Combination Cooker – Five Appliances in One - See
cookers have many well-known advantages - speed, compactness
and efficiency, plus the ability to cook foods like vegetables,
fish, soups and sauces to perfection. The one big disadvantage
is the appearance of some foods-they lack that crisp and
brown finish that we all expect on cakes, pastry and roast
thanks to innovative development by new microwave, we have
the complete answer – an appliance that combines all the
advantages of the microwave with a fan-assisted convection
oven and a super-efficient grill, each of which can be used
alone or in combination. In addition, there are Auto Cook
and Auto Weight Defrost programs which take the guesswork
out of many everyday cooking processes. How does it work?
Let's look individually at each function.
energy actually penetrates the food, attracted and absorbed
by its water, fat and sugar content. The microwaves cause
the molecules in the food to rapidly agitate, causing friction,
and it is the heat of this friction which cooks the food.
It is a very quick and moist form of cooking, resulting
in little browning or crisping of the outer surface of the
for microwave cooking: must allow the microwave
energy to pass through it for maximum efficiency (see Choosing
Microwave Cookware of The Microwave Cook Book). When cooking
a large quantity by microwave, we recommend standing the
dish on the low rack to encourage even and quick results.
suitable for microwave cooking: include fresh and
frozen vegetables, fruit, pasta, rice, grains and beans
(pulses), fish, sauces, custards, soups, steamed puddings,
preserves and chutneys. Use the microwave mode for all those
fiddly preparation jobs which are normally done on the hob,
such as melting butter or chocolate.
is the traditional method of cooking food in an oven filled
with hot air which is circulated by a fan. The compact size
of the oven cavity makes it very economical for cooking
for convection cooking: use conventional ovenproof
cookware, baking tins and sheets - anything you would normally
put in a conventional oven (but remember it has to be able
to turn on the rotating turntable). Stand the food on the
suitable for convection cooking: include biscuits,
individual scones, rolls and cakes, very rich fruit cakes,
choux pastry and soufflés.
grill operates with the door closed and the turntable rotating.
As the turntable turns, so the food browns evenly. Preheat
the grill for 5 minutes before use.
Cookware for grilling: should be flameproof
and may include metal. (Attention! Do not use metal, when
cooking on microwave mode.)
suitable for grilling: include chops, sausages,
steaks, hamburgers, bacon and gammon rashers, thin fish
portions, sandwiches and ''things on toast'' such as Welsh
+ CONVECTION (MW + CONV)
cooking mode combines microwave energy (to reduce the cooking
time) with hot air (to brown and crisp the surface of the
food) to give you the best of both worlds. With some foods,
the finished result can be even better than when cooked
conventionally. Roast meat and poultry are golden brown
yet, as a result of the reduced cooking time, they remain
more moist and succulent. Cakes rise beautifully, yet they
have the traditional crust and color. With some recipes,
you will find that we have recommended preheating the oven
before adding the food. With foods which take a relatively
short time to cook, preheating will enhance the browning
effect. Other foods actually benefit from going into a preheated
oven - results are far better than if they are cooked in
a rising temperature – and this is particularly important
for MW + CONV cooking: must allow the microwaves
to pass through (see in The Microwave Cook Book for ideal
shapes plus it must be resistant to heat.) Use ovenproof
glass, pottery or china without metal trims. Cookware with
lids is especially useful. When lids are not available,
cover the container with an ovenproof plate. For best results,
we recommend standing dishes on the low rack during cooking.
suitable for MW + CONV cooking: include meats and
poultry, casseroles and ''au gratin'' dishes, sponge cakes
and light fruit cakes, pies and crumbies, roast vegetables,
scone rounds and breads.
+ GRILL (MW + GRILL)
cooking mode combines radiant heat from the grill with the
speed of microwave cooking. It operates with the door closed
and the turntable rotating. The grill may be preheated before
adding the foods.
for MW+GRILL cooking: is similar to that used in
MW + CON - it should allow the microwaves to pass through
it but it should also be flameproof (able to withstand the
direct heat, often at close proximity, of the grill). Stand
dishes on the high rack when possible. Deep dishes can be
put on the low rack.
suitable for MW + GRILL cooking: include dishes
of cooked food which need reheating and browning (such as
some baked pasta dishes) and foods which require a brief
cooking time with a browned top (such as fish with a sauce
on top). Also suitable are thick portions of food which
benefit from a brown crisp finish (such as chicken breasts
in breadcrumbs, turning them over half way through cooking).
the chart and method in the Operation and Cooking Guide.
