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3 Microwave Ovens That Not Only Reheat Food

Microwave ovens by Samsung, LG and Sharp that do more than one job

For people struggling with the space crunch in small kitchens, multipurpose appliances can come in handy. They do more than one job, eliminating your need for other appliances, and they take up just a single spot in your limited square footage. Savvy!

These three multipurpose microwave ovens from Samsung, LG and Sharp do just that. Besides reheating food, they also grill, roast and even bake! We took them for a test run to see if they get to earn a spot on your kitchen countertop.

LG 25L Smart Inverter Microwave Oven (MH6565DIS)

Recommended retail price: $399
Capacity: 25L

Cooking functions we tried: Grill-Combi, Roast and Defrost-and-Cook
LG Microwave Oven

The grill-combi function on the Smart Inverter allows us to cook and grill our food in just a single setting. We did chicken wings, which came out a tad over-grilled because we over-estimated the time needed to cook them. However, they were cooked thoroughly with a brown crispy exterior that feels just like they were cooked on a real grill. During the middle of the programme, a small jingle plays to inform you to flip over the chicken wings for even grilling. The metal rack, which we cooked on, can hold up 8 chicken wings at a time.

Watch below: Doing up the wings in the LG microwave oven.

The roast function features clearer instructions. Unlike the grill-combi function, there isn’t a need to set a time. It comes with pre-set programmes based on the type of food you wish to roast. These include foods like roast chicken, roast pork and roast beef and jacket potatoes. Our roasted vegetable (cauliflower) was also cooked to perfection.

Our roasted cauliflower turned out exceptionally well using the roast function in the LG microwave oven.

For fans of convenience frozen foods, the defrost-and-cook function will be particularly useful. Setting this programme in the microwave oven will defrost your frozen food before cooking them. This means you don’t have to waste time waiting for your food to defrost first. Our frozen shrimps cooked in just under 10 mins!

As a microwave: Reheating foods

Reheating foods was a breeze. The manual tells us that reheating foods require an 800 W power level, although the timing was up to us to set. We were able to reheat rice, vegetables and chicken successfully, without drying them out.

What’s for Dessert: Yogurt
One of the more interesting things about this LG Smart Inverter microwave oven is that it allows you to cook yogurt in it. So if you’ve always wanted to make creamy homemade yogurt minus all the additives seen in commercial ones, this microwave oven has a specific proofing function for you. There are very clear instructions in the manual, including how much milk and natural yogurt (the starter culture) to use, so even a completely newb (like me!) wouldn’t feel lost. Our homemade yogurt was lusciously creamy after the 5-hour incubation in the oven and 5 hours in the fridge. Yum.

Watch below: After 5 hours of proofing in the LG microwave oven, we’ve got our homemade yogurt!

Aesthetics and Ease of Use

The LG microwave oven features a glossy black façade. It’s very seamless, with nothing jutting out (the dial can be pushed back) and the screen is entirely touchscreen. From afar, it looks like a simple black box. Size is very compact, making them great for smaller kitchens.

Overall, the touch-screen buttons are sensitive enough. Setting the different programmes requires quite a number of steps, which may be difficult to remember if you don’t use the programmes regularly. Thankfully, there’s a side menu by the oven door, which you can refer to.

It produces a melodious tinkle at the end to tell you your food is cooked. If you forget to open up the microwave oven door, it tinkles again after a certain time to remind you. Excellent for forgetful cooks.

Verdict: Get this if you want a stylish and multifunctional microwave oven with a yogurt maker as a bonus

See here for more information


Sharp Microwave Oven with Grill (72A1(SM)V)


Recommended retail price: $229
Capacity: 25L

Cooking functions we tried: Micro+Grill (chicken wings), Auto Menu (Pizza), Sequence Cooking (defrost shrimps + cook)

The chicken wings were perfectly cooked (succulent meat with crispy skin) under the Micro+Grill function of the oven. Among the three microwave ovens we tested, the chicken wings here turned out the best. The rack, which we cooked on, was just a tad larger than LG’s.


Our favourite grilled chicken wings were the ones made from the Sharp microwave oven.

The Sequence Cooking feature was particularly convenient. This feature allows you to set up two different programmes at one go so there isn’t a need to switch to the different mode in between. We combined the defrosting and grilling modes using frozen shrimps and they came out beautifully.

