Frigidaire Microwave Alternative: The speed of modern life means that sometimes you just want to get a meal on the table as quickly as possible – microwaves and combi ovens come into play.
Whether you want a cheap and cheerful worktop oven or a fancy integrated option with the latest modifications, we have reviewed some of the best kitchen appliances on the market to help you prepare delicious, healthy and practical food quickly.
With these energy-efficient appliances, you can help shape the revolution in modern cooking.
Our team has spent hours testing and testing these microwaves, putting the different models through their paces so you can decide which one suits you best.
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Microwave Buying Guide
Microwaves are super convenient, energy efficient and make meals faster (and funnier). But it’s no longer just about the modest workplace models – combi ovens are coming onto the market: they give people the opportunity to opt for a kitchen microwave that gives them much more than just a simple microwave to heat food.
These appliances can include a convection oven, an electric grill, a steam cooker and a microwave all in one!
Although still convenient and fast, modern microwaves are becoming more demanding than cheap and ready meals. Microwaves have become part of the revolution in healthy ready meals; they offer busy people the opportunity to prepare excellent homemade meals from scratch without stress.
Microwaves come in beautiful and stylish designs, including built-in wall options that are not out of place in luxury kitchens.
How do microwaves work?
Microwaves heat food by radio waves that are absorbed into food by water and fat molecules and converted into heat. Microwaves only heat the molecules in the food, not the microwaves themselves, so they are efficient and produce a very uniform cooking result.
Performance & Size
Microwave power is always measured in watts, with most models ranging from about 700W to 1100W. It is generally better to prefer higher power microwaves as they will cook food more efficiently.
As with ovens, the internal volume of microwaves is always measured in litres. Microwaves come in all shapes and sizes, from 17 L to 32 L. For one family about 27 L are ideal.
Functions to watch out for
It’s a good idea to take advantage of the pre-programmed features and settings of your microwave. You’ll usually find a few basic ones like defrost and warm up on all models – but more sophisticated microwaves have dozens of pre-programmed ones (and you can even program your own). The features are designed to help you get the most out of cooking with your microwave.
Microwave safety tips
Make sure you buy a microwave oven only for heating and preparing food, and not for any of the following reasons…..
- Never place metal utensils or objects in the microwave, including traces of aluminium foil.
- Most microwaves on the countertop take up space around them to regulate and cool their heat.
- Some plastics, ceramics and glassware are not microwaveable – always check for markings if you are unsure.
- You can get child safety features – a good idea if you have kids running around.
- When heating food – always leave to stand a few minutes after removing, as the food will become glowing hot the first time it comes out. Always vent food when you heat it so that steam can escape.
- Microwaves are not suitable for sterilizing baby bottles or dishes.
There are many different styles and types – from the simple worktop to the integrated combi oven with many complex functions.
This is the classic one – there are no fancy extras like grill or convection oven. However, a simple microwave oven can do a lot more – defrost, heat, cook and even steam food. These microwaves tend to come in workplace models.
Microwave & Grill
Adding a grill to your appliance is a good idea because it will help you save space in the kitchen and is ideal in case you just want to make something crispy quickly. Sometimes you can use the microwave and grill functions at the same time.
Combi ovens can be simple counter items, or they can include a variety of complex oven functions such as steam, convection, grill and microwave all in one. It is a very energy efficient and cost effective option, and it is increasingly becoming a kitchen solution. Especially in small kitchens these can be a lifesaver.
Built-in / Integrated Microwave
These stylish microwaves sit in kitchen walls and can be mounted at eye level – an elegant and contemporary kitchen look. However, they are more expensive than the worktop models.
Are microwaves bad for you or dangerous?
Not at all. Modern microwaves are very safe and protected. There have been some historical claims that microwaves are dangerous and cause cancer – but these claims are unfounded. When properly stored, installed and used, you should have no problems whatsoever with your device. Read some other mythical facts here.
What is the difference between a microwave and a combi?
A combi oven offers many different cooking functions (including a microwave), while a microwave offers only one. They vary greatly in price, size and features, but are generally inexpensive and cheap to operate. If you’re used to a more traditional oven, it may take a while to become familiar with its operation – but it’s worth it!
What are the advantages of a built-in combi steamer?
The built-in options are more durable, flexible and stylish than traditional workplace microwaves. They allow you to install your microwave throughout your kitchen design and help you keep your kitchen countertops clean from appliances.
How to get a good deal
The first thing you need to do is look around and decide what kind of device you need. Choose trusted brands or devices that have received positive ratings in user tests. Try to combine as many features and functions as possible in one device – this is often the most effective way to save money in the long run. Buy kitchen appliances during the sale whenever you can to make a good deal, but beware of sales items that you cannot return or that have shorter warranty periods.