Microwave vs speed oven?

January 20, 2019
last modified: January 20, 2019

Am doing a kitchen remodel and will have a range with oven and need to decide if I just want a microwave or a microwave/ combination oven. I do use the microwave a lot for reheating, but wouldn't mind having a second oven if they really function well. I'm looking at the GE Advantium and possibly the Jenn-Aire speed oven.

Any opinions/experiences on either or other recommendations?

Comments (20)

  • waverly6

    Big price difference. If you do get the advantium, make sure you get the 240 v model. The 110 is not worth it. I have had the advantium since 2002 and it's the most used appliance in my kitchen. i use it for reheating pizza to get a crispy crust, making all kinds of appetizers, snack foods in a much quicker time than it wold take to preheat my ovens. My favorite thing is awhle fillet of salmon ( 6 to 7 minutes and a whole roast chicken about 27 minutes, Not only is the time quick but it really tastes much better than any other method I've used ( except possibly beer can chicken. ) I make grilled chicken breasts, casseroles, toasted /grilled sandwiches.

  • waverly6

    But..... in a different kitchen i am renovating, i am getting a convection steam oven, (even more money) and a regular convection oven and trying to decide if I want to spend more money on an advantium as well.

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  • lizbeth-gardener

    Waverley: I'm not up to speed on the different steam ovens and micro/combo ovens. What brand steam are you getting and is the steam plumbed? Under what circumstance would you use all three? Just trying to better understand the uses/needs.

  • waverly6

    I have decided on the plumbed MIele Combi steam oven. I liked that it is plumbed. ( the Wolf wasn't) and I don't have to worry about running out of water part way. I also like the convenience of just putting in food and pushing a few buttons and the unit does the thinking for me. (the masterchef programming) That was one of the things I like about the advantium also. I have been cooking dinners for 37 years and in this house I have a constant stream of visitors who need breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and snacks in between If I had my way, I would never cook again but damn these people who keep wanting to eat! So I want ease and convenience in everyday cooking.

    I have researched on these forums and watched a lot of youtube videos on them and like the fact that everyone says that it does leftovers really well as well as it can cook all the portions of your meal at the same time and it tells you when to put the different components in. I went to the Miele and Wolf showrooms. The Miele visit was with a demonstration where a meal was cooked. The chef had previously made a foccaccio bread using a bought pizza dough that was excellent. She then made salmon, asparagus, potatoes and eggs for a (tunaless) nicoise salad. She picked her own settings for the salmon and in my opinion it was a bit dry. However, it was so easy to cook everything. You program in the different components of the meal and the oven tells you when to put them in.

    Which brings me to the Advantium, the salmon I make there was a lot better (and in 7minutes) but I'm really questioning if I need a three thousand dollar appliance to make salmon.There are a lot of other things I use it for but do I need it if I have the convection steam oven?????

    In addition to the CS oven, I need another oven. I was initially looking at the Miele induction convection range. Then I started looking at the GE cafe induction range. It has a large convection oven an then a small oven above that. I have a similar thing now, he Maytag gemini oven. I use that little oven at least 5x a day as it is so quick.

    So do I need all 3????? If I got the GE double oven which is about $3,500 Iess than the Miele, I would not get the Advantium oven as that small top oven fulfils my need for speed (!) It may not have the speed of the advanitum but I don't need to wait for a big oven to come to temperature. As for a microwave, many people who get a CSO say they don't use their mw as much. Then I would just use a small countertop microwave (which I already have ). Another $3000 saving.

    i've read mixed reviews on the GE oven. I'm not sure though if the complaints were about a model that has been phased out. So other than the Miele CSO I don't know what appliances I am getting. The more I research, the more undecided I become.

  • tedbixby

    waverly6 - just wondering if you made a decision on any of your appliances and if so, are they installed and are you happy with them?

  • waverly6

    Tedbixby, my renovation is scheduled for winter 2019/2020 so I still have time to decide (and change my mind a few thousand times more.) My research has been extensive

    As of this week, my appliance choices are:

    still leaning towards the Miele CSO.

