With a name and design that suggest a Space Age, Barbarella-style design, Fagor’s new Spoutnik microwave could perhaps be mistaken for a cartoon-ish UFO that landed on the kitchen counter. Its bold, fun design is about more than just looks, though – it serves a functional purpose, too.
The most noticeable feature of the freestanding Spoutnik is its transparent dome design, which allows for a 360-degree view of its interior. This way, the user can fully observe the cooking process. The dome also incorporates a 28-cm (11-inch) turntable with grid lines, to make it easier to position the dish.
Spoutnik illuminates when cooking begins, changing from red while the dish is cooking, to blue when the dish is ready (it also emits an audible signal when cooking has finished). It features a lever that ensures the smooth lifting of the dome, which opens up to a 65-degree angle. The design guarantees full access to the interior, which makes it easier to clean the crusty residue that often results from microwave cooking.
Finding space for the freestanding oven shouldn't be a problem, since it's only 36.9 cm (14.5 inches) wide, 32.7 cm (12.9 inches) tall and 42.9 cm (16.9 inches) deep. Its total capacity is 23 liters.
It also looks easy to use the rather minimalist LCD control panel. There are four modes to choose from (High temperature, Low temperature, Reheat and Defrost) through an intuitive interface – just enter the desired cooking time and voilà. There’s also a Quick Start option, which sets the oven to full power with a timer that can be adjusted at 5-second increments.
The bright color options are an added attraction, with the unit being available in Blue Odyssey, Ultraviolet and Green Flash.
Spoutnik costs £179 (US$287).