For this review, we tested 8 of the best over the range microwaves, find out the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The advantages of owning an over the range microwave are enormous. From having more space on the countertop to cooking more food, you also get to eliminate food odors from your kitchen.
But picking the best isn’t always an easy task.
As usual, the first unit we’ll take a look at is the overall best convection microwave oven
Affordability, size, power, and extra features are some of the main important features considered when buying microwave ovens. The GE JNM3163 is no exception, the fact that it is underpowered notwithstanding.
It comes with a capacity of 1.6 cu ft. and is designed to fit into 30-inch range cabinet space. For its price range, the 1.6 cu ft. is definitely worth commendable considering the fact that higher priced models have the same 1.6 cu ft. capacity.
There are not many features on this microwave. It features a 2-speed 300 CFM venting system. In addition to that, it comes with a turntable off/on control. You’ll also find the auto and time defrosting features helpful.
The control buttons for the microwave are situated to the right of the screen and are responsive to touch.
Size wise, it measures 15.88 x 29.88 x 16.44 in. As we stated earlier, this 30″ unit is underpowered, no thanks to its 950W power rating when compared with its counterparts that have an additional 50W of power.
It, however, handles your cooking tasks with ease and gives you less than a dozen power levels to choose from when cooking on your induction cooktop.
Underneath the microwave, it sports lights that illuminate beneath the unit.
For mounting the unit, you get a mounting backplate. The backplate is used to bolt the unit to the wall. It is relatively easy to install, no doubt.
The GE JNM3163 OTR microwave is available in only black color which surely looks nice and adds its own accent to your kitchen’s decor.
There’s no denying that GE is a force to reckon with in the kitchen. We recently reviewed their induction cooktop and honestly, the unit impressed us.
Let’s take a look at one of the best over the range microwave oven and see if it lives up to its name as a best seller.
The GE JVM over-the-range microwave is made of stainless steel. It comes with an automatic exhaust fan which can be turned on manually but not off.
During our tests, the fan turned on automatically because the stove directly under where it was installed was still hot from cooking. It did turn off after a few minutes. For our test we used an electric cooktop without downdraft.
The fan was audible enough to be heard in the whole kitchen but not loud enough to cause concerns. That, however, doesn’t affect the unit’s functionality.
Internally, the unit has about 1.6 cubic ft. of space for your cooking activities. It cooks well and all the buttons work and respond perfectly. There’s a digital readout that’s clear and easy to read but the keys aren’t backlit.
This might make it difficult to see in low light. The cooking light is bright and clearly illuminates the stove. Furthermore, the fan draws out the smoke from stovetop whilst you’re cooking.
If you leave the lights in the oven on, you can use it to warm food for as long as the light remains on. This is a hidden feature many users don’t know about.
Also worth mentioning is the audible notification sounds the unit makes when the timer countdown is complete.
Installation wise, the unit isn’t difficult to install. It comes with an installation manual and most DIY geeks can install it in about an hour or less.
This unit will fit perfectly into a 30″ cabinet space. Additionally, space should be deep – up to 12″ – to avoid protrusions.
The fan is set to vent into the kitchen. However, you can set it up to vent into the exterior of your home.
The Sharp R-1514 over the range microwave is an inexpensive unit designed to cater to the needs of those on a budget. It looks pretty basic design-wise and doesn’t have many top-notch features.
Thus, you have an effective pocket-friendly over the range microwave that is able to handle your basic microwaving tasks.
Its internal size stands at 1.5 cubic ft. and externally, it measures 30″ x 16.25″ x 15.56″. Internally, the unit sports a carousel turntable measuring about 14.13″ in diameter.
This turntable provides a great deal of versatility, especially when using with a gas cooktop. Perhaps, where the Sharp R-1514 shines most is in the features it has.
First, it has a wattage of about 1000W. This supplies ample energy to cook food in a matter of minutes. Secondly, there is an auto touch control panel paired with a 5 digit display screen. Thirdly, there is a sensor setting feature with 11 Smart and Easy sensors.
