Last Updated on October 14, 2021 by Boniface Muriuki
The importance of over the range microwaves cannot be overemphasized. Unlike the countertop microwaves, these kitchen appliances are installed over your stove, thus saving your kitchen space.
Consequently, these must-have appliances will help you to have a well-organized kitchen, even when you have limited space. Everybody would want to work in an orderly kitchen, right?
Well, you’ll achieve this by purchasing the best over the range microwave. Besides space convenience, it comes with enhanced functionalities. Yes! You can roast turkey, preheat, and even control it via a smartphone. Even better, over-the-range microwaves eliminate food odors from your kitchen.
Looking at all the benefits associated with the over the range microwaves, it makes absolute sense to buy one, right?
This article will guide you through every step of purchasing the best over the range microwaves. We’ll advise you on what to consider before settling for your ideal appliance.
Even more impressive, we’ve compiled a well-researched list of the best over-the-counter microwaves and why you should get one of them. Read on for more.
Best Over the Range Microwaves – Comparison
|GE JVM3162RJSS 30” Over-the-Range Microwave Oven||-Cabinet Width required 30"
-Convenience cooking controls - Operating made quick and easy
-Auto and time defrost: Defrosting times and power levels are programmed automatically or manually for optimal results
-1.6 Cu. ft. capacity - 950 Watts (IEC-705 test procedure)
-Turntable on/off - Controls turntable operation
-Two-speed, 300-CFM venting system
|GE JNM3163DJBB OTR Microwave||-1.6 cu. ft. Capacity Over the Range Microwave with Convertible Venting
|Sharp R-1514 over- the- Range Microwave||-1000-watt 1-1/2-cubic-foot microwave with 19 automatic settings
-Large, 14-1/8-inch-diameter carousel turntable adds capacity and versatility
-11 Smart and Easy sensor settings
|Samsung ME 16K3000AS OTR||-Stainless Steel
-1.6 cubic feet capacity
|Frigidaire FFMV1645TH OTR Microwave||-Width: 29.87 " X Height: 16.41" X Depth: 15.25"
-1.6 cu. ft. Capacity, 220 CFM, 10 Power Levels, 1000 Cooking Watts
-Interior LED Lighting and Cooktop LED Lighting
Multi-Stage Cooking, One-Touch Controls and Two Speed Ventilation.
|Frigidaire FGMV176NTF 1.7 Cu Ft. Stainless Steel over the Range Microwave||-One-Touch Options
-Cooktop LED Lighting
Over the Range Microwave: Description
An over the range microwave or OTR microwave combines a microwave oven with a range hood. This 2-in-1 unit is designed to be installed over a range or cooktop and includes all required mounting hardware for fast simple installation.
They are designed to be used over the stove top, conveniently combining the ventilation compartment with the microwave. This saves your kitchen space. As such, you can be sure that an over the range microwave is your ideal appliance if you have a small kitchen.
What is Cubic Feet Unit?
Cubic feet is the measurement used to indicate the volume of the inside of the microwave oven. It tells how much space you have in height, depth, and width.
Definition of Convection
Convection phenomenon is the effect that as hotter air rises (because it’s less dense), cold air falls under gravity’s influence, causing a more efficient heat transfer.
In a convection oven, you’ll be able to circulate the hot air around the cooking space, unlike other conventional ovens. This helps you to bake and roast your food without a hassle.
Using the convection oven, you’ll be able to roast an entire chicken, crisp and brown a pizza, roast turkey, cook a beef roast, and preheat it. Even better, a majority of the evens are highly advanced and allows the use of Bluetooth to control operations!
Best Over the Range Microwave Reviews
There’s no doubt that the GE microwave is a force to reckon with in the kitchen. The appliance is impressive when it comes to their induction cooktop.
The GE JVM over-the-range microwave is made of stainless steel. The appliance comes with an automatic exhaust fan which can be turned on manually but not off.
Internally, the unit has about 1.6 cubic ft. of space for cooking activities. The GE JVM cooks well and all the buttons work and respond effectively.
The GE JVM appliance comes equipped with a cooking light that’s bright and illuminates the stove. It’s also fitted with an audible notification sound the unit makes when the timer countdown is complete.
If you leave the lights in the microwave on, you can use it to warm your food for as long as the light is on. This is a unique feature many users don’t know.
The installation of the GE JVM unit is not as difficult. It comes with an installation manual and most DIY geeks can install it in about an hour or less.
The fan provided in the device draws out smoke from the stovetop while you’re cooking. The fan is set to vent into the kitchen. However, you can set it up to vent into the exterior of your home.
- The over the range microwave has a 2-speed venting system that can be set to vent outside or into the kitchen.
