Best venting over the range microwave

What over the range microwave has the best ventilation? When considering the Best venting over the range microwave, there are ducted vents and recirculating vents. Ultimately, the goal of the vent is to pull the air from the microwave and deposit it to the outside. This eliminates smoke, cooking odors, moisture and hot air from remaining in the kitchen. For this reason, vent ducts are the only choice. So what are the best venting over the range microwave 2020 picks?

best venting over the range microwave 2020

Woman Heating Fried Food In Microwave Oven

The Best Venting for Over-the-Range MicrowavesImage Credit: AndreyPopov/iStock/GettyImages

Ducted Vents Vs. Recirculating Vents

A ducted vent actually carries air from the microwave through an installed duct to the outside of the house. A fan in the duct draws air from the microwave through the duct and deposits it outside. A recirculating vent, on the other hand, simply sucks in the air from the microwave and recirculates it through a filter back into the kitchen. Some recirculating vents contain a charcoal filter to eliminate odors and reduce heat, but for the most part, they are ineffective at ridding the kitchen of the hot, moist air from the microwave. Unless it is prohibitively expensive or the building structure doesn’t allow it, a ducted vent is the only way to go.

Installing Ducted Vents

If you’ve decided to install a ducted vent that connects to the outside, you’ll need to choose an exhaust vent with a ducted hood. To install the hood, put the template or the duct mounting plate against the wall and use a drywall-specific saw to cut a hole in the opening. Cut out the exterior hole in the wall and pull out any siding that needs to be removed before you install the vent hood.

Place the exhaust adaptor from the microwave into the duct as indicated in the instruction manual, making sure it lines up with the mounting plate and the house duct. Line the microwave up with the duct and connect it.

Install the exterior vent hood per the instruction manual. Be sure to use Tyvek or something similar to seal it and prevent water from entering the channel.


The fans inside a ducted vent are measured by CFM, the volume of cubic feet of air they move per minute. Fans vary in quality and in intensity. A quiet, low-power fan may move air at a rate of 170 CFM, whereas a more high-powered fan may operate at a 400 CFM velocity. Some higher-quality fans boast heat sensors that are built into the fan itself and will automatically shut the fan off if it senses that the unit is getting overheated. Other CFM fans contain a similar charcoal filter to the kind in the recirculating fan, which helps to eliminate heat, odors and smoke. Looking for a fan like this is an especially good idea if you have limited kitchen space as it will likely make a considerable difference in the number of odors and smoke left in the kitchen. Choosing a fan with a high CFM will likely cost more, but it is worth the investment in small kitchens or in homes with substantial microwave use.

The Best venting over the range microwave

A microwave is an invaluable kitchen appliance and by far the most utilized in many kitchens. For the light user, a microwave is used for heating, melting and probably making popcorn.

However, there is that person who uses the microwave to cook light meals such as eggs, veggies, and pasta.

Or even more fancy recipes like this microwave baba ganoush.

Unlike a traditional oven, a microwave works by heating food from the inside rather than from the outside.

The microwave radiations it produces are absorbed by food molecules which causes the molecules to vibrate at a frequency of about 2.24 gigahertz. The vibrations cause frictions which in turn produce heat.

Microwaves are speedy, clean and safe. As such, they are popular in homes and in working environments.

Since a microwave is not an appliance that you buy every other day, it is important to make the right purchase depending on your needs. The factors to consider when making purchases are the available kitchen space and your budget.

Another important aspect to consider is whether the microwave will be used in a family setting because if it is then a feature such a child safety lock cannot be overlooked. When purchasing a microwave, there are two options to choose from, that is a regular microwave and an over the range microwave.

Over the range, microwaves incorporate a range hood onto the microwave oven. Due to the demand to have a minimalist looking kitchen, they have become quite popular. A good over the range microwave have a proper ventilation vent built on them to eliminate steam, smoke and kitchen odors through the vent is not as good as that one found in range hoods.

The specifications to look out for when buying such microwaves are the interior capacity, cooking power, convection cooking, exhaust fan airflow, and the price. Of course, the best over the range microwave will have a child lock.

The main difference between a regular microwave and an over the best over the range microwave is that unlike a regular microwave which takes up larger counter space, an over the range microwave saves on counter space because it is built-in to the cabinetry above a stovetop.

Another difference is that a regular microwave is portable, compatible and does not require installation whereas an over the range microwave requires installation and as such, a larger model is not portable. The best over the range microwave would, of course, come with a well-written installation manual.

As stated above, for one to make a choice between the two options, one has to consider the available kitchen counter space they have and the budget they intend to use.

If the counter space is small, then definitely an over the range microwave would work for them. When it comes to finances, a regular microwave is more affordable. However, the best over the range microwave though less affordable comes in larger sizes thus providing the convenience of heating or cooking more food at once.

The Best Over the Range Microwaves

Whirlpool WML55011HS

The Whirlpool WML55011HS is a stainless over the range microwave which features a 1.1 Cu. Ft. Capacity with a power of 1000 Watts, a 300 CFM and a dimension of 30″ X 10 1/4″ X 18″.

Its sleek low profile design makes it fit perfectly over a stove. It runs quietly and has a pleasant-sounding alarm that goes off once it is finished with cooking.

For those who prefer to monitor a dish while it is heating or cooking, this microwave might not be the best option because the interior light is not bright enough. It emanates from a diode board which means that if it happens to fail, it might be harder to replace.

