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The PVM9179SF1SS also heated water in a flash—we measured just 3 minutes between you and a cup of hot tea.

The sensor cooking function was also excellent, and it baked our test potato to within 1°F of the target temperature of 185°F. The cooked potato was also evenly cooked overall.

Unfortunately, the PVM9179SF1SS'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 the range beneath for anything but the basics.
We won't bury the lede: The GE PVM9179SFSS (MSRP $649) over-the-range microwave is an excellent appliance, one that combines cool looks with hot performance. The microwave offered some of the best sensor cooking, defrosting, and reheating performance we have seen thus far. Though the convection setting won't replace your oven, it's adequate for browning foods.

When all is said and done, your range will thank you for putting this microwave over it.

We measured a sound level of 51.8 dB when the PVM9179SFSS'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 63.5 dB.

GE plays it safe

Looks-wise, GE hasn't taken any risks with the PVM9179SFSS. It's your standard over-the-range microwave with stainless steel trim, a side-mounted control panel, and a handle that opens the door. While the PVM9179SFSS is unlikely to be remembered for shifting the appliance design paradigm, at the very least it should match your existing stainless appliances.

Instead of a number pad, this microwave uses a scroll wheel to select cook time, weight, and temperature. It helps to declutter the control panel, but users who get confused by menus should look elsewhere.

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Your oven's new best friend

When judged on microwave settings alone, the PVM9179SFSS is a veritable performance powerhouse. Whether it be heating water, reheating food, or just basic sensor cooking, this particular GE performed each and every task admirably. If we had to pick a nit, we'd say the defrost setting was slightly uneven—we noticed a few overcooked sections of our frozen ground beef—but it was also ridiculously fast.

The GE PVM9179SFSS  over-the-range microwave.

The GE PVM9179SFSS over-the-range microwave.

As is usually the case for combination convection microwaves, the PVM9179SFSS doesn't do as good a job with convection baking as it does with microwave cooking. While you should have no trouble browning food and even heating basic side dishes, we recommend sticking to your range for more complex recipes.
The PVM9179SFSS reheated food with little trouble. We heated up a dish of macaroni and cheese and noticed only minor temperature variances after mixing.

The PVM9179SFSS also did well in our defrosting tests. We thawed 1 lb. of ground beef in just 3 minutes. While the resulting food was unevenly defrosted with a few slightly cooked sections, there were no frozen sections remaining.

We go together...

The GE PVM9179SFSS stainless steel convection microwave is a perfect match for a range, and one of the best over-the-range microwaves we've tested.

With stellar cooking performance, a straightforward design, and a sale price that often dips below $600, this combination microwave/convection oven and range hood passed every one of our real-world cooking tests.

Whether you're boiling water for tea or defrosting a chicken breast for dinner, this GE is ready to help out. The convection setting won't put your oven out of commission, but it will help brown and reheat food.

Meet the tester

James Aitchison

James Aitchison

Staff Writer


Aside from reviewing ovens and cooktops, James moonlights as an educational theatre practitioner, amateur home chef, and weekend DIY warrior.

See all of James Aitchison's reviews

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