Microwave Oven Features Guide

Published: 18th June 2012
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Nowadays, microwave ovens on the market become more and more versatile and have much more features. Depending on these sophisticated features, people even don't need to go to the kitchen to cook foods and the microwave oven can do everything. Although manufacturers are trying to put all functions in a microwave, people merely use some convenient features and only use some standard settings like reheating foods and making popcorn. What the microwave oven can do is more than reheating foods and making popcorn. The reason why people don't make full use of microwave ovens is partly because some people like cooking food by themselves. But most people don't take full advantage of the machine because they don't know the features fully and they even think of the features as selling stunts. This article will tell you what useful features a mainstream microwave oven has and what benefits these features bring to us. The mainstream functions are sensor cook, sensor reheat, automatically defrost, soften/melt, etc.

The working principle of sensor cook and sensor reheat is that the microwave oven is using a built in sensor to detect the vapor released from the foods, which is a semi conductor. The microwave oven selects and uses the most appropriate cooking time and power level for different kinds of foods based on the moisture that it detects. With this sensor feature, users don't need to scratch head to think about the cooking time and power settings. Just put the foods into the oven and wait for perfect results. The result that comes out of the accurate calculation must be better than that of your guesswork.

Some functions don't work automatically as advertised and the popcorn feature is one of them. User needs to input the bag size after place popcorn in the microwave oven. Many microwave ovens on the market can only cook certain bag sizes of popcorn and if the size isn't within the list, the result comes out no good. For example a model of Sharp microwave ovens shows it do sensor cooking for popcorn within 2.85 - 3.5oz and 1.2 - 1.75oz.

Another semi automatic feature is the defrost setting. Most microwave ovens have two defrosting options: semi-automatic option and manual option. The former option only applies to the foods in the chart listed in the user manual. When the food you are going to defrost is in the chart, you place foods in and input the weight of foods. However, the manual defrosting feature is different. You need to estimate the cooking time and power level and turn over or separate the foods periodically. The former option has a benefit that you don't need to separate foods or do something else like that.

Many microwave ovens provide two reheat features like Reheat and Sensor Reheat. What's the difference? The difference lies on the foods they can cook. The sensor reheat is primarily used to cook dishes, while the reheat is used to cook foods like muffins and rolls.

More and more microwaves have the soften/melt feature. This feature also select the right cooking settings automatically. The soften/melt feature often is used to melt foods like butter, chocolate, ice cream, cream cheese, etc.

You may know a few other useful features like Keep Warm. Most microwaves out there can keep foods warm for up to 30 minutes; some microwaves can do for 90 minutes. Nearly every microwave has a quick start setting like Easy on, which provides 30 seconds or 1 minute for people to cook or heat foods fast. If you usually use the microwave to heat water, then you should choose the microwave with 30 seconds quick start setting.

The last one useful function we are going to discuss is the multiple cooking feature. This option enables the machine to be able to cook foods with multiple settings. For example, you can let the microwave cook foods at 30% power level in 2 minutes and then automatically change the power to 100%. It can be not only combination of time and power level but also different automatic features like sensor reheat and defrost.

After read this article, we believe you must know more about the microwave and its features. Don't leave it there as a reheating box or something. It can save you a lot of time in kitchen and make cooking an easy and simple job.

If you want to learn more, please visit Convection Microwave, or check out review of Panasonic NN-H765WF Microwave Oven.

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