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GE JES1109RRSS Review

A well-rounded and reliable appliance that offers versatile functionality and excels in heating and defrosting
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GE JES1109RRSS Review (Some might find the buttons hard to see.)
Some might find the buttons hard to see.
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Price:  $219 List
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Manufacturer:   GE
By Genaveve Bradshaw and Ryan White  ⋅  Nov 14, 2023
82
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 12
  • Heating - 40% 7.3
  • Frozen Foods - 30% 8.3
  • Defrosting - 20% 10.0
  • Ease of Use - 10% 8.1

Our Verdict

The GE JES1109RRSS earns a spot among the best microwaves for a good reason: it excels in nearly every test, especially when it comes to defrosting. While the price is a bit high, we firmly believe it justifies its somewhat elevated cost. This unit not only performs standard functions exceptionally well but also offers advanced features like air frying and broiling. When considering the value you get for the price, it's challenging to find a better appliance in this range. One of our minor concerns was the button layout, which can be challenging to see in low lighting due to the limited contrast in the button design.
REASONS TO BUY
Impressive defrosting
High performance in every aspect
Doubles as an air fryer and broiler
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Some users may find buttons challenging to read

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GE JES1109RRSS
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Price $219 List
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Star Rating
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Bottom Line A crowd-pleaser with robust performance in every aspect - you can't go wrong with this excellent applianceThis appliance is a fantastic choice for anyone predominantly heating up frozen foods and seeking a larger modelA middle of the road product for a reasonable price, but we weren't exceptionally wowed by any aspect of this microwaveThis model stood out for its ease of use and great performance with frozen foods, but performed poorly at defrostingIdeal for those on a budget or with limited space, but this model falls short in terms of premium build quality and high-level performance across our evaluated metrics
Rating Categories GE JES1109RRSS Toshiba EM131A5C Panasonic NN-SB458S Toshiba EM925A5A Comfee EM720CPL-PMB
Heating (40%)
7.3
4.9
6.2
6.3
5.5
Frozen Foods (30%)
8.3
8.0
6.7
8.0
4.3
Defrosting (20%)
10.0
9.5
7.0
2.0
7.0
Ease of Use (10%)
8.1
8.1
5.5
7.7
6.3
Specs GE JES1109RRSS Toshiba EM131A5C Panasonic NN-SB458S Toshiba EM925A5A Comfee EM720CPL-PMB
Wattage 1050 watts 1100 watts 900 watts 900 watts 700 watts
Size 1.0 cu. ft 1.2 cu. ft 0.9 cu. ft 0.9 cu. ft 0.7 cu. ft
Dimensions (WxHxD) 20.6" x 11.9" x 16.6" 20.5" x 12.8" x 17.1" 19.1" x 11.5" x 14.8" 19.2" x 11.5" x 15.9" 17.1" x 10.1" x 12.4"
Turntable Diameter 12.4" 12.4" 10.6" 10.6" 10"
Internal Dimentions (WxHxD) 13.0" x 8.4" x 12.4" 15" x 9.5" x 13.1" 13.9" x 8.1" x 12.4" 13.7" x 8.7" x 12.3" 10.8" x 6.8" x 10.1"
Child lock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
45 Sec Heating Temp Rise 71 F 79 F 89 F 89 F 67 F

Our Analysis and Test Results

Though expensive, the GE JES1109RRSS is a top performer across all our varied tests. From defrosting to user-friendliness and providing additional functions not found in many other microwaves, we were quite impressed with this model.

Performance Comparison


Nearly perfect lasagna every time.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Heating


The GE had a great start in our initial heating metric assessments, achieving promising results time and time again. This metric encompasses five sub-tests, including evaluating speed and uniformity of heating. We did so by measuring water temperature, creating a heat map, and scoring the evenness of heating for leftovers, soup, and pizza slices.


