When I lived alone, I barely cooked. But when I do, I tend to cook meals that are quick and easy. During that time, I came to appreciate the beauty that is the microwave.
If I cook meals to bring to work, I always pre-cook them and have my fridge stocked up with batches of different meals. And when I prepare my food for that day, all I need to do is heat them up so they’re ready to eat.
Perhaps due to years of constant use, my little unit has finally broken down.
As I was researching and scrolling through countless options to replace my old unit, I came across smart microwaves.
I still wasn’t sure if it was right for me so I dived deep on all things smart microwave. If you want to find out more about the smart kitchen appliance, I’ve got you covered right here!
What is a Smart Microwave?
Almost every part of a home has some ‘smart’ counterpart. Microwaves are sure not going to get left behind the trend.
A smart microwave is a microwave that connects to a home WiFi network, like most smart devices and appliances. This smart home appliance can be controlled remotely, either through your smart device or through a voice command assistant like the Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Because a smart microwave connects over your home WiFi network, it then becomes part of your smart home ecosystem.
What Makes a Smart Microwave Oven Different From a Regular Microwave Oven?
Now, you might be asking if there is really a difference between a normal microwave and a smart microwave.
When we think of a microwave oven, our mind instantly goes to reheating leftover food and making popcorn. With a smart microwave, you can do so much more than that.
A smart microwave incorporates a wide array of cooking options so you can do more than just reheat your meals or make popcorn for movie nights.
With an accessible smart microwave in your kitchen, cooking is made much easier for you. It helps eliminate all the guesswork that comes with cooking, reheating, and defrosting your meals for the day.
So what exactly makes a smart microwave smart?
Common Features of a Smart Microwave
If you’re thinking of getting a smart microwave to replace your previous regular microwave, I have below the most common features to expect from one:
As mentioned above, all “smart” appliances and devices around our home connect to our home WiFi network. The same goes for smart microwaves.
Once a smart microwave connects to your home’s WiFi network where all your other smart devices connect to as well, it becomes part of and is interwoven into your home’s central system.
WiFi connectivity allows homeowners to access and control a smart microwave remotely with just the tip of their fingers.
Unlike regular microwave ovens, a smart microwave has an LED touchscreen interface as its control panel. Say goodbye to buttons and knobs and control your unit with a single touch on a screen.
This LED touchscreen interface will let you know the progress of your meal and will even show you recipes and cooking guides you need to know.
Remote operation and voice assistant technology
Smart microwaves allow owners and users to access and control them remotely, often with a smartphone.
As we’ve established, smart microwaves connect over to your home WiFi network. And when it does successfully connect, this gives you the power to control them remotely, even without getting up from where you are.
With just the tip of your fingers on your smartphone, you can start or stop cooking and even see the progress of your meals.
Because they are smart microwaves, most models and units are also compatible with voice and virtual assistant technologies like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. This allows for hands-free control wherever you are in the house. What’s more, you don’t even have to lift a finger to get your popcorn popping!
Customized and pre-configured settings
With normal and traditional microwave ovens, users would have to determine and sometimes guess optimal heating settings and cooking time whenever they put something in the oven. With a smart microwave, you can say goodbye to all these.
Smart microwaves are designed and configured to track your daily routines and anticipate your daily activities. This plus their inherently smart technology allows you to generate or set customized settings for your reheating or cooking needs. The next time you put the same meal in, you can simply select a customized setting so you can get to it with a single push on your LED touchscreen.
In the same way, smart microwaves also have pre-set heating configurations and settings. These go well for typical meals so you can have perfectly cooked or heated meals without sweat. Now, you can put a packed meal in and have your unit auto-defrost it when you say so.
Recipes and cooking guides
Some of the best and most advanced smart microwave technologies can look up recipes for you and show you how to prep and cook meals right on the unit’s LED touchscreen interface.
And because they’re “smart” devices, a smart microwave can give you cooking guides i.e. how long you should heat up certain meals, so you can have perfectly-cooked and heated meals every single time.
One of the best features to come out of smart microwaves is the scan-to-cook technology.
Packaged food and meals often come with barcodes to scan. You can do this either on the microwave unit itself or with a suggested app.
When you scan these barcodes, a smart microwave will automatically configure settings according to what your meal requires. It will also tell you other meal prep steps to take or keep in mind.
In this way, you won’t have to think about how you will cook your dinner as your unit will do it for you instead.
Smart home microwaves are equipped with motion sensors. These sensors monitor your food’s moisture level, preventing overcooking or drying them out.
Advanced heating features: do more than just microwave classic popcorn
Smart microwave ovens are designed with advanced heating technologies. Unlike traditional microwaves that simply allow you to reheat leftovers from last night’s dinner, you can do so much more with smart microwaves.
Most smart microwaves in the market have convection cooking technology.
With advanced and additional heating technologies in a convection microwave, now you can crisp, brown, toast, roast, and even air fry meals on top of reheating leftovers for dinner.
Use different dish sizes and turntable settings
Most smart microwaves have the option of enabling or disabling the turntable function. With this feature, you can now use different dish sizes inside the unit.
Low power mode
Lastly, many smart microwaves in the market have a low power mode feature. This allows the unit to turn off the display so it doesn’t consume energy when not in use. This, in turn, helps you save on monthly utility bills.
Concerns About Smart Microwaves
Smart microwave ovens connect over to a home WiFi network. Anything that connects to a WiFi network is prone to hacking, especially if your network security is weak.
This is one of the biggest concerns people have over smart appliances and devices. But fear not, because as long as you take necessary precautions on online safety, you can prevent this from happening.
Are Smart Microwave Ovens Worth It?
Smart microwaves, seeing as they have more features and functions than a regular microwave, are generally more expensive.
So is it worth it?
The answer to this question would depend largely on the consumer.
Others suggest a way to determine if a smart microwave is a worthy addition to your home. If, with a smart microwave, you can eliminate other kitchen appliances like a toaster, air fryer, and whatnot, then one can definitely say it’s worth the extra bucks.
But if you still feel the need to keep and constantly use other kitchen appliances, then you might want to rethink if a smart microwave is for you.
A smart microwave is a smart kitchen appliance that can be a great addition to any home. More than just your normal microwave, it does so much more than just reheat last night’s dinner or make popcorn.
Like any other smart devices, a smart microwave connects to a home WiFi network so it becomes a part of your smart home ecosystem with a central control system. With WiFi connection, this can be controlled remotely and is compatible with most voice assistant technology.
They have an LED touchscreen and the topnotch scan-to-cook technology. To make the most out of your smart microwave, it has both pre-configured and customized settings. The little unit is also smart enough to show you recipes and cooking guides to eliminate all the guesswork of cooking.
Smart microwaves have moisture sensors and advanced heating features to ensure your food heats or cooks just right, without overcooking, undercooking, or drying them out.
Other common features include turntable settings and low power mode.
And that has been our guide all about smart microwaves!