Double wall oven vs. Double wall oven with microwave/convection

drewemApril 5, 2012

Good afternoon! I am building a new house, and have a choice of appliances. I was looking for some of your expert advice and input. The builder is offering a double wall oven/microwave convection combo unit, or a plain double wall oven.

I currently have a build in microwave (1100 watt), and normal gas range. So, I have no idea what to choose.

I could pick the Whilpool oven/microwave unit GSC309PV, or the Kitchen Aid KEMS308SSS.

A disadvantage I see is that in both units the microwave is 900 watts.

I only have a few days to decide,and all my research tells me that the double/microwave combo is bad because the microwave can fail, and has a "cool down" feature when you open the door.

I have room to do a built in microwave, or place one on the countertop.

Any thoughts? Thank you so much!!!

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Also, Kitchen Aid vs. Whirlpool Gold? I know they are the same company, but don't know anything about them. I currently have maytag and LG.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 4:50PM
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I have had the Kitchen Aid KEMS308S for 5 years. I had not noticed that the microwave power was low. I doubt that power will be an issue. I assume that many ovens have cool down features. They are not running when the door is open. It is ture that the fan makes some noise, but it isn't that noticable. When I originally purchased this oven I had been intending to get individual ovens, but it turned out that the individual ovens had been discontinued. I see no difference between your choices because they are all double ovens and when one fails, they both fail wheras individual ovens could be replaced individually. I have not heard of the microwave section showing a high rate of failure.

You didn't even mention the advantage of the micro/convection. It is not just a microwave, but a real convection oven with a broiling (sort of) element. It is not a speed oven because it does not microwave and heat at the same time. Actually it CAN microwave and crisp via the broil element. Anyway it is a small second oven that can bake a pie or bread (or a small trey of cookies I suppose). It heats far faster than the regular large convection oven because it is small. I find it very useful. The only problem is it is occasionally in use when I would want to reheat a cup of coffee etc. I keep an old microwave in the garage for those cases.

While I hope I have relieved your concerns, I believe that there IS an issue. I have had no problem with my oven, and it has been several years since the Main contingent of problems: similar models have encountered a higher than normal thermal fuse blowing during the large oven self cleaning cycle. Unfortunately, the fuse is located on the back of the oven and is a $50 item and shuts everything down. Of course, most people see no problem (myself included) and the problem is certainly due to excessive heat behind the cabinet that could probably relieved by making sure that there is a little more open space back there since you are still installing cabinets?

In any case, this is probably a general issue. Other ovens have failed on self clean cycles. At this point, many people concider the self clean to be a marketing ploy and don't use it. Perhaps we just don't make enough spattering roasts, but I have easily wiped down the main oven. It wasn't stuck on hard. Perhaps the surface has anti stick coating? My self cleans have been done mainly to test the thermal fuse problem.

By the way, the microwave interior is stainless steel and IS much harder to clean. In fact, that last sentence is probably my most important piece of information. I imagine it would apply to other convection microwaves.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 9:19AM
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Thank you very much for your input. Of the two models, I liked the looks of the Kitchen Aid better.

Have you ever had any issues with the microwave? Someone had mentioned that when you are heating frozen food and have to open the door to stir it, when you go to finish the cooking the oven has the cooling down period for 5 minutes, which doesn't allow you to finish cooking your frozen food. To prevent that, they suggested turning it off, and then restarting it. Seems odd to me.

Over all, would you make your purchase again?


    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 11:28AM
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No problems of concern to me. I do believe reading that there are some sensor functions that shut down if you open the door, but I couldn't create it just now when I tested it. Of course, I didn't actually have food in there just now. I think that the point would be that the water vapor being measured would be lost into the room. Of course, I believe the same issues apply to any sensor microwave.

It is ture that there is a cool down period especially after using the convection heat at 350-450 but you can just go on to the next function and it will start right up. But that is not the right time to reheat some frozen hamburger buns still wrapped in a plastic bag. Sticky goo ooh boy. Leftovers in a cheap plastic container would be a similar situation where you would have to switch to a glass bowl or use the backup microwave.

Re stiring: Yes you can set something for 6 minutes and open up as many times as you wish to stir, then push start again each time. If (as my wife just did) you were nuking a frozen dinner with specific times, you would set the first specific time anyway because you wouldn't want to forget and miss the stir time. Then you would set the second time.

My only original concern was that I had been misled into expecting it to be a speed oven that would microwave and convection heat at the same time. I think I would have liked that. However I have read the posts about the speed ovens and they appear to have some heating weaknesses too. I suspect (hum along now) that you can't always get what you want. If I were doing it again, I would still be interested in separate units for the repair issues but the duel unit looks better and probably take up less space. I am just realizing that it is possible that the likely component to fail would be the whole control board and I'll bet the cost of those boards for single or duel ovens is probably the same and so if one failed and was replaced and then later, the second oven board failed, I would be worse off. I should be happy with what I have, period.

If you go for it, I would suggest that you leave the bottom trim piece (it is actually called a 'vent') loose so that it can be removed if you do a self clean. This piece is supposed to let air circulate behind the unit, but the design is questionable.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 2:31PM
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