Miele lower-end speed oven

aliris19March 10, 2012

Hi yall -- I just wanted to toss onto the forum for future searching-purposes a little experience about the Miele speed oven.

I bought the lower-end one, I can't even remember what it's called -- "Classic Chef" as opposed to, say, "Superchef"? Something like that...

I do think it's a pretty nifty appliance in several ways. What I want to warn about, though, is that IMO the lower-end machine is really qualitatively different from the higher-end one. I thought I was saving money by buying the non-automated version, and surely that's true.

However, I think part of what many people do love about the masterchef (hope I have that name right; the higher-end one) is the automation. That you can, as I understand it, stick in a couple baked potatoes and it automatically performs a series of different electronically-mediated bursts of energy to do the cooking.

I could be wrong, but I don't think my lower-end product can be programmed in that way. I was thinking that I could do what it was offering myself, instruct/program it how long on medium and how long on high and vary combi bake and, say, convection... but it's not true. You can't instruct the machine in a program of that sort. I think the higher-end machine has stuff like that programmed into it for you to select from in a menu. But the lower-end machine doesn't permit you a lower-technological access to that programming; it's just not there.

Again, could be wrong -- I'm still learning how to use this machine after even a year, practically. The manual is the worst I've seen. When people complain on here about a product's manual, I'm always thinking "...you haven't seen anything!"

As a final note, I must say I do like the machine still and I'm happy I bought it. I opted for the Miele over the Advantium, expense aside, because I really wanted a 220V, under-counter placement. And I'm happy with that decision, even though I was forced to the more expensive product; the machine does not get too hot either itself or any emanating steam from it. And I like the option of having an electric oven (my range is gas), as well as "true convention". And the speed-oven function works pretty well though truthfully, I think just the convection part does much if not most of the speeding-up (the combination, "speed" part injects preiodic microwaves into the convection-mix).

I would be thrilled to communicate offlist with anyone who owns one of these lower-end speed ovens about optimizing cooking strategies. I think it's really hard to figure out, personally. And I'm sure someone's invented this wheel already; I'd love to find that person/s!

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Great post, Aliris19. Personally, I think we could have gotten by nicely with the model you selected, except it wasn't an option when we got our 4080. You are right, it is "Masterchef" but the pre-programmed selections for things have never really interested me. I just pick which mode I want and run it. But none of the Mieles allow you to "stack" various modes by time from a user standpoint. The masterchef modes may do that, but you can't set that up using the control system yourself

The inability to tell the machine to, for instance, microwave on high for X minutes, then convection bake for x minutes, then broil for x minutes, makes it hard to build truly optimized cooking routines.

Ideally, you would have the ability to set up the machine from a PC or iPad with details all the way down to the complexity you need, shoot it to the device via your wifi and have that "user routine" show up in the menu system of the cooker. Now THAT would be a real masterpiece.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 1:08PM
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Oh wow - how cool would that be? (A: Downright cold).

So .. you'd fiddle with your iphone from afar, and instruct the oven at home to start cooking, then go to convection, etc... But you'd first have to instruct it to turn off the oven's refrigerator function, right? ;)

I always wanted an oven you could program to come on in the future (which, BTW, you can do on this lower-end speed oven). Trouble is, it's a little dicey food-safety-wise to leave food unrefrigerated throughout the day. I've been known to do it, but, well, not a practive you could recommend in good conscience.

I suppose this should go onto the 'design an appliance' thread that was floating here recently.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 1:14PM
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I have a lower end Miele too. I predominantly use the machine as a second oven to do regular baking without turning on my large gas oven on the range OR use the MW itself as a typical MW. I do not do much with the combi mode. But I knew that is how I would use it before buying the product. What I wanted was a second oven AND I did not want to devote the space to the second oven AND a MW. I also really wanted an undercouner oven because I did not want to give up the counter space. I only have 2 wall in the kitchen to work with. I have one of those very open kitchens that are open on all sides. Design restrictions were pretty significant. I optimized everything in my given constraints and I am happy with what I got.

I can put two trays of cookies in the Miele and have them come out beautifully. I use baking sheets that fit perfectly on the grooves on the side. I tried the third sheet and it was too close to the bottom element and the cookies were too brown. So I decided that 2 is the max. For a tiny oven, I am very happy to bake 2 trays evenly!

I use the speed mode to bake potatoes (rarely because my kids do not like to eat potatoes) and other root vegetables (rarely for the same reason). I am not a caserole maker. I do not go from the freezer to the table too often. If you are someone that likes to go from the freezer to the table with frozen caserole, for example, this would be a great product.

I would not roast a chicken in this because I have a infrared gas rotisserie for that.

I typically find that the texture of the meat is ruined when MW cooking is added to it. So I have not been willing to experiment with meat cooking with the speedoven. All in all, I spent what I would have spent or less had I bought a second oven AND a MW. I am not the type of cook that needs a super high end specialized oven because I don't really bake specialized finicky food.

