The First Amana RadarRange

I’ve had a microwave oven longer than anyone, my family lived near Amana, Iowa and was in the test market for the first 25 Amana RadarRange ovens. There was no cookbook, we got xeroxed cooking tips to put in a 3-ring notebook. As the experiment progressed, they put out urgent warnings like not to use china with gold edges, or they would explode. Actually, that warning came from us, we had some Lenox china with gold edges and we blew up a couple of plates before we figured it out. Then we warned Amana who put out the warning to the other test market users. We also got warnings about cooking eggs in the microwave, but there are also techniques to cook them properly, if not well. I think the most ridiculous thing we ever did in the experiment was when my Mom cooked a large Thanksgiving turkey in the microwave. It did work OK, but was more trouble than it was worth, and the oven worked better anyway. Oh well.

About the worst thing I ever did in a microwave is I misread the label on some frozen fried chicken, it was 6 pieces, it said 6 minutes so I mistakenly thought it was supposed to cook for 36 minutes. I thought that was a rather long time to cook. After about 25 minutes, smoke came pouring out of the microwave. There is no way to describe what was on the plate, other than to say it’s sort of what you’d get if you shot a high-energy weapon at a chicken: a smoking unrecognizable heap of burning flesh and bones.

12 thoughts on “The First Amana RadarRange”

  1. When was the first Amana Radarrange on the market?
    I think it was 1967, but what month?
    [I have no idea. I was just a little kid when we got our RadarRange. –Charles]

  2. Love the story. I fondly remember the Amana Radar Range being a frequent prize on 1970s game shows.
    Like other parts of your blog, but why the hating on Sir Paul? Oh well, at least you can’t stand Shrub.

  3. We got a Radar Range in 1957 or 1958. It was on tour in Indiana at Model Home Stores, and dad had to wait 2 weeks to take delivery until the tour was over. My brother still has it.

  4. I`ve had my amana radarrange since 1983 I bought it at macy’s in New Haven, Ct. and it still going strong. No need for a new one yet. I love it. the only thing I ever had to do was fix the spring that pulls the door closed. it broke I bend the broken end and put it back on. Its worked great ever since.

  5. I am still using my mother-in-law’s radarrange every morning to cook her pancakes. Can’t believe it is that old. How much radiation am I getting, by the way?
    [Old RadarRanges don’t surprise me, they were built like tanks, some of them just keep working forever. I don’t think you have to worry about microwave leakage, as long as the door seals well. –Charles]

  6. We have an big chrome Amana RadarRange in the lunch room at work that has performed flawlessly for decades. It gets used and abused by many people every day, and just keeps on keepin on. Some of our employees have bought, used, and then thown away four or five different microwaves during the Amana’s career. That says something about being “Made in America”.

  7. I, too, have this wonderful American made product. It has worked well since December 2005 just before Amana was sold to Maytag so we have extended warranty on som parts. There is one small problem with the inside light burning out which is diificult to replace and needs a repairman. I really do not need the light so I haven’t bothered. Love the product.

  8. I just figured out my Amana Radar Range is 36 years old…and still going strong!
    [They don’t make em like they used to! -Charles]

  9. Id like to sell my big chrome Radarrange. What is it worth?
    [Any item is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. I don’t know how I could help you with this. –Charles]

  10. I also still use a 25-30 year old Amana “Cookmatic” Radar Range…..trying to determine how many watts of power in the unit…..Amana tells me they have no records of my Model #PR8A..all deleted when Maytag took over….would appreciate any help

  11. My wife bought an Amana Radar Range (pre Microwave) back in 81′ to establish our credit. She paid $700+ back then and still going strong. My kids have spent that much on numerous small micro-waves in the last 8 years…
    My thanks to the folks who worked for Amana all those years.

  12. i have a amana radarrange cookmatic. i purchased it when they first came out. i stll have the manual but there are no instructions for cooking popcorn. can you advise?
    [Are you kidding? Microwave popcorn is simple, you can buy storebought packages at any grocery. Buy one and see how it works. If you want to do your own, just toss some popcorn in a paper bag and microwave for a few minutes, stop when you hear the popping slow down. –Charles]

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