Best Over the Range Microwave Ovens

best over the range microwave ovens

Before we get into the best over the range microwave ovens detail, it’s important that you decide if you would even want one. There are pros and cons.  

Now we always come at this as with our remodeling designer/contractor hard hat on. It’s as if we were offering advice to one of our clients on the design, layout, and use of their kitchen.

So you might want to start with our Microwave Buyers Guide. This lays out a comparison of the various types of microwave. 

And check out these related posts:

That said, here are our top picks for the best over the range microwave ovens.


4.5/5

Sharp R-1514 over the range microwave

  • 1,000 watts of power
  • Excellent 1.5 cu ft capacity
  • Large carousel turntablr
  • Multi-exhaust options


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4/5

  • Convection microwave
  • 1.1 cu ft capacity
  • 950 wats of microwave power
  • Multi-exhaust options


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4/5

GE JNM3163DJBB over the range microwave oven

  • 950 watts of power
  • Excellent 1.6 cu ft capacity
  • On/off turntable control
  • Multi-exhaust options


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Pictures speak louder than words. So we will let this video introduce the subject. It  shows the installation of a GE over the range microwave to replace an existing unit.

What to look for in an over the range microwave

Venting capability

You will have noticed from this video that the way venting is set up is an important consideration in choosing an over the range microwave.

Over the range microwaves are typically set up for venting in one of two ways:

  1. Recirculation venting only
  2. Recirculation venting with an optional external roof/wall venting capability

The one you choose will depend on the layout of your kitchen and whether it is set up for external venting.

The video explains this. You saw that selecting the venting mode (recirculation, roof venting or wall venting) is just a matter of rotating the blower motor to suit the appropriate venting mode.

So, replacing an over the range microwave that already vents to the exterior is relatively simple because  the ventilation ductwork is already in place.

But, If you do not have existing ventilation ductwork,  installing it can be an expensive and disruptive project. In this case you are probably better off with a recirculating vent microwave.

Most over the range microwaves are preset to vent internally.

Microwave power

The cooking power of an over the range microwave is expressed in watts. The benchmark for microwave power is generally considered to be 1,000 watts. Lower wattage equates to longer cooking times.

Inverter technology

Some microwaves utilize inverter technology to smooth out the delivery of power at lower power settings.

Microwave size

The size of a microwave is the capacity of its cooking cavity. Most over the range microwaves are in the 1.5 to 2.0 cubic feet range.

Microwave settings

Preprogrammed settings take the guesswork out of common microwave cooking tasks like popcorn, defrost, soften, melt, and add a minute.

Sensor cooking

Sensors measure the steam given off by the food in the microwave cavity. It will match cooking times and power to the type of food selected. This prevents over-cooking.

Easily read displays

Some over the range microwaves have their control panels at the bottom rather than the side. This makes them easier to read, especially for short people.

Lighting

Many over the range microwaves have lighting features that will provide task lighting for the range.

Convection cooking

Some over the range microwaves have a convection cooking capability. Those that do generally need less microwave power.

Pros and cons of over the range microwaves

But wait! An over the range microwave might not be a good idea for you anyway. Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros of over the range  microwaves

  • The over the range microwave saves about 4 sq ft of precious space by moving your microwave off the kitchen counter, where it occupies a valuable prep or other use area. This is especially important in a small kitchen.
  • It doubles as a range hood and extracts steam, smoke and food odors. This two in one feature is a money saver. 
  • It puts the microwave out of reach of young children.
  • Built in task lighting makes it easier to see what is going on with your range top cooking.

Cons of over the range microwaves

  • Short people and people with low upper body strength find them difficult, dangerous, or even impossible to use. In fact it’s not a good idea for anyone to be lifting anything hot or heavy above shoulder height.
  • It is certainly hazardous to use an over the range microwave if you have something cooking on the range top.
  • It’s hard to see what is going on in the microwave.
  • Most over the range microwaves are ductless and only recirculate the air within the kitchen through a charcoal filter. They have a limited air handling capacity at around 300 cfm (cubic feet per minute). A top of the line over the range microwave will have both interior and exterior ventilation / extraction options.
  • If you have a high BTU gas range, you are better off with a dedicated range hood than an over the range microwave.

Over the range microwave reviews

All that said, let’s now dive into our best over the range microwave reviews.

By the way, we will preface this by stating that any of these will make an excellent choice and we had a hard time ranking them.

1

Sharp R-1514 Over-the-Range Microwave




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Sharp R-1514 over the range microwave in place

This multi-featured stainless steel microwave from the great Sharp brand is visually appealing with clean lines and a touch control panel hidden behind the oven door. This reduces visual clutter but the controls are still easy to reach when you want them, even though they are out of sight when not needed.

For an over the range unit, this microwave has a good sized cooking capacity. with plenty of power. It’s large 14 1/8 in, carousel turntable that can accommodate large cookware, like casserole dishes.

