Replacing a kitchen appliance
May 6, 2013 10:39 pm
Updated: May 13, 2013 10:17 pm
When it comes to buying new kitchen "things," I often just jump, and pay the bill when it comes... Items over about $100 however, I spend a little time on... Perhaps I'm too cautious, or maybe even obsessive/compulsive, but I have found in the past that
"shopping around" and being patient, can be beneficial!
For instance, it took me TWO YEARS before I bit the bullet and purchased my current gas stove. I had some definate requirements, but didn't
really need a new stove. When I began "looking," I did find one that I really liked, that priced in at about $2700, which I thought was somewhat ridiculous, considering that my old stove worked fine. I did not stop, but continued shopping. My patience
finally paid off... I found a stove that had all that I wanted, 5 burners, 2 ovens, self cleaning and convection options in the larger oven. Final price after taxes and delivery fees was approx. $1850 with a "regular" price of $2300. I was, and have been,
a happy camper since!
Now to my point... It became obvious that the 4th microwave oven I've ever owned (since the late 1970's) was about to bite the dust. Simply warming up a l/o something one day for lunch, the poor thing was so tired the turntable was barely turning, and it
was groaning worse than I've ever done in my life! As time permitted, I began my search - not only for brand of micro, but also features. I admit, that I did pay more for this one than I've ever paid, but face it, prices have gone up a tad since 1978! Of
my 3 old micro's I've owned only two brands, and opted finally to return to the brand of the first, as the brand of 2 and 3 seemed not very popular, nor very easy to find these days, so I began searching the "most popular" brands of this point in time.
Since my kitchen remodel a few yrs ago, I've gone pretty much black and/or stainless, so I was looking for any micro with a stainless steel (even faux,) front. (My friend just bought her second all black, and I have to admit that I HATE the look - but that's
preference on my part!) I began my search on "amazon.com" (no, don't work for them!) and from there to major stores from "big box" warehouses to "Target," and "Sears" etc. I kept returning to "amazon." After choosing what I thought was a nice looking unit,
I searched all store websites I could think of for that model/make, reading a few of the reviews at each site. I even went so far as to go the manufacturer's site, and looked at reviews. This all made me laugh, actually! Considering delivery charges, I
did finally opt for amazon, as they paid shipping, though their price was not the lowest.
It was the actual reviews posted by folks who had bought this unit, that surprised me the most. Regardless of what site I was on, MOST reviews rated well, but there were about 3 common complaints. 1 - "the light doesn't come on unless the micro is operating."
(The manufacturer did this, so when you wished to "air out" the micro, or let the interior dry after cleaning, you wouldn't waste electricity. Made sense to me...) 2 - "the door is difficult to open as the button requires more pressure to release the lock."
I happen to have very weak hands, and have no problem! I don't find it any more difficult than the old one, in fact! 3 - "The led readout is too dim to read most of the time." Mine faces a skylight, and even with any glare from it, it's as bright as the
old one was! Another is the one that really cracks me up... The complaint was that when "she" opened the door, it would swing closed before she could put food into it. Uh... is your COUNTER level? Did you try sticking a match book under both feet on the
"low" end? I certainly don't have that problem!
I've had this new "Panasonic" microwave for a couple of months now, and I'm still learning about all that it will do, with little attention from me. It's called a "genious" model - the darn thing seems to "think" as it cooks, if you press the correct buttons!
The defrost cycle is simple, all you have to do is push "defrost," then enter approx. weight (of ANY TYPE OF FOOD) and then "start." It will warn you when it thinks you should "turn over" the food, and stops automatically when it decides the food is defrosted.
I also like "sensor reheat" and "sensor cook." Either way, press the button followed by "start" and it will reheat/cook foods until it detects moisture in the oven, and will stop the process. Check the food, and go on your way - to date, I've never had to
repeat any cooking times! Another feature that I've not yet explored, is to put food into the oven and tell it by a number 1-10 what type of food (like frozen dinner, or dinner plate) and it will automatically stop when the food is ready! The thing amazes
me on a regular basis, and I do use it multiple times a day for a variety of functions, and with little thought on my part.
Is newer better? My first micro, also a Panasonic had two controls, a dial for time, and a slide control for "power." Anything between full power, and defrost, you were on your own... Learn as you go, I suppose. 20 yrs or more seems to have made a difference.
All in all, I've found that spending an afternoon or two when you're in a hurry to purchase at item pays off, and that if you "want" an expensive item, it sure pays to be patient, and shop around, month after month... even up to years! That is, unless the
"old" had died, and you need "new" in a hurry! At that point, you're at the mercy of whomever you contact to fix what's broke!
Just wished to share something (valuable?) that I've learned over time... It's that, or simply be happy, be healthy, be CRAZY!