I remember many years ago when our family first invested in a microwave. For a start it cost about three times as much as this, was very much under powered by comparison and the oven itself was around twice the size of the capacity of the cooking area. Mostly though I remember it because it heralded a new era in kitchen appliances. There was even a magazine partwork that came out that my mother invested in teaching you how to do creative cookery in the microwave. Years on and I think we have all accepted that the microwave is for making things hot quickly and although we may be more creative than the Findus cardboard base pizzas that were my microwave fodder of the early eighties really we haven't progressed much from that point.
So, what does the microwave get used for in our house now if it isn't creative new approaches to cookery. Well, we have passed on pizzas to the standard fan assisted oven which seems to do a far better job. The microwave gets to do some key family tasks though. Somebody is late home and there dinner had been plated for an hour. Step in the microwave. Frozen vegetables for roast dinner, or even fresh vegetables cooked the day before and reheated. Sauces, ping! Milk for an evening hot chocolate. What we look for as a family in the microwave is not the array of buttons down the side that promises to auto sens if the chicken has been cooked correctly. No, we look for power and ease of use.
This microwave delivers both on power and ease of use. The microwave has 900w of power which to the layman means that stuff cooks quickly. Yes, you can turn the power down and when we defrost something we do use a lower power (not the defrost option though as that takes too long!) but most of the time it is cranked up to full and we're on a roll for a full power zapping and instant heat. Also, the brushed aluminium finish means it fits in with most modern kitchens.
The buttons down the side allow you to access the auto-settings (for cooking fish, meat, vegetables and yes, even pizza) and all feel reasonably quality. The larger button across the bottom controls a spring loaded mechanism that flicks the door open. The food itself sits on a glass turntable in the centre of the microwave. The turntable rotates, as the name suggests, whilst the food is cooking. This gives a more even cooking of the food but you will still get hotspots so be careful when you zap on full power.
The microwave runs through the time you set and then at the end of the cycle beeps reassuringly to let you know that dinner is ready.
Overall, this microwave has provided us with good value for money over the time we have owned it. (We paid around 120 pounds but I believe now it is slightly cheaper.)
Microwave: Microwave power output 900 watts / 5 microwave power settings / 4 microwave and grill power settings / Grill: Grill power output 1100 watts / 1 grill power setting / Oven: Convection oven power output 2500 watts / 1 convection oven setting / Convection temperature range from 150 to 240°C / Programmes: 10 programmes / Auto weight defrost/cook / General information: Easi-Tronic control / Interior capacity 25 litres / Child safety lock / 31.5cm diameter rotating turntable / Accessories included: grill rack / Size H31, W52, D50cm / Weight 19kg / EAN/MPN/UPC/ISBN: 4006842 / By DeLonghi / Short name: DeLonghi AC925EFY