Sharp is revolutionising the Australian kitchen with a new microwave that both defies convention and makes efficient use of space, all the while re-inforcing the message of convenient, clean and healthy cooking.
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Combining a steam oven, grill and microwave, the company’s Steamwave AX1100J oven represents the 7th generation of its foray into steam microwave cooking, and gives a total of 27 auto menus and 6 manual functions that make preparing a healthy meal easier for everyone in the family.
Mark Beard, national marketing manager for Sharp, says the AX1100J has been introduced to fill a gap within Sharp’s product line in Australia, and sits in between its more conventional microwave ovens and its big brother, the Supersteam Microwave oven.
With 900W micro output power, 1100W grill heater, and giving 100% built in steam cooking, the unit is about the same size externally on the kitchen bench as a conventional microwave oven. However there are a couple of obvious differences.
Instead of a turntable inside, the device has a flat bed which makes it a lot easier to clean. You can also slot in two trays inside the unit, similar to a normal oven, which means you can cook a whole meal in one go on different levels to feed the whole family.
Unlike traditional microwave cooking when using the steam cooking function however, cooking times are a little longer and are more in line with conventional oven cooking times. However, the benefit of using steam cooking, is that meals are healthier requiring less fat or additives like salt, and retain the nutrients and texture of the food being cooked, thus giving you a tastier outcome.
The steam is generated through a 500ml water tank that is filled with fresh water and slotted in. Once the desired program has been set and the device turned on, steam is generated and kept sealed behind a solid double layered door. Any excess water is collected through a drip tray located under the device so that the bench remains completely dry.
The unit also has two steam settings, High or Low, letting you choose the desired level of steam required for the food being cooked, and the device will also let you know when you need to add more water, typically around every 2 hours of cooking, taking all the stress out of having to watch food being steamed.
Setting a mixed cooking option will give you the benefit of being able to grill your food at the same time, giving the dish a more appealing complexion as well as a crispier finish.
The real benefit of the AX1100J however, is that it eliminates a lot of the flotsam and jetsam of a normal steam cooking experience in the kitchen. You don’t need to have any extra steaming appliances like bamboo or plastic baskets, or benchtop steaming appliances taking up any valuable space or getting in your way.
And it is also a lot safer and more convenient because you don’t have to boil pans full of water or keep adding hot water to a dish that’s being steamed. And ultimately it is a much cleaner way to enjoy steam cooked food, which is ultimately more beneficial for your health.
The Sharp AX1100J Steamwave will be available from leading appliance retailers next month at an RRP of $769. The unit comes with two steel trays as well as a glass tray which can be used with the rack for grilling.