Best Microwave Oven in India- 2019.
Here for the best microwave oven in India? Well, you’re in luck. There’s a microwave for every user, the only question is what type of user you are. Whether you’re a master at cooking or a newbie, a bachelor or the budget-conscious, my list of the best microwaves in India is curated to fit your specific needs.
For example, if you’re a working mom with a toddler at home, a sufficiently sized oven with features like child-lock, steam clean and auto-cook menus will lighten your burden while saving time.
For bachelors and busy professionals dependant on reheated food, a rugged, compact and basic microwave will save space, money and efforts. And if you’re a cooking expert, you will need a powerful microwave as your sidekick that can microwave, grill and bake equally well. Choose the microwave you best relate to and read its detailed review.
I’ve also written a buying guide complete with Frequently Asked Questions, in case you’re interested in my process of shortlisting and how to buy the best microwave ovens in general. And if you’re still left with doubts, just ask away in the comments below. I will answer within 24 hours.
- 1 Best Microwave Oven in India- 2019.
- 2 Best Solo Microwave Oven in India
- 3 Best Grill Microwave Oven in India
- 4 Best Convection Microwave Ovens in India
- 5 The Microwave Oven Big Buying guide
- 5.1 What are Microwaves and microwave ovens?
- 5.2 How do microwave ovens cook food?
- 5.3 Why you should buy a microwave oven?
- 5.4 Microwave ovens and their Styles
- 5.5 Things to consider before buying a microwave oven
- 5.6 Warranty
- 5.7 Cleaning/Maintenance
- 5.8 Discounts and Offers
- 5.9 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Best Solo Microwave Oven in India
‘Time, space and money is of essence. This microwave helps you save them all.’
Solo microwave ovens are the most basic microwaves that let you heat/cook, reheat and defrost food. These cannot be used for grilling or baking or to make complex recipes.
Costing just below 5000 Rs, this solo microwave will fit anyone’s budget.
The space requirement, on the other hand, is one of the lowest owing to the 17 L capacity taking up only 40.2 x 21.2 cm of space.
Also, this microwave is ideal for small portions and quick settings. By choosing between the power levels (how intensely the food is to be cooked) and time (in minutes), you can quickly cook, reheat or defrost your food. This microwave is thus a good assistant, if you’re living alone or with one or two room-mates.
However, if you’re used to a more sophisticated model of microwave then you might want to explore my other suggestions below.
Since this microwave is designed to save space and lower your efforts to a minimum, there are a few things missing due to the simplicity of the model. The lack of a digital display keeps you guessing about the time remaining. Also, you cannot set the time in seconds like 30 seconds or 1 minute 30 seconds. There is no beep or any other sound to indicate the cooking’s done. And lastly, this microwave cannot grill or bake.
If reheating last night’s food, cooking simple, time-saving recipes and defrosting is all you do in the kitchen then the above drawbacks are actually a blessing in disguise. This is because, no space is wasted to accommodate a fan (like convection microwaves) and the set-up options are kept minimum to avoid confusion.
Also, the warranty has your microwave covered for a year and magnetron & cavity for up to 3 years. All-in-all this one’s a good buy for first time buyers and people who don’t like to cook much.
This grill microwave from Bajaj, does everything a solo one does— cooking, reheating, defrosting. Plus, it offers an additional grill function. As mentioned in my guide below, grilling is a lot different from microwave cooking.
Food items that are grilled, get cooked from heat externally provided to them (unlike microwaves-generated heat) in the oven chamber.
You can thus use your grill microwave to make a wider variety of dishes like tandoori, kebabs, veg/non-veg barbeque and so on.
You can switch between 9 power levels among which 4 involve grilling. Three of the four grilling functions are different combinations of grilling + microwave. You can then set the time for cooking from 1 to 30 minutes.
The 20 L capacity of the microwave, measuring 40 x 32.8 cm gives you ample space to grill and cook portions for a group of 3 or 4. It also comes with a 30 minutes cooking done alarm (crossing off one drawback from solo microwave above).