This allows you to easily microwave some popular foods at the touch of a button thereby saving you the stress of manually entering the settings for each food.
The Sharp R1514 over the range microwave is designed to be vented outside or inside the house. Additionally, we did notice that the fan on our test unit was quiet.
In general, the test unit was quiet during use. The only noise that was audible was a silent buzz sound and the beep of the machine when it’s done.
Controlling your cooking is done via the buttons on the unit. There are 4 buttons on the front and more buttons appear when you open the door of the unit.
Installing the unit is pretty straightforward and anyone can fix it. However, you will need an extra pair of hands to help you since the unit itself is heavy.
Known for making touch kitchen and household appliances, Frigidaire yet displayed their ingenuity on this microwave. We chose the Frigidaire FGMV17 as one of the best over the range microwave as the best microwave for a couple of reasons. Let’s find out.
The Frigidaire FGMV17 microwave sports a design that is unique to the brand. It’s not entirely different from the units we’ve reviewed so far, however, it has its own distinctions. It 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 won’t affect the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen, especially when paired with an induction range.
Internally, the unit is designed to offer about 1.7 cubic ft. of ample cooking space. Like almost all the other microwaves on our list, this Frigidaire unit requires 1000W of energy. It does have about 9 different power levels to help one cook food at any desired speed.
Frigidaire also equipped this unit with a 2 speed 105/300 CFM fan which is silent. Generally, the unit is silent while in use. Additionally, you’ll find the sensor cooking function helpful especially if you don’t know the right settings for your food.
We like the design of the unit and of course, the stainless steel material that encloses it. Unlike the Sharp R1514 microwave with hidden keys, this Frigidaire unit sports all the control buttons in one place – talk about convenience. The controls are intuitive and are paired with a digital display screen.
Installing the unit is a pretty simple task although it needs two pairs of hands because of its weight.
The Samsung ME16K3000AS OTR Microwave is another over the range microwave you should consider. It has an internal capacity of 1.6 cu ft. and has a power requirement of 1000W.
With respect to the appearance, the unit looks nice, thanks to its stainless steel casing. It measures about 16 x 30 x 17 inches and will fit into a 30″ cabinet space.
Internally, it features a glass turntable which is nicely placed in such a way that it is flush with the floor of the microwave. It, however, lifts out easily to allow for easy cleaning.
There’s also a grease tray that captures the greasy items and makes cleaning the unit a less daunting chore. You can also put an air fryer or deep fryer below the microwave to vent fumes from the smaller appliances.
The unit is surprisingly quiet during usage when compared to some other over the range microwaves. It vent’s to the external through the vents in the front top part of the microwave.
Unfortunately, the exhaust fans aren’t as quiet as the unit itself and make very audible whoosh sounds.
This GE JVM3160DFCC microwave is a 30 inch over the range microwave that comes in a sparkling bisque color. The bisque color is a step away from the conventional stainless steel and black colors we’re used to seeing.
The bisque color of the unit is surely alluring and will have no issues blending with an all-white kitchen. It’s great for a chef that likes to keep their kitchens clean while cooking.
It has a 1000W power rating and an internal capacity of 1.6 cu ft. Size wise, the microwave measures about 15.2 x 29.9 x 16.5 inches and installing it in a 30″ cabinet space won’t be a problem.
It’s set up for room venting and there’s room for venting with a carbon filter. GE includes most of the things you’ll need for installation to make the process hassle-free. However, you’ll need an extra hand to help during installation.
The GE JVM3160DFCC microwave isn’t all shades of great – it has a few flaws.
With respect to the control buttons, they’re easy to read and use but feel a little hard to press.
Again, the interior is nice, but it doesn’t come with a rack. This can be a problem especially if you want to cook two things at the same time in the unit.
And lastly, there’s the nagging beeper that can’t be muted. GE should have included the mute beeper function on this microwave.