    My local appliance store has said that they are in the process of getting certified as official Miele service technicians. If that is the case, then I will go with a MIele M touch wall oven.(am impressed with everything it does. If that ( having local service availability) does not happen, then I will revisit my oven choices as the nearest Miele service techs are about 4 hours away. I am definitely not getting a Ge advantium. In the interim I have been experimenting with air fryer ovens and find they do do everything better than my advantium . Decided against the the GE cafe line. I prefer the ease of a wall oven. Possibly a sharp microwave drawer although at costco today. I saw a combination air fryer /convection toaster oven /microwave.

    Cooktop possibly bosch or wolf 36 in induction cooktop. I like the bridging elements on those. If i was not worried about bending down to get to things in an oven I would choose the AGA Elise induction range. ( love it. )

    blower and hood to be decided.

    Refrigerator freezer. either a 48 inch subzero side by side or a combination of subzero refrigerator and freezer columns.

    some undercounter refrigerator. I think there are many which would work.

    bosch dishwasher.

    warming drawer,: whatever has the best deal. i think they are all pretty much comparable.

    That is this week. Not sure what I will decide next week........

  • tedbixby

    Thanks Waverly. I've been going around in circles on appliances since 2015 so I know your pain but now life has lined itself up that my reno is finally going to start within the next 12 months and it's time to get a bit more serious and the brands that you are exploring are the ones I have been, too. At this point, I think I'm going with the Thermador Freedom 36" induction cook top. I cook with large pots and this one is the only one that accommodates my pots the best. Thermador has up-dated this cooktop and our local dealer is installing it soon in their showroom. I am hoping that the issues I've read on-line have been addressed in this new version. I will have to check out air fryer/convection toaster oven/ microwave as that is good to know that you feel it is better than the Advantium.

    As you explore and make decisions would appreciate if you pop back here once in awhile to keep us up-dated with your progress.

  • waverly6

    Thanks Tedbixby. I appreciate your confidence in me. I understand your feelings about the thermador freedom as cooking with big pots is one of my desires/needs. Unfortunately my 3 missionary soup pot (I call it that because it is so large it reminds me of those big cauldrons in the cartoons featuring cannibal cooking. You can fit 3 missionaries in mine. Don't ask how i know that......... ;) and my canning pots will not be suitable for induction cooking. I have found one that is somewhat smaller but will work. I know I am splurging on ever other appliance but didnt really wnt ot put out the extra couple of thousand for the Freedom. That's why I like the Wolf cooktop. You can link all the burners to be used as one.

    My situation is that while much of the time there are just the 2 of us. The rest of the time, I have a revolving door with guests visiting as I am in a beach resort town. We also live far from a costco and the supermarkets are overrun by holiday makers.So I have to stock up and store. I need to accommodate all the varied aspects of life here. My kitchen is on an upper level and I have an extra refrigerator and freezer on lower levels but If i am redoing the kitchen, its stupid not to make my life easier and not have to run up and down stairs for extra refrigerator items.

    If you want ot check out the air fryer. The one I have is the Cuisinart and I love it. Also have the power air fryer with rotisserie. The breville toaster oven air fryer looks even better and can often be picked up on sale. Do not remember the brand of the one with he microwave I saw in costco. I will be building in appliance garages for many of my countertop appliances.

    Something else you may be interested in looking at (if you haven't seen it yet) is the Signature range. I spoke to 2 salemsen/dealers who had either seen in demonstrated at the kbis show or had gone on a course about it. Got glowing reports. and gold best in show at kbis 2019 anges/48-inch-dual-fuel-pro-range-sous-vide-and-induction.

  • tedbixby

    I stumbled across that Signature range the other day on the internet. It looks like a beauty. Had never heard about it prior and funny that you would mention it now. I was toying with the idea of going with a 48" or 60" range if it gave me more surface space for my big pots. But revisiting ranges the other day, I'm more convinced than ever that I'm getting too old to be bending down to get into the oven so back to a cooktop and wall ovens.

    I was looking at the Wolf cooktop on-line and had the impression that the bridging would make the whole surface usable but looking at it in the showroom the other day, it didn't appear that would be the case. I was on a time crunch so I didn't have time to try it but will revisit next time I go back.

