The name says it all: a microwave oven that is installed directly above the stove. It can function as a range hood as well as a full-featured microwave oven.
Over range microwaves have been in existence for many years. They were originally a space-saving smaller type of microwave with limited functions and features. As with all appliances, they served a minimal purpose for a time. However, new technology has changed the designs of over range microwaves to be more competitive to the counter models. No longer is the microwave oven glass turntable the exciting thing about it because it’s now more than just a countertop appliance.
Current over the range microwaves share many of the same functions of convection, grilling, and defrosting while remaining the space-saving appliance that are quite affordable and energy efficient. The desire of consumers has created a new class of microwaves for the over the range, meeting all the needs for fast and time-saving cooking for busy lifestyles. Even touch screen remote controls have been added on as a feature in many of these models.
Top 5 Over the Range Convection Microwave Oven
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What Things Should You Take Into Consideration Before Purchasing an Over-the-Range Microwave Oven?
The Size – These microwaves come in many sizes and at least a dozen popular brands. Before you buy an over the range microwave, you should decide which size is best for you. Do you do a lot of complete meal cooking or do you use it mainly to reheat frozen items or leftovers? Buying a bigger microwave than you need is rarely troublesome, but if you buy one that is too small, you’ll be very unhappy as well as inconvenienced.
Price – You can get an over the range microwave in price ranges that are very wide and diverse, so there’s something for everyone.
Family Member – You should also look ahead if you are expecting a child or grandchild, as that means larger meals or more frequent family gatherings.
Color and Materials – There are enough different features that you’re sure to find one that has exactly what you need. Better still, they look as if they are part of the kitchen even if they are added after remodeling. They come in stainless steel, black or white (and sometimes you can find red) so they will match your other kitchen décor without clashing with or ruining your color scheme.
One-Touch Feature – You’ll find that most over the range microwave models have a lot of convenient features, including one-touch cooking.
One touch cooking is a feature you should consider if you have a busy life; you can heat up a frozen dinner or casserole or defrost meats and other dishes without having to go by trial and error. Just one touch and your meals are done, leaving you time to do other things. You should get one with more than just buttons for potatoes, beverages, and popcorn.
Top 10 Over the Range Microwave Ovens Reviews
The GE JVM316 is an ideal microwave for heating up various types of food. Many users report that it has more settings than any other over-the-range microwave they have seen. If your household contains a diverse amount of things that need to be heated up and you do not trust yourself enough to use your oven or stove, the JVM316 can take care of that for you easily. One of the best things about the JVM316 is that it can be vented through the top or the front of the microwave, which gives you some freedom in how you want to install it. This also means if you already have a microwave oven cavity in your home, you won’t have that many problems figuring out which way it should go in.
The turntable inside can be removed, so it is easy to clean as well. There are some things to be desired about the JVM316, however. A number of users have reported that because it is so heavy (it does weigh 63 lbs), it runs the risk of arriving with a dent or three, from either mishandling of the package it came in, or the package itself bouncing around in the delivery truck. Also, the door window is made of glass, which of course can break. GE has a one-year warranty on anything major, so keep that in mind when getting the JVM316.
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The food settings for the LMV2031 are not as diverse as typical microwaves, as it only has settings for popcorn. Still, it has quite a few options of cook times. It has an adjustable power level, there is a button that lets you add 30 seconds, a defrost option, as well as an option to use the turntable or not. It has the same light and fan options as other over-the-range microwaves as well. One of the better things about the LMV2013 is that it has a fan with three speeds which can be very useful while cooking something on the stove. Users report that the fan is quite powerful as well.
Unfortunately, some users have also complained about the touchpad. There is no plastic coating around the touchpad like with most microwaves. Instead, the touchpad is glass, so not only is it breakable, but it also is sensitive to the condensation that steam from cooking things in the kitchen can produce. One precaution you will definitely need to take when installing this is that you will likely need to clean the touchpad quite a bit for it to keep working well, especially after using it.
