Swan is a company who offer electrical products. The range includes cookers, irons, kettles and also microwaves.
This microwave is currently available in white. It features a 20litre capacity and a power output of 800W or E. The microwave has a few key features which I will list below and go into them further on in the review :
*26 x 45 x 36.5cm
*5 power levels from 20% - 100%
*8 auto cook options including milk, rice, spaghetti, potatoes, auto reheat, fish, popcorn, pizza
*60minute time - 10sec intervals up to 5mins, 30sec intervals up to 10mins, 1min intervals up to 30mins and then 5min intervals up to 60mins.
*clock - 12/24hr timer
A user guide is present which gives a breakdown of each cooking option.
This freestanding microwave is mainly white. The door offers a pull handle with a black window. The right hand side of the microwave offers a panel with a digital timer and various buttons. The options for auto cook products are listed and there is a dial to turn to determine how long you want to cook for.
As you open the microwave, a bright light turns on and this stays on whilst your food is cooking. There isn't much to say about the inside to be honest. Included is a round, glass plate which clicks into place. Vents are located on the top and side of the microwave to avoid overheating.
This microwave is available from a few online stores.
*www.kandco.com - £62.00 with the option for credit
*www.very.co.uk - £49.00 with the option for credit
I'm not the worlds best cook so a microwave is an essential kitchen appliance in our home. When we moved to our current flat last August, our microwave was on its last legs. Being short of money, Mum and Dad offered to buy us a microwave as a moving present. I didn't have much involvement in purchasing the microwave. All I requested was that it was to be white with the option to visually see the time as I hate those microwaves where you need to use tiny little markings to determine the time! Mum purchased this Swan SM3020 from her catalogue and I believe she paid around £35.00 for it which was a special offer deal.
Swan isn't a company I had previously heard of so I was a little apprehensive as to the quality of the microwave. It has been almost a year since this microwave was presented to us and I feel it has been a decent purchase and served us well. When it arrived, I unboxed it and it required very little assembly. It was a case of placing it on my worktop, inserting the plate and plugging it in. Design wise, it isn't the coolest of microwaves nor does it appear cheap. The buttons are clearly marked and spaced apart enough to avoid hitting the wrong button. The microwave is quite heavy but not overly bulky and sits neatly in a corner on my worktop.
The microwave is fairly easy to open but does require a little tug on the handle. The microwave is placed in a corner next to a plug socket as the wire isn't very long. The child lock may be handy for many though my son couldn't reach this microwave and is always supervised anyway. I noticed quickly how if the microwave door is left open after food has been taken out, the light stays on and is therefore burning electricity unnecessarily. I got into the habit of ensuring the door is shut over though I cannot say the same for my fiance. The clock is easy to set and whilst the microwave is not in use, it displays the correct time.
With a power output of 800watts, this is quite powerful and therefore, cooks any food quicker. I use my microwave nearly every day so it has had a fair bit of use over a year and for various purposes. The main reason I prefer to use a microwave is down to the fact that it offers a quick, hassle free method of cooking various foods. I purchase various fresh and frozen ready meals and really cannot be bothered waiting on my oven cooking them. I am also a bit scatty and get distracted and end up burning things in the oven! By using the microwave, I can set the time and it will "ping" quite a few times to alert me the food is ready..simples!
This microwave is very easy to use. It offers a good range of options which are easy to get used to and really, you don't need the manual that comes with the microwave due to its simplistic nature. I will admit that I do not use all of the functions on the microwave and unless you really feel like doing so, you won't either! Most of the time, I use this microwave for cooking meals from fresh or frozen. I go by the guidelines on the packets with frozen foods requiring longer in the microwave. It is important to piece packaging where advised and avoid using foil packaging in the microwave as you will blow it up..trust me I've done it before!
