I had to go and get a microwave a few weeks back, due to an unfortunate, and most unusual accident I had with my old one. I mean, what's the likely hood of a microwave just 'slipping' off the worktop and smashing on the kitchen floor? Well, that's what my eldest daughter said happened to our microwave? Which I find very strange, especially as the microwave is sat well back from any edges of the worktops?
Anyway, a microwave is well used in my home, not for main meals as I tend to enjoy cooking such meals as a roast dinner, Indian, Chinese, full English... in fact I think I've probably cooked at least one meal from most countries. But when it comes to heating food up, a quick micro-snack, my daughters speciality, jacket potato with cheese, or maybe just nuking one of those uncle bens cheat in the bag microwaveable rice, then a microwave really does come in handy. So when this one 'accidentally 'broke' I was sent out to hunt down another one at a reasonable price whilst giving good quality.
I knew my mission. I knew the risks. It was frightening, but I knew my family expected me to return with my trophy and I did not want to let them down, even if it meant putting my life on the line. My daughter needed to be able to make her jacket potato and I did not want to have to force her to have to learn to use the oven, that would be too much for her to take in!!!
So off I went in my search for a microwave oven which would not only look good in the kitchen, it would also work well and, more importantly, it would not cost an arm and a leg.
There I was, on my mission, hunting for a new microwave, facing the hidden dangers of the shopping centres, treading carefully around the sleeping shop assistants so as not to disturb their slumber. Making my way to the electrical shops in the hope of capturing the rare, almost none existent 'low priced item'. Ready for a long, dangerous journey ahead of me, now doubt facing possible death at the hands of over excited sales people looking for their first blood. I travelled far and wide, from one corner of Asda to the next, searching, looking, but always aware. I faced many dangers, shopping trolley's of death running at me by out of control mini people with strange wrinkled faces, even stalked through Tesco by a tall, muscular beast in a black coat and cap, a shiny badge flashing in the glow of the fluorescent tubing from above. But I did not give in. I searched on in the hope of finding the elusive 'low priced item'.
Then I found it. It was perched high on shelf like branches in dusty corner of a small shop called 'Eddie's Electricals'. I could see it but could not quite reach it, which meant I had to ask for help from one of the locals, Eddie maybe? He did not say much, maybe he could not understand me as I spoke in an excited manner due to the fact that I had indeed found the elusive 'low priced item'. I was so close and I was not turning back now, even if it meant I had to learn the language of Eddie.
The 'low priced item' I had found, and had taken home with some pride, and actually thought about displaying it on my wall like you would a dears head, but I changed my mind once I'd come to my senses, was in fact a little white microwave called the Panasonic NN-E271W Microwave Oven, without grill may I add, but who needs a grill on a microwave?
So I had done it. I had completed my mission with some success. I had found the 'low priced item, captured it and brought it home to display in full glory on the worktop in my kitchen.
What a guy...!!!????
Anyway. The microwave itself isn't anything special, although it does have more than a couple of knobs to turn around in order to use it.
Let me explain. I'll tell you what it looks like.
The unit itself is about 440mm wide by about 260mm high and about 340mm deep, being made of a white plastic material which makes it pretty light really, weighing in at just over 10kg.
On the front there is the door, which takes up over ¾ of the front view. The other ¼ is the controls, which look pretty fancy indeed. This control panel is...from the top.
On the top is the display, which is basic, showing simple things such as the time, cooking countdown, power levels and more.
Below the screen there are the controls themselves. With a micro power button along the top of the touch keys, with three timers buttons below this, 10 minutes, 1 minute and 10 seconds.
Then, below the timer buttons, there are the 'Auto' buttons, those being reheat, cook and defrost.
Then we have the next row of touch controls, with are the up and down button, together with a timer/clock button next to that.
Then, below the touch buttons, there are a selection of simple to understand weight specification so you can use the auto selections a lot easier.
There are two more touch buttons, stop/cancel and start, which explain themselves in the name really.
Finally, right at the bottom, there is a big button, not a touch one, but the good old fashioned big button of old, which is the door opener... it's good to have a nice chunky button to know things are still built to last.
The door opens on hinges, which are on the left, and reveals the cooking compartment, which is basically a small cupboard box shaped opening which has a small know in the centre of the base. This is where the 255mm diameter turntable sits on so that it can rotate as the food is cooking/heating/defrosting... you get the point. There is also a light in the compartment which lights up when the machine is switched on.
The door itself has a black coating over it, making it stand out over the white material used in making the door.
The entire machine stands on little rubber feet, four of them, lifting it up slightly from the work surface in your kitchen.
And that's what I risked my life for... taking on the shopping centre dangers in order to capture this little white creature from the grasp of Eddie and his tribe. I deserve a medal I think...
* What does it offer..?
It is an 800 watt machine which is about right for your standard home really, unless you use a microwave all the time and need that extra power.
It is a 20 litre machine, which means that it can cook a good amount at a time makign it a good family size unit, even if it's not the biggest
It has many functions, although some microwaves do have more, but this one offers...
* Auto programming
* 9 Auto timings
* Auto weight selection
* Weight sensor
* 5 power settings
* Child safety lock.
* Touch controls
* Is it easy to use..?
Yes, pretty much, although it does take a little bit of practice compared to the ones where you just turn a knob. But once done it's easy to remember how to do it next time.
