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Combination Microwave


deckhand
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9 minutes ago, deckhand said:

Dos anyone use a Combination Microwave instead of a conventional cooker?  I know its electric but im reading its more efficient. Any feedback welcome

 

We had a Panasonic one at home a few years back.

 

It lasted about 18 months, and the magnetron died.

 

I'm not sure they are a good combination.

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im thinking of one for the boat.  we are doing the boat up. New ovens are around the £500 mark compared to these combination microwaves starting at approx £130. I know that we could cook meat etc in one of these. Just wondering if anyone sees any negatives for a boat? 

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44 minutes ago, deckhand said:

im thinking of one for the boat.  we are doing the boat up. New ovens are around the £500 mark compared to these combination microwaves starting at approx £130. I know that we could cook meat etc in one of these. Just wondering if anyone sees any negatives for a boat? 

 

Well you said 'any feedback welcome' so I gave mine. Reliability is an issue whether on a boat or in a house.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, The Happy Nomad said:

 

Well you said 'any feedback welcome' so I gave mine. Reliability is an issue whether on a boat or in a house.

 

 

Yes, thankyou, i appreciate your reply.  Ive not had one of these before and just wondering whether people use these instead of an oven.  Thank you for your feedback. It does help

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I have a Panasonic combination at home which I have been very happy with for the last fifteen years, my mother has one which she has been using for longer - I think the old ones are better (Panasonics, not mothers). I only use it for things like jacket spuds and warming pies, whether it would work for a souffle or Yorkshire pudd'n, I have no idea.

 

Microwaves do have a huge power draw - the listed power is the output power, not the input - so an 850w microwave will be drawing 16-1700w, and if you add a 1.5kw heating element on top of that, it might be a bit much even for shore-power in a marina. I love the convenience of a microwave, so for the camper I bought a low power version to work via a 1000w inverter (this one from Kitchenware Online) which I am very happy with - it's perfect for reheating a pasty, heating tinned vegetables, or warming a cup of soup with reduced washing up and faff!

 

 

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A good one is great, but most folk don't use a microwave to anything like the full potential and powering one with a grill element in as well on a boat with limited power is tricky.

Running  one on an inverter is a battery killer and making up the electricity again to recharge the batteries is daft.

Gas is for cooking,electricity is for lights and radio/TV

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As a very good general rule, using battery provided electricity to create heat, and that includes cooking, is a bad idea on a boat and can all too easily result in perpetual battery problems. However, with modern engines with high output alternators a microwave (not a combi) might be doable with a bit of care because of the small amount of time they run for.

 

As Bacchus implied, you need to double the cooking power (850W or whatever) to estimate the power consumed and then divide that figure by 10 to see how many amps it will draw from the battery, so: 850W cooking power = 1700W input power = 170 amps from the battery. Now, if you have a 150 amp alternator running fast enough while the microwave is in use, that leaves about 20 amps for the battery to supply. Maybe similar to showering with a water pump and  shower pump running. Assume a 3 minute cooking time, and that gives 1 Ah of battery charge that is needed to replace what you took out. That should be no problem. (hope my maths is correct).

 

Without the engine running we get 170 Amps x 3minutes / 60 minutes (to give Ah) = 25.5 Ah and that may well take a lot of recharging. its getting on for the consumption of a modern  12V fridge over 24 hours. That is very different battery and charging wise.

 

The oven is different because you may be running that for maybe an hour or two, not a good idea. However fit a suitable generator, so no battery power is involved and then it is all easy, you might as well have and electric cooker as long as you can run it from the generator but that may well be another £10,000.

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I just had a look at our ancient Combi, 650 watts microwave which is pretty piddling by modern standards. Label says input power is 1250w for microwave and 1400w for oven heater, ie 2650w total. Which is a lot for even a well equipped boat unless designed from the outset for “gas free”.

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2 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

Assume a 3 minute cooking time, and that gives 1 Ah of battery charge that is needed to replace what you took out. That should be no problem. (hope my maths is correct).

 

 

I wouldn't mind betting roasting say, a chicken in one still takes at least half an hour. OTOH I doubt the grill element runs at full power all the time, or even the microwave function.

