Design and Usability
The Professional line's looks continue to impress
We've already spoken at length about the Professional aesthetic and in general we are all in favor of design-centric appliances that don't cost an arm and a leg. There's no denying that the Frigidiare FPBM3077RF is a beautiful product, but it's distinctive enough that it only makes sense if you're buying it to match the Frigidaire Professional FPGF3077QF gas range or the Frigidaire Professional FPEF3077QF electric range.
Not only does it have a distinctive handle, but the FPBM3077RF is also coated in the company's smudge-proof stainless steel. The coating works as advertised and is indeed more resistant to grime and stains. However, it is a shade darker than most other stainless trims, so keep that in mind if you want it to match your existing appliances.
The FPBM3077RF's control panel stretches across the bottom portion of the unit and provides access to a number of cooking modes and options. Including: Popcorn, Sensor Cook, Veggies, Melt/Soften, Reheat, Convection Bake, Convection Roast, Convection Warm, Defrost, Combi Cook, Power Cook, Timer, Turntable On/Off, Turn Audio On/Off, Vent Fan, and Cooktop Light. The FPBM3077RF also features a PowerBright interior LED light that stays on while your food cooks.
Alongside a four-level fan and a adjustable over-the-range light the FPBM3077RF also features a adjustable timer which lets you add seconds or minutes as you cook. It's a simple feature but one that adds a extra level of convenience to the cooking experience.
Uneven all round
The 1.8-cu.-ft. capacity microwave offers both standard and convection cooking options, but both settings proved unimpressive. The microwave is powerful as indicated but its ability to heat water in a flash, but power is less important than evenness where cooking is concerned. When we measured the standard settings, we found hot spots and cold spots. The sensor-cook setting burned our food entirely. The FPBM3077RF faired better in our defrost tests, but proved slightly overzealous, resulting in borderline-cooked sections of frozen food we just wanted to defrost.
As a 2-in-1, the FPBM3077RF includes a convection mode. Sadly, there is no convection conversion setting so be sure to reduce your recipe temperatures by 25°F if you plan on using it. We've yet to be truly impressed by microwave convection cooking performance and the FPBM3077RF does little to buck that trend. We tested this mode using batches of cookies which came out unevenly baked. It should prove more than adequate for cuts of meat or vegetables but we would stick to the range in the case of baked goods.
Users can also combine settings using the Combi Cook setting, which uses both microwave and convection cooking modes in conjunction with one another. It's a welcome feature, but be aware that you'll probably need pyroceramic cookware to take full advantage of it.
The Frigidaire FPBM3077RF is covered by a one year limited warranty. This means any repairs or replacements required—and not the fault of the owner—will be paid for by Frigidaire. Rust damage is not included in the warranty.
Before You Buy
Make no mistake, the Frigidaire FPBM3077RF is a good—and good looking—appliance. For consumers searching for a capable and capacious over-the-range convection microwave the FPBM3077RF is a worthwhile option. The disappointing convection setting guarantees that it's in no danger of replacing your existing range. However, if your are looking for a good match for your existing Professional setup, the FPBM3077RF's current sale price of $559 is tough to beat.
If you're a fan of microwave popcorn you might want to give the FPBM3077RF a miss. The Popcorn setting took 3 minutes and only 18 kernels remanned unpopped at end of cycle. That's a good result. However a large portion of the popcorn was burnt. The FPBM3077RF heated water in a flash—we measured just 3 minutes between you and a cup of hot coffee.
The sensor cooking function was far from perfect, it baked our test potato to 17°F above the target temperature of 185°F, but the resulting food was evenly cooked.
Unfortunately, the FPBM3077RF's convection cooking modes weren't up to the standards set by traditional ovens, but that's not a surprise for a microwave/convection combo unit. We tried it for baking cookies and found that they were evenly cooked from top to bottom, but some were burnt while others were closer to raw dough. Stick to your standard range for anything but the most basic of baking tasks.
Sound and Features
We measured a sound level of 47.4 dB when the FPBM3077RF's microwave was running. That's about the same noise level as a quiet conversation, so it shouldn't prove too annoying. Predictably, the extractor fan was a bit louder and output a sound level of 59.9 dB.
Heating and Defrosting
The FPBM3077RF had trouble heating food to an even temperature. We heated up a dish of macaroni and cheese and noticed a wide range of temperatures across the food.
The FPBM3077RF did well in our defrosting tests. We thawed 1 lb. of ground beef in just 4 minutes. While the resulting food had little to no frozen sections, portions of the food were overcooked, particularly the edges.
Meet the tester
Aside from reviewing ovens and cooktops, James moonlights as an educational theatre practitioner, amateur home chef, and weekend DIY warrior.
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