If you are looking to buy both a microwave and a hood then you might want to have a look on the best over the range microwaves that combines both heating and ventilation.

These appliances are increasingly less expensive and they come with a plethora of advantages and benefits, not to mention that they can save you a lot of counter-top space.

As you probably already know, a kitchen microwave uses a lot of space and this can be highly inconvenient in small homes. If you decide to go for an OTR (over the range) microwave, you free up some space for other appliances while still enjoying delicious foods in minutes.Above the range microwave oven

Another advantage of OTRs is the simple fact that some of them can vent outside and eliminate some of the cooking smells and odors, so you won’t need to buy a separate hood for your cooker!

These products come with special venting kits which connect to your property’s main ventilation system and take pizza and popcorn odors and smells outside.

It can be quite tricky at first to buy the right OTR because you have so many options, but that’s why I created the following buying guide.

Keep reading to find out what aspects to pay attention to when buying a microwave.


How to Choose an Over-the-Range Microwave

I wrote a separate and more thorough guide on how to choose the best microwave oven which is also applicable to over-the-range models.

You can check it out if you would like to have more details, if not, you can continue reading my small guide below or jump directly to my top products picks.

Interior space

This is usually mentioned as cubic feet and it basically tells you how much food your microwave oven can accommodate at a given time, you can check sizes here. Some of them are relatively small and have space up to 1 or 1.2 cubic feet while others can go up to 2.5 or even 3 cubic feet, but they also take up more space.

If you have a large family and you usually use the microwave to cook foods, thaw large pieces of meat or heat up pizzas and tortillas, go for a unit which has more interior space, otherwise you are safe to settle for more compact OTR.

Power

The power is very important and you shouldn’t overlook this aspect, especially if you are a very busy person. For example, if a model is very powerful and has an output of 1,000-1,200 watts then it can prepare your foods in a matter of minutes or even seconds in some cases.

They can also heat up water very quickly, so you don’t have to use a kettle for a cup of tea. If you go for a less powerful unit, it might have a power output of around 600-800 watts and it is still good for cooking, but you should expect to wait a few minutes more for your foods to be ready in comparison with more powerful units.

Features

When it comes to features OTR microwaves offer a plethora of interesting advantages and benefits. For example, most of them come pre-programmed with plenty of cooking options and settings for various popular foods such as pizza, popcorn, chicken dishes, and so on.

All that you have to do is to press a button and the unit will automatically set the correct temperature and timer setting to cook it optimally. Other functions might include defrost options, keep warm, quick heat up and so on.

In some cases, OTRs come with a keypad which allows you to set the exact temperature or timer settings, depending on your needs. The keypad can also be used as a child safety lock to prevent kids from opening up the OTR as it requires you to press buttons sequence. This is a great safety feature which prevents small accidents in the kitchen.

Installation

As mentioned earlier, some OTRs are designed to vent outside and they even have a CFM rating which basically tells you how many cubic feet per minute of air they can expel outside your property. The higher this number, the better, because it means that cooking odors and smokes are quickly eliminated.

These appliances are usually quite heavy, so you might need professional assistance in installing them in your kitchen or at least the help of a friend or relative.

It can be mounted above the range using from 4 to 8 screws in most cases and it can be hardwired or come with a plug which connects to a nearby power outlet.

The installation process might not be very difficult if you have some DIY experience, but if you want the best results, just call a professional to do it for you quicker.

Price and warranty

They have different price ranges, but usually, you can get a good one for a price between $140 and up to $1,300 in some cases. They are covered by a warranty period of at least 1-2 years, so keep this aspect in mind when buying.

Now that you know more about these microwaves, I want to give you a couple of suggestions that you might find attractive. The following products are some of the most appreciated, popular and with best reviews OTR microwaves available on the market.

