This time last year I had a lovely new black high gloss kitchen fitted. Nothing wrong with that you might think. The problem was the kitchen cost so much money, that we could only afford to replace the appliances that were to be integrated into the finished design. Appliances that sat on work tops, or lived in cupboards were just going to have to wait to be replaced as and when funds allowed, or they died a natural death.
As regular Dooyoo readers may know, I usually have the kiss of death on anything electrical, and things die the day after the guarantee runs out. This is what happened to our old microwave, and so the hunt began, for a new appliance to fill the void.
I had several requirements for the new microwave - it had to be black so it didn't stick out like a sore thumb, it had to be medium sized, suitable for family use, oh, and it had to have a handle that matched the kitchen units. Nothing there to do with specifications, am I fussy or what? :)
I found several that fitted my wish list, but the one that stood out, as being the best by far, was the Tricity TMG209. It had good reviews and when Tricity was partnered with Bendix, it was a brand I grew up with, and knew and trusted.
Microwave cooking is quick and efficient, and can even preserve vitamins and minerals in many foods, and so was essential for our busy home. This microwave is a lowly 800 watts for basic microwaving, but is quite adequate for our needs. Cooking instructions on many packaged items usually give times for 850 watts as standard, but this is rectified simply just by cooking for a few extra seconds or minutes, depending on the food stuff.
Initial Set Up
After unpacking it from the box, the set up is minimal. It is already fitted with a plug, as standard. All you need to do it place the turntable support ring in the oven, and place the glass turntable on top, making sure the recess fits into the rotor mechanism.
The appliance 'should' be placed with 7.5 cm space at each of the sides, 10 cm to the rear and 30 cms clearance over head. I've never done this, it gets shoved up into one corner, and it's never suffered any ill effects. I suppose this is just a recommendation, should any overheating occur.
Although there is no picture posted above, a look at the Tesco website (where I purchased this from) will lead you to the incorrect assumption that this is white. The surround is indeed a matt black, with the black plastic on the control panel and door being a glossy black. I can only assume the whiteness in the picture is the glare from the flash when taking the photo, upon the mirrored door front.
This is very easy to keep clean, but suffers terribly from finger marks. At the beginning, I was constantly wiping it, but it's like fighting a losing battle, so now I simply give it a wipe once a day with a cloth and a quick spray of glass/window cleaner.
The handle is a long stainless steel bar (just like the ones on my units), and the door is opened, by pulling the door, rather than utilising a door mechanism. Pulling the door open hasn't weakened the door hinges in any way in the six months I've had this, indeed, they seem very sturdy and will stand the test of time, I'm sure.
The interior of the appliance, instead of being enamelled (I presume) like every other microwave I've owned, is stainless steel, and is extremely easy to keep clean and clear, and looking pristine. A quick wipe around after every use, is all it takes.
The control panel consists of several buttons which I am about to list, and there is also a clock display which displays not only the time, but also the current cooking times, and events.
There is a start button which is dual function as not only will it start the cooking process, but it will set the cooking length in 30 second increments for speed (express cooking).
Stop and pause button, for stopping and pausing (obviously), and a defrost button for setting the defrost length by either time (say, 5 minutes) or by weight (per 100gms).
The large twistable knob, is for setting the weight and time, select auto cook programs or select the combi-cooking programs.
Around the display screen there are icons which become illuminated, and give visual indication of what program is being used. When cooking the clock converts to display the time remaining of the cooking process, and not the actual time of the day.
A great function of this oven is that it has a child lock. I used to use it regularly when my small niece came to visit, as she had a habit of getting into as much mischief as possible, she's growing out of that stage now, and so I don't feel the need to access it, but it's there if needs be. To utilise this, simply press the stop/pause button until you hear a beep. Press it again and this is deactivated.
This appliance also has a grill which can be used alone, or in combination with the microwave, resulting in quickly cooked food, which has a browned or crisped top. I love using this feature when I've batched cooked foods. I can defrost them straight from the freezer (more on that later) re-heat them, and give them a tasty crispy top - think shepherd's pie, with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and cheese on the top. Mmm Yum. No-one would ever tell this wasn't cooked in the oven, and you get the same results without heating up a big, expensive to run, cooker.
There are two programs for combination cooking. The first Microwaves the food for 55% of the time, and grills for 45%, switching between the two for even cooking. This is good for puddings, omelettes, baked potatoes and poultry. The second program microwaves for 36% of the time, and grills for 64%. This is great for fish, potatoes, and 'au gratin' dishes. I recommend Homepride Garlic and Herb Potato Bake (or any other brand) using this program, it's delicious, and cooks so much quicker than in the oven.
There are a few things to remember when using a combination oven as opposed to a basic microwave, as the same rules when it comes to containers, do not apply. When using the microwave on its own, you are fine cooking with Pyrex, heat resistant ceramics, and microwavable plastics. When using the grill during grilling or combination cooking, plastics are out, as they will melt. Finally, when grilling alone, you are now able to utilise metal trays, racks, and aluminium trays and containers which would be unsuitable before.
The auto cooking menu has nine settings for cooking and reheating foods. This is designed to automate the most commonly used basic foods. These are listed on the control panel for handy reference. The results are dependent on shape and size, temperature, personal preference, and so on and because of this, it's just a guide, and less, or more cooking may be required, according to personal tastes. The auto cooking covers reheating, pizza, potato, meat, vegetables, fish, pasta, soup and porridge.
I, myself, don't use this program, as the things I cook regularly can be cooked quickly and easily using the express cook function as I tend to remember how long to cook them for, doing them so regularly. As mentioned briefly before, the express function sets the timer for 30 seconds of cooking, press it again and it's one minute, and so on, in 30 second increments. This is used 75% of the time, with the auto defrost used for the remainder.
The auto defrost program is pre-programmed with the ideal length of time to defrost a certain weight of food. Depending on the density of the foods, sometimes more defrosting is required, but this can easily be done by changing the settings of the microwave from 100 % power (the full 800 watts) down to between 10 - 30%, but I digress. The auto defrost programme has two settings. In the first, it is done by weight, and the second, by weight, just the same as combination cooking.
Time Delayed Cooking
The final feature, and not one I've ever seen on any other microwave I've owned, and I've owned a fair few, I can tell you, is time delayed cooking. You can preset your microwave to have your meal ready and waiting when you arrive home. I definitely haven't used this function before, but it could be useful if you spend long hours away from home.
I haven't forgotten to tell you where you can purchase this mini marvel. I found mine in Tesco although it may be available to purchase elsewhere. It can be ordered from Tesco Direct too if you follow this link http://direct.tesco.com/q/R.206-9083.aspx at the cost of £89.99. An excellent price in my opinion for a microwave which is as packed full of features as this is.
All in all, this is a great, versatile microwave. It not only looks good, it's easy to operate and use, due to its multiple features, and cleaning it, is simplicity itself. I highly rate this, so it gets five stars. I wouldn't hesitate to buy the same model again, if the need arose.
Many thanks for reading my review and I hope you find it helpful to you.
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© elysia2003 Aug 2011
Short name: Tricity TMG209