Interested in having an all-white kitchen? If your answer is yes, then you should look the way of this Frigidaire FFMV1645TW microwave.
It’s a 30-inch sized microwave oven that can fit perfectly into most 30-inch countertop spaces. The unit measures 30 x 17 x 16 inches and the white color looks great but it will attract smudges no doubt.
The Frigidaire FFMV1645TW microwave has a power rating of 1000W and is paired with 10 different power levels. In addition to that, the microwave also has a 2-speed ventilation system.
As per the venting, the microwave is designed to vent to the outside and can also vent. Installation wise, the microwave is easy to install and can be mounted flush with the wall.
The controls are easy to use and there’s the bright LED light that is as bright as can be. As far as noise is concerned, the microwave is barely audible when it is in operation.
You’ll probably feel the noise if you’re cooking by 4 am when everyone is still asleep and the night is quiet.
We do have a few reservations about this microwave. First, the white color is prone to dirt and if it’s not constantly kept clean, it’ll become an eyesore.
Furthermore, the beeping sound cannot be muted. In fact, it’s one of the loudest we’ve experienced so far.
Save for these two issues, the Frigidaire FFMV1645TW microwave is a great pick, to say the least.
The GE JVM6175DKWW microwave is another white microwave for people who aren’t fans of Frigidaire products.
Why will someone not be a fan of Frigidaire when they make some of the best kitchen appliances?
The white color of the GE looks nice no doubt and will stand out in your kitchen after installation. Talking about installation, the unit is easy to install. It measures 15 x 29.8 x 16.5 inches.
There are a ton of features on the unit 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.
Based on the design of the unit, you can vent it to the outside or into the room. It even comes with charcoal filters that help to eliminate odors and the rest.
We did notice something that is negligible but annoying. The door makes a springy noise when it is opened and the sound is even more audible in the night especially if you wake up early to make breakfast for your kids.
Again, we also think the door build quality isn’t solid, but time will tell if it will last.
If you want to save but not compromise on the quality of your over the range microwave, the Magic Chef microwave might be just what you’re looking for.
It’s a white microwave perfect for all-white kitchens yet is very affordable. The microwave has an internal capacity of 1.6 cu ft. a tad smaller than the GE microwave we reviewed above.
As you’d expect, it comes with 10 different power levels. Cycling through the power levels is as easy as ABC, thanks to the easy to use control buttons.
In case you’re wondering if there’s a hood light, yes there is and it illuminates brightly. We also like the 6 programmed one-touch modes that are available on the unit.
Power wise, the unit has a power rating of 1000W and is definitely going to last you a long while. In addition to that, the venting system has a 2-speed setting and the unit can be installed with relative ease.
The microwave features a recessed turntable which offers more internal space for cooking larger foods.
There are, however, a few issues of concern.
The sound is noticeably loud when cooking and in addition to that, the fans too are loud. Also, the internal thermal sensor kicks in to shut off the microwave when it gets too hot when you’re cooking things like popcorn.
If cooking on a large scale is your thing, the GE PVM9005 over the range microwave is apt for you, thanks to its large 2.1 cubic ft. internal space. This makes it a pretty large unit and will certainly take up a great deal of space if it were to be kept on the countertop.
Surprisingly, it fits perfectly into a 30″ space in the range. A big round of applause for GE, please.
The unit measures 29.94″ x 17.31″ x 16.15″ and draws about 1050W of energy for cooking. So far, this unit has the highest wattage in this review list.
A 50W difference might not seem much, but considering the fact that the unit is 2.2 cubic ft. large, it might make a considerable difference while cooking. In addition to that, there are 10 power levels to choose from to make the cooking faster.
There is a 400CFM venting system that comes with this unit. You can either vent this unit outside or inside the kitchen by simply turning the fan in the desired direction.
Installation is pretty much the same with the other units on this list – it comes with a mounting bracket and an installation guide. Two heads they say, are better than one. So, if you have an extra pair of hands to help, it will make the installation process easier.
