General Electric – GE for short – is one of the most popular brands of home appliances and electronics. Their home appliance division, GE Appliances, manufactures the whole kitchen appliance range, including dishwashers, cooking ranges, ovens, and microwaves. When it comes to the latter, you might wonder which is the best GE countertop microwave oven.
The answer isn’t simple, and it is near impossible to pick up just one product. The best GE microwave is the one that best suits your needs.
To help you narrow it down, though, I spent days researching and testing the most promising units. The microwaves below have made it to our list thanks to their reliability, ease of use, and attractive price points.
GE Microwaves: History Overview, Reliability, and Product Line
GE Company is a multinational conglomerate founded in Boston, Massachusetts. The brand has grown from a small company to multinational worth billions of dollars thanks to the high quality of its products and vast product range.
In the GE appliance range, microwave ovens top the charts on the list of consumer preferences. Most microwave ovens from the brand have a countertop design. However, the brand also manufactures over-the-range and built-in microwaves.
Some of the countertop units boast built-in capabilities and are compatible with 27- and 30-inch trim kits.
Quality-wise, all GE microwaves are able to satisfy the expectations. Units vary in size from small, portable microwaves to family-sized ovens.
GE’s product range also includes smart microwave ovens that incorporate inverter technology and connectivity features alongside smart sensor cooking.
Can you put a GE countertop microwave in a cabinet?
If you have a small kitchen and little counter space, you might wonder whether you can put a GE countertop microwave in a cabinet.
Actually, it depends. If you want to place it in a cabinet permanently, get a GE countertop microwave with a trim kit. These units have built-in capabilities, and the trim kits ensure proper ventilation around the appliance – this is required for proper operation.
If you like a GE countertop microwave that doesn’t have built-in capabilities, you can still store it in a cabinet when not in use.
Alternatively, you can place the microwave on a larger shelf. It is important to ensure sufficient clearance on all sides, including behind and on top of the microwave if you decide to place a countertop microwave on a shelf or inside a cabinet. Otherwise, the unit might overheat and become a fire hazard.
Do GE countertop microwaves need to be vented?
GE microwaves may need to be vented if they have an over-the-range design. Countertop and built-in microwaves from the brand don’t need to be vented, but they require a certain clearance for proper functioning.
Generally, microwaves need at least 2-3 inches of clearance on the sides and on top, and about one inch of clearance between the unit and the wall.
How to choose the Best GE microwave for you?
Choosing the best microwave is a matter of need, but there are a few things to consider before buying.
Things are simple in the microwave world – the more power the unit has, the quickest and better it can cook your food.
Most GE microwaves have powers between 700 and 1,200 watts. The smallest ones are ideal for tiny homes running on generators and RVs. If you don’t live off the grid and power consumption is not an issue, go for a 1,000-capacity countertop microwave oven.
If power consumption is of concern, remember that microwaves need more watts than their product. Thus, you should go for the most powerful unit that won’t overcharge your circuit.
How big is your household? What do you use the microwave for? Do you have a small family or live alone? A small-capacity microwave can suit your needs. The same goes if you only use the microwave to reheat leftovers or defrost meat.
If you have a large family and use the microwave oven frequently, pick a unit with a larger capacity. GE microwaves vary in capacity from 0.7 to over 2.2 cubic feet.
When buying a countertop microwave, another essential thing to consider is the external size of the unit. Generally, the exterior dimensions vary with the capacity – the smaller the capacity, the tinier the microwave.
The number of pre-programmed cooking settings is also important. These options make it easy to cook whatever you want without wondering what power or time the recipe needs. Most GE microwaves have at least six cooking settings. You can also find a countertop sensor microwave oven from the brand.
Before buying, you should also consider how easy the microwave is to clean. Most GE microwave ovens have an enameled interior that is easy to wipe clean. Some units have self-cleaning features, but these are generally more expensive.
Lastly, consider the unit’s design and ease of use. Pay particular attention to the control panel – some microwaves have small digits that are hard to see when you’re in a hurry.
From a visual standpoint, most GE microwave ovens have stainless steel frames that are easy to wipe clean.
GE Countertop Microwave
1. GE PEM31SFSS Countertop Microwave
One of the best GE countertop microwaves, this unit impresses with lots of functions and its built-in capability. It is compatible with 27- and 30-inch trim kits, making it easy to install over a wall oven.
Capacity-wise, this microwave is perfect for smaller families. It has a capacity of 1.1 cubic feet and a 10.625-inch turntable. Other highlights include sensor cooking. The only thing I don’t like is the power, which could have been greater considering the price tag.
Why I love it
Designed to suit any home, this microwave comes in a variety of finishes. You can choose from brushed stainless steel, black stainless steel, black, white, or slate.
Turntable off function
Do you only have enough counter space for a small microwave but would still like to fit larger casseroles in it? With this unit, achieving your purpose is easy. All you have to do is to turn off the turntable.
These buttons allow you to turn on the microwave with a simple touch. No more selecting the cooking setting and then pressing start.
This microwave has ten power settings, but its maximum power output is 800 watts. This is quite low for a unit in its price range.
Some plastic parts, such as the door hinges and latches, feel rather flimsy.
