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Choosing a wall oven combo? Is this what hell is like?

Posted by Cook4 (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 15, 11 at 23:20

I'm in wall oven hell. At this point, I've researched so many products online that I'm totally confused and the cabinet guy needs an answer.

I thought I wanted a single convection oven with a microwave. Sounds simple, doesn't it? But then, I start reading how everyone LOVES their speed oven/advantium/Icon thingie, etc and now I'm looking at a regular convection oven with a speed oven. But that seems like overkill. Not to mention, $$$$$. We've priced an Advantium and matching oven for $4800 or so. Is it worth it? What about the Electrolux?

We live in the boonies, so dropping by an appliance showroom isn't an option. I'm trying to work with my local Sears store.

So my question, what would be your preference if you were buying the standard convection oven with microwave? If you were purchasing the speed oven with oven option, do you need the oven to be a convection oven? OR since you have the convection option in the speed oven, would a regular oven work? Also, these units would stack on top of each other, so they need to somewhat match.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Choosing a wall oven combo? Is this what hell is like?

I have a single oven and a 240v advantium. I would still get the convection on single oven. While the advantium does a lot of unique things, i like my bosch 800 series oven better! I can see that a speed oven isn't for everyone - i got it because space was tight and i wanted a second oven & microwave so it could do both. The thing i've since learned is that it is 3 things - a speed oven, a microwave and a second oven. It gets busy in there and sometimes i have to run down to use our spare microwave in the basement to defrost chicken. If you don't want the hassle of learning how to use a speed oven, then i wouldnt get it. But i wouldnt get a double oven either based on what i've read and heard from friends on reilability. good luck!


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RE: Choosing a wall oven combo? Is this what hell is like?

Ignorance is bliss - stop reading boards like this and just by the nicest looking oven Sears has in your price range. Buy a matching microwave with a trim kit and you'll be able to cook up just about anything.

All the rest is simply , convenience, vanity, status, and possibly a mild time saver.


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RE: Choosing a wall oven combo? Is this what hell is like?

Convection im a standard oven is for evening out the temperature. Some ovens (not the kind you're shopping for) are shaped so that convection happens naturally. Some have fans. The really good ones have fans that heat the air as they blow so that consistent heating is preserved.

The first is the best for many reasons, but if you don't want to build a clay beehive or tandoor, or buy a particular kind of fancy French range, you're out of luck. The second is better than nothing in a crappy oven, because moving the air around makes it a bit less crappy, but not so great in a reliable oven because it can cool it down and make it less reliable. The last is great--you can make up all your trays and bake them together, saving energy and time, you don't have to check and turn things in the middle of cooking, etc.

Do you need convection? No. Ovens nowadays are engineered for energy savings, however, rather than best cooking, and it helps a lot to have the best possible oven you can get. Convection, especially True Convection (heated), covers up a lot of sins.

When you're comparing a standard American oven with a convection feature to a "convection oven" like you'll find in a speed oven or microwave, you're comparing an oven that has bottom heat, broiler (top heat), and convection fan, preferably with heat, to an oven that just has convection heat. That is, the speed/MW oven has a fan that blows heated air. It's not a regular oven. It can only bake, and at that, the baking can be problematic depending on the power. The countertop versions have apparently improved a lot recently, but they're still not "real" ovens. The 240V, speed ovens and other small convection ovens, cook fairly equivalently to a real oven on convection oven mode, but won't work for delicate things that don't like the air movement of convection.

Some speed ovens, like the Miele, are really combinations. It has a broiler, and I think it may also have floor heat, rather than being convection only. Plus, it has microwaves.

A speed oven is a very expensive thing to use as a microwave. Many people use the combination of a speed oven with a conventional oven with convection as a substitute for double ovens plus a microwave. If you don't microwave much, it makes sense. But if you don't use the speed features, and don't intend to, you'd be better off with double ovens (which are a single appliance and save time and space over two individual ovens), and a cheap microwave. You can make a generous sized niche so that replacing the microwave isn't bound by size, and buy a $100 special at Costco, and have just as good a microwave as anything fancy.

