After evaluating several over-the-range microwaves in the market today, we have concluded that the best over the range microwave in 2018 is the GE JVM3160RFSS 30″ Over-the-Range Microwave Oven. Other than being a microwave from a popular brand, it offers a high level of performance, good ventilation system, high power & cooking system and has durability.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is an Over the Range Microwave?
- 2 Best Over the Range Microwave Comparison Table
- 3 Our Review of the Best Over the Range Microwaves of 2018
- 3.1 Overall Best Over The Range Microwave
- 3.2 Best Budget Over The Range Microwave
- 3.3 Biggest Over The Range Microwave
- 3.4 Best Selling Over The Range Microwave
- 3.5 Best Over The Range Convection Microwave
- 3.6 Best White Over The Range Microwave
- 3.7 Best Black Over The Range Microwave
- 3.8 Best Design Over The Range Microwave
- 3.9 Best Stainless Steel Over The Range Microwave
- 3.10 Best Touch Screen Over The Range Microwave
- 4 How We Choose the Best Over the Range Microwaves
- 5 Types Of Over the Range Microwave Ovens
- 6 What you need to know about over range microwaves
- 7 Benefits of Buying an Over the Range Microwave
- 8 Over The Range Microwave Features to Look For
- 9 Factors to consider when choosing an Over-the-Range Microwave
- 10 Over the Range Microwave Safety Tips
- 11 In conclusion
A Microwave oven enables us to broil, crisp, roast, bake etc. within a short period of time, and that is why it has become one of the most commonly used appliances in most households. These units can either be found as a Countertop microwave oven or an Over the Range Oven. While both types of Microwaves achieve the same purpose since they have a similar mode of operation, the latter seeks to optimize the counter space.
Over the range, microwave ovens are either used because of their ability to optimize space in the kitchen or remove food odors, steam, and smoke in the air.
They come in different sizes and have varying specifications in a bid to target different classes of users. Thus, if you want an oven which you’ll use to cook for only yourself, a large family, or an event, you can find an appropriate size and capacity.
Unarguably, these ovens perform the same function, but some do it better than others. Their differences can be attributed to their power wattage, ventilation system, capacity, and most importantly, their sensor technology and control features. That being the case, our list of the best over the range microwave ovens outlined in this guide will help you to choose the best oven that can provide an acceptable level performance.
Before we proceed, let’s understand what an over the range microwave is.
What is an Over the Range Microwave?
An Over the Range Microwave (OTR Microwave) is a 2-in-1 appliance that has a microwave oven and a ventilation system. This appliance requires installation above the cooktop or wall cabinet before its use and as such, it comes with its own mounting hardware.
On installation, it frees up the countertop space that would have been used to place a microwave. This is especially helpful in a small kitchen where there may be little space that needs to be well utilized.
Also, an OTR Microwave can come in different options depending on their ventilation system. One model connects the fan to the ductwork to evacuate food odor, smoke, and steam from the range to the exterior, while the other model has a ductless installation that re-circulates and filters smoke.
Compared to Countertop microwaves, this type is usually more expensive which can be attributed to the nature of their build.
Best Over the Range Microwave Comparison Table
Our Review of the Best Over the Range Microwaves of 2018
There are several over the range microwave ovens in the market today with each offering a different level of performance. Their makers all strive to ensure that these cooking appliances are fast and energy efficient with a speedy ventilation system.
So without delay, below is a list of the best over the range microwaves to help you choose the model that suits your purpose and personal preference:
Overall Best Over The Range Microwave
GE JVM3160RFSS 30″ Over-the-Range Microwave Oven has a capacity of 1.6 cubic foot which makes it suitable for placing a large dish within its interior. It will not tend to make clonking sounds thanks to this moderate size and as such, it should be your first choice for a microwave oven that can make a large quantity of food at a time.
For what over range microwaves are popularly known for, this oven comes with a two speed 300CFM venting system that allows it to remove steam, odors, and smoke within the kitchen. This way, the air is fresh at all times.
There is also a glass turntable in this appliance’s interior and its operation can either be turned on or off. When on, it’ll automatically rotate the food so that it can be cooked evenly.
When it comes to the level of performance, this microwave oven has an acceptable one. This is because it has a power wattage of 1000 Watts which is considered to be the highest power it’ll operate.
On the other hand, it has 10 power levels that will enable you to regulate its power between different levels. You can choose to set on low, medium, or high depending on the results you’re expecting.
