Smart microwave ovens: What features they offer, brands that sell and more – Times of India


Cooking is an art that needs a variety of efficient and methodical measures to make it perfect. Smart microwave ovens make life easy — taking the guesswork out of reheating, defrosting and even popping popcorn, making a feast or snack in minutes and all at the mere touch of a button or two.
But in the interest of the time-crunched cooking and to keep up with the ever changing technology, insta-meals have become even easier thanks to a new breed of smart microwaves. Microwave cooking has been popular since the invention of the first machine in 1947. Over the past seven decades, microwave ovens have evolved — from huge commercial gadgets with one or two cooking options to countertop-size small kitchen appliances with loads of features.
Smart features that makes life easy
These devices feature such functionality as voice control, scan-to-cook tech and even multi-step heating—and all controlled remotely. This means you don’t even have to lift a finger or set foot in the kitchen.
There are devices that can cook for an entire family and it has over-the-range features that help you to remote control it through Google Assistant, Alexa or even your smartphones. You can operate it using voice control to simply ask it to start or stop or delegate cooking instructions; or use the accompanying app to send heating instructions straight to the microwave. Unfortunately, such models haven’t made their way in India yet.
Built-in scan-to-cook technology in some of the models can read barcodes on any packaging (for frozen foods), which then sends cooking settings and instructions right to the device, so you never have to worry about under or overcooking anything ever again.
There are multi-step cooking functions in some Whirlpool models that lets you send multiple cooking instructions to the microwave at the same time, and the microwave changes temperatures throughout cooking times based on the recipe. Multiple cooking preset functions let you prepare everything from pizza to vegetables.
There are intuitive microwave ovens that work over Wi-Fi with Google Assistant and Alexa, so all you have to do is ask it to operate from any room in the house and you shall receive a ready-to-eat meal or munchie in minutes.
For instance, when you’re in the middle of a pivotal scene in the latest thriller movie, all you have to do is ask your smart microwave oven to start cooking. You can even be as specific as, “heat 6 packets of popcorn,” and the device will set the perfect cooking time.
Plus, the hands-free technology makes cooking more safe and sanitary. Although, you still have to put the food in the microwave and take it out (if only the microwave could actually bring your food to you), but it does reduce the amount of times you touch your microwave.
Another smart feature of these devices is its ability to check the status of your food from your phone or by asking your virtual assistant for a status update at any time during the heating process. If someone has forgotten their food is in the microwave you will get an alert on your phone when the food is ready.
A kid who wants to warm up their favorite frozen meal after school, they can simply scan the barcode instead of trying to read instructions on the package. Of course, we always recommend you supervise your kids when they’re using the microwave.
Smart microwave ovens in India
Smart microwave ovens that are available in India might not be as cutting-edge as the ones that are available abroad, but they can still save you a headache. Features like cooking presets, auto cooking programs and smart diagnosis can come in handy in our daily busy lives. Here are some of the smart microwave ovens that are available in India.

LG NeoChef Smart Inverter Oven
The LG smart microwave oven has compact and minimal designs. It comes with a smart inverter that has a 10 years warranty and a capacity of 42L. You can prepare various recipes using this device as it comes with 55 auto cook menus. It has also got the latest technology of troubleshooting called Smart Diagnosis.
Price: Rs.13,790
Samsung MC35J8085PT Convection MWO 35L
It comes with a unique HotBlast technology that reduces cooking times significantly and their SlimFry technology helps you prepare fried foods without a deep fryer. It can’t connect to a network but has an LED display and glass touch. It has also got multiple cooking modes and auto programs.
Price: 28,000
Whirlpool MAGICOOK Pro solo 30L
It has also got auto cook menus, express cooking, 7 power levels and a new and improved LCD display. You can cook, heat or defrost food with preset options of time and power.
Price: 9,089 (with 5 years extended warranty)
Some drawbacks to consider
There are times when some smart devices don’t cook food as evenly as others do. The voice commands in some models can be inconsistent at times, it won’t work unless you say the exact words and it’s often just easier to press the buttons yourself.
Keeping that in mind, part of the benefit of buying any “smart” device is that it has the ability to get smarter over time with app and firmware updates. Brands will continue to make improvements that make the microwave more functional and less buggy over time.

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