GE shows that it trusts you with its convenient, if limited smart oven features.
The MSRP of this GE Profile Double Convection Wall Oven PT9550SFSS is $3,699, putting it firmly in luxury appliance territory. A simple remote control app actually makes this one of the smartest smart appliances we've seen so far, but to truly justify its cost, this oven also needs to shine as a cooking device. We'll report definitively on that in the next few weeks. For now, here's our take on the basic features, in particular the mobile software.
This GE oven is available in a stainless steel or black finish. The stainless-steel version I'm testing looks sophisticated and uncomplicated; there aren't any superfluous embellishments that get in the way of functionality. The inside of the oven is of particular note. It comes with racks that connect to bolts on the side of each oven. That way, instead of positioning the racks on select grooves, you get six different ladder-heights for more adjustment options. It also doesn't have exposed bottom heating elements that make maintenance and cleaning more precarious.
GE has packed this oven with features designed for optimal efficiency and performance. Both the top and bottom ovens have a 5-cubic-foot capacity and can switch between convection and traditional electric methods, with various baking, roasting, and broiling options for both. The convection bake mode relies on what GE pitches as a unique "direct air" system, that circulates heat from ceiling vents around the food. The User's Manual provides a detailed description of when and how to effectively use each of the settings. The dual convection and various modes are fairly standard for high-end double ovens, so aside from the air circulation design, you will find few surprises here.
The upper oven comes with two oven racks and one roller rack, the lower oven comes with two oven racks, and both ovens have six adjustable rack heights. Upper and lower food temperature probes also come standard with this model, there's a regular self clean mode and a steam clean mode that uses water to mist away smaller messes at a lower temperature. The oven display panel comes with touch controls that are well-organized and can be cleared of fingerprint smudges with a damp washcloth. You can lock the display if oven security is a concern, and halogen lights make it easy to see what's going on inside the ovens without having to open the doors.
The notification lighting is one of the stand-out features offered on the PT9550SFSS. An LED light bar is located underneath the oven display. It only works for the upper oven, but it's a neat feature nonetheless. When the LED bar pulses, the oven is preheating; when it shows a progress bar, it's counting down with the timer; when it's solid, it has either reached the desired temperature or function, or the kitchen timer is complete. If you pay attention to the light, you won't have to get up to see how close your food is to being done. And if the light annoys you, you can switch it off.
So that's a unique feature, but the real piece de resistance is the mobile cooking feature. GE has equipped this oven and other select appliances with a wireless setting called Remote Enable. If you download the free GE Brillion app on your Android or iOS device, you can connect to both ovens, and select a mode, temperature, and cooking time from your phone. It's basically a remote control for your oven. That way, you can turn on your oven without having to be in the kitchen at all. You have to be connected to your home Wi-Fi to use this feature, though. If not, you will get the following error message: "Your app can not communicate with your appliance when you are away from your home network."
Requiring a local connection to turn the oven on via app is a logical safety measure, but GE stands out from LG with this capability. LG's
The GE Brillion setup is simple and the app is really easy to use. To get started, download the app and then hit the Remote Enable button on the oven display. The app will then walk you through the few steps required to connect your oven to your Wi-Fi. This is a very intuitive appliance app and it even provides oven trivia and jokes for you while it performs software updates. This Remote Enable feature really does take the functionality of this oven up a step.
Ultimately, I'd like to both vendors take cues from each other. Using your phone to turn the GE oven on from the couch is convenient. I'm not convinced that sending cooking instructions is the most critical smart function, but the harder these vendors push against each other, the most likely they are to land on something more useful. We will have a full review of the GE Profile Built-In Double Convection wall oven soon. For now, you can also take a look at our hands-on with the aforementioned