I’ve spent years exploring the intersection of culinary arts and kitchen technology. and I always look for a way to improve my equipment. In my quest to optimize kitchen efficiency without compromising on quality, I’ve become an avid advocate for the best over-the-range microwaves.
It’s impossible to know about these if you haven’t inspect what’s inside of them. I did just that, I’ve repaired numerous devices over the last couple of years. It certainly was a significant experience for me.
These kitchen marvels are not just space savers; they are the epitome of modern convenience, combining cooking power with ventilation.
Today, I’m excited to share with you the insights I’ve gathered on selecting the best over-the-range microwave that can transform your kitchen into a hub of culinary excellence.
1. 1.6 Cu. Ft. Over-the-Range Microwave
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After years of constant changes when it comes to these devices, I’ve settled on the Amana AMV2307PFS, and I must say, I adore this appliance. It’s become an integral part of my kitchen, and here’s why.
The sleek stainless steel design is not only aesthetically pleasing but also complements my kitchen’s modern look. The cooking space is ample, with a significant capacity, making it a breeze to heat up meals for my family without the need for multiple batches.
CFM motor class rating ensures the kitchen air remains clear, even when I’m experimenting with new recipes that involve a lot of steam or smoke.
It’s powerful yet surprisingly quiet, a combination that’s hard to find.
|Product Dimensions||15.88″D x 30″W x 17.38″H|
|Capacity||1.6 Cubic Feet|
2. GE JVM6172DKWW
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After helping a friend with a repair, I had the chance to get up close with the GE JVM6172DKWW, and I must say, it’s a solid appliance. This over-the-range model is quite the workhorse, and its capacity is generous for its size.
The installation process was straightforward, and the unit fit snugly above the range, saving precious counter space.
it’s not without its quirks. The surface light, while adequate, could be brighter, especially for those late-night kitchen ventures. And while the control panel is user-friendly, the buttons require a firm press, which took some getting used to.
Despite these minor drawbacks, the overall experience with this model was positive, and it’s a reliable choice for anyone looking to integrate a microwave into their kitchen without fuss.
|Capacity||1.9 Cu. Ft.|
|Venting System||Two-speed, 300-CFM|
|Control Features||Add 30 Seconds, Timer On/Off, Cook Time, etc.|
3. Panasonic NN-SN766S
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I’ve had this appliance in my kitchen for a while, and it’s been a bit of a mixed experience.
The sleek stainless steel design of this model is quite appealing and fits well with the modern aesthetics of my kitchen. It’s not just about looks, though; the 1.6 cubic foot capacity has been ample for my needs, accommodating large dinner plates and sizeable food items with ease.
The inverter technology, while designed to cook food more evenly, took some getting used to. I noticed that it doesn’t always work as expected, especially with foods that need precise temperature control. But once I got the hang of the various settings, it became more manageable.
The Genius Sensor is another feature that’s supposed to adjust cooking time and power levels automatically. It’s a great concept, but in practice, I found it hit or miss. Sometimes it perfectly cooked my leftovers, other times I had to adjust and monitor manually to avoid overcooking.
While this kitchen companion has its high points like speed and capacity, it also requires a bit of a learning curve to make the most of its advanced features.
|Capacity||1.6 Cubic Feet|
|Defrost||Advanced Inverter Turbo Defrost|
|Design||Compact Design with 15-inch Turntable|
|Smart Cooking||Genius Sensor with 14 Preset Menu Items|
4. Galanz GLOMJB19S2SWZ-10
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In my time with the Galanz GLOMJB19S2SWZ-10, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with it on several occasions, sometimes even troubleshooting and repairing it for others. While it’s a reliable appliance, it hasn’t quite found its place in my kitchen.
The first thing I noticed was its sleek design, which easily blended with the other appliances. Its footprint was just right for smaller countertops, a consideration for those with limited space. The control panel was intuitive, making it relatively straightforward to operate without constantly referring to the manual.
During use, I found that while it performed most tasks competently, it didn’t particularly excel in any one area. It heated evenly enough for day-to-day use, but when it came to tasks requiring precision, like defrosting delicate items, it was hit or miss.
I appreciated the eco-mode feature, which helped conserve power, but I was left wanting more in terms of advanced features.
|Capacity||0.9 cu ft.|
|Programs||Multiple pre-set menus|
5. SHARP ZSMC1161HB
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When I first got SHARP ZSMC1161HB into my kitchen, I was hopeful. The sleek black design promised to blend seamlessly with my other appliances, and its capacity seemed perfect for my modest needs. As time went on, I found myself repeatedly repairing this model, which was a frustrating and unexpected part of my experience.