Watch below: Defrosting and grilling the frozen shrimps. There isn’t a need to manual change the modes halfway.

The Sharp microwave oven also came with a set of Auto Menu, pre-sets that give you the necessary temperature and timing to reheat or cook certain foods. Some of the modes include reheating chilled pizza, making popcorn and even a setting that allows you to warm up your dinner plates before plating. You can’t adjust the time though, so if you prefer a warmer pizza for instance, you’ll need to use the mode a couple of times.

As a microwave: Reheating foods

Reheating foods was a straightforward process on the Sharp microwave oven. The manual recommends a single power setting for reheating foods. All you have to do is to adjust the timing accordingly. We reheated rice and meats with no issue.

What’s for dessert: Mini vanilla cakes

The Sharp microwave oven probably isn’t meant for baking, but the manual does recommend a specific power level for sponge cakes. We tried doing our own mini vanilla cakes on that power setting. Unfortunately, the cakes came out too dense with a texture that tasted more like soft-baked cookies.

Aesthetics and Ease of Use

The Sharp oven isn’t as sleek or compact as the LG model, but the larger capacity does make it easier to make meals for bigger households. It features a beautiful mirrored glass door with the programme buttons, which are slightly popped up, listed clearly on the sides. The light within the oven also stays on whenever the door is opened, making clean-up a lot easier.

The Sharp microwave oven was the easiest to use and feature less complicated steps for each of the modes. Because the buttons are labelled with more standard terms, there isn’t a need to constantly refer to the manual when using the oven.

Verdict: Get this if you want an uncomplicated microwave oven with an excellent grill

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Samsung Grill Microwave Oven with Grill Fry (Mint)

Recommended retail price: $319
Capacity: 30L

Cooking functions we tried: Grill (chicken wings) and Auto Cook – Healthy Cooking (Cauliflower)

This was the only microwave oven that came with an additional crusty plate. This non-stick tray is intended to help you brown the bottom of your food instead of just the top so you get a nice even crispy exterior. We used this alongside the rack to grill our chicken wings as recommended. This in turn produced very evenly browned chicken wings without having to turn them over in the middle of the grilling.

However, because the crusty plate does make the temperature go higher, our chicken wings only needed half the time in that programmed setting. If we weren’t monitoring the wings, it might have been overdone.

The Samsung microwave oven also comes with a wide range of Auto Cook programmes that let you cook healthier foods (e.g. steam or grill vegetables, fish and meats) and even make desserts. Under the Healthy Cooking programme, we tried steaming cauliflower florets in the microwave oven and they came out perfectly done.

Watch below: Steaming cauliflower florets with the auto cooking function.

Beyond the pre-sets, the manual comes with clear instructions on how to cook using the different microwave power levels so you can use the microwave oven to cook anything from fresh vegetables to rice and pasta.

As a microwave: Reheating foods

There are instructions for reheating certain foods in the manual, though we couldn’t find the foods that we wanted to reheat. However, we toggled between two power settings—900 W and 600 W—and were able to reheat our foods (bread, rice, vegetables and stir fry chicken) successfully.

What’s for dessert: Sponge Cake

We followed the sponge cake recipe in the manual and used the Auto Cook programme to bake our cake. Despite the batter overflowing in the glass dish that we used during the “baking process”, the sponge cake turned out surprisingly tasty and it was all ready in 10 mins.


Our sponge cake overflowed. But that didn’t stop it from tasting delicious. Look at that crumb texture!

Other dessert recipes available in the auto programmes include pound cakes, banana breads, brownies and egg puddings. There are also instructions on how to make glaze, jam and custard. Handy for home bakers or those who like homemade desserts.

Aesthetics and Ease of Use

Unlike the first two microwave ovens, Samsung’s doesn’t have a reflective glass door. But it does feature a cool turquoise hue that feels like a burst of sunshine on our countertop. For folks who prefer neutrals, the microwave oven with the same specs also comes in white.

The glass panel is touchscreen however, so it still feels modern and sleek. While not as intuitive as the Sharp microwave oven, it is still easy to use with simple and clear labels that will help you find the modes you want. The beeping at the end of the programme is relatively loud, and there are subsequent reminder beeps if you overlook the first one.

Verdict: Get this if you want a microwave oven that cooks a wide range of food, including decent desserts

See here for more information

 

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