Best Budget Over The Range Microwave
Over The Range microwave ovens are usually more expensive than countertop ovens, but then, you can still get one at a good price which will help you to save a few dollars. Most importantly, it comes with great features that make it a considerable option among several that you might have. This microwave is the Hamilton Beach 0.9 cu ft 900W Microwave.
This microwave has a power wattage of 900 Watts which is high enough to ensure small and large dishes get cooked within a short period of time. It also has a capacity of 0.9 cubic feet which makes it a compact size oven.
That being the case, you’ll have to use smaller dishes in the oven to ensure it does not clonk on the sides.
There are 10 power levels in this oven and each will help you control its power depending on the food you’re cooking. You’ll also find a 99’99” minute timer child safety lock feature on this unit which will prevent children from tampering with the Controls especially while the oven is in use.
Apart from its small capacity, this unit also has a lightweight of 16.05 pounds and small size at a dimension of 20.7 x 17.2 x 12.8 inches.
Biggest Over The Range Microwave
GE PVM9215SKSS Profile 2.1 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Over-the-Range Microwave has a capacity that is larger than most microwaves in its range. Featuring a 2.1 cubic feet capacity, it becomes one of the first choices of users when the quantity of food that can be cooked at a time with a microwave oven has more priority.
On that note, if you have a large family with 4 to 5 members which will require more food to be prepared each time, then this oven will be appropriate.
Apart from its size, it is also admirable for its 400 CFM Ventilation System that will quickly remove odor, smoke, and steam from the air. As a result, the air around your kitchen will remain fresh while you cook your food.
This is because this system has four speeds venting fan whose operation is very fast in detoxifying the air.
Additionally, the dimension of this unit is 33.5 x 19.4 x 20.2 inches and its body and door are made of stainless steel. Its power wattage is 1000 watts, high enough to cook your food quickly thereby ensuring that you don’t have to wait for a long time even for a large dish placed in its oven. Alternatively, you can control its power by choosing 10 power settings and cooking presets.
Best Selling Over The Range Microwave
Sharp R-1214 1-1/2-Cubic Feet 1100-Watt Over-the-Counter Microwave is one of the most portable microwaves of this kind you’ll find out there. Its moderate build will be best appreciated by those whose kitchens are not big or who want a moderately sized oven. In that case, its dimension of 23-7/8 by 14-1/16 by 15-9/16 inches on the exterior makes it a good choice.
While this microwave oven does not require a large space for installation, it still comes with great features. Some of these include the 1100 Watt power wattage that makes it run powerfully thereby ensuring that meals are ready quickly.
Its capacity of 1.5 cubic foot also ensures that you can place a large dish within it, hence it makes your work easier.
Other features you’ll find remarkable are its Keep Warm Plus feature that allows you to maintain the temperature of hot foods for up to 30 minutes after cooking. There are 24 automatic settings on this microwave oven, and its turntable has a diameter of 14-1/8 inches.
What’s more? You’ll find 11 power levels that will ensure you cook your food at the right temperature which you have chosen.
Best Over The Range Convection Microwave
Sharp R1874T 850W Over-the-Range Convection Microwave is one of the best when it comes to a microwave oven for baking, broiling, roasting and some other cooking that require that the temperature on the outer part of the food be higher.
In this case, what you get is a convection oven and a standard oven thus; this is not another conventional oven.
Unlike other ovens reviewed in our buying guide, it has lower power wattage, but then, it still comes with admirable features. Its highest power output is 850 Watts which is slightly higher than the 650 Watt power limit for microwave ovens.
For this reason, it can still cook your food in a reasonable amount of time hence; you can cook easily and quickly with it.
Sharp’s oven has an inner dimension of 13-13/16 by 8-1/16 by 17-1/8 inches and an outer dimension of 29-15/16 by 16-11/32 by 15-9/32 inches translating into a large oven that will require a large space for its fitting during installation. It has a capacity of 1.1 cubic foot which makes it able to hold large dishes on its 13-inch turntable.
Best White Over The Range Microwave
Amana 1.5 CU. ft. Over-the-Range Microwave features a Touchmatic Control System that makes it one of the best microwave ovens. Featuring a power wattage of 900 watts for its maximum cooking power, it can still cook your food at a faster pace.
In comparison with the lowest power wattage of a microwave which is 650 watts, one will agree that this unit can still offer a high level of performance.
It has a dimension of 15.5 x 29.9 x 17.2 inches and as such, will need a large enough space to support its wide width. This oven has a stainless steel build, and it comes with control features such as Auto Cook and auto defrost control. It also comes with a rotatable turntable that will allow food placed within it to cook evenly at all angles.
