Panasonic NN-DS596BBPQ Review

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Panasonic NN-DS596BBPQ Review

Unique steam cooking feature?
4-in-1 combination microwave, oven, grill and steam cooking
?
Flatbed design for 29% more space than conventional turntable model?
Very spacious 27 litre capacity giving you plenty of space to cook?

The Panasonic NN-DS596BBPQ is a great flatbed combination microwave that packs plenty of features including a unique steam cooking function.

The NN-DS596BBPQ is a 4-in-1 combination machine with microwave, oven, grill and steam cooking. The addition of the steam cooking function really makes it stand out as it not something you see everyday.

The steam cooking option can be used in the oven mode as well as the grill and microwave settings. This is a great setting as it allows you to keep your food moist whilst also reducing the time it can take to prepare dishes. Steaming is also a very healthy way to cook your food, particularly vegetables.

The NN-DS596BBPQ is a flatbed microwave rather than the classic turntable. As there is no awkward turntable in the middle of the machine it means you have an extra 29% of cooking space.

The flat base also makes it much easier to clean up spills and food splatter compared to conventional turntable models.

This Panasonic model comes with a handy ribbed tray (Pana-crunch pan). This fits the width of the machine and be used for the oven and grill.

The ribbed tray works particularly well in the combi mode. The microwave heat is absorbed by the base and used to cook the underside of the food. The grill cooks it from above resulting in food that is cooked evenly.

As you would expect from a well spec-ed Panasonic model, there are lots of useful auto cooking settings to help you make the most of your machine. In addition the inverter technology means food is cooked precisely without the need for constant re-heating.

Final Verdict: Given the price range (check the latest price on Amazon), this certainly not a budget option. However, if your budget can stretch this far then you will be getting a great machine that combines 4 appliances in 1 in an effective way. If you like the features but are slightly puff off by the price are however, put off by the price the Panasonic NN-DF386BBPQ could be a great alternative. This has most of the same features aside from the steam cooking and should cost you less.

Take a look at the reviews of our 3 best combination flatbed microwaves.

Russell Hobbs RHFM2363B Solo Microwave Review

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Russell Hobbs RHFM2363B Solo Microwave Review

800 Watts of power for quick and convenient cooking with 5 Power Levels?
23 Litre Capacity?
Flatbed technology for increased cooking capacity and easy cleaning?
Excellent defrost function?
Diamond cavity structure provides effective microwave distribution for better cooking?
Dimensions: 51 x 43 x 31 cm?

The Russell Hobbs RHFM2363B is an awesome choice if you are looking for a sleek solo flatbed microwave that combines excellent features with style. It is also our pick for the best solo microwave for the money.

The black mirror finish to the front door looks very polished and will have you purring in delight every time you look at it.

With 800 Watts of cooking power, your food gets heated and cooked quickly. The RHFM2363B comes with 5 power levels giving you plenty of flexibility when selecting the appropriate power level for cooking and heating your food. One of these is an excellent defrost function which comes in handy if you store your food in the freezer regularly and ever forget to take it out in good time.

Whilst the mirror door gives the RHFM2363B a brilliant appearance it does mean that visibility during cooking is reduced. Nonetheless it gives the machine a high grade look that is likely to upgrade most kitchen work-tops.

The model comes with a 23 litre capacity which will work perfectly for everyday cooking and heating needs around the home.

There’s a child lock which very handy if you have kids as it ensures that when its on the controls cannot be changed and the machine activated.

The standout feature though is the flatbed design. If you regularly cook large dishes in the microwave, a flatbed machine can accommodate them where as the old style turntables can’t take them as easily.

The flatbed technology can also mean that your dishes are more evenly heated. This is particularly the case with the Russell Hobbs RHFM2363B model due to its diamond cavity. The diamond cavity structure gives better microwave distribution by improving the reflection of the microwaves inside the machine. This means food is cooked more evenly reducing the chance of those annoying cold spots on your meals! This should save you time as well as energy.

As with any appliance, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of. The first is relates to the mirror finish on the door as fingerprint marks are easier to see. This will mean it needs more regular wiping down. Although not a deal-breaker, it is something to keep in mind. In addition, the machine will need to be placed at least 20cm from a wall so keep this in mind when considering where it will need to be placed.

