What is an inverter microwave

Inverter Microwaves: what is the difference and is it worth the extra price?

In this article we will tell you how inverter microwave ovens differ from conventional ones, what are their advantages, and if they are worth the extra price. We will try not only to give you a detailed description but also demonstrate it.

Design and Differences

As the name suggests, having an inverter instead of a high-voltage transformer makes an inverter technology microwave different. The operational principle of a conventional microwave oven is based on a transformer.

Such a principle has one major disadvantage: the device magnetron has only two operational modes — switched on (at maximum power) and switched off. In this case, the food is heated up in cycles, i.e. the magnetron emits waves for 15 seconds (approximate time) and then "takes rest" for 15 seconds, while the heat is being distributed over the meal and the unit cools down.

This process is different for inverter models. The magnetron is working without any stops, gradually reducing the power.

What is inverter technology in a microwave – Advantages and Disadvantages

In the last decade microwave inverter technology were a new thing available in the premium segment only, but nowadays these devices are much more common and affordable.

The following features made it possible:

  • Heat-up quality. Multiple practical tests prove that an inverter is more favorable for heating food. The steady operation with lower power allows to heat the food equally and avoid the cold core with the overdried skin. Despite the common opinion, microwaves penetrate from the outside to the inside, while the depth of penetration and the heat depend on the number of water molecules in the product. The difference is especially obvious with bigger meals, for example, when heating a chicken.
  • Functionality. While a conventional microwave is good for heating up only, an inverter device opens up new opportunities like defrosting and actual cooking (especially if the device is equipped with a grill).
  • Keeping the food healthy. The National Food Research Institute of Japan (NARO) has proved a better effect of inverter microwaves compared to conventional microwaves on keeping useful substances. The reason for it also lies in the equal heating without rapid changes of temperature.
  • Space saving. Not only do inverter devices save your space, but they also weigh much less. For example, if a transformer unit weighs about 11 lb, an inverter would fit in in about 1 lb. This is the case when heavier doesn’t mean safer and better. Microwave with inverter have a bigger chamber with dimensions similar to conventional microwave ovens.
  • Lifetime and energy saving. Frequent switching on and off and high inrush current negatively affect the durability of electronic devices. An inverter switches on and off only once for a job, and it ensures a longer lifetime.

Apart from the device price, it is also worth mentioning the maintenance price: such equipment requires fewer repairs, but the inverter replacement may cost half of the device price.

Moreover, inverters are more finicky about the voltage stability, which may lead to their failure in case of a voltage surge. It is recommended to buy a stabilizer for them.

Bottom Line

Inverter microwaves are better at heating up, they can defrost and cook meals, and are more practical, durable, and functional. In this case, it’s all about the price, so if the budget allows it this kind of microwave oven would be a rather reasonable decision.

The only thing I recommend is to avoid buying the cheapest inverter microwaves at the lowest market price. If you are not too picky about the features and heating quality, you should better choose a non-inverter, but a quality model from a well-known brand.

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