The microwave oven since its arrival on the market it has saved the lives of many, but today, as it has evolved, it has become an excellent tool for cooking that has nothing to envy to a normal oven. Let's go together to see its features and some functions, to be able to choose the most suitable model for us in due course.
Microwave oven: when to use it
THE microwave ovens they are not only loved by housewives or singles who cannot cook. This is just a stereotype not even updated. These are ovens capable of reaching high temperatures in a short time and which for this reason have an extremely low energy consumption. They have always been suitable for defrosting and reheating food without the need to turn on the electric oven or gas stove to perform the same operations, but they can do much more.
However, it is necessary to take into account some characteristics to use this type of oven correctly. For example, not all materials can be inserted into it. Plastic is fine, it does not overheat and is very practical, provided it does not melt, but i metal containers at all because they reflect the microwaves, irreparably damaging the oven.
Initially the microwave was used almost only for to reheat food or to defrost it. It did, and still does, save a lot of time and also a lot of energy, the traditional oven must be heated up and takes a long time to work, so it is not as efficient. For years now, the microwave oven has also been used as an oven for cooking from scratch. Not only precooked foods, therefore, for which just a few minutes are enough, but also gourmet recipes, without regretting other ovens, neither the electric nor the gas one.
This consideration is especially valid since additional functions were introduced that were not initially foreseen, or were present only in certain particularly sophisticated models. The first of all, the most precious, is that Grill, which grills food with a really tasty effect. With this function there is in the oven, in the upper part, inside the cooking chamber, an infrared device capable of browning the surface of the food by emitting a radiant heat stronger than that developed by the oven itself.
Microwave oven: crisp plate
If almost all ovens today have the grill function, indeed I would say all, more and more they also include the grill function, especially if they are of the latest generation. There Crisp functionunlike the Grill one, it requires an ad hoc plate, made of non-stick material. If you do not find this wording, before you despair, be careful, it could have another definition but the same functionality.
The Crisp is very precious and works in a unique, irreplaceable way, making the microwave oven much more usable even for refined recipes. The dish of non-stick material it is used to collect heat in the central part and thus ensure uniform cooking of the food we have placed. Thanks to this dish, and to the associated function, very high temperatures are reached in a few minutes that can brown, fry and even let rise without the danger of the food burning because the dish keeps the cooking of the food constantly and under control. stabilizing at an ideal temperature.
Crisp and Grill together, transform the microwave in a fierce competitor of traditional and gas ovens.
When we buy one, therefore, let's make sure that it is equipped with it. Other important parameters to observe are the power and the ventilated function. The power is calculated in Watts and is always that of the microwave, different from that of the grill. For the “Ventilated” function, let's move on to the next paragraph
Ventilated microwave oven
This function is for drying food outside and, at the same time, keep them moist inside and is almost always present in the latest generation ovens. In practice, this translates into the presence of a fan, inserted in the wall in front of the door and which rotates while the oven is in operation.
With the function "Ventilated"Excellent results can be obtained, equal to those promised by a traditional oven or by an electric one, but in a much shorter period of time and with a substantial saving of electricity. Cooking is in fact accelerated by the fact that hot air is circulated by the running fan, this mechanism also ensures that cooking is extremely homogeneous.
The effect is the formation of a golden crust on foods all around, not like the one that forms with the grill, limited to the upper surface
This type of treatment, in the oven, is perfect for some foods in particular, while for others it is definitely not recommended. Let's start with those that should not be put with the ventilated, they are those that contain yeast because to rise adequately, the doughs need to be cooked slowly. The ventilated one, on the other hand, is excellent for cooking roasts and, more generally, for meat, fish in the pan or in foil, lasagna, potatoes, stuffed or au gratin vegetables and biscuits.Crunchiness guaranteed, on the outside, and softness on the inside.
Microwave oven: how to choose it
So far we have understood that it is good to check the presence of the crisp and grill functions and the ventilation. When we are buying a microwave, however, we will also find ourselves choosing the model based on its presence in the kitchen. We can opt for portable ones, said "Free standing", or for built-in ones. The former are usually placed on a kitchen cabinet but it is necessary to be at least 5 centimeters from the walls that surround it and 30 centimeters above the oven. A nice limitation, they also have a limited capacity, which usually does not exceed 30 liters. Much better a built-in oven, to be inserted into a piece of furniture. It is usually much wider, up to 60 cm, with a height of about 30-35 cm. Obviously, the capacity is also greater, it even reaches 35 liters.
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