One of the reasons as to why I purchased an over the range microwave oven is to free up some space in my kitchen. Although traditional microwaves are great, I found that they were taking too much room in my kitchen ? that I could have used for other things.
Almost everyone has a microwave in their home. Ideal for cooking quick meals for yourself and your family, they are a must for many. But not everyone has the space in their kitchen for a conventional one – which is where an over the range microwave comes in.
By doing a quick search I stumbled upon a huge variety of over the range microwave ovens. Varying in price, size, and functionality, I wanted to find the best possible choice for my money.
If you are looking for a microwave oven but you aren?t sure where to start, here is a top-five list of the best options on the market to make the decision a little easier.
My rating –
Starting off our list is the Frigidaire Gallery over the range microwave. Measuring in at 30?, it?s sleek in design. It has a rigid build and 1000 watts of power output. This is ideal for those needing to cook food quickly and efficiently.
It also has a selection of 10 different power levels. This gives you better control of the cooking temperature. It is one of the larger devices on this list, with a cooking cavity of 1.7 cu. (control units) feet. It could be perfect looking for an OTR (over the range) microwave for their large household.
The Frigidaire is a good alternative to a range hood. The venting mechanism on the device is comprised of 300 CFM (cubic feet per minute). This means that it will vent a lot quicker than other OTR microwaves.
Affordable and good quality, it?s a great choice for those looking for a powerful device for quite a bit cheaper than other options on the market.
|Spacious cooking space||Small window|
|300 CFM venting fan|
My rating –
One of the most affordable options on this top 5 list, this stainless steel microwave by Samsung could fit into your kitchen nicely due to its 16 x 30 x 17 inch frame. With four preset buttons; potatoes, pizza, veggies, and popcorn it is, however, a little limited in terms of options.
If you don?t need a lot of cooking options, then this downside might not bother you. But if you are looking for a multi-functioning OTR microwave, then this might not be the right choice for you.
It also doesn?t offer sensor cooking (which will adjust the cooking time based on the steam coming from the food), which can be a helpful feature. However, it does have cooktop lighting and multiple settings for the fan speeds ? both nice additions to have.
|Multiple fan speed settings||No sensor cooking|
|Cooktop lighting||Non-adjustable turntable|
|It is available in a range of colors||It is quite loud|
My rating –
What made this OTR microwave oven stand out was not only its touchpad and glass door but the shelf inside of it. This feature will come in handy if you want to cook multiple items of food at once.
A sophisticated device by the trusted brand LG, it also has a range of power levels. These can go up to 1000 watts (similarly to the Frigidaire) ? giving you more control over how long you want to cook your food.
The variety of options on the touchpad means that you can also cook a range of foods ? from popcorn to potatoes. This makes it ideal for growing families needing to cater to their little one?s food requests (an issue I, personally, have faced a number of times).
|Stainless steel design||The touchpad is not backlit (unlike the Samsung microwave)|
|10 power levels|
|1000 watts power output|
|Built-in (but removable) shelf|
2- Kenmore 80333 1.7 cu. ft. Over-the-Range Microwave – Stainless Steel
The Kenmore 80333 is a runner up on this list due to a few factors. Even though it is simple in its appearance, it features sensor reheating and cooking, a 300 CFM, 2-speed venting system (which is a great feature to have as it will clear the air of smoke and odors). It also has specific settings designed just for leftovers.
The leftover settings are great if you are in a rush to cook up last night?s food for your family. Whether it?s a casserole or bacon, this OTR microwave will take care of it. This is an addition that came incredibly handy when I was in a rush to feed the kids.
The product also has a warm and hold button, keeping the food at a good temperature whilst you are getting the plates ready.
However, if you are looking for a microwave oven with a delayed start, this might not be the best choice for you. But if you aren?t worried about this feature (perhaps you have a slow cooker that you use), then this OTR microwave could be the ideal device.
|Spacious design||Lacks convection ? therefore you can?t bake in it|
|2-speed venting system||No delayed start|
|Sensor cooking and reheating|
My rating –
Here we are ? at the number one spot! My favorite OTR microwave oven out of the potential candidates is the Sharp R1874T.
This tops the list for a number of reasons. Not only does it have an interactive touchpad (making it easy to use for everyone) but it also includes a convection fan (the only one on our list to have one), a dual setting cooktop light and an elegant design.
