Best Over The Range Microwave 2018 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
If you're reading this article, then you probably need a good over the range microwave for your small kitchen. Buying the best over the range microwave can be a bit difficult especially if you don't know what features to look for and what brands to consider.
To help ease your buying problem, we review five of the best over the range microwave models on the market.
In our buyer's guide, we'll highlight the features that you should look for in a good over the range microwave. If you're excited to know the buyer's guide and reviews, check them out below.
What Is An Over The Range Microwave?
An oven the range (OTR) microwave is a type of microwave which suits for any limited counter space. While this can be vented on the outside, it's performance might not be as good as a legitimate range hood. Installation of this unit may need an electrician to get the wire placements right.
Watch how an OTR microwave is installed in this video.
OTR microwaves are more expensive than countertop models but more affordable than built-in models. The price may range from anywhere a couple of hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. The capacity may also vary from 0.7 to 2.0 cubic feet.
Most OTR microwaves are made with a stainless steel finish to give a sleek design. Their wattage is pretty high between 850 to 1,200, so they're an excellent choice for speed and convenience.
Design And Vent Features
The design of the microwave is important for convenience and style. To see what's cooking inside, the microwave should have an interior light.
A turntable is essential to cook food evenly. If you want your kitchen to be color coordinated, look for a microwave that offers multiple color options.
For more cooking versatility, shelves and racks are important accessories to consider. If you do many stovetop cooking, look for exhaust features. The best designs offer dual options: internal and external venting features. The standard cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating of the fan is 300.
Microwave Features To Consider
In buying for the best over the range microwave for your kitchen, look for these features: power (watts), capacity, convection, sensors, and preset programs.
Watts signify the power of your over the range microwave and the speed of the cooking process. If you want your microwave to cook fast, look for a higher wattage. A 1,000-watt microwave can already cook fast and efficiently.
The capacity of your microwave should fit the size of your family. If you have a large family, look for a larger capacity so you can heat food in one go.
The capacity of the microwave is often measured in cubic feet and may vary from 1.1-2 cubic feet. One cubic foot is enough for a family of 2-4 members.
Convection cooking makes use of a fan to spread hot air on all sides of the food, cooking it more evenly. A convection microwave can work as a broiler as it offers a browning option. It can also serve as a second oven because you can bake and roast.
So if you want versatility, look for a convection feature.
Sensors measure the steam released to identify when food is at the perfect temperature. They adjust time and temperature to cook food without overcooking.
Preset programs allow you to select the right time and temperature to cook a certain food. Most microwaves have preset programs to cook popular foods and beverages, like pizza, hot dogs, and hot drinks. Some preset programs include defrost and melt.
Our Top 5 Picks
*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
The LG LMV2031ST has a spacious 2 cubic feet capacity and 1,000 watts' power. It features sensor cooking for fast results, 10 power levels for versatility, and an electronic touch control for simple operation. An energy saver setting is designed to save electricity.
With an Easy Clean interior, you can remove any food residue without the use of chemicals. The Quiet Power vent feature allows you to operate the microwave silently. It includes a turntable to cook food more evenly.
Editor's Rating: 96/100
- Large microwave space
- Impressive sensor cooking technology for best cooking results
- Easy to clean
- Efficient vent system with charcoal filter, hidden vent type, and 400 CFM
- Comes in several colors- smooth white, smooth black, and stainless steel
- User friendly
- The touch pad may become unresponsive over time
- The fan is a bit noisy
This Sharp R1874T is a convection microwave with 850 watts' power. With 1.1 cubic feet capacity, you can bake, broil, and roast just like a conventional oven. It comes with two racks and a 13-inch on/off turntable.
What makes this microwave amazing is its 12 convection programs and 8 sensor cook settings.
You can let the microwave turn itself on at a specific time through the auto start button. A built-in exhaust system allows this unit to remove any steam and odor in your kitchen.
Editor's Rating: 91/100
- Versatile with its 12 convection functionality
- Great sensor cooking options for best results
- Amazing features
- Cooks evenly
- At 240 CFM, the vent system performs poorly
- Slow cooking process at 850 watts power
- Weak door construction
- A bit expensive
The GE JVM3160RFSS has a large 1.6 cubic feet capacity and 1,000 watts' power. It features 10 power levels and six one-touch settings including popcorn, beverage, and potato.
For optimum result, you can automatically or manually set the time for defrosting accordingly.
To remove any smoke and odor from your kitchen, 300-CFM exhaust fan is designed for two different speeds. The microwave is also designed with an on/off turntable for easy operation.
In the case for major component replacements, you'll be covered with its 10-year warranty.
Editor's Rating: 87/100
- Simple to use controls allow you to preset defrost and cook settings manually and automatically
- Large 1.6 cubic feet capacity
- Good warranty coverage
- Nice exhaust fan and interior incandescent light
- It would have been better if it has racks and sensors
- The handle is poorly designed
- The buttons are difficult to read
The Samsung ME16H702SEB has a 1.6 cubic feet capacity and 1,000 watts' power. Its 11.5-inch glass turntable can accommodate large plates of food.
What's impressive about this unit is its 300 CFM vent system that silently and efficiently removes any food odors in your kitchen. A cooktop lighting system allows you to view the cook while cooking.
A digital LED display features ice blue display for clear viewing. Its aluminum handle and black glass design make it durable and elegant. You can save power with this unit by using its Eco Mode button.
Other features include a kitchen timer, charcoal grease filter, 10 power levels, and 2-stage programmable cooking.
Editor's Rating: 83/100
- The microwave looks sleek and elegant
- Good vent system with charcoal and grease filter for easy cleaning
- Easy-to-read digital LED display
- Automatically defrost, reheat, and cook food
- Nice Eco Mode feature for power savings
- The fan is a bit noisy
- It would have been perfect if the buttons are soft to push
- The light is a slightly dim
The Armana AMV1150VAW has a 1.5 cubic feet cooking capacity and 1,000 watts' power. A scrolling word prompt display leads you to the whole cooking process. The touchmatic control system allows you to program and operate the unit easily with the touch-key pad.
Interestingly, a digital clock shows the time as well as gives a timer to be guided for your cooking.
Aside from 10 power levels, this microwave also has an auto defrost setting for thawing food and auto cook options to heat drinks, bacon, and instant rice. Additional features include a hidden vent, 220 CFM exhaust, and charcoal odor filter.
Editor's Rating: 79/100
- Nice sleek design
- Spacious and deep interior fits any large items
- Works great for cooking, defrosting, and heating food
- Easy to use with its intuitive user controls
- Dual venting options- internal and external
- The fan and beeps are a bit loud
- It would have been better if it has an "Add 30 Seconds" button
- The plastic door is a bit flimsy
Based on the ratings above, the best over the range microwave is the LG LMV2031ST because it has the largest capacity (2 cubic feet), the most powerful exhaust fan (400 CFM), and a high 1,000 watts' power.
LG also has sensors, sleek design, and multiple color options. The second best thing is the Sharp R1874T because it is the only reviewed microwave with a convection feature.
Have you purchased an over the range microwave? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Don't forget to share this article on social media if you like it.