GE PK7800SKSS Built-In Convection Oven And Microwave Review
It is usually very difficult to see a double wall oven and microwave without thinking of cooking shows these days. In context, they seemed more of a prop in their kitchen, with raw ingredients placed in the top while mouthwatering meals were being removed seconds later from the bottom. The GE Convection oven and microwave sets the standard for style and performance, as well as provides users with unique and welcome features.
- Thorough Cooking
- High Visibility Notification Lighting
- Clever Sliding Rack
- Smart Features are not easy
- Great customer service
The front of the oven has a classic configuration. There is a control panel above two similar sized bays, stainless steel doors, and tempered glass windows. A 30 inch-wide cabinet can allow the oven to be fit with no problem, it is about 58 in. tall and about 27 in. deep.
Located on a black strip at the top of the unit is a control panel that provides controls and audio feedback. The hinges allow each of the large doors to be lowered with little effort, and also close without jerking up and providing an aggressive slamming motion and sound.
Between the control panel and the upper bay is a strip of red light that provides a unique way of giving feedback, pulsing if the machine is preheating, in use, or filling up incrementally to show how much time has elapsed since in use. This is a great way to get information from across the kitchen.
No Shortage of Space
There’s no shortage of space in this gorgeous machine. Both the oven and microwave oven are an impressive five cubic feet, which is more than most competitors out there. The oven is lit by three halogen lights that gradually illuminate when one of the doors is opened. There is also a 1/4-inch jack in the upper left-hand corner to allow included meat probes to be used. Between the control panel and upper bay lays a strip of red light, which provides at-a-glance feedback.
The oven offers a six ladder position, on which the user can place four standard racks, or one neat sliding rack, which are all included. The sliding rack can extend and retract on a ball-bearing track smoothly, and removes from the space when a set of tabs are released on either side of the rack while being pulled out. It is rated to hold up to 50 pounds, which is more than enough. All of the racks can be placed in the machine during self-cleaning processes.
The heat source in the convection actually comes from vents near the top of the oven, which is then directed over the surface of the cooking materials by a fan that can be seen spinning at the back of both bays. The lower heating elements are both beneath the chassis inside, which makes cleanup processes easier than they normally would be with a traditional element. Water can never be poured directly onto the element housings to take advantage of steam clean functions.
Simple Controls and Connectivity
The interface can be found above the microwave, with an LCD display and two sub-panels. On the left of which contains keys for the oven and mode selection, a remote enable, and a control lock. A 10-key numeric keypad, timer, cleaning and light options are all found towards the right. The keys are clearly shown on the black surface of the panel’s surface. The display itself is split to the left for both ovens.
The timer and timed cook options are both very simple. Simply typing in the desired time and hitting the start option worked perfectly for each case. If, when setting up time. A user decides that they would like to raise or lower temperatures, they only need to clear the three-digit display and enter a new value. There are no ‘raise’ or ‘lower’ buttons to make these adjustments.
Our testers of the unit did find some issues with the App (available for iOS and Android), before being able to use it. The app is simple, designed to connect to the machine over the Wi-Fi of a home network. After holding down the ‘remote enable’ option for several seconds, the oven will hunt for a network and a connection indicator light will flash, solidifying once a connection has been established. If a rapid flash occurs, this means that there was an error during the connection process which was what we found.
Upon downloading and starting the app on an iPhone, our testers were unable to complete registration due to a multitude of bugs in the app. In the end our testers needed to disconnect from their home network, before going back to the original network.
Some users may find that the app may be more trouble than it is worth, but, once connected, it provides most options that are available on the oven. It sent goofy and genuine information about cooking during software updates. The unit will need to be reconnected to the app via ‘remote enable’ prior to every use, so planning ahead if it needs preheating before arriving home from work. GE assures that this feature is an intentional feature, so that preheating doesn’t happen if something is still stored in the machine for space saving. Still, this impressed testers by being able to be turned on and off from across a kitchen by using a smartphone.
GE’s oven does an excellent job with heating both evenly and quickly. It preheated to 250 degrees in a little over 8 minutes, but heating that can be shortened to less than 6 minutes. A low humming can be heard during use with any sort of convection oven’s cooking setting, but it is not as annoying as others we have tested. It’s also expected that exhaust will create a small breeze of air, which can be felt from below the lower door.
The ‘DirectAir’ convection heat is created and flows from respective vents and blows around the bakeware. The machine offers ‘True European’ convection, which means there is an element found near the back of both the oven where warmth is directed into bays through a fan.
Using a regular convection, a test batch of bread was baked with even results. A whole batch reached a consistent temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. When using traditional bake as an option, there was a 10 degree difference between the read from center to edge of the loaf.
An unforeseen encounter was found, although obvious when considered later upon reflection, due to efficient heating of this oven. It was still very hot, at a temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit, after about half an hour after its use. This unit includes a cooling fan, but the fan can run for about an hour and a half before the oven is at normal temperature.
The steam clean function is a half hour cycle and is intended for lighter dirt and stain use. A more traditional self-cleaning cycle can take between three to five hours.
Warranty and Support
The GE warranty covers parts and labor for one year and claims that it will offer discounts on an extended warranty if purchased during the normal warranty. Similar appliances seem to share this philosophy by also ending their warranty periods after one year.
Customer Service was also fast and courteous when reached out to regarding Wi-Fi issues. The website for GE also has a very informative and helpful QA section where customers can check own questions from those of other users.