What Type Of Microwave Do I Need?
It’s not about getting the right type of microwave for your home use but rather about getting the right and the best microwave for the whole family to use.
There are three types of microwave:
Microwave-only (solo): a microwave that heats up and defrosts.
Combi: can heat, roast, crisp and brown like a conventional oven.
Grill: combines normal microwave cooking with a heating element.
For each type of microwave you can either buy a built-in or a standalone model. Built-in microwaves are much more expensive than freestanding models.
Microwave-only (solo) sometimes called ‘solo’ microwaves; these basic microwaves are great for simple tasks, such as reheating a forgotten cup of coffee, warming up soup, cooking jacket potatoes or heating ready meals. You can also use them to defrost food.
A basic microwave is a good option if you just want to complete simple heating tasks more quickly than is possible in a conventional gas or electric oven but basic microwaves don’t brown food, so they’re unable to compete with ovens and cookers on jobs such as grilling or roasting meat.
Pros: Cheapest type of microwave, and widely available with lots of models to choose from and are good for simple defrosting, heating and reheating.
Cons: Limited functionality compared with combi microwaves where you can’t roast or brown food in a solo microwave.
Combination microwaves uses convection heating (fanned hot air) and come with grills.
So you can use microwaves, grilling and convection heating to cook and brown your food.
Combination microwaves: how to buy the best. A combi microwave uses convection heating and a grill microwaves combine normal microwave cooking with a heating element.
They can perform all the normal duties you’d expect from a standard microwave – cooking a jacket potato, defrosting a ready meal, reheating your dinner and so on – but the grill function allows you to brown food.
And, for cooking more complex dishes, you can cook with a combination of microwave energy and heat from the grill. These microwaves come with metal racks to bring food closer to the grill element.
Pros: Good at performing general microwave cooking tasks Also able to crisp and brown food which is great for cooking pizzas that often come with a metal rack to bring food closer to the grill.
Cons: Don’t offer convectional heating like a combination microwave because it’s usually more expensive than a basic microwave.