I said goodbye to our glitchy Samsung microwave oven last week. As some of you know, I’ve had something of an ongoing rocky relationship with this temperamental unit.
Since my wife and I were doing some other work in our kitchen, we decided it was finally time to move on.
(Across five years, there were multiple pain points… First, the microwave’s control panel blew out after two years and was repaired for free. Then, the turntable mechanism stopped working… and more recently, the vent control has become glitchy.)
Yes, technically, the microwave still works, and yes, I could pay more to repair its existing nuisance problems, but it was an easy choice just to say, “Toodle-oo!” and start again.
I expect that microwave reviews probably aren’t top of mind for Samsung these days as they try to move beyond ‘Galaxy-gate.’
(That said, I really liked Samsung’s commercials at the Oscars.)
But I’ve seen ongoing interest in my 2013 Samsung microwave post.
I do hope the future brings better news…
Hello, GE Microwave Oven
So we decided to buy a GE Profile series 1.7 CU. FT. over-the-range microwave oven (Model PVM9179SKSS) to join our year-old GE Profile series gas range/oven (Model PGB940ZEJSS).
(Blogger’s note: Why don’t companies come up with a simple appliance model-naming convention?)
One reason for this particular choice was to create a matching range/microwave pair from the same manufacturer.
Not that it’s wrong to mix manufacturers, but after our Samsung experience, it seemed like a safer bet to go with a brand we felt more confident in.
(Yes, simple brand loyalty to GE)
I wouldn’t exactly say this GE was a ‘smart microwave,’ but it does come with a Bluetooth feature called “Chef Connect” that pairs it to our GE range.
But what exactly does that get you?
- The microwave’s clock will automatically sync to the range’s clock.
- The microwave’s surface light can automatically pop on when you turn on one of the range’s burners.
- The microwave’s vent can automatically turn on when you use one of the range’s burners.
Are these upgrades really that useful? Or are they more like parlor tricks? A synced clock is always helpful, but do I really need more light and fan support every time I turn on the range?
Well, I certainly don’t need the fan every time I decide to boil an egg, but the automatic light trick intrigued me. So I activated it:
- You just hold the “Chef Connect” buttons on the range and microwave for three seconds to activate the pairing mode. And then they magically find each other!
And then you select which of the three tricks you want to turn on
Easy as pie.
(Sorry for the pun)
The only wrong turn I made was incorrectly assuming that Chef Connect was somehow related to the “WiFi Connect” feature the range possesses, which allows me to monitor the range with an app on my iPhone.
(No… Chef Connect and Wi-Fi Connect are totally different.)
You might be thinking… a microwave is a microwave is a microwave.
It just needs to work!
True enough. But beyond “Chef Connect,” this microwave’s got a few other features I’m already warming to:
- You’re able to ‘mute’ that horrible electronic pinging sound you hear every time you press a button on a microwave or oven these days.
(I really don’t need an audible confirmation for every finger action I make.)
- The addition of a ‘selection dial’ in lieu of an ‘all keypad’ panel is a more advanced design. This little circular knob reduces the number of times you’ve got to ‘push’ the keypad to get things going…
- The ‘Beverage’ button is a dream… One tap heats up your cup of tea to the perfect temperature.
(Not quite as spiffy as Captain Picard saying out loud “Earl Grey Tea… Hot.” But we’re getting there…)
But Wait…There’s More
This particular model is also a ‘convection’ oven. While I honestly don’t know how often we’ll be using the feature, it seems like a valuable functional upgrade for our kitchen to have two ‘ovens.’ So if we’re cooking dinner in the main oven below, and there’s a sudden craving to bake some chocolate chip cookies, we can now do that using the convection oven feature in our new microwave.
Convection tech does push the price tag up a hundred bucks to a ’pricier’ $599 MSRP.
(You can get a base-level GE microwave for less than three hundred bucks.)
But I had already decided to spend a little more on this unit, hoping it would stand up better to the test of time than my not-so-old Samsung did.
(However untrue that logic may be)
The Internet seemed split right down the middle when I did a little research on how the world feels about convection tech baked into microwave ovens.
But I decided to go for it anyway.
(Any feedback out there on my choice?)
And it’s got a few tricks up its sleeve using Bluetooth tech.
And for now… I feel like my shiny, new kitchen tech is there to
‘improve my life.’ Translation: It’s not a headache… not yet.
Still, that’s a win in my book… So let’s move on!