If you’ve followed my blog since the start (coming up for 7 years in Jan!!) you’ll know I’m not a very good cook… In fact I’m the worst!
I can make a mean salad… but once you have to fire up the gas or turn on the oven: BEWARE.
Partly this comes down to a form of self-diagnosed ADD – I’ve always got far better things to do than watch a pot from boiling over or a piece of toast from burning through. (YES – that bad!)
I find that I start something and suddenly remember an important email I have to send, or social post I have to share…. and then I get lost in the internet time machine and emerge hours later in a plume of smoke!
This has meant that my long-suffering husband has had to pick up the slack in the kitchen. He’s done it very graciously – to be fair he actually enjoys it – but the truth is that as the work-from-home partner I should surely be getting more of the suppers on the table by the time he gets home (often after 6!)
Enter my newest life-saving device…. The LG NeoChef microwave!
Now we’ve not owned a microwave for almost 2 years. We got rid of our enormous antique one before our renovations and then realised we’d mostly been using it to warm up our Happy Huggers, left-overs and milk for milo – so was there any point???
During our kitchen renovations I did make allowance for a (hidden) one, but our budget hadn’t stretched that far yet when LG approached me to review their new LG NeoChef. The space was still empty and waiting to be filled so obviously I was quick to say yes!
OK I lie, the space wasn’t empty it looked like this –> 😉
Little did I know when I took delivery of the microwave that this was not just any microwave!
What a bonus to discover that this is essentially a game-changer in the world of microwaves. Read on to find out why…
How perfectly does it complete my kitchen!?? I know!
I love how modern and minimalistic the design is – no knobs or buttons. Just clean, simple, sophisticated design. It has a sleek glass door and integrated control panel, rounded pocket-style handle to the side and the menu is hidden behind the door. The dial presses inwards and outwards so can be tucked away when not in use! The microwave is compact, but has an increased internal capacity to allow for using larger dishes. Not only does it look beautifully stylish in my space, it’s also got some amazing technology behind it’s pretty face!
The NeoChef has Smart Inverter technology that enables more precise temperature control to help you cook a variety of dishes that microwaves were previously never able to prepare. The oven uses linear power control between 300 to 1,200 watts to evenly cook or defrost food, while at the same time preserving nutrients and locking in flavour.
Even Heating technology allows you to heat every dish to an even temperature throughout which means you won’t end up with a burning hot bowl of soup while the contents remains ice cold! Even Defrosting means that meat can be evenly defrosted more thoroughly than before. In addition, LG’s advanced microwave can be used to make healthy, lactobacilli-infused yogurt, and with its Healthy Fry feature is even capable of preserving the distinct taste of each dish while making them healthier, with less oil and 72 percent less fat.
An Anti-Bacterial EasyClean™ interior coating makes cleaning simple when just a few wipes are all it takes to clean the interior. The LED light in the NeoChef is x3 brighter than regular microwave ovens which lets you easily check your food without stopping and starting the machine. I also love the hexagonal Stable Ring that stabilizes the turntable with six support points, instead of the usual 3 or 4. This ensures no “tippage” or spillage!!
There are various preset modes on the menu, namely Cook Mode – timed cooking where you manually set the time and press start. You can also choose between power levels. High at 1200W will boil water, 1000W will reheat foods, 700W will bake breads, 400W to thaw meat, and 200W to soften butter. The Keep Warm function will keep hot, cooked food at serving temperature.
Inverter Cook is the preprogrammed roast setting. You select the programme, food type and then weight, and it does the rest. This is the mode that I used below. You can also soften and melt cheese, butter, ice-cream and chocolate under this function. Defrost and cook in one step, and even make your own yoghurt.
The Popular Menu has been preprogrammed to automatically cook foods and includes meals from across the world, with the recipes in the owner’s manual. The Inverter Defrost function is certainly one of my most used features – I’m such a last minute chef that often I find myself with a freezer full of frozen food at 5pm! Fail! Now all I need to do is select between meat, poultry, fish or bread, turn the dial to the weight of the item and hit start.
