I have had this microwave for about four years and I can say that is has had a lot of use. I use it to cook a wide variety of food and would say that it is probably used most days. I can't remember exactly how much I paid for it but I think it was around £60. The wattage is 800 watts so it is quite powerful. Most food and recipes will give you the cooking time for the different wattage but if it doesn't you can usually work it out from the other sizes provided and either add or subtract a few seconds.
++ The microwave ++
The heating category is E and it has a 22 litre capacity interior and a 27cm diameter rotating turntable which I think nowadays most of them have. I do remember when microwaves first came out with a static turntable and you had to keep turning the food round so that it cooked evenly. The exterior is silver with black glass in the door with a sort of mesh so that you can see what it cooking. It is quite dark so you do have to peer in to see inside but it is clear enough for me to just catch my porridge in the morning without it cascading over the sides of my bowl. It measures 26.9cm high, 45.7cm wide and 35.4cm deep and weighs 12kg, and the maximum dish height which you can use is 20cm. The door opens by pressing a large button which is easy to do. There isn't a handle on the door so you just push it to close. The interior is white with a clear glass turntable which can easily be removed for washing. If you haven't placed the turntable back in the correct position on the three small fixings the turntable won't revolve properly and will rattle when you use the microwave.
++ The functions ++
The control panel consists of a digital display with a 12 or 24 hour clock and keys to set the time which are 10 minutes, 1 minute and 10 seconds. It has an express cook, express defrost and arrows to increase or decrease the cooking time. It also has a power level key, start/auto minute key and a stop/clear key. There is a kitchen timer/clock set key and arrow keys to change the weight, and also an auto cook key. This does sound like a lot of buttons and it does look quite high tech but I probably only use about a quarter of these.
I do use the express defrost function if I forget to take meat or other dishes out of the freezer and have not got enough time to defrost it naturally. I just press the button for beef, pork or poultry and then press start. I don't weigh the food but will just keep checking it until I am happy that it has defrosted but making sure that it hasn't started to cook. I will usually just decide on how long I need for whatever I am cooking and press the time keys. If I want to stop the microwave before the set time I will either press the stop/clear key or just open the door. If you need to cancel the programme you just press the stop/clear key twice and it will stop cooking.
I have never used the auto cook for meat as I prefer to control the cooking times myself. You also have to weigh it first and the time is calculated for you but I don't think I would completely trust the microwave to make this decision for me, and prefer to cook my meat in the oven in the traditional way. I also don't set the clock as I switch the microwave off when I am not using it, and I don't use the timer as I find I have no need for this. There are auto cook buttons for jacket potatoes, rice, pasta and fresh vegetables but again I prefer to just use my own judgement. I think after a while you do just get used to how long things take to cook and this also depends on well cooked you like your food. There are also far more complicated functions which it can do such as sequence cooking where you can set the cooking to three different stages but this seems far too complicated for me and is something which I don't think I will ever use.
++ My use ++
I usually cook most things on full power but there are five available power levels, 100% which is for fast cooking, 70% which is medium high and is suitable for meat and cakes, 50% which is medium for casseroles, 30% which is medium low for defrosting and for simmering rice and pasta and also 10% which is the lowest and is suitable for defrosting and for cooking pastry. If you want to check the power level whilst cooking you press the power level key and it will display the current power. Things that I regularly cook in the microwave are jacket potatoes (although I will usually finish them off in a hot oven for about 10 minutes to crisp the skin), and scrambled eggs which only take about two minutes and rice. I also find that sponge puddings turn out very light and fluffy and these will take about four to five minutes. With most food cooked in a microwave you have to keep an eye on it as things to cook very quickly and can easily overflow or burn.
++ My opinion ++
I do find my microwave very useful and couldn't be without one. You could really use it for all your cooking, and it does come with a comprehensive manual which gives instructions on what you can put in it, how to arrange the food and advise on re-heating. There is a defrosting chart and a cooking chart for most foods and numerous recipes including soups, casseroles, pies, meat, vegetables, cakes and puddings. This microwave definitely does a lot more than I use it for but I am happy with my usage and can say that it usually gives me good results. There was a 12 month guarantee from new but I have had it for far longer than this and the only sign of wear and tear is that some of the most used buttons look a little bit worn. All in all I think this is a fabulous addition to my kitchen and definitely saves me a lot of time.
The Sharp R269 is an 800w microwave with a 22 litre capacity. It is available in silver or black, I have the black model. There are three main settings - Auto Cook (1 Jacket Potatoes, 2 Rice/Pasta 3 Fresh Vegetables), Express Cook (Roast Beef/Lamb, Roast Pork, Roast Poultry) and Express Defrost (Meat Joint, Whole Poultry, Chicken Quarters). It also has 5 power settings. The size is 46cm wide, 28cm high and 35cm deep. It has a push button door.
I have owned this microwave for over a year now. It is described as mid size and although I can't admit to knowing exactly what constitutes mid size for a microwave I would say that it is definitely no bigger than that. It will just about fit a normal sized round dinner plate (width) or a 500ml jug (height). At 800w it feels powerful enough, reheating a plate of food in a couple of minutes or cooking a jacket potato in under 10.
I feel that the options available are very simple and therefore I often have to revert back to the manual when I want to use it for something different such as frozen fish. However this does help if you want to cook a quick jacket potato or defrost some chicken. When using the microwave it asks you to input the weight of the food and it will then calculate the time that is needed to cook it for. This is a very helpful option but I have found on occasions it does defrost for longer than needed so you still need to keep checking it.
The design is quite nice if a bit chunky and it will take up a good corner of your kitchen. The push button door is easy to use but may be more of a struggle for an elderly person.
If you mainly use a microwave for reheating plates of food or simple items like beans then this will do everything you want it to. However, if you use it on a more regular basis for lots of different foods and larger containers then you will probably want to look elsewhere.
This microwave is a nice stylish microwave with easy to use controls. It is large enough to fit a standard sized dinner plate inside it and a microwave food cover on top. It is easy to clean both the inside and outside but I have noticed that the outside does get sticky so needs to be cleaned regularly. It has three timing functions - hours, minutes, seconds so if you want to put something in for 30 seconds, just need to press the seconds button 3 times and then the start button. I don't use the other functions really but they are the normal ones you get on any microwave. It has a clock on there (both 24 hrs and 12 hrs) which useful. The clock is viewable in the dark and can be used a mini light if you want to pop into the kitchen in the dark to quickly pick something up. I have had this microwave for a couple of months now and it is working fine, I have no problems with it. I paid around £50 for the microwave which I believe is a good price. The microwave comes with one glass plate. The noise it makes when something has finished microwaving is very loud so can hear it in the front room.
Short name: Sharp R269SLM