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We got the Baumatic BTM23 Microwave Oven (which I'll refer to as the BTM from now on) as part of a new kitchen we had fitted some 5 or 6 years ago. At the time we were told it was retailing at around the £120 mark.
The installation was carried out by the builder who was refurbishing our home and who'd fully refitted our kitchen ad bathroom. As the microwave was a built in one; we felt it safest to leave in his capable hands to install the microwave. At the time of having the kitchen designed we didn't even consider the fact that the microwave opens from the right (as do pretty much all microwaves I've ever used). The issue was that the microwave was sitting in an area to the right side of the kitchen about 18 inches off the kitchen surface and this has been a big of a bug bear of mine ever since we've had our new kitchen as it's just very awkward to get hot items out of there. We were advised that there were no microwaves made in the UK which opened from the left so we decided we had no choice but to live with it. It just means we are extra careful when putting items inside and even more careful when taking the heated items out! This, of course, is not a fault of Baumatic but of our kitchen designers!
Getting back to the actual microwave now... The microwave is stainless steel on the inside and outside. It's a 900 watts model and has a fairly user-friendly control panel on the front with an LED programmer with 5 power levels. It's apparently got a 23 litre capacity yet I'm not sure where that 23 litre comes in. I'm pretty sure I'm never going to put 23 litres of liquid in there to test that claim out!
The menu has 9 settings as follows:
* Baked Potato
* Auto Reheat
* Defrost by Weight
In the digital display panel above the menu you have displayed the cooking time, power level, mode indicators and the current time. There are also 5 push buttons for power, clock, weight adjust, start and stop/cancel as well as a large knob for timer cooking.
The microwave is rather different to ones I've used in the past in that when you press the START button it goes up by 30 seconds at a time until you reach 2.5 minutes then it jumps up by a minute till 11.5 minutes then it goes up to 12 minutes. Very odd, there is a way around this but it used to bug me as I used to have it in my head that I need to heat certain items for 3 minutes, no more, no less! This meant having to read the instructions to tell me how to use the minute timer. It was just like having to learn something from scratch whereas in the past whenever I'd got a new microwave I'd pretty much just plugged it in and got on with it as I found the use of the settings to be mostly common sense, having used various microwaves for well over 25 years now, or maybe that's 30 years. I would add though that I have used microwaves in the past that were far easier to just use without having to refer to the instructions, i.e. which were more user friendly than this one.
The clock is really easy to set, just press the clock button once to change the hour, press it again to set the minutes, press it again to set the time. Easy as pie right? Well the only issue with this is that no matter how many times over the years I've reset the clock to the correct time, it manages to gain time on a regular basis, if I don't check it for a week or so I find that it's gained about 15 minutes. If I don't check it for a month, it's also about 15 minutes fast. Never seems to be more than that but it really does seem to run on its own special time! I've never bothered to call technical support for this as the clock on the cooker always has the right time - we just remember now never to trust the clock on the microwave!
As a good point I'd say it's lasted 5 or 6 years without any mechanical issues but I've had microwaves in the past which have lasted as long and longer. I can't say it's the easiest to clean but that's not a manufacturer issue, that's because of the height at which it's installed.
Overall I'd give this microwave an average 3 out of 5 stars. My parents have a much more intuitive microwave at their house and I much prefer to use their one than my own which is a bit sad really!
Dimensions: 305mm height, 508mm width, 365mm depth
Cabinet dimensions required if building in: 453mm height, 60mm width, 450mm depth
More info available on Baumatic and its products at: http://www.baumatic.co.uk/
6 Bennet Road
Tel: 0118 933 6900