    On a side note. My 19 yr old GE Monogram side by side (previous owner install) has been a great fridge (and I've had Sub-Zero's, too) but it started acting up and discovered that it was leaking Freon. He told me it was a $1800. repair (yikes). I told him that I was planning to replace it in the next 12 months and asked if was there a cheaper fix. He gave it a charge for $250. and I'm holding my breath that it will get me to the reno. I asked him how the new higher end fridges are doing now a days as far as repairs compared to earlier models. He didn't seem to confident that just because they are a higher -end that you will get more yrs of use out of them. So some times I wonder if I should go put in lower end appliances and know that 5-10 yrs I'll just replace them again. Plus, the technology is changing so much that who knows what is new now will be old by then..... I have a lot of thinking to do over the next few months...

    Thanks again.

  • waverly6

    I have a 28 year old Sub zero on (freon) life support in my main home . In my beach house which is getting the renovation, I have 2 barely functioning french door refrigerators which are both only a few years old. One is a Maytag and one is a Whirlpool. the reason why i have 2? Because the Maytag dealer down the road from where I had bought my 18 month old maytag couldn't manage to get their act together to fix it for 6 weeks over summer with a houseful of guests. Using cooler boxes and small u/c refrigerators was getting old fast. I went to Loews on July 4th and bought the first frig they would deliver the next day. Both are barely working. The cost of spoiled goods I have thrown out due to them malfunctioning would have paid for a sub zero. The shelves and drawers are poor quality and break easily. Plus I hate losing food in the black hole at the back of the deep refrigerators. No question that the new kitchen will have a sub zero. I believe that the newer models are even better than the older ones.

  • chrisinsd

    Hi, help me understand Waverly—you are not getting an Advantium oven because you are getting an air fryer from Costco. Are you going to use this to reheat a cup of coffee or cook frozen vegetables? What are you doing for the MW replacement piece? Thx.

  • waverly6

    Partially correct. I already own 2 air fryers. Neither of them have a microwave component. I saw the combination microwave/air fryer for the first time yesterday when I was at Costco.. I didn't stop to take a good look at it and I don't see it online now. I am planning
    for my remodel on getting a Sharp microwave drawer. I am planning on the drawer as I have only one full wall on which to place all my appliances so the mw drawer will go in the island. So that selection works for me rather than a regular mw. In 5 months when I start the renovations. I am sure there will be something different and new and I will reassess then if I need the mw drawer. I just don't feel the need to have a built in speed oven anymore and would rather have the combi steam oven and a 30 inch convection oven as my built in oven appliances and save money on not getting a speed oven /mw. The mw drawer is about $1000 to 1500 less than an advantium 240. I think that a lot more of my cooking ( including making frozen vegetables and reheating meals )will be done in the combi steam oven and the countertop air fryers rather than the mw.

  • chrisinsd
    Thanks for the you are not getting rid of MW, just going with an additional appliance. I don’t really care for countertop appliances, so would lean toward one that can do the MW speed oven thing. FYI on that Sharp drawer—my workplace recently relocated and these were installed in our new office’s breakroom. I had been thinking of these too for my remodel. But after using them I find them really annoying. Pushing a poorly marked button and waiting for the drawer to slowly slide open and pushing it again to close. And not being able to push start until the door closes. It’s minor but it is pretty tedious. The fold up control panel is not helpful either when hands are full so just leave it folded down.
  • waverly6

    Correct. Definitely still going to have a mw. I am interested to hear about your experience with the mw drawer. Patience is not one of my strong points so I can see that irritating me too. but compromises have to be made and that is one of them. I understand your feelings on countertop appliances so I am planning one island with countertop appliance garages.

  • tedbixby

    Since I have no experience with air fryers, I was doing some on-line research. This is an article I came across that doesn't speak too highly of this technique. Waverly since you have been experimenting with air fryers I assume that this was not the same experience you had.

    I also found that GE has introduced the air fryer technique in their Profile and Cafe wall ovens this yr..

