If you’re anything like me, you use your microwave for three things: boiling water, popping popcorn, and reheating Olive Garden leftovers. That’s all it’s really good for. Cooking anything else with a microwave generally tends to ruin it. But what if that wasn’t the case? What if your microwave could actually be used for stuff other than Hot Pockets and Hungry Man dinners? Well, good news: Microwaves have slowly been progressing over the past few years, and thanks to the relatively recent advent of “inverter” technology, there are a few machines on the market that can cook food without making it taste all microwave-y.
Cooking food successfully in a traditional microwave is challenging because the magnetron – the element that emits the microwaves that cook your food – can only operate at full power. Even when set to “50% power,” most machines are actually going through cycles of delivering 100% power, followed by a period of no power at all. Imagine if your conventional oven worked that way – instead of cooking a turkey at 350 degrees for a few hours, that’d be like cooking it at 700 for ten minutes, taking it out, and then repeating that process over and over again until it’s done. Not exactly ideal, is it?
Inverter microwaves – like the IMG25 from Caso – circumvent this problem by incorporating a power inverter into the machine. By using a technique called pulse width modulation, these microwaves can effectvely provide continuous, variable-power heating. So if you set it for 50% power, you actually get a steady stream of 50% power for the entire cooking time instead of intermittent bursts of 100% power. This results in food that’s cooked more evenly at a given power level, and can be heated more quickly without being damaged due to uneven cooking.
This technology has been around for a few years now, and while Caso wasn’t the fist to incorporate it into their machines, their new IMG25 microwave is arguably one of the best-looking models we’ve ever seen. Boasting a 25-liter stainless steel cooking cavity and brushed aluminum exterior, this energy-efficient inverter microwave can pump out 1 kilowatt of microwave output and comes with 13 automatic cooking programs. It’s not quite available just yet, but Caso will begin selling them in January 2014 for € 250 (around $345).
Find out more here.