The user guide provided by the manufacturer gives a general overview and is not as detailed as you would expect so you will have to source a good electrician for installation should you buy it.

Generally, this microwave suits a light microwave user. It is possible to overwhelm the 300CFM if a lot of foodstuffs are burned. Overall, it is one of the best over the range of microwaves which is easy to clean and to maintain.

Frigidaire Gallery FGMV175QF

Just like the Whirlpool WML55011HS, the Frigidaire Gallery FGMV175QF is a 30″ 1.7 cu. ft. over the range microwave made of stainless steel which features a cooking power of 1,000 watts and a 300 CFM Ventilation.

It has additional features which include Sensor Cooking, Auto Reheat, and Multi-Stage Cooking. You can get all these features at an affordable price of $289.00.

The microwave is easy to install which is made possible by the well-detailed manual which comes with it. The presence of a sensor and auto heat capabilities makes it energy efficient and allows one to cook or heat food automatically.

The multi-stage cooking feature means one can set different cooking stages each at a different time and power level hence preventing food from drying out. It would not be the best choice for heating large plates of food.

A major downside, however, is the loud exhaust fan the loose door latch which if not handled carefully is bound to break. The timer keeps beeping annoyingly once the time is up though this might actually be beneficial if you have a hearing problem or if you are in a noisy environment.

Unfortunately, it does not heat food evenly and the oven is relatively slow. Though affordable, the price is probably the cause of its tendency to break down easily.

Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN966S

The microwave is made of stainless steel featuring a 2.2-cubic-foot capacity with a 1250-Watt high power. The internal dimensions are 10.94-inch x 18.44-inch x 18.50-inch. In addition, it has an Inverter Technology, Smart Cooking Settings with Genius Sensor and a Keep Warm Feature

The Panasonic Microwave Oven is popular in many homes owing to the fact that it has been in the market for a long time.

It features an inverter technology which makes it possible to control the temperature output by dialing in real power percentages, unlike most microwaves where the temperature output is an estimate.

It is quite large and has a child safety lock making it ideal for a large family with a child.

The genius sensor turns off the oven once the food has heated up or cooked. It also has a keep warm feature that keeps food warm until it is ready to serve.

Other features include 14 preset menu items, a quick-minute timer, and a delayed start.

Its downside has to do with the door. One has to press a button to unlock the door and then open it thus performing two tasks of opening the door. In most microwaves, the button performs the function of unlocking and opening the door. At the same time, the interior LED light is not bright enough for a person who wishes to monitor the cooking/heating process.

Compared to the other microwaves, the Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN966S is superior in that the cooking power and CFM are slightly higher.

It has other power additional features such as inverter technology and a sensor. Since it is relatively bigger, it is the best over the range microwave for a large family setting.


This over the range microwave by GE is intuitive and heats food quite fast owing to its 1050 Watts Of Cooking Power. It has a dimension of 29 15/16″ X 17 5/16″ X 16 5/32″, 2.1-cubic-foot capacity and features 10 power levels and a 400 CFM Venting.

The exhaust fan is quiet and strong on both low and high.

A downside is that it has no internal light to monitor what is cooking/heating. For people who like a spotlessly clean microwave, this microwave might be a turn off owing to the fact that the inside is dark grey making it hard to see dirt on it. Another issue which is quite a big deal is that the unit’s specifications state a height of 16 1/2 inch but in reality, it is 17 inches.

The 400CFM and relatively large capacity mean that it works well for many cooking needs. It is important to make note of the dimensions before purchasing to avoid any installation inconveniences.

Sharp R1874T 850W

This Over-the-Range Convection Microwave features a power of 850-watt and a convection microwave which browns, bakes, broils, crisps, and roasts. It has a 1.1-cubic-foot capacity with a 13-inch turntable which provides even heating. Its inner dimension is 13-13/16 by 8-1/16 by 17-1/8.

The installation manual comes with a cookbook that has wonderful recipes. The oven can be used to actually bake. To heat evenly, one has to create room for the turntable. Generally, it is suitable for use in an RV.

If the shipping distance is long, this microwave is not recommended because it is heavy and unfortunately its packing cannot be said to be the best given its weight.

The probability that it will arrive damaged is high because of the low-quality packaging. The broil feature does not broil as indicated on the specifications. However, it is good for baking and returns are acceptable should it turn out to be faulty.


The LG LMV2031ST has a 1000w power, 400 CFM venting system, a sensor, and an energy-saving key. It has a 2.0-cubic-foot capacity, therefore, it can accommodate a large plate.

The LG microwave sells at $279.99 on Amazon which is quite cheap as compared to other microwaves. It is easy to install because it has an installation template. It comes with an actual touchpad and the fan is quiet.

Though it has a sleek exterior, the interior is grey something that is not popular with people who prefer their microwaves spotless. It does not have a safety measure to prevent it from starting if the door is open.

The window is not large enough to see the interior clearly. The timer beeps only once thus if you are out of the room or if the place is noisy you may not hear and chances of forgetting that you were heating/cooking something are high.

The 400 CFM is quite powerful so you can be sure that kitchen odors will be well taken care of. It also has a spacious oven if your heating and cooling needs are many. This is a good bargain which comes at a relatively cheap price. This is the best over the range microwave to go for on a tight budget.

How to buy a 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.


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:

Tyler Lizenby/CNET


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

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


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



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


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.


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.

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


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.


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.


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

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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