Advantium Wrap Up

there's no advantium hiding in this graphic. i just really love the image.

Over the last three months I have discovered that the Advantium really has helped me do more in my kitchen.  Do you mind if I review some highlights?

I used it to Speedcook an entire chicken in 45 minutes.  My first attempt showed me the importance of finding the proper cookware to get the most benefit out of Speedcook.  Thanks to a bit of internet searching and researching, I finally came up with a solution to that challenge.  Emile Henry has a line of microwave safe dutch ovens that work as beautifully in the Advantium (on all its various settings) as they do on the stove top or in my gas oven.  The 4.2 quart fits perfectly and rotates freely in the Advantium and it has easy to grab handles AND a lid.  Best of all, because the Emile Henry isn’t cast iron, it doesn’t weigh a ton like my other dutch ovens do. Oh happy day.

I harnessed the power of the Warm setting to keep my canning jars at a perfect temperature.  Never again will have I have to juggle jars in and out of a wee water bath two and three at a time to keep them ready for canning.  I can prep all of my jars at once and trust that the Warm setting will take care of the rest.

And let’s not forget that Speedcook took my tenderloin filet from raw to medium in less than 20 minutes.  For. Real.  No preheating.  No splattered cooktop.  It was a thing of beauty.

But those aren’t the only things I’ve been cooking up in the Advantium.

I’ve used the Quickcook preset for frozen pizza rolls to perfectly brown homemade meatballs before finishing them off in a pot of sauce.

I’ve also become well acquainted with the frozen waffle-fry preset.  And I have begun devoting space in my freezer to bags of frozen sweet potato fries because of this.

Most recipes that require baking now get put in the Advantium on the Convection setting instead of my big oven.  Those bran muffins were just the first of many sweet (and savory) dishes that have done time in the Advantium.  Winter squash, braised pork, and raspberry oatmeal bars are recent additions to that list.

Now that I have had time to become more familiar with the Advantium, there are some things that I wish it did better.

If you have a toaster or toaster oven, I don’t think the Advantium is going to take it out of commission.  Toasting in the Advantium is different…in order to get both sides of something toasty brown, I have to carefully reach in and turn it over.  It took me a while to figure that out.  I kept wondering why my bread was as pale after three minutes as it was when I first put it in.  A quick investigation showed me that the browning happens to which ever side is in contact with the metal cooking tray.  And the toast setting isn’t as user friendly as it could be.  With a toaster or toaster oven, you set it on a light to dark continuum; with the Advantium you set it for a cooking time.  I still haven’t figured out how to convert the light/dark settings into cooking times.

In a perfect world there would be a single cooking tray for the unit that could be used in all cooking modes.  It’s a struggle, especially in a small kitchen, to have to store a second cooking tray but to also have it be easily accessible at all times.  In addition to the issue of finding a place for the tray that isn’t in use to be stored, there’s the matter of having to switch trays in order to change cooking modes.  Say you want to do something as routine such as going from braising a pork roast on Convection to cooking a side serving of vegetables, to go with that braised pork, on Microwave.  After you’ve taken your hot dish out of the Advantium and set it somewhere to rest you have to reach in to the hot oven,  carefully remove the hot metal cooking tray, find a place to put that so it can cool, get the glass tray from wherever you’ve stored it, and install it.  A single cooking tray would simplify this greatly.

The wire cooking racks, used in the Convection mode, do not slide in and out of the unit like the racks in my big oven.  This means that it is imperative for me to remember to put my cake pans and muffin tins on baking sheets before I set them in the Advantium.  Otherwise, especially since I am reaching up into the unit, I struggle to securely get my oven mitt on the pan in order to pull it out of the oven.

Would it be wonderful if GE were able to refine the Advantium further to make it even more user friendly?  Absolutely.  Would it benefit the home cook to have even more preset cooking options factory programmed into the Advantium…especially ones for cooking things other than frozen convenience foods?  You betcha.  Would it be less intimidating to figure out how to take recipes users already have and make them Quickcook friendly if some type of conversion guidelines were available?  Without a doubt.

But like I said a few hundred words ago, the Advantium has allowed me to do more.  It has given me confidence that I can overcome some of my biggest cooking challenges (yes, I’m looking at you bread).  I never imagined that a kitchen appliance would increase my self esteem…lord knows enough of them have chipped away at it…but that’s exactly what’s happened.  I doubt I will ever be fearless in the kitchen but I now have a powerful tool in my arsenal.

I am still giddy beyond belief to have had the opportunity to work with GE.  My sincere thanks go out to all the folks involved with the project for allowing me to help tell the Advantium story.  It truly has been a pleasure.

Disclaimer:  As part of my partnership with GE, I received an Advantium oven.  All opinions posted about my Advantium experience are my own.

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16 Responses to Advantium Wrap Up

  1. JenniferA says:

    Thank you for your honest critique. When the day comes that my above the range microwave craps out, I will definitely be taking the Advantium into consideration. I like the idea of any appliance that comes with more kitchen confidence – especially one that helped relieve your bread fears!

    • Wendi says:

      Jennifer, I really do love the Advantium and how it has given me more confidence in the kitchen. I know that I have only scratched the surface of what this thing can do in the short time that I’ve had it. And even if my wishlist of refinements never become a reality, it is still a powerful tool to have.