However, this one too doesn’t offer a digital display, which can make estimation of time remaining, bit difficult. And if you prefer baked dishes over grilled, then this one’s not for you, check out my suggestions on the best convection microwaves below.
Even though it offers more space (20 L) and features (like grill, alarm), the cost remains low, below the 5000 Rs mark. So, if you have the space to spare and want wider cooking options you can get a grill-microwave instead, in the cost of a solo microwave!
Convection microwaves do everything a solo and grill microwave does i.e. cooking, reheating and grilling. And they also let you bake pizzas, cake and cookies!
This 21 L black beauty from Samsung has it all— looks, features, power and an affordable price!
This microwave occupies 48.9 x 28.2 x 44.4 cm of area and consumes a maximum of 2350 Watts.
Now this may sound too high, after all you wouldn’t want a surge in your electricity bills.
However, all microwaves use full power only when baking and when the settings demand maximum power.
As baking requires high temperature (which means more Wattage), this microwave offers the best power flexibility due to its ability to reach high temperatures (up to 200 degrees Celsius). Hence, this one’s ideal for baking.
Another unique aspect of this microwave is its ceramic enamel cavity. This makes the interior resistant to stains and easier to clean. Like other convection microwaves, this one too offers a wide auto-cook menu, LED display, child lock and sound among other common features of reheating, defrosting, fermenting etc. You even get a starter kit along with the product.
This convection microwave from Samsung is one of the best in the market due to its unique features, good customer service and a warranty that covers the product for a year and magnetron for 4 years.
Whether you’re a working couple or college room-mates, there must be days when you want to try something more than just reheating and defrosting food. This microwave from IFB does just that! At a price below 10000 Rs, you get a compact yet feature-rich product complete with a free starter kit.
Being a convection microwave, there’s no limit to what you can do with this microwave be it cooking, reheating, grilling or baking.
You also get a range of auto-cook menus with other useful features like a timer/clock, child lock and weight defrost. The touch keys make an easy-to-use interface while the keys for 10 minutes as well as 1-minute make time setting, simpler.
Even if you end up using this product mainly to reheat and defrost food, the low cost makes it worth it! With this oven, you can future-proof your microwave in case you want to bake or grill later.
The starter kit is also helpful to begin using the microwave with microwave safe cookware, especially if this is your first. But, do not use the starter kit utensils for grilling or baking as they are made of hard plastic. Limit its usage to basic microwave use, not exceeding 10 minutes.
IFB offers a warranty for a year on the product and 3 years for the magnetron. However, microwaves are easy to maintain and usually last for a decade.
With a large convection microwave, you can cook, reheat, grill or bake for a group of people without worrying about space constraints and uneven cooking.
This microwave from LG, is another example of its expertise in figuring out the Indian consumer’s needs. It is a nice 28 L capacity model, ideal for joint-families of 5 to 7 people.
If yours is a joint family too, then you might want to consider checking this out.
With 151 auto-cook menus, you can save time and effort, while the steam clean option lets you deodorise the microwave and loosen up greasy oil stains. Cleaning the microwave is thus, just a swipe away.
This microwave comes with exclusive time setting options in the form of 10 seconds, 1 minute and 10 minutes. Setting time becomes easier and more convenient, especially with the additional ‘+’ and ‘-’ quick keys.
If this is your first microwave and you’re planning to bake and grill from the first day itself, then you may want to consider buying a starter kit too. You can get started with the oven specific recipe book you get along with the product.
LG provides a warranty similar to other microwave makers— 1 year on product and 3 years on magnetron.
The movie ‘Hum Saath Saath Hai’ had created quite a sensation in the 90s. In Ramkishanji’s words, “The family that eats together, stays together.” And to feed a large-sized family, you will need a microwave that’s large enough— like this one from IFB.