Overall however, the Russell Hobbs RHFM2363B is a fantastic flatbed solo microwave. If you want a machine that combines power with elegance than look no further.

Russell Hobbs RHFM2363B Solo Microwave Review: Let us know your thoughts.

Which Is Better Flatbed Or Turntable Microwave?

Which Is Better Flatbed Or Turntable Microwave?

Which is better flatbed or turntable microwave? The answer to this will depend on what you plan to use it for and how much you want to spend.

We’ve taken a look at the pros and cons of the flatbed designs below, hopefully this helps you make up your mind when making your purchase.

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What Are flatbed microwaves?

Let’s start by taking a quick look at what flatbed microwaves are.

Flatbed microwaves are those that do not have a turntable mechanism for cooking and heating your food. Instead they have a flatbed base with microwaves fed through a rotating antenna underneath the floor of the microwave.

Which Is Better Flatbed Or Turntable Microwave?

Pros

Increased Cooking Capacity

As the flatbed microwaves do not have turntables, there is much more cooking space available inside. The extra space also means that you can fit in dishes that would otherwise be difficult in similarly sized turntable microwaves.

More Evenly Cooked Food

An oft stated benefit of the flatbed design over and above the turntable microwaves is that they tend to cook and heat food more evenly. This is often due to the technology used for cooking. For example the excellent Panasonic NN-SN686S counter top (Built-in inverter) microwave uses Inverter Technology to cook food much more evenly than a traditional turntable. This then means you don’t have the annoying hassle of constantly reheating your food to get rid of those cold patches at the bottom of your leftover pasta bake.

Easier To Clean

This is a big one for us. As there is no awkward turntable to work around as you would get in a traditional microwave, cleaning spills and splatters inside the cavity is much easier in a flatbed machine.

Cons

The Cost

The main drawback for the flatbed design is that because the technology is relatively new, the models tend to be more expensive than the turntable alternatives.

This should improve as more models hit the market however, it can put some people off. The advantages that you get however, in comparison to the turntable models mean it is often worth paying the price if it suits your needs and meets your budget.

Best Solo Flatbed Microwaves: #1- Russell Hobbs RHFM2363S

The Russell Hobbs RHFM2363S is our pick for the best solo flatbed microwave. It combines ultra-sleek design with lots of useful features. Above all else the flatbed design gives you lots of heating and cooking capacity.

Best Solo Flatbed Microwaves: #2 – Hotpoint Extra Space Solo Flatbed Microwave

The Hotpoint Extra Space Solo Flatbed Microwave is our 3rd choice for best flatbed solo microwave and it’s a great choice for a flatbed microwave if you need something slightly larger than the 23L offered by the Russell Hobbs RHFM2363S.

It’s rare to find products as universally highly rated by users as the Hotpoint Extra Space Solo Flatbed Microwave. It receives glowing reports across the board in terms of its performance, value for money, ease of use and style. And it’s easy to see why; it looks stunning and comes from a highly regarded brand.

Best Flatbed Solo Microwaves: #3 – Russell Hobbs RHEM2301B 

With the delightfully easy Russell Hobbs RHEM2301B you get a super-easy to use microwave that’s also offers great value for money and with a flatbed design that makes it very straightforward to clean. It’s why its our number #1 pick for best flatbed solo microwave.

Best Flatbed Combination Microwave – Panasonic NN-DS596BBPQ

The Panasonic NN-DS596BBPQ delivers a great all-round and versatile appliance that also looks brilliant. It features a microwave – oven – grill – steamer 4 in 1 combination which gives you a lot of flexibility all in the same machine.

Best Turntable Microwaves: #1 – Samsung MS23F301TAK/EU Solo Microwave

The Samsung MS23F301TAK/EU Solo Microwave looks like it has it all and it tons of very happy users tend to agree that it delivers. Not only does it resemble a cross between cutting-edge technology, design and luxury but it also cooks brilliantly as well according to many highly satisfied buyers. To top it all off it also offers brilliant value for money.

Best Turntable Microwaves: #2 – Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH)

Not content with making excellent TVs and laptops as well as a whole host of other well-loved appliances, Toshiba put their reliable touch on microwaves. The Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) has a lot going for it and makes it onto our list as our #3 pick for the best turntable microwave.

