You want a new microwave that doesn’t take up counter space or you are trying to replace your existing over-the-range (OTR) spacesaver microwave, but you’re not sure which one is best. A spacesaver microwave that mounts as a range hood is very convenient. A compact over the stove microwave not only performs the function of a range hood, but also provide convenient access over the range and oven where all your cooking and baking takes place.
What features and characteristics are desirable in a spacesaver microwave?
Your current range hood probably has a built-in fan and light. You should expect any OTR microwave to have a multi-speed fan and at least a built-in light if not more than one.
When your house was built, the builder could have routed an exhaust pipe from the range to outside to exhaust gasses put off by the stove. The installation could have been routed vertically to the top of the range hood or horizontally to the side of the range hood. Many OTR microwaves have the option of attaching to either a horizontal or vertical exhaust. Make sure your choice accommodates your installation. A third option that many apartment dwellers have to settle on is non-venting, ductless recirculation. In recirculating mode, the air is exhausted through a filter and back into the room. It’s obviously not the most desirable choice, but not everyone is lucky enough to be able to accommodate an outside vent.
You don’t really have a lot of choice when it comes to your OTR microwave’s size. It has to fill the space allowed perfectly or you may even need to purchase an optional filler kit. The filler kit is designed to fill the gaps on either side of the microwave between it and the cabinets. Fortunately, most over the range microwaves are large horizontally and so have large glass rotating platters to accommodate large dishes. Where they often fall short is in vertical height due to the need to allow space between the microwave and the stove. You may find that your new microwave has a narrower vertical interior height than you would like.
This can vary widely by microwave. Just because your microwave will have a large platter for large dishes doesn’t mean that the microwave manufacturer gave you enough power to cook large food items as quickly as you would like. A 1000-watt microwave or larger will give you plenty of power to cook just about anything you would like.
Most microwave ovens come with an industry standard set of features that includes variable power settings (not inverter) and programmable cooking settings. You should take a look at the features and make sure the list covers the ones that interest you most.
Although we didn’t put this at the front of the list, the design and color of the microwave will undoubtedly be one of the most important considerations in your choice. Microwaves follow a pretty standard set of design criteria with respect to the layout of the microwave’s door and controls. They almost all have the controls on the right and the microwave compartment on the left with the door swinging to the left. Color choices typically include black, white, and stainless steel if there is a choice at all.
At the end of the day you will most likely have a few different