Best mounted microwave

Over-the-range microwaves (or OTR microwaves) are microwaves that can be installed over your stove. Instead of a countertop microwave, these appliances free up counter space and to give your kitchen a neat, streamlined look. Unlike countertop models, they are not portable, and they boast a higher price tag: however, they also have built in exhaust fans, which serve as a stove-top ventilation system to eliminate smoke, steam, and cooking odors. You can choose from a traditional microwave for warming food, or a convection microwave, which actually serves as a fully-functioning oven in a much smaller footprint. It can be overwhelming to parse through all the important information on over-the-range microwaves to figure out which model is right for you. That’s why We have done the work for you and put together a guide to the best mounted microwave. We researched the top manufacturers, looking for the best cabinet mounted microwave, best wall mounted convection microwave and best rated mounted microwave options that would suit a variety of consumers, spaces, and needs. Pulling from over a century of experience testing appliances, we evaluated considered each products’ price, warranty, most useful features, and ease of use. Here are our top picks:

best rated mounted microwave

Best mounted microwave

Frigidaire Professional FGMV155CTFMost Popular In: Real Estate

Frigidaire FGMV155CTF

The Frigidaire Professional FGMV155CTF heats food quickly and vents effectively without too much noise. While I probably won’t be cooking a big dinner in my microwave any time soon, I like having the option of being able to crisp something up quickly using the convection baking option without waiting for the oven to heat up. The lighting on this microwave is also good enough that I can check on my food and adjust the cooking time—without stopping the clock.

Key Specs 

Price: $476.o0; Dimensions (D x H x W): 15.03 x 16.41 x 29.88 inches; Capacity: 1.5 cubic feet; Power output: 900W; Color: Stainless steel

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GE PVM9005SJSS

GE PVM9005SJSS

Besides being one of the most futuristic-looking microwaves I’ve ever seen, the GE PVM9005SJSS is also meticulously designed. The integrated handle is so much easier to clean and use than one that’s attached to the outside. Using the electronic control panel may be intimidating at first, but the sensor technology takes all the thinking out of it. The sensor automatically adjusts the time and power level based on the food it’s cooking.

Key Specs 

Price: $398.00-584.00; Dimensions (D x H x W): 16.16 x 17.31 x 30 inches; Capacity: 2.1 cubic feet; Power output: 1050 W; Colors: Stainless steel, fingerprint-resistant slate, fingerprint-resistant black slate, fingerprint-resistant black slate stainless steel

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LG LMV2031ST

LG LMV2031ST

If you’ve ever tried to scrub splattered, encrusted food off a microwave, you know that having an interior that resists buildup and stains makes the LG LMV2031ST a solid choice. All you have to do is wipe it with a damp cloth. Other notable features include a removable rack that allows you to cook two dishes at once, and a vent with four speeds. It’s effective and quiet—a feature that is important for a person who is driven mad by the sound of the fan grating (me). And as a bonus the display turns off after five minutes of inactivity to save energy.

Key Specs 

Price: $259.00; Dimensions (D x H x W): 15.88 x 16.4 x 29.9 inches; Capacity: 2 cubic feet; Power output: 1000 W; Colors: Stainless steel, black stainless steel, black, white

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Magic Chef MCO165UW

Magic Chef MCO165UW

The Magic Chef MCO165UW is ridiculously affordable, but don’t let that price tag fool you into believing it’s poor quality. The vent—which is loud but effective—turns on automatically when it senses oxygen impurities and uses a charcoal filter to remove them. At 1.6 cubic feet, it’s a bit small, but the recessed turntable allows for larger dishes and ensures even cooking. Installation is super easy if you’re planning a DIY renovation.

Key Specs

Price: $139.00; Dimensions (D x H x W): 16.1 x 16.8 x 29.9 inches; Capacity: 1.6 cubic feet; Power output: 1000 W; Colors: White, black

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Sharp R-1214

Sharp R-1214

The Sharp R-1214 has 11 presets, including one that will keep your food warm until you’re ready to eat. The defrost preset is also useful because it calculates cook time based on weight. It also has a push release button. The one drawback is the Sharp doesn’t have a vent but if that’s not important to you, you can’t go wrong with the Sharp R-1214.

Key Specs

Price: $342.18; Dimensions (D x H x W): inches; Capacity: 1.5 cubic feet; Power output: 1100 W; Colors: Stainless steel, white

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Whirlpool WMH75021HZ

Whirlpool WMH75021HZ

The Whirlpool WMH75021HZ has 2.1 cubic feet of cooking space, and not an inch will go to waste. Like the LG microwave, this one has a removable cooking rack so that you can cook two dishes at once. Additionally, it has a turntable that turns itself off if you want to cook something larger than the tray. Situating the panel at the bottom also allows for a more spacious interior and is more accessible for people on the shorter side.

Key Specs 

Price: $378.00; Dimensions (D x H x W): 16 x 17.13 x 29.94 inches; Capacity: 2.1 cubic feet; Power output: 1100 W; Colors: Stainless steel, black stainless

How to buy a microwave

This buying guide is what you need if you’re looking for a new microwave.

Your Pizza Rolls deserve a good microwave. This countertop wonder, whose origins date back to the 1940s, is probably one of the most frequently used appliances in your kitchen thanks to its ability to reheat food fast (and cook a mug cake or two). There are a variety of options when it’s time to select a microwave, so we’ve broken down the options you have when you’re ready for a new microwave.

Location

The first decision you need to make about a new microwave is where in your kitchen you want to put it. The location affects the price, features, size and installation of the appliance. You have three main options:

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Countertop

This is the most common type of microwave. They generally cost less and are significantly easier to install than other models. Just find a spot on the counter for it to sit, plug it into an outlet and you can use it right away.

