This post was made possible by the kind gift of a Whirlpool Crisp N’ Grill Microwave to test and review.
We are into week five of my new working arrangements and it’s all going swimmingly. I relish the two days with my littlest and I look forward to the three days in the office. I really look forward to weekends which are no longer dedicated to catch-up consulting work. Although, at least of part of Sunday is dedicated to cooking and baking. Out of necessity, I have become a meal-planning, lunch-box prepping mum. Thankfully my organised side is relishing it. Our desperately-in-need-of-a-service oven is not.
In a kismet moment, I was offered a Whirlpool Crisp N’ Grill Microwave to test and review. This speedy-oven-in-disguise microwave has graced our kitchen at just the right time.
When I prepare meals, there are quite a few limiting factors. It needs to be vegetarian (for me), not too culinarily adventurous (for the boys) and be very quick to heat up. I’m home at 6:00 and the little people are beyond hangry by 6:30.
The speedy part is where this microwave has come in so brilliantly. Because it has the ability to crisp and grill, as well as the traditional reheat feature, we can drastically reduce cooking time over a range of meals and snacks.
Thankfully, it’s also very easy to use. Which is good for a kitchen disaster like myself.
The crisp plate is ingenious and we have tried toasted sandwiches, haloumi, chips, pizza and pastries all with great results. Pizza is particularly good and only takes 10 minutes (our oven takes at least 30). We are looking forward to testing pies, chicken nuggets and hash browns.
In the tradition of modern kitchen appliances, there are a number of automated menu options. The jet defrost menu and jet crisp menu are both really useful. You choose the type of food and the weight and the microwave does the rest.
You can also bake and grill in the microwave. Seriously – do we even need an oven any more?
There are a few things I have learned about the microwave that would help anyone considering purchasing it:
- Always pre-heat the crisp plate when using the crisping feature (including using the jet crisp menu) – I find it makes a big difference. 1 – 2 minutes is ample.
- Recipes are a little hard to come by on the interwebs, but this Facebook group is quite helpful. The microwave also comes with a recipe book that covers a range of its features. Internet microwave recipes are useful, but this machine can do so much more than microwave. It’s just a matter of thinking about whether the appliance can do the job before you reach for the oven.
- There is also a cook book available to purchase.
- I found the way to make chips the crispiest is to heat the crisp plate first with a small amount of oil before using the automated jet crisp menu. Blot if necessary when the chips come out. I found that the jet crisp menu didn’t crisp them for quite long enough, so I added another 2 minutes via the manual crisp option. (I do like my chips crispy)
- Haloumi is perfect for the Crisp N’ Grill. Heat oil in the crisp plate, on crisp, for a 1 minute or so. Then shallow fry the haloumi (using the crisp option) for 3 minutes one side and 3 minutes the other. The times might vary from microwave to microwave.
- The microwave doesn’t stop when the timer ends, but keeps rotating and warming the food. This is great for the easily distracted (wait, what? – is that something shiny over there?)
- Toasted sandwiches are a microwave delight. I’m not a fan of the flat toasted sandwich, so I really prefer them cooked in the Crisp N’ Grill. You warm the crisp plate for 2 minutes. Butter the top and bottom sides of your sandwich. Crisp for 2 minutes one side and then 2 the other. So good!
- I pre-prepare a number of cheesy meals, like lasagne and mac n cheese. The defrost option is fabulous but what I really like is the gratin option. After defrosting, the gratin option just bubbles the top a little.
- The microwave is great for little cooking jobs part of a bigger recipe, like parmesan crisps or toasting nuts.
- Little ramekins (if you don’t have any, they aren’t expensive) are a great way to prepare one serve meals and desserts.
- Use the handle supplied to lift the hot crisp plate out. Just saying.
One of great successes in the Whirlpool Crisp N’ Grill Microwave has been spanakopita. This is the recipe, which I based on this recipe and added the things I like in spanakopita.
Our family tried out the 25L Whirlpool Crisp N’ Grill Microwave (GT 286) in racy red.
EDITED TO ADD: Unfortunately this particular model is no longer being stocked by The Good Guys. This decision was made by The Good Guys after I received this microwave to review and I apologise sincerely for the inconvenience. If they do restock the machine, I will certainly update this post.
However at the moment, you able to purchase the model up – the Crisp N’ Grill JQ280IX for $499. The model is a little larger and also comes with a few extra features such as Whirlpool’s 6th SENSE Technology, which automatically weighs food and adjusts cooking times accordingly.
Jodie from Six Little Hearts has also reviewed this microwave and has more handy information in her post.
Have you tried this machine? Do you love it?
What’s your must have kitchen appliance?