Best Turntable Microwaves: #3 – Daewoo KOR6M17R

By focusing on simplicity with little fuss, Daewoo have produced an absolute winner of a microwave. If you need a microwave that will cook, re-heat and defrost your food effectively, is easy to use and offers excellent value for money then look no further than the Daewoo KOR6M17R.

Best Flatbed Combination Microwave Reviews

Take a look at our full list of the best flatbed combination microwaves for some more ideas on what to buy and what to look out for when making your choice.

Which Is Better Flatbed Or Turntable Microwave? – Tell us what you think in the comments.

How to Make Paprika-Mozzarella Sausage Rolls With Jus-Rol (13 Steps)

Paprika and Mozzarella Sausage Rolls


These paprika and mozzarella sausage rolls are simply delicious. They are most definitely a special treat and not something we make regularly but they are an absolute delight. They can be used a snack, starter or even as a main dish with some lovely salad on the side.

Ingredients

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Place the olive oil into a pan and heat up gently. Add the cubes of whole fresh pepper and stir for a few minutes until tender.
  3. Place peppers into a separate bowl for mixing with the other ingredients.
  4. Cut the end of each sausage and squeeze out the sausage meat into the mixing bowl with the peppers.
  5. Add the paprika and ground black pepper.
  6. Add mozzarella and red pesto.
  7. Mix all the ingredients together in the mixing bowl and set aside.
  8. Take your pastry sheet and lay it on a flat service. Take your sausage mix and lay in the middle of your pastry sheet all the way along the length of the piece. You want to leave a equal distance on either side of the pastry mix.
    • Note: The sausage rolls made in the video above were pretty large and used the whole puff pastry sheet. You can opt to make more bite-size rolls by simply cutting the sheet in half and using half the meat mixture for each side.
  9. Take your egg mix and spread some lightly along the edges of your puff pastry sheet.
  10. Take on side of the puff pastry and roll it over the sausage mix to join the other. Make sure the two sides are properly sealed. You can take a fork and press into the two folds to make sure they are sealed.
  11. Take the your egg mix and spread it over the puff pastry. Make sure you cover the whole surface.
  12. Use a large knife to slice the puff pastry into 9 sections. Place each one onto an oven tray lined with baking paper.
  13. Place in the oven for 45 minutes (they should come out a nice golden brown).
  14. ENJOY!!!

Panasonic NN-DF386BBPQ Combination Microwave Review

The Panasonic NN-DF386BBPQ is one of the most impressive combination flatbed microwaves on the market and one of our topic picks. Our Panasonic flatbed combination microwave review will give you everything you need to know about the brilliant Panasonic NN-DF386BBPQ.

Panasonic NN-DF386BBPQ Combination Microwave Review

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Panasonic NN-DF386BBPQ Combination Microwave Review

ModelPanasonic NN-DF386BBPQ
TypeFlatbed Combination Microwave – microwave, grill & oven
Capacity23 Litre
PriceCheck the latest price on Amazon Now

There’s plenty to like about the Panasonic NN-DF386BBPQ. It is sleek and precise from the exterior finish to the way it cooks your food. We especially like the well polished exterior which would be welcomed in most kitchen counters. The black and silver finish give it a real clean look.

The NN-DF386BBPQ is a 3-in-1 combination microwave giving you a microwave – oven – grill all in one appliance. This offers great flexibility when deciding the best way to cook and heat up your foods.

The pull down front door is a nod to more traditional ovens whilst also meaning you can cool down dishes on it. This is particularly handy if you have a smaller kitchen.

The flatbed design gives you plenty of space inside the machine (23 litre capacity). This means you have 30% more space than a traditional turntable microwave of a similar size, enough to fit in a 350 x 230 mm casserole dish.

Inverter Technology will mean that your meals are cooked and heated evenly throughout putting an end to repeated goes in the microwave trying to kill the cold spots. As well as being less annoying this will also mean less energy usage and more time for you.

To cook your food exactly as you need it, the NN-DF386BBPQ has six different cooking settings covering  chilled or frozen meals, fresh or frozen vegetables and rice or pasta. To top things off it also has a built-in sensor that means you can cook food without having to enter the time, power level or weight.