      ________________________________

  2. Megan Robison says:

    Wendi – thanks so much for working with us! Your honest feedback and input is exactly what we were looking for, and we truly value everything you’ve shared. And on a personal note, I can’t wait to give canning a try!

    • Wendi says:

      Megan, I hope you’ll continue to follow along as my Advantium Adventures continue. Thanks for taking a chance on me : )

      ________________________________

  3. It’s very refreshing to see your candid comments about the Advantium–BOTH positive and negative. I have owned mine for about one year and have encountered many of the same issues as you, like having to switch from metal to glass cooking trays. My biggest joy with this “oven” is watching an apple pie bake perfectly in 25 minutes!
    I will watch for future comments from you, Wendi.

    • Wendi says:

      Barbara, I haven’t attempted a pie in the Advantium yet. Is that a custom SpeedCook setting that you added? Thanks for planting that seed.

      I’m still amazed by how versatile the Advantium is. If GE could develop a single cooking tray….it would take an already fantastic product and make it that much more user friendly.

  4. Michele N says:

    I just found your site through GE Appliances on Facebook & think I’ll be back. I don’t have an Advantium but did just get a GE Profile Oven & Microwave both with convection & still haven’t played with the convection in the microwave. I’ve used it a bit in the oven but so far it doesn’t seem to have a lot of advantages over regular baking, mine seems to take longer to bake for the most part, it does cook evenly but usually new ovens are better at that anyways. I will definitely be trying the convection on the microwave soon.

    • Wendi says:

      Michele, I know that it takes a while to get used to a new appliance. I still feel like I’m getting to know the Advantium and I’ve been using it daily for a few months now.

  5. amy kontir says:

    hi, wendy,

    i’m looking into the advantium and wondering if it can fully replace an oven or if it is something one uses in addition to an oven, somewhat like a microwave. i’m no “chef” but i do like to cook!

    thanks for the helpful review!

    • Wendi says:

      Amy, as much as I love and use my Advantium each and every day, it has not replaced my full gas oven. However, the unit I have is the above the range model and so I can’t speak to whether the wall mounted models might provide a larger interior for such things as big roasting pans for the holiday turkey or even a Calphalon grill pan for roasting a pork loin…I found out the hard way that the Calphalon grill pan is too wide to fit in my Advantium.

      If there is an appliance distributor near you, it might be worth a visit to check out the wall mounted model. I think the big box stores might even carry them.

  6. Carolina says:

    Just a note that may be helpful to other Advantium users: I don’t know what the official GE word is on the glass tray, but I stopped using it after like day two and have never had a problem. My prior microwave/convection had only a metal, enameled turntable and I remember thinking like, what is the purpose of this glass thing in the Advantium? This saves a lot of time and bother switching the trays out. If anyone from GE reads this, I’d appreciate the feedback especially if there is some disaster lurking ahead if I continue to NOT use the glass tray. Thanks!

  7. Matt says:

    We’ve had a 120v Advantium for 3 years. Is is used as microwave and second conventional oven, and occasionally for speed cook. I’d recommend the 240 model if you can make it work; the 120’s microwave is great, but halogen, convection, and lower heating element don’t put out enough energy to make things cook really fast. We’ll get the 240 when we remodel and can fit the 30″ width.

    We always use the metal tray and haven’t had any problems (I don’t even know where the glass tray is). The manual for the newer models (which haven’t changed functionally) states that using the metal tray is just “not optimal for microwave performance”, but doesn’t warn against and danger or problems.

    • Wendi says:

      I am so guilty of not utilizing as much of the power of the Advantium as I could. But I am still stumbling across discoveries….like reheat plate of food…LOVE that.

      And I’m too scared that I will be the one that blows up the unit if I use the metal tray in microwave mode. I blame it on being scarred from the microwaves of the 1980’s. If you even said metal those things would spark.

    • Carolina says:

      Matt thanks for the confirmation on the metal tray. I am still using it exclusively and nothing has exploded so far.

      Interesting on the food reheat…we had a a Dacor micro/convection prior and I think that the Dacor oven had a much better, more accurate and easier reheat sensor than the Advantium. The only reason we bought the Advantium instead, when we moved, was because the Dacar over the range model we needed wasn’t as large and the stand alone.

      I’ve been happy but like a lot of users, am still exploring all the features. Especially the Speedcook!

  8. Karen Smart says:

    I just installed an Advantium 120 wall unit. Cooked a pork roast in it last night. While I am finding it difficult to wrap my brain around the speed cooking cookware needs versus the convection/microwave ones, I so far am very happy with the results of the things I have cooked. I got on this site because I am looking for cookware that is beneficial in the speed cook mode. As I said the roast was good but I was not thrilled with the splatter it created. I did not have a glass cover at the time and am looking for cookware that will help curb the mess. I will check out the Emile Henry line. Thank you for the info on that. Are there any other helpful pieces (cookware) that you suggest? I will be adding this site to my favorites to keep updated with the discoveries this oven has to offer.

    • Wendi says:

      Karen, I mostly use that Emile Henry dutch oven in the Advantium for Speed Cook. The beauty of that piece is that you can use it with all of the Advantium cooking options (convection, microwave, Speed Cook) as well as on the stovetop and in the regular oven. I would think Pyrex is also convection, microwave, and Speed Cook friendly. Hope that helps.

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