Microwave oven that doesn't beep?
July 19, 2007 9:26 PM   Subscribe

Hi MeFi, does anyone know a brand/model of microwave oven that doesn't beep if you leave the food in it after the cooking is finished? Manufacturers' web sites never mention little, but important, things like this. It's for an office, and I don't want people driven insane if someone forgets to take their food out. There's nothing I hate more than nagging appliances!
posted by flutable to Grab Bag (25 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Are you in the U.S.? I've never had a U.S. microwave that does this. Try Sharp, Sanyo and Panasonic. I've had them all, and none of them have beeped to remind me to take my food out.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:35 PM on July 19, 2007

I have a Kenmore and it only beeps once when the food is done, there is no continuing beep at all.
posted by amyms at 9:39 PM on July 19, 2007

er... are you saying that you are looking for a microwave that doesn't beep at all, or one that doesn't beep continuously? I haven't head of a consistent beeper (but can imagine that it exists), but most I've encountered do beep/chime once or twice at the end of the cook cycle.
Essentially what I am saying is most microwaves (afaik) beep once, but not insistently, so you should have decent luck if that is what you need/want.
posted by edgeways at 9:43 PM on July 19, 2007

Cheap microwaves tend to beep once. More expensive and built-ins seem more likely to beep continuously in my experience. I hate it.
posted by Nothing at 9:53 PM on July 19, 2007

omg that is the most irritating thing in the entire world, you are not alone in hating this. i have a sharp microwave and it doesnt. and its bright yellow!
posted by thisisnotkatrina at 9:53 PM on July 19, 2007

Get a cheap one with an analog timer dial. Many don't beep at all. Some have an actual bell that rings, some don't ring or beep at all.
posted by The Deej at 9:55 PM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

I've never heard a microwave doing this. I would imagine you can just pick up a cheap one at walmart like I did.
posted by puke & cry at 9:56 PM on July 19, 2007

I'm using a Kenmore 6428 that beeps only once, when the food is done. I don't think it would be likely to offend anyone.

It's also a convection oven, and a pretty darn good one, if that's of any interest. But it's fairly expensive, $250ish.
posted by Malor at 9:58 PM on July 19, 2007

Mine does this (Toshiba) and it drives me nuts too, in my own home even.

If ever there was a need for voice recognition, these are the application.

"I know, I know!"
posted by rokusan at 10:01 PM on July 19, 2007 [2 favorites]

More helpfully (maybe), there must be a Best Buy or Circuit City or something somewhere that will let you, like, test many of them out.

Just cook nothing for five seconds, then wait to see.

You may need to find a store that loves customer service, like a Nordstroms, in order to get away with this, of course.
posted by rokusan at 10:06 PM on July 19, 2007

Most new microwaves in the US nowadays are going to beep every couple of seconds after the food has finished heating, until someone opens the door.

I've never encountered one that had a setting that would allow you to turn this off, but then, I never looked specifically for that feature.

My best suggestion is to either go with a very old analog control from a second hand store, or to just crack the case open on a new one and cut the leads to the speaker. This will void your warranty, but should be quite easy to do.
posted by quin at 10:29 PM on July 19, 2007

Of course, this assumes you have followed the very good suggestions above to hit a store with lots of demo models and try them out.
posted by quin at 10:31 PM on July 19, 2007

If you cut the leads on the speaker, won't this suppress the original, sometimes useful beep?

I have a newer microwave, too, and this drives me nuts, particularly when I use it as a nap alarm.
posted by asuprenant at 10:52 PM on July 19, 2007

Here's a good way to guess if it will beep or not:

If the microwave has a digital timer that allows you to use it JUST as a timer (i.e., countdown for 5 minutes, but not actually cook anything) then it will probably beep many times at you when done.

If the microwave only counts time when it is actually cooking something, then it maybe won't.

That's all I got for you.

It does seem to have become a very common feature of new microwaves.

Cheaper = less likely to beep and beep.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:14 PM on July 19, 2007

I know that Amana Radarange microwaves have a "SOUND ON/OFF" feature (pdf manual for one newish model). I know this because my parents' 25-year-old+ Radarange has it. You may in fact have this feature on your microwave and not know it. Searching for "sound.on.off microwave" brings up brands like GE and Goldstar.
posted by dhartung at 11:43 PM on July 19, 2007

The ones with mechanical timers generally will ring a bell once when the timer gets to zero. Like you, I detest nagging from any machine.

Last year I bought a Sharp R-208 microwave (this appears to only be sold in Europe) whose control panel has an astonishing electronic copy of a mechanical timer. True to the image it makes an electronic 'ding' that's a copy of a mechanical bell. If you happen to see this one, I recommend it highly.
posted by jet_silver at 12:47 AM on July 20, 2007

Yes, Try GE. For example model JE2160WF has 4 sound levels inc mute. Many GE microwaves are the same. Good god how do I know this.....
posted by priorpark17 at 2:47 AM on July 20, 2007

My Kenmore only rings once. It's not a super nice one.
posted by bluefly at 4:00 AM on July 20, 2007

The microwave at our office has mute. That may be better: no one has to hear the beep at all. It is a GE. The one in my house also does not continue to beep, but I am not there, so I can't tell you what kind it is.
posted by dame at 6:38 AM on July 20, 2007

You sure you don't want this feature? Wouldn't it be worse to come in on Monday morning to a reeking microwave with Friday afternoon's snack still in it?
posted by smackfu at 6:56 AM on July 20, 2007

My Westinghouse model WST3501 beeps only once when the food is done.
posted by Acetylene at 7:08 AM on July 20, 2007

If you can find up a copy of the microwave's manual, check for something called "audible signal elimination." On my nuker, if I hit the correct key sequence, this feature will engage and all beeping ceases. When the power goes off, it resets to default and I have to re-engage.
posted by Clay201 at 8:24 AM on July 20, 2007

I have a newer microwave, too, and this drives me nuts, particularly when I use it as a nap alarm.

I really hope you're using some timer feature on the microwave, rather than actually microwaving for however long your nap lasts. That's a good way to waste money on electricity and burn out your microwave. You could put a cup of water in it to keep it from burning out, but that's only good until the water boils off. And then there's superheating.

And to answer the question, I've had two GE above-the-stove microwaves that do the beep-every-30-seconds reminder, so I'd advise to stay away from that brand if you don't want that "feature."
posted by marionnette en chaussette at 11:24 AM on July 20, 2007

Thanks to you all. I don't think I can mark three best answers, but they'd go to priorpark17, jet_silver and The Deej re mechanical timers.

I'm also going to try a small modification, similar to one used by suppliers of equipment for Deaf and hard of hearing people: ie something that makes a light flash when the food is done, rather than beeping. That might avoid the Monday-reek-of-Friday's-frijoles problem that smackfu mentions.....
posted by flutable at 6:45 AM on July 24, 2007

Hmm. Would help if I read that I *can* have > 1 best answer!
posted by flutable at 6:47 AM on July 24, 2007

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