The 6 Best Over the Range Microwaves (2020 Reviews)
A microwave is an invaluable kitchen appliance and by far the most utilized in many kitchens. For the light user, a microwave is used for heating, melting and probably making popcorn.
However, there is that person who uses the microwave to cook light meals such as eggs, veggies, and pasta.
Or even more fancy recipes like this microwave baba ganoush.
Unlike a traditional oven, a microwave works by heating food from the inside rather than from the outside.
The microwave radiations it produces are absorbed by food molecules which causes the molecules to vibrate at a frequency of about 2.24 gigahertz. The vibrations cause frictions which in turn produce heat.
Microwaves are speedy, clean and safe. As such, they are popular in homes and in working environments.
Since a microwave is not an appliance that you buy every other day, it is important to make the right purchase depending on your needs. The factors to consider when making purchases are the available kitchen space and your budget.
Another important aspect to consider is whether the microwave will be used in a family setting because if it is then a feature such a child safety lock cannot be overlooked. When purchasing a microwave, there are two options to choose from, that is a regular microwave and an over the range microwave.
Over the range, microwaves incorporate a range hood onto the microwave oven. Due to the demand to have a minimalist looking kitchen, they have become quite popular. A good over the range microwave have a proper ventilation vent built on them to eliminate steam, smoke and kitchen odors through the vent is not as good as that one found in range hoods.
The specifications to look out for when buying such microwaves are the interior capacity, cooking power, convection cooking, exhaust fan airflow, and the price. Of course, the best over the range microwave will have a child lock.
The main difference between a regular microwave and an over the best over the range microwave is that unlike a regular microwave which takes up larger counter space, an over the range microwave saves on counter space because it is built-in to the cabinetry above a stovetop.
Another difference is that a regular microwave is portable, compatible and does not require installation whereas an over the range microwave requires installation and as such, a larger model is not portable. The best over the range microwave would, of course, come with a well-written installation manual.
As stated above, for one to make a choice between the two options, one has to consider the available kitchen counter space they have and the budget they intend to use.
If the counter space is small, then definitely an over the range microwave would work for them. When it comes to finances, a regular microwave is more affordable. However, the best over the range microwave though less affordable comes in larger sizes thus providing the convenience of heating or cooking more food at once.
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The Best Over the Range Microwaves
The Whirlpool WML55011HS is a stainless over the range microwave which features a 1.1 Cu. Ft. Capacity with a power of 1000 Watts, a 300 CFM and a dimension of 30″ X 10 1/4″ X 18″.
Its sleek low profile design makes it fit perfectly over a stove. It runs quietly and has a pleasant-sounding alarm that goes off once it is finished with cooking.
For those who prefer to monitor a dish while it is heating or cooking, this microwave might not be the best option because the interior light is not bright enough. It emanates from a diode board which means that if it happens to fail, it might be harder to replace.
The user guide provided by the manufacturer gives a general overview and is not as detailed as you would expect so you will have to source a good electrician for installation should you buy it.
Generally, this microwave suits a light microwave user. It is possible to overwhelm the 300CFM if a lot of foodstuffs are burned. Overall, it is one of the best over the range of microwaves which is easy to clean and to maintain.
Just like the Whirlpool WML55011HS, the Frigidaire Gallery FGMV175QF is a 30″ 1.7 cu. ft. over the range microwave made of stainless steel which features a cooking power of 1,000 watts and a 300 CFM Ventilation.
It has additional features which include Sensor Cooking, Auto Reheat, and Multi-Stage Cooking. You can get all these features at an affordable price of $289.00.
The microwave is easy to install which is made possible by the well-detailed manual which comes with it. The presence of a sensor and auto heat capabilities makes it energy efficient and allows one to cook or heat food automatically.
The multi-stage cooking feature means one can set different cooking stages each at a different time and power level hence preventing food from drying out. It would not be the best choice for heating large plates of food.
A major downside, however, is the loud exhaust fan the loose door latch which if not handled carefully is bound to break. The timer keeps beeping annoyingly once the time is up though this might actually be beneficial if you have a hearing problem or if you are in a noisy environment.
Unfortunately, it does not heat food evenly and the oven is relatively slow. Though affordable, the price is probably the cause of its tendency to break down easily.
The microwave is made of stainless steel featuring a 2.2-cubic-foot capacity with a 1250-Watt high power. The internal dimensions are 10.94-inch x 18.44-inch x 18.50-inch. In addition, it has an Inverter Technology, Smart Cooking Settings with Genius Sensor and a Keep Warm Feature
The Panasonic Microwave Oven is popular in many homes owing to the fact that it has been in the market for a long time.
It features an inverter technology which makes it possible to control the temperature output by dialing in real power percentages, unlike most microwaves where the temperature output is an estimate.
It is quite large and has a child safety lock making it ideal for a large family with a child.
The genius sensor turns off the oven once the food has heated up or cooked. It also has a keep warm feature that keeps food warm until it is ready to serve.