Amana’s over the range microwave oven uses a charcoal filter in its ventilation system that helps to trap odor, smoke, food smells, and steam. Thus, the air around your kitchen will remain fresh while this unit is installed thanks to its 220 CFM venting.
Other controls that you’ll find in this microwave include cook power, end of cycle signal, Popcorn, Potato, Reheat, Scale, and Timer.
Best Black Over The Range Microwave
GE JVM3160DFBB 30″ Over-the-Range Microwave Oven is easy to use because, with its control buttons, you can easily grasp what each function is made for. Moreover, it is also easy to install and based on most customer reviews; it is one of the easiest when one follows the installation guide.
For this reason, if you want a microwave oven that won’t give you any hassle due to its complex functions, then you can try this over the range microwave.
Asides its ease of usage, this oven is also durable given its stainless steel build that is not susceptible to rust, thus, it will not wear and tear easily. Coupled with that, it has a 1.6 cu. Ft. capacity that can hold large dishes in its oven. Here, you can prepare large quantities of food at a time without having to worry about the plate clonking at its sides.
The maximum cooking power of this unit is 1000 watts and it can be regulated through 10 power levels that will ensure you get the right amount of heat depending on the type of food you’re preparing.
Additionally, this oven has cooking controls for Popcorn, beverage, potato, reheat, and defrost. There is also a two-speed fan with a 300-CFM venting system.
Best Design Over The Range Microwave
GE PVM9005SJSS Profile 2.1 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Over-the-Range Microwave has a unique design in terms of the placement of its control buttons. Added to its build material, this gives it a sleek feel and stylish look.
Asides its impressive appearance, it also comes with remarkable features that do not only make it a must-have oven because of its look.
For starters, it has high power wattage of 1050 Watts which determines its cooking power. At this power rating, you can expect quick meals because of the high level of performance it will provide.
On the other hand, depending on the type of food you’re preparing, you might choose between 10 power levels to manipulate its speed of operation.
This microwave oven has a dimension of 29 15/16″ X 17 5/16″ X 16 5/32″, and it comes with a 400 CFM Venting system with 4 speeds fan. This system has a fast speed which will work to remove odor and smoke in the air. Thus, your kitchen can stay fresh irrespective of what you cook.
That being the case, you can take advantage of all these features by procuring this oven.
Best Stainless Steel Over The Range Microwave
The brand Samsung has been a common name in terms of household appliances, for this reason, an Over the Range microwave oven from them is not one to disappoint. In that regards, the Samsung ME16H702SES microwave oven is one of the best with a stainless stain build.
This building material is durable and not susceptible to rust or corrosion, thus, this oven will maintain its sleek look for a long time.
In terms of specs, this unit has a capacity of 1.6 cu. ft., which makes it suitable for cooking large quantities of food at a time. You can place a large dish on its auto rotatable turntable and wait while it cooks it evenly and quickly.
Its speed can be attributed to its high power wattage of 1000 Watts. Thus, you can cook with ease irrespective of the quantity.
Also worthy of note, is the 300 CFM Ventilation system in this microwave oven. As a consequence, it can free the air of odor, smoke, and other air pollutants in the kitchen.
This is done speedily because of how much air it can move in a minute. The dimension of this unit is 15.2 x 29.9 x 16.9 inches and it’ll require a large space in a wall cabinet to be installed.
Best Touch Screen Over The Range Microwave
Kitchen Aid KMHC319ESS 1.9 Cu. Ft. 1000W Stainless Over-The-Range Microwave has one of the best venting systems in this type of microwave oven. This is because it has a 6 speeds fan that can detoxify the air quickly of food smells, odor, and steam.
The ventilation system is usually one of the selling points of over the range microwave ovens, and this unit has got you covered if that’s the reason why you’re settling for an oven of this nature.
Other than its fast filtering system, this convection oven has maximum power wattage of 1000Watts that will help to reduce the amount of time you have to wait for your food to be ready.
In terms of design, it has a stainless steel build with a satin cross-hatched handles, chrome-faced glass, and red medallions. Thus, it can fit nicely into your kitchen decor if you already have a fashionable one.
The capacity of this oven is 1.9 Cu. Ft which can be classified as an extra large one that will allow you place a large dish in its oven without scratching the sides as it cooks. It has a sensor cooking technology and also controls for cook time, convect, keep warm, popcorn, potato, reheat, defrost, fresh vegetable, soften/melt, and steam.