The controls are super friendly and fairly easy to pick up. In the event that you do struggle however, the instruction manual is pretty straightforward to follow.

As you would expect with a flatbed design, cleaning the machine is quite easy as you can access the base with no trouble.

All in all this Panasonic model provides a fantastic flatbed combination microwave packed with plenty of features and also looks the part.

Take a look at our other flatbed combination microwave reviews here.

Key Benefits

  • 3-in-1 combination (Microwave – oven – grill)
  • Large capacity, perfect for large dishes
  • User friendly controls for no hassle use
  • Dimensions: 39.6 x 48.3 x 31 cm
  • Wattage: 1,000 watts

Panasonic NN-DF386BBPQ Combination Microwave Review: Let us know your thoughts.

Sharp 900w Combination Flatbed Microwave R861

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The heavily feature packed Sharp 900w Combination Flatbed Microwave R861 is one of the best flatbed combination microwaves around and one of our favourite models.

Sharp 900w Combination Flatbed Microwave R861

ModelSharp R861SLM
TypeFlatbed Combination Microwave – microwave, grill & oven
Capacity25 Litre
PriceCheck the latest price on Amazon Now

The bold black and silver finish gives the model a real high-end feel and would make a nice addition to most kitchens. Whilst the pull-down oven style door provides easy access for large dishes.

The Sharp 900w Combination Flatbed Microwave R861 is one of the best machines available especially when you consider how much you get for the price you pay (Check the latest price on Amazon). 

It combines 3 appliances in 1 with a microwave, grill and convection based oven with a flatbed base (no turntable). The flatbed base gives you much more cooking capacity than a standard turntable microwave – great for those large or awkward dishes.

The Sharp 900w Combination Flatbed Microwave R861 comes with non-slip feet leaving little danger of the microwave moving once you set it on your counter.

Something that may not be entirely to everyone’s taste is the white branded internal base though this certainly gives it a clean feel. In addition, the noise and vibration on some programs maybe something you notice but are not deal-breakers.

Being a flatbed model, cleaning will not be an issue as its easy to access with no awkward turntable to take out and clean separately.

The buttons and controls are straightforward to use and won’t have you reaching for the instruction manual. There’s a handy child lock feature which will leave you secure in the knowledge that your children cannot accidentally use the microwave.

Final Verdict: Sharp 900w Combination Flatbed Microwave R861

Overall the Sharp 900w Combination Flatbed Microwave R861 is a fantastic flatbed combination microwave with lots of features that will leave your happy you made the choice.

Take a look at our other flatbed combination microwave reviews here.

Key Benefits

  • Flatbed base for 30% more cooking space
  • Spacious 25litre capacity
  • Child-lock feature for peace of mind
  • 3-in-1 combination of microwave, grill and oven
  • Dimensions: 30.0 x 51.0 x 47.0cm

Sharp 900w Combination Flatbed Microwave R861: Let us know your thoughts.

How Do Flatbed Microwaves Work?

How Do Flatbed Microwaves Work?

Flatbed microwaves work slightly differently to the traditional turntable technology.

In the classic turntable models, the microwaves were emitted from an antennae on the side of the machine. The waves bounced randomly inside the oven. This partly explains why some items would not always cook or heat up evenly.

In machines with flatbed technology, the microwaves are emitted from beneath the flatbed base via a rotating antenna.

The microwaves will still bounce around the inside but at slightly different angles to the traditional turntable.

Therefore cooking times between the turntable style and the flatbeds may differ slightly.

What Are Flatbed Microwaves?

As you may have gathered from above, flatbed microwaves are those that use flatbed technology rather than rotating turntables.

They are a relatively new technology which can sometimes mean they cost more than traditional models but prices are becoming more competitive as more machines hit the market.

Are Flatbed Microwaves Any Good?

The manufacturers of flatbed microwaves claim that there are two main advantages to this technology:

1 – There is more cooking space within the microwave as you the turntable is not taking up space

2 – They also claim that these types of microwaves cook more evenly.

There are also a few other notable additional advantages in flatbed microwaves. The most significant one is not having to clean the turntable which can often be tricky.