2. GE JES2051SNSS Countertop Microwave
Those who need a family-sized microwave might find everything they were looking for in this unit from GE. This microwave boasts a capacity of 2.0 cubic feet and a 16-inch turntable.
It doesn’t have a turntable off button, but that’s unnecessary considering the interior is large enough to fit two regular-size plates at a time. Power-wise, this is one of the most powerful microwave ovens from the brand. Six cooking settings and ten power levels complete the design.
Why I love it
This microwave oven has a large capacity, but it is still compact enough to fit on most countertops. It is an excellent choice for smaller kitchens.
Outputting 1,200 watts, this microwave is perfect for all your cooking needs. The unit has ten power levels and six pre-programmed cooking settings.
Would you like to leave a casserole of food in the oven but only cook it before you get back home from work? The delay start function enables you to do just that.
The unit boasts an intuitive control panel, but the display is very small.
This microwave oven is louder than other units in its range. It might not be a problem for most people, but perhaps not the best choice for households with young kids.
3. GE JES1145SHSS Countertop Microwave
Moving on with our list, the next GE countertop microwave is this 1.1 cubic feet unit. It has the same capacity as our top pick, but it is more powerful. At 950 watts, it can cook food faster and better than its 800-watt counterpart. Similar to other microwave ovens from the brand, it has ten power levels and six pre-programmed settings.
Why I love it
Designed with easy operation in mind, this microwave oven boasts GE’s proprietary instant-on controls. You can start cooking with just one touch.
Do you have young children? Prevent them from operating this microwave with the control lockout. You won’t have to worry about accidents or hazards.
You can choose from time or weight defrost for quick thawing of meat, vegetables, or other frozen meals.
What could be better
One of the most disappointing things about this unit is the quality control as far as the design is concerned. The door feels flimsy and there are some rattling noises.
Another thing to improve is the heating performance. While this microwave doesn’t have the same power as other units from the brand, it heats slowly compared to similarly-powered units.
4. GE JES1657SMSS Countertop Microwave
Do you need a mid-size microwave? This one could be it. This microwave oven has a capacity of 1.6 cubic feet and is big enough for a family of four or the avid home chef who uses the oven for much more than defrosting and reheating.
Sensor control and two defrost options make operation a cinch. The dimensions are also compact enough to fit in a smaller kitchen.
Why I love it
While the control panel is similar to all other units, I feel that GE did a better job with this one. The options are clearly labeled and the unit is intuitive to use.
Dinner plate option
A specific pre-programmed function for reheating a dinner plate takes the microwave concept to the next level – and this unit has it.
If you don’t want to set a specific cooking time, you can press the timer off button. When you want to enable it, simply press the button again.
Door opening button
Like most microwaves, this one doesn’t have a door handle but a button that disengages the door latches. The button requires a lot of pressure to open the door.
The interior light of this oven is not very bright and you might struggle to see what’s happening inside.
5. GE JEM3072SHSS Countertop Microwave
This compact GE microwave oven is an excellent choice for an RV or tiny home running on off-the-grid electricity. It only outputs 700 watts of cooking power, but the power consumption is also low.
The small capacity makes it perfect to fit in a small kitchen or a dorm. Yet, you’ll get ten power levels and four pre-programmed cooking options.
Why I love it
This microwave oven has a 0.7 cubic feet capacity but is the ideal size for a portable unit. It is perfect for students and young professionals living in dorms or studio apartments.
While this countertop unit isn’t compatible with a trim kit, it can be hanged under a cabinet with an appropriate mounting kit. The kit is available for purchase separately.
Cooking complete reminder
In addition to the beeping at the end of the cooking cycle, this microwave also boasts a reminder.
The mounting kit is nice and all, but it comes to no installation instructions. Getting them from the GE customer support is also a challenge.
The microwave fan is too small and weak to remove steam from the microwave oven properly. This leads to condensation building up on the glass door as you’re cooking – and you’ll have to open the door to see inside.
GE Countertop Microwave Comparison Table
|GE PEM31SFSS||GE JES2051SNSS||GE JES1145SHSS||GE JES1657SMSS||GE JEM3072SHSS|
|Capacity||1.1 cu. ft.||2.0 cu. ft.||1.1 cu. ft.||1.6 cu. ft.||0.7 cu. ft.|
|Max power||800 watts||1,200 watts||950 watts||1,150 watts||700 watts|
GE Countertop Microwave Related Questions
What is a good-size countertop microwave?
It depends on your kitchen size and counter space. The most important thing to consider is the capacity – as long as you decide on that, you can easily find a microwave that fits in your space.
Are there any recalls on GE microwaves?
No, currently, there are no recalls on GE microwaves. There was a recall back in 2007 regarding a built-in model that was posing a fire hazard.
Where is the reset button on a GE microwave?
The reset button is generally located next to the Start/Pause button. Look on both sides of the start button for a Cancel/Off key.
Does my GE microwave have a fuse?
Yes, GE microwaves have a fuse located under a plastic grill at the top of the microwave. However, you should not remove it yourself. In case of trouble, the safest thing to do is to contact customer service.
GE is a renowned brand all over the world. Its microwaves are reliable and easy to use. Sure, there are some design elements the brand could improve. Overall, though, I hope this guide can help you find the best countertop microwave oven for you.