There are many types of microwaves, but for the purpose of this article, they will be grouped into two categories: convection and microwave ovens.
Brief History of Microwave Ovens
Microwave ovens have been around since 1966 when a US Navy engineer named Percy Spencer discovered that he could make water molecules in milk move at incredible speeds by using electricity. He first experimented with microwaves by using a magnetron, which was a type of microwave generator. In 1976, the first commercial microwave oven was launched by the General Electric Company and was used to heat and cook food in cans.
Characteristics of Microwaves
Microwaves are non-ionizing radiation, meaning they do not have enough energy to break bonds in molecules or break chemical bonds. They are basically just electromagnetic waves with a frequency of 2.45 gigahertz.
Convection is a form of heating that occurs when the molecules in a heated gas or liquid expand and move to different locations. Convection happens when heat is introduced into an enclosed space from one direction and then causes fluid to circulate through another direction. This results in only certain parts of a heated object being warmer than others.
Different Types of Microwaves on the Market Today
1. Solo Microwave Oven:
A microwave oven that can be used alone. This is very portable since it has no grills or turntables, and it is usually the least expensive type of microwave available. It generally has low wattage (up to 700 watts), and the turntable in it does not rotate as fast as in other ovens.
2. Grill Microwave Oven:
A microwave that has a turntable with a grill on it and a housing that is designed to be placed on top of the turntable for cooking. Typically, the housing has two openings, one for food and the other for the vent. The grill rotates slowly to ensure even cooking over a long period of time.
3. Convection Microwave Oven:
A microwave oven cooks food by circulating hot air inside its housing to cook it faster than in other ovens. It is designed to be used with a turntable. There are two types of convection ovens, the traditional convection oven and microwave convection oven, which both use a fan to circulate air inside the oven.
4. Tri-wave microwave oven (TWM):
A type of microwave that uses two microwaves, one in the middle and one in each corner of the oven. The main advantage of this type is that it can be used as an oven or as a refrigerator. Another advantage is that it has its own turntable so no other appliances need to be used to prepare food for cooking.
A microwave oven is built into the wall of the kitchen. The countertop microwave oven has a turntable in it and is placed on the countertop. This type of microwave is very popular because it is convenient and can be operated easily without having to use an elaborate setup.
6. Above the Range:
An oven that is built into the wall of a kitchen above a gas or electric cooktop. It has a turntable and often comes with a vent hood, which is used for exhaust purposes. It can be difficult to operate since it may be placed too high up from the ground to reach.
7. Built-in Microwave:
A microwave built into a cabinet. This type of microwave oven has a convection function and is either upright or swivel door. It is used to prepare food for consumption. This type of microwave is usually more expensive than other types because it cannot be used to cook food on top of the stove.
8. Wall-mounted oven:
A microwave oven that is mounted above the range hood of the kitchen. It has a turntable and usually comes with a vent hood because it has to be vented. It is usually large in size and requires more counter space compared to other types and is also more expensive.
Final thoughts on the Different Types of Microwaves
Microwaves are very beneficial to us because they use heat to selectively warm objects, as opposed to the sun or other heat sources that warm objects in general. They are used in many ways, from cooking food and defrosting frozen foods to defusing bombs. With the invention of microwaves came a slew of different types that can be purchased by nearly everyone interested in owning a microwave oven.
Agnes is a kitchen and cooking enthusiast as well as a fitness fanatic. She loves to help readers upgrade and furnish their kitchen with the best available products! She is the primary writer behind SmartKitchenImprovement.com and hopes to share little tidbits of knowledge she’s picked up over her years as a mom and wife.