They also often have several of the same features of the traditional microwaves. Like traditional machines, some of them also combine several functions e.g. microwave, oven and grill into one machine.

The Best Flatbed Microwaves

Below are some of the best flatbed microwaves.

Russell Hobbs RHFM2363B – Best Flatbed Solo Microwave

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The Russell Hobbs RHFM2363B is a great choice if your looking for a flatbed microwave. It has a great sleek black mirrored finish coupled with 800Watts cooking power and a diamond cavity to cook more evenly and reduce the chance of cold spots.

The mirrored door finish gives the RHFM2363B a great appearance though visibility during cooking is reduced and fingerprints are easier to see. Nonetheless it gives the machine a high grade look that is likely to upgrade most kitchen work-tops.

With a 23 litre capacity this will be perfect for smaller households rather than large families. Though it would also do well for everyday heating and cooking purposes.

Easily the best feature though is the flatbed technology. If you need to regularly cook large dishes in the microwave, a flatbed machine can accommodate them where as the old style turntables can’t take them.

The flatbed technology can also heat dishes more evenly particularly so in this Russell Hobbs RHFM2363B model due to its diamond cavity. The diamond cavity composition gives better microwave distribution by improving the reflection of the microwaves inside the machine. This means food is cooked more evenly saving you the headache of reheating your food to get rid of cold spots.

As with any purchase, there a few drawbacks to consider. The first mentioned previously is that fingerprints are easier to see on the mirror finish door meaning more regular cleaning. Though this is hardly a deal-breaker, it is something to bear in mind. In addition, it will need to be placed at least 20cm from a wall so consider this as well as the dimensions (51 x 43 x 31 cm) when thinking about where it would go.

When all is considered however, the Russell Hobbs RHFM2363B is an awesome flatbed microwave if you’re looking for power, convenience and a sleek design.

Key Benefits

  • 800 Watts of power for quick and convenient cooking
  • Mirror glass finish for a sleek and glossy feel
  • Internal diamond cavity structure provides effective microwave distribution for better cooking
  • Dimensions: 51 x 43 x 31 cm

Panasonic NN-DF386BBPQ 3-in-1 Combination Microwave Oven – Best Flatbed Combination Microwave

The Panasonic NN-DF386 is one of the best machines on the market and our pick for the best flatbed combination microwave.

This model is sleek and precise from the exterior finish to the way it cooks your food.

ThiThe NN-DF386 is a microwave – oven – grill 3 in 1 combination which gives you a lot of flexibility for what you pay. The pull down front door gives it a more traditional oven feel whilst also allowing you to cool down dishes on it – useful for smaller kitchens.

The flatbed feature means there’s plenty of space inside (23 litre capacity), perfect for everyday use.

The Inverter Technology means that dishes are cooked evenly throughout avoiding unnecessary reheating.

To take care of all your cooking needs this model is equipped with six different cooking settings for  chilled or frozen meals, fresh or frozen vegetables and rice or pasta. A particularly handy feature is the built-in sensor that means you cook food without having to enter the time, power level or weight.

The controls are very user friendly and straightforward to use. Nonetheless if you struggle the instruction manual has plenty of useful guidance.

The model also comes with a wire rack for the grill and an enamel plate for the oven.

The flatbed base makes cleaning very easy which is always a bonus.

This Panasonic model delivers a great all-round and versatile appliance that also looks brilliant.

You can read more our full list of the best flatbed combination microwaves here.

Key Benefits

  • 3-in-1 combination (Microwave – oven – grill)
  • Large capacity, perfect for large dishes
  • User friendly controls for no hassle use
  • Dimensions: 39.6 x 48.3 x 31 cm
  • Wattage: 1,000 watts

Best Budget Fridge Freezer Under £300

We’ve searched hard to bring you the leading contenders for the best budget fridge freezer under £300.

best budget fridge freezer under £300

As you are interested in the best budget fridge freezer under £300 we also assume you’ll want to know which fridge freezers are the cheapest to run in terms of energy consumption so we have presented this information in our table below as well.