- The unit has audible notification beeps that alert you when your food is done
- It’s quite while in use
- The 1000w power required is adequate for cooking
- With 1.6 cubic ft. capacity, you can do more cooking in less time
- The control panel isn’t backlit hence a pain to read in dimly lit kitchens.
The GE JNM3163 comes with unique features like its size, power and it’s also affordable.
The over- the- range microwave comes with a capacity of 1.6 cu ft. and is constructed to fit into 30-inch range cabinet space. For its price bracket, the 1.6 cu ft. is noteworthy because the pricey models have the same 1.6 cu ft. capacity.
The GE JNM3163 features a 2-speed 300 CFM venting system. The control buttons for the unit are situated to the right of the screen and are responsive to touch.
Additionally, it comes with a turntable off/on control. The auto and time defrosting features are also quite helpful.
The GE JNM3163 measures 15.88 x 29.88 x 16.44 inches. The device comes with a power rating of 950W which is under-powered as compared to its counterparts that have an additional 50W of power.
The GE JNM3163 over the range microwave is available only in black color which looks awesome and adds its accents to your kitchen’s décor. For mounting the unit, you get a mounting back plate. The back plate is used to bolt the unit to the wall.
- The microwave features auto and time defrost settings which can easily be set by using the control buttons
- It has a beautiful shiny black finishing
- It’s easy to install
- The microwave has a power rating of a 950W
- The door doesn’t open all the way
- You may find it noisy especially if you’ve used quieter microwaves
The Sharp R-1514 over the range microwave is a pocket-friendly device designed to serve the needs of those on a tight budget. The appliance is attractively designed and doesn’t have many features.
The sharp R-1514 OTR microwave has a capacity of 1.5 cubic ft. internally and externally. It measures 29.94”x 16.25”x 15.56” inches. The unit sports a carousel turntable measuring about 14.13” in diameter.
The turntable provided in the microwave provides a great deal of adaptability, especially when you’re using a gas cooktop. This is one of the most unique features of the device.
When using your appliance, controlling your cooking is done via the buttons on the unit. The microwave comes with 4 buttons on the front and more buttons appear when you open the door.
Installation of the sharp R-1514 over the range microwave is easy. But the unit is heavy so you will an extra pair of hands to assist in the installation.
- The microwave uses the 11 sensor settings on the unit to cook your food at the touch of a button
- The 1000W power supplied to the unit helps to decrease the time it takes for food to cook in this unit
- The microwave is sharp paired with responsive keys and a 5 digit LCD screen
- The unit comes with only a 2-speed fan
The Samsung ME 16K3000AS over the range microwave is another appliance you should consider. The microwave comes with an internal capacity of 1.6 cu ft. and has a power rating of 1000W.
The Samsung ME 16K3000AS OTR looks beautiful, thanks to its stainless steel covering. It measures 16 x 30 x 17 inches and it fits into a 30” cabinet space.
The inside of the microwave features a turntable which is pleasantly placed in a way that it is flush with the floor of the microwave. It, however, lifts out easily thus allows ease in cleaning the unit.
The microwave vent’s to the external through the vents in the front top part of the microwave.
The appliance comes fitted with a grease tray that pulls in the greasy items and makes cleaning the device less challenging. You can also place a deep fryer or an air fryer underneath the microwave to let out fumes from the smaller appliances.
Sadly, the exhaust fans are not as quiet as the appliance itself. The fan makes very audible whoosh sounds.
- The microwave comes with a 2-speed fan
- The stainless steel finishing gives it a premium-class look
- The microwave is easy to install
- It’s much quieter when your food is inside
- The exhaust fan is a bit noisy during operation
- Its touch pad isn’t backlit
Are you interested in having an all-white kitchen? Then you should try the Frigidaire FFM1645TH over the range microwave.
The Frigidaire FFM1645TH OTR is a 30-inch sized microwave that can fit superbly into most 30-inch countertop spaces. The device measures 30 x 17 x 16 inches.
The microwave is designed to vent outside. It’s easy to install the appliance and can be mounted flush with the wall.
The controls are easy to use and there’s the bright LED light that is as glaring as can be. The microwave is not noisy, it’s barely audible when it is in operation.
Although the Frigidaire FFM1645TH may have its good features, it also has its cons. First, the white color is prone to dirt, and if it’s not constantly kept clean. It’ll become an ugly sight.
- The microwave is easy to install and mounts flush to the wall
- It’s easy to use and has clear soft-touch buttons
- The microwave comes fitted with bright LED lights which light up the place
- The device has a beautiful white color
- The beep is annoying and can’t be muted
The Frigidaire FGMV176NTF microwave displays a design that’s distinctive to the brand. The device is not completely different from the other Frigidaire units, however, it has its uniqueness.