How We Choose the Best Over the Range Microwaves
The following factors were put into consideration while we selected the best over the range microwaves in our buying guide. These factors are not negligible, because they determine if the appliance is of great quality irrespective of its size and capacity. They include:
The most important factor we took into consideration was the functionality of every chosen over the range microwave.
Is it energy efficient? Can it offer a high level of performance with is high power?. Can its power be regulated? and generally, does it come with features such as child lock, auto reset, and pre-heat?
When it comes to power, each product has at least 850 watts as its maximum cooking power and in terms of the venting system, we narrowed down to about 200CFM.
Ease of usage
It is not enough to buy an Over the range microwave but to be able to use it and program it to meet specific needs. That is why this factor was also considered while selecting these appliances.
Users will not require special training before they can install or use them since their manual, push buttons, and functions are not difficult to understand.
The size of a microwave oven is important, but its capacity is more important. This is because it determines the quantity of food that can be cooked each time.
Based on our readers’ needs, we selected products with small, medium, and large capacities (1.5 cubic feet to 2.1 cubic feet ) which will ensure everyone finds a microwave that meets their needs.
Whether you intend cooking for a large gathering or just for yourself, you’ll find the right product.
User reviews and recommendations
The best way we could determine the real-life operation of each appliance and compare it with other microwaves was also to evaluate the positive and negative feedback from customers who have already purchased the said product.
This is because we cannot rely only on the product description and claims of the manufacturer hence, a selected product in our guide, has been weighed to see if its effectiveness greatly outweighs its downsides.
Types Of Over the Range Microwave Ovens
If you have decided to buy an Over the range microwave oven, you will be faced with the decision of which type to buy exactly. Adequate knowledge of the various types and their mode of operation will help you to decide which one is suitable for you.
You will find them in mid-size, and family size and they are differentiated based on their ventilation hood:
Internal or re-circulation venting
An over the range microwave oven has two filters which are a main visible filter and an internal charcoal filter. This microwave model recirculates air back into the kitchen which helps to eliminate food odors, smoke, and moisture that rise from the cooking surface.
The charcoal filter that traps the odor will tend to be less effective over time especially if you tend to cook more. For this reason, it will need to be replaced after about six to 12 months.
Ducted or external venting
This type of over the range microwave oven eliminates food odors, smoke, and moisture by pulling them through the microwave’s vents. These particles are then transferred into an exhaust duct that leads to the exterior of the building.
As a result, particulate matter and odors are emptied out into the open air outside of the home. If you tend to cook more, then you need a venting system of this kind that will easily eliminate smoke and humidity.
What you need to know about over range microwaves
Over The Range microwaves are similar to countertop microwaves in their mode of operation since they can also cook food within the stipulated period of time. Moreover, they also come with the basic features you’ll find in the latter hence; their mode of operation is almost the same.
On the other hand, there are noticeable differences between both where Over the range microwaves have a ventilation system and require installation.
Additionally, they come with tools for installation which might require the expertise of a professional before they can be installed. This will ensure that they are properly attached to the wall cabinet and are at the right eye level.
But then, compared to countertop microwaves, they are more expensive and their high price can be attributed to these unique features.
Benefits of Buying an Over the Range Microwave
There are several benefits of using an Over the top microwave in your home. When one overlooks their price which is more than that of a Countertop microwave, they stand to gain a lot with this appliance installed in their kitchen. These benefits include:
It frees up space
The first reason why anyone would choose an Over the top microwave over a Countertop microwave is its ability to save space.
Due to the nature of its installation where it’s built into wall cabinets and raised above the cooktop, it does not take the extra space in the kitchen. This allows the space to be better utilized instead of placing one more appliance on the counter.
It eliminates air pollutants
Over the top microwave have a ventilation system that either recirculates food odor, smoke, and steam or removes them entirely. As a result, the air around the kitchen is kept fresh without having a smell that may be unappealing.
‘This is especially helpful for people that are allergic to strong smell which can easily be prevented.
Available in larger models
When it comes to size, you can find over the range microwaves in various sizes which will allow you to choose from a given range. You can decide to settle for a large one that can easily be installed in your kitchen.
A larger microwave will allow you to cook more food at once, thereby saving your time. If you want a microwave for a big family, then one of this kind would be the best.
Over The Range Microwave Features to Look For
There are certain features you need to look out for before choosing an over the range microwave. While these features may be of less priority to some people, it may not be to others.
Nevertheless, these are important features you should keep in mind because they determine how effective your microwave oven will be.