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ModelEstimated Running Cost Per YearNet CapacityDimensions
Beko CFG1582DW£48.43261 LitresH182 x W54.5 x D60cm
Russell Hobbs RH50FF144 £31.72156 LitresH141.8 × W50 × D54cm
Beko CRFG1582W £48.51263 LitresH182 x W54.5 x D60cm
HOOVER HSC574W£39.42242 LitresH175 x W55 x D58cm
Hotpoint HBD5517W£39.27234 LitresH174 x W54.5 x D58cm

Energy cost based on average cost of £15.40 per unit.

What Factors Should You Consider When Looking For The Best Budget Fridge Freezer Under £300?

Capacity/Space: The internal storage space of your fridge freezer is something to keep in mind when searching for a new model.

Bear in mind that you will often see both gross and net capacity stated; you want to focus on the net capacity.

The net capacity is the usable space you have once you take away what’s already occupied by shelving units etc.

Gross capacity is the total space you have in a given compartment or overall.

Size: The size of the fridge freezer is obviously critical as it needs to fit into your available kitchen space.

Always check the space where you intend to put the fridge to make sure it is suitable. It also will need space around the back and sides for air circulation.

Annual Running Cost: As well as the upfront cost you pay today for your fridge freezer, you may also want to think about how much it will cost you to run it. Remember that your fridge freezer will almost certainly be switched on 24 hours a day every day so the cost of running it is crucial to controlling your energy costs.

Other Features To Look Out For: Water dispensers can be useful especially for chilled water in the summer months; transparent glass and plastic draw and shelves for visibility and frost-free function for extra convenience.

Best Budget Fridge Freezer Under £300

Beko CFG1582DW – Best Budget Fridge Freezer

Estimated Yearly Running Cost: £48.43

Pros
  • Plumbing free water dispenser
  • Metal backed (flame retardent)
  • Large net capacity (261 litres)
Cons
  • You’d have to work very hard to find any obvious ones at this price!

We’ve put the excellent Beko CFG1582DW at the top of the list for best budget fridge freezer under £300 for the features you get for your money.

It combines an excellent 261 litre net capacity alongside a water dispenser, an A+ energy efficiency rating and frost free feature to keep your machine running as it should all year long.

At an estimated cost of £48.43 to run per year, it should also keep your wallet happy long after you have purchased it.

You can find a more detailed review here.

Key Benefits

  • Metal Backed (Flame Retardent)
  • 261litre capacity
  • Frost free feature to keep your machine running efficiently
  • Plumbing free water dispenser
  • Ice bank tray for easy storage of ice cubes
  • Energy efficiency rating of A+ which should result in better energy usage
  • H182 x W54.5 x D60cm

Russell Hobbs RH50FF144 – Best Budget Fridge Freezer For Small Kitchen

Estimated Yearly Running Cost: £31.72

Pros
  • 156 litre net capacity – great size for a small household
  • Available in multiple colours – white, black, red and silver
  • Metal backed (flame retardent)
Cons
  • Small capacity may not suit everyone

The Russell Hobbs RH50FF144 makes it on to the list for the best budget fridge freezer under £300 and also gets the nod for the best fridge freezer for a single person or small household.

It will cost you an estimated £31.72 per year to run which makes sense given its smaller size when you compare it to the other models on this list.

You can find a more detailed review here.

Key Benefits

  • Metal Backed (Flame Retardent)
  • 156 Litre Net Capacity – perfect for smaller households
  • Free-standing – so it can be located anywhere in your kitchen
  • Available in white, black, red and silver
  • Dimensions: H141.8 × W50 × D54cm.

Beko CRFG1582W

Estimated Yearly Running Cost: £48.51

Pros
  • Frost free system
  • Reversible door
  • Large capacity (263 litres)
  • Flame retardent back
Cons
  • The highest running cost on the list

The Beko CRFG1582W makes the list of contenders for the best budget fridge freezer under £300 its simple yet effective design and the handy features it offers.

With a frost free system and 263 litre net capacity, this would make a welcomed addition to most kitchen especially for the price.

At £48.51 this model has the highest running cost on the list though this is marginal and overall still offers great value.

