GE PVM9179SFSS Convection Microwave Review

GE PVM9179SFSS Convection Microwave Review

If you are looking for a large convection microwave oven but don’t have enough countertop space, you may want to shortlist the GE PVM9179SFSS Profile 1.7 cu. ft. Stainless Steel Over-the-Range Microwave Convection Oven.

As the name suggests, this model packs a larger-than-usual capacity of 1.7 cubic feet, compared to the usual 1.2 or even 0.9 cubic feet microwave convection ovens that we have tested recently.

So how does the GE PVM9179SFSS measure up to its competitions? Let’s find out.

 

 

Features of GE PVM9179SFSS Profile Microwave Convection Oven

 

The looks of GE PVM9179SFSS is rather unremarkable. It features a brushed stainless steel finish, a side-mounted door handle, and a control panel complete with a turn-knob.

While it is not as stylish as the Samsung MC12J8035CT convection microwave (our 2nd pick in the best convection microwaves category), it’s safe to say that GE did not take any risks with the design of PVM9179SFSS.

This model also comes with a whole host of features – for full details view the complete user manual.

prosDesigned to Save Countertop Space

While the GE PVM9179SFSS occupies a large footprint of 26″ (L) x 16″ (W) x 15″ (H) and weighs a hefty 85.2 pounds, it is actually designed as an over-the-range convection microwave.

Of course, you can still use it as a countertop oven just as we did, but you are given the choice to mount it should you have enough space between your cabinet and the stove.

As a rule of thumb, you should have at least 20″ to 25″ of space in between the cabinets and your stoves if you consider to mount it over-the-range.

Also keep in mind to leave 3″ to 5″ space between the wall and the back of the oven to prevent overheating, since it is externally-vented from the back.

pros

4 Cooking Modes

The cooking modes that come with the GE PVM9179SFSS are pretty standard – Convection Bake, FastBake, Microwave and Warm. Since it is a convection microwave oven, you can also use combination cooking to shorten both cooking and preheat time in convection mode.

prosHumidity Sensor

Just like the Sharp R-930AW, humidity sensors are used in conjunction with the microwave function, where sensors are used to gauge the cooking progress based on steam produced from the food.

To use this feature you have to select the type of food (e.g. beverage and dried meat produce vastly different amount of steam).

Remember not to use humidity sensor in 2 successive cooking sessions on the same food.

We made the mistake of microwaving our lasagna with sensors, opened the door (steam escaped) and put it through another round of sensor cooking because it was slightly under-cooked after the first round.

As the sensors use steam and humidity to estimate cooking progress, our lasagna was overcooked and burnt at the end. If you think that your food is under-cooked, choose to add a minute or two using the knob instead.

prosComes with Wire Oven Racks for Convection Cooking

Just like traditional convection ovens, you can use provided wire racks at 2 different positions to roast, broil and bake in convection mode.

If you use metal trays for convection cooking, make sure to remove them when you switch to microwave mode, or you may see sparks or arching in the oven.

 

GE PVM9179SFSS

GE PVM9179SFSS installed above the stove

 

Advantages

 

During our relatively brief testing period of 1 week, the GE PVM9179SFSS performed pretty well, even though there are certainly areas that can be improved.

pros

Large Interior and Turntable

With a spacious interior capacity of 1.7 cubic feet and a large glass turntable measuring 13.5″, you can put pretty much any food into the convection microwave oven and not worry about over-stuffing it.

We have roasted a whole chicken on the rotating turntable and it is not even close to touching the sides. This makes it ideal for family-sized meals and heating up larger pizzas.

prosQuiet Operation

We measured a noise level of 52 decibels from the front of the microwave convection oven while it is running. This is equivalent to the noise level in a quiet office, so noise is definitely not an issue here.

prosConvenient Turn Knob

While most other manufacturers have moved on to touch panels, GE has retained the classic turn knob in PVM9179SFSS. We have to say that using a turn knob is definitely faster when it comes to adding seconds or minutes to the cooking time.

When the microwave convection oven is not running, turning the knob will increase or decrease cooking time by 15 seconds at a time. If it is cooking, turning the knob will change the time in 5 second increments instead.

prosSmart Sensors Take the Guesswork Away

The humidity sensors included in the GE PVM9179SFSS really simplify the cooking process. Even though we managed to burn our food by using the sensors, we admit that it was mainly caused by our lack of understanding of this feature.

Once we got the hang of it, letting the sensors do their job generally get us satisfactory results. The trick is not to seal your food and open up enough gap, so that steam can escape and fill the interior of the oven.

The sensors can generally make accurate estimation if steam is allowed to fill the space. Do not be tempted to pause and open the door to check on your food.

Once the steam escape, the sensors will stop working accurately.

 

What Could be Better?

 

Even though there are a lot to be liked, the GE PVM9179SFSS also had a few glaring flaws that may be a deal breaker.

consPremium Price Tag

The GE PVM9179SFSS is definitely not a budget selection, as it commands a premium price even among the more pricey convection microwave oven category. Buy this model only if you definitely need a larger-than-usual internal capacity.

consUnder-Powered Microwave

It is equipped with 1000W microwave heating elements in a 1.7 cubic feet internal capacity.

In comparison, the usual 1.2 cubic feet convection microwave ovens such as the Cuisinart CMW-200 (Editor’s Choice) are also equipped with an equally powerful heating element.

As a result, the GE PVM9179SFSS takes longer to preheat and to cook similar food compared to its smaller competitors.

consQuestionable Longevity

While we cannot comment on its longevity as we only had the unit for 1 week testing, we found that many users had problems with their units months after the purchase.

Some stopped heating completely, while others had various problems that require major repairs, costing hundreds of dollars in the process.

This is not what we expect from an appliance commanding a premium price tag, so exercise caution if you are buying this model.

consSlow Warranty Claim

While GE claims to give warranty for major parts for up to 10 years, many users reported having to wait for a long time for replacement parts to arrive and then another long waiting period for repairmen to show up.

For us, the speed of repair is crucial for appliances that are used daily, and the delay in warranty claim will undoubtedly cause inconvenience to daily lives.

 

The Bottom Line

 

You have quite a lot of options if you are in the market for a microwave convection oven, but few models can rival the large internal capacity of the GE PVM9179SFSS. To be honest, during our testing period, our unit performed reasonably well.

However, researching into the experience of other buyers revealed a whole host of problems, with the most notable being its reliability and longevity. There are too many customers who encountered problems just a few months after purchasing this product.

We expect certain kitchen appliances like a microwave convection oven to last for years after the initial purchase, so we can’t really recommend this model for our readers.

If you are looking for a reliable microwave convection oven that won’t break the bank, we strongly recommend that you consider the Cuisinart CMW-200 instead.

 

 

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