“ Brand: Microcook / Type: Dish „
Just after Christmas I was browsing in our local Home Store as they had a 20% off sale. I spotted this Microcook microwave omelette maker priced at just £1 and therefore with a 20% reduction I would pay only 80p. I really enjoy eating omelettes but rarely make them as they always seem fiddly and I'm not brilliant at turning them and getting them to cook thoroughly and can end up with a messy egg mixture on the plate. And then there's the frying pan to wash up too. The omelette maker therefore leapt out at me from the shelf and was added to my other purchases in my basket.
The omelette maker is a white plastic circular dish. It is formed from one piece of plastic which is moulded to form two semi circular shallow containers connected by a hinged central section. The dish folds in half during the cooking process and is fastened at the top of the curve with a plastic clasp that hooks over the other side and there is also a small handle which enables pressure to be placed to open and close the clasp.
Whilst packaged the omelette maker is in its folded position secured by a cardboard sleeve. The sleeve is green and red with the manufacturer and product names on. There is also a photograph of a completed omelette in the mould and a plated omelette served with salad, all looking very tasty. We're told that with this gadget you can make 'superb fluffy omelettes in just minutes' and that we can expect 'quick delicious results'. Encouragingly the 'Made in the United Kingdom' logo is shown and I'm always happy to try and support products manufactured in our own country. On the reverse are instructions for use and guidelines advising that the dish should only be used in the microwave and that it can be washed in the upper rack of a dishwasher.
**The omelette maker in action**
I have followed the instructions provided on the packaging when using this. I mix an omelette mixture as I normally would, breaking two eggs into a jug with a tablespoon of milk and some black pepper. The instructions also suggest salt, but I try to limit my salt intake so leave this out. I then open up the omelette maker so that it lies flat on my work surface and pour half of my mixture into each of the semi circular sections. This then goes into the microwave, in the open position and cooks for 1 minute on high power - what a mess you'd end up with if you tried to close it at this stage when the egg is liquid. I then gently use a fork to push any uncooked egg towards the outside edges to ensure that it cooks and then cook for a further minute. Finally I add any filling that I choose - cheese, ham, onion, herbs, mushroom etc, to one side onto the cooked egg mixture and then fold the container in half with the filling on the bottom side. After another thirty seconds on full power the omelette is ready to serve. My microwave is 850 watts and the packaging does suggest that cooking times can vary with the power of the microwave.
**The pros and cons**
Since I've had my omelette maker I've eaten so many more omelettes than I ever used to. I have found that they have made a really quick and easy lunchtime snack and it really feels like they require minimal effort to make. The omelettes look much better than my hob cooked ones. They come out as a neat folded crescent shape, although they are very pale in colour with no browning which can be a little less appealing to look at, but I'm more than happy with them.
One problem that I did encounter, particularly on the first few uses was that the clasp fastening was really stiff to open, particularly when cold. It requires me to place both thumb tips under the catch with my index fingers on the handle part and apply opposing forces to lever the catch up. It is getting a little easier now, but is still not easy. Once it is warmed though it becomes much easier and I have had no difficulty opening to retrieve my cooked omelette.
I tend to have large size eggs in the house so used these. The mixture I make with two of these fits ok into the two halves of the dish, but it is quite full so you do need to be quite careful when you're lifting it into the microwave to ensure that no spills occur. Medium size eggs would probably be a better size. An issue also occurs with the amount of filling that you put in. Into the first omelette that I made I merrily added a nice large handful of cheese grated on the large setting of my grater and some herbs. After 30 seconds I opened my microwave door to be greeted by a large puddle of cheese that had escaped from the container and was lying on my glass dish in the microwave. I have subsequently gradually reduced the amount of filling and watched the excess spilt onto the plate decrease until I have now found a suitable amount to add. However, this is hardly any at all. I've found that the cheese is better if finely grated and then a few chopped pieces of ham, 1 chopped cherry tomato and that's it. I find this quite disappointing as without a hearty filling the omelette seems fairly flavourless and nothing like as tempting to eat. I have reached a compromise; I either chuck in as much filling as I like to make a really tasty omelette and accept that it will overflow and that I might have to scrape some filling back onto my plate from the glass plate back onto my omelette or I make it nice and tidily with less filling but have a pile of the filling ingredients on the side to eat along with it. Using smaller eggs should also allow more room for filling.
