If you’re as fatigued with celebrity endorsements as I am, then it’s very easy to roll your eyes and sigh at Sage’s Quick Touch Crisp microwave co-branded with the name and image of celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. If you can keep an open mind though, as I did, then you’ll find a lot to like in this combination microwave. It’s worth noting now that there are two versions of this device, The Quick Touch and the The Quick Touch Crisp, here we’re looking at the latter, the combi-microwave version, but much of this review applies to the cheaper microwave-only model too, which costs around £260.
One of the most remarkable things about the Quick Touch Crisp is how easy it is to use. The push dials and buttons are all clearly labelled, relying on words rather than indecipherable squiggly icons. With some modes, the dials are also used to navigate the simple menu system displayed on the huge screen just above the controls. Rather than complicating matters, it’s a real boon making it a snap to understand what options you’ve selected. This is by far the easiest to use microwave I’ve ever seen.
While this microwave bears Heston Blumenthal’s name, it’s all about everyday cooking rather than the more precise and intricate ‘molecular gastronomy’ that the famed chef is known for. It certainly had no trouble with the mundane task of defrosting a 125g chicken breast. It blitzed through the task in just two and a half minutes, yet the breast was perfectly defrosted with not an icy patch to be seen. It was a bit overdone around the edges, but that’s not unusual.
The Quick Touch Crisp also fared well at grilling a chicken breast. The combination grill-microwave program was based not only on weight, but also on food type. It thoroughly cooked through our test breast in six and a half minutes – one of the shortest times we’ve seen so far in this benchmark. The end result wasn’t browned in any way, but it was moist and evenly cooked.
I’m not really surprised by the Quick Touch Crisp’s spot-on performance as it managed to maintain a very even output wattage. It started our power output testing with a reading of 400W, climbed to 450W and stayed there for the third iteration giving an average of 433W.
Although the Quick Touch Crisp took a lengthy nine and a half minutes to brown a slice of medium thickness white bread, the results were almost flawless. The almost perfectly even golden colour was only spoilt by a few spots of darkness. Plus, it accomplished this without making a racket. Noise levels stayed at a fairly constant 59-62dB.
A 250g jacket potato was cooked through with a piping hot centre of 98.7 degrees celsius. Temperatures throughout the rest of the potato didn’t dip too radically, measuring 88.1 and 86 degrees on the left and right-hand sides respectively.
Sage’s Quick Touch Crisp will be out of reach for many due to its high price, it’s significantly more expensive than any counter-top microwave we’ve seen, but if you have money to spare then this is the combi microwave to get. I promise you won’t regret it.
|Type – turntable or flatbed||Turntable|
|Dimensions with door open||305x515x742mm|
|Door hinge location||Left|
|Stated power output||900W|
|Power and capacity|
|Max countdown on timer||95min|
|Controls type||Push dials and buttons|
|Warranty||One year RTB|