I mean I have a similar one at home and therein lies the problem. The one at home, a Sharp, does everything I want a combination oven to do....and this one, a Sanyo, doesn't.
I think the clue should've been that it never claimed to be a true combination oven, at least not to the level I was expecting. I just hoped from the reviews I'd read and the spec of the thing that it would be.
As a 3-in-1 oven it's fine. The microwave part nukes, the convection part cooks and the grill, well I'm not sure about that as a grill here is a broiler. So individually, we're fine.
But when we get to combining them, that's when we hit a snag. I wanted to fix a baked/jacket potato. Should've been simple and something that the Sharp does to prefection in about 10-12 minutes depending on the size of the spud. I use the unit's combination settings to nuke it (70% of full power) and convect it (is that even a word ??) at 350 degrees for 8 minutes and then have it on convection only for the last 4 minutes to really crisp up the outside so it comes out like a proper oven baked potato.....skin crispy and flaking off.
I have total control over the time, the power levels and the oven temperature at all stages and apart from turning the spud over part way into the process to stop it getting a hard spot from the extra heat of the turntable, it's a 'go away and forget about it' process.
Now to the Sanyo. I set the microwave to 80% (it doesn't DO 70%) and give it 8 minutes. Hmmmmm. But I want it to be combined with convection cooking. Nope...can't do it. I try another way. I press the combi button twice which puts it on the microwave + convection option. Great. Now what ? Well nothing actually as that's my lot. I get no option to set anything apart from the time. I donno the power setting for the microwave or the temp of the convection oven so how can I decide on the time ?
In the end I simply used both functions separately........nuked the spud on 100% for 6 mins and then used the convection for another 6 mins but the skin never really crisped up. The potato WAS cooked nicely but didn't look or taste much different to if I'd used a bog standard microwave. Not a happy punter.
The instruction guide (which didn't even have a recipe section so I've no idea how to cook most food items) tells me the following for cooking a whole chicken.
Open door. Turn rotary dial to the left to get A9. The microwave and grill lights will come on. Select weight by turning rotary dial. Close door. Press start.
Now I'm all for cookers being intelligent enough to take decisions for me but I'd like to be able to at least know what temperature my bird is being cooked at and even have some say in picking that temperature. Maybe I need to just trust this auto option but if it's as crap as the one for a potato, then trust wasn't earned last night. I put in a potato (the booklet never said if this would produce a baked potato in the first place.....just a potato), set the auto dial to the 'potato' setting, pressed start and stood back. The oven clock said it would cook for 10 minutes and 10 minutes later I opened the door and discovered a hot but still very hard potato. Hard I tell you.
So it's going back. Not up to the job.
I love my Sharp.