Taking Microwaves to a Whole Other Level!
Before I needed a new microwave I hadn’t given much thought to what’s actually “out there”. After all, for me, this was an appliance that quietly sat on my countertop so I could defrost, reheat and cook the odd meal here and there. That is until it reached the end of its shelf life!
What I did learn is that when a microwave isn’t there you really do miss having it around. What I’ve also learned is that microwaves have moved to a whole other level in technology.
In this review I’m going to talk about the Sharp R-1880LS Over the Range Microwave Convection Oven. The name alone sounds complicated enough but that just proves how manufacturers are constantly thinking of ways to make life easier in the kitchen. So, what can you expect from this microwave oven?
Well, first of all (as I have mentioned) it’s an over-the-range model which is great if you don’t have much workspace in your kitchen and it’s actually a very nice looking appliance. In fact, the design is very clever because it will fit in with both traditional and modern decors in the home. The contrast of black and stainless steel colors really work and give this sleek looking convection oven/microwave a pretty understated look.
Now you have an idea of what this microwave looks like, let’s move on to the exciting stuff – the features!
Capacity and Power
With this model you get 1.1 cu ft of space inside and 850 watts of power output. There is a 13 inch ceramic turntable inside which is great when you want to use it just as a microwave but you can turn this on or off so non-circular dishes can be used. This is a useful feature when you want to roast a chicken or broil some fish for example.
A Four-Way Cooking System
This clever little microwave can be used as a standard microwave, a convection oven, combination and broils. This means you can easily brown, crisp, bake and roast. In fact, it will pretty much do everything a traditional oven can except you have the added benefit of microwaving.
Settings and Ease of Use
The main control panel consists of touch-key buttons and it has been elegantly designed without being too complicated (although I might need a little getting used to). All of them are in the same place just to the right of the door and you also get a bright LED display which is pretty easy to read.
All the cooking instructions are displayed on the panel so you don’t have to hunt around in the manual to find out what button does what! There are no less than 12 sensor settings. Half of them can be used for convection cooking and the other half are for microwave cooking so you won’t miss out on that all important popcorn setting!
I happen to think this is one of the neatest ideas I’ve come across with an oven like this and that’s the fact you get automatic settings which (at the touch of a button) roast, broil and bake so making any type of meal is quick and easy.
On the inside, apart from the turntable there are also two shelves. One is designed for two level baking and the other has been designed to handle roasting, broiling and baking.
From my research, I have discovered that many people are put off by over the range microwaves because they can be difficult to install. However, Sharp has thought about this so you shouldn’t have too much trouble. Although, do bear in mind it’s pretty heavy weighing in at 72lbs so you might need two people.
The microwave has a built-in exhaust system which comes with a hood, light and two-speed fan. Venting can be done both horizontally and vertically however you can also make use of the ductless circulation features. If you do decide to go with this option, the convection oven has a charcoal filter but do factor in that you will need to buy replacements at some point.
This isn’t the cheapest convection oven on the market but considering you get a four-in-one cooking appliance with a total of 25 settings, I think it’s worth closer inspection. Of course, I can’t forget to mention that you have a warming option, automatic defrost and you can choose from English, French and Spanish on the help menu.
If you’re interested in finding out more, feel free to take a look at my favorite online retailer (Amazon). The last time I took a peek they were offering this model at a great price!