The fan is audible to a great extent but not so much that it is termed – loud?.
Design wise, the unit sports a design that suits it. The display screen and the control buttons are located on the lower part of the front of the unit. They are intuitive controls and are neatly labeled. The softness of the buttons allows you to gently press it without much ado.
The Samsung ME18H704SFB OTR microwave has an internal capacity of about 1.8 cu ft. which places it in the league of OTR microwaves with good cooking space.
This microwave is available only in black color and it looks great although it’s not a good pick for an all-white kitchen.
It features a 14-inch glass turntable whilst the interior is made from a ceramic enamel interior. There are other features such as 10 power levels, controllable lights as well as 2-stage programmable cooking function.
The microwave has a power rating of 1000W in addition to the 10 power levels we mentioned earlier.
Other useful features include the auto cook and defrost as well as sensor reheat and halogen lights that can easily be set to the desired brightness level.
The control buttons on the microwave are a soft touch and respond well. However, the unit lacks the quick cook buttons which we’ve seen on some models.
We saw some other issues on this microwave. The sensor cooking function on the microwave tends to overcook food. In addition to that, when the fan is set to speed 4, it becomes loud.
This LG LMHM2237ST OTR microwave is one of the largest over the range microwaves we came across in the course of this review. It sports an internal capacity of 2.2 cu ft.
The microwave comes in only stainless steel color which looks great on it. That’s not the only thing that looks great about the microwave.
LG moved the control buttons from the right side of the microwave to the lower bottom part. It looks nice but may inconvenience people who are used to microwaves with their control buttons to the right.
Installing the LG LMHM2237ST OTR microwave is easy, thanks to the easy installation manual that ships with the unit. You can vent the microwave either to the room or outside. Both require minimal effort to set it up.
Internally, the unit has a rack as well as a revolving turntable that turns to ensure your food cooks properly.
There are a few downsides to having this microwave.
First, the unit features an “extendavent” which is useful for venting to the outside. However, some of the moldings in the extendavent were done using plastic materials.
The plastic materials won’t be able to withstand heat for long and will warp within a short period of time. This will, in turn, lead to a buildup of grease in the unit.
In addition to that, the display screen is poorly lit. Extra levels of brightness will definitely help increase visibility.
If you’re in the market for a 24-inch over the range microwave, then you should consider the Sharp R1214 microwave oven.
It’s slightly better than its distant cousin we reviewed above – the Sharp R1874T microwave – but it lacks the convection oven feature.
As per the size, it measures 23.8 x 14.01 x 15 and will have no difficulty fitting into a cabinet space of 24 inches.
Unlike the other microwaves we’ve reviewed so far, this one comes in two color options; white and stainless. There’s no black color – that’s not a deal breaker in any way.
Unfortunately, the stainless color is more expensive than the white color given that there’s more demand for the former in the market.
The microwave requires about 1100W of energy to function and features a handful of functions to get your food done in no distant time. They include baked potatoes, fresh vegetables, hot water, and beverage, to mention a few.
There’s a timer on the unit that helps you time your cooking.
The control buttons on the unit are very responsive but the placement is something else, considering the fact that we’re used to seeing control buttons on the left-hand side of the unit, just before the door handle.
Let’s not forget to mention that there is a Keep Warm Plus function that allows you to keep food warm for about 30 minutes after you are done with the cooking. This comes in handy for people who are expecting visitors and probably finished cooking early.
We’d also like to point out that the unit has a feature that allows you to defrost food based on their weight. It’s convenient for defrosting foods like meats and poultry. You should, however, mind what you put in the microwave.
The Sharp R-1210 OTR microwave is arguably the smaller version of the Sharp R-1214 OTR microwave we reviewed above.
It doesn’t sport all the exact features of the former, however, they share similarities. The Sharp R1210 microwave oven comes in a shiny black color as against the stainless color of the R1214.
With respect to the power rating of this microwave, it is pegged at 1100W. There are 11 different power levels and the unit also sports 8 different one-touch action buttons.