We recommend standing the food on the low rack.
the chart and method in the Operation and Cooking Guide.
When roasting meat or poultry, stand it on the low rack.
It is a good idea to put a shallow dish of water beneath
the rack (i.e. on the turntable) to catch the meat or poultry
juices and to help prevent them from spitting and burning.
for Good Results
POWER LEVELS: in the recipes all MICROWAVE cooking
is done on P/LEVEL 100% unless otherwise stated.
to preheat the oven, use CONV mode (if your cooker has a
GRILL + CONV mode, use this for preheating). When converting
a conventional recipe to cook in your combination cooker,
it is advisable to preheat the oven first.
TIMES: use the times given in the recipes as a
guide and check in the conventional way to make sure the
food is cooked to your liking. When cooking on MW + CONV,
if the finished dish is cooked but not brown enough, continue
cooking for a little longer on CONV only. When cooking on
MW + CONV or MW + GRILL, if the food bubbles over, reduce
the microwave P/LEVEL and cook for slightly longer.
temperature: Add more time when using chilled or frozen
size, density: Whole food such as a potato takes more time
to cook than sliced or cubed potato. Ground meat takes less
time than large pieces. Compact food such as mashed potato
takes longer time to cook than a bowl of rice.
volume increases: So does the cooking time. As a general
rule cooking time increases about one half when doubling
dishes: Speeds up the cooking time and prevents splattering.
Please read page 2 for the best cookware to use. We used
ovenproof and flameproof glass and plain pottery. A vented
lid will help to prevent food from boiling over. When cooking
on MW + CONV in a dish without a lid, use an ovenproof plate
to cover the foods. For convenience, we tend to keep the
low rack in the oven for all cooking modes apart from grilling.
Always use oven gloves – the oven interior, the racks and
the dishes will be hot.
for best results, use a standard set of measuring spoons
– 1.25ml, 2.5ml, 5ml and 15 ml; 1/4tsp. 1/2tsp, 1tsp and
1 tbsp - available from cookware shops and supermarkets.
Please note that 1 glass measures 250 ml. in the recipes.
Use either metric or imperial measures- don't mix them in
a recipe. We used size 2 eggs.
DEFROSTING: It is preferable to defrost at lower power settings.
Cover the food to ensure even defrosting. Drain liquid as
it accumulates. Shield parts of the food that are defrosting
too quickly with aluminum foil. (Ex: Chicken wings, on whole
chickens large pieces of meat etc.) Rotate large pieces
of meat during defrosting. Separate the items during the
defrosting as soon as softened. This will speed up the process.
Store leftovers in containers that can be put directly into
the microwave. Reheat preferably on lower power. Cut large
pieces into slices when possible, which will speed up heating.
Covering the food speeds up the process and reheats more
RECIPES FROM TRADITIONAL TO MICROWAVE: Use same ingredients,
same proportions but reduce the cooking liquids by-25%.
Reduce the cooking time by – 25% as a general rule but to
be on the safe side test after the minimum time recommended.
When moist heat is needed use the microwave, to crisp or
brown turn to conventional cooking.
Starting to Cook in Your Combination Cooker
be too ambitious and try to cook everything in it. If this
is your first combination cooker (and in particular, if
this is your first microwave) you may find it helpful to
get used to cooking on one mode at a time. Although the
oven cools quickly after being used on a combination mode,
it is sensible to first cook those dishes needing MICROWAVE
only. Remember that many dishes actually improve with standing
and reheating, as the flavors have time to blend and mellow.
So don't be afraid to cook these first and reheat them quickly,
just before serving. When converting a favorite recipe for
the combination cooker, look for a similar recipe in this
book and use it as a guide. Generally, you will need to
use a higher temperature than you would in conventional
cooking, together with a P/LEVEL of 20-50%. Please note
our suggestions in COOKING TIMES above too.
Fact in Microwave Cooking
all know that in conventional cooking, certain characteristics
of food make the difference between a successful result
and one which is not so good. In microwave cooking, some
of these characteristics are even more important.
quality of the food: poor quality ingredients are
rarely improved by any method of cooking and this applies
particularly to microwave cooking as the process is so fast.
the colder the food before cooking, the longer it will take
the cooking time relates to the amount of food in the microwave
cooker. Never overload. For very large quantities it is
better, and may be quicker, to cook in two or more batches.
the more porous the food, the faster it will cook, A light
airy cake mixture will cook faster than jacket potatoes,
minced beef faster than a joint.