Other features include 14 preset menu items, a quick-minute timer, and a delayed start.
Its downside has to do with the door. One has to press a button to unlock the door and then open it thus performing two tasks of opening the door. In most microwaves, the button performs the function of unlocking and opening the door. At the same time, the interior LED light is not bright enough for a person who wishes to monitor the cooking/heating process.
Compared to the other microwaves, the Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN966S is superior in that the cooking power and CFM are slightly higher.
It has other power additional features such as inverter technology and a sensor. Since it is relatively bigger, it is the best over the range microwave for a large family setting.
This over the range microwave by GE is intuitive and heats food quite fast owing to its 1050 Watts Of Cooking Power. It has a dimension of 29 15/16″ X 17 5/16″ X 16 5/32″, 2.1-cubic-foot capacity and features 10 power levels and a 400 CFM Venting.
The exhaust fan is quiet and strong on both low and high.
A downside is that it has no internal light to monitor what is cooking/heating. For people who like a spotlessly clean microwave, this microwave might be a turn off owing to the fact that the inside is dark grey making it hard to see dirt on it. Another issue which is quite a big deal is that the unit’s specifications state a height of 16 1/2 inch but in reality, it is 17 inches.
The 400CFM and relatively large capacity mean that it works well for many cooking needs. It is important to make note of the dimensions before purchasing to avoid any installation inconveniences.
This Over-the-Range Convection Microwave features a power of 850-watt and a convection microwave which browns, bakes, broils, crisps, and roasts. It has a 1.1-cubic-foot capacity with a 13-inch turntable which provides even heating. Its inner dimension is 13-13/16 by 8-1/16 by 17-1/8.
The installation manual comes with a cookbook that has wonderful recipes. The oven can be used to actually bake. To heat evenly, one has to create room for the turntable. Generally, it is suitable for use in an RV.
If the shipping distance is long, this microwave is not recommended because it is heavy and unfortunately its packing cannot be said to be the best given its weight.
The probability that it will arrive damaged is high because of the low-quality packaging. The broil feature does not broil as indicated on the specifications. However, it is good for baking and returns are acceptable should it turn out to be faulty.
The LG LMV2031ST has a 1000w power, 400 CFM venting system, a sensor, and an energy-saving key. It has a 2.0-cubic-foot capacity, therefore, it can accommodate a large plate.
The LG microwave sells at $279.99 on Amazon which is quite cheap as compared to other microwaves. It is easy to install because it has an installation template. It comes with an actual touchpad and the fan is quiet.
Though it has a sleek exterior, the interior is grey something that is not popular with people who prefer their microwaves spotless. It does not have a safety measure to prevent it from starting if the door is open.
The window is not large enough to see the interior clearly. The timer beeps only once thus if you are out of the room or if the place is noisy you may not hear and chances of forgetting that you were heating/cooking something are high.
The 400 CFM is quite powerful so you can be sure that kitchen odors will be well taken care of. It also has a spacious oven if your heating and cooling needs are many. This is a good bargain which comes at a relatively cheap price. This is the best over the range microwave to go for on a tight budget.
A comparison between the six over the range microwaves shows that most of the microwaves have power is 1000w and 300 CFM venting system.
A specification below 1000w means that it the microwave cooks/heats slowly. A CFM of 300 would work well for light functions otherwise the vent will be overwhelmed. The best venting system falls within a 400 CFM.
An important consideration is the dimensions that should typically fall within the available kitchen space.
A convection feature means that apart from heating and cooking, the microwave can bake, therefore, it is a good feature to look out for.
The best over the range microwave would, of course, have additional features such a cook sensor, auto reheat, and multi-stage cooking. Depending on your budget and choice of features you can pick the best over the range microwave from the above list. It is important to remember that most of the time cheap turns out to be expensive.
From the price range to the features, if you want to purchase the best over the range microwave, then the LG LMV2031ST Stainless Steel is definitely the microwave to go for.
When it comes to the needs of a family, it has a child safety lock. It’s 1250 watt power ensures that it cooks food evenly and faster as compared to the other 1000 watt microwaves. Its inverter technology and sensor make it energy efficient. The technology ensures that food is not undercooked or overcooked.
Most people like their kitchen appliances, microwaves included, to blend well with the house’s interior decor. If you are this person, do not worry. Most of the microwaves come in black, gray or a mixture of the two colors so this will not affect the decor.
However, If you also like all your appliances to be the same brand you are at a disadvantage because a certain manufacturer will be good at one appliance and not in another. For example, a dishwasher from manufacturer Y might have very good specifications, features, and fall within an affordable price range. However, company Y’s microwave might not have the same qualities. Therefore when purchasing a microwave, do not assume that since another appliance you have is working fine, a microwave from the same company will be as fine.
Take your time to do your research to avoid inconveniences. After all, you buy a microwave once in, a decade? Yes, or longer if it is not faulty.