As I have told you in a couple of my other reviews - at the end of last year we decided that it was time to replace our kitchen - literally from the floor up everything was new. I will just say it is a very small kitchen - I haven't won the lottery and forgotten to tell you all!
Two of the main things that we needed were a combi microwave and an oven. These were to be positioned on top of one another in a specially designed unit and so they not only needed to be right for our requirements but they also needed to match each other or the whole thing would look odd. I do like things to look symmetrical or they irritate me!
Hubby was the one who did the initial investigation for all of the appliances as he has far more patience than I do. We wanted a microwave with a drop down door rather than one that opened from a side hinge as we both thought that this would be more convenient.
It also needed to be a combination microwave so that, on the rare occasions that we have guests and I am cooking a meal, I can cook two things at two different temperatures at the same time.
The ones that Dave eventually found were made by Neff and the microwave and oven matched one another perfectly and even had a symmetrical arrangement of buttons on them too! I took a look at the information about the microwave and realised that it was indeed just what we wanted.
The make and the price
The microwave in question is the Neff Series 3 C57M70N0GB Built in Combination Microwave and once we had decided that this was the one that we wanted I took over and searched for the best price. I made myself a little spreadsheet for all my appliances so that I could take into account the initial price, delivery charges, discounts, Quidco cashback, Advantage points etc.
At the time that we purchased ours the best price that I found was at Appliances Direct where the cost was £659.97 plus £34.98 delivery although this was for the microwave and the warming drawer. I got 4% cashback through Quidco so that reduced the total price a little.
It was an expensive purchase but we decided to go for the best that we could afford as we wanted to do the kitchen once and do it properly first time.
The appearance of the microwave
The microwave has a brushed stainless steel finish to match all the other appliances in the kitchen and, as I said earlier, is built into a specifically designed unit sitting directly above the matching oven.
The buttons for the operation of the appliance are set across the top of the unit with the large one in the centre and smaller ones on either side which matches the oven. Above the row of buttons is an LED panel where the current time is constantly shown when the microwave isn't in use - when it is being used this display is the cooking time remaining - and a second one which shows the temperature when the oven is in use.
Along the same level as the clock and temperature displays are a further set of labels to correspond with the buttons below. On the left there are five microwave power settings - 90, 180, 360, 600 and 1,000 - a button to set the clock and a button to set the cooking time on the microwave. On the right there is a button to set the temperature of the oven and another one which, when depressed, shows the current oven temperature so that you can see how the oven is warming up. The other buttons on this side are the on and off functions.
The brushed stainless steel trim and handle look smart and the microwave has a large double glazed glass door which drops down to the horizontal for loading and unloading.
The functions are all accessed via the long central button which lies flush with the facia of the oven until you are ready to use it. To use the microwave or the oven you press the long button which then stands proud of the facia so that it can be turned to one of the following five functions - working clockwise:
Hot air - for baking
Hot air and grill - for cooking larger pieces of meat
Circulated air grill - for pieces of meat
Full surface grill
Centre area grill
Inside the microwave there are 4 sets of metal rods across the sides of the unit providing 4 different positions for the cooking racks. Included with the microwave was a wire rack, an enamel baking tray and a circular microwave baking rack.
To use the microwave
First of all the clock needs to be set and this is done using the two buttons to the left of the main button. I won't explain in detail but suffice it to say that the directions in the instruction booklet are clear and easy to follow.
The insides of the microwave need to be cleaned with warm soapy water before the microwave is used for the first time. This is to make sure that it is clean before food is introduced to the area.
To cook something in the microwave you first have to choose the power that you want to use and press the relevant button so that the power selected lights up. Then you need to press the timer button so that it stands proud of the display and turn it until the correct cooking time is displayed. This will count down as cooking takes place. The only thing left to do is to press the start button and off you go - obviously you also need to put the food inside the microwave too!
To use the oven
This time you need to start by pressing the central button so that it stands proud of the facia and turn it to the type of cooking that you want to use.
You then press the temperature button on the right to make it stand proud of the facia and turn it until the temperature that you want appears on the LED screen above the button. If you press the button next to it - the one with the 'i' on it - the display will show the current temperature of the oven so that you can see when it is getting hot enough to use.
Once the oven is hot enough you just put the food in the oven until it is cooked, then remove the food and switch off the oven by pressing the buttons back in until they are all flush with the surface of the appliance.
When the oven has been used and switched off a letter H appears in the LED display to show that there is residual heat remaining in the oven. This changes to a lower case h as the heat reduces and disappears completely once the oven is cool again.
The microwave is easily cleaned with hot soapy water or, if there is heavy soiling, an oven cleaner such as Mr Muscle can be used.
The instruction book
The instruction book is all in English so you don't have to sort through it to find the correct language.
It covers the initial installation of the appliance, the preparation for use, the actual use, a few recipes, cleaning, fault finding, maintenance and repairs.
The language used throughout the book is clear and very easy to understand and the information in the book is logically laid out. There are also lots of clear diagrams to help you to understand the instructions given in the book.
So what do I think about the microwave
Well I have been very impressed with it.
To be fair I don't do a lot of microwave cooking but I find this appliance easy to use and it works perfectly.
I have used it as an oven on a few occasions and have found it more than adequate for what I was cooking.
I would have to say that I am really pleased with my combi microwave and I am really glad that this was the one that we chose.
Short name: Neff C57M70N0GB