newbie making appliance decisions - advantium questions

strawberrymomFebruary 3, 2012

Hi everyone!

I'm building a house, narrowing down appliance choices. Have been lurking for a while and the info here has been invaluable. I think I've made most of my choices but have some lingering questions/doubts about the ovens, even after reading all the posts here.

Was originally going to put in a double oven but am now considering a speedcook oven (in addition to a single wall oven), specifically the GE monogram advantium. I was hoping some of you could either reassure or dissuade me.

1) Does the food prepared in a speedcook oven really really taste as good as food cooked in a regular oven? Is it worth the cost?

2) Will I regret the small capacity of the advantium when I need to keep multiple dishes warm when entertaining? Will that concern outweigh the convenience of being able to cook quickly on weeknights?

3) Will I regret buying a GE appliance? I am currently using a kitchen full of GE profile appliances in our rental and curse them daily. I swore I wouldn't buy GE . . .

Thanks in advance!

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1) I don't think so. It's a lot closer than just zapped--it's like real food--but it's not as good. Think roadside coffee shop vs. great home cooking. Things that only need warming, however, like casseroles, should do well.

2) How big an Advantium were you thinking of? I have the Monogram Pro 240, and it's really quite big. On oven mode, when I'm entertaining, I can put 2-3 two quart pyrex dishes on the turntable and a 17" long one on the shelf. If you're thinking of keepwarm mode, I haven't used that (I have a warming drawer). I think the keepwarm mode uses microwaves, so you wouldn't be able to use the shelf.

3) I totally get the bug about GE, but the Advantium is a really nice appliance and I have no regrets putting it with my Gaggenaus and Mieles. If you really don't like it, however, check out the Electrolux speed oven. There are some others as well, though I think they're significantly more expensive.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Thanks plllog. Hmm, I was having visions of throwing in chicken breasts or pork loin or some such for a few minutes and having dinner on the table lickety-split on weeknights. But if it isn't going to taste right . . . I don't know about the extra $$ for the occasional lasagna. I was considering the 240V Monogram (euro handle) so it's good to hear the capacity isn't usually an issue. The elux seems significantly smaller (1.1 vs 1.7 cubic feet).

Anyone else out there cook with an advantium (or other speedcook) regularly?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 11:33AM
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I have a 240, but I don't "cook" with it regularly. I've only used it to cook an entire meal one time. And I thought it came out pretty good. I used it to cook some fish, make some potato chips and steam some string beans.

More often, I use it to cook frozen things like chicken nuggets and hot dogs. A whole tray of frozen nuggets to feed the kiddies in just 5 minutes! I also used at as an overflow oven to make a lasagna.

It also makes a great warming oven and the sensors make it the best MW popcorn maker I've ever used. It also does an excellent job reheating left overs, once I figured out that I had to leave the cover off for the sensors to work.

For me it was worth it, because I combined a MW, toaster oven and warmer while gaining a third oven with convection. It is weak at making toast, but it can be done. It's the only time I ever have to preheat it, but it does make acceptable toast.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 12:41PM
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Strawberrymom, if you're anywhere in or near a city, see if you can find a showroom where you can get a demo, or even bring your own food and try it. I think the speed cooking, especially on the boneless items you mentioned, might do it for you. In my experience, the results are okay, just not equally good as. I'm sure you could develop some dishes that you make specifically with the speed cooking, which you like. That's what I was intending to do when my needs changed and I don't really have to very often any more.

Example: You can speed cook potatoes or sweet potatoes in a small fraction of the time for roasting them. They come out fluffy and "normal" seeming, rather than nasty microwaved in texture. But they don't have the roasty goodness that comes from doing them in the oven for 1.5 hours. I haven't done boneless chicken--should try that. I think it would be better than bone in because it has the same density through. Bone in comes out too zapped-seeming for me to want to do it, but a lot better than completely zapped.

A lot of people really love their speedcooking results, so I do encourage you to investigate further.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 3:55PM
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I've seen post, at least 2 that I can think of, where folks roasted a chicken in a speed oven, and said it was the best chicken they had ever done, but then at least one of them complained about cleaning it up afterwards, and at least another poster asked advice here on GW as to how to clean the speed oven. (Myself I would rather clean a speed oven because it's smaller than a regular oven)also it's at a more convenient height to clean in our kitchen.

I can't speak to the Advantium, as I have the Elux and like the Miele it uses regular heating elements as well as a convection fan with a heater, pretty much like any larger sized oven, so it should (and mine does) perform just like any larger oven, except it doesn't hold as much.

As far as speed cooking goes, I would be hard pressed to tell whether a potato or a yam was "Speed Cooked" or baked in a regular oven, both come out great, but tater is done in 14 minutes instead of 45-60 minutes in a regular oven.
(need proof)? Watch the great potato race on Utube.

I've "Speed Cooked" Turkey Thighs, stuffed bell peppers, meatloaf, both in the regular oven and the speed oven and again I would be hard pressed to tell which was which.

Perhaps some of that, (for me), is due to the fact that the Elux has auto programming for many dishes, You choose potatoes for instance, it sets the preheat time, the bake time, the temp, and the ratio of microwaving to convection baking, and not having the cooking/baking skills that many of the ladies and some of the gents here have, this is a great help to me!

Mojavean set all those parameters by himself, had I done that, I probably would have ended up with Potato Salad.

Quite a few folks have also bragged about the food that has come out of their advantium too, so I think it's like any other appliance the more experience you get with it the better the food comes out.

Our speed oven is still one of our most used appliances,possibly only beaten out by our induction cooktop.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 6:27PM
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I think Gary may be right that other speed ovens are better at the speed thing than the Advantium. Either that, or I'm pickier. :) All along I knew I wanted the Advantium primarily as a microwave and a third oven, so it's not a big deal that I'm not thrilled with the speed cooking. It works well enough when I need it, just not as good as. Using the presets, I can definitely tell a big difference between speed ovened chicken and regular oven roasted chicken. But, then, I make really good chicken. :)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 7:28PM
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Hmmm, I'll be right over, Pillog. I have yet to fry a decent chicken(my favorite),or bake one in either oven, and as I mentioned, I've only done turkey parts, breats, thighs, etc in the speed oven, sooo no other personal fowl experience with baked chicken "A La Pillog" (LOL).

So far my "BEST Chicken" is chicken and noodles, which does come out great, but I always boil that outside on my ragin' inferno out on my patio.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 8:02PM
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Thanks guys. Perhaps I should go back to the one appliance store in town and take a closer look. I don't think they have the elux on the floor, and I'm not sure they're set up to let customers cook in the advantium. Unfortunately we're several hours away from a decent-sized city. It sounds like a speedcook will be fantastic for certain tasks but might not completely transform my weeknight cooking. More pondering to do, while the electrician and cabinet-maker are waiting . . .

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 11:37PM
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