We're all familiar with the pull of life's increasing pressures which have made the basics of living - such as uncomplicated cooking, a daily event that we're typically stretched to accomplish in both time and effort. Thankfully, simple kitchen appliances have progressed rapidly alongside our busy lifestyles in these modern times. Where once microwave ovens for example, made our cooking faster and easier compared to traditional, conventional methods, it's extraordinary to discover just how far along this technology has continued to advance to this day. Were you aware?
When Whirlpool recently sent us their very latest Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave to test and experience in our own household, I was quite unaware that the advances in this kitchen essential had progressed to such an impressive level. For most, a microwave oven is an important food preparation tool in the home, typically used for quick defrosting, key recipe stages (such as melting butter for example), or simply to provide the modern convenience of a quick meal in minutes.
No doubt you'll agree, standard microwaves and their capabilities are a convenient invention - but build on that renown speed, efficiency and general all-round usefulness by adding extra features such as grilling, crisping and Jet Defrosting, plus programmed cooking based on common foods and weights (Jet Menu Crisp), and your humble microwave becomes a do-it-all, next level 'must-have' kitchen essential.
Whirlpool's Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave is an appliance built to handle today's fast-paced foodie and family needs.
This is the Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave (GT 286) in stylish red from the Gusto Series. Its introduction to our kitchen has definitely revolutionised our home cooking experience. This microwave oven does it all and with functions and speeds that far exceed a regular microwave oven's capabilities.
In fact, there is a significant difference between this and the more common microwave on the market.
Most would never attempt to cook pies, chips, cakes or biscuits in their microwave and for good reason. Soggy, dehydrated or burnt results are a common outcome when attempting these foods in a standard microwave, giving users a reduced range of functionality.
The Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave is different however. Yes, it performs all the standard functions of its basic predecessors, but imagine those benefits to include features such as rapid defrosting seven times faster (Jet Defrost) in just a few short minutes. In-microwave grilling and crisping, resulting in the even browning of foods, and even baking, with conventional oven-superb results in a fraction of the traditional method's time.
Unbelievable, but absolutely possible in this appliance!
We've been playing hard with this cooking device every single day for several months in our home now. Getting used to the idea that this microwave is 'not just a microwave' took a bit of head work initially. By no means is this a difficult appliance to work with, (quite the opposite in fact), it's more trying to remember that this appliance is akin to the best of both a microwave and conventional oven combined.
Having had no working oven for 18 months now, (hello expensive repairs that just keep getting deferred!), the introduction of our Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave has been a most welcome and versatile addition in our household.
To demonstrate just how simple and effective the Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave is, our twelve year old son was happy to make his foodie favourite - home made pizzas... in the microwave. (Something we'd normally never consider attempting.)
The Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill's 'crispy' success in part lies in the Crisp Plate which comes standard with every Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave. The Crisp Plate works in conjunction with this microwave's three dimensional microwave distribution system which includes a quartz grill, ensuring foods are cooked evenly and thoroughly every time.
The combination of all three elements means that foods such as pizza subs, bread, bacon, quiches, pies and fries are cooked to perfection with hot interiors and crispy, golden textures top and bottom. It's even possible to fry foods on the Crisp Plate using this microwave's technology.
The Crisp Plate comes complete with a detachable handle for a convenient baking experience.
Features appear plain and simple on this appliance (and I like that), yet they're certainly far more advanced than they look. Operating the oven to bake this basic pizza involved pressing the Crisp function button and then dialling up the desired time to cook. Just two simple steps that are easy enough for kids to handle (with a little adult supervision), but there's so much more going on tech-wise to achieve such great results.
There is no need to grease or oil the Crisp Plate, the microwave's built in settings will take care of everything for you. The plate is non-stick and food typically slides off without effort. The maximum temperature the plate heats to, is 210 degrees, which effectively prevents foods from burning.
|Pizza subs cooked to perfection in the Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill in just 4 short minutes.|
The verdict on the pizza? Crunchy, browned and perfect!
Adding cooking time to any bake is as easy as turning the dial, ensuring there's no need to interrupt your cooking. You can of course pause the microwave to stir or turn foods just by opening the microwave door. (Love the comfortable oven door handle which wipes clean easily too.) Your settings will be maintained for ten minutes in this instance, until you are ready to resume cooking.
My first love is baking, so I am thrilled to report that the Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave is a superb kitchen device which yields exceptional oven results in only minutes. When it comes to producing delicious cakes and biscuits, cooking becomes even more streamlined and a time-positive experience. This appliance is ideal for bakers!
These delicious chocolate chip cookies were baked using the Crisp function and on the Crisp Plate in only 6 minutes. (Normally these take 20 minutes in a conventional oven to cook, plus heating time.) You can find the recipe for these chocolate chip cookies here.
Likewise, these homemade scones came up a dream in the Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave. A whole batch of these were baked in just 7 minutes per tray with an additional 2 minutes preheating time on the Crisp Plate on the first go. (The Crisp Plate can be safely preheated on its own in this oven, which allows these fabulous results.) You can find the recipe for these scones here.
|Gem scones are a quick and do-able afternoon tea in a Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave.|
You can expand on your baking capabilities in the Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave, using regular silicone bakeware such as muffin trays and cake pans. Just place any silicone bakeware you use on top of the Crisp Plate when baking using the Crisp function, for traditional baking results in a fraction of the time.
Finally, Whirlpool have coated the interior of the Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave with their signature Protechflon. This coating ensures spills wipe clean-off without elbow grease, keeping your oven looking brand new and smelling fresh. (This is also referred to as Magic Clean.) Even the Crisp Plate is effortless to clean. (We haven't actually washed ours yet! Just allow it to cool before rinsing under the tap and giving it an air dry. Spills just fall off with a gentle wipe.)
The Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave is an advanced take on a regular home appliance. If you're looking to expand your baking capabilities and speed-up your food preparation experience, this amazing kitchen oven will certainly fill the need and then some. We are still discovering the joys of baking and cooking with ours. For families and other time-poor persons, this appliance will be of far greater assistance than a standard microwave. Yes, it's intuitive and technically advanced, yet also easy and user-friendly. We can't believe how good this oven is!
The Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave (GT 286) reviewed here is a 25 litre, 700W oven with a 900W grill. The oven is available in red, white and a stainless steel finish. (The stainless model is priced a little higher.) The RRP of this appliance is $299 and you can find it at The Good Guys stores Australia-wide.
*Disclosure: Six Little Hearts were gifted a Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill Microwave in exchange for this review.
All opinions expressed are our own and genuine. For full product specifications and capabilities, please refer to the manufacturer's website.