Hands-on test: Morphy Richards Mico cookware
Morphy Richards Mico cookware is a clever bit of design that lets you cook with metal in a microwave oven, meaning goodbye to limp toasted sandwiches and soft baked potatoes.
Mico is a range of three (so far) pieces of microwave cookware that safely incorporate metal to cook proper oven-style jacket potatoes, eggs with runny yolks and even quick-toasted sandwiches. This unusual new range comes out of Glasshouse at Morphy Richards, the company’s in-house innovation centre, and the launch was funded via Indiegogo.
The Mico products are pricey, but unique. They do follow a current trend in the design of microwave ovens themselves: metal cooking trays called crisper plates. The idea is that the crisper plate gets very hot, offering some of the benefits of oven cooking foods such as pizzas that are super quick but have a crisp base.
You use the Mico Toastie much like an electric sandwich toaster. Butter the outside of the bread, add filling and pop it in the gizmo. The two sides clip together, clicking into place. Then, microwave for 2:30 minutes, flip the whole thing over and repeat.
The results were perfect: crisp, nicely browned and seemingly grilled on the outsides, melted in the middle. The only annoyance was that the metal plates are quite large so our sliced bread wasn’t quite big enough for it. As a result, the edges weren’t sealed all the way round.
This is definitely worth having if you like toasted sarnies, just as long as you’re happy only cooking one sandwich at a time. In return, it takes up less space than an electric sandwich toaster. It’s not necessarily cheaper, though; simple ones that cook two sarnies at a time start at around £10.
The Mico Potato is a little different, in that you first cook for 7-8 minutes with the lid off, then put the lid on and cook for a further 10-11 minutes. It’s big enough for one medium-to-large spud or two small ones. We cooked a medium potato for 7+10 minutes.
The results were impressive. Not a stunningly crisp skin, but definitely not a microwave jacket spud. It was like an oven-cooked potato that was just cooked enough. Two more minutes would have been perfect.
It’s worth pointing out that a spud this size only takes eight minutes to cook in a microwave conventionally, but then you get a skin that’s unsatisfyingly soft and moist. It takes twice as much time and energy to cook with the Mico, but then there are huge time and energy savings compared with oven cooking.
We were impressed with the results again then, but note that it’s of no use if you want to feed a family. The oven is still the way to go for cooking lots of spuds, but putting the oven on to cook one or two is daft and the Mico Potato does the job quickly and well.
A pair of ‘fried’ eggs is supposed to take 2:30 minutes in the Mico Egg, but they actually took four minutes. They were pretty large eggs, mind. The results weren’t quite as tasty as frying, not quite as crispy, but most definitely runny in the middle and well-cooked on the sides. They were infinitely better than normal microwave eggs. Impressive, as long as you master your cooking times. You can cook two eggs at a time and you don’t have to do anything apart from press the button on the microwave, so it’s a good timesaver when you’re juggling breakfast requests like a short-order cook.
Poached eggs in the Mico Egg, on the other hand, took the suggested 3:20 minutes but we were less impressed with the results. You cook in the same way as the ‘fried’ eggs, but add a splash of water to each little pan before breaking the eggs in.
The poached eggs cooked well but looked a little ugly and there was leftover water to be tipped out of the pans. We’d take the fried version without water every time.
All three Mico products share a similar design. The metal is thin and has a non-stick coating, then it’s held in place by a sturdy silicone case. This stops the cookware slipping in your hands and keeps it cool to the touch, although beware steam escaping in places. They look cute but they’re quite bulky, so they take up a fair amount of cupboard space.
Everything is dishwasher safe and we found them generally easy to clean, with only the Mico Egg needing a real scrub. You do need to take the various elements apart to clean and then put them back together once dry, though, which is a bit of a faff and they take a while to dry, thanks to all the crevices.
In all, we loved Mico and found the products got repeat use. They definitely improve your microwave cooking results and save you time compared with, say, an oven. At £29.99 each, this convenience does come at a cost, although maybe if the idea takes off they will come down in price.
£29.99 each www.glasshouseatmorphyrichards.com
Russell Hobbs Sandwich Toaster 17936
Cooks two sarnies at a time, can stand vertically for storage. Shop around online and you can get change from a twenty.
OXO Good Grips Microwave Egg Cooker
This is primarily designed for making scrambled eggs in a microwave without splattering, but you can also make a single ‘fried’ egg or a small omelette.
Good2heat Microwave Potato Baker
This elevates your spuds. So while they won't be crispy like the jackets from the MICO Potato, at least they won't have soggy bottoms.