The biggest issue with the countertop microwave is how much space it needs. If you have limited room on your countertop, you may either want to look at the smaller countertop models available, look into placing your microwave on a small cart, or consider another style of microwave.

Price: $40 to $700

External dimensions: From roughly 10 by 18 by 14 inches for compact models to roughly 14 by 24 by 20 inches for larger models

Internal capacity: Less than 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet

Wattage: Typically 600 to 1,200 watts

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Some of GE’s stoves and over-the-range microwaves are connected via Bluetooth.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Over-the-range

You install this style of microwave above your range, which will save you some counter space. These models have vent systems that take the place of the oven hood and lights to illuminate your cooktop.

Price: $190 to $1,300

External dimensions: Usually wider than countertop models, about 16 by 30 by 15 inches

Internal capacity: Less than 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet

Wattage: Typically 600 to 1,200 watts

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Sharp

Built-in

Built-in models that you place among custom cabinets or paired with built-in, full-sized wall ovens are the most high-end (aka expensive) types of microwaves. Some microwaves in this category are even designed specifically as drawers with a compartment you pull out for your food.

Price: $500 to $5,000 and up

External dimensions: This varies widely depending on type, and drawers tend to have more depth than countertop or over-the-range models, hitting about 15 by 30 by 26 inches

Internal capacity: Less than 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet

Wattage: Typically 600 to 1,200 watts

Size

It’s important to find the right-sized microwave that will meet your food needs and fit in the space you have for it. First, you want to measure the counter or other space where you plan to put your microwave. Then, measure the height, width and depth of any model you’re considering to find out if it will fit on your counter top, over your range or in a custom spot. The external dimensions can vary a lot, from 10 by 18 by 14 inches on the smaller side to 14 by 24 by 20 inches on the larger side.

Then there’s also the internal capacity, which can range from less than 1 cubic foot to 2 cubic feet or more. There doesn’t seem to be any set rule for how internal capacity correlates to size (like 1 cubic foot = small, 1.5 cubic feet = medium, etc.), but here’s an attempt to break it down:

Compact: Under 1 cubic foot

Midsize: 1 to 1.5 cubic feet

Full-size: 1.6 to 2 cubic feet

Extra-large: More than 2 cubic feet

Most microwaves are somewhere around 1.4 to 1.8 cubic feet. Still not sure which size you need? If you’re out shopping, bring in a plate or bowl from home that you plan to use often to make sure that it fits inside the microwave.

Still in doubt? Measure everything, take notes and check with your appliance retailer for help deciding what would work best. For over-the-range and other built-in models, you most likely won’t be the one installing your new microwave, so you can always avail yourself of their expertise.

Wattage

Microwave wattage equals power. In general, the higher the wattage, the faster and more evenly your food will cook. Most microwaves sit somewhere between 600 to 1,200 watts. Larger, more expensive microwaves tend to have a higher wattage, so this is a price and size consideration that can strongly influence microwave cooking performance.

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This GE microwave has scan-to-cook tech via a related app.Chris Monroe/CNET

Features

Many microwaves share common functions. Here are some microwave cooking essentials: cook time, defrost, power level and timer. Each one requires your direct input, but they are usually very easy to set. Most microwaves have touch panel controls and a rotating carousel to spin your food for more even cooking.

Default settings

Many microwaves come with preset cooking modes so you only have to press one button to automatically cook a dish. For example, many microwaves have a “popcorn” button that will cook your bag based on factory settings. This can be handy for common dishes you heat in the microwave, but you’ll have to figure out if the microwave’s default cook times work for your own food. Other common presets include: baked potato, pizza, beverage, frozen dinner and reheat.

Broil

Manufacturers are increasingly including features in microwaves that mimic what we see in full-size ovens, such as a broiler. This is a good addition for finishing off a dish or cooking something for which you’d prefer more direct heat.

Convection

A convection fan that’s built into the back of a microwave oven circulates the heat around the food to cook things more quickly and evenly. (Many new full-size ovens come with at least one convection fan.) However, microwaves with convection fans are generally more expensive than those without.

Inverter technology

Inverter heating is another option available on some high-end models. If you want to heat something at a 50 percent power level, most microwaves actually switch between 100 percent power and 0 percent power to average in at 50 percent power. This doesn’t yield great results if you want to heat something on a lower heat and achieve an even result. So, some models now use inverter technology, which maintains a consistent 50 percent power. That way, you can poach salmon, make a fluffy omelet, etc.

Other advanced features

In addition to new heating technologies, higher-end models usually have more presets than just the basic pizza, popcorn and baked potato standard. Some use moisture sensors to detect food doneness. And we’ve started to see models include LED lighting on the interior.

“Smart” technology, i.e. options that connect microwaves to the internet and other products, aren’t as widespread in microwaves as we’ve seen in other kitchen appliances. However, we’ve seen GE Appliances include Bluetooth technology in some of its over-the-range microwaves. This connection, which GE calls “Chef Connect,” pairs the microwave with compatible GE ranges so the light and fan beneath the microwave automatically turns on when you turn on a burner.

More options

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Will the June Intelligent Oven become the next microwave?Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Other small appliances have started to make a case for forgoing the microwave, such as steam ovens that use water to cook for more moist heating or the basic toaster oven that mimics a full-size stove. These options promise to cook more effectively than a microwave, but it might take longer to reheat your food.

Smart countertop ovens have also started to become an option. The June Intelligent Oven uses facial recognition technology to identify food and cook it automatically, and the Tovala Smart Oven will scan packaged meals for automatic cooking, including frozen meals from Trader Joe’s. These options are promising, but the technology is too new to determine whether or not these will become kitchen staples.

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