Pros: Works very well. Has been dependable.
Cons: Doesn't clean itself. Noisy closure.
Weve had our Kenmore Elite Ultra Wave Microwave for about a year now with nary a problem or complaint, nothing significant anyway. The above the oven microwave left for us had been neglected beyond salvation or redemption. Never having owned a built in microwave we took a field trip to Sears for explorational purposes only and came home to await delivery of our new refrigerator, oven and Ultra Wave microwave.
It wasnt easy deciding on which model to purchase and the wide range of designs, prices and features made it more so. Ultimately we based our decision on size, sale price, availability, color (black) and features including the side-to-side turntable in model 64689. We could have chosen white or stainless steel finish but black is consistent with our other appliances and seemed the easiest of the three to keep clean.
I wasnt sure if the so-called Ultra Wave technology was an impressive sounding gimmick or not, but it has proved to be an effective technology for us over the past year of use. Conventional microwaves operate on high power only. To achieve 70 percent power the power cycles off 30 percent of the time to achieve the lower power. The Ultra Wave technology, on the other hand, delivers a constant power, true high, medium, or low. The Ultra Wave Inverter Microwave System promises to deliver power continuously to defrost more evenly and minimize over cooking and those annoying and messy
Features and Dimensions
The outer dimensions of this 1200-watt microwave are approximately 30 by 16 inches.
The inner 2 cubic foot cavity is 21.5 by 13.5 by 10 inches.
Metal shielded window
Charcoal filter behind vent grille
Glass tray The oblong glass tray moves in both directions to help cook food more evenly.
Grease filter below the oven
Child lock option
Defrost plate provided for complete defrosting.
Control Panel Features
Smart touch sensor buttons the ovens sensor determines cooking time and power level for selected foods.
Exhaust fan five speed choices
Cooktop light high or night light
Express defrost quick defrosting method
Add minute each press of the pad adds a minute up to 99 minutes and 59 seconds
Multistage cooking You can program the microwave to switch from one power level to another for up to 3 stages.
Hold warm Hold warm will keep food warm for up to 99 minutes and 59 seconds. It can be used alone or following a cooking cycle.
Sure simmer for soups and liquids
Auto cook lets you cook common foods without selecting cooking times and power levels
Melt foods such as butter, margarine, chocolate, cheese food etc.
Soften uses low power to soften foods such as ice cream, butter, frozen juice etc.
We mostly like the size of this appliance and its convenient location over the oven, although I am still a little wary of one day dropping something on the smooth top oven below. Like most microwaves Ive ever seen opening and closing the door is not a smooth operation. Closing it is especially noisy and cant be done gently.
The sensor-cooking feature is especially good. Popcorn and potatoes always cook up perfectly though not cooked together. The owners manual emphatically states: Do not overcook potatoes. After microwaving, let potatoes stand for 5 minutes. They will finish cooking while standing. Ive never been able to get my potatoes to actually stand. They mostly just lie there for five minutes.
Foods still need to be covered with the Ultra Wave, Elite or not, but spattering is not pronounced, maybe because I dont say it out loud.
Defrosting usually turns out nicely, though if one isnt careful, the edges of frozen foods can still get partially cooked.
I once used the soften feature for a rock hard ice cream cake we had forgotten to get out ahead of time. The feature worked to perfection, softening but not melting.
We chose to have our microwave vented outside. When its windy outside, the venting network/ductwork can be heard chattering. I dont know if this is the nature of the beast or something caused by the manner of installation.
Half of the owners manual is written in Spanish. I havent been able to read that part.
We've never used the cooking rack or many of the available features.
We opted not to buy an extended warranty for this microwave although it was offered and suggested. It would have been an unnecessary, additional expense for us.
This has been a good purchase for the Spuds, and I wouldnt hesitate to recommend this model for ones consideration. The black finish has been easy to keep clean although the keypad cover seems to retain fingerprints. These ever present fingerprints and smudges are easily removed.