What is the Sharp R861SLM
The Sharp R861SLM is a combi microwave, grill and convection oven sporting a modern design.
It looks pricier than it is, thanks to a pull-down door and attractive finish with stainless steel highlights. Controls are intuitive and it cooks fairly evenly, but the appliance can on occasion vibrate noisily.
Sharp R861SLM – Design and Features
The Sharp looks modern thanks to its oven-style pull-down door and flatbed design; there’s no turntable. This results in significantly more cooking space, which is great so long as the appliance does a good job of cooking food evenly.
I wasn’t a fan of the flatbed’s look, though: it’s white, with a giant Sharp logo on it. On the outside, however, the brushed stainless steel and black glass finish is attractive, and makes for an appliance that appears far more expensive than it is. Thankfully, it’s pristine looks are easily maintained, since it isn’t a magnet for fingerprints.
The Sharp appliance is deeper than most, which means there’s less usable worktop space in front of it once it’s in position on the worktop. To its credit, it has ridiculously effective non-slip feet that work similarly to suction pads. Once in place, this appliance is difficult to move; it will be well and truly attached to whichever surface you place it on.
The buttons and display can be found on the right-hand side, as is the convention, and they’re intuitive enough that you needn’t look at the instructions. You get all the standard features: buttons to select the time in 10-minute, one-minute and 10-second increments; defrost by weight or time; plus the ability to select cooking method by microwave, grill, oven or a combination of the microwave with one of the others. There’s also a clock, kitchen timer, delay timer and child-safety lock.
There are six auto menu functions at the press of a button: jacket potato, pizza, rice, oven chips, cake and roast chicken. But there are a further seven functions (auto reheat, beverages, vegetables, soup, grilled bacon, grilled fish pieces, roast beef/lamb) that you can select by pushing the up and down buttons. When the door of the microwave is open, there’s a handy reminder across the top that tells you what these functions are.
However, the instructions aren’t so great at telling you when to use the supplied wire rack and baking tray. The rack is presumably for grilling and the tray for the convection oven. And I’d assume that since both are metal, they shouldn’t be used in combination with the microwave.
The tray fits under – but, annoyingly, not on top of – the rack, which is handy for storage purposes. However, there’s no guidance on whether you’re supposed to use the two together.
Also baffling is that both the rack and tray are circular. The whole point of a flatbed design is for its larger cooking space, so surely it should be possible to grill enough cheese on toast to feed the family. You could fit twice as much in the Sharp’s grill if the rack filled the space available.