1. Can you first tell us something about yourself and your household?
My boyfriend and I and our 2 children live in a house we bought 7 years ago. During my 5 years on maternity leave, I cooked every day. I’m not some crazy organic mother, but I wanted to create the best eating habits for my children. I am horrified when I see some of the things parents are capable of feeding their children.
I cook very healthy foods, I don’t fry, use much flour for thickening, I don’t bake with wheat flower and I use plenty of vegetables. I have a gas range, because I cook a lot and I have the feeling that electric ranges are only for occasional cooking. There must be a reason why professional cooks still have fire under the pots in their kitchens.
2. What were your first impressions after unpacking the new Whirlpool MAX 38 CSL microwave?
I am all about visuals, this is one of the most important aspects for me. The microwave is wonderfully compact. I like simplicity and austerity of shape, so I was delighted. The shape is unconventional, but perfect. My old microwave had to be positioned with the door on the edge of the kitchen counter and there was almost no manoeuvring space in front of it. Now it is positioned at a 45 degree angle which means even the children can take things out of it.
I see the microwave’s dimensions and its variability for installation - thanks to the rounded shape - as one of its key advantages. I don’t have a lot of work space and this microwave does not take up that much room.
3. How difficult was it to install?
Installation was quite simple. Like most of today’s appliances, it is simply plugged into the socket. It could perhaps have a longer cable.
4. Where exactly did you place the microwave on your counter?
On the work surface near the window. Quite far from the fridge and range. This is the ideal location, if it is to serve not only for warming up but also as a universal helper. When I recently tried to make chocolate pralines, melted or thawed butter for baking, or made hot chocolate in a cup with the children, it was great to have it handy.
5. Which function did you try first?
Standard warming up was first, of course. I need the microwave several times a day to heat up my thermal pillow, because I am chilly and the grains cannot be warmed up any other way. Well, maybe on a furnace but we don’t have one of those. :)
6. Is there anything that surprised you pleasantly/unpleasantly about using the microwave?
A pleasant surprise was that the surface of meat was not cooked at when defrosting. In the old microwave, large pieces of meat would stay frozen inside and cooked on the surface.
At first I was a bit troubled by how to set the timer. On the old microwave, I entered the number of seconds or minutes with 3 pushes of a button on the numerical display. Here, I had to press PLUS countless time to achieve the desired time at 5-second intervals. But I soon found a trick, that by repeatedly pressing the Start button, the warning period can be set faster. So at present, I cannot find any flaws in the microwave at all. It’ great.
7. What about maintenance?
Maintenance is entirely standard. The glass plate can be removed and put either in the dishwasher or rinsed. But because the microwave has so many great functions, it rarely happens that the food splatters, drinks bubble over or anything similar, like in the old one. This reduces maintenance to a minimum, so that’s great.
8. Have you tried any of the special functions for preparing chocolate, which this microwave boasts, at home yet?
Before Christmas I tried chocolate pralines. When I was working in Germany, we made beautiful pralines through a complex method of heating chocolate. With a thermometer in hand, in a water bath. As soon as the chocolate exceeded a certain temperature, it became unusable, because it would not stiffen the way it should and had an unattractive surface. This was always an annoying process. I don’t have a thermometer at home and didn’t feel like doing it.
I tried to melt the chocolate in the microwave with some degree of mistrust, and to make pralines with my own dried fruit and nuts in silicone moulds. They are gorgeous! The chocolate is glossy and doesn’t melt at room temperature. And the temperature during preparation is the critical factor for this. Melting the chocolate was fast and the silicon bowl included with the microwave has a spout, making the whole procedure fast and clean. As expected, the pralines did not last until Christmas. :D
9. Which other functions would you highlight?
What I am absolutely thrilled by is the Keep warm function (we also have it on our kettle as a special feature button). When the food is warming up, the microwave automatically keeps it warm for a while longer at the heating temperature, and then alerts you with a beep. Hence, it never happens that I remove the food and it’s cold. Incidentally, this was a routine incident with 2 small children, and I always had to “reheat”. It is too bad that this function isn’t emphasised in promoting the product. I appreciate it very much.
There are many other functions on the oven that I am looking forward to. The fact is that I can’t do everything on the range or in the oven, and I don’t have that much time for experiments. And when the microwave has a feature with guaranteed results and somebody has already done the experiments instead of me, I’m happy. The fact is that I’m always in a hurry and every minute is precious. I am very grateful for modern conveniences. There are of course negative impacts, but I see more positive ones. It leaves me more time for my children and my interests in all the rush. And that is quite motivating.
We thank Markéta from Kroměříž for answering our inquisitive questions.