Buyers of microwaves are people in a hurry, so here's a shortened version of T3's KitchenAid KMQFX33910 review: it's a versatile microwave and combi oven that's a godsend for busy chefs. PING!
I've had the KitchenAid KMQFX33910 for a year or so now and have used it a lot, but there are still functions buried in there that I've yet to try. Softening chocolate, for instance, or defrosting fish – it has a programme specifically for that. It's probably the best microwave you can buy, but to be fair, that is because it is far more than a microwave. With a grill and fan heater built in, it's a true combi oven.
Depending on your point of view, it's either fairly compact for an oven, or rather large for a microwave. It's clearly meant to be used as a second oven in a large kitchen, owned by well-heeled individuals, just like me and you.
One interesting thing to note about the KMQFX33910 is that it appears to be made by Whirlpool, despite being badged as KitchenAid. Even so, it has the classy design hallmarks of KitchenAid's own products, and has proved to be, on the whole, a strong performer.
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KitchenAid KMQFX33910: price and availability
KitchenAid's KMQFX33910 free-standing microwave costs £399 in the UK and is available from all the usual electricals retailers. In Australia it's
KitchenAid does not sell this model in the USA but it does have an American range of roughly similar ovens. In Australia, it only appears to sell built-in microwave combi ovens.
KitchenAid KMQFX33910: design and build quality
As you can see, this is a pretty handsome fella, at least so far as microwaves go. The handle and knob are both large – the handle is HUGE – tactile and eminently grab-able. The internal cavity is large for a microwave at 22 x 39.5 x 37 cm (H x W x D) – that's 33 litres in all. The overall machine is not too enormous at 37 x 49 x 54 cm (H x W x D). Admittedly that's a fair old chunk of worktop space.
This free-standing microwave combi oven has two possible uses: second oven in a large kitchen or only oven in a small one, and it seems to me it would work well in both roles. But mainly the former.
The second thing you will note about the KitchenAid KMQFX33910 is that it has many, many buttons. Open it up, and you'll see KitchenAid has included a 'handy' guide to what some of the buttons and their sub-menus do. In point of fact, this is not at all handy, but thanks for trying, guys!
The good news is that once you have a rough idea what each button does, the sub-menus are self-explanatory – and also fun to scroll through, courtesy of KitchenAid's big knob.
Not everything is perfect in the kingdom of KMQFX33910, however. One minor flaw is that despite a self-cleaning feature, you'll never get it back the shiny state it arrived in, once you've cooked a few meals. That's largely because of the air holes and other crenellations in the metal interior. There is no way I would attack this with standard oven cleaner, so you'll have to live with it being slightly mucky. I have to say that doesn't bother me at all.
The other problem is more… problematic. The plastic turntable that supports the main cooking plate is ridiculously flimsy. This is rather unforgivable, considering it's one of the most important elements of a microwave oven. Almost the very first time I cleaned it, one of its little wheels came off in my hand, while another one went wobbly.
To be fair, this did not stop the turntable from turning, but it was still highly annoying, especially given KitchenAid's perceived reputation for build quality and reliability. I eventually bought a replacement turntable holder for £20 and have so far managed to avoid breaking this one, largely by placing it in the oven and then never touching it again.
Accessories: The KMQFX33910 comes with a two-tier steamer – excellent – and two stands of different heights; tall for grilling, short for fan oven cooking. These are again a little flimsier than they ought to be, but they do the job. I have also used the fan oven without bothering with the low grill, and that seems to work fine.
Also included is a 'crisp plate'. You preheat this before cooking things such as oven chips, chicken nuggets and battered items. I can't say I have ever found a use for this. It also comes with a detachable handle so you can take it out of the oven without setting your hand on fire.
KitchenAid KMQFX33910: performance
Oh my gosh, there are so many features. Let's run down what it can do, and how well it does each thing, like the chart countdown on Top of the Pops. Remember that?!
