46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: GE Profile : PHB925SPSS 30 Freestanding Induction Range, 5 Cooking Zones, Convection, Self Clean
I need to say out front that this is by far the best range I have ever used. The stove top heats amazingly fast. You'll have to revise the way you do all your cooking, because you really can't do much of anything "while you wait for the water to boil." The convection oven does a great job of baking things at a uniform temperature, even when you put three baking sheets in at once. We wish our other kitchen appliances were half as good as this. Having said that, I'm going to spend the rest of this review griping about all the little things that annoy me about this thing, because, after all, shouldn't it be perfect?
First, the manual is awful. They seem to have decided to write one manual for all their stoves. You're supposed to pick out the bits that apply to your stove, except they aren't all there. For example, there is lots of discussion of what kinds of pots you can use on glass cook tops, but nothing on what you can use on induction cook tops.
Speaking of which, it seems that the pots that work are cast iron, hideously expensive stainless steel custom made for induction cooking, and really cheap stainless steel. The only pots we had that worked on this were our cheapo Akia pots. Cheapo pots are clearly the way to go. Who needs a $100 stainless steel pot that says you shouldn't scour it because you might ruin the finish. Is that a cooking pot or modern art?
The control panel is up behind the cooking surface, where kids can't reach it (which is good or bad depending on the kids), and where you have to reach over boiling pots of water to touch the controls. The controls are labeled gray on black, so they are pretty much impossible to read in poor light, so you always have to turn the hood light on before you operate the controls. You'll never learn the locations of the buttons because the controls for the four main burners are arranged in a weird asymmetrical way. It's all push button control, so to change the temperature, you have to go pushity-pushity-pushity, or hold the button down for a while. Either way, much slower and clumsier than twisting a knob. To mitigate this, there are some shortcut buttons, asymmetrical again, with three burners having a button that sets the temp to 3, while the other has a button to set it to HIGH.
The black glass cook top has the burners dimly marked again in gray. Since the pots tend to slide around easily when you stir, they can easily drift off the center of the burner without you noticing. Once I had a metal measuring spoon that happened to land on the part of the burner beside the off center pot, and I was surprised to find it getting quite hot, because I hasn't noticed it was on the burner. I suppose marking the burners more clearly wouldn't be as sleek looking, but it'd be better.
One less obvious advantage of an induction stove is that that handles of pots usually don't get hot. Since the base of the pot is being heated directly, there isn't heat streaming up the sides of the pot, so the handles don't get heated directly. They only way they get hot is by heat conducted through the pot, and most pots are designed to limit conduction of heat into the handles.
The cook top is very easy to clean, but there is a bit of a groove around the edges that take a bit more effort to clean.
Sometimes you get a weird buzzing noise when the induction is on. Probably this is harmless, but it can be disconcerting.
The oven seems to pre-heat a bit more slowly than other, non-convection, ovens we've owned. If that's the price you have to pay for the consistent and uniform baking temperatures that it gives us, then that's no bad deal.
So on the whole, a great range, well worth the high price if you cook a lot, but I personally would prefer if they'd focused a bit more on the practicality of the controls rather than a stylish look.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 1, 2011 12:30:35 PM PST
Jan Wolter says:
Since posting this, I've noticed another glitch. On the front left burner, if you hold the minus temperature control down, it sometimes suddenly jumps to HIGH. Ugh.
Posted on Nov 15, 2011 2:23:20 PM PST
Jan, thanks for reporting on some of the problems. I just got mine and haven't done much with it yet. I tested all the burners and it does boil water fast!
I also decided to test the oven and am very glad I did because of the problems I had. The oven gives off a terrible odor, which the manual says is normal and will happen for the first several uses. I've now heated it past 350 four times, the last for nearly an hour, and it still smells. Do you know whether running the cleaning cycle will take care of this? I'm glad I was just testing and not actually cooking something. There should be a big bold warning about this to prevent us from ruining the food we excitedly prepare for our new baby's maiden voyage! I'm going to have to cook dinner in the toaster oven, which I'm lucky to have since the old stove is in the garage.
The second problem really bothers me because of the stupidity of the design. I followed the instructions in the--like you said--really TERRIBLE manual for timed baking, but it uses part of it in the preheat cycle. For example, if I want to bake for 60 minutes but it takes 15 minutes for the preheat, the oven shuts off 45 minutes after it reaches the temp. I can't bake right that way! I have to guess how long it will take and time accordingly. There's no excuse for that. And it does take a long time, a good 20 minutes; old stove took ~5.
The third problem that I've found so far is that when timed cooking ends, the stove beeps over and over; seems like it will go on forever unless I physically shut the beeper off. It's incredibly annoying. Have you found a way to prevent this?
I've asked these questions on the GE site but so far no answer, nor are they posted. I guess I'll ask on Ernie's review too, to maximize my chances of finding solutions.
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