 

They have not however, achieved much market penetration so can't be that good. The odd person raves about them but few houses have them. 

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3 hours ago, Bacchus said:

 

 

I love the convenience of a microwave, so for the camper I bought a low power version to work via a 1000w inverter (this one from Kitchenware Online) which I am very happy with - it's perfect for reheating a pasty, heating tinned vegetables, or warming a cup of soup with reduced washing up and faff!

 

 

I have looked at this one that you suggested. We are just about to order so appreciate the pointer.  Our inverter is a 1000w so this fits the bill. Thankyou.   Sincere thanks to everyone for their help and advice.  It really has helped.

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11 hours ago, deckhand said:

Dos anyone use a Combination Microwave instead of a conventional cooker?  I know its electric but im reading its more efficient. Any feedback welcome

 

Have been using combination microwaves for over 30 years, at home not on a boat.

 

The modern ones will roast meals/heat food etc in a quarter of the time of a domestic oven which is a massive help when working to the extent that I rarely used my oven I, tend not to use it so much now am retired and have more time to cook

 

They are also very cheap now, the first one I bought in the 1980's was £350, the latest, a Panasonic, was £160 a year or two ago.

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5 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

 

Without the engine running we get 170 Amps x 3minutes / 60 minutes (to give Ah) = 25.5 Ah and that may well take a lot of recharging. its getting on for the consumption of a modern  12V fridge over 24 hours. That is very different battery and charging wise.

 

 

Your maths is a bit out.  170A for 3mins is 510Aminutes, which is 8.5Ah.

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9 minutes ago, Chewbacka said:

Your maths is a bit out.  170A for 3mins is 510Aminutes, which is 8.5Ah.

 

Thats complicated, ...........

 

3 minutes is 1/20th of an hour, so just divide 170 by 20 and get 8.5Ah

 

If it was 10 minutes divide 170 by 6

If it was 30 minutes divide 170 by 2

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6 hours ago, MtB said:

 

I wouldn't mind betting roasting say, a chicken in one still takes at least half an hour. OTOH I doubt the grill element runs at full power all the time, or even the microwave function.

 

They have not however, achieved much market penetration so can't be that good. The odd person raves about them but few houses have them. 

 

That is why my last paragraph referred to the oven, not the microwave, and  said it was not a good idea unless they fitted a generator at around £10,000

6 hours ago, deckhand said:

I have looked at this one that you suggested. We are just about to order so appreciate the pointer.  Our inverter is a 1000w so this fits the bill. Thankyou.   Sincere thanks to everyone for their help and advice.  It really has helped.

 

1000W inverter will not do for the figures Nicknorman gave, even if you can run the two parts individually. Start looking for 2000 or 3000 watt ones.

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I had one on the boat for a few years and then it died. They're not really as good as a proper oven for cooking.

 

Microwaves and electric ovens are fine on boats if you're hooked up to shore power. That's the only time I use my microwave. Unless you have an electrical setup specifically designed for an all electric boat then forget about running one regularly off grid. Ditto, electric kettles and any other high power mains item.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, George and Dragon said:

Can I divert the topic slightly? I have a microwave in the house which appers to offer various power levels but these are achieved by altering the time the cooker is cooking (duty cycle). Do all microwaves work like this or is there another way of reducing the output power?

 

Do you mean they kick in and out? And give bursts of power?

 

That is a very interesting question because all the microwaves we have owned and still own do this.

 

Edit - googling reveals that is indeed the most common way of adjusting the 'power'.

Edited by The Happy Nomad
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Just now, The Happy Nomad said:

 

Do you mean they kick in and out? And give bursts of power?

 

That is a very interesting question because all the microwaves we have owned and still own do this.

Exactly

They give full output for 60s/min on 100% and for 6s/min on 10% (usually 2x 3s busrts). Maybe magnetrons only work like this.

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8 hours ago, George and Dragon said:

Exactly

They give full output for 60s/min on 100% and for 6s/min on 10% (usually 2x 3s busrts). Maybe magnetrons only work like this.

 

 

Interesting. I did wonder whether the low power one that I bought was adapted simply by wiring the "full power" button to the "half power" setting, but it would appear that it's not that simple

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