But enough about all these features… does it do what it says it’s going to do???
Roast Chicken Recipe for the LG NeoChef microwave
As I mentioned earlier I’m no chef… but now, thanks to the NeoChef I too can prepare a meal for my family because there is a preset menu on the inside of the door making it as easy as a 1, 2, 3!
One of the presets on the door is Roast Chicken. Over the weekend I decided to give it a bash, adding a dash of French flavour, as we were having our family around for a French-inspired evening…
French Roast Chicken Recipe
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup finely diced carrots
- 1/3 cup finely diced onion
- 1/3 cup finely diced celery
- 1 teaspoon thyme, savory or mixed herbs, or 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- One 1.5kg chicken
- Freshly ground pepper
- Parsley stems
- Celery leaves
- Six thick lemon slices
- 1/2 cup sliced onion
- 1/2 cup sliced carrots
On the stovetop melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a frying pan.
Add the diced carrots, onion and celery and cook over moderate heat until softened.
Stir in the herbs (I had genuine French herbs from France – a gift from a well-travelled friend!)
Wash the chicken rapidly inside and out with hot water and pat thoroughly dry.
Pull the neck skin up over the breast and secure it to the back with a toothpick.
Salt and pepper the cavity and spoon in the cooked vegetables, a handful of parsley stems and celery leaves and the lemon slices.
Place the chicken in a microwave proof roasting cish (we chose Pyrex glass)
Scatter the remaining sliced onion and carrot all around the chicken. (We initially added baby potatoes too but I recommend doing these separately as they messed with the timing of the preset.)
Massage the chicken all over with 1 tablespoon of the butter, add salt and herbs.
Secure the open end with a toothpick.
Place the dish in the microwave and press the Roast Chicken pre-set on the menu (1.2)
The bonus is that everything is done via a touchpad on the right and the convenient menu is hidden behind the door so you can see which setting to turn on right there – no need to find the manual!! All you do is input the menu number from the touchpad and then use the pop out knob to adjust the menu and time you need.
Be sure to set the right amount of kg’s for your chicken in the microwave settings. Depending on the size of the chicken the microwave will determine the amount of time it will take to roast your chicken. My 1.3 kg chicken took 40 mins but was a little bit underdone as I had thrown in the extra baby potatoes. Bear this in mind and rather don’t add extra items to the dish as you might find it affects the cooking time! On my second attempt without the baby potatoes I set the kg’s at 1.4kg for a 1.35kg chicken and it came out right.
NB Thoroughly wash all surfaces and utensils that have been in contact with the raw chicken.
When the first chime sounds, take out the chicken immediately, drain the juices then turn over the chicken and press START again.
Once the second chime goes, test for doneness. The drumsticks should move easily in their sockets; their flesh should feel somewhat soft and the juices should run clear. There should be no pink/ raw meat, only white meat.
Take the dish out of the microwave and cover with foil (shiny side in) for 15 mins. This ensures that the chicken continues to cook while it stands but is not left feeling dry and rubbery like normal microwave chicken…. in fact this chicken tastes exactly like a roast chicken and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference at all unless you knew the secret!
The benefits of using the LG NeoChef are numerous and listed above… but what did I think? Well I think it’s a really useful addition to my kitchen (and would be especially useful for those who don’t have space for an oven) It uses less electricity, doesn’t require pre-heating and is easier to clean, plus it is just much more convenient!
One thing I would say though is that I really feel there could be a recipe book that comes alongside the purchase to help you on your way with this new style of cooking. There are a few recipes in the owner’s manual, but I feel they could do more in this area.
But don’t just take my word for it. Check out the LG NeoChef to find out more about the product.
Images: Kathryn Rossiter
Disclosure: 2. LG sent me the NeoChef Grill (MH8265CIS) to review. All thoughts, images and opinions are my own.
 Only available on Grill and Convection microwave as an optional feature
 Based on LG’s internal test, fried dishes cooked by LG’s new microwave oven contains 72 percent less fat compared to deep frying