Pros: Dacor quality, loads of features, attractive appearance
Cons: Pricey, most-often used touch-pads are pretty small
Last spring, we gutted our kitchen. Gone were the black slate floors. Gone were the dirty-white painted plywood cabinets. Gone were the purple Formica counters. Gone were the mustard walls with green vines and purple flowers. Gone. We took the place down to studs in all six directions and started all over.
Our new 6-burner stove has an oven, and we also bought a wall oven, so I didnt really need a third one. But when we started looking at microwaves, we found that the best ones just happened to be micro-convection combos. And thats how we wound up with a Dacor DCM24S Convection-Microwave Oven. (Note: The correct designation for this model is DCM24S, not SS as shown on this page.)
The Dacor DCM24S can be ordered as a wall-mounted or free-standing style.
Ours has a stainless front finish (the S designation) and unfinished steel sides, since we bought the wall-mounted model. The free-standing model has finished sides. It also comes in black (B) or white (R; dont ask.)
It cooks with 900 watts of power.
It has a 15⅜ black metal turntable.
The interior is stainless steel.
In addition to the Microwave and Convection modes, it has an Automatic Mix mode thats a combination of the two; it uses convection heat to brown the outside while the microwave cooks the interior of the item.
It comes with two round racks, a high one and a low one, so you can cook two things at once. But they cant be used for microwave cooking, only convection and broiling.
It has an Easy Minute button for items that dont need more than one minute micro at full power. You can also extend that minute by touching the pad again while the item is cooking. It also has a Popcorn button.
The Dacor DCM24S has a long list of features, including:
- a clock
- a kitchen timer
- Automatic Mix mode
- broil mode
- slow cook mode
- auto roast mode
- auto and manual defrost
- combination bake & roast mode
- sensor cooking
- multiple sequence cooking
- instant on
- a Help mode
- a demonstration mode so you can see how things work without turning on the power
- a language selector for English, French, or Spanish, and
- a weight/temperature selector.
The door opens by means of a push-button area at the bottom on the right side. It has raised bumps so you can be sure youre on the button and not pushing against the rest of the box.
Here are the dimensions:
Width: Exterior: 24⅝" Interior: 16"
Height: Exterior: 14⅞" Interior: 10"
Depth: Exterior: 19" Interior: 16"
Cubic Feet: 1.5
Weight: 60 lbs.
You can buy a trim kit that hides the gaps when its installed.
It comes with a 1-year warranty on parts and labor.
The Dacor DCM24S Convection-Microwave Oven lists at $940. But because we bought five major appliances at once from the same dealer, we got the contractors discount and paid $649.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT IT
Its big. I can fit a full lasagne pan inside. Thats the test for any micro I buy; I actually carry my pan with me when I shop, to make sure it really will fit. Its not that I microwave my lasagne, but this model also does convection, and I may very well do a lasagne that way, so the roomy interior is important to me.
Its loaded with features. To be honest, more than Ill probably use. But its nice to have them anyway; you never know.
It has a Help feature, which is very helpful. If you press the Help button, youll be directed to press various other power buttons, depending on what you want to do or know.
That Automatic Mix mode is going to come in very handy. One of the chief complaints of microwaves is that they cook from the inside out, and so dont brown foods. Cakes come out white and roasts come out gray. But with this feature, you can cook from both the interior and exterior simultaneously, so you dont have to move the roast from the micro to the oven to give it that nice brown finish. Its all done in the Dacor DCM24S Convection-Microwave Oven.
Clean-up is easy. I wasn't sure about the stainless finish, because it tends to show marks easily. But I can keep it spotless with a swipe with a damp cloth or stainless cleaner. And the interior, also stainless, cleans equally easily.
Its sturdy and durable. This is about my fifth microwave in about 20 years, and its by far the best-built and sturdy. Dacor has been a well-known name in the restaurant equipment business for a long and has begun to work its way into the consumer market in the past ten or so years. So far, Ive never heard anything but good about their products. We were drawn to a Dacor stove, but wound up buying something else because... Well, thats another story. We know lots of people with Dacor appliances, especially ovens, and they all rave about them.
WHAT ID CHANGE IF I COULD
The control panel is pretty crowded, so I have to study it each time I use it. It has 19 touch-pads, not counting the 0 - 10 controls. That makes 29 places to push in a relatively small area. In addition to the touch-pads, it also lists 8 items for the sensor cook chart, and 12 settings for the convection. It also has the requisite interactive display that tells you what youve set, how much time is left, and what you have to do next, like Press Stop to turn off the timer. Im not sure how I would resolve that, other than to put the reference charts somewhere else, like inside the top of the door frame, as was done on my last micro.
The touch-pads I use most often arent any bigger than the ones I never use. I use Kitchen Timer, Clock, Stop/Clear, and Start more than the others, but they are the same size as all the others, which is pretty small. Yes, they are grey instead of black like the others, but the print on them is very small; anyone with worse eyes than mine would have a hard time with them.
The timer beeps once instead of repeatedly. And its not very loud. The beep lasts about four seconds, which is pretty long, but once the beep stops, thats it. If you dont hear it, youll burn something.
It's really pricey. I nearly fainted at the idea of spending that much on a microwave, even one with extra features. But I think we're going to get our money out of it, both because it's going to last a long time and because we'll use many of those features for our winter and holiday cooking. And the contractor's discount didn't hurt...
SUMMARY AND VERDICT
We went for a bit of overkill when we designed our kitchen; we now have three ovens, one of them in our Dacor DCM24S Convection-Microwave Oven. Because we finished the remodel in early June and then were away for most of July (and returned to a horrific heat-wave,) we havent used the roasting and broiling features yet. But we love to do winter cooking, with braises and roasts, so I think our new toy will more than earn its keep. This feature-rich appliance would be worth five stars, but those touch-pads really are ridiculously small, so Im going to settle on four stars.