I must admit, I struggled with this appliance. It didn’t align with my expectations for durability and consistent performance. I can see its appeal. For those who prioritize modern design and can overlook the quirks I experienced, it may still be a suitable choice.
Its compact size and cooking power are ideal for someone with limited space who doesn’t rely heavily on it for daily use.
|Capacity||1.1 cu. ft.|
How to Choose the Best Over-the-Range Microwave
When it comes to purchasing an over-the-range microwave, there are several factors to consider to ensure you get the best fit for your kitchen and cooking needs. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision:
Size and Capacity
Measure the space above your range to ensure the microwave will fit perfectly. Consider the internal capacity too; if you frequently cook for a family or entertain guests, you might need a larger capacity.
Power and Wattage
The wattage indicates how powerful the microwave is. A higher wattage will cook and reheat food faster. Typically, over-the-range microwaves range from 600 to 1200 watts.
One of the primary benefits of an over-the-range microwave is its built-in ventilation system. Ensure it has a robust exhaust fan, and consider whether it vents to the outside or recirculates the air. Having an exhaust fan in your kitchen is very important for your and your household’s health.
Features and Settings
Look for microwaves that offer multiple cooking modes, sensor cooking, and defrost settings. Some advanced models even have convection cooking or steam cooking capabilities.
Ease of Cleaning
A microwave with a smooth interior, like stainless steel, can be easier to wipe down. Some models also offer a steam cleaning feature.
If you have children, consider a microwave with a child lock feature. This prevents the microwave from being accidentally turned on.
Price and Warranty
Set a budget and try to stick to it, but also consider the warranty and brand reputation. Sometimes, it’s worth paying a bit more for a microwave that’s known to last longer and comes with a good warranty.
Before finalizing your purchase, read user reviews to get a sense of any common issues or particularly liked features. This can provide real-world insights that might not be apparent from product descriptions alone.
Benefits of Over-the-Range Microwave
Over-the-range microwaves are not just about saving counter space; they come with a plethora of advantages that make them a worthy addition to any kitchen:
- Space-Saving: One of the most apparent benefits is the space-saving design. By being installed over the range, they free up valuable counter space, giving you more room for food preparation or other appliances.
- Built-in Ventilation: These microwaves come with integrated exhaust fans, eliminating the need for a separate range hood. This feature helps in removing steam, smoke, and cooking odors, ensuring a fresher kitchen environment.
- Consistent Look: Installing an over-the-range microwave can give your kitchen a more streamlined and cohesive look, especially if it matches your oven and other appliances.
- Added Lighting: Most models come with built-in lighting that illuminates the stovetop below, providing better visibility while cooking.
- Multi-functional: With advancements in technology, many over-the-range microwaves now offer convection cooking, sensor-based cooking, and other features that make them more versatile than traditional countertop models.
- Increased Property Value: A well-integrated kitchen with built-in appliances, including an over-the-range microwave, can potentially increase the value of your home or make it more appealing to potential buyers.
How long should an over-the-range microwave last?
An over-the-range microwave should typically last between 9 to 10 years. The lifespan can vary depending on factors such as usage frequency, maintenance, and brand quality. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prolong the life of the microwave. It’s also important to note that some high-end brands may have longer lifespans, while lower-end models may have shorter ones.
Is an over-the-range microwave as good as a range hood?
Over-the-range microwaves and range hoods serve different purposes and have different advantages and disadvantages. Over-the-range microwaves have the advantage of being multi-functional, allowing you to cook, reheat, and defrost food while also serving as a ventilation system.
Should an over-the-range microwave be vented outside?
It is recommended to vent an over-the-range microwave outside if possible. Venting the microwave outside helps to remove steam, smoke, and cooking odors from your kitchen, improving the air quality and reducing the risk of respiratory problems.
Why put microwave above the stove?
One of the main reasons for putting a microwave above the stove is to save space in the kitchen. Mounting the microwave over the stove eliminates the need for a separate countertop or cabinet space for the microwave, which can free up valuable counter space. This is especially beneficial in smaller kitchens where counter space is limited.
It’s been my pleasure to guide you through the nuances of finding a microwave that not only meets your cooking needs but exceeds your expectations in functionality and style.
Remember, the best over-the-range microwave is one that complements your cooking habits, kitchen layout, and design aesthetics, all while offering the pinnacle of convenience and innovation.
By saving counter space, providing ventilation, and adding to the aesthetic appeal of the kitchen, they prove to be a valuable addition. Whether you’re redesigning your kitchen or simply upgrading your appliances, an over-the-range microwave is a worthy investment that combines convenience with sophistication.
Choose wisely, and your kitchen will thank you for it.