There are a few recipes on the Miele web site and they look awful..... I am a bit jealous of the huge web presence of advantium cooking. But in truth, the recipes there are not the kind of food I would make for myself and my family.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 3:14PM
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One more thing...
For example, I roast vegies with olive oil for dinners often. I find that I don't need the speed mode because I am doing everything else in the kitchen to get the food ready at the same time. So 10 minutes of time savings does not let me get the dinner on the table that much sooner. I've got the timing down with 'typical' cooking time. I would have to completely rearrange my time table for cooking a meal and I don't have enough brain cells to organize the new timing.....

Dinner preparation only decreases in time if you can reduce the longest cooking time. For me, that typically is the starch; rice, pasta etc. Can't cook rice or pasta in the Miele.

In retrospect, meal preparation time would reduce significantly only if you can make roasted meats in the Miele speed oven at 1/2 of the time.

Anyone willing to experiment with a pot roast recipe? BUT the problem for me is the cookware. I don't have a non-metal cookware that could replace the Le Crueset roasting pot in its efficacy.....

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 3:21PM
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Hi Kaismom -- it sounds as if we align more-or-less perfectly in terms of why we bought this machine, what we cook, how and in what manner, right down to cookware.

If I could get around the le creuset cookware problem I'd be willing to try the potroast but ... I don't eat potroast! ( my mom and dd2 and dh would though: what is it? It's really dry, tough, tasteless roasted beef, right? ;) ). Still, I do vaguely wonder about what I'm missing and then have to remind myself: you're not.

I did once cook a whole chicken in the Miele I think. It was absolutely delicious and faster than the oven. But as you say, there are other rate-limiting factors; almost never is the oven's interior's inhabitants that factor (around here, it's more likely actually getting a child to haul themselves to the actual table. grrr).

I've never had a MW before; this is the first time, first one. I find myself occasionally, now, purchasing ready-made trays of food (TJ's Indian food) and just zapping it. But that gets old fast. Even zapping tea I'm finding that it tastes better reheated on a stove: what's up with that? Here's something I will agree a MW is a boon for, not that I've adjusted my habits around it yet: boiling water. I have an electric pot and see that it's fast, safe because it shuts off, and easy. But it's true that I will tend to heat more water with it than I might with a MW-ing mug of just-enough water. Overall it might save energy for "behavioral" reasons.

But this isn't really 'speed-oven'-specific.

I made a lasagna the other day and decided I'd cook it in the speed oven, but therefore needed to put it in a glass pan rather than its usual resident le creuset monster. I wound up sticking it in the gas oven all the same - there just was better timing doing it the "slow" way.

I too bought cookie trays for the speed oven that fit perfectly in response to someone's posting that they had them. It took me three tries to find them but at last in a restaurant supply store I hit paydirt. Never used em. Still, happy to have the pair.

So you roast veggies with olive oil? How please? Though I've cooked vegetarian meals for nigh on 30 years now, I've still never really ever "roasted" them. Wacky ... I've stuck em straight on a gas flame, never really in an oven. Wouldn't they want broiling?

I've used the speed mode to bake potatoes and I have to say I'm not really sure it was any faster than just baking the darn things. It's unclear to me whether the MW imposes any texture on the potato. But I do appreciate not having to heat and maintain heat in a cavernous 36" oven cavity. Using a smaller space "feels" better aesthetically, though the actual literal energy calculations comparing the two would be pretty interesting; I couldn't even hazard a guess as to which was more "green" for a handful of potatoes after factoring in everything.

So on reflection, I guess it's possible that the fancy programming of successive and different modes of cooking might not actually be a feature I do miss afterall. At first I thought it sounded snazzy and I was disappointed not to have it. But it could be that it's of most use in reheating or cooking frozen casseroles and/or meat. And there are ways around that anyway.

I've even gotten used to the number of button-pushes you have to go through just to heat water ((i)twist dial to MW (ii)press level (iii) press time in successive 10-second increments only (iv)press OK to set it (v)press OK to start it) Unwieldy but acclimate-able.

One major issue I've had is the planning necessary if you want to use a MW after the oven's cavity has become hot. If you wanted to use the oven as an oven, with the metal rack, and then switch to MW, you'd have to place the glass tray into the hot interior: scary. Else it feels weird using the glass tray for the oven, letting it get hot and then wanting to put a cool vessel on top of the hot glass -- that's even worse. I bought a silicon mat just for the purpose of mitigating the shock of a cold utensil on the hot glass tray. It does seem to be a valuable accessory.

Anyway, this juggling has been a real pain. You actually can leave the metal tray in during MW but occasionally it does arc. The first gen speed ovens were designed with this ability but I was told they blew it for the second tray and sometimes MWs bounce such that they zap the metal tray; hence it is not recommended (the tray in the two ovens have a different design and in fact the interior of the two ovens are different sizes). And I imagine were it present and you burned out the oven, they'd not be terribly willing to honor the warranty.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 4:40PM
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