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Sunday, December 15, 2019

You must read this before using Microwave Oven for Baking

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A modern kitchen feels incomplete without a Microwave Oven. People use microwave oven for baking and cooking and a microwave oven has significantly simplified both of them. Traditional cooking methods are time-consuming and time is what people do not have nowadays. And hence, everybody needs the microwave oven for baking and cooking in their kitchen.

Also for bachelors and people living far from their family, the microwave oven turns out to be a boon. The advanced versions of microwave ovens come with auto cook menus and can solve a greater problem of learning cooking. Many families who go light on baking choose to use a microwave oven for baking, instead of buying an OTG.

But like every other gadget, one must understand the basics of the microwave oven before really sorting the best microwave oven for themselves.

Baking in Microwave Oven

Microwave Oven for Baking

I often get this question from people who attend my bread baking workshop.

The simple answer is yes. Yes, you can use a microwave oven for baking. However, there are a lot of limitations that we must know when it comes to using a microwave for baking. We will talk about this a little later in this article.

What is a microwave Oven?

Technically speaking microwave is an electromagnetic wavelength and a microwave oven is an appliance that functions using the microwave (electromagnetic wavelength). However, in common language microwave is just used as a short form of a microwave oven. Unlike a conventional oven, the microwave oven uses the electromagnetic wavelength to vibrate the water cells in the food and thus heating the food.

What is a Conventional Oven?

Traditional ovens are electric ovens that use the heating coil either on the bottom or on top and bottom both sides (depending on the size) to heat the food. Traditional ovens are primarily used for baking purposes. Read more about conventional ovens for baking to get a deeper insight into them. And if you are interested in buying an oven for baking then you may like to check our list of Top ten ovens for baking.

Microwave Oven working

Microwave ovens have a circular glass tray in the chamber which rotates while it operates. The microwave radiation falls on the tray or anything kept on the tray and the cooking or baking happens. The tray rotates in the chamber to ensure the food is cooked from all sides.

Preheating in Microwave Oven

Pre-heating is a feature that we mostly use while using microwave oven for baking. While baking you need a constant temperature throughout your baking. So instead of starting baking in cold oven temperature which can spoil baking, we preheat the oven temperature at the required temperature.

It is similar to heating up your tawa before making chapati.

The latest microwave ovens come with an automated option of pre-heating. All you need to do is to select the temperature mentioned in the recipe and start pre-heating.

However, if your oven is missing this feature, simply select the temperature mentioned in the recipe and start the microwave for about 2 minutes and you are good to use your microwave oven for baking.

Microwave Oven Types

Different Microwave Oven types

There are three types of Microwave ovens in the market viz. Solo Microwave Ovens, Grill Microwave Ovens, and Convection Microwave Oven. Let us learn about each of them one by one.

There are different microwave oven sizes available in the market starting from 17L to 32L, but lately, we have seen a 42 solo microwave oven from LG. Check out Best Microwave Oven to buy in India in 2019 and find your best microwave oven.

  1. Solo Microwave Ovens
    • Microwave oven solo can
      1. Reheat: So you have precooked food with you which was either in the refrigerator or has just gone cold and you would like to heat it again. That’s what you use solo microwave ovens for.
      2. Defrost: When a food item is kept under freezer for a longer time, it accumulates ice around the food item. Defrosting is to make the food item free of the accumulated ice. It can be done using the defrosting technique of the refrigerator, or defrosting under running water, or defrosting using the room temperature, or defrosting using the microwave oven. Defrosting in a microwave oven tends to be the quickest. Some microwave ovens do it using the weight method and some do it using the time method.
      3. Cook: If you are not into baking and grilling, then solo microwave ovens are going to be the best microwave oven for you. I have used solo microwave during my bachelorhood and have made Maggi, Cooked my salads especially broccoli and corn and many other things.
  2. Grill Microwave Ovens
    • Grill microwave ovens perform everything that a solo microwave oven does but adds the grilling function too. A grill microwave has a tube that heats up to cook the food.
  3. Convection Microwave Oven
    • A convection microwave oven has built-in fans that circulate the air inside the chamber. This movement of air makes the temperature uniform in the oven. This is why a convection microwave oven can be used for grilling, roasting, cooking, defrosting, and reheating. Not to forget that you can use convection microwave oven for baking too.

Microwave Oven vs. OTG?

You need to define the purpose first. If you know what you would be using the appliance for, making a decision becomes easy. Broadly talking, if you are not into baking, buying an OTG should be ruled out. However, if baking fascinates you, nothing can compare a conventional oven. Budget wise, conventional oven i.e. OTG is going to be cheaper than a microwave oven for baking.

Another thing you might like to keep in mind is its usability. If you would like to enjoy to the multipurpose utility of a microwave oven like reheating and auto cook menu, certainly conventional oven will not fit the bill. I hope I have given you the food of thought. Ponder on to it and think what suits you best. Also, do not forget to keep the size in mind which is directly proportional to the number of family members.

Which are the best Microwave Oven Brands?

There are many players in making the microwave ovens and all seems to be doing reasonably well. However, the market has been hugely dominated by IFB followed by Morphy Richards, LG, Samsung, Godrej, Bajaj, Whirlpool, and Panasonic to name a few.

Is a Microwave Oven safe for health?

So there have been many talks around this topic and some say it is harmful and some say it is not. We all might have seen the videos circulating in various social media where the water heated in a microwave oven spoiling the saplings.

All said and done, the science is that microwave is only an electromagnetic wavelength that is shorter than a radio wave and longer than infrared radiation. Neither the infrared nor the radio is called to be harmful to mankind and I believe nothing in between is also harmful to us.

A microwave oven uses the microwave to vibrate the water molecules in the food. The vibration produces the heat and thus cooks the food. In my opinion, microwaves, if used per the guidelines, are absolutely safe. You must avoid using low-grade plastic material for cooking purposes as the fumes on the low-grade plastic do make the food harmful. Using glass and ceramic are absolutely safe options.

Microwave Oven advantages

A Microwave oven is a much efficient kitchen appliance when it comes to saving electricity. A microwave oven consumes about 75% less energy in performing a similar task when compared to a conventional oven. Advance microwave oven comes with humidity sensors that automatically adjust the cooking time thus saving the energy.

Multistage cooking, auto cook menus, defrosting, and child lock is other great features that a conventional oven misses out on.

Conventional ovens do have an advantage of pricing, weight, and mobility.

Microwave Oven Turn Table

Disadvantages of Microwave Oven for baking

First thing first, you can only use microwave convection for baking. Microwave solo and microwave grill cannot be used for baking.

The rotation of the glass tray inside the chamber limits the size of the baking tray or baking tin that can be used inside the microwave oven.

Another disadvantage of a microwave oven for baking is the limitation of single-level baking. Unlike an OTG where you can bake on multi-levels, with microwave oven you can only bake on the base.

Which Microwave Oven to buy?

That’s a serious question which I get in my emails and blog comments. And the whole purpose of writing this article was to help you in making an informed decision. Take a quick look at this post of Best Microwave Oven to buy and make your selection.

I hope this article cleared your thoughts around microwave ovens. If it did, give me a high five in the comment below. Did I miss anything? Let me know and I will be happy to include the vetted information.

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Sonia Gupta

Baking Instructor & Food Blogger

I’m Sonia Gupta, and I am on my mission to transform home-makers into home-bakers. Baking is an essential skill that every mother must know so to avoid their children eating unhealthy market baked items. My goal is to help you learn a skill that will keep your children happy and healthy.

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You must read this before using Microwave Oven for Baking

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