You do have to set it up a bit before you can use it, although it's not your Ikea sort of set up so you don't have to spend two hours putting it together using a special tool, some glue, a few half brackets with spring loaded washers and a lot of patience. To set this up, ready for use, you simply have to drag it out of the box, unwrap the lot from the plastic packaging, making sure all is well with the product and the few bits that comes with it.
Then, you simply place the plastic ring with little wheels on to the bottom of the inside of the machine, slotting it into place, then place the glass plate onto the ring.
Know, ram the plug into the nearest wall socket, making sure you take off the three prong plastic protective cover from the plugs prongs of course... and you're ready to start blasting those microwave meals for one.
It says that this unit needs a certain amount of space around it so that it can do what it does without damaging either the machine itself or, in very unusually circumstances, cooking your liver and lungs if you stand too close to it when it's on... this latter part I have made up but you never know it could happen.
Anyway, the space that it needs around it is about 80mm on the sides and about 30mm on the top, give or take a mm or so.
Once set up it's all then down to what you want to cook or reheat. But what ever it is the instructions are usually written on the side of the bag/box/packet that the food comes in. just remember, this is an 800 watt model so check under the timings for that type.
Basically though, you just put your food inside the machine, on a microwavable plate of course, not a metal bowl as this will cause a few problems, even if it looks spectacular. Then you simply select the heat setting, high, medium, low or warm, then you select the time of cooking using the timer buttons. That's it, you then press start and away you go. It's just a matter of waiting for the food to finish spinning inside the machine.
Other settings are available but you have just got to get used to them by using the machine really, a bit of trial and error is a good thing.
* What about noise..?
It is pretty quiet, although it does make a bit of a 'whirring' noise when it is turning the plate and heating the food inside. This noise is not anything that is annoying, although it does tend to be able to vibrate things on the work surface that are close to it when it's working, but this is solved by moving things away.
The only other noise is the bleeping as the control buttons are pressed... bleep, bleep, bleep... each press giving out a bleep, which is reassuring, sort of letting you know that the machine is working.
Apart from that this machine is pretty quiet indeed, which is what you'd expect from a microwave of any calibre.
* And cleaning..?
This is a matter of wiping over the inside of the compartment with a damp cloth after each use, maybe scrubbing a bit with a harsher cloth if needs be, but don't use anything that could scratch the surface. I try not to use any chemical inside the unit as I find that they can leave some odours which can get onto certain foods.
A simple wipe over after each use does the trick.
As for the glass plate and the ring that it sits on, these are cleaned in the same way as you're clean a normal plate, put it on the sink, soak it for a while, then wash it over. Simple.
You can also put the glass into a dishwasher but it's easy to clean in the sink.
The actual microwave can not be dunked in the sink or put in a dishwasher as it would cause irreversible damage to the electric inside.
* And what do I think..?
Well, I think I did well in my dangerous, life risking, mission, tracking down and capturing this bargain of a lifetime, taking it away from the den of dilemmas that was Eddie's electrics. It does exactly what it is supposed to do and it does it very well indeed.
It's a bit more complicated than the cheap looking knob turning units that need no brains to use but, once used, I realised that this was indeed just as easy to actually use, especially as I only use half a dozen settings at the most. Those being simple timer heating, where I heat up say a packet of uncle bens rice in two minutes, to letting my daughter do her speciality, jacket spud with cheese, or beans if she's feeling a bit different that day.
It looks rather nice sat in the kitchen, being a lovely white colouring, even if it is made of a plastic material, it doesn't really look cheap.
The buttons are all push buttons, except the door opening button, which is a good old fashioned solid button, but the push buttons all act instantly, press, action, job done, there's no delay really so adding up the minutes is a matter of bleeping along until you get there. Then bleep one more time to get it started.
There are a couple of nice ideas installed into this one, such as the brilliant child lock which will stop any accidental button pressing when you don't want it to. I know my kids aren't really 'button pressing maniacs' these days but buttons can be pressed accidentally so easy and having a system that stops things from happening on accidental button pressing is a bonus.
Then there's something called a weight sensor, which means that it can make a good guess at the weight of the food you put onto the plate inside the machine and gives a good go at automatically guessing the time needed for things like the auto defrost, cook or reheat.
* What more can I say about this?
Well, not a lot really, although you're welcome to ask questions, just email me at icancookaspud.com and I'll answer your questions as best as I can.
* So what did this cost me..?
Apart from a few bruises from the dreaded trolley rampages and a fair amount of time, the actual monetary cost of this microwave was just under £25.00, (£24.95 to be exact), which, as they usually sell for about £40.00 to £50.00 is a cracking low price and well worth the ulcer.
* Would I recommend this one..?
Yes I would, even at the full price of £50 as it does exactly what a microwave of its kind is supposed to do without any real complications at all. And, it looked good sat in most peoples kitchen.
So, if you're after a nice, low priced, easy to use microwave then this one should be just the ticket.
© Blissman70 2013
Simply enter the weight into the Panasonic NN-E271W microwave oven, and let it automatically cook your food to perfection! With 5 power levels and a choice of 9 auto-programmes, you have plenty of cooking options with this microwave / The interior is made using easy-to-clean acrylic liners, so you can simply wipe clean after use for effortless maintenance / And you can enjoy complete peace of mind: a child lock prevents programmes from being changed and protects little fingers from harm / Short name: Pana NN-E271W