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Ive had this microwave two years. In that time the door catch spring has broken three times. This spring passes through a small hole in the plastic door frame. A kitchen fitter I know told me they have had 20 of these microwaves returned in the last 12 months & the problem is there isnt an alternative to fit. Has anyone else had this problem? Maybe we should contact Watchdog & get Neff to sort the bad design out!!
I bet you can honestly say that you have never cried over a microwave. Well I have. It all happened a couple of years ago. Wed had builders in for 6 months on almost a daily basis, the last job of all being the fitting of a new kitchen. All our appliances were to be built into to the units and this particular Neff microwave was recommended by our kitchen company. They actually only dealt with Neff appliances, so we didn't have a great deal of choice.
I had a few reservations about this particular appliance because it was smaller than our previous microwave and being built in wasnt something we would be able to readily change for a larger one if it proved inadequate. Eventually I was persuaded that it would be fine.
As the workmen neared the end of the kitchen (and having been without a kitchen for a couple of weeks), I was informed that the microwave was now usable.
I looked, I pondered and I burst into tears. Total bewilderment took over and I just couldnt help myself. Our previous microwave had labels on the buttons, it was obvious how to use it. With this Neff model I was faced with buttons numbered 90, 180, 360, 60, 900. Minutes? Hmmmm I hadnt a clue. After screaming with frustration I resorted to the handbook and discovered the numbers were the power settings and the time is set by twiddling a dial. It was not at all obvious to me but I suspect to anyone who has lived in other European countries, such settings are a little more standard. Im not really a drama queen, honest.
Crisis Over, No more Crying over the Microwave
This microwave is good looking with a stainless steel front and a reasonably large glass window for viewing contents whilst in use. There is a digital clock above the control buttons which displays the time when the microwave is not in use and digitally counts down the selected time when the microwave is in use. There is a stop and a start button and a large button which controls the opening of the microwave door.
It is specifically designed to be built into a unit. Ours has been located at eye level on the wall above a worksurface. The simple, stylish control knobs are located on the right of the unit and the door hinge is on the left.
Setting the cooking time is via a dial. This is a bit frustrating compared to a digital time setter especially if you want to cook something for longer than a couple of minutes. You seem to have to turn the dial for an age to get to the time you want. First it goes second by second, then it suddenly jumps up in larger units of minutes.
Power settings are:
90W for gentle defrosting
180W for defrosting, simmering and raising
360W for cooking of meat and heating up heat-sensitive foods
600W for heating and cooking
900W Fast heating of beverages and liquids.
There are also two memory buttons (M1 and M2) which you can set as a shortcut to your most used options. In our house this is 1 minute on high power (useful for re-heating a dinner) and 20 seconds on high power (for those cups of tea and coffee that have gone lukewarm). There is also a button for automatic thawing (symbolized by a star with a raindrop underneath). This is useful for thawing meat from the freezer. You select this button and turn the manual time dial to the weight of the meat (between 0.2kg to 2.0kg). The microwave will then highlight how many minutes this will take to defrost. It seems to be very accurate.
For bread and cakes there is a gentler thaw button accessed by pressing the automatic defrost button twice. This gently defrosts items weighing between 0.2 and 1.5kg.
Power consumption 1170W, microwave power 900W (E), size HxWxD outer 30cm x 46cm x 32cm Inner: 22cm x 30cm x 30cm. Weight 10kg.
Two Years On
Compared to my previous microwave the size of this Neff built in appliance is small but I have found it adequate and fits all of my dishes except an oval one. It is powerful on high power and will cook foods speedily. If using for ready meals, I usually reduce the advised cooking time slightly to prevent over heating. When the microwave time is up, it beeps for quite some time. This can be a little annoying but is useful if you have left the room.
After two years of use, this microwave is still as good as new. It is in daily use and life with the microwave incurs making porridge, heating lukewarm beverages, softening ice cream, defrosting meat and speeding up other cooking (half baking sponge puddings to reduce oven cooking time, softening onions), making ratatouille, banoffee pie, the list goes on.
In terms of cleaning, there are no awkward to get to cracks or lips inside the unit. A wipe with a cloth is all that is required to keep it clean. The stainless steel front does show greasy fingermarks so this does need wiping clean from time to time. The glass turnplate is thick and heavy but easy to clean on removal. It is a little difficult to re-position when you remove it. You know you havent got it right when your dish wobbles instead of turning.
There are two memory buttons but a couple more would be useful. The defrost button seems to work accurately (by the weight of the product being defrosted).
Having a microwave at eye level is fine for adults but not very easy for the younger members of the family, worth considering if you have children old enough to use it but not tall enough to reach safely.
Once you have mastered the settings, the microwave works very well and despite a few annoying points, I would still happily recommend it. Its easy when you know how.
Short name: Neff H5430N0GB