Size and shape: uniform shapes cook more
evenly. In an irregular shape, such as a leg of lamb, the
thinner parts will cook faster than the thick part. Bones
and rolled joints cook more evenly and are easier to carve.
The smaller each individual piece of food (such as the vegetables
in a soup) the quicker the cooking.
and sugars: These attract the microwaves and reach
a higher temperature than the surrounding food. Select meat
with an even distribution of fat. Thoroughly mix sugar with
other ingredients. Handle pastry-wrapped foods such as sausage
rolls, mince pies or jam doughnuts carefully as the filling
gets hotter than the surrounding food.
there is very little evaporation in microwave cooking so
foods can be cooked in the minimum of water. Casseroles
need about half the usual amount of stock, vegetables need
only two or three tablespoons of water. Cake batters, however,
should be softer than conventional recipes.
meat and poultry bones conduct heat, therefore the areas
around them will cook faster than the rest of the meat.
Insert a microwave meat thermometer into the thickest part
of the flesh away from any bone for an accurate reading.
language of microwave cooking
through a microwave recipe book, you may have come across
some terms with which you are not familiar. Many are well-known
cookery techniques or methods but, due to the speed of microwave
cooking, are worth reviewing. Others are quite new.
As a rough guide most foods will require approximately a
quarter to one third of the conventional cooking time. If
unsure, always underestimate the time needed, check the
result and continue cooking if needed. The more food, the
longer the cooking time. When doubling a recipe, increase
the cooking time by half and check the result.
Cover foods for the same reasons as in conventional cooking
- to retain moisture, speed up cooking and to help tenderize
vegetables, casseroles, fish. Use a vented lid for foods
with a high liquid content, such as soups, to allow steam
to escape and prevent the liquid boiling over. Covering
food with a sauce has the same effect as using a lid. When
cooking meat or poultry, roasting bags may be used to prevent
splattering on the oven walls.
for a fry finish on cakes and crumbles; for quick-cooking
items such as scrambled eggs; and for foods which need frequent
stirring like sauces and custard.
Time: Because microwaves only penetrate the food
to a depth of about 5 cm/2 in, the centre of larger items
cooks by the conduction of heat, just as it does in conventional
cooking. This process continues when the microwave has switched
off, so the food should be allowed to stand before serving.
It can be left in the microwave cooker or it may be removed
while the cooker is used to cook other dishes. Standing
time is particularly important when cooking large pieces
of meat and when baking cakes.
Food nearest the sides of the dish cooks faster than at
the centre. Stirring will speed up its cooking time and
ensure even cooking. Particularly sensitive foods, such
as scrambled eggs and sauces, need frequent stirring during
When thawing, heating or cooking large items, such as a
whole chicken, star off by placing the food upside down.
Turn it over half way through the required time.
and rearranging: The food at the outer edges of
the turntable or dish generally receives more microwave
energy than that at the centre, so place thicker or larger
portions of food to the outher edge. Rearranging, like stirring,
moves the food and encourages even cooking - essential with
food which cannot be stirred. Move the food from the centre
of the dish to the outside.
If microwaves are prevented from entering it, the food will
not cook. Very small pieces of foil may be used to cover
thinner parts such as chicken legs, fish tails or meat bones
for the first half of the cooking time. Remove it to complete
cooking. Use only small pieces of foil and make sure it
will not touch the cooker walls.
Pricking and Scoring: Any food which is completely
covered with a skin or membrane must have it broken otherwise
pressure will build up inside and it will burst open. This
includes foods such as jacket potatoes and other whole vegetables,
chicken livers and egg yolks. Pierce them with a fork or
skewer. Never try to cook eggs in the shell.
Once you are familiar with microwave cooking you
will appreciate that the lack of browning is fat out-weighed
by the many advantages. Large items with long cooking times
will brown slightly, while small items may need some help.
In the recipes we have suggested, which can be found in
different article, where appropriate ways to add colour
to foods, such as brushing the skin of a chicken with soy
sauce or with melted butter and paprika.
When reheating foods in flat-topped containers, plated meals
with rigid plate vovers and plates separated by plate rings.
For even heating arrange the plates or containers so that
thicker foods such as jacket potatoes are evenly distributed
in the stack, e.g. with the potato on the lower plate (or
container) on the opposite side to the potato on the upper
plate (or container). Stack no more than two plates or containers
for best results.
recipes call for "Lower element heating" Unless