Over the range (OTR) microwaves are useful kitchen tools. They provide a solution to quickly warm up leftovers. They double as ventilation hoods. All the while, they free up valuable counter real estate. However, models vary in terms of cooking power, capacity, and other important elements. Here we'll take a look at the top 5 OTR microwaves and find out which one's right for you.
Which brands make some of the best OTR microwaves?
The first model we’ll consider when looking at the best over the range microwaves is the LG LMV1762ST.
Some of the positive elements of this microwave include:
- 1.7 cu. ft. capacity
- 1000-watt maximum power
- LG EasyClean Technology consists of a high-quality porcelain interior coating that naturally repels grime
- 300 CFM, two-speed vented system
- 1-year warranty on parts and labor
As you can see, this particular LG model offers several features that people desire in an OTR microwave unit. The finish on the outside of the microwave unit is stainless steel, a look that easily blends into a kitchen. Also, the SmoothTouch controls are sensitive to touch and easy to read since this microwave will be mounted above the oven. Another thing that is useful for this microwave is the energy savings key, which turns off the display when the microwave has not been in use for a certain period of time. Moreover, you can program one-touch settings for customized cooking modes based on your daily needs.
All in all, the LMV1762ST has several desirable features, a low price point, and a warranty that protects the buyer against defective models for the first year.
The GE JVM3160RFSS is another 30-inch over the range microwave oven that belongs on the list of the best options for this product.
Here are some of the things that we liked about this particular model:
- 300 CFM vented system
- 1.6 cu. ft. interior capacity
- 10 power levels
- A turntable for even cooking
- 1000 watt maximum power
There are many features of this product that make it one of the best over the range microwaves on the marke. t offers a fair amount of cooking power reheat almost any dish. The turntable to rotates dishes to ensure even heating, and has timers that you can set to keep your meal production on time.
For parents, this microwave is very useful because it has a child safety lock that prevents the appliance from being accidentally activated. Also, the turntable can be disabled to prevent spills or sliding within the microwave.
The Frigidaire FFMV1645TS is another contender to consider when shopping for a high-quality OTR microwave. While you may know this brand for other kitchen appliances, they have made this product which includes the following features:
- 1.6 cu. ft. of interior capacity
- LED lights to illuminate your cooktop
- Two -speed ventilation (ducted or re-circulating)
- 1000 watts of cooking power
- Programmable, multi-stage cooking options
LIke the previous two models, this one is another 30-inch unit. However, there are little details that disgtinguish it. For example, there are options for reheating, popcorn, baked potato, and others, so your cooking needs can be fulfilled with a single press of a button. There are LED lights inside the cooking cavity and at the bottom of the unit so whether you need to illuminate what the microwave is cooking or a range cooktop, you've that choice. It sports a zero-clearance door which swings 90 degrees and won't impact any adjacent walls, making it ideal for compact spaces.
The Whirlpool WMH31017HS is another great OTR microwave option that you can buy and expect to get some of these great features:
- 1.7 cu. ft. of interior space
- 300 CFM venting
- Adjustable cooktop lighting
- Charcoal filter
- 1000 watts maximum cooking power
The Whirlpool WMH31017HS offers great features for people that are seeking a dependable mid-range microwave. This particular model has several useful cooking modes that help you defrost, cook specific items, and more, often with just the press of a preset button. You can 30 seconds automaticallyby pressing the start button once, just in case you want your dish slightly hotter.
The turntable from this microwave is dishwasher safe, so you can reheat pasta sauce without worrying about the cleanup later. Best of all, the venting for this microwave can be done inside or outside of the home if you’re worried about odors.
The GE Profile is one of the more up-market models on this list. Its nominally higher price does mean a more feature rich unit:
- 2.1 cu. Ft. of cooking space
- 10 power levels
- Unique design
- Chef Connect system uses Bluetooth to sync functionality (e.g. time display, lighting, etc.) to a corresponding GE Profile range
- 400 CFM venting
The GE Profile has a lot to offer in an aspirational kitchen. First, its stainless steel facade makes it a striking presence. The buttons to control the microwave are aligned on the bottom at standard eye level for maximum visibility and accesibility.
You’ll cook meals at 1050 Watts instead of the standard 1000, ensuring even cooking. The 400 CFM venting comes with three speed settings to adhere to your needs. There is even a sensor cooking system that will adjust both the time and the power to ensure your meal is thoroughly cooked. You can even sync the microwave with your range unit for time, light, and venting, as long as you have a specific GE range. The list of product details is long with this appliance and showcases why it is worth the higher price.
What should be considered before purchasing and OTR microwave that has a ventilation function?
The most important consideration when choosing an OTR microwave that can double as a hood is whether it requires ductwork. If you purchase an OTR microwave that requires ductwork to vent outside and your kitchen doesn't have the existing infrastructure, you'll find yourself needing expensive renovations in order to make full use of the unit. On another note, if the ventilation function operates with re-circulation, check the users' manual to see how often the carbon filter needs to be replaced so it performs optimally.