The microwave also sports some other features including a moisture sensor, a cooking timer, as well as programmable settings that aid your cooking.
As you’d expect, the turntable inside the unit rotates to ensure even distribution of the heat when you’re cooking food. We also like the keep warm function as well as the auto defrost mode which automatically sets the power levels for defrosting food.
The Sharp R1210 OTR microwave measures 26.88 x 18.56 x 17.06 in and has an internal capacity of 1.5 cu ft. This is larger than the 1.1 cu ft. capacity on the Sharp R1874 OTR microwave.
Price wise, the Sharp R1210 OTR microwave is affordable.
The Sharp R1874T OTR microwave is one unit that is overpriced yet has a small capacity. We have three reservations about this over the range microwave.
First, it’s the price. For a unit that doesn’t have any major state of the art features, we think it’s rather overpriced especially when you compare it to other OTR microwaves like our best overall unit, the GE JNM3163DJBB OTR Microwave.
We’re guessing it costs that much because it can function as a convection oven and a microwave as well.
Moving on, we look at power. It’s about a hundred watts less than the 950W on the GE JNM3163DJBB OTR Microwave yet it costs twice as much as the former.
And lastly, the Sharp R1874T OTR microwave has a small capacity. Its internal capacity is pegged at 1.1 cu ft. That’s definitely the lowest we’ve seen for a 30″ over the range microwave.
However, it’s not all complaints about the unit. It does well in some aspects.
We like the build quality of the unit. It doesn’t come in multiple color options but that’s fine since its stainless steel finishing is top notch.
The venting for this microwave is in the front of the unit and it works well.
One thing we like is that this microwave also doubles as a convection oven. This is definitely a money saver for people who need a convection oven and a microwave in their kitchen.
Need we also mention that it can be used in an RV? So if you’ve got plans to go camping with the family soon, you should include it in your bucket list of items to buy for cooking. Don’t forget the grills.
Here’s another over the range microwave with a small capacity. It has an internal capacity of 1.1 cu ft. and is fit for 24″ cabinet spaces.
The microwave looks nice with its stainless steel finishing – if it was available in white color, it would have been a head turner. Nevertheless, we’re okay with the stainless steel finishing.
There are a handful of features on the unit including 8 sensor cooking settings, a 13-inch ceramic turntable, as well as a 2-speed ventilation fan and a hood-light.
Let’s not also forget to mention that the unit can be used in an RV or in a motorhome.
The unit has a power rating of 850W. Considering its size, we think it’s appropriate.
We certainly don’t have any issues with the product save for the fact that the display seems to be brighter than normal before you get accustomed to it.
The Whirlpool WML55011HS OTR microwave is a small microwave unit which we think is overly priced. It has an internal capacity of 1.1 cu ft. and it is enclosed in a stainless steel body.
There’s really nothing special that justifies the high cost of the unit and it is a deal breaker for us.
The microwave runs smoothly and is quiet during operation. It’s easy to install and comes with all the things you need to install the microwave. In addition to that, the microwave sports a ductless vent.
We dislike the user manual that comes with the microwave. Some of the functions buttons and their step by step usage aren’t clearly spelled out on the manual. If you’re not comfortable with this microwave, perhaps, you’ll like the Whirlpool WML75011HZ OTR Microwave which shares the same similarities with it.
The Samsung ME181H704SFG OTR microwave looks nice, but it’s one of the microwaves you should be wary of. It’s lowly priced, and you’ll definitely be tempted to look its way.
Samsung definitely did well on this microwave in terms of design. However, the build quality of the product is very poor. From weak door hinges to a sensor touchpad that doesn’t work when your hand is wet, the list of annoying things about the microwave is endless.
Did we mention that some of the features of new microwaves are lacking in this unit? Also, the sensor cooking function tends to either overcook or undercook food depending on what you’re cooking.
The microwave only wins in three major areas; price, aesthetics, and capacity.