The first feature that should be your utmost priority is the capacity of the over the range microwave you want to buy. Is it a compact, mid-size, or family size? Ranging from 17L to over 32L, each can serve your cooking needs, but an appropriate size can even make your work easier and faster.
You may not need a large microwave for a small room or popcorn, but for cooking large amounts of food at a time, you’ll definitely need a large one.
Auto reheat and pre-heat
Over The Range microwave come with an auto reheat feature that automatically calculates the power and length of time to cook the food.
You can enter the weight of the food, while the microwave will safely cook it. There is also an auto-preheat option that maintains the temperature of the microwave as specified by you before it switches off automatically.
The turntable for your microwave plate that allows food to be cooked evenly is another feature you should pay attention to. They are of different types and sizes, but you can decide to settle for a self-returning turntable that automatically turns to cook food evenly.
It also makes it easy to remove items from the oven without stretching to the back of the oven cavity. You can also decide to settle for a microwave whose turntable can be turned on or off.
Also of the essence, is a child lock feature which most microwaves now come with. This feature prevents children from tampering with cooking timings or operating the microwave especially while it is on.
This can also prevent home accidents such as burning of the fingers hence if you’re living with a child, you may want to buy a microwave that comes with this feature.
Clock and timer
It is important for an Over The Range microwave to come with a clock and timer especially with LED lights that will notify you when the food is ready.
You may also find a Stand timer which can also be set to a rest period where the food cooks in residual heat within that period of time and then alerts you when need be. This will help you monitor your food while it cooks, ensuring that it does not overcook or burn.
Microwaves come with a fan that helps to remove smoke, odor, and moisture in the air by trapping it within filters or sending them out externally.
These fans can operate very quietly or noisily depending on their power to remove these pollutants from the air. That being the case, if you want a less noisy or silent microwave, then you’ll have to settle for one whose fan may not be as powerful.
Factors to consider when choosing an Over-the-Range Microwave
If you’ve decided to settle on an over the range microwave for your kitchen, then there are several factors you have to be put into consideration while you choose for the best.
These factors will ensure that you buy a quality product, one that will serve its purpose for a long time, and also give you the satisfaction that you got your money’s worth.
The size of an Over The Range microwave and that of the kitchen you are going to use it has to be considered. A large microwave in a small kitchen might look out of place hence, it should correspond with that of your kitchen.
Also, you need to evaluate the usable space inside which determines its capacity. If you cook in large quantities, then you need a family size microwave, but if it is in small quantities, then a small sized microwave (18-20 liters) would be the best.
Microwave power is measured in watts and they range from 650 to 1950 Watts. The higher the wattage, the more powerful it is. As a result, food will tend to cook faster and the fan will work more powerfully in eliminating particles.
This power can be regulated between high, medium, and low, and when it is set at high, then that is the maximum power output. Additionally, a more powerful microwave will tend to be more expensive.
Over the range microwaves are generally more expensive than countertop microwaves. Nevertheless, you can still find one of high quality at an affordable price.
This implies that you should not narrow down your search to only the most expensive microwaves, but you should also consider the less expensive ones which may be more effective than their costly counterpart.
Microwaves are powered by an electric current to heat food hence; they need to be energy efficient. This can be made possible by using less energy or power, especially while in standby mode.
In this case, you need an Over the range microwave that comes with an energy-save mode that will monitor and regulate the power that is being used.
Over The Range microwaves need to be installed above the cook top at a certain level which makes it easy to place and remove food as well as operate them.
That is why you need to consider how high or low it will be embedded in your wall cabinet. This will make it easy to remove hot foods even without using a stool.
Over the Range Microwave Safety Tips
While using an Over the range microwave, there are certain precautionary measures you have to put in place to prevent accidents that may even be life-threatening. Some safety tips you need to keep in mind have been outlined below.
- Always refer to the instruction manual for guidance where you have difficulty in operating.
- At all times, use a safe microwave container and tableware such as ceramics and glassware. Do not use metallic plates inside the microwave.
- Ensure that you do not operate the microwave while it is empty because it can damage the oven.
- Ensure that the child safety lock is on while the microwave is in use and while not in use to prevent children from tampering with it.
The best over the range microwaves outlined in our buying guide will ensure that you spend your money on a quality product that will stand the test of time.
Whether you decide to settle on a microwave with a small or large capacity as well as one whose venting is internal or external, each will make sure your food is ready when you need it thanks to their high power.
That being the case, take the next step and buy one of these top appliances for your kitchen.