Here’s a video that explains things:


Frigidaire FFMV162LW


Company: Frigidaire

Price: $$

Rating: 4.9/5

Frigidaire doesn’t need any introduction as it is a leading manufacturer of kitchen appliances and products. It specializes in fridges and freezers, but it also makes microwaves such as the FFMV162LW model. This product comes in a beautiful white color and has an affordable price.

Here are its benefits:

  1. 1.6 cubic feet – this is the interior space of the microwave and it is usually sufficient for most homeowners and medium-sized families. The microwave itself is almost 30 inches wide, so it will fit perfectly above your 30 inches range.
  2. 1000 watts of power – not only that this microwave is relatively spacious, but it is also very powerful. It has 10 power levels you can choose from and it comes with a keypad which allows you to select the right power level.
  3. 300 CFM venting system – this basically means that your microwave is designed to vent outside and it has two venting levels you can choose from. Say goodbye to cooking smells and smoke in your kitchen!
  4. Has an interior light – unlike many other microwaves on the market, this model comes with an interior light bulb which is replaceable when necessary. This allows you to see through the window and determine whether your foods are ready or not.
  5. 12-inch turntable – in the package you will also find the turntable which ensures a smooth and even cooking process. The product comes with a lot of manuals for usage, care, and installation, so make sure you read them to learn how to utilize this unit to full potential.

As a downside, you might want to be careful with the plastic door handle as it can get damaged over the years. Most homeowners who pull the handle with a lot of force can break it, so by using it gently, you can avoid this problem.


Bosch S800 HMV8053U

Company: Bosch

Price: $$$$

Rating: 4.9/5  

Bosch is another important and prestigious manufacturer or kitchen appliances. The HMV8053U model is basically a convection microwave which can be used as a secondary oven and it comes with multiple features and benefits.

Here are some of them:

  1. 1.8 cubic feet of space – this is a large model and you’ll love that! It gives you the opportunity to cook, defrost or heat up foods in large quantities, for your entire family. It offers this amount of space while still remaining 30 inches wide, so it will fit perfectly on your cooktop.
  2. LED display – you can use the buttons and the keypad on the right side of the unit to access its various functions and see the cooking time on the installed LED display. The screen uses white letters and it is clearly visible from any angle.
  3. Recirculation appliance – this model has a venting output of up to 385 CFM and you have the possibility of either venting outside or use it as a recirculation option. If you go for the second option, you will not vent cooking odors outside, but the unit can filter smoke, fumes and smells using special filters and release the clean air back into your kitchen.
  4. 1,000 watts of power – you will love the fact that you can cook foods in a matter of seconds and enjoy them with your whole family. You have multiple power levels to choose from and 1,000 watts are sufficient for most homeowners.
  5. Metallic handle – the overall construction of this microwave is a metallic one including the handle, so you might not damage it accidentally over the course of its lifetime. This appliance looks nice which will look great in any kitchen!

Still, all these benefits come at a price and you’ll quickly find out that this unit is a bit more expensive in comparison with other products. However, you are paying for a plethora of functions and cooking options, so your money is well spent at the end of the day.


Samsung ME18H704SFB

Company: Samsung

Price: $$$

Rating: 4.8/5  

Samsung doesn’t only make excellent smartphones and tablets, but they also make great microwave ovens too.

The ME18H704SFB model comes in a beautiful black color and incorporates a keypad and multiple physical buttons that allow you to control its many functions.

Let’s find out more about it:

  1. 1.8 cubic feet – there is a lot of interior space in this microwave oven, so use it confidently. 1.8 cubic feet is more than enough for most homeowners and it allows you to heat up large bowls of food or defrost large meat pieces in a matter of minutes.
  2. 1,000 watts of power – this unit also has a power output of 1,000 watts and you can select how many to use at any given time by switching between its power levels. If you go for full power, your foods will cook evenly and quickly, allowing you to enjoy dinner in just a couple of seconds.
  3. 400 CFM – this unit also allows you to vent outside your kitchen and it has a power of 400 CFM which pushes cooking odors and smells outside on a regular basis. This venting system comes with clean filters which are washable or completely replaceable if you want to.
  4. Halogen light – you will be able to see the beautiful brown color on your chicken wings or French fries because this unit comes with halogen lighting options. The interior light is bright enough and also very economical, so it will draw less energy from the power outlet.
  5. 14.2-inch turntable – this model provides one of the largest turntables on the market these days which has a diameter of almost 14 inches. As a result, it can accommodate large plate of foods and it is made from tempered glass, so it will never break or shatter.

