Appliance New Microwave Features

091615-business-pix-1Appliance New Microwave Features

MILWAUKEE – It is rare to find a kitchen without a microwave. This efficient appliance has been around since the late 1940s, when it was first introduced for commercial use. It wasn’t until the 1960s that it began to be developed for residential use and another decade lapsed before it became widespread. If you are of a certain age, you may remember that the microwaves of the 70s and 80s took up a good portion of kitchen counter real estate.

Along with sleeker designs and placement options, the microwave has so many more features that make it easy and efficient to prepare meals.

“There are those who still only use the microwave for popping popcorn, heating a cup of water, or warming up leftovers, but there is so much more that microwaves can do, with features its inventors probably never considered,” said Steve Erb of Appliance Gallery, Wisconsin’s premier appliance store. “Besides conventional cooking, microwaves come with convection options, steam cooking, ‘keep warm’ controls, and more.

“Today, almost anything can be made in a microwave with its advanced technology,” Erb said, explaining some of the differences.

Convection: Convection microwaves offer the same quick-cooking features, but with oven quality results including browning and crisping the outside of food because convection technology cooks the food from the inside out.

Different models offer features such as temperature management systems, which determine the precise cooking time and power level for each dish, and speed-cooking options for efficiency. Unlike conventional microwaves, convection microwaves can be preheated to ensure food is cooked optimally.

“People no longer have to turn on the oven, wait for it to preheat, and then wait for the food to cook. Since hot air is blowing directly onto food instead of just surrounding it, food cooks about 25 percent faster. And since it cooks faster and generally at a lower temperature, it is more energy-efficient than a regular oven,” Erb said.

Steam: “Microwaves that cook using the steam method are fast becoming a best seller as more people become health-conscious in the kitchen,” he said. “Because the food is cooked with steam and absorbing only the moisture it requires, oil or fats are not necessary in the cooking process. Also, vitamin and mineral content of food is preserved compared to dry heat cooking.”

Inverter Technology: Microwave ovens with inverter technology distribute energy consistently and foods are cooked more evenly. Erb explained that inverter technology means that when you select 50 percent power, it cooks at 50 percent power consistently. That contrasts with a microwave that uses transformers, where if you elect 50 percent power, it will use 100 percent power, but just cycle on and off to average out to 50 percent. Inverter technology also allows you to defrost foods without cooking the edges.

Sensor Technology: Advanced sensors intuitively detect humidity released by food as it cooks and determines precise cooking time and power level for each dish.  One-touch sensors can sense the surface temperature of food to eliminate over- or undercooking.

Warming Options: Warming options available in several models keeps food already cooked warm and ready for eating.

Style: The most current trend for placing the microwave is in an undercounter drawer. The advantage is undercounter microwaves free up wall space, fit seamlessly with the rest of the kitchen, and work better ergonomically. For families with children, they are installed for easy access and also equipped with safety locks for homes with toddlers.

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