven, you can not only cook or heat but also defrost. What do many do? They switch on the oven by setting the maximum temperature to defrost the food. True, it works but it is not the correct way. The right thing to do, however, is to set it to defrost. In this way, the food, albeit more slowly, will be thawed in the correct way.
Putting a plastic container in the oven is a widespread practice and if it is for a couple of minutes, nothing or almost nothing happens. However, in the long run, the container will be damaged.
The ideal is to use containers specially designed for use in the microwave. In addition, there are also disposable dishes designed specifically for this appliance.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Clean the Microwave Oven?
If you are against chemical cleaners, the best way to clean your microwave oven is to use a mixture of vinegar, lemon, and baking soda. Better to heat these elements, once joined, at least for five minutes, inside the oven, so as to release a vapor capable of eliminating all traces of dirt and bacteria.
Turn off the microwave and, when it is cold, pass a damp cloth on the internal walls, to collect what has been brought to light by the degreasing action, then dry everything with a rag. If you also want to eliminate bad odors, you can leave a bowl with baking soda or coffee inside for at least one night.
What Does a Combined Microwave Oven Mean?
If your needs go beyond the functions of the usual microwave oven, you can opt for a combined model, that is, the one that combines cooking with the functions of the grill and the fan oven.
In this way, you can make the dishes in an even shorter time, with the advantage of also preparing roasts by taking advantage of the characteristics of cooking with ventilation or even, in the models that support it, steam cooking.
How Long Does a Microwave Oven Last?
Microwave ovens use magnetron tubes to operate, which has an average lifespan of around 2000 hours. It goes without saying, however, that the more you use your new appliance, the more it will shorten the life of this element.
How Does the Microwave Oven Work?
The operation of the microwave oven is very simple: when you turn it on, a magnetron tube is activated, capable of producing the microwaves. They are thus released into the accommodation where the food is placed and go to act on the water molecules that make them up.
These start to swing, producing heat and cooking food. The advantage lies in the fact that this oven does not have to be preheated, as well as being able to make everything ready in less time since there is not the slightest loss of heat.
Also, for this reason, it cannot be used to heat empty containers, which do not contain water molecules and therefore do not undergo the action of microwaves.
How to Melt Chocolate in The Microwave?
The first step is to obtain a suitable container for the microwave oven. At this point, you can insert it inside and heat it using the lowest power. Usually, it takes between 20 and 40 seconds to obtain well-melted chocolate, depending on whether it has been cut more or less finely.
Check if the liquidity reached is the one you want; if not, try to insert the container back into the oven for another ten seconds. A very useful trick is also to mix it, in order to avoid the formation of lumps and to favor the action of the microwave.