Due to the size of this microwave oven, it is not only ideal for those looking to update their in-home device, but also those who own an RV looking for an upgrade ? which I would have really appreciated when my family needed to change our microwave in the old RV that we had.
However, it isn?t perfect. It is on the more expensive spectrum of the list with a 1.1 cu. Ft. of interior capacity ? making it more suitable for cooking smaller meals. But unless you are planning on cooking huge meals everyday, this won?t really affect how you are using it. It also has a 240 CFM venting fan which is smaller than others on this list.
|Handy convection feature||Compact cooking capacity|
|Dual setting cooktop light|
Important Features to Consider When Choosing Your Microwave Oven
Before taking the leap and buying an OTR microwave, it?s important to consider which features you want included. Overall, there are a few essential settings and features that make a microwave oven functional. These are:
A vital thing to remember is that the higher the wattage on the microwave, the more powerful the device is. When looking at a variety of options, pay attention to the wattage on it. If one is 850W whereas another is 1000W for a fraction of the price, it might be better value for money.
However, it?s also important to keep in mind that convection microwave ovens will always have a lower wattage. This is because they feature convection cooking. This will actually cook things quicker despite being ?less? powerful.
The size of the microwave you choose will depend on what you need it for and the amount of space that you have in your kitchen. If you already have the room for the OTR microwave (which most people do), it will be easier to find one that suits you.
If there is just the two of you, a smaller microwave oven might be the right choice for you. Whereas if you have a growing family, a device that?s on a larger scale will be more appropriate.
Also, if you don?t have the space built-in and you are looking to make the room, you have a lot more freedom as to which to choose. This, however, will most likely be suitable for those who have just moved home or are updating their kitchen.
Once you measure the space, you can start to hunt for the best microwave oven for you ? comparing them on both functionality and price.
OTR microwave ovens usually have a variety of power levels to choose from. This means that you can cook an array of foods without having to also use your oven. Whether you want to reheat soup or make popcorn, there is a selection of options available on the market that are equipped to meet your needs.
All of the microwaves mentioned above come with at least four power levels (with the Frigidaire and LG featuring an impressive 10). Meaning that you have a good place to start researching.
An Easy-to-Read Display
This feature is a must for people that want to see the remaining time left on the microwave. Without a display, it can make it more difficult to use ? no matter what your age or requirements.
Screen displays are common in most modern microwaves. But, it can still be missing from models that are on the cheaper end of the spectrum (so make sure that you check this before making your final decision).
The Control Panel
An integral part of the device, the control panel should be durable and easy to use. Showcasing all the features on the microwave, it can be costly to replace if broken. So, it?s a good idea to look for a device that has an auto touch panel and one that?s well-built.
What is an Over The Range Microwave?
If you are used to your traditional microwave, you might wonder what an over-the-range microwave is and how it differs from your older model. An OTR microwave oven is the same as a traditional microwave in the sense that it can cook and reheat food. The difference in it is that it is designed to fit over your stove.
The other difference is that it vents either through a built-in exhaust system or through vents on the front/bottom unlike a traditional microwave that vents through the back/side/top.
How Long Can Over The Range Microwave Ovens Last?
This will depend on the device that you purchase, but overall, an OTR microwave should last for years. Undeniably, high-quality microwave ovens will last longer than the cheaply produced models.
Our top 5 list features microwave ovens are ideal for all budgets and are built to last. If you are unsure about which one to pick, you can take a look through our recommendations.
How High Up Should You Place The Microwave?
The amount of space that you leave between the microwave and stove will depend on the type of device that you buy. Each product will come with its own safety instructions regarding the placement of the microwave ? no matter which brand you buy.
If you place it too close to the stove, it can be dangerous. So, make sure that you read this before you attempt to fit it into your kitchen.
So, there you go. There is a top 5 list of the best over the range microwave ovens available. The OTR microwave that you purchase, of course, is up to you. But with this quick and varied list, hopefully, you can find the right microwave for your needs.
Whether you are looking for a more affordable option or to push the boat out and upgrade your current device, this list could be the helping hand that you need to make your decision. Just remember to consider the wattage, size of the microwave and power levels (amongst the other features mentioned above).