Tons of options come with the JVM7195. It has settings for popcorn and even for a potato, has five different “express cook” settings which you can program yourself, you can switch the turntable use on and off, and even mute the keypad if you wish. Along with the typical defrost option, it also has a melt and reheat mode. When you use these options, the microwave will tell you to enter the weight of whatever you want to defrost, melt, or reheat, and it will time it for you.
The JVM7195 is perfect for someone who is too lazy to determine cook times and just wants to use preset times, as there are plenty of options for them. Another fantastic thing about it is that it has a light that will go on if you need to replace the charcoal filter. The downside of the JVM7195 is that although it does have a fan, it only has one setting. Another complaint users had was that there were too many buttons on it; if they wanted to just manually start, stop, or reset the timer, it was difficult to do because of this.
Along with the usual settings, the FGMV176 by Frigidaire has quite a few food-specific settings, which is pretty rare for an over-the-range microwave. It does this at the expense of a couple of quick start settings, which this microwave only has three (the 4, 5, and 6 key, in specific). The fan and lights have three settings a piece (off/low/high), but there is no reset option, just a “stop” key. While it does have food specific options, which is nice, some of those options are rather confusing. Take, for example, the “snacks” preset.
The other presets, “potato,” “popcorn,” and “veggies” are all very specific. The “snacks” preset is not. It has nine separate power levels, which is fine, but with all the presets and temperature specific buttons such as “melt/soften,” how useful are those nine separate power levels really? In all probability, you will probably just leave this microwave on one or two specific power levels.
One thing that is immediately noticeable about the R1874T by Sharp is that it is a convection microwave as well as a traditional microwave. It has all the settings that a traditional microwave does but it can also bake, broil, roast, and brown food as well as reheat it. That is perhaps the best thing about it. It’s a wonderful microwave convection oven toaster that is a welcome addition to any kitchen. Many people who use it report that it is very effective when in an RV, motorhome, or other vehicles that are meant for travel as well as living.
However, the best thing about it is probably the worst thing about it; these same users also state that it is not a proper substitute for an oven or any other appliance that bakes or broils. The crux of this complaint seems to be the turntable, which needs ample room for the food you wish to cook to rotate. This limits the size of the things you wish to bake or brown in the R1874T. Another issue is cleaning and other maintenance. If you indeed wish to use the R1874T as a regular microwave as well as a replacement for an oven, you will probably need to clean it as well as replace the filters and fans more often.
The LMV2031ST by LG has a bit more automatic food specific settings than the usual field of over-the-range microwaves. Along with the usual settings for popcorn and potatoes, it also has a preset for pizza and frozen entrees. It also comes with an auto cook and auto reheat function that you can program yourself.
Another good thing about the LMV2031ST is that many users report that it has a lot more space than most others of its kind. However, there is one thing that it does not have, and that is express cook presets. They seem to have been replaced by the food specific presets (pizza and frozen entrees) which may not be ideal for people who would rather assign different express cook times to different types of food.
7. Universal Stainless Steel Over the Range L Shaped Microwave Fill Filler Kit – Fills a 36″ Wide by 15-3/4″ Tall Spot MF3-SS by Imperial
The filler kit, by Imperial, is not an over-the-range microwave itself, but rather an accessory to fill whatever gap is between your microwave and your cupboards. It is an “L” shaped structure that fits this gap to accomplish a number of things.
The first thing it can accomplish is hold the microwave in place. Even though over-the-range microwaves are installed very securely, if there is a gap, it runs the risk of having the microwave come loose and fall because it is not completely balanced. The filler kit can help prevent that, especially if you have just replaced your microwave and the new one is smaller than your last one.
Another purpose of it is that it can be used as a bookshelf, which is possible if you install them backwards. The one drawback of the filler kit is that users report that they are difficult to install, as the screws necessary are very small.
