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Sharp R82STMA microwave review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £122
inc VAT (as of 12th of July)

Easy to use with even results but it's a tad slow; still a good buy but there are slightly better options around


Type – turntable or flatbed: Turntable, Dimensions: 305x513x470mm, Stated volume: 25l, Turntable diameter: 314mm, Stated power output: 1000W, Convection oven/grill: Yes/Yes

Sharp is one of the biggest names in white goods and home electronics, but the Japanese giant’s microwave range in the UK are actually rebranded versions of models made and sold by Turkish titan Vestel. None of this should put you off though as the R82STMA is a good combi microwave oven.

You’d be partially forgiven for thinking that a Japanese-Turkish microwave would be a convoluted mess to use, but the R82STMA is less complicated than much of the competition. The clearly worded labels on the buttons make this a straightforward appliance to configure and use.

The R82STMA took a patience-sapping 15 minutes on the recommended program to defrost a chicken breast. While this is one of the longest times I’ve seen, the results were beyond reproach. It was evenly defrosted with not a single icy patch in sight, putting to shame other microwaves that cost three times as much and yet achieve worse results.

The R82STMA took a leisurely eight minutes to grill a slice of bread in our browning test. The results were generally even and pleasing to the eye, with only a dark patch in one corner letting the side down.

Sharp’s combi was similarly impressive when cooking a chicken breast using a combi grill-microwave program. Although the chicken was only minimally browned at best, the breast was moist throughout with no overcooked dry spots.

THe chicken did take a sedate 15 minutes to do so though which is twice as long as most other combis I’ve seen and almost three times as long as the very fastest microwave that still produced similarly superb results. At least it didn’t make a din while cooking – noise levels stayed at a consistent 59dB throughout the cooking process.

The R82STMA was uneven in our power output test, seesawing its way to an average wattage of 500W. Even so, it still cooked a jacket potato with only mild differences in temperature across the spud. The centre was unsurprisingly the hottest spot at 93 degrees centigrade, while the left and right hand sides were on an even keel at 82 and 83 degrees respectively.

If you’re fussy about the look of your kitchen appliances, then you’ll be disappointed by the finish in the R82STMA. The metal casing looks flawless to the casual observer, but closer inspection reveals that some of the seams don’t quite line up. The top panel also flexes under pressure, but you shouldn’t be storing anything obstructive on top of any standalone microwave anyway.

As expected for a combi microwave at this price, there’s not much in the way of extras. A grill rack is all you get, while the warranty only lasts for a year. Some might be saddened by the lack of a microwave recipe cookbook, which were a staple of microwaves in the 1980s, but I’m glad to see the back of them.

The Sharp R82STMA is a great value microwave that’s easy to use and cooks evenly to a high standard. Only its lengthy cook times, so-so build quality and the availability of even better value budget combi microwaves, such as the Russell Hobbs RHM2361GCG, stop it getting top marks. Buy Now from Amazon or check out our Best Microwaves 2016.

Type – turntable or flatbedTurntable
Dimensions with door open305x513x816mm
Stated volume25l
Interior dimensions209x319x330mm
Turntable diameter314mm
Door hinge locationLeft
Stated power output1000W
AccessoriesWire rack
Power and capacity
Convection oven/grillYes/Yes
Max countdown on timer95min
Controls typeButtons and dial
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Part CodeR82STMA

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