Over-the-range microwaves are extremely convenient appliances for any kitchen to have and their design allows them to be placed in one of the best places for any appliance—right over the range. This allows the cook to defrost and warm up items in the microwave while they’re tending items on the stovetop or in the oven. That’s why more and more people are buying microwaves that sit above their range. It’s also why we’ve decided to talk about how consumers can buy the best over the range microwaves for their kitchens. Now let’s dig right into this article and start cooking.
List of the Best Over The Range Microwaves
Best Overall: Sharp 850-Watt Stainless Steel Convection Microwave
This Sharp convection microwave has a beautiful stainless steel exterior, and its cabinet measures approximately 29-15/160inch by 16-11/32-inch by 15-9/32-inch. Its size and beautiful exterior allow it to blend in perfectly in any modern kitchen. And to make it even more convenient and versatile to use, the microwave has three different venting options. It can vent horizontally, vertically or use ductless recirculation. This makes it a versatile and convenient microwave for over the range use, especially since the has a powerful fan and a hood light that illuminates the top of the range.
This microwave also has a 1.1 cubic-foot interior and 850-watts of power, so it can be used for a variety of cooking projects. It can defrost meat or seafood, warm up cold coffee or soups and even cook meals. It features a beautiful two-color, seven-digit display that’s interactive and very easy to use. And because it uses a special four-way convection system, this microwave is capable of crisping, baking, broiling, and browning. Now consumers no longer have to worry about cooking food in their microwave that turns out soggy or rubbery. That’s because this product will make perfectly cooked food every single time it’s used.
It has high and low racks inside of it and even comes with a 13-inch turntable. On the interior is also a light that allows the consumer to see the food placed inside it, although it’s not as bright as we would’ve liked. What we did find impressive, however, was the amount of control the microwave gave to consumers. This model has 25 automatic systems, and its temperature control can be set to 100-degrees, 150-degrees, and 275-degrees respectively. It can also be adjusted from 275-degrees to 450-degrees Fahrenheit in 25-degree increments. All of this taken together means that this is one of the most powerful, easy-to-use, and nice-looking convection microwaves for over the range mounting.
Best Value: GE 950-Watt 1.6-Cubic Foot Microwave
When we look at over the range microwaves, we look to see how easy it is to install, how spacious the interior of the microwave is, how powerful the microwave is, and how easy it is to use. And it’s for all of these reasons we placed this microwave on our list. It’s a model that looks good, is easy to install and has the features that people need a microwave to have. It has a large 1.6 cubic foot interior, operates at 950 watts, and is easy to setup. Let’s take a closer look at the features of this microwave and find out some of the other reasons why it’s one of the best value microwaves currently available.
We also liked that this model had all of the controls we expect out of a quality microwave. It has automatic and time defrost, so users can easily and effectively defrost frozen meats and vegetables. This model also has a turntable to ensure even heating of food, a turntable that can be turned off if the user doesn’t need it. And its cooking controls are easy enough for just about anyone to use. This model even has convenience cooking features that have buttons for the most common foods being cooked. These convenience buttons include a popcorn button, beverage, and potato button.
The last few features we would like to talk about are also worth mentioning. For example, this microwave has a 2-speed venting system that can remove odors, smoke, and steam at a rate of approximately 300 cubic-feet-per-minute. This model also has lights underneath that help to illuminate the range top surface below it. This gives consumers a little bit of extra light when they’re cooking for themselves, their family and/or their friends. And because this model comes with all of the mounting hardware to install the microwave properly, it’s not very difficult for people to have it set up and running in no time flat.
Best Affordable: Magic Chef 1.6 Cubic-Foot White Microwave
This microwave might not have all of the features of larger over the range microwaves, but it is easy to install, is pretty spacious and works well. This model is approximately 29.9×16.8×14.9-inches in size, has a capacity of 1.6 cubic feet and only weighs 46.5 pounds. Many people have found that it’s a model that can easily be installed within 45-minutes or less, and once it’s installed, it works extremely well. Probably the most attractive thing about this microwave, however, is its price tag. At the time of our review, this model was significantly less expensive than comparable over the range microwaves.