Key Benefits

  • Frost free system for easy maintenance
  • 263 Litre Net Capacity
  • Reversible door allowing you to make full use of your space
  • A+ energy rating
  • Dimensions: H182 x W54.5 x D60cm

HOOVER HSC574W

Estimated Yearly Running Cost: £39.42

Pros
  • Reversible doors
  • Reasonable running cost
  • Twin crisper drawers
Cons
  • Difficult to read temperature control

The Hoover HSC574W makes it on to the list for the best budget fridge freezer for under £300 as it gives everything you would want in a new model and does it without fuss.

With an estimated consumption of 256KWh per year, it is estimated that it would cost you £39.42 per year in terms of running costs.

The fridge comes with 2 handy adjustable shelves along with twin crisper drawers which are great for storing your fruit and vegetables properly. The freezer is equipped with 4 drawers including one larger compartment at the bottom perfect for keeping larger sized items.

A slight oddity with the design is that the temperature control can sometimes be tricky to see clearly as it positioned near a bright light; certainly not a deal-breaker however.

Key Benefits

  • 242 Litre net capacity
  • Reversible door opening to maximise the space in your kitchen
  • 10 year parts and 1 year labour guarantee for peace of mind
  • Dimensions: H175 x W55 x D58cm

Hotpoint HBD5517W

Estimated Yearly Running Cost: £39.27

Pros
  • Least expensive to run on the list
  • Reversible doors
  • 10 year parts guarantee
Cons
  • Requires manual defrosting on occasion

The Hotpoint HBD5517W fridge freezer is included on our list of best budget fridge freezer under £300 for its classic look and versatile storage. We particularly like the twin fruit and veg crisper drawers in the fridge allowing you to split your groceries for optimum storage.

It is estimated that this model will cost you around £39.27 per year to run, the lowest on this list.

As it is a manual defrost model, it will ideally need to be thawed out from time to time to keep it running at its best.

Key Benefits

  • A+ Energy Efficiency rating
  • 2 Salad crisper drawers – handy for separating your fruit and veg
  • 234 Litre net capacity
  • 10 year parts and 1 year labour guarantee for peace of mind
  • Reversible doors allowing you to place it wherever you need to in the kitchen
  •  Twin fruit and veg crisper drawers; 4 freezer drawers
  • Dimensions: H174 x W54.5 x D58cm

Why Is My Refrigerator Is Freezing My Vegetables?

Why is my refrigerator freezing my vegetables?

Why is my refrigerator freezing my vegetables?

We’ve all been there – you open up the fridge to grab some fresh tomatoes only to find they’re are half frozen over. And you think why is my refrigerator freezing my vegetables?. Here are a few possible reasons for why your vegetables are being frozen:

1 – Your Vegetables Are Too Close To the Cooling Vent

Most refrigerators have a air flow vent in the side or the back of the fridge for cooling.

Make sure that you are not placing sensitive items too close to this vent as they are likely to freeze over.

2 – Your Freezer Is Too Cold

The temperature of the freezer could be the reason your refrigerator is freezing your vegetables.

There are some side-by-side models that pass cold air from the freezer into the fridge via a vent. If the freezer temperature is too low, it will make your fridge colder too, especially by the vents.

3 – Your Fridge Temperature Is Too Low

You should also check that you have the temperature set to the appropriate level in the fridge. The level you set it to should be partly determined by the amount of food you typically store in there.

Ideally your fridge should be set to between 3°C (37°F) and 5°C (40°F) for optimum food storage.

If your fridge does not have easy to read temperature settings then you may want to consider grabbing yourself an appliance thermometer.

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If your fridge has a temperature dial (e.g. 1 to 5) then generally you want to make sure it is set to:

  • 3 or 4 if it tends to remain quite full
  • 1 or 2 if there’s typically not much food in there
  • The temperature dial lowers the temperature the higher up you go with 5 being the lowest temperature.

4 – Find The Cold Spots

Something to bear in mind is that the issue may be confined to one area of the fridge. The most common places where food is accidentally frozen in the fridge are the top-shelf, bottom of the fridge and door shelves.

If you have found that the problem only occurs in certain compartments then this should be easy to fix; only place food that can withstand the cold in those areas.

