The microwave

Our microwave stopped rotating its internal plate some time ago, so for well over a year we’ve been heating our dishes by putting them in for a minute or so, taking them out to stir the contents, and then putting them back in. Rinse, repeat. It was a pain, but I refused to buy a new microwave when this one worked fine, if a bit inconveniently. Besides, I remember when all microwaves worked like this. My parents’ machine did, and they’re still using it, because it was built in the days when folks expected appliances to last more than two years. That monster is around 25 years old.

Three days ago I put in some leftover chicken to reheat. It was in a glass container (we never reheat in plastic). After one minute on the medium setting I took it out to stir and put it back in. Forty seconds later, I heard POW and looked in to find my glass container in two pieces, with a few shards stuck in my chicken.

Last night I put in a different glass container to reheat. The exact same thing happened: POW, broken dish, less than one minute of heating.

Apparently our microwave has developed some sort of frighteningly strong hot spot, which can break the molecular bonds of glass in under a minute. Yikes.

I said, “Okay, let’s go microwave shopping before we break every container in our cupboards.” My wife jumped for joy, because she hates the whole take-out-and-stir regime, and the fact that it takes twice as long to heat anything. She’s been waiting for this appliance to die.

We found this at our local store:

Microwave

I said, “I’m not sure I can trust a brand name like Candy.” My wife said, “It’s a really good name.”

It is?

She’s right; it’s a German brand and has a good reputation. This is one of those disconnects that hits me at times: as an American shopper, I knew the good brands and what to look for. As a European shopper, I’m still lost. Candy, really?

Also, there’s no Consumer Reports over here to help me figure out what’s good and what’s overpriced. But I do have Google Translate, which helped me read the consumer reviews on Amazon.de. Lots of folks are happy with this microwave. I also found a German magazine that tested 13 microwaves and gave this one second place. (First place went to a Panasonic that cost more than twice as much.)

So I guess we’re getting a Candy microwave, which still makes me laugh. If I were into cooking sweets, I’d have to make some candy in my Candy just so I could say I did.

But I bet it won’t last 25 years.

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About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
This entry was posted in Europe, life. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The microwave

  1. Lisa Shaw says:

    My OTR microwave did the same thing, and I replaced it immediately. Hearing what might have happened if I’d kept using it, I’m so glad I did! I’m glad that yours did not injure you, but sorry about the loss of dishes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Sadly, the one I replaced was only a few years old, and the new one probably won’t last much more than that. The one that was in the house when I moved in, probably installed in the early 1990s (so it lasted 20 years, anyway), was an all-metal behemoth; the ones that have followed have been made mostly of plastic. Things just are not built that way anymore.

    • oregon expat says:

      No, they aren’t. My parents’ refrigerator is older than I am and still has a shiny finish. Our refrigerator is already dull and worn from less than a decade’s worth of fingerprints. The power button on our 8-year-old washing machine has caved in from a broken plastic tab that formerly held it in place, and I wonder how long it will be before something else breaks that can’t be fixed or worked around.

      On the other hand, the things that we want to break, so that we’ll have an excuse to replace them, stubbornly live forever.

  2. Astrid says:

    I’ve never heard of a German brand called Candy. But I checked some German magazines that do tests and it indeed is supposed to be a good quality thing. Still, never heard of Candy before… and look at that – they are an Italian firm. That is at least what Wikipedia says ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Sabine says:

    Wow! You must try and vaccum your floors with it ๐Ÿ™‚ The real brand name is Candy-Hoover and we all know what Hooverยดs are there for ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Jackie says:

    The internal light on our microwave has gone so if I microwave anything that might spill I get the torch out and shine that in. Cue laughter from my flatmate as I stand there like an idiot.. Apparently we can’t change the bulb, but have to get an engineer in to do it, which would cost an arm and a leg, or we get a new microwave which would be cheaper. Go figure!

  5. Linda Briganti says:

    When I remodeled my Kitchen 2 yrs. ago I installed all new, and not cheap, appliances. The refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave all had expensive failures. The critical parts were plastic! I remain disgusted.

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