* Prices may differ from that shown
Russell Hobbs 17 litre Microwave RHM1712
Our microwave that I previously reviewed sadly gave up the ghost a few months ago and while I don't cook a lot in the microwave we do use it for cooking vegetables, cooking rice and re heating plates when one member of the family comes back late after the rest of us have eaten. I also use it to give baked potatoes a start before oven baking them as it does speed up the process therefore using less electricity for the oven.
My needs were pretty simple I wanted a basic and fairly small microwave that was silver and fitted in the space in my kitchen where the previous one had lived. I looked on a number of sites and eventually found one on Tesco direct.com and it was the price I wanted to pay so I ordered it. In the next few minutes I got an email saying that was no longer in stock so my next choice was this model which was £10 more expensive but did the same things as far as I could see.
When I collected the microwave from my local Tesco having ordered it on line which saved me delivery costs it came well packed in a cardboard box which I could easily carry down to my car. It was a bit awkward but not heavy and perfectly okay for me to carry easily and not need a trolley.
The microwave itself was then protected by polystyrene fitted shapes tightly packed into the box. The packing was not excessive and was carefully built to protect the product in travelling. It was quite tricky to lift out of the box as the air tight packing fixed firmly to the box and my husband lifted the microwave while I pulled the box and packing off.
The microwave is very light and that is actually a bit annoying because every time i go to open or shut the door the entire machine moved backwards or forwards as it doesn't seem to have any grippy legs to stop it sliding about. It does make it very easy to move and clean around though so every minus can be a plus!
Before using the microwave you should check that it is not damaged in any way and of course make sure you have removed all the packing as there may be some in the oven as well.
All the usual safety advice is given like not covering the top and never putting the machine on when empty.
Also don't use the oven for anything other than cooking food so don't try to dry clothes in there.
Do not store anything in the oven such as cook books, utensils etc.
Do not cook food with membranes such as egg yolks, potatoes, chicken livers, ready meals without piercing them first.
Never put objects in the opening of the outer case.
Do not remove any fixed parts from the machine.
Do not try to deep fry foods in the microwave.
Only use microwave safe utensils in the oven.
Utensils as well as food do get hot in the microwave so you may need gloves or protection when removing them after cooking.
Check the temperature before eating and NEVER eat food directly after being taken out of the microwave, let it stand for a minute or two for heat to become evenly distributed.
Food with a mixture of fat and water should stand for at least a minute to allow the mixture to settle and prevent it bubbling when a spoon is placed in it or a stock cube added.
When cooking foods that contain a lot of fat do not use plastic containers.
Always use the glass turntable when using the oven.
Do not cook food directly on the glass turntable; put it in a bowl or plate on top of the glass turntable plate.
Do not over cook food or leave the microwave unattended while cooking in it. In case it catches fire
Remove twist toes from bags before putting them with contents in the microwave.
If the stuff in the microwave catches fire and k eep the oven door closed, turn it off at the wall switch or at the fuse box. Run like hell - no it doesn't say that last bit! I think you may need to replace the microwave though.
Children should not use microwaves and it should be placed where the plug is accessible.
The microwave weighs 10.5 kg so the shelf you are putting it one needs to be able to hold that weight. Really the instructions do say that!
Do not use the microwave when empty and place it somewhere away from high temperatures and steam so on top of a cooker is not a good place.
I have to say it does amaze me that they actually have to put some of those safety precaution on the list but I suppose there must be some less than bright individuals who might try to dry clothes in the microwave!
It also says that the microwave will not work unless the door is closed in order to seal any harmful microwaves inside.
Setting up the clock was pretty simple using the 'clock' keypad and then the number buttons till the correct time is showing on the display. Once it is correct then press the 'clock' button to confirm.
It is really so obvious to operate as it is pretty basic. It does have different power levels which can be set which you select from P1 which is 10% power to P 9 which is 90% power. Full power is obviously 100% power. You can then use the timer button to set the time needed to cook.
Something that I have found handy is that it bleeps when it has finished the time you set and it keeps bleeping from time to time to remind you until you do open the door and then that cancels the bleeping.
For those who want to set up a time in the future this is also possible and you can even set it to cook for a certain time at one power level and then extra time at a lower or higher power level. If you want to set up a time to cook in advance then you just press the 'memory' button instead of the 'start' button and the food will start to cook at the time you have set.
There are various other clever little tips for example if you want to cook something for 30 secs then press the 'express' button twice, for a minute then press it three times and four times will give you two minutes.
There is a jet defrost setting which I have to say i haven't used as i am not keen on microwave defrosting. You can also defrost things by weight which you can set up with different buttons.
One thing that I really think is a great idea is the child safety button. You can set this by pressing and holding the 'cancel' button for three seconds. This will lock the door and a lock symbol will be displayed and the oven will beep. To cancel this all you do is press the same 'cancel' button for three secs until the lock symbol disappears. A very simple yet effective safety device.
Cleaning is very simple I just wipe it out each time I have used it to mop up steam or spills. They do say you should unplug it before cleaning but I admit I have not bothered.
The wave guide cover on the right hand side must be kept clean at all times or the machine will not work properly. That is why I wipe mine after I use it - much easier. You can use a mild detergent but obviously don't allow any excess water into any of the external slits. It is vital that the control panel doesn't get wet so take care not to be too generous with the water when cleaning.
Wash the glass turntable regularly as you would any other dish. I have washed mine in the dishwasher and by hand.
If the inside gets a bit smelly then you can put a cup of water with lemon juice and skin in a microwave bowl, cook for three minutes then wipe inside with a dry cloth.
Basically if you keep it clean and look after it then it will last longer and work better which makes sense.
I have found that it does all I want to do. It cooks our frozen vegetables quickly. It does a good job with rice in the rice cooker but I do have to wipe the insides out as it gets full of steam when cooking rice. It is efficient at giving baked potatoes a start, prick well with a fork first though otherwise you get an explosion which isn't fun to clean up.
We have had this one for three months so far and i am getting used to it still as our old one we had had for six years. I trust this one last at least as long as that one did as I do look after my things.
This is a pretty basic quite small microwave so if you have a large family or do a lot of microwave cooking then this is probably not the one for you. This suits the two of us and we don't do a lot of real cooking in it, heating up and a few items of proper cooking. We probably use it every day at least once. My step son uses it for his morning porridge each morning and often has to blip his meal as he comes in after we have eaten at times.
It is an efficient and smart looking silver coloured microwave as all my appliances are either silver or stainless steel this was important to have it matching for me and that was a fairly major part of my decision making process to get a silver one.
It has been goo so far and easy to set up and get used to. It is easy to clean and has few extra bits that need special cleaning so I am happy. I just hope it gives us good service for a few years.
Thanks for reading.
This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.
Short name: Russell Hobbs RHM1712