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When we moved into our new house just under a year ago it had just recently had a brand new kitchen installed. All of the kitchen appliances that they had installed are Siemens appliances which I do know to be an expensive and a premium quality brand.
The microwave that we have is this built in microwave by Siemens. I'd never had a built in microwave before, I'd always just had a cheap and cheerful free standing microwave. However I'm definately now a convert to built in microwaves, it just frees up so much space on your worktop, it's definately the way forward.
For the purpose of this review I've just quickly googled our microwave to try and find a price as we didn't actually buy it ourselves, and I'm actually quite gobsmacked - they are between £300 to £350! Maybe I'm not such a convert after all, as I'd previously never spent any more than £50.00 on a micowave and I thought that this was expensive!
So as I said the microwave is built in, it is positioned above the oven, here's the only gripe I have with the fact that it's built in. It's actually positioned slightly too high for me, we didn't fit the kitchen so it can't be changed, if we had of been doing this ourselves I definately would have positioned the microwave a bit lower. I guess thats the drawback to built in appliances though, once they're in they're in and that's that, no changing position. I do find that I'm up on my tiptoes when checking whether something is cooked or not, and I'm slightly dubious safety wise when I'm lifting hot things out as I have to reach up and lift them down. I also find that I have to stand on a stool when I clean the inside of the microwave. So as much as I love the fact that it's built in for a number of reasons such as keeping the worksurface clear, and just the aesthetics of the kitchen, I do think that if you are going to install a built in microwave then you need to think and plan very carefully where it will go and the height that you want to set it at.
The microwave is a brushed stainless steel finish, and the door itself is set in a larger brushed stainless steel surround as well. It does look sleak and classy, however I do find that it's a bugger for showing up fingerprints. I must wipe it over a dozen times a day! It does match the oven below it perfectly and they work well together. The microwave has a dark glass door, and the side control panel has an LCD display and all of the function buttons, which are silver coloured plastic, but they don't look cheap they do blend in with the stainless steel.
The interior of the microwave is stainless steel and it's very easy to keep clean, just a quick wipe over with a damp cloth and kitchen cleaner once a week is all it needs. The glass turntable is easy to lift off, not too heavy, and dishwasher safe. I just pop the glass turntable in the dishwasher once a week and it's fine. It also slots easily back onto the turning ring.
You can set the LCD display to show the time when the microwave is not in use, this is quick and easy to do and I did do this at first, but now I just prefer to keep the display blank as the oven below it also shows the time and so I felt that both was a bit overkill. I do reset the time occasionally if I've got the timer set for a long time on the oven, and then it's as simple as pressing the clock button, rotating the rotary dial to the correct time, and then pressing the clock button again. When I want to remove the time again I just need to press the clock button and then stop, and then the LCD display is blank again.
The microwave is very simple to use, initially I just fiddled around with it to get it to work rather than riffling through the instruction manual. It really is quick to use, you literally just choose the wattage that you require, and then automatically a minute will show on the LCD display, to increase or decrease this time just swivel the rotary knob in the correct direction around to the duration that you need and then press start. Or alternatively you can do this the other way around, choose the time duration first, and then the wattage, and then press start. Either way is quick and simple. You can stop the microwave mid way to check or stir your food, and then start it again where it left off.
This is an 800 watt microwave, however it does have 5 different power settings; 90 watts, 180 watts, 360 watts, 600 watts and obviously 800 watts. It also has 3 weight automatic cooking programmes, and 4 weight automatic defrost programmes. I have to admit that I haven't used any of the automatic programmes as I just prefer the quick start option.
The microwave also has a memory function so that you can create your own programme. This is useful if you prepare one dish particularly frequently. I do use this setting all the time, mine is set to heat my bowl of milk for weetabix in the morning. It is simple enough to set the wattage and the time within the memory programme, and then all you need to do to start your stored programme is press 'M' and start.
I have to admit that at first I was a bit unhappy with the tone to signal the end of the cooking time. All microwaves obviously have some sort of a tone to tell you that the cooking cycle has finished, however I felt that ours was a bit excessive. It had 30 (yes 30!) beeps!!! It was only on reading the instruction manual a few weeks after moving in that I realised that you could change this to be just 3 beeps! So I changed it quick smart!
The microwave does have a cooling fan inside which switches on as and when it's needed, the cooling fan does continue to run for a little while after the microwave has stopped. I have to admit that this was a bit disconcerting at first as I used to think that I'd left the microwave on with nothing inside it, and I would be forever going back to check it. I'm used to this now and so it doesn't bother me anymore.
Overall I am happy with the microwave, it's very easy to use, and we've had no problems whatsoever with it. I do think that it was very expensive though, but I guess that it does match everything else, and does look great built in. I would reccomend it if you are looking for a built in microwave and don't mind spending the money.
/ Model details / 800W Microwave / Five power levels: 800 / 600 / 360 / 180 / 90 Watt / Built-in microwave with mounting frame / Can be mounted under a 60-cm wall cabinet / Can also be built into cupboards / Comfort / CookControl 7: 4 defrost-by-weight programs / 3 cook-by-weight programs / Cooking capacity: 17 l / Cooking chamber made of stainless steel / Glass turntable +ÿ 245 mm / 130 cm power cord with Schuko plug / Clock / Design / Comes with a mounting frame / Side opening door, hinge on left / Side opening door with see-through window / One touch door open button / Accessories / included / mounting frame / Technical details / Connected load: 230V/50Hz/1270W / EAN: 42 42003 43174 0 / Measurements (H x B x T): 280 x 453 x 320 mm / Weight: 16 kg / Items shipped: 1 /