When it comes to downsides, some customers reported minor reliability problems after a couple of years of usage, but remember that this product comes with a warranty period which can be used for free repairs or part replacements.


GE JVM3160RFSS

Company: General Electric

Price: $$

Rating: 4.8/5

I couldn’t have an review without including a product from GE as this manufacturer is one of the largest and most popular companies in the United States.

They make household electronics. The JVM3160RFSS model is currently a bestseller and it comes with a plethora of interesting features such as the following ones:

  1. 1.6 cubic feet – the interior space of this model is slightly smaller in comparison with other models, but it is still sufficiently big for most people’s needs. You can cook a lot of foods at once and serve dinner for your entire family in a matter of minutes.
  2. 300 CFM – this model also has the option of venting outside your kitchen, so all that you have to do is to properly connect it to your house’s main venting system. You can select from two speeds which control how much air is pushed outside (up to 300 CFM) and the noise level is acceptable, according to most customers.
  3. 1000 watts – not only that your kitchen will be free of cooking odors, but this unit also cooks your foods very quickly. You can select from multiple types of cooking options including quick heat, warming up, defrost, etc and the 1,000 watts of power will do a great job at preparing your foods ASAP.
  4. Made of stainless steel – this product has a stainless steel construction which basically makes it very durable and long-lasting. This type of material is also very hygienic and easy to clean, not to mention that it will look great in every kitchen.
  5. 1-year warranty – the manufacturer offers a warranty period of 1 year on parts which is great to have, just in case. This will cover for repairs or parts replacements if necessary, so don’t hesitate to contact GE if you run into a problem with your product.

When it comes to disadvantages, some homeowners managed to break the door handle, but this only happens if you use the appliance improperly. Make sure that you follow the instructions provided in the manuals and hopefully your appliance will not get damaged in the long run.


LG LMHM2237ST

Company: LG

Price: $$$$

Rating: 4.9/5

Another great manufacturer of household electronics is LG. This company is usually known for releasing some of the best smartphones out there, but their microwaves are not to be ignored either.

For example, the LG LMHM2237ST is one of the largest and most eye-catching microwave oven available on the market today. Check out its benefits:

  1. 2.2 cubic feet of space – you can put a lot of things in 2.2 cubic feet of interior space, including meat, popcorn, vegetables, pizza, French fries and more. This appliance is suitable for large families who rely on the microwave for quick cooking. Interestingly enough, this model has 2.2 cubic feet of space while remaining a 30 inch wide.
  2. 1,000 watts – not only that you have a lot of interior space at your disposal, but the power is also sufficient for heating up your foods quickly. This product from LG comes with 1,000 watts of power and you can select from multiple levels, depending on the foods or ingredients you prepare.
  3. 400 CFM – if you connect this appliance to your house’s main venting system, it will be able to push air outside at a rapid rate, up to 400 CFM. You can choose between two venting speeds and the noise level remains as low as possible which is an added advantage for you.
  4. Stainless steel construction – you can never go wrong with stainless steel because this type of material is one of the most popular and hygienic ones out there. It will guarantee the reliability of your product while making it look minimalistic and elegant.
  5. Easy to install – as long as you have a friend nearby and some basic DIY experience, installing this type of OTR microwave will be a breeze. It comes with all the required accessories and tools included, but if you don’t want to be bothered, you can also call a professional who will install it in approximately one hour.

