Whirlpool Max Microwave Review

Best4Reviews rates this space-saving John Lewis & Waitrose exclusive from Whirlpool

Most people's image of the microwave is a silver or white plastic box that takes up plenty of kitchen bench space, but is nevertheless the type of gadget that once bought, quickly becomes an everyday necessity.

The same is true of Whirlpool's new Max Microwave - the large footprint excepted because, in fact, this curvaceous 13 litre capacity device most closely resembles a portable TV set in both dimensions (37.5x37.2x36cm) and looks. For those of us who never expected to find a kitchen appliance worthy of a second glance - or here a double take - it comes as something of a design revelation.

Though I've just had my kitchen re-fitted, bench space is still something of a premium, so the Max's ability to slot into a corner space and still leave enough headroom under a wall unit is a real boon.

Though small, it's actually reassuringly weighty - so there seems to have been little compromise in the build at least to bring the Max Microwave to market, the moulded black plastic giving it a certain sophistication. However, one gripe is that its maximum power setting is a mere 750W (with seven selectable power levels), so it's not the fastest at cooking or defrosting - despite the claim that the 'jet defrost' setting is up to five times faster than conventionally designed devices.

That said, it features a large-ish 280cm turnatable that will rise to the challenge of your 'meat feast' pizza, being just a tad wider than the average dinner plate. There's also a 30 minute timer provided so you can wander off and do something else.

Detractors of the microwave - and at one time I was one of them - commonly moan about anaemic looking meat that, though cooked, is no match for bronzed results from a traditional electric or gas oven. So Whirlpool have provided a special crisping plate (and 600W grill) to enable your chicken wings and sausages to look a bit more appetising with the minimum of effort. The manufacturer claims it can even be used to fry an egg.

Though we had the sensible black version in for review, it's also avilable in silver plus limited edition baby blue and 'raspberry'. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, appealing to the young family market the Max microwave comes supplied with a baby bottle holder for warming the young 'uns feed in double quick time.

Though not the most powerful microwave ever, what the Max microwave lacks in oompth it makes up for in style and compact dimensions. So if you're looking for an inexpensive microwave that will fit into an already crowded kitchenspace, the Max might just be the factor you need.