Newest Review: ... steel, although I think this is to be expected with all stainless steel items. The microwave opening is a good size, which isn't somethi... more
All singing, all dancing, but I only use it to heat up beans!
Member Name: Holland1
Advantages: Powerful wattage, looks classy, lots of functions, useful for people with little cooking ability
Disadvantages: The extra functions are wasted if you're only using it to heat things up
I've had this microwave for about 7 years, and it's travelled from house to house and has spent some time in storage in between house moves. It was bought as a moving in present by my mum and dad, when I first left home and set up home with a previous partner. When that didn't work out, even though I had nowhere to live and ended up moving back with my parents until I sorted myself out, I still insisted on rescuing this microwave from the house, just on principle really!
Anyway, I've just done a quick search on this microwave, and it seems to be out of stock in most places at the moment. Similar models from Hinari retail for around £60 to £80, so I would imagine it would cost in this region. The microwave is stainless steel, as you can see, and so it looks really classy in the kitchen. I'm not usually bothered about this kind of thing, as long as things work I don't care if they're white or black or silver, but this does look really nice on our worktop.
The microwave has an oval shaped "window" so you can see the food inside, and when the microwave is working it lights up so you can see if your food is about to bubble over onto the glass plate. I have had this microwave a long time, as I mentioned earlier, and I've never had to change this lightbulb. If I'm honest, I wouldn't even know how! The handle is curved, and the door opens easily. The only criticism of this, is that the handle does get covered in fingerprints because it's stainless steel, although I think this is to be expected with all stainless steel items.
The microwave opening is a good size, which isn't something I would bother to mention, but our microwave in work is so small you have to tilt large plates to get them inside! This microwave fits in our larger plates and bowls with no issues. The glass plate is detachable, as are most, and is dishwasher safe. We usually stick it in the dishwasher when we are doing a glass cycle, to ensure it gets properly cleaned. The inside of the microwave is fairly easy to keep clean if you keep on top of it, I use a damp cloth to wipe over it, and a scourer for more stubborn stains (i.e. after my partner has used it!).
Now onto the features. Although my parents bought this from both of them, I know it will have been my dad who would have trawled the internet for hours, finding the best microwave he could within budget. I may have mentioned before, but any gadgets or anything technical that my dad buys me, are usually pretty spot on, mainly as a result of thorough research. This is no exception, as the microwave is no ordinary microwave, but also performs as a grill, and makes it possible to cook most types of food by giving you instructions on the screen. You can probably see from the picture that there is a long list underneath the screen, well this is a list of different types of food, which when you use the programme number it gives you, the microwave will "talk" you through how to cook it.
The foods/features listed which have their own function on the microwave are:
5 Auto Reheat
9 Skewered Meat (how random?!)
10 Auto Defrost
When I first got the microwave, I did used to use the defrost function if I'd forgotten to get food out of the freezer the night before. It must work ok because I never had food poisoning from it (!), but personally it makes me uneasy not defrosting food by allowing it to naturally defrost, so I got much better at remembering to take meat out which means I rarely use this function these days. I can't even remember what the Auto Reheat function is for to be honest, I think maybe it calculates how long to heat things depending on weight etc.
The instructions for the different types of foods are really useful if you don't really have a clue about cooking. For example, if you had a young son or daughter leaving home for the first time who literally knew nothing about cooking, they could get some fish and follow the instructions on the screen step by step to tell them how to cook it. It does this for a wide range of food, I used to use it for baked potatoes because it goes by the weight, whereas if I tried to guess how long to put them in for they'd always end up hard in the middle and I'd be back and forth checking on them. In this respect, it's a useful gadget, but these days I really enjoy cooking so rather than dumbing it down I like to experiment and do my own thing. I guess this is a matter of confidence, which you only get with experience (and age sadly!).
These days, I would say the most useful feature on this is the "Auto start" button, which allows you to increase the time you are microwaving in increments of thirty seconds. So, if you want to heat something up for two minutes, you just put the item in question in the microwave, and press the button four times to get two minutes. The only annoying thing with this is that after around three minutes, it starts increasing in increments of one minute, making it a bit of an effort for lazy people because rather than pressing this button repeatedly, you'll have to actually set the time using the dial (which isn't a huge effort, lets be honest).
The wattage of this microwave is 800 watts, which means it's quite powerful so when you're following instructions for ready meals and such items, it will take the least time possible. This is useful for people in a hurry. It is easy to use once you know what you're doing, although you will need to familiarise yourself with the instruction manual because I lost mine early on and there are a couple of functions on there that I'm not sure about, such as the Auto Reheat.
Overall, I would say this is a very good gadget for people who have little confidence in their ability to cook, but if you enjoy cooking you'll probably not get the best use out of it. Personally, in our household, we only ever really use this for heating things up, mainly baked beans, so all the functions and gadgets attached to this microwave are a bit wasted on us!
Summary: Great gadget, but it's a bit wasted on us!
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