After the microwave oven became a staple appliance in many kitchens, it underwent many improvements and changes, including a carousel that rotates food for even cooking, one-touch settings for commonly microwaved items like popcorn and potatoes, and assorted power levels. One of the most recently added features is the grill function.
Microwave Grilling Process
Most microwave grills require a grill plate or rack provided with the oven to ensure it properly interacts with the special oven setting. Instead of penetrating the plate, the microwaves heat the surface of the plate to a temperature hot enough to sear meat, brown a pizza crust or create a grilled sandwich. This prevents turning meat rubbery and making crusts soggy, which regular microwaving often does.
Grilling and Cooking Options
Basic microwaves are generally relegated to defrosting or reheating foods and beverages or cooking frozen or fresh foods. Microwaves with grills replicate the conventional stove process of searing, browning or grilling. Many grill microwaves can also be converted to convection ovens with the touch of a button. Since convection ovens cook and brown food through surrounding it with moving air, the microwaved food gets crisper than when cooked in simple grill microwaves. This produces crisp cookies and pizzas.
Using a grill microwave allows cooks to prepare grilled or crispy food in less time, more safely and using less energy than conventional methods. Meats do not require prior searing as they do with regular microwave cooking, which dirties one less pan: No hot skillet is needed to prepare grilled sandwiches, and there is no need to heat a traditional oven to cook grilled or baked foods.
While they create a hard exterior on the surfaces of bread and proficiently melt cheese and heat the sandwich ingredients, many grill microwaves fail to brown the bread, an aesthetic touch that is important to the visual appeal of a grilled sandwich. Microwave ovens with grilling functions are also more expensive than conventional models.
Before buying a grilling microwave, consider models that also include other extra features such as dual microwave and convection cooking, a combination that saves time and produces food with the textures and even cooking normally produced by regular ovens. Another handy option on higher end microwaves is a temperature sensor that determines when foods are adequately cooked by gauging the amount of steam released during cooking, taking the guesswork out of the microwave cooking process.