This is a very modern and sophisticated appliance and it is to be expected to have a relatively high price. However, you pay once and you enjoy it for years and that’s a good deal in my opinion.


Frigidaire FGMO205KB

Company: Frigidaire

Price: $$$

Rating: 4.7/5

If you are looking for a 24 inch wide microwave oven with a lot of cooking power and added features, the FGMO205KB might be suitable for you.

This model is relatively compact in size, but it has a lot of interior space and comes with a beautiful and eye-catching design. Here are its main selling points:

  1. 2.0 cubic feet – although it is just 24 inches wide, this microwave oven still manages to provide you with up to 2 cubic feet of interior space. As you probably already imagined, the interior space has more depth and allows you to put large bowls of food in there and cook them in minutes.
  2. 1,200 watts – this is one of the most powerful microwave oven currently available on the market. It has a power output of 1,200 watts which is more than enough for anything you want to cook or defrost. This amount of power is managed through a couple of power levels accessible from the main console, so feel free to play with them depending on the dishes you prepare.
  3. Auto and sensor cook options – this model also comes with sensor cooking which basically detects the correct amount of power to be used depending on the foods you place inside. You can also choose between three automatic cooking options.
  4. Available in several color options – you can have this microwave oven in a beautiful black, silver or white color, depending on the layout of your kitchen and personal preferences. All these 3 colors are beautiful, so you’ll not go wrong with any of them.
  5. LCD display – feel free to monitor the status of your cooking process as well as selecting temperature and timer options by looking at the LCD display which shows green digits and letters. The display is bright and can be easily seen by people of all ages.

No product is perfect and there are a few complaints regarding the door latch for this model. Make sure you use it carefully or take advantage of the warranty provided by the manufacturer to solve such issues.


Whirlpool WMH31017FB

Company: Whirlpool

Price: $$

Rating: 4.8/5

I wanted to include a product from Whirlpool too because this brand makes some of the most powerful and practical microwaves out there.

For example, the WMH31017FB model is a minimalistic and elegant appliance which packs a lot of watts in a durable casing.

Here are its main benefits:

  1. 1.7 cubic feet – although there are more spacious microwaves on the market, 1.7 cubic feet of space is still sufficient for most homeowners and medium-sized families. Use it to cook pizzas, vegetables, tortillas, popcorn and other dishes quickly and efficiently.
  2. 220 CFM – this model can be connected to your house’s main venting system and eliminate food odors and smells directly outside. It comes with two operating speeds and the sound level is acceptable, so you won’t be bothered by loud noises.
  3. 1,000 watts – this combination microwave also has a power output of 1,000 watts which means that you will be able to cook foods and defrost meat very quickly. It comes with several power levels you can choose from and it is very easy to use.
  4. 12-inch turntable – inside the microwave, you will find a glass turntable which has a diameter of 12 inches and it is designed to rotate your foods while they are cooking. The turntable is very stable and resistant to wear and tear, so you’ll be able to use it for years to come.
  5. Stainless steel construction – this model will last for years because it is made from one of the most durable and long-lasting materials out there – stainless steel. Your microwave oven also looks elegant and it comes with a discreet black color which means that it can go well in any indoor kitchen.

As a downside, some customers received products which were slightly dented, but don’t let this discourage you from buying one. You can call the manufacturer and ask for a replacement if necessary.


LG LMV1683ST

Company: LG

Price: $$

Rating: 4.9/5

LG makes a plethora of high-quality microwave ovens and I’d like to introduce you to the LMV1683ST which is one of the most attractive and elegant microwaves out there. It comes with advanced cooking settings and it will look great in your kitchen.