The microwave measures 30”x 16.04”x 15” and will fit in a cabinet space of 30”. There might be a slight projection of the unit in front of the cabinet. But that doesn’t affect the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen, especially when paired with an induction range.
The Frigidaire FGMV176 over the range microwave is internally designed to offer 1.7 cubic ft. of ample cooking space. The appliance has 9 different power levels to help one cook food at any desired speed.
Unlike the sharp R1514 microwave with hidden keys, the Frigidaire unit displays all the control buttons in one place. The controls are intuitive and are paired with a digital display screen.
Installing the unit is easy but it needs an extra pair of hands because it’s weighty.
- It is silent during operation save for occasional beeps
- With the sensor cooking function, cooking is made a lot easier.
- The two-speed fan is moderately effective in keeping the air clean
- A bit of a pain in the neck to install individually
The GE JVM6175DKMM over the range microwave comes with tons of features including auto defrost, time defrost as well as a cooking timer. Internally, the microwave has a capacity of 1.7 cu ft. and it offers a great deal of space for your cooking activities.
The microwave is designed to vent outside or into the room. The device comes with charcoal filters that help to eliminate odors and the rest.
The appliance measures 15 x 29.8 x 16.5 inches. The installation of the unit is easy. The microwave door can be quite annoying, it makes a springy noise when it’s opened.
- There’s a button to mute the beep so it won’t be annoying
- The white color looks nice and will be a good fit for an all-white kitchen
- It’s easy to install and use and also the control buttons are soft to the touch.
- The door is noisy and is quite audible especially at night when all is silent
Best Over the Range Microwave- Buying Guide
Difference between the Countertop and Over the Range Microwave
A countertop microwave can rest on any open surface available in the kitchen. Countertop microwaves are portable while over the range microwave is units installed above your range.
They function similarly to the countertop microwaves but eliminates cooking odors, steam, and smoke through the built-in ventilation system.
Over the Range Microwaves- What are the Benefits?
Most kitchens require a range over the hood that will evacuate the food odor, smoke, and steam to keep the air fresh and clean.
Due to incorporated fans, the over the range microwave also works as a range hood. This means you will have two items in one, so the functionality is increased.
Another benefit of over the range microwave is that it helps you save space which is essential in small kitchens.
Instead of tucking everything on the kitchen counter, it’s easier to save space by installing the over the range microwave at a height that allows you to use it.
Being placed high above the counter, you won’t have to worry about the small ones ever reaching it and using when you’re not around. Thus, a very safe choice for your children.
The capacity of over the range microwaves ranges from mid-level to large-sized models.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an over the Range Microwave
Determine the features you want in an over -the- range microwave. Some appliances can provide convection heating as well as microwave heating.
Always ensure you make a list of over- the- range microwaves that interest you to compare features side-by-side.
- Measurement and Exhaust Features
Stove cooktops and ranges are made in different widths with the most common being 30 and 36 inches. Measure the width of the range in your home to pick an over the range microwave to match.
Additionally, choose a microwave that provides over-the-range exhaust features if you do a lot of stovetop cooking. Many microwaves operate as an exhaust hood and use a charcoal filter when letting out cooking fumes.
- Consumer reviews
Read the consumer reviews like the reviews offered in this article on specific models of over the range microwave to get an idea of consumer ratings.
Remember, what looks good on paper may not always function well in the kitchen. Physically check the oven-cavity by bringing your largest and most-used hot dish in the store.
- Cooking functionality
Match over-the-range microwave to your cooking needs. When you use the microwave in meal preparation, such as defrosting meat or melting the butter, look for a microwave with these special features.
Some microwaves have special buttons that melt butter, auto-defrost meat, and also multi function cooking options with programmable power changes while cooking.
Ensure the over-range-microwave provides all the functions you need in the price range you’re willing to pay while enhancing your overall kitchen design.
Best Over the Range Microwave – Bottom Line
Over- the- range microwaves are all pretty similar to one another and they have proven to be better than countertop models.
The appliance is a good choice if you have limited counter space or prefer a built-in appliance that matches the rest of your kitchen.
Over the range, microwaves are generally more powerful and have a larger capacity than their countertop competitors, so you get loads of extra options when cooking that special meal.
We’ve discussed a few options in the above article which will guide you in choosing your ideal over the range microwave. Your budget and desired microwave functionality play a crucial role in your final decision so choose wisely according to your needs.
Chef Boniface is a graduate in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education, New York. He has worked in several restaurants and is currently the Head Chef at Cavali Restaurant.
He has excelled in developing unique recipes and influencing the menu at the restaurant. He prides himself in sharing his knowledge at thekitchenpot.com where he writes about the best cookware for various recipes.