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LG Electronics MC-806BL combination microwave oven
Microwaves in General
Member Name: Caradawn
Microwaves in General
Date: 27/08/02, updated on 27/08/02 (1772 review reads)
Advantages: Microwaves and oven cooks, Easy to use, Has auto cook/roast/defrost facilities
Disadvantages: Chrome can be hard to keep clean
When we bought our house we acquired (as you often do) quite a few second hand items. One of which was a microwave, which I am informed, was about ten years old at the time (They made them to last back when I were a girl...). Well about five years later this trusty microwave went POP! We had been planning to get a new one for about ummm...five years, but as this one was working we just kept putting it off. So now that it had made up our minds for us, we were off to purchase a new one.
Shaun and I discussed what we should get. I said something under £100 and he said a combination microwave/oven one (I didn't realise at the time, but as usual he was to win). We wanted something reasonably spacious inside like our previous one and something not too expensive. After some umming and ahhing we settled on an LG Electronics Microwave/Grill/Convection oven (I believe LG are also the makers of Phillips products, or vice versa).
What initially caught our eye was it's chrome exterior. On closer inspection we found that although it was smaller than our old microwave on the outside, inside it was just as spacious. Inside it had all the extras, which consisted of a metal tray, two wire racks of varying height and of course the glass turning tray. This was the MC-806BL model. The MC-806BLR also includes a rotisserie (a roasting spit). At £169.98 it was somewhat cheaper than others of the same specifications, which had price tags of £200 and up.
On getting our purchase home, we unwrapped it and set it up. The size of it was immediately apparent; it left us with more space on the worktop. A quick glance at all the buttons on the front of the combination oven (combi) left me a little bewildered at first. After all, our old microwave just had two dials, temperature and time. I used to have to take a wild guess as to what number defrost was and usually cooked whatever I was attempting to defrost. On this combi however all of the buttons were labelled
and I have the feeling that at a push you could learn to use it without a manual. I decided that I would probably be less likely to make mistakes if I did read the manual.
The manual looks quite thick and daunting, but as they say, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Each page has simple diagrams and easy to follow instructions. It?s not crowded with lots of small print, but instead neatly spaced out. The first chapter gives you instructions on unpacking and installing the combi. It gives you step by step instructions on how to test the microwave with a glass of water. This actually helps you to realise how simple it is to use. You are then shown how to set the clock and the child safety lock. On the subject of the child safety lock, I am a bit dubious about it. You press and hold the Stop/Clear button for about five seconds then it beeps twice and locks. The unlocking sequence is exactly the same. Having a child myself I know that they like to press and hold buttons and with this being one of the lowest buttons, along with Start/Quick start, it is also one of the easiest to reach. So I'm not sure how effective this lock would be. My daughter is not yet tall enough to reach and demonstrate it for me. Also on the safety side I had better mention that when the oven or grill is in use, the combi gets quite hot. No more so than a normal oven though (just make sure you only store heat resistant items on top of it. That means chocolate's banned!).
There are five main modes in which you can use the combi. The first is of course in microwave mode, which is 850w. The next is as a convection oven, then there is the grill and finally there are the combinations of microwave/grill and microwave/convection oven. These last two are great if you?re in a rush, but still want whatever you are cooking to crisp or brown over. You also have the options of Auto Cook, Auto Defrost and Auto Roast. With these you just press the button, select the item you
are cooking/defrosting and then select the weight of the item. You can use these options for a whole range of things for example meat, vegetables, rice, jacket potatoes, chilled and frozen pizza, gratin to name a few. I regularly use the Auto Cook for frozen pizza and it cooks it in half the time of a normal oven without using the microwave. So you can put it on the metal rack so that it crisps the base.
The oven has a temperature range of 40C and 100C-250C. It can be preheated by selecting the temperature and pressing Start/Quick start. It will then beep to let you know that it has reached the required temperature. I have to be honest, this is something that I rarely do because with it being a convection oven it heats up quite rapidly. The grill is mainly for crisping food. It appears to only have one heat setting so it wouldn't be very good for toast because it would take too long. You?d probably be better off just sticking to your toaster for that.
Unfortunately cleaning the combi is something that has to be done quite regular in order to keep it looking nice (why do I pick these things?). With it having a chrome surface, greasy fingerprints show up very easily. Alternatively I guess you could always wear cotton gloves to avoid contact.
I've probably made it sound confusing to use, what with all the buttons and available combinations, but it is really very easy. Once you've done a couple of things with it you find it's a piece of cake. It's ideal for me because I'm only cooking for two most of the time and it seems a waste of energy using a big oven for a couple of small items. I would definitely recommend it especially if you regularly cook for one or two people.
xx Caradawn xx