Here are its main selling points:

  1. Available in 2 sizes – when it comes to interior space, you can either go for a 1.6 cubic feet model or a 2.0 cubic feet microwave, depending on your preferences. Both of these products can accommodate large bowls of foods inside and you’ll be able to cook for the entire family in just a few minutes.
  2. 300 CFM venting system – this model can also connect to the main venting system and it is capable of venting cooking odors outside. It has a power of 300 CFM which is more than enough for most homeowners and it comes with several speeds which allow you to control this venting power.
  3. 1,000 watts – LG makes powerful microwaves and this is not an exception. It comes with 1,000 watts of power which can be delivered through a couple of power settings you can access via the main control panel.
  4. One touch cooking – this model also incorporates a plethora of useful features you can take advantage of such as “no fuss defrosting”, one-touch cooking and one-touch warming. You are basically able to prepare foods by just pressing a single button on the control panel and this is very convenient for most homeowners.
  5. Safety features – you will be happy to find out that the door of the microwave cannot be opened by accident or by curious kids because it requires a password for that. You can insert the password using the keypad and protect your loved ones from injuries.

If you are wondering about disadvantages, there are a few complaints from past owners who reported that the handle can break if you use it with too much force. Make sure you also take advantage of the warranty policy if this happens to you as LG has excellent customer service.


Sharp R1874T

Company: Sharp

Price: $$$$

Rating: 4.8/5

If you have a small family or you live alone, you probably need a smaller unit which caters to your cooking needs. I present you the R1874T model which is basically a compact microwave from Sharp. This product is relatively lightweight and it comes with multiple interesting features.

Here are some of them:

  1. 1.1 cubic feet – the interior space is not that big in comparison with the other models I presented in this list, but it is still sufficient for your daily cooking needs. You can warm up foods, defrost or cook different types of dishes by pressing a single button on the dashboard.
  2. 850 watts – the other models might offer you 1,000 watts or more, but they are also larger and occupy a lot of space. This model from Sharp is more compact and boasts 850 watts of power which is more than enough to heat up your foods in a couple of minutes, so this is not a disadvantage to you.
  3. 13-inch turntable – this model has one of the largest turntables available on the market today. It is made of glass and it is capable of accommodating large plates or bowls of food, so you can cook an oversized dinner in one go!
  4. Interactive display – you will find it very easy to use this product as it comes with a keypad and intuitive buttons which access its main functions. It also has a 2-color display which can be easily seen from all angles, so feel free to play with this microwave and see what is capable of.
  5. Built-in exhaust system – although it has compact dimensions, the manufacturers have managed to incorporate an exhaust system which basically pushes food smells outside the kitchen. The venting system is not extremely powerful, but sufficient to allow you to breathe fresh, clean air while enjoying your foods.

When it comes to disadvantages, some customers report that this product is poorly packaged and it might arrive with a few dents. Such instances are very rare, but if it happens to you, contact the manufacturer right away.


GE JVM3160DFBB

Company: General Electric

Price: $$

Rating: 4.7/5

I continue the list of excellent microwave ovens with a product from GE. The JVM3160DFBB model is an eye-catching and attractive appliance which comes with multiple features and it is suitable for most homeowners.

Let’s take a closer look at it:

  1. 1,000 watts – this is a powerful model which packs up to 1,000 watts of power under its belt. You can use it by pressing a couple of buttons on the main control panel, toggling between cooking options and power levels. In any case, your foods will be cooked or warmed up in just a matter of minutes!
  2. Glass turntable – the turntable in this microwave is made from tempered glass, so it is almost impossible to break it. You also have the possibility to control its rotation, depending on your needs. It can accommodate large bowls of foods and it is stable enough to prevent your soup from spilling over.
  3. 1.6 cubic feet – the interior space is sufficient for most homeowners and it will allow you to heat up pizza or make popcorn in a matter of seconds.
  4. 300 CFM – this model also comes with a built-in venting system which can be operated at two speeds. It boasts up to 300 CFM which is impressive, given being the small dimensions of this model. In addition, the customers report that the exhaust fan is not too loud, so it will not bother you too much.
  5. 10 years warranty – the manufacturer offers a warranty period of 10 years on all the major components of the device. They can provide free replacements or repairs if something goes wrong with your product during this time period.