1. Microwaving. As you would hope, this works very well. Best of all are Jet reheat, which reheats liquid-heavy meals such as soups in souper-quick time, and smart reheat, which somehow analyses whatever you put in it, and then calculates reheat time. This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen but I've found it invariably does a great job.
2. Forced air cooking. AKA a convection fan oven. This works well, and is very handy for doing roast spuds when your main oven is already full of meat, and/or is running on a lower temperature than is needed for potatoes. It does a surprisingly long time to preheat however, so you need to factor that into your cooking.
3. Grill cooking. You know what a grill is, right? I haven't really used this much, but it seems to function well enough. There's a choice of three heat settings.
4. Combi cooking. You have the choice of microwave + grill – very handy for adding a bit of colour to your speed-cooked food, although curiously, you can't adjust the grill temperature on these modes. There's also and microwave + forced air. This is perhaps a bit pointless unless you are in a huge hurry. Sadly there is no oven + grill setting which is a shame as that setting on other combi ovens is excellent for doing meat and gratin dishes.
5. Steaming. This is really excellent. Once you've had steamed veg, you won't want to go back to boiled. Also handy for fish or even chicken breasts, for the slightly more adventurous.
6. Defrosting. Enter your food type and its weight, and kick back as the KMQFX33910 does its thang. Not totally reliable with meat as it has a tendency to over-heat, but generally very good indeed. A life-saver if you habitually forget to defrost things in time for dinner. It's worth noting that the KMQFX33910 cannot work miracles, so larger joints do take a much longer time than steaks, bacon, salmon fillets and the like. I once had to defrost an entire duck from fully frozen, and while KitchenAid's algorithm did a great job, it took in the region of 2 hours.
7. Chef menu. Rather like the defrost menu, this gives an extra-easy way to cook a wide range of simple ingredients – baked potatoes, chicken parts, steamed veg, etc. Just find the one you want, tell the KMQFX33910 the weight of it, and it will tell you which accessories to use, then cook to perfection. If you are feeling rushed or lazy, this is a useful function.
8. 'Special' menu. This is probably more useful for the target audience, and includes settings for proving dough, melting chocolate, softening or melting butter and more. Very handy indeed. Also includes a 'keep warm' setting, to hold food at between 60º and 80ºC
9. Self cleaning. This does an okay job, but cannot be compared to a self-cleaning oven. You put a bowl of water in and hit go, so effectively you are steam cleaning the oven interior. It's fine for regular maintenance.
I think that covers everything. As you can see, the KMQFX33910 does a lot, and does most of it well.
Oh, noise levels. When cooking the KMQFX33910 is fairly noisy. The rather basic turntable mount that I mentioned earlier, unsurprisingly, makes a fair amount of sound as it judders around, and there are the usual 'DNNNNNNG'-style cooking noises you'd expect from a free-standing microwave/combi oven.
There's only one thing I really dislike about it, however, and that's the BEEEEP! noise it makes when it's finished. One beep is fine, but this oven keeps reminding you with further shrill electronic screeches, should you fail to immediately rush over and deal with it. It's like having an aggressive baby seagull sat on your worktop, demanding to be fed.
KitchenAid KMQFX33910: verdict
Overall, I love my KitchenAid KMQFX33910. It's a bit of an indulgence, and you need plenty of spare space in your kitchen, but it's so useful for so many things. In theory you could use it as your main oven, or a particularly spacious microwave, but it really comes into its own as a back up cooker. It's also a bit of a sous chef, thanks to that 'special menu'.
KitchenAid KMQFX33910: also consider
If you're shorter on space, move straight on to one of Panasonic's superb range of microwaves. If you're shorter on cash, Daewoo has some excellent and surprisingly stylish options for the cash-strapped.
However the most direct rival to the KitchenAid KMQFX33910 is the similarly plush Sage The Quick Touch Crisp, which features many of the same bonus features and a similar price. It's got a smaller capacity but then again, it's also a smaller oven, which may be a deal maker for many…
The good news is, you can find out more about all of these options in our unmissable guide to buying the best microwave oven for you. Head on over!