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I don't know why, but we don't have much luck with microwaves and over the years have tried every brand known to man. When the door fell off our last microwave which was just over a year old , my brother recommended De Longhi as he has had his for many years.
This comes in a large box together with a very minimal instruction booklet, plate and the plastic stand the plate sits on.
Very well packaged in polystyrene with all the doors and wires secured with tape. A bit of a struggle getting it out of the box but once out simply take all the tapes off, put the plate in plug in and off you go.
I liked the look of this microwave as it is mainly stainless steel with a large stainless steel handle. It is finished well and looks and feels like a quality product.
It feels quite sturdy (only time will tell) and I like that it has a handle rather than a button to open as that stooped working on one model we had.
It is quite heavy so when you pull the handle the microwave stays put and does not slide around the worktop , but it does make a noise when you close the door. Note to microwave designers- please design a soft silent close model.
Ease of Use
To be honest I find this really easy to use and like most microwaves nowadays I simply press the start button for 30 seconds and carry on pressing to increase in 30 second increments to select the time. It defaults to full power which is fine as I tend to use my microwave mostly to warm milk , half-drunk cups of tea and the odd microwave meal.
However there are lots of ways you can select the time and heat setting.
To do that simply press the microwave button, select the power level and then use the dial to select the time , then start to confirm.
The clock is easy to set and there are full instructions for doing this which are easy to follow.
There are the usual preset functions, auto functions for particular foods like pizza chicken and for some bizarre reason muesli! Defrost, Auto Reheat, Multi-Stage cooking where you can defrost and then set to cook plus a Potato setting.
I don't use any of these , but if you do there are step by step instructions. I have used defrost for a stew I had frozen and found it straightforward, but I don't like defrosting in a microwave as I think the food starts to cook at the edges before being fully defrosted.
This also has a child safety lock and this is set by simply by pressing the stop button for 3 seconds , lock on will be indicated by a long beep and the child lock indicator lighting up.
As with most microwaves cooking time ending is indicated by beeps, 5 with this particular model which I think are over the top and a bit irritating.
If you want to stop cooking simply open the door and then press the stop/cancel button. Or press the cancel button.
This particular model is 800 watts, which is one of the highest and so cooking time is faster. The only issue is most microwave instructions don't always have 800 watts, but I adapt and do something in between the lower or higher setting on the instructions. Plus I ignore quite a lot of instructions as I think they nuke your food, Morrison's in particular tend to have really long cooking times which ensure your food is fully heated but also dried up and hard in parts.
This is really easy to clean. The inside is smooth all the way around and I simply wipe down with a cloth. As I cover most things that spatter. I.e. beans or soup I don't make food spatters, but someone else uses this and does not check the food, just puts a random (too long) time and then waits until it finishes . If you need to get dried on spatters off more easily, put a bowl with water in and heat for a couple of minutes so the steam loosens the food, then wipe down.
5 power settings
Child Safety Lock
23 litre capacity
Size H30, W49, D41cm.
27cm rotating turntable
We bought this from Argos for £69.99 which seems like a fair price for this particular model plus we had a money off voucher. Hopefully it will last as long as my brother's has although I think we use ours little and often so maybe not. Given our track record anything longer than 18 months will be a bonus.
What do I think?
I think this is a very solid microwave that heats things quickly and easily. I don't use all the settings, so it is probably more than we need. It looks smart, is really easy to clean and the only irritating feature is the 5 beeps when it ends the programme. I find that annoying especially if I make a warm milky drink in the middle of the night, because boy those beeps are loud, so I hover and cancel before it finishes as you only get one beep that way.
You can hear it when it is in use, but it doesn't sound overly loud.
It has quite a large capacity so you can get 2 boxes of microchips or 2 standard size ready meals for one in at one time if you wish - Nigella Lawson eat your heart out! Obviously you need to adjust the cooking time, but usefully microchips have timings for 2 boxes.
Despite not making extensive use of my microwave and primarily using it to heat, milk, beans soup or microchips, I can't manage without one. We had a couple of days without one when the door fell off the last one and were a little lost as I did not realise just how much we used this for drinks and hubby claims hot milk tastes different boiled on the stove.
I know lots of people cook meat and complete meals plus jacket spuds in microwaves, but I don't like meat cooked this way and I like a nice crisp on my jackets, so I can't comment on how well it cooks things.
I can recommend it on the basis that it heats up quickly is easy to use, keep clean and looks good. If you are short of space this might npt suit as it is quite large.
4 stars from me - one star taken off for the annoying 5 very loud beeps.
Short name: DeLonghi AM823AZH 23L