The microwave oven is an invaluable cooking assistant that nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of consumers in the UK could not live without, according to a new survey commissioned by leading major home appliance manufacturer, Whirlpool.
The survey of 1,860 Europeans, which coincides with the launch of the new Whirlpool Jet Cuisine microwave oven, has also revealed of the six countries represented, those from the UK are most likely to use their microwaves to cook entire recipes (22 per cent).
While the microwave oven has been seen, until just a few years ago, as only suitable for defrosting and reheating food, today it is recognised as a personal ally for 73 per cent of Britons, preserving time through quicker cooking, easier clean-up and intuitive usage.
As well as convenience, the British also appreciate the microwave for its healthy cooking benefits, with half from the UK recognising the microwave’s ability to preserve the nutritional properties of food and accentuate its flavours.
The multitude of cooking functions now available is just one of the reasons why 63 per cent of UK residents consider the microwave such a versatile tool, despite 66 per cent admitting they are beginners in microwave cooking. The ‘grill’ function is more common in the UK than in any other country surveyed (44 per cent), while the ‘steam’ and ‘crisp’ functions are also popular choices. ‘Autodefrost’ is owned by 68 per cent, while the ‘Auto recipe’ function can also be found on half (51 per cent) of microwaves in UK households.
With 79 per cent expressing a desire to learn how to use their appliance to its full potential, and 67 per cent hoping to adjust traditional recipes to cook in the microwave, it is perhaps no wonder the microwave cooking trend is taking root in the UK, albeit more slowly than in other European countries.
Indeed, the survey has demonstrated many multicultural culinary capabilities have already been mastered in the microwave. Vegetables, cooked in a variety of different ways top the list of food most often prepared using a microwave for the majority of Europeans. However, traditional foods were also high up the list, with vegetable au gratin and ratatouille for the French, pizza for the Italians and trusty jacket potatoes and scrambled eggs for Britons!
Many microwave accessories are finding their way into kitchens in the UK to facilitate these, with half (51 per cent) of Britons owning a food cover, 22 per cent possessing a grill grid and 13 per cent a crisp plate.
Yet, while respondents from the UK might feel they have a lot more to learn about their kitchen ally’s culinary capabilities, many are making full use of the microwave’s additional uses. One in three British women recognise the enormous potential of the microwave beyond cooking, with 67 per cent using them to heat therapeutic pillows, 35 per cent to sterilise containers, dummies, sponges and fabrics, and 15 per cent for drying herbs.
In addition to providing lifestyle support at home, the microwave is also an invaluable tool elsewhere. More than a third of all Britons who eat away from home take a homemade lunch to heat up in the microwave, with the majority doing so in order to eat in the office (65 per cent). Of these, 60 per cent agree taking a microwavable homemade lunch saves time, 37 per cent that they do so for economic reasons, and a quarter that it helps to maintain a healthy diet.
In fact, the features and settings of a high-performance microwave oven, such as the new Jet Cuisine, can be combined to create any number of cooking methods. Key features and benefits include:
• Freestanding combination microwave with side opening door and touch-sensor control panel.
• 1000W microwave with seven power levels and ten automatic programme settings.
• 6th Sense® weight sensor technology detects the food weight to automatically set the time and cooking parameters within Defrost, Crisp and Steam functions.
• Forced air convection system distributes a powerful airflow for even cooking and uses less time and energy.
• Unique Crisp® function using a special plate to crisp and brown that requires little or no fat, which can be combined with the speed of the Jet Defrost function and Bread Defrost function to thaw out and crisp frozen bread.
• Steam setting for quick and healthy meals using the special steamer dish.
• Automatic and manual grill functions that can be used for solo or combi-grill cooking.
• Whirlpool 3D microwave distribution system for even and thorough cooking.
• Dimensions: H 333 x W 548 x D 525
Juliana Sado, Senior Brand Marketing Manager Northern Europe, says: “It’s great to see UK consumers making full use of their microwave ovens, both as a cooking ally and beyond. With more than half of respondents wanting to broaden their knowledge and usage even further, it is vital that their microwave too is up to the challenge.
“That’s why Whirlpool has developed the new Jet Cuisine, a state of the art microwave oven that can create dishes originating from an array of cooking techniques. The easy-to-use functions combined with Whirlpool’s unique 6th Sense technology, which automatically regulates cooking time and required level of power, allows the user to sauté, fry, steam and crisp food to perfection and in record time. What’s more, traditional oven dishes can be cooked using less time and energy than a traditional oven, thanks to the integrated forced air convection system that ensures the heat is spread evenly around the food.”
About Whirlpool Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA)
With around 10,400 employees, a sales presence in over 30 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and manufacturing sites in seven countries, Whirlpool EMEA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Whirlpool Corporation. The world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, Whirlpool Corporation had annual sales in 2012 of $18.1 billion, 68,000 employees, and 65 manufacturing and technology research centres around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Whirlpool’s European Operations’ Centre is located in Comerio (VA), Italy. For further information on the company, please visit the Website www.whirlpoolcorp.com.
18th February 2014
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