8. Whirlpool WMH31017HS Microwave
The Whirlpool WMH31017HS is an excellent over-the-range choice if you’re going for a medium size with great power. With a largish capacity of 1.7 cubic feet, it uses 1000 watts of energy to heat up and cook all the food you want. There are electronic touch controls and the usual microwave presets available, with an option to add 30 seconds while the turntable plate is spinning.
You’ll also appreciate the two-speed fan and the adjustable lighting this microwave offers. With the turntable plate being dishwasher-safe and the electronic touch controls being completely flat, cleanup is a breeze. Simply pop the plate in the dishwasher and wipe down the unit with a damp cloth.
However, there are certain issues which aren’t exactly dealbreakers but could be annoying. These include the fan being quite loud and the exterior light acting up after some months. Plus, some users don’t like the fact that you have to manually start this unit after entering the cooking time. Still, this microwave will give you just the right heat setting and time you need for your defrosting and cooking needs.
The ME16H by Samsung is a smaller microwave, only weighing a little over 45 lbs, but it is powerful, using 1000 watts. It does not have presets assigned to numbers but rather a list of presets at the top of the touchscreen right under the clock for popcorn, potato, pizza, and vegetables. It also has auto defrost and soften/melt presets, which is common for an over-the-range microwave.
A couple of unique and good things about the ME16H is that it has an eco mode as well as a built-in kitchen timer. So if you do not want to use a timer of your own when you are using the stove top or the oven, you can simply use the kitchen timer that is built into the ME16H.
There are a couple of drawbacks, however. Most over-the-range microwaves have an online installation guide that can be downloaded. The ME16H has other guides but no installation guide. Also, some users have been reporting that it has stopped working after over a year of use. This may be due to the fact that it is small yet powerful.
The very first thing that one will notice about the JVM3160, by GE, is the design. It is completely black and is one of the most aesthetically pleasant-looking microwaves on the market. It looks like it could fit in at any home. Most other microwaves do not stand out like this.
Another great thing about the JVM3160 is that it has a lot of preset keys. It has six express cook keys (numbers 1-6), presets for popcorn, potatoes, vegetables, and even beverages. The fact that it has a preset key for beverages sets it apart from pretty much all other microwaves. Additionally, there are five downloadable guides for it.
There are a couple of annoying things about it that users have reported, however. The JVM3160 has a heat sensor built into it that will go off if temperatures get too high in the kitchen. If you are cooking something on the stove or oven that gets too hot, it will likely go off. Some other users reported that the door handle is extremely flimsy and does have a risk of snapping off.
How was the Microwave Oven Invented?
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Percy L. Spencer was granted the patent for the Microwave oven in January 1950, courtesy of the Southwest Museum of Engineering Communications and Computations.
Microwaves were not really discovered by Dr. Spencer as they exist naturally, but applying the technology surrounding microwave energy to the heating of organic material was.
In similar fashion to many of the discoveries of this world, the microwave oven was a by-product of research being undertaken in another area, and this was radar-related research during 1947.TAKE A LOOK HERE TO SEE THE RESULT
The Melting Chocolate Bar
Percy Spencer, who was a self-taught engineer in these technologies, was working on the radar technology with the Raytheon Corporation.
Percy noticed something very strange when he was working on a new vacuum tube that is called a magnetron. When the magnetron was energized and he was standing close enough to it, the chocolate bar in his pocket started to melt! So then, being very curious, he placed some popcorn kernels close to the magnetron and energized it again, and standing back watched as the popcorn popped around his laboratory bench.
By this time, Percy’s colleagues were very curious as well with his discovery. The next morning, with his colleagues standing about, Percy placed an egg close to the Magnetron and as usual, turned on the power. Well, the rapid buildup of temperature within the egg was causing it to move, and one very curious colleague moved in for a closer look only to be covered in cooked egg when it exploded because of the tremendous build-up of internal pressure!