As a drawback, some customers report that the installation process can be a little bit tricky, especially if you don’t read the instructions manual carefully.

Make sure you follow all the steps in the right order and hopefully you will get it right from the first time. If you want to save time, just hire a professional and you’re golden!


Sharp R-1214

Company: Sharp

Price: $$$

Rating: 4.9/5

If you have a 24-inch range then the R-1214 model from Sharp might be suitable for you. This might look like a small microwave, but it is extremely powerful and comes in two color options such as stainless steel or white.

Let’s explore this model and find out why it is ideal for small apartments or dorm rooms.

  1. 1,100 watts – yes, you read it right, although this model is just 24 inches wide, it packs more power than most microwaves available on the market today. This means that you will be able to cook your foods in a matter of minutes or even seconds and every defrosting or warming up process will be done very quickly.
  2. 1.5 cubic feet – the interior space is still sufficient for most people, despite the microwave’s reduced dimensions. It has a medium-sized turntable made of glass which can accommodate a wide variety of bowls and plates.
  3. Multiple automatic features – this model comes with pre-installed programs you can choose from when cooking popular foods such as pizza, popcorn, and more. For example, it comes with 24 automatic settings, “hot water” and “keep warm” functions which are useful in every kitchen.
  4. 2 color display – you will be able to access the main functions of this device by pressing a couple of buttons on the main console. It also comes with a bi-color LCD display which is bright enough for everyone to see.
  5. Made from stainless steel – this model features multiple components made from stainless steel which means that your product remains long-lasting and durable. It also gives it a beautiful, elegant look, so it will fit perfectly in any kitchen.

No product is perfect and a couple of past customers reported minor reliability issues with this model. Remember that this product comes with a warranty period from Sharp, so use it if necessary to obtain free repairs or part replacements.


GE JVM7195SKSS

Company: General Electric

Price: $$$

Rating: 4.7/5

The last product on my list comes from GE and it is a 30 inch which looks very modern and eye-catching.

It comes with a plethora of useful features and it can be used for cooking and warming up foods, defrosting and heating up water.

Here are its main benefits:

  1. 1.9 cubic feet – the interior space available in this model is almost 2.0 cubic feet which is impressive and very practical in the long run. Feel free to cook large amounts of food at once and serve your entire family in one go.
  2. 1,000 watts – the 1,000 watts available at your disposal can be used through a couple of power level and cooking settings, allowing you to prepare delicious and appetizing meals in a matter of minutes. You can also use its “keep warm” function to enjoy a hot meal whenever you feel like.
  3. Recirculation option – you have the possibility to connect this appliance to your house’s main venting system or you can also take advantage of the recirculation option. This basically means that the air is filtered and is returned to your kitchen free of food odors and unpleasant smells.
  4. Stainless steel construction – everything made from stainless steel is durable and long-lasting and this product is not an exception. In addition, stainless steel is also very easy to clean and it makes your kitchen look more elegant and attractive.
  5. Intuitive controls – feel free to play with the main console as it comes with multiple easy to use buttons which access its main functions. You can press a single button and cook popular foods or set the timer according to your preferences and needs.


To Conclude..

As with most microwaves, the handle is usually the first component which can get damaged if it is not used correctly.

Make sure that you to use a lot of force when closing and opening the door and hopefully your product will not get damaged. In any case, you can also take advantage of the warranty policy offered by the manufacturer.

These are some of the best top over the range microwave ovens you can find on the market today. All that you have to do now is to determine whether you need a large appliance (because you have to cook for your entire family) or a smaller one for just you and your spouse.

As you can see, most of these products come with great power options and multiple automatic cooking settings, so you will definitely be satisfied with your purchase!

 


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