With counter-top space in modern kitchens at a premium, we look into the best built-in Microwave ovens for 2016.
There is no denying that microwaves are convenient, but they also need valuable counter space. There is also the aesthetic considerations, they’re not exactly the most attractive kitchen appliance are they? Purchasing a built-in microwave allows more open space on your counter top, and creates an integrated look inside your kitchen.
We rate the top built-in microwave oven models currently available.
Over the Range Microwave Reviews
Over the range or OTR microwave ovens are a great choice to get the most out of your kitchen space. These microwaves fit easily over a standard size oven and many of the modern manufacturers make great OTR models.
The Sharp R-1405 Professional 950 Watt over-the-range microwave is a leading product in OTR design. It’s an attractive microwave with many useful features and a choice of either a black or white case.
The R-1405 is ideal for homemakers with limited kitchen bench space. This model has a large cooking capacity, a 14-1/8-inch Sharp Carousel turntable which is larger than any other microwave in the same class. User reviews consistently report how quick and easy installation is. Three convenient venting options are available depending on your range type, horizontal, vertical, or recirculating.
With its 10 variable power levels the Sharp oven cooks all the common food types to perfection by adjusting the power level accordingly. Defrosting is easy with the proprietary “Sharp Defrost Center” which automatically sets timing and power levels for meats and poultry according to the weight.
If you are looking for a market leading over-the-range microwave check out the Sharp R-1405 at Amazon.
Built-in Microwave Buying Guide
In the microwave industry, the term “built-in” covers a lot of options. Here are the three most popular variations and are our recommendations.
Counter-top Microwave with Built-in Trim Kit
This is the most affordable option for a built-in microwave. Trim kits make it possible to install certain counter top microwaves into a cabinet opening and achieve a built-in look. Trim kits also enable built-in models to be fitted into existing cabinet openings that may not be perfectly matched to the microwave dimensions.
True built-in microwaves are not designed with finished sides so they aren’t very attractive on a counter top. They come in a range of prices to suit any budget. Generally the inexpensive models will sit flush with the surrounding cabinetry. To get an integrated look they require a matching trim kit which is usually a separate purchase. The high end Built-in models usually have a front panel which spreads over the cabinetry. They are also designed with drop-down doors or pull-out drawers, professional aesthetic materials, and more cooking function options. Will you really use those extras? Research shows that microwaves are still most commonly used for reheating and defrosting. The final determining factor usually comes down to the appearance of the oven. Do you like it and does it suit your other appliances?
Built-in Microwave Drawer
Microwave ovens can be discreetly installed inside kitchen drawers or a kitchen island, or integrated into your wall-oven setup. Sharp developed the original microwave drawer design and has been at the cutting edge of designs ever since. Pull-out drawer models are functional and still easy to use; the most common complaint though is the ovens interior space is smaller than most conventional microwaves.
If you are interested in buying the best over the counter microwave, check out our current price guide: How much is a microwave?