To Percy, the evidence was substantial – the melting chocolate, the popping popcorn, and the exploding egg pointed to one thing: low-density microwave energy was capable of cooking organic materials! Obviously, after these exciting events, further experiments were planned to try and understand the nature of this discovery.
Percy fashioned a metal box with a hole in it so that he could feed in the microwave power. Now the microwaves entering the box could escape, and this had the effect of increasing the density of the electromagnetic field. When food was introduced into the metal box, it was observed that the increase in temperature of the food was very rapid indeed. These necessary experiments were to become the basis of an invention that was going to revolutionize cooking and form the foundation for a multi-million dollar industry – the microwave oven.
Some Features of Over Stove Microwave
These Over Stove Microwave have some unique features. Though they are built to be installed over stoves, a minimum gap is required between the microwave cabinet and the stove. The gap should be of about 45”.
The next procedure includes preparing the space where the microwave will fit in. The typical measurements are 30” in width and 12” in breadth. You need the help of someone who knows how to install them or otherwise you may face some problems while doing it yourself. Moreover, while installing the over-the-stove microwave, you may want to consider this quick suggestion. Relocate your stove from its original position and place it back after you’re done with the installation. By doing so, you have so much more space to work with. You can now freely and make all the arrangements in an ordered manner and make sure that the microwave can fit in the space above your stove.
How to install the over the stove microwave
This paragraph will explain the different steps in installing over-the-stove microwave machines. The different steps are as follows:
- The first, and foremost, a task which you must never forget is to switch off all the electrical appliances along with it all the electrical connections in the kitchen before you start installing the microwave device. This is also applicable for all items that may accidentally switch the power on. Thus, reexamine the kitchen again and again for surer results.
- The next step is to measure the dimensions of the microwave device. Otherwise, you cannot make the cabinet required for its storage. What you need to do next is to draw a double horizontal line on the walls and make it as far below from the ceiling as you can.
- The next step is tracing the studs along the lines, and the best you can do is use a stud finder and see through the point where the light penetrates.
- The next task for you is to place the mounting plate of the over-the-stove microwave and place the holes just above the studs. Drill the holes where you want to put the screws. Make the holes narrower when you get near the microwave.
- The next task needs a little bit of a caring attitude. This step is raising the microwave on the mounting plates. In this step, you will need the assistance of another person and clip the microwave to the vent ducts in the ceiling.
- The next step is reconnecting all the wires. Connect the wires from the microwave to the electrical wires and your microwave is finally ready to use. You can now turn on the power again.
Things to keep in mind while buying
There are many types of devices available in the market today. So there are certain things that you need to consider before buying one. So do make market research on the items and then go to buy one. Make sure you do some research and check out some reviews before you go to buy one. You can also but these types of microwave devices from the internet these days. This process saves you both time and effort.
Final Thoughts on the Best Over the Range Microwave
In many modern houses, there aren’t plenty of spaces available so you need to make some arrangements that will reduce the space needed to keep one item. The over-the-stove microwave is such an arrangement that saves space and at the same time, keeps your food healthy and warm.
There are many things that a microwave oven can do that even a deluxe toaster oven can’t. Besides providing a way to heat and cook food faster, over-the-range microwaves can provide a home more kitchen counter space because it is designed to utilize the space above your stove.
On top of the fact that microwave ovens are designed to cook food faster, thus, saving you more money, some models with the inverter microwave technology are even more energy efficient.
There really is so much more than this easy to install kitchen appliance can do, and through convection ventilation, it also serves as an exhaust and range hood for your stove when you cook.
While anybody can argue that many kitchen appliances can do the things that a microwave oven can do, nobody can really say that it doesn’t guarantee convenience in fast meals. Especially today, when many people are so busy with work.
In the end, make sure that you get one that is best suited to your needs and your kitchen. Because only then can you say that you’ve got the best over the range microwave.