Microwave v/s OTG

by Sanjeev Kapoor

Baking is a beautiful amalgamation of art and science. Every time we see a cake, we wish we’d know how to bake. We’ve seen many cooking videos and come across people bake cake in their oven at home. However, it clearly states that you need an OTG to bake cakes, and regular microwave cannot bake cakes effectively. This would put the million-dollar question in many people’s minds- What is the difference between an OTG and a microwave oven? Let’s deduce this mystery.

The difference in technology

OTG is an abbreviation for Oven, Toaster and Griller. It basically uses nickel/chromium coils that heat up the compartment within and the fan helps in circulating the heat evenly – simulating an actual charcoal oven. Since the generation of heat is dependent on the coil’s temperature, it usually takes time for pre-heating and fully baking the dish.

A microwave oven, on the other hand, uses electromagnetic waves that are absorbed by the food on the inside and generate heat. These electromagnetic waves range between 300 MHz and 300GHz – which falls in between the spectrum of radio wave and infrared radiation. A microwave oven takes very little time to pre-heat due to its electric nature, that instantaneously heats up the food. Moreover it doesn’t come with a pre-installed fan as the heat gets easily absorbed by the food. It does come with a turn-table to evenly heat the food from all sides.

The difference in spacing

An OTG has racks installed, where one can slide in multiple trays, one on top of the other. This way one can bake multiple batches of bread or cookies together without any hassles. In a microwave on the other hand, there is a turntable with rotates to cook the food evenly. In such a setup only one thing can be placed at a time. Moreover, it cannot accommodate rectangular dishes with ease, as opposed to an OTG.

The difference in the choice of utensils

Aluminium, glass and silicone utensils are perfect to bake in an OTG  and plastic, silicone and glass utensils are perfect for use in a microwave oven. However you cannot use metal utensils in a microwave, as the electromagnetic waves are absorbed by water, fats and sugars, but they are not absorbed by plastic or metal. This causes a short-circuit inside the microwave oven and can be dangerous.

Utility

OTGs have knobs and dials to control the temperature and the duration of baking a specific dish. Moreover, its slow heating nature helps it cook food evenly and achieve delicious results while baking many things.

Microwave on the other hand, lacks a dedicated temperature control. Some microwaves do offer low, medium or high heating modes, but they lack the option to set the exact temperature; something that is very crucial while baking. However, due to its quick and even-heating properties it is perfect for reheating as well as cooking food instantly, something that can be really time consuming in an OTG.

And while all this is okay, these two metal boxes consume a lot of space in the kitchen. And it is difficult to skip one for the other. So, what if you want the brilliance of both these devices into one?

The Game Changer: A convection microwave oven

If you want the best of both worlds, you should pick a microwave with a convention mode. Basically, this microwave oven also comes with a heating coil pre-installed, just like the ones we see on the OTGs. The convection microwave ovens get multiple modes which let you either heat the food or bake all in one single machine. Sure, you miss out on the space that you’d get in an OTG, but there are no compromises when it comes to the overall taste. If you’re a pro-baker sure, getting a big OTG makes total sense. It’ll give you access to everything you’re looking for, and help you achieve amazing results. However, for basic bakers who are trying to create simple cakes and cookies, the convection microwave oven is perfect.

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.