Newest Review: ... Has stood up to the test of time in my kitchen well. The buttons are flat to the surface, so are easy to clean as well as looking nic... more
The microwave that thinks it's an oven
Member Name: whatanoldbag
Advantages: Great capacity, fast, easy to clean, reliable,durable
Disadvantages: Quite large in a small kitchen
I have had this microwave for over three years. It certainly wins on the durability front - I've not had a peep of trouble from it in all that time (even though my husband and daughter get involved in its use from time to time).
The reason I bought it:
I needed a microwave (obviously), and had spent some time at my then fiance's house with a small (i.e 600 watt) "cheapie" microwave and it drove me mad as it was so small and slow. A few years ago I had had a combination microwave and liked it so I looked for one again. I bought this one in a large high street electrical retailers and paid about £250 for it - but I bet it is cheaper now. My husband was horrified at the cost, I might add.
What you get for your money is
1. a large capacity interior which most of my pyrex and lasagne etc dishes fit in. It's tall as well as wide, which many aren't.
2. After three years it is still easy to clean. It has a large removable turntable which is metal I think coated with something and much more durable than glass. also lighter weight for removing. It sits really easily in the slots for it, so is not fiddly to put back.
3. A stainless steel exterior that looks good in the modern kitchen. Has stood up to the test of time in my kitchen well. The buttons are flat to the surface, so are easy to clean as well as looking nice.
4. A 900 watt microwave, plus convection oven up to 200 degrees and a grill - you can use these in combination with each other obviously; there are removable racks to assist grilling.
The good points:
1. A generous interior size
2. It has two different height shelf-type trivets on legs, so you can grill something flat right up high near the element. The lower one is good for things like jacket potatoes which would stay wet on the bottom if they sat on a plate.
3. Power = speed. Frozen peas for a family of 4 take 2 minutes. It is consistent and reliable in the heat it delivers and the time it takes.
4. It has the usual auto defrost etc buttons which have a use about once a month. What is even better is the controllability of the combination cooking - you can have microwave between 30 and 100% and different convection temperatures too - so you can get the perfect combination of speed with crisping up.
The less good points:
1. It does take up quite a lot of space on the worktop, so if your kitchen is low on counter space, you might not want to sacrifice this much. You do get the top of it for putting stuff on though (at least that what my husband thinks - old bills, random Indian takeaway flyers all seem to best be homed there.)
2. If you don't set the clock on it, it saves energy, which is a good thing, but then without the clock set if you pop something in and press the start button, you get one minute of microwave. If you let that finish, but then decide you need some more time, you have to open the door to activate the button, you can't just press the start button a second time. That's a bit irritating.
3. The removable racks are quite hard to find a place to store when not in use. They could (and sometimes do) just sit on top of the microwave, (though the tall one is quite tall so if you've popped the microwave under an eye level cupboard then that won't work) but then you have to take all the Indian restaurant flyers off them when you want to use them (erm, thats just our house, ED.) They have little feet which make them stable in the microwave, but help them get tangled up with other stuff when away in a cupboard.
4. The convection oven takes a long time to get to temperature, and it wont let you start until it's there. It then take a long time to cool down again. This can't be economical.
5. The convection fan is noisy when on (and it stays on for several minutes after the cooking is finished).
6. The grill element is in two coils, so there is bit of a gap in the middle. Your food is rotating under the grill, but the gap, er.., stays in the middle!
I seem to remember the instruction booklet was very helpful when I first got it, provided one took the time to actually read it i.e. it was wordy instead of having loads of pictures.
In my view:
If you just need a microwave to defrost frozen peas and heat up tins of soup then don't bother spending the money and taking up the space with this - go to Argos and buy a little one for thirty quid and wait an extra two mintues for each can. If you actually cook with a microwave then this one is great - using the grill/micro combo you can do jacket potatoes in half an hour that are crispy on the outside like done in the oven (or in 5 minutes with soft skins the micro way). I like it to cook e.g. potatoes dauphinoise with a grilled crispy topping.
For a family, the large sized interior makes a huge difference to what you can put in it.
I certainly wouldn't want to be without it now. It's just as well it's so durable!
Summary: If you'd use a combination muicrowave, this one is a great buy
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