If the speed features really appeal to you, that's another story, but if you're never going to use them, it's a waste to buy a speed oven.


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RE: Choosing a wall oven combo? Is this what hell is like?

Thanks sophie and plllog! I wonder how many people out there have purchased the speed oven and never used it beyond the microwave application? We DO use our microwave, everyday usually, for warming up leftovers and defrosting.

The technology of the speed oven is SO tempting, but I don't know how much we would use it for purposes other than a microwave.

OTOH, we have a convection oven at our lake house, and I LOVE it! It bakes cookies in 5 minutes as opposed to 12 minutes, etc.


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RE: Choosing a wall oven combo? Is this what hell is like?

I'm buying a wall oven and a speed oven right now. I'm going for the Electrolux. Something tells me I'll rarely or never use the "speed cooking" feature. I'll use it as a microwave almost daily. I'll use it as a second oven on those rare occasions when I really need one. But having only the two units wall mounted and not needing space for a third is the draw for me. However, I'm fully prepared to be pleasantly surprised with the usefulness of the speed cooking feature as others here have been. The biggest downside is that going to a speed oven meant moving up to the Icon line which meant an additional $1K or so between the oven and microwave.


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RE: Choosing a wall oven combo? Is this what hell is like?

I agree with antss. It's amazing how happy we are until some marketing person informs us of how miserable we must be.

I would do exactly what antss said and I bet you'll be thrilled.

-Stooxie


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RE: Choosing a wall oven combo? Is this what hell is like?

For many of us that have speed ovens, it is our most used appliance. I mean to cook 2 potatoes, I would have to preheat my large oven and then bake them, it would take 45-60 Minutes.

The speed oven will do the same job, (just as well) in 14 minutes, including preheating, The Advantium according to a recent post takes 12 minutes.

We use the speed cooking a lot, 2nd only to microwaving (Usually heating water for coffee, and reheating leftovers)
but I have found for some left overs, speed cooking makes the leftovers come out better than just "Plain Nukin'.


Baking. I have baked brownies in both the large oven and the speed oven, both using standard bake and not convection,
I "Think" one would have a difficult time in telling any difference between the results of the 2 ovens. Time wise it's close to a "push" alto the speed oven probably preheats faster due to it smaller size. The controls on the speed oven are very similar to my large oven, You have a choice of "Grill, Roast, Bake, Preheat & Convection", It;s missing the Broil, and of course the large oven doesn't have "Speed Cook".

So at least the Elux, and probably the Miele offer the same different choices of baking as a large oven---EXCEPT!!----
The Elux oven does not broil, the miele does but most folks say the larger Miele oven does a better job.

So if we "Lost use" of our large oven,
(Not likely it's an Elux) we could survive quite nicely with the speed oven, except at thanksgiving, where the turkey would either hafta be cut up first, or------
"Morphed into a Game Hen"

Gary


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RE: Choosing a wall oven combo? Is this what hell is like?

Gary thanks for chiming in about baking in your Elux. I didn't realize that you could bake without convection in it. That's an interesting feature!

Cook4, the Advantium is a truly excellent microwave. The best one I've ever used. I use mine daily for a little heating and melting, and now and then for defrosting. It does all these things. And it has a great sensor. Best frozen to hot petit poi (peas) I've ever had using the sensor. If budget isn't a consideration, and you think you want it, go for it, but if the speed oven thing still seems like overkill, listen to your gut feeling. You know your own needs best.


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RE: Choosing a wall oven combo? Is this what hell is like?

We have a convection option in our primary oven, which I think is true convection. I am not sold on the idea that convection is a necessity, but even if I was, I'm not sure our second oven, an Advantium which is also true convection, would be a complete substitute (as a convection oven). The smaller size alone might be a problem, though I can fit quite a lot in it. Plus our main oven has a temperature probe convection roast funtion that turns out perfectly roasted meats and poultry.

We gave away both the microwave and toaster oven when we chose an Advantium as our second oven. We bought a cheap toaster that we haul out when making toast, so have not missed either previous appliance for a second. The Advantium is the most versatile appliance in our kitchen, and probably gets used more than any other.

There are also things that the Advantium can do that a separate oven, or microwave can not do as well. Just to give one example I've found, is reheating leftover KFC fried chicken. You can heat it in a microwave, but it could end up a little soggy. You could heat it in an oven, but it could dry out, or if covered, get soggy. On the other hand, I get very good results by using Advantium's combination of microwave to heat quickly, while at the same time use the broiling and convection elements to keep the skin slightly crispy. Done in only a couple minutes so it doesn't dry out.

I'm finding that there are not that many food items that I want to heat, roast, bake, or broil, that don't benefit from some added microwave power to even out the cooking process, or just speed things up. And then there is the straight microwave function :)

One of the questions raised in this thread seems to be whether a person will bother to use the advantages that a speed cook oven provides. I have to think that can only be answered by each individual person.

Sorry if I come off as an Advantium fanatic, but I just continue to be impressed with this thing.


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RE: Choosing a wall oven combo? Is this what hell is like?

Wpdoit, why not? The Advantium is impressive, and you're the first person who has this level of mastery of it in the forum for years. Great contribution to the discussion.

I'd like to clarify about convection, however. As I understand it, the Advantium has only convection heat in oven mode. There is a heating element for the air which is circulated by a fan. It is true convection, but not true ovening. OTOH, while there are some regular ovens, especially European ones, which also have only convection, American-style ovens (including the Euro makers popular here), have convection as a supplement to regular baking and broiling. That is, there is bottom heat plus convection, or top heat plus convection, and some have convection only settings.

Basic and mid-range ovens aren't what they used to be. They're made mostly for price and energy ratings, and can be very uneven. Using convection not only speeds up the cooking (though nothing like in a speed oven), it also evens out the heat in the oven by pushing the air around. So, for your cookies, you have heat from the bottom, the fan to blow it around and make the whole oven the same temperature, and, if you're lucky, the true convection heating element that makes sure that the circulating air doesn't dip in temperature, like it can without it. This is what allows you to put in three or more sheets of cookies at one time. The circulating air distributes the heat around, and you don't have a hot spot on the lowest tray, and a large effect of heat reflecting off the bottom of the tray above. Some may be more or less done when you take them out, but they'll all be within the golden range that's just right.

Similarly, on convection broil, with the air moving around, you can do long skewers or a whole tray of chops and have them all be the same serving temperature, even though broilers are notorious for heating most right in the middle.

Now that you're pretty confident with the speed oven, give your conventional oven a try!


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RE: Choosing a wall oven combo? Is this what hell is like?

YW, Pillog!!

Wpdoit has found the same "advantage" as I did when using the speed function, in lieu of just plain "nukin" to reheat some foods, I had forgot which ones, but his post reminded me that it was indeed poultry (turkey thighs), that came out much better when reheated using speed cook, (the dressing too).

Gary


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RE: Choosing a wall oven combo? Is this what hell is like?

It is correct that the Advantium does not have a standard oven function, but you've given me a crazy idea for a new Advantium experiment/video.

BTW- Since I've never had a convection oven until recently, I was blown away the first time I put a big tray of frozen french fries in the large oven set to convection. Best fries I've ever cooked by far.


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RE: Choosing a wall oven combo? Is this what hell is like?

Gary, I'm sure you're right. I reheat actual food in the steam oven. :)


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RE: Choosing a wall oven combo? Is this what hell is like?

I'm curious Cook4, what did you end up choosing? We are in the market for a combination microwave / oven unit to replace our 18 year old GE and it is quite confusing. Would like to know what you chose and how you like it - or if others have opinions/suggestions what to purchase and/or stay away from. Thanks!


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