The GE Advantium wall mounted oven is a modern marvel which combines the best of both microwave and conventional convection ovens. While visiting a friend’s home in Austin, Texas, I was introduced to the idea of this new microwave oven that had a dual function of convection oven ability. My friend, Jon, is what’s known as an information maven. He’s the kind of person who never tires of exploring and experimenting with new ideas, new technologies, new consumer products. The real beauty with information mavens is they not only love being abreast of the latest technology, they love telling others what they’ve found.
I suppose I used a microwave oven like most people do, to warm up leftovers, cook bacon, and maybe defrost something frozen. Rarely do people actually cook or bake goods in microwave ovens. So the notion of a single wall-mounted microwave oven that could bake and brown as well as reheat with microwave speed grabbed my attention. The wall mounted aspect is appealing because it’s highly accessible from my wheelchair and it doesn’t clutter up kitchen counter space.
Basically how the Advantium oven works as a conventional convection oven is with halogen lights. It comes with two large Lazy Susan type inserts — one is glass and the other is a Teflon-coated metal. You use the glass for microwaving and the metal for conventional baking. The control panel is simple and easy to understand. The oven comes programmed with approximately 80 dishes. While I’ve not taken full advantage of its capabilities, I certainly use it on a daily basis.
One of its keenest features is a setting called “Reheat plate of food.” The machine has sensors built in so I don’t have to worry about the power setting or the time. I just put a plate of leftovers in, dial in that setting and the oven beeps then shuts off once it senses the food has been reheated. It’s rarely wrong.
Another simple feature is broiling a steak. You just lay the seasoned meat on the non-stick metal inset and dial in the particulars. By particulars I mean it prompts you with questions like: T-Bone, New York Strip, Ribeye, etc. I make my selection and about halfway through the cycle the oven pauses, beeps and advises me it’s time to turn the meat over. Clean-up is simple because all you have to clean is the Teflon-coated metal Lazy Susan insert.
I also have a full-sized convection oven, but day in, day out, I use my Advantium. Its simple, command-driven menu control panel makes it really easy to use. Be it reheating my coffee, a plate of leftovers, or cooking a Pepperidge Farms turnover, the Advantium performs quickly & efficiently without heating up the entire kitchen. It’s one of those things you have no idea how useful it will be when you purchase it, but having used for a year or so you can’t imagine living without one.
Pamela Slover Percival wrote a terrific article about this oven online at Texas Cooking — I highly recommend you pull it up and read it. She goes into more detail about how the technology works. I can only speak to how effective and convenient it is in my daily life.