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Three out of four of us say that we couldn’t live without our microwave, and with the amount of time they save us, it’s no wonder. And, with advances in tech, microwaved food is now a far cry from the dry mishaps that used to emerge.
Power play Microwave power is measured in watts – the higher the number, the faster it should heat food. The average is between 800 and 900W. But, as technology has improved, simply going for the most powerful model isn’t a guarantee of a better-performing oven.
Full to capacity Want to cook a whole chicken in there? You’ll need a decent capacity – anything over the 30-litre mark should hold a family-sized bird. Smaller households will be better off with a model that takes up minimal space on the worktop, so exterior dimensions are more important.
Cooking functions Microwave-only models are good for the basics but can’t brown food. For that, you’ll want a microwave with a grill. Combo microwaves are popular as second ovens, as they reduce cooking time by using fanned hot air (convection) to seal the outer layers of the food. This gives the moist yet crisp result you’d expect from a conventional oven.
Keep it clean A clean machine is more efficient. Ease of cleaning is affected by the interior finish – stainless steel, enamel and acrylic are relatively easy to keep sparkling with a regular wipe down. Al in one
With precise temperature control for even heating and defrosting, this LG model can prepare, reheat and defrost a wide variety of dishes in a flash.
LG NeoChef 42 ℓ Stainless Steel 1 200W Microwave Grill Oven, R3 099,99, Hirsch’s dimensions H29,1 x W53,5 x D44cm
FEAT URE S It has a smart inverter system, AntiBacterial EasyClean interior, and touch controller.
Now you can easily steam fish, veg and chicken to perfection with this model’s effortless one-touch steam function. And no need to fear pastry going soggy, the three different heat sources combine to keep food crisp and delicious. Whirlpool 33 ℓ 6th Sense Jetchef 800W Microwave Grill Oven,
R5 499; yuppiechef.com dimensions H37,7 x W48,7 x D54,1cm
FEAT URE S It includes eight power levels and a 1 200W grill. Plus, its 6th Sense technology automatically adjusts cooking time and power.
Family favour ite
Want to make a crispy roast chicken as a midweek meal? No problem. With a spacious capacity of 40 ℓ , you’ll be whipping up dinner for the whole family at the push of a button. Samsung 40 ℓ Mirror-finish 900W Electronic
Grill Microwave Oven, R2 699, Hirsch’s dimensions H31,3 x W55,5 x D45,9cm
FEAT URE S A ceramic enamel interior means it’s super durable and easy to clean, and it has 10 power levels.
This affordable option will be popular with both your wallet and at mealtimes. Also, with eight auto-cook programmes, your favourites dishes will take just minutes to prepare.
Russell Hobbs 20 Classic Manual 700W Microwave Oven, R849, Makro dimensions H49 x W38 x D29cm FEAT URE S It has six power levels, an easy-to-clean enamel interior, and a sleek mirror finish. Smart choice Counter space is prime real estate in any family kitchen so opting for a built-in design will free up your valuable work surface. With eight pre-set AutoPilot cooking programmes, you can get ovenstyle dishes in a fraction of the cooking time.
Bosch Serie 6 25 Stainless Steel Built-in 900W Microwave, R11 799; bosch-home.com/za dimensions H38,2 x W59,4 x D38,8cm
FEAT URE S This high-end model comes with a fingertip touch-control door opening, as well as a 1 200W grill function. Mirror mirror
With its sleek and stylish reflective finish, this model will add an elegant touch to the kitchen.
Plus, with this microwave’s grill option, you can brown, roast and crisp your go-to meals.
Defy 34 1 000W Grill Microwave Oven, R1 799, Makro dimensions H30 x W53,9 x D47,4cm, FEAT URE S Make use of its grill combo option, 10 power levels, and programmable two-stage cooking.