Over-the-range microwave ovens are a boon for people who have small counter space. If you have a tiny kitchen or if you live in a studio apartment then you must opt for an OTR microwave to save space.
If you have the knowledge to install an oven then such OTR microwaves will cost you not more than $200-$300. But if you want a full-service/installation and top-notch oven then it can cost you anything from $500-1000.
Take the measurement of your kitchen and the counter where you would like to install the OTR oven. It is the only tip I would like to give you before you read over over-the-range microwave oven review.
- 1 What is Over the Range Microwave?
- 2 Best Over The Range Microwave Comparison Table 2020
- 3 1. Sharp R1874T 850W Over-the-Range Convection Microwave, 1.1 Cubic Feet
- 4 2. LG LMV2031ST Over-the-Range Microwave
- 5 3. Whirlpool 30 in. 2.1 cu. ft. Over the Range Microwave in Fingerprint Resistant with Steam Cooking
- 6 4. GE JNM3163DJBB Over-the-Range Microwave – Best Under $300
- 7 5. Frigidaire FGMV176NTF 30″ OTR Microwave with 1.7 cu.ft. Capacity
- 8 Countertop vs. Over-the-Range Microwaves
- 9 Conclusion:
What is Over the Range Microwave?
As the name suggests, an over the range microwave fits above your cooktop. They are perfect for parents as their little ones cannot reach the appliance on such height. Therefore, you can safely operate it from above your range.
The working mechanism of OTR microwaves is very much similar to that of countertop models. They do feature similar functions such as defrost, preheat, timer, etc. But on the plus point, an over the counter microwave eliminate smoke and odor through a built-in ventilation system. Thus, none of your family members will have to cover your nose whenever a food with a strong smell is cooking.
Best Over The Range Microwave Comparison Table 2020
|Sharp R1874T 850W||1.1 cu.ft.||850 Watts|
|LG LMV2031ST||2.0 cu.ft.||1000 Watts|
|Whirlpool OTR||2.1 cu.ft.||1000 Watts|
|GE JNM3163DJBB||1.6 cu.ft.||950 Watts|
|Frigidaire FGMV176NTF||1.7 cu.ft.||1000 Watts|
1. Sharp R1874T 850W Over-the-Range Convection Microwave, 1.1 Cubic Feet
The stainless steel exterior of Sharp R1874T compliments various kitchen interiors. Be it contemporary or modern, design of the unit is such that it blends well. And along with great looks, it has some great features to offer. This 1.1 cubic feet microwave is capable of performing several functions. And these functions include bake, broil, crisp, brown and roast.
So from baking cake for kids to roasting steak for dinner party, you can do a lot more with Sharp R1874T convection microwave. 850 watts of power output provides 11 power levels. But you can also custom set time according to the food you’re preparing.
Sharp over the counter microwave offers 8 pre-programmed settings. Thus, all you need to do is select the weight of this item and the machine will set rest of function like wattage and timer for you. And let us not forget about popcorn button that sets timer itself as soon as you select weight.
Thanks to the built-in exhaust system that offers 3 convenient venting options. You can either do horizontal, vertical or ductless recirculation. CFM for a fan for horizontal discharge is 230. Whereas, vertical discharge requires 240 CFM. While it is easy to mount the unit you might need help from a friend as the machine is pretty heavy.
2. LG LMV2031ST Over-the-Range Microwave
Looking for a budget-friendly option that occupies less space? Then this LG LMV2031ST stainless steel over the range microwave is perfect for you. Its space-saving design takes up less head space while providing more cooking area. With 2 cubic foot oven capacity, you can cook good amount of food in on go.
The unit is great at reheating and defrosting food evenly. LG LMV2031ST offers 8 sensor cook options that further ease your task. The one-touch setting along with sensor technology ensures even heating. Furthermore, it allows you to place any food item and sets all other functions by itself. In the meantime, you can finish other kitchen activities.
This LG over the range microwave oven uses 2 incandescent bulbs with the high, low and off settings. However, many buyers find these halogen range lights get very hot and illuminate less light to stove below. You can replace them with led lights for bright cooking surface but it can bother with warranty.
A bi-level cooking rack can fit 9×15 inch baking tray. Therefore, allowing you to cook 2 dishes at the same time. And no need to worry about overheating as it comprises of a sensor that automatically turns the machine off. Ultimately, it reduces the chances of fire hazard.