  • waverly6
    I find with blogs or review articles, it’s often just one person’s opinion with no empirical research or statistics.
    I bought the cuisinart toaster oven air fryer late one night when I couldn’t sleep and landed up on qvc. When the box arrived, I looked at it and thought, it’s a toaster oven , I’m going to unpack it carefully and not damage the box because I KNOW this thing is going back !!!!
    Well after doing a few things, I’m a convert. Dress me in orange robes and send me to the airport, I’ve joined the cult.
    First of all. It is bulky but has a smaller footprint than my son’s original toaster oven. ( yes, I loved mine so much I had to buy him one ). At home I have really good convection ovens as well as the advantium and this is way better. Perhaps it the size relative to the fan that makes it cook things crispier than the convection ovens ? I was amazed at how crispy things turned out while keeping the inside of whatever is cooking juicy and moist.

    I had also just replaced my dying barbecue with a huge new Weber. I hardly use it as for the 2 of us this oven cooks steaks really well.
    And yes I did land up on qvc again on another insomniac night and got sucked into buying the power air fryer elite as it has a rotisserie. My Weber has a rotisserie as well but it’s often too cold to go out and barbecue. This does food eally well and quickly.
    It will take to long to extol the virtues of the air fryer but if you are on Facebook, join a few of the air fryer groups to see what people say about them. There is also a group just for the cuisinart as well as groups for all air fryers.
    And very interesting to see GE is adding that feature. I was wondering when one of the larger appliance groups would do it.
  • Sofia Walmont

    Glad I'm not late for the party. Microwaves are way cheaper than speed oven but they also don't handle all types of food. Bread, for example, is extremely soggy when it's taken out of a microwave. Potatoes are edible, but without any crispy crust. And so on. Speed oven costs a lot but food made in it is amazing. I have electric combi oven (Rational Model 61 A618106.12) and it's a good alternative to both, has the best characteristics. Actually, I've just checked the site I ordered it from, and the model I bought is on sale.

  • M

    Somewhere earlier in this thread, somebody said that they thought a SpeedOven made the most amazing salmon, but the cooking demonstration for the CSO failed at making salmon.

    That's really unfortunate, as it means it failed to show one of the big strengths of the combination steam oven. With the better models (e.g. the Miele CSO), you have very precise control of low temperatures. This means, your CSO is an awesome sous-vide appliance, if you want it to be. And that's the key insight that you need to make delicious food in it. You can now look up sous-vide cooking times and temperatures online, and you end up if the juiciest and tenderest salmon ever. It's amazing. (And that's true for most proteins cooked in a CSO). Salmon is one of the few ingredients where I think Miele's MasterChef feature doesn't work and you should use your own settings instead. Miele just errs on the side of making salmon much drier than I personally like it to be; but then, who knows, maybe some people think that that's how salmon should taste.

    We have both a CSO and a SpeedOven. But overall, the speed function of the SpeedOven is the least important feature. It so far hasn't impressed me. The CSO definitely makes much better food. I still don't regret getting a SpeedOven. For our particular kitchen, it neatly solved the need of having an extra oven and having a microwave, without costing all that much space (it did cost a lot of money, though).

    I would not get a SpeedOven for its speed cooking features alone. That made sense 30+ years ago, when SpeedOvens were the only game in town that had advanced combination features. These days, a CSO does a much better job at all of that.

    I do agree though that most households will want to have a microwave for occasional use. This might be as part of a SpeedOven, but it could also be a microwave drawer or just a cheap counter-top microwave.

  • waverly6

    M, I was the one who said that about the salmon. Interestingly, the demonstrator at Miele used her own settings, not the masterchef option. Since then, I went to another demonstration where the same chef demonstrated the M oven. Overall, I found the demonstration somewhat disappointing as she had precooked everything beforehand and the only thing she had actually used the oven for was a brisket and we found it somewhat tasteless and uninspiring.. We didn't get to see the oven actually in service.So my point here is that perhaps it was not the product which hadn't performed well. I still want the Miele CSO and th Masterchef oven as long as my local supplier gets service accreditation. )otherwise, the nearest service rep is 4 hours away.

    ps. still loving my air fryers

  • M

    Haven't tried brisket yet. But I cooked the Serious Eats version of sous-vide BBQ pork ribs in my CSO. They're amazing!!!

    The only complication is that Miele somewhat arbitrarily limits sous-vide cooking times to 10h. That's a bit ridiculous, but not a deal breaker. You just need to remember to reset the timer halfway through cooking

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