The first benefit of getting an over-the-range microwave is space.
Conventional microwaves usually take up valuable space on the countertop. If you have a small kitchen, this might be a major turn off as you may run out of space for cooking.
On the other hand, an over-the-range microwave is installed above the countertop. This frees up space on the countertop and, of course, you can install another appliance like an induction cooktop there.
Countertop microwaves barely exceed the 1 cubic ft. capacity mark. However, you may find some models especially from brands like Panasonic that have 1.2 and even 2 cubic ft.
Generally, over-the-range microwaves have more space internally since they are larger than the conventional ones. Their cubic feet begin at 1.5 for and can go as high as 2.5 cubic ft. This large space is handy for people with larger cooking needs.
With more than 1000W of power under the hood, over the range microwaves cook food faster. Thus, your cooking time reduces significantly and you can use the time to do other things.
If we can wave a magic wand in our kitchen to remove food odor and smoke, of course, we will do that. There’s absolutely no need to wave a magic wand as over the range microwaves can do that.
It’s what they’re designed to do, as a merger between a microwave and a vent hood. Saves you some money if you must know.
Most people argue that over the range microwaves have limitations. Honestly, the fact that it requires installation unlike the conventional ones isn’t a limitation. Here’s a simple step by step guide for installing an over the range microwave.
More so, portability isn’t a must for a microwave. How many times do you take your countertop microwave out of your kitchen?
That said, let’s find out why you should buy/not buy the aforementioned over the range microwaves.
In this section of the article, we listed some important things to consider when buying over the range microwaves.
This is actually the most important thing to consider. You surely don’t want to buy a unit that will end up not fitting over the range? To be sure the unit will fit, take an appropriate measurement of your cabinet space.
Measure the length from one end of the space to the other end and the depth. Some of the popular models are about 30″ wide and 12″ deep. After taking measurements of your cabinet, you should crosscheck with the product information.
Having done that, let’s proceed to the next factor.
A large over the range microwave is necessary if you have high cooking demands. Most of the available models have a capacity of about 1.5 cubic ft. and above. Don’t buy what’s large because you think you need it, sometimes, moderate is ok.
The first two factors we explained will greatly influence your budget. However, less than half a thousand dollars will get you a nice large unit. If you prefer the smaller ones, just half of that will go a long way in getting a reliable unit. Generally, over the range microwaves aren’t expensive, to say the least.
With your budget in place, the cooking power will be the next place to look at. This won’t be much of a hassle since most of the popular over the range microwaves come with just 1000W of power.
During the course of selecting the products to review, we noticed that the highest wattage on our list was 1100W. However, we didn’t review that particular microwave.
We tested a unit with a control panel that wasn’t backlit. This means if your kitchen is dimly lit, you can’t press anything. It seems most of the popular models don’t have backlit control panels. If, perhaps, you come across a model that is backlit and meets your requirements, please grab it.
Uninstalling your over the range microwave isn’t a hard nut to crack. Here’s our step by step guide on how to do it.
Some of the extra features you should look out for include a second racks heat sensor, defrost, popcorn, baked potato as well as frozen dinner options. These features might slightly increase the price of your desired unit above average. Another important feature is the child lock. Use the child lock feature to protect your kids and the machine. It is not a standard feature on most units but it’s important you have it.
So far, we’ve been able to review the best convection microwaves on the market. And we shared a few tips to guide you in making your final purchase.
Check out our review on the best electric cooktops if you want to own one.
Colin is a passionate chef by trade and a kitchen nerd on the side. Growing up in the kitchen, Colin has always had a passion for learning the absolute best way to cook a dish. He quickly realized most kitchens have duplicate cookware and small appliances and had to decide which ones were going to be the “keepers” – causing him to take a closer look at all his products.
As it turns out, small differences make a big impact on the experience. Whether it’s how hard you have to press a microwave button, to how long a cast iron skillet stays warm after you turn off the heat, these little difference changed everything.