This 30 L microwave comes with ample space and features and at a price below 15000! Along with the common reheating, cooking, defrost and grill functions, you get 101 auto cook menus, child lock, steam/deodorise, ferment, power save, timer and weight defrost.
You also get a variety of combination options like rotisserie convection, microwave + grill, grill + convection, and so on. This microwave has so many options that you will be busy making new dishes daily.
IFB also provides a starter kit with basic microwave safe hard plastic cookware. However, do not use it for grilling and baking purposes. Like other IFB microwaves, with this product too, you get a warranty for 1 year on the product and 3 years on the magnetron.
The Microwave Oven Big Buying guide
Microwave ovens— The what, how and why
What are Microwaves and microwave ovens?
Microwaves are a type of Electromagnetic radiation (from the family of UV rays, Radio waves, X-rays etc.) with wavelengths ranging from 1mm to 1m and frequency between 300MHz and 300GHz.
Mobile phones, Wi-Fi, GPS, are some of the more popular applications of microwaves including microwave ovens. Unlike telecommunication networks that allow free movement of microwaves (i.e. from one cell phone to another) microwave ovens use a metallic box to contain these, in order to cook food.
And where does the metallic box get microwaves from?
The source is called the Magnetron, a crucial component of every microwave oven. It produces microwaves that are directed through a wave guide (tube) into the oven cavity. The oven cavity is made of metal or ceramic and has dual purpose— to prevent microwaves from escaping and to reflect them so they keep hitting the food placed in the chamber.
You may also have noticed the wired mesh inside a microwave door. The mesh too stops the radiation from going out, but allows light to pass so you can see the food inside.
How do microwave ovens cook food?
Microwaves hitting the food, react with the polar molecules in it (i.e. fats, sugars and water) and cause them to generate heat through a process called dielectric heating. Just the way your hands feel hot after vigorously rubbing them together, this heat is produced from within the food itself without the need for an external heat source.
This is why microwaves go easy on electricity bills as they consume less energy compared to traditional gas stoves. They are also faster in cooking than traditional gas stoves as loss of energy is minimized (thanks to the cavity).
Check out this article to know more about microwave ovens.
Why you should buy a microwave oven?
There are other not-very-noticeable benefits of microwaves. Cooking in microwave ovens doesn’t just save you time, fuel and electricity costs but also facilitates oil free cooking and no-supervision required option (adding more to your time bank).
You can thus get started on the healthy lifestyle you’ve been considering for long with a few quick healthy recipes for microwaves.
Having a microwave at home is also beneficial if you’re living alone or if you aren’t a fan of cooking. Leftovers can be reheated; frozen food can be quickly thawed and milk & coffee can be heated up in seconds!
And while this happens, you don’t even have to stand to keep watch!
Microwave ovens and their Styles
Usually seen in western homes, above range microwaves are built into modular kitchen cabinets above the cooking counter. These are however, not suitable for Indian homes. Indian kitchens rarely have above-range cabinets and if they do, there is not enough space to fit a microwave and its vent.
These microwaves are huge compared to other two categories and fit into modular kitchens like a drawer (a big drawer that is!). Such microwaves are ideal for baking but take up a lot of space and are just not worth the heavy price tag. Its no wonder there are hardly any built-in microwaves in the market. Their numbers say it all……
Counter-top microwaves are the ones we know simply as ‘microwave ovens.’ These ovens just need a power source and you can start using them. Counter-top microwaves fit on kitchen counters or sit on top of kitchen platforms made for that very purpose. They don’t require any vents and come in pocket-friendly prices.
Also, as these are the microwaves of choice in India, you will get a wide variety to choose from unlike the other categories above.
Things to consider before buying a microwave oven
Solo Microwave Oven
These are the most basic microwave ovens that use microwaves to cook, reheat and defrost food. In these, you can choose the power level and set the time.