Now don’t get us wrong, just because we say that this model might not have all of the features of other microwaves doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have many features. It has a decent amount of features available that many consumers are going to find quite helpful in their kitchen. For instance, this model has a hood light that helps to illuminate the cooktop below it and it has a charcoal filter for filtering out smoke and bad odors. It also features a recessed turntable and has a two-speed exhaust fan. And all of these features make it a microwave that will easily fit in with the user’s lifestyle and help them get their cooking done efficiently.
Oh, we almost forget. This microwave also has several other great features worth mentioning. It has 1,100 watts of power, 10 different power levels, and 3 pre-programmable choice menus. It also has a Keep Warm function, a kitchen timer, and 6 automatic cook menus. This microwave also has a few convenience cook features that include a popcorn button, a dinner plate button, a baked potato button, a frozen pizza button, a beverage button, and a frozen vegetable button. Now any consumer can harness the power of an amazing over the range microwave and do it without having to spend a fortune.
A Guide To Buying Over The Range Microwaves
Buying an over the range microwave isn’t difficult, but it does require a little bit of forethought. The consumer not only has to decide what looks good and fits in with the rest of the decor of their kitchen, but they also have to decide on what features they need the appliance to have. The consumer needs to think about what size microwave they need, whether or not it has an exhaust fan or range light, and whether it’s a green product or not. And that’s only a small selection of things that consumers need to consider. Because there are several things for a person to consider before they can buy the best over the range microwave, we decided to write this informative guide on the subject. Hopefully, it will provide all of our readers with a roadmap that they can use to buy a great microwave.
Consider The Microwave’s Exterior Measurements
This might seem like the obvious first step to choosing a microwave, but believe us when we say that we’re not being condescending. A lot of people pay a lot of attention to the features found on the microwave and don’t think about whether or not the microwave will properly fit in the space it’s to be installed in. So before looking at a microwave’s features, the consumer might want to consider its measurements and make sure it’s going to fit properly.
Consider The Microwave’s Interior Measurements
The next thing the consumer is going to want to consider is the interior size of the microwave. Ideally, the consumer is going to want to make sure that the microwave meets the minimum size for their family. Below are some common interior microwave sizes with their ideal family sizes.
- Compact Microwave: 0.5 to 0.8 cubic feet. Ideal for 1-2 people.
- Midsize Microwave: 0.9 to 1.3 cubic feet. Ideal for 1-3 people.
- Family Size: 1.4 to 1.6 cubic feet. Ideal for a family of 2-4 people.
- Full-Size: 1.8 to 2 cubic feet. Ideal for 4-6 people.
Of course, the above chart is only a guide and consumers can choose whatever size microwave they need. However, if the consumer chooses a size that’s different from the ideal family size, then they should size up and not down. For example, a single person might want to size up to a midsize or family size microwave, but a family of four is not going to want to downsize to a midsize.
Consider The Microwave’s Wattage Level
Another important consideration for any consumer to think about before purchasing an above the range microwave is the wattage level. The higher the wattage of a particular microwave, the faster it is going to cook food, so consumers are probably going to want to choose the highest wattage of microwave that they can afford. Let us give you an example of how wattage affects microwave time. Suppose that you wanted to cook a microwave dinner. In a 600-watt microwave, that dinner would take approximately 10-minutes to cook. In a 1000-watt microwave, however, that same dinner would only take 6-minutes to cook. As can be seen, wattage can have a dramatic effect on cook times.
Other Features To Consider
There are a few other features that consumers are going to want to consider. Features that make the microwave easier to use or give the consumer the tools they need to cook just about anything. Although not every consumer is going to need every single feature found on the below list, it is a good starting point for consumers to discover the features that they may need in a new microwave. Let’s take a look at them.
- Sensor Cooking
- One-Touch Preprogammable Cooking
- Programmable Cooking
- Kitchen Timers
- Convection Oven Features
- Exhaust Fan
- Over Range Lighting
- Interior LED Lighting
- One-Touch Defrost
- Children Safety Locks
The Microwave’s Price
The final thing that consumers are going to want to consider is the price of the microwave. Nowadays, over the range microwaves come in a variety of different price points, with some models costing as little as $160 and some models costing $600 or more. The consumer should consider their budget before they purchase a new microwave. As a general rule, the microwaves with the most features usually end up costing more than models that have fewer features, but that’s not always the case, so the consumer should carefully consider all of their options. That’s the best way for consumers to choose an over the range microwave that will fit their needs the best.