Do you want to buy a new microwave oven? That is nice, but wait a minute! Let's explain to you different types of oven before you buy one. Tabletop microwave is designed to sit on a worktop, these can be plugged into a 13amp socket. You can buy model that use microwave energy only, microwave plus a grill, or combination models which use microwave energy and conventional energy, or the two simultaneously.
To check that a tabletop microwave is big enough for your needs, take a large cooking dish with you when you buy one to see that it fits. Combination microwaves can be tabletop models or the same size as a conventional oven. Full-size combination models need to be connected to a cooker wiring circuit. Combinations are suitable for most types of cooking, but especially roasting, pastry, cakes and breads. Almost all models come with a grill.
Microwaves Safety Tips
Before you start Cooking: Read any instructions for cooking given on packaged foods, and check with the microwaves manual. Defrosting: Make sure that food defrosts evenly, turning it if necessary. It is easy for one part to be cooking while the rest is still frosting.
Reheating: As with cooking conventionally, make sure that any foods reheated in the microwave are heated through thoroughly and are served piping hot. If necessary, stir the food to make sure it is evenly heated. Never reheat something from cold more than once.
Stay nearby: Some foods can unexpectedly catch alight, particularly if they have a high fat or sugar content, so it is bet never to leave the microwave unattended. And never attempt to deep or shallow fry in the microwave for the same reason.
Containers: Always check with the cooker manual about the type of materials or containers which are suitable to use in it. Avoid rapping food in clingfilm, but it can be used as a covering for a container. Avoid allowing roasting bags or heat resistant plastic pouches to touch any elements in a combination model- they might melt.
Features to look out for
Electronic timer: Some microwave recipes require time settings for half a minutes or less. That may be difficult to get accurate on a dial timer, but electronic ones are more accurate.
Turntables: turning the food during cooking helps to even out hot and cold spots although you will also need to stir the food. Try and find a model which has a turntable that can be removed. It makes it easier to clean out the microwave thoroughly and the space may be needed for large dishes.
Shelf: Some models have a shelf. It can be useful if you want to cook two or more things at once but you will need to increase the cooking times.
Cleaning features: Self-cleaning back or top panels are available on combination models only. Smaller models should be cleaned as normal.