For a rookie, understanding which power level to use and for how long, can take some trial and error, as this differs from oven to oven. However, after the initial phase of getting to know your oven, you can enjoy a handy assistant that becomes an essential part of your day.
Grill Microwave Oven
If paneer kebabs and chicken tandoori is frequently on your menu, then you will need something more in your solo microwave. Food items that require grilling basically need a lot of heat, not microwaves-generated but externally provided heat.
Grill ovens provide an additional ‘grill’ function, letting you enjoy a wider range of dishes. This grill function works by switching off the microwaves and producing heat the traditional way, by heating up the microwave cavity. Grill microwaves also come with limited auto-cook menus you can try to make your favourite foods.
Some grill microwave ovens provide a starter kit like turntable, rotisserie, grill racks etc. which you can use to grill and cook. However, there aren’t many grill microwave ovens in the market as this function is already available in the more popular microwaves— convection microwave.
Convection Microwave Oven
Latest and trending in the microwave category, Convection microwaves offer all functions of solo and grill microwaves along with an additional convection feature.
The process of baking needs heat from different directions (especially from below), hence demanding a more complex network of heat supply. Convection function provides heating and comes with a fan (for cooling down) that lets you bake yummy cakes and cookies.
You also get a wide array of auto cook menus among other features that make convection microwaves the most preferred type of microwave ovens. If some recipes need both microwave cooking and grilling or microwaves and convection, you can use the combination modes.
You might not need all the functions right now, but its better to future-proof your microwave in case you or a family member discovers a MasterChef inside!
- Size/ Capacity
Capacity of microwaves ranges from 17 L to 42 L, offering something for everyone. Family size and space both affect the capacity decision.
If you’re looking for a compact microwave due to space constraint, then opt for a smaller size.
That depends on your family size. Microwaves ranging between 17 L to 23 L are sufficient for bachelors or nuclear families of 3 or 4 members. For families of 5-7 a range of 23 L to 28 L is ideal. For bigger families, go for the higher end of the size spectrum.
A microwave can give you wide variety of cooking options only if it first gets sufficient electrical power. Commercial microwaves offer wattage from 600 Watts to about 2500 Watts. Typically, higher the wattage, the more power levels a microwave can offer, leading to more auto-cook menus and efficient cooking.
Even if you’re buying a smaller sized microwave go for one that has a wattage of 1000 or more.
- User Interface
A good microwave is complete only with a user-friendly interface. After all, it’s the part you will be interacting with the most. Microwaves offer different user interfaces like, mechanical knobs, jog dials, tactical buttons and touch-panel.
Choice of interface may differ from person-to-person but one precaution remains the same for all— harsh usage of any type will quickly degrade the interface (especially for frequently used ‘start’ button and ‘time’ options).
- Extra features
These are like add-ons, not necessary, but convenient to have. Extra features include the following:
- Starter kit: Some microwave sellers include a starter kit. The contents may vary from microwave-safe containers (like papad stand, bowls, spoons etc.) to grill racks and rotisserie— skewer for tandoori and veg barbeque. You may also get a recipe book which features the microwave use for easier and faster cooking.
- Child-lock: All microwaves are designed to shut off if the door is opened suddenly while cooking is on. However, your curious little engineer may have a habit of trying out all the microwave buttons, all at one go. For this, the child-lock feature is very helpful. The feature is either available as a separate option or is clubbed with ‘stop’ or ‘clear’ function. Usually it works like this— press and hold the designated child-lock button for 3 seconds and an ‘L’ appears on the LED screen. This indicates that the lock is on and no other functions will work till you unlock it. To unlock, press and hold the same button till you hear a beep or the LED screen shows ‘0’.
- Pre-heat: Most cake and cookie recipes require the baking to start at certain temperatures. If you directly insert your pre-mixed batter the oven temperature will gradually rise from room temperature to target temperature and may ruin your recipe. And that’s why Preheating is important. This function lets you get the oven all heated-up at the desired temperature before baking or grilling.