Washing up is still an issue, as it is with washing a frying pan, as I usually have to wash the microwave plate as well as the omelette maker. This really isn't a problem though. There doesn't tend to be any residue in the hollow areas and in a normal bowl of hot water and washing up liquid any small amounts of omelette that may be left around the rim of the maker come away effortlessly - certainly easier that any browned egg that would remain in a frying pan. It is suitable for a dishwasher but as I don't have one I haven't had the opportunity to try this. So far my one has had about ten uses and is looking as new. It seems quite robust and I suspect that the only problem that is likely to occur over time is that plastic that forms the hinged area may weaken.
These omelettes aren't as good in taste as ones made by professionals using a frying pan, but they are definitely better than my own efforts and I've enjoyed adding omelettes to my lunchtime repertoire. Even with the downsides of the tricky catch and the slightly too small area for filling I think this is an excellent addition to my kitchen. For £1 it seems excellent value for money and I would happily pay two or three times this. They are available online from Dunhelm Mill for the same price of £1 plus postage.
~ THE OMELETTE MAKER~
I was in my local 'The Range' store browsing at anything and everything and noticed on an end of an aisle they have a range of microwavable pots and other things. One thing which caught my eye was an Omelette maker, and priced at just £1.00 I thought it's worth giving the product a try to see if it works as well as it said it does. The Omelette maker is made by microcook and is suitable only for use in a microwave. The product is made in the UK and claims to cook superb fluffy omelettes in just a few minutes with quick, delicious results.
The Omelette maker is half-moon shape when folded and it opens out into a full circle with trays either side for you to put the mixture into. There is a clasp on the top of the omelette maker to ensure it stays closed when cooking. I washed the product before using it with warm, soapy water and then dried it ready for use.
~ USING THE OMELETTE MAKER ~
The omelette maker is used open until the final stage of cooking.
1. Make a normal omelette mix. I mixed 2 eggs together with a little milk and added some pepper to give it a bit of extra flavour.
2. Pour the mix into each side of the omelette maker, ensuring the mixture is divided evenly. I was very careful when doing this as I didn't want to make a mess. The mixture poured into the omelette maker easily.
3. I carefully lifted the omelette maker into the microwave and cooked on full power for approximately 1 minute as instructed on the instructions.
4. After 1 minute I took it out of the microwave and move the uncooked mix to the outside edge and then put it back it to cook for another minute. If it's not cooked, cooked for a further few minutes. There shouldn't be any runny mixture left!
5. Now it was ready for me to add the filling to it. I chose to have just a cheese omelette as I didn't have any ham or much else in the fridge I could put in it. A cheese, ham and tomato omelette would have tasted great! Add the filling to one side and then close the omelette maker. I was too sure how much cheese I should add, so I added enough to cover the omelette and then close the maker. The clip will make a click sound when it's closed properly. Put it back into the microwave ensuring that the filling is on the side that stays static.
6. Cook for approximately 30 seconds or longer and then serve on a plate. I actually cooked my omelette for at least a minute and a half to ensure it was properly cooked. There was some leakage of cheese around the edge of the omelette maker but none had actually leaked out of the maker onto the microwave plate.
The Omelette wasn't a golden brown colour that you normally get when using a frying pan and it did look rather plain because I had just used cheese in the Omelette how-ever I couldn't wait to try it. The omelette cut easily with a knife and as I put a piece into my mouth it felt really soft and fluffy. I couldn't really taste the cheese much but I thought this was because it was one of the ends. I continued to eat the rest of the omelette and loved it. The omelette was so fluffy and light. Admittedly it was a little boring as I couldn't taste the cheese so I know for next time to add more cheese or get some stronger strength cheese to add to it instead.
I'm not sure how long this item will last but for £1.00 I can't really complain about the value of this item as it does exactly what it says and makes fluffy omelettes in just a few minutes. You may need to adjust the cooking time depending on your microwave and this may take a few attempts to get the omelette perfect. The omelette may fluff up whilst cooking and can sometimes force the omelette maker open, how-ever this hasn't actually happened to me yet. The clip on the top of the omelette maker is a little stiff at first and it took me a few attempts to open it, how-ever I think this is just because it's a new product. The item gets a bit thumbs up from me and I would definitely recommend it to others to buy.
A pan may be easier for others to use and you can tell then when the omelette is set, how-ever this is much easier to clean and is just more convenient when I haven't got time to heat up a frying pan. The down side to this item is that you are limited to how big your omelette actually is and how much filling you put inside of it, whereas if you use a pan you don't need to worry about this.
(review may also appear on ciao)