Heat Map Test


We kicked off our series of tests by creating a heat map. We used a piece of parchment paper cut to the size of the turntable. Marshmallow fluff was spread evenly across the surface and microwaved for two minutes. Through this test, we were able to get a clear idea of how well the machine evenly disperses its microwaves.


After two minutes in the GE JES1109RRSS, the marshmallow fluff was cooked evenly across the diameter of the parchment. There was a consistent tone throughout the fluff, with only subtle variations in the center, which appears slightly lighter in color. With outcomes as consistent as these, it's evident that this product is capable of evenly heating a wide range of food items.

ge jes1109rrss - even tone throughout, if not a tad pale in the center.
Even tone throughout, if not a tad pale in the center.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Heating Speed Test


For the heating speed assessment, we refrigerated a 125 mL beaker of water to 42 degrees Fahrenheit. We popped the glass into the center of the unit and set it to high for 45 seconds. Then, we measured the temperature of the water again, calculating the difference between pre and post-warming. This represents the speed at which the microwave can effectively heat its contents. Those with a higher variation scored better, indicating a quicker speed. This accounts for 20% of the total heating score.


The GE didn't exhibit remarkable speed, as its performance was more or less average in this regard. It increased the water temperature by 71 degrees, reaching a total of 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

ge jes1109rrss - not the fastest, but not the slowest either.
Not the fastest, but not the slowest either.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Leftovers Heating


We arranged a plate with green beans, pre-cooked sausage links, and mashed potatoes. We placed this hefty dish of leftovers in the microwave and selected “reheat.” With this, we were able to determine how well the appliance could handle rewarming last night's dinner.


This preprogrammed process demanded three minutes and 30 seconds to achieve the desired warmth. Impressively, a significant portion of the food reached elevated temperatures. This was particularly notable with the green beans, with temperatures between 180 to 183 degrees Fahrenheit. While this might be considered slightly too hot for immediate consumption, it's a testament to the microwave's heating ability.

ge jes1109rrss - our leftovers test with the ge.
Our leftovers test with the GE.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Soup Heating


Though it's often as straightforward as dumping the contents into a bowl and pressing start, some microwaves do better at cooking soup than others. Sometimes, the result is boiling hot and needs a few minutes to cool off. Other times, the microwave manages to cook the perimeter but leaves the center untouched. That is why we dedicated an entire test to cooking soup, worth 15% of the overall heating score.


After cooking the canned chicken noodle soup for the recommended amount of time, it reached a temperature of 156 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just about perfect for consumption. Any warmer and the soup would've needed time to cool off, so we were pretty pleased with these results.

ge jes1109rrss - throughout all of our tests, we were impressed with the ge...
Throughout all of our tests, we were impressed with the GE JES1109RRSS.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Pizza Heating


For this last submetric, which makes up 15% of the heating score, we reheated two separate slices of pizza. We measured the temperatures of each slice throughout different locations, evaluating even heating and any major variations between the two.


After 45 seconds, the two slices were sufficiently heated. At 180 degrees Fahrenheit, this is possibly even a bit too hot for some. The overall temperature range varied between 120 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, but it was largely even across the entirety of the pizza slices.

Though it's hard to see what's inside, the GE did a great job cooking just about anything we threw at it.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Frozen Foods


The GE JES1109RRSS demonstrated even better performance in our subsequent tests, efficiently and uniformly heating prepackaged frozen foods. We evaluated the performance in this metric by measuring the temperature of numerous sections of each frozen food item, which included Hot Pockets, a personal-sized frozen lasagna, and a frozen burrito. We noted and compared any variations among the temperatures.


If you heat up a lot of frozen items, you'll be pleased to know the GE did quite well here. This appliance cruised through the tests, scoring high with every single food item. The lasagna performed exceptionally well in this test, maintaining a relatively even temperature across the dish, with only a 9-degree Fahrenheit variation. Usually, with dense items like lasagna, you'd anticipate a significantly cooler center, but the GE managed to heat the entire dish thoroughly.