- Clean/Steam: This feature is useful for cleaning your microwave. It steams the internal surface, loosening up any tough grease or oil stains which you can wipe off after the steaming’s done.
- Auto-cook menu: Some auto-cook menus may be extensively used like popcorn, steam, tea/coffee etc. However, many often go unused and that is why I consider it an add-on feature. Many convection microwaves offer almost 150 to 200 auto-cook menus, but you may end up using only a few.
Solo microwave ovens come with the lowest price tag while convection ones vary between 10000 Rs to 30000 Rs. This wide variation is mainly because of the microwave’s capacity (the larger the size the heavier is the price). Other reasons for the price hike include a starter kit provided by the manufacturer, and exclusive features like child-lock, auto-cook options and so on.
Microwave warranties usually cover the product for a period of one year and the magnetron for 2-3 years. Ideally, a magnetron can last for a decade and hence as long as you’re buying from a reliable brand, the 2- or 3-years warranty is all the same.
Microwaves don’t need much maintenance if you use them judiciously. Not banging the microwave door and not pressing the buttons & touch-keys too hard, is all that a microwave demands in way of maintenance.
However, if its oil stains or food odour you want to get rid of, then there’s a simple way to do so. Once a week or on as needed basis, steam/heat a bowl of lemon-water for about 10 minutes. The odour will be replaced by a citrusy fragrance and you can wipe off any greasy stains with a wet cloth.
Discounts and Offers
Liked a microwave but its out of your price range?
Don’t worry. You can opt for EMI or no-cost EMI options and buy the oven of your choice right now! You can pay the cost in instalments by selecting a return period you’re comfortable with (for e.g. 3 months, 6 months etc.)
Some banks offer percentage discounts on the price if you’re willing to pay online via debit or credit card. So, if your bank offers a 5% discount you will either get the discount on the final checkout price or in the form of cashback once you’re done paying.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Do microwave ovens cause cancer?
Microwave ovens are designed to prevent the microwaves from escaping the metal cavity. And even if some do leak out, you will not feel any effects.
Microwaves, in general, are non-ionizing radiations, that is they do not cause cellular mutations thus bringing us to the answer— microwaves ovens do not cause cancer.
- Do microwaves destroy nutrients in food, making it harmful?
The simple act of washing vegetables and other food items can lead to nutrient loss; cooking food on stoves or in microwaves is no different. Although microwaves only interact with polar molecules like water, sugars and fats in food; they may cause structural changes in the other components. But then, this is a risk in any kind of cooking method— boiling, frying, washing or heating.
Microwave Accessories you may need (especially if it’s your first)
1. Microwave cookware:
There are three types of cookware you can use in microwaves— hard plastic, glassware, and metal, but with *conditions applied.
Hard plastic cookware is good for reheating and cooking food items for a few minutes. However, there are just too many ifs and buts about which plastic containers to use in a microwave, so its better to just skip them altogether.
Also, if your cooking time is going to exceed 10 minutes, opting for borosilicate glassware is a better option, as it can withstand high temperature for a longer time.
Metallic utensils like grill mats and skewers are made from stainless steel, while most of the bakeware used is of aluminium. So, if your microwave recipe involves grilling or baking, go for a stainless steel grillware or aluminium based bakeware. Even plastic lined stainless-steel vessels are good for microwave use.
However, finding good quality microwave cookware is still a hassle. It’s better to do your research first, or you could skip the research and check out my recommended microwave cookware below.
2. Microwave Bakeware:
If baking is your hobby you will need suitable bakeware to make yummy cakes and pizzas. If you don’t already have your baking set ready, check out my suggestions below.
3. Oven Gloves:
Last but not the least, a good pair of gloves will prevent any nasty burns. Its always better to have one handy than regret later. Cotton provides insulation from heat and is also soft to touch, thus an ideal choice for glove material. If you don’t have your own pair then check out the ones I use at my home.