“ Brand: Swan / Power: 800W „
When I split up with my husband I was pretty much left with nothing and had to start all over again. As such my manager at work at the time gave me a microwave which her daughter had used for a while whilst she was at University. There was nothing wrong with the microwave and it worked well for a couple of years before dying completely. As such I needed to buy myself a new one and I had looked in to purchasing one with a grill function as well, not really sure why as I rarely use the microwave for cooking anyway but this plan was soon knocked on the head when the day after my microwave died my kettle died too meaning that also needed replacing. As such I turned to my littlewoods catalogue where I knew I could purchase a microwave and spread the cost over a few weeks. The microwave I ended up choosing was the Swan essentials SM21050W 800-watt Microwave.
Before I go on with this review I do need to say that I am quite possibly one of the least technically minded people ever so this is never going to be a review which is full of technical specifications. I will try my best to cover everything though!
The microwave itself came really securely packed in a large cardboard box which had polystyrene sheets to hold it in place. It is heavy in the box and I am told it is 12.5kg. I had to carry it over ice and snow as I missed a delivery and they left it at a neighbour's house and I managed to put my back out with it so I would advise if you can make sure there is someone strong around to lug it around for you.
When I unpacked the box I placed the microwave on my kitchen work top so I could get a good look at it and I have to say I was pretty pleased with the way it looked. It is a white microwave which features a blacked out glass door and silver knobs for you to adjust the cooking setting or the time. The microwave does look quite simple in its design but I like that to be honest. Ok, the dials are manual and not digital like so many are these days but again this doesn't really worry me because it looks fine in my kitchen and I don't use the microwave massively anyway as it tends to be just to cook a ready meal for me if my son is not home or to warm milk for our hot chocolate drinks! The silver dials really shine and look bright against the crisp white background so I think it looks good in the kitchen.
Setting up the microwave was really easy and it was just a case of unpacking the glass plate for inside and slotting that in and then plugging it in to the socket on the wall. I have to say the power cable isn't very long so I would say you need to place the microwave quite near to a socket for that reason. I would say that the microwave does feel quite chunky and so obviously you do need a good sized area to place it as well and you need to be sure that it can be ventilated from all angles as well.
The microwave has six power settings on it and those are low, defrost, medium low, medium, medium high and high power. To be honest the main function that I use on the microwave is the high power when I am cooking ready meals or warming milk and the 800 watt power for this ensures the quickest possible cooking time. I have used the defrost function a couple of times when I have been in a rush to defrost some pastry but I always find it seems to end up partially cooking the pastry which I don't like at all...this isn't just with this microwave though as I have found the same with all microwaves I have owned. The medium high function is good for cooking jacket potatoes in and it only takes ten minutes or so which is always handy for a quick but healthy meal. The microwave pings quite loudly when it has finished cooking so that you know when your food is ready but apart from that I wouldn't say that it is particularly loud whilst cooking and certainly no more so than any other microwave that I have owned in the past.
The microwave has a 20 litre capacity which doesn't actually mean all that much to me but might to someone else! I find it is plenty big enough for my needs and it certainly fits in a large dinner plate, pyrex bowl, or even a few cups at a time if I am making multiple hot chocolates!
What I really like about this microwave is how easy it is to clean because I simply remove the glass plate and wash that in the sink but then use a damp cloth to wipe around the inside which keeps it looking and smelling fresh too. My old microwave went all horrible in the end and was basically melting away inside so it was clear I needed to get a new one.
The swan essentials SM21050W microwave is really basic I suppose in the grand scheme of the things which we have available to us today but to be honest I quite like the simplicity of it. The microwave is easy to use and there is no need to read the instruction manual provided to know how to do it which I know for a fact would not be the case for me had I chosen a digital microwave or one with a grill! The product comes with a two year guarantee which is reassuring as well and I have to say I have been really happy with my purchase. I suppose if you are using a microwave for every meal or multiple times a day perhaps you might be better investing in something a little more "all singing all dancing" but for my needs this product is great. It cost me £55.00 from littlewoods but this wasn't massively more expensive than some supermarket own brands that I was looking at in store and so I feel it was about the right price to pay. You can pick it up from ebay for £40.00 should you wish to, or from very for £45.00 but you need to pay a postage charge from there.
Thank you for reading my review!
Short name: Swan SM21050W