Inside the microwave, it certainly doesn't appear very big. Whilst I can comfortably fit a meal for 2 in there, anything bigger needs to go in the oven. Height wise, it does annoy me slightly as I often cook packet rice to accompany meals. The Uncle Bens packets when placed upright do hit off the top of the microwave and end up falling over. If placing food or packets onto a plate to cook, I can comfortably fit a good sized dinner plate inside the microwave and still allow room for it to turn easily.
Once the food is inside the microwave, setting the cooking option is perfectly easy. I mainly use the full power function combined with the timer. To change the power, keep pressing the button in to select the relevant power. Then press start. The microwave doesn't make too much noise when cooking so won't interrupt the television or music etc. The dial is easy to turn and the various time increments are handy for all types of cooking.
~~Auto Cook Options/Other Options~~
I don't use these often but the range is quite good. On pressing the auto cook button, you can keep pressing it to go through options A1 - A8. You can then use the dial to indicate the weight or amount of food you are cooking. An example and one option I have used is the Popcorn which comes in at 99g and once I hit start, it cooks the popcorn for 2.30mins. This is certainly a handy function. I initially used this for cooking baked potatoes but found the recommended 6mins was not sufficient and the potatoes were still hard inside. I changed it to reflect 2 potatoes and had satisfactory results this way.
The auto reheat option is good and again, judges by weight so you do need to estimate the weight of what you are reheating. I sometimes reheat takeaway food or stuff that I have made for my fiance and has gone cold if he's not home in time. Whilst I find it handy, the food doesn't taste as fresh as it would do when cooked from fresh but this is to be expected. I sometimes use the auto defrost and find it effectively defrosts food quickly.
The auto cook options are ideal if you are cooking or heating food which doesn't come packaged with instructions. Milk doesn't come with instructions nor does freshly caught fish etc so as long as you can estimate the weight or have the option to select the quantity, this is a very easy function to operate.
I cook everything from ready meals to beans, spaghetti, milk and baked potatoes. The microwave quickly zaps the food without burning it but instead, cooks it completely through. With many dishes, I need to stir half way through. I simply set the timer for the first half, stir to ensure frozen or cold food is mixed evenly and then place the food back in for the remainder of the time require. Everything cooks well and tastes the way it should. Whilst oven cooking does improve the taste of many dishes, I do find microwave cooking to offer excellent cooked food. My favourite dish to make up is nachos and 2mins in the microwave melts the cheese nicely although doesn't give that lovely, bubbly effect. Rice cooks perfectly fluffy and no moisture is lost. I do recommend allowing a minute or so for plastic packaging to settle as it does lose shape when cooking and this can cause spillages.
Whilst many foods that I cook are contained within packaging whilst in the microwave, I often cook food in bowls or jugs. Carrots are the worse food to cook in any microwave and tend to splatter all over the microwave. Whilst I can quickly remove the bowl, the inside of the microwave is too hot to be wiped over immediately. Once cooled, I run around the inside of the microwave with a soapy cloth which usually removes most of the food splatters though after a years use, marks are starting to show at the back of the microwave which look like carrot or tomato stains.
The outside window of the microwave doesn't tend to get dirty but I run over it once a week with a damp cloth and also clean any marks from the white outer of the microwave. The glass plate inside can be removed and I clean this alongside my regular dishes. Overall it cleans up fairly well.
Whilst the price my Mum purchased this for was fairly reasonable, I wouldn't pay the current catalogue price for this microwave as I do believe you can get a better microwave for the cheaper price. The design fits in with my kitchen as all of my appliances are white and it looks decent enough. It cooks food thoroughly and quickly which makes my life a little bit easier. I do wish the inside of the microwave was a little higher to accommodate packets of rice etc.
A microwave is a very handy appliance to have in your kitchen and this microwave has certainly came in handy for my small family. I am trying to cook fresher meals from scratch now but it is good to have quick and easy meals to fall back on. It also comes in handy when I have all the rings in use on my cooker and need to cook vegetables.
All in all, a decent microwave and recommended by myself.
Thanks for reading :)
Short name: Swan SM3020