5 – Your Fridge Needs Be Defrosted

Sometimes your vents may become blocked which means the air cannot circulate as it should. Try defrosting your fridge and freezer to see if this will solve the problem. Empty the fridge of all its contents and leave it for 24 hours to settle. Give it a good clean and then plug it back in. With any luck this should solve the problem.

6 – The Fridge Is Not Full Enough

This might seem like an odd one but the fact your food may be freezing in because your fridge is not full enough.

Refrigerators work at their best when they are well packed. This is because fridges need to be adequately filled to absorb the cold air circulating inside. If they sit relatively empty then the cold air will sink to the bottom freezing any food there.

Doing this may also help to regulate the temperature in the freezer.

Use The Crisper Drawer

To keep your vegetables at their freshest for longest, the best place to keep your fruit and vegetables in your fridge is the crisper drawer. Take a look at the best way to use your crisper drawer here.

What if it’s still happening?

If these suggestions don’t solve the issue your fridge may have a problem that needs a bit more attention; be aware of some of the signs that could mean you need to call an engineer or consider a new fridge.

What Goes In The Crisper Drawer In The Fridge?

What Goes In The Crisper Drawer In The Fridge?

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What Goes In The Crisper Drawer In The Fridge?

The crisper drawer in the fridge is the best place to keep your fresh fruit and vegetables.

What Is The Crisper Drawer?

The crisper drawer is the compartment (sometimes two side by side) at the bottom of your fridge which is designed to prolong the life of your fruit and vegetables.

It has a different level of humidity to the rest of the fridge allowing you to optimise the conditions for fresh produce storage.

A lot of crispers will have a humidity slider at the back. This allows you to control the air flow into the drawer from a cooling vent;

  • Close the air flow for high humidity
  • Open the air flow for low humidity

Managing the crisper drawer correctly can significantly extend the life of your fruit and vegetables. This has a few noticeable benefits:

  • It will keep your food tasting fresher for longer
  • It will lower your grocery bill

How Do You Use The Humidity Control On Your Crisper Drawer?

Generally speaking you want to keep produce that rots easily in a low-humidity environment e.g. apples, avocados etc.

Whilst a high-humidity drawer is better for items that tend to wilt easily e.g. lettuce and spinach.

The high humidity section also works well for ethylene sensitive items.

What is ethylene gas and why does it matter?

One of the main reasons certain foods go bad quickly in the fridge is ethylene gas. Ethylene gas is naturally produced by foods such as bananas and apples. It is a plant hormone that is released as gas.

The ethylene hormone initiates cell degredation, turning fruits soft and sweeter.

There are some fruits and vegetables which produce high amounts of ethylene whilst others are more sensitive to it.

High Ethylene Producing Fruits and Vegetables

  • Apples
  • Bananas (ripe)
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Grapes
  • Nectrines
  • Peaces
  • Potatoes
  • Plums

Ethylene Sensitive Fruits and Vegetables

  • Bananas (unripe)
  • Brocolli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Strawberries

The above information should give you some help and guidance when it comes to storing your food. For example you may want to segregate your ripe bananas and your onions.

Some fridge models have more than one crisper drawer which makes it easy as you can separate foods as you need to. If your fridge only has one crisper drawer then you could always look at small storage containers to isolate the items you need to.

How Full Should My Crisper Drawer Be?

Make sure that you do not overfill your crisper drawer. If you are having to cram the last red peppers into the top of the drawer before closing it then take some stuff out.

It’s a good idea to leave space for air to freely circulate which will maintain the set temperature.

Should You Store Meat In The Crisper Drawer?

Given the ease in which you can set the relative humidity in the crisper drawer it could potentially be a good place to store meat.

However, generally raw meat should be isolated from everything else to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.

Therefore if you only have one crisper drawer which you tend to use for fruits and vegetables, avoid placing raw meat in there regardless of how tempting or convenient it might be.

If you have separate drawers and you use one of them for raw meat, make sure you do not use it for anything else.

In the case where your fridge does not have more than one crisper drawer, consider getting a reusable container with seal to if you need to store raw meat in your refrigerator.

What To Do If Your Fruits and Vegetables Are Still Not Staying Fresh?

If you’re still having trouble with keeping your fruits and vegetables fresh after trying out the above, then your fridge may have a problem that needs some technical attention or in the worst case, you may need a new fridge.