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.