3. Whirlpool 30 in. 2.1 cu. ft. Over the Range Microwave in Fingerprint Resistant with Steam Cooking
Many people prefer having a non-stick interior as it cleaning splatters and spills becomes a lot easier. And if you’re going to use your machine regularly then it must be an easy to clean unit. So here we have Whirlpool 30-inch over the range microwave with a stainless steel interior. This fingerprint-resistant steel leaves no ugly marks or spots.
Quick defrosting is an excellent feature of Whirlpool WMH53521HZ. The heat generates quickly and spreads evenly so that you do not have to wait long. Also, you have the option to turn off the rotation of turntable in case you’re baking. In addition, it includes a wire tray that doubles the cooking area.
Sensors cooking automatically adjust time and temperature. You just need to select the appropriate weight of the food item. Another impressive feature of Whirlpool WMH53521HZ is ‘steam’ option on touch-pad. This setting steam vegetable in minutes as well as sets the temperature by itself.
Even after providing such a wide variety of features, the machine operates quietly. Many large over the counter microwaves in such range produce irritating noise which is not the case with this one. Therefore, you can use your cooktop and run a microwave at the same time. Thanks to its quiet working.
4. GE JNM3163DJBB Over-the-Range Microwave – Best Under $300
Things get a lot easier when one press of buttons does rest of work for you. GE JNM3163DJBB is one of the best small over the range microwave. It comprises of 6 convenience cooking options including popcorn and potato. The popcorn feature starts pooping kernels right after you set ounces. Single press means a 2.0-ounce bag, double press for 2.5 ounces and 3 presses for a 3.0-ounce bag.
Similarly, it comprises of a beverage option that lets you heat the beverage instantly on the selection of weight. Moreover, you do not have to install lights separately as this OTR microwave a surface light option. By pressing the button one time it illuminates bright light under the cooking surface. And you can press it 2 times to switch to nighttime mode. While pressing 3 times will turn the lights off completely.
300 CFM venting system removes smoke, steam, and odors. This fan offers 2 speeds so you can select one according to a dish you’re preparing. Furthermore, an automatic fan feature protects the microwave from too much heat rising to form the cooktop below. And sometimes you may find the fan does not turn off even if you press the stop button. This is because the fan might be cooling internal parts and will turn off automatically once they’re cool.
GE JNM3163DJBB small over the range microwave features two metal reusable filters. These filters trap grease as well as prevents damage from flames to the machine interior. For flawless performance, you must clean filters once a month. Plus, it is very easy to remove, clean and reinstall filters.
5. Frigidaire FGMV176NTF 30″ OTR Microwave with 1.7 cu.ft. Capacity
Cleaning OTR microwave is the hardest part for many. But thanks to Effortless-Clean interior of Frigidaire FGMV176NTF that makes cleaning a breeze. Unlike black color, it features white walls on all 3 sides. These walls are easy to wipe with a damp clean cloth to clean spills and splatters.
Running out of time but still, a lot of cooking is to be done? Not to worry as Frigidaire unit comes with a wire rack that double cooking space and lets you cook 2 dishes at the same time. Not only does this save your time but also saves energy. And thanks to the extra-large 13-1/2-inch diameter of turntable glass that can fit big bowls and casserole.
Many cheap over the range microwaves feature halogen lights that are not too bright. But you do not have to replace or install another set of lights separately with Frigidaire FGMV176NTF. The bright led lighting beneath gives a clear, bright view of your cooktop. Hence, you can prepare meals and sauces smoothly.
Countertop vs. Over-the-Range Microwaves
As we already mentioned, there are a lot of similarities between the countertop and OTR microwaves. However, there are some differences that make them special. Let us focus on those differences between the countertop and over the range microwaves.
- While a countertop unit is designed to be kept on the kitchen counter, the OTR model fits above the range or cooktop. So if your countertop space is already occupied by the coffee machine, mixers, grinders, etc then OTR is a space-saving option.
- An OTR model is fixed above cooktop whereas you can move the countertop machine wherever you wish.
- No need to install a countertop model as it is ready for use right after unboxing. While you might need help to mount an OTR microwave as these units are quite heavy.
- You get different venting options with OTR model. These options include horizontal, vertical, duct or ductless.
- OTR units come with led lights under the machine whereas there’s no need for lighting in countertop models.
- There is not much price difference between both of them but OTR’s are a bit costly than countertop ones.
If less countertop space is your biggest problem then over the range microwaves are the solution. Along with saving space, they provide various functions that ease your everyday cooking. Plus, there are many models that support different types of venting so you do not have to change the venting system of your home. And they are a great option for parents whose growing kids love to explore such devices.