A child lock will keep kids out of trouble

What We Like
  • Lots of power for an over the range microwave
  • Good size at 1.5 cu ft
  • Large turntable
  • 19 automatic settings
  • Sensor cooking
  • Sleek design
What We Don’t Like
  • Fan is a bit noisy
Key Specs
  • Power output: 1,000W
  • Capacity: 1.5 cu ft
  • Dimensions: 29-15/15″ W x 16-1/4″ H x 15-9/16″ D
  • 120 Volts, 60 Hz
  • Ductless (carbon filter) recirculating plus outside ventilation options
Our Assessment

This is a very solid buy. As of this writing, it has a 4.3 star rating out of 65 customer reviews on Amazon. This is excellent overall.

Manufacturer’s details here: Sharp R-1514

How  Much We Like It

4.5/5

2

Sharp R1874T Over the Range Convection Microwave


Sharp R-1874 over the range convection microwave


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Sharp R-1874 over the range convection microwave in place

This microwave and convection oven combo packs multiple cooking capabilities into a single compact unit. 

On the microwave side, this unit features sensor technology for cooking or reheating. On the convection side, you can bake, roast and brown. And then you can combine both cooking functions for extra fast cooking but with the right amount of crispness and browning.

On top of that, the sleek good looks of this unit will enhance the looks of any kitchen.

What We Like
  • Easy read, 2-color Interactive display
  • On/off carousel turntable
  • Multiple microwave sensor programs
  • Multiple convection programs
  • Very good looking
What We Don’t Like
  • The microwave is a little underpowered at 850W but this is not a deal breaker given the convection function
Key Specs
  • Convection and microwave oven combo
  • Microwave power output: 850W
  • Capacity: 1.1 cu ft
  • Dimensions:29-15/16″ W x 16-11/32″ H x 15-9/32 D
  • 120 Volts, 60 Hz
  • Ductless recirculating plus outside ventilation options
Our Assessment

This is a great compact microwave convection oven. It works well for the RV community too. 

We rate this as a very good buy and feel our assessment is borne out by a 4.1 star cumulative rating on Amazon out of 161 reviews.

Plus it comes from the well regarded Sharp line of microwaves.

Manufacturer’s details are here: Sharp R1874T.

How Much We Like It

4/5

3

GE JNM3163DJBB Over the Range Microwave


GE JNM3163DJBB over the range microwave oven


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GE JNM3163DJBB over the range microwave oven in place

GE makes good stuff. And this is a solidly performing microwave with good power and capacity.

This is a good looking unit. However, its black as, opposed to stainless steel finish, will somewhat restrict its use, relative to the overall design and look of a kitchen. This is when compared to the more versatile stainless steel finish of competing units.

What We Like
  • Very decent power and capacity for an over the counter unit
  • On/off turntable control
  • Two-speed, 300-cfm venting system
  • Auto and Time Defrost defrosting times
  • Power levels programmed automatically or manually
What We Don’t lIke
  • Not as many pre-set features as other similar units
Key Specs
  • Power output: 950W
  • Capacity: 1.6 cu ft
  • Dimensions: 29-7/8″ W x 16-7/16″ H x 15-7/8″ D
  • 120V, 60Hz
  • Outside top exhaust, outside back exhaust, and ductless recirculating options
Our Assessment

This GE microwave oven would make a solid choice for an over the range application.

It gets high marks on Amazon for easy to read, easy to use, easy to install, and value for money. It has an overall rating of 4.2 stars with 142 ratings.

The manufacturer’s details are here: GE JNM3163DJBB.

How Much We Like It

4/5

4

GE JVM6175DKBB Over-The-Range Microwave


GE JVM6175dkbb over the range microwave


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GE JVM6175DKBB Over-The-Range Microwave installed

GE is a well regarded name in the home appliance space.

For an over the range microwave oven, this one has  excellent power and capacity.

And it comes with versatile operating capabilities. These include an on/off turntable feature, weight and time defrost, and sensor cooking.

It has versatile recirculating and outside venting options and an upfront charcoal filter with indicator light.

What We LIke
  • Excellent power and capacity for and over the range microwave
  • Weight and time defrost
  • Sensor cooking
  • Add 30 seconds button
What We Don’t Like
  • No lighting to control panel
Key Specs
  • Power output: 1,000W
  • Capacity: 1.7 cu ft
  • Dimensions: 16-1/2” H x 29-7/8” W x 15” D
  • 120V, 60Hz
  • 2-speed venting system
Our Assessment

This GE unit has solid ratings on Amazon. As of this writing it scores 4.2 stars over 26 reviews.

It is highly rated for easy to read, easy to use, and value for money. 

Manufacturer’s specs are here: GE JVM6175DKBB

How Much We Like It

4/5

5

Sharp R1881LSY Over The Range Convection Microwave Oven




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This Sharp over the range convection microwave oven combo has a top mounted radiant heating element for broiling and a powerful fan to provide for roasting and baking via convection heating.

The microwave function is full featured with sensor cooking.