Nice and hot, and more importantly; evenly cooked.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Hot Pocket was slightly too hot on the sides, but the temperatures were consistent across the board. The microwave generated some steam while cooking the Hot Pocket, resulting in a softer texture rather than crispy. Next up was another microwave staple — the frozen burrito. We prepared the burrito following the package instructions (one minute and 30 seconds on high). The center reached 170 degrees, and the left and right sides registered 188 and 189 degrees, respectively. All things considered, this outcome is quite satisfactory.

ge jes1109rrss - nearly perfect in the center, but a tad too hot on the sides.
Nearly perfect in the center, but a tad too hot on the sides.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Defrosting


The GE JES1109RRSS truly shined bright in our defrosting assessment, delivering one of the most exceptional performances we've witnessed from any microwave to date. In these tests, we defrosted a one-pound block of ground beef using the recommended settings on each unit.


The defrosting function of the GE JES1109RRSS is solely based on weight rather than time. The appliance did exceptionally well in this evaluation, leaving little room for improvement. Nearly all the beef was perfectly thawed and ready to cook. Only a small portion of the meat was still frozen, but it wasn't enough to cause concern. The weight of the defrosting function is capped at 5.9 pounds, but we don't see that as a limitation, especially for a small appliance.

Defrosting is a major selling point.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


An everyday appliance should be easy to use, and thankfully, the GE is intuitive and straightforward. For the final 10% of the score, we evaluated the microwave's buttons, lighting, timers, and stability. Additionally, we cooked up popcorn, a microwave classic, using the preset function.


The buttons are easy to use, with plenty of functions quickly accessible. This unit provides essential features for swift reheating, including add-time buttons and a timer that can be used alongside other functions. The only minor gripe pertains to the button contrast, as they share the same tone, making them challenging to see in a dimly lit kitchen. However, this won't be an issue if your kitchen has sufficient lighting.

ge jes1109rrss - grey on black doesn't provide the best contrast.
Grey on black doesn't provide the best contrast.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Often, the preprogrammed popcorn function overcooks the kernels. This isn't a significant issue, as most popcorn bags recommend avoiding the designated button altogether and using manual timed settings instead. However, we still tested this preprogrammed setting with a bag of popcorn. The JES1109RRSS didn't disappoint. It has three options for bag sizes: 1.75, 3, and 3.5 ounces. It nearly popped a perfect 3-ounce bag, though some kernels were still slightly overcooked.

ge jes1109rrss - we popped up a nearly perfect bag of popcorn using the preprogrammed...
We popped up a nearly perfect bag of popcorn using the preprogrammed settings on the GE JES1109RRSS.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The GE was stable throughout our tests, never slipping around on our countertop. It also features two unique functions: an air fryer and a broiler. One minor thing to keep in mind is the stainless steel interior, which might make it a bit challenging to monitor your food while it's cooking. Thankfully, the appliance's solid performance ensures that it doesn't demand constant attention.

ge jes1109rrss - among its many features, the ge includes air fryer and broil options.
Among its many features, the GE includes air fryer and broil options.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the GE JES1109RRSS?


If you're in the market for a high-powered microwave that excels at handling frozen foods, the GE JES1109RRSS should rank high on your list. It easily aced our defrosting tests and demonstrated impressive uniform heating for most food items. Nevertheless, individuals with compact kitchen spaces and budget constraints might want to explore alternative options better suited to their needs.

What Other Microwaves Should You Consider?


The Comfee EM720CPL-PMB comes to mind if you're looking for something more affordable. It scored well in many of our test metrics and has a smaller footprint. Keep in mind you won't get access to the large array of features that the GE has. The Toshiba EM131A5C is also an impressive microwave worth your consideration. At an accessible price point, the appliance excels at defrosting meat and cooking frozen items.

Genaveve Bradshaw and Ryan White