Small microwave ovens are one of the most important appliances in any kitchen, whether a domestic kitchen or a large commercial catering business. The beauty of microwaves is not necessarily their ability to cook dishes for serving, but rather to prepare and defrost food. In fact, microwaves have a range of very specific, useful purposes that make them indispensable for both busy cooks and commercial chefs.
In family homes, a small microwave oven can be used to heat food if teenagers are home later than expected, to warm baby food in the middle of the night and to defrost ready made meal portions when your child comes home with surprise school friends!
In a commercial kitchen, it is surprising how often microwaves are used by even the top chefs. In fact, microwaves can actually prepare some dishes more effectively than traditional ovens. For example, one internationally renowned chef has a series of microwaves in his kitchen purely for preparing scrambled egg - no fat is needed to prepare it and the results are finished to perfection without the need to hover over the stove. Similarly, sauces can be rapidly defrosted to meet high demand volumes, items can be reheated and butter quickly melted when main ovens are already being used to full capacity. Microwaves are a great standby for dealing with surprises and extra volumes.
They also work very well for urban dwellers in small flats. A small microwave oven is the saving grace of many a chic urbanite with a minimal kitchen and a busy lifestyle and some microwaves successfully combine both microwave cooking functionalities with traditional grill finishing in one. So, a baked potato can be cooked in 30 minutes - compared to several hours in a conventional oven - and then grilled to achieve a crispy finish in the same oven - the ultimate in both ease and speed. These smaller model microwaves fit extremely well into limited spaces, making them popular too with studio apartments, office kitchens and other places where people want to eat some food without needing a full oven space.
They are also more energy efficient than a large conventional oven. Consider for example, a single person needing a meal. They can cook it in a small microwave oven in just a few minutes, using a minimum of electricity or they can heat an entire family sized oven, simply to warm through or cook a single meal for one, costing far more in terms of energy use and domestic gas or electricity running costs.
Microwaves can be bought just about anywhere nowadays too and their prices have plummeted in recent years as the technology has become more widely available. Small domestic models for infrequent use can be picked up from supermarkets along with the weekly shop and they come in a variety of colors, sizes and finishes to suit. Larger models being brought for commercial catering equipment can be procured from a variety of specialist retailers and will generally include commercial features, larger dimensions and warranties, as well as stronger and more durable construction to match the higher demands of commercial food preparation. Regardless of your circumstances and model choice, a small microwave oven may be the most handy little kitchen appliance you ever buy.