Having established themselves as mainly a kitchen appliance manufacturer, when our Daewoo manual microwave was past its best I thought it was time to upgrade to something more modern but at the same time reasonably priced.
Having studied our Littlewoods catalogue this particular Swan model was on offer at £60 at the time of purchase. It also looked stylish, and was just what we looking for with regard to size. Having owned this little beauty for over a year now, here is my review on it.
This microwave comes in smart chrome finish and is large enough for the average household without being too bulky. This model is of average size measuring 45.8cm in width, 29.5cm in height, and 39.2 in depth thus allowing it to fit nicely on the kitchen work tops without being too much of an eyesore.
On the right hand side of the appliance are 17 clearly labeled touch control buttons to operate it.
Whats in the box?
The microwave is supplied with a turntable to place your food on and a ring to place the turntable on. There is a free standing grill which you just place on top of the turntable, and an instruction booklet which comes supplied with a 2 year guarantee.
This microwave gives you the option to defrost, cook, grill or combine any of these for added convenience.
When defrosting you have 2 choices and they are jet defrost when the user knows the defrost time, and weight defrost.
Many of its useful features is you can cook food by keying in the weight and it automatically cooks the food for the applicable time period.
Using the grill takes a little getting use to, and with any new microwave the first view times of using it is trial and error. It would have been nice if it had come supplied with a tripping tray, as we couldnt find one suitable enough to fit under it. The other night I had ago with bacon on it, and although edible it didnt crisp as well as it does in a pan.
This model has an 800W cooking capacity and I have found this significantly cuts our meal cooking times dramatically. When we have done jacket potatoes in the oven for example they can usually take around an hour, in the microwave they take around 15 minutes! In my mind I cant see or taste any difference between the two. I must add that if youre doing quite a few, then the oven is a better choice as it cooks quicker and crisps them off better. To give you an example of the size inside, the largest thing we have been able to put in is a 3lb chicken.
If you have children in your house then there is a child lock option which can be set to prevent any incidents.
Yet another useful feature of this product is the fact that it beeps loudly to signify end of cooking, end of cooking phase and for change in power. This is useful if like me you go off and do other chores and forget the food the microwave will keep beeping every 20 seconds to remind you that youve left something in there.
Ease of use
The microwave comes with an instruction booklet which is written in plain English to help you soon get to grips with all of the functions.
The only thing that I found slightly confusing was the section on the combination setting.
When wishing to microwave and grill food at the same time you have the option of choosing combi 1 (30% micro, 70% grill) or combi 2 (55% micro, 45% grill). I think that it couldve done with some examples as to which foods you would use each one for. Again this ended up being trial and error, but doesnt take long to get the hang of it.
One little niggle here is with regards to setting the clock, even when you follow the instructions word for word youll find yourselves screaming in frustration. The electric went off the other night, and what should have been a 2 second job of resetting it, took 20 minutes!!!!!
The microwave is very easy to keep clean and in the instruction booklet it recommends a damp cloth for the outside and a damp cloth with a little detergent on the inside. I find it easier to wipe round after every use as with anything its a lot easier to clean when the splatters of food are still fresh.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone out there looking for a cheap, reliable, quiet and easy to use microwave which has lots of features packed into an average size product. One final note, although a microwave is very useful it would in no way ever replace our oven. Microwaves of course are very limited in capacity, and also just dont seem to brown things off and crisp them, quite as well as an oven does.
As far as I know Littlewoods no longer sell this particular Swan model although they have very similar Swan microwaves.
I have seen it on Ebay many times for around £50, and its always worth checking out amazon.
Short name: Swan SM1075