This unit is designed with an inset hinge, so that the door will open without obstruction from adjacent cabinetry. This makes it well suited for small kitchen, including campers and RVs.

What We LIke
  • The microwave and convection combo
  • High / low work light
  • On / off turntable
  • Interactive 2-color display
  • Inset door hinge to suit tight kitchen spaces
What We Don’t Like
  • 850W is a little low powered for a microwave oven but this is not a deal breaker because of the convection function
Key Specs
  • Microwave power output: 850W
  • Capacity: 1.1 cu ft
  • Dimensions: 16.3” H x 29.9” W x 15.3” D
  • 120V, 60Hz
  • 8 sensor settings for microwave cooking
  • 10 convection settings
  • Horizontal and vertical external ventilation or filtered recirculating
Our Assessment

This Sharp convection microwave has a solid 4.5 star rating on Amazon, as of this writing. There have only been 10 reviews but none of them are 1 star.

Based on Sharp’s reputation alone, we think this is a good buy.

Manufacturer’s information is here: Sharp R1881LSY.

How Much We Like It

4/5

6

Frigidaire FGMV176NTF Gallery Over the Range Microwave




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Frigidaire FGMV176NTF Gallery Over the Range Microwave installed

The Frigidaire FGMV176NTF is a good looking stainless steel over the range microwave. For this type of microwave application, its 1.7 cu ft capacity is large. And it has a large 13.5” turntable that will accept fairly large cookware.

At 1,000 watts, it has plenty of power. And you can make selections from more than 30 cooking and reheating options. Sensor cooking is included to automate the cooking process.

The interior features Frigidaire’s “Effortless Clean Interior coating” to make clean-up a snap.

What We LIke
  • Very good power and capacity for an over the range microwave
  • Large turntable
  • Internal rack to cook multiple dishes
  • Sensor cooking
  • 2-speed fan that will sense heat from the range and turn on automatcally
What We Don’t Like
  • Some complaints of excessive beeping
Key Specs
  • Power output: 1,000W
  • Capacity: 1.7 cu ft
  • Dimensions: 16.4” H x 30” W x i5” D
  • 120V, 60Hz
  • Factory preset for recirculating ventilation. But can be converted to exterior venting
  • LED lighting to illuminate your cooktop
Our Assessment

This Frigidaire Gallery over the range microwave has a 4.1 star rating on Amazon as of this writing.  There have been 82 customer reviews so far.

This is a very good overall rating score and people liked this unit based on value for money, its reliable brand, and ease of installation.

Manufacturer’s details are here:  Frigidaire FGMV176NTF

How Much We Like It

4/5

Some over the range microwave FAQs

How do microwave ovens work anyway?

Here is a great video to explain:

 What is microwave inverter technology?

When you reduce power on a standard microwave, you are not actually reducing the power level output of the device itself. What happens is that the unit is still operating at full power but, when you select a lower power setting, the full power is simply being turned on and off sequentially to simulate a reduction in power. Obviously, this is not producing a consistent level of heat.

By contrast, with inverter technology, the energy being produced by the microwave is actually modulated. So when you select, say, 30% power the machine produces a steady stream of energy at that level for the duration you set. This makes for much more even cooking.

How high up should the over the range microwave be?

Most local building codes, which generally follow the International Residential Code (IRC), require a 30 inch clearance between the top of a range and any combustible surface. However, they allow over the range microwaves, which are much less combustible than, say, a wooden cabinet, to be installed per their manufacturer’s instructions.

Another authority, the National Kitchen and Bath Association, says that the bottom of the over the range microwave should be no higher than 54 inches above the floor. This would provide a clearance of 18 inches between the microwave and the cooktop, which is typically at 36 inches above the floor.

However, we would advise in all cases following the manufacturer’s recommendations, since there may be warranty issues. 

What size are over the over the range microwave cabinets?

These are important dimensions because the over the range microwave is suspended from the cabinet above it as well as being secured to the wall behind it.

The standard size for a cabinet in an over the range microwave application is 30” wide, 12” or 15” high, and 12” deep. The standard over the range microwave is designed to work with these dimensions but you need to double check your own situation.

A particularly important dimension is the cabinet depth. The typical depth of an over the range microwave is 15” to  16” meaning that the front of the microwave will be proud of the face of the cabinet. So you want to be sure that the holes for the top mounting points of the microwave are well within the 12” depth of the cabinet.

What are the power requirements?

Almost all over the range microwaves require the installation of a 120 volt power outlet in the cabinet above. It should be on a dedicated 20-amp circuit.

How to maintain over the range microwaves?

All over the range microwaves require the periodic cleaning of their grease filter. This is simply removed, washed in your kitchen sink, and replaced. If it is exceptionally dirty, put it in a pan with water and bring it to a boil. Add dish detergent and a half cup of baking soda.

If you have a microwave that recirculates air through a carbon filter, you will need to change the filter from time to time.

Check the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning and maintenance.

top rated over the range microwave ovens/div>

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