Great microwave, decent hood

Nov 18, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Great features, easy to use, heats quickly

Cons:Fan is a bit loud, popcorn button has limited functionality

The Bottom Line: Because this microwave is easy to use and has so many features, it is designed for many different uses beyond just reheating food.

I was originally going to purchase a different Over The Range (OTR) microwave, but Lowe's was running a special for free installation on microwaves costing $279 or more. So, I got this one (for $279) and it has turned out to be an excellent choice. I do just about all my cooking (if you can call it that) in the microwave. I have already used this microwave more in two months than I have my oven, that I have had for seven years!

The model I got is white (the store had a cream colored one on display - I did not see a stainless or black one) and has a very sleek appearance. It is heavy, so I would not have been able to do the installation myself - but watching the guys set it up it did not look too complicated. It comes with a very detailed installation guide, which covers the various situations you might encounter for your own installation; and a template. The one I have is actually the second one - the one the installers brought first had a fleck of cardboard or something trapped between the glass panes of the door and was very visible when the door was opened and the light came on. They took it back to the store immediately and returned with another. The unit I have now is flawless.

This microwave has a lot of great features. The touchpad is very intuitive and has all the buttons you'd expect. It has the usual manual input of entering the time you want to cook, the cook power and the cook time. It also has "one touch cooking" that I have never had before but got quickly hooked on using. It has a button for popcorn, baked potato, vegetables, frozen entree and beverage. The popcorn button only has two choices for the size of the popcorn bag (1.75 and 3.5 ounces) - neither of which I use, so this feature did not work for me. However, the baked potato function is perfect. You just throw the potato in and touch the button, and it senses the cook time needed. My only suggestion is to cover the potato with an inverted plastic bowl to contain the steam; otherwise you will have to wipe down the entire interior of the microwave because it will be wet. I have not yet used the other one touch cooking features, with the exception of "reheat." For this, you touch the reheat button and it offers suggestions by way of a scrolling display for what type of item you are reheating (a plate, a casserole, soup, etc.). This uses a sensor, so all you do is press start and it lets you know when it's done. So far, this feature has been perfect as well. There is also a button for "auto defrost" which I have not used but imagine it would function as good as the other settings I have tried.

The microwave is a sturdy design, but my only concern is that when you close the door, it doesn't "sound" as if it is securely closed. (My old one had a hook that would click when closed, so I need that audible signal.) It comes with a round glass turntable (on a plastic wheeled frame), and a metal dividing rack so that you can heat two layers of food at once. They advise you to leave the rack out if you are not using it. The touchpad can be locked to prevent "unintended use of the oven."

The display shows the time (easy to set) when not in use, and can also be used as a timer, separately from the cooking cycles. As mentioned above, some of the features prompt you for input by scrolling messages across the display panel.

The microwave is also a vent hood for the oven. You turn on the fan by pressing the fan button on the keypad for high/medium/low and off. The hood is quite loud when in use (it comes on automatically during some of the microwave cooking features - i.e. when I reheat). There is a grease filter and a charcoal filter that are easily accessible for cleaning.

There is also a small light bulb underneath which is intended to light up your stove top. It is set off to one side, so the lighting is quite uneven. For the longest time I kept looking to see if a second bulb should be installed on the left, but there is no place for one there. The light is turned on using the keypad button for high/low/off.

The bulk of my "cooking" is frozen entrees, popcorn, baked potatoes and reheating soup. For all but the popcorn, as mentioned above (which I now input the time manually for, and it works fine) this microwave has failed to disappoint me. I am so thrilled with it that I hope to expand my cooking skills to use a new button!

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