A time when wives of carpenters, do-it-yourselfers, and assorted other handy guys cringe and rejoice at the same time: My turn for a new kitchen.
Now those who think it would be terrific to be married to a really, really handy man obviously have not been married to a really, really handy man. These are among the most well-intentioned individuals, almost always dreamers in the truest sense of the word. They see the Emerald City peaking from a pile of rubble, envision Paradise in a sea of ancient cabinetry. And so my dreamer of dreams went to work over Thanksgiving weekend, careening through the carcass of wood that once was my kitchen, smashing wood with glee (for there is as much joy in destroying wood as there is in building with it), and removing appliances with wild abandon.
The clock moves slowly forward each take-out meal becoming less appetizing than the previous, trips to the mall are laborious, and I dream yes, dream of once again doing dishes and heating up a frozen pizza to perfection. And finally, as dust settles, a new microwave can be seen gleaming in the space once occupied by an over-the-counter model installed far too close to the range. This one sparkles yes, indeed, I can almost seem the vision he had just by reading the messages my new friend from GE leaves behind on the display ah, Nirvana.
White Appliances 101
I know stainless steel is all the rage, and the truly affluent match their refrigerator to their cabinets, but I am still hopelessly enamored with white appliances. Perhaps its the way they blend with any other colors, maybe its the challenge of keeping them white amid three pairs of ever-present, often dirty fingers. Whatever the case, its a white set of appliances for me.
Our previous over-the-range microwave was white
.was being the key word. Its surface was textured of sorts rendering it a very tough cleaning chore. I learned my lesson if youre going to buy white appliances make sure they are slick. This GE 1800 XL fits the bill entirely. It wipes down wonderfully with nary a bumpy surface in sight. This makes for consistent white surfaces rather than increasingly graying whites of several different shades.
Consider these cooking options from GE:
- flat control panel of digits and pre-sets makes for easy use
- self-explanatory buttons rather than having to guess as to what Cook 1 or some such phrase means. This time if its a preset for veggies you desire hit the button called vegetables. Chicken? Go for chicken. While only six of these pre-programmed buttons exist, their ease of use is a far cry from the confusion found on other models.
- one minute with one touch and other time savers if you need one minute, hit Ï
two minutes, hit Ð. Yet for those annoyed by appliances which do too much thinking for their users, override this easily by first hitting a cooking button and then entering the amount of time desired. Its all far too easy.
- Defrost options are standard issue, programmed for various quantities of meats or other frozen foods.
Prompting is done on a digital read out larger than the typical screen, this one allows for three lines of text messages.
Noise or the sound of silence
Perhaps our previous microwave was just a little too ancient, but I am still shocked at the lack of noise when the GE kicks into action. The whir of the motor is barely audible and the final beep indicating completion of a task is somehow not annoying. Perhaps Im still in the honeymoon period, yet I am certain this one is among the more silent appliances I have had the pleasure of using.
While our previous microwave came complete with covered but visible grid covering the ventilation/fan, this one is, again, slick across the entire front. Not a grid in sight. Then the unit is called into action and the top 3 inches of the microwave slowly and stealthily flaps outward to enable the ventilation system. As soon as the cycle is complete PRESTO flap shuts and I have that slick look again (slick being the word of choice today).
This is a pro not only where cleaning is concerned (those grids discolored quickly) but also for longevity as plastic grids also seem to break off all too rapidly.
Expect your range fan to work more than adequate but not as forcefully as one may be used to from a stand-alone range hood. This is not commercial-caliber smoke suction, but rather suction intended for a typical residence.
Getting off the carousel
In addition to the features that seemed worthy of extra narration, the GE 1800XL is microwave, vent hood, and work light all in one. The 1.8 cubic foot interior holds a carousel system with tray easily removed for cleaning and sized happily to hold a 9x13 casserole dish. Yet, the true applause comes with the touch of a button. One press of the keypad and the turntable can be turned off only to be turned on again just as easily. Somewhere along the line the folks at GE heard the angry cries of those of us getting motion sickness from watching those carousels turn while our casserole dish bangs against the microwave door.
Finally, the new relationship in my life.
So the construction dust has (mostly) settled and my carpenter with the dream was right as usual the kitchen looks great. Yet, little did he know, he has facilitated a new relationship for me the lonely stay-at-home mom. Its me and my microwave having heated conversations at midday. When my water is the right temperature he sweetly displays a knowing Your Food Is Ready. Sigh. And when I just cant understand him he makes it easy with onboard, digital help a push button away. With reminder service available 24/7 well, Im a much better person having known my new friend. The microwave with a brain. The yellow brick road never looked so golden.
Recommend this product?
6 Presets are available
specifications as to what is assumed with each preset (i.e. how big of a potato did GE assume youre nuking) are written on the inside of the microwave in the event you do not keep your users manual with you at all times.
6 Express Cook options in one minute increments.
Defrost is surprisingly even when dealing with ground meats and other whole meat pieces (i.e. chicken breast, steak). Total wattage is 1100.
Child Lock out is possible with the push of a couple buttons, undone easily by an adult user.
Installation was relatively easy in our case because we were replacing a microwave currently installed in the same place in our home. The unit was heavy (68 pounds per literature) requiring two person lifting to enable installation while holding in place. Dimensions: 15 deep, 16 high, 30 wide
AVAILABLE COLORS:white, bisque, black, stainless steel
COMES WITH:user manual including recipes, one year full warranty plus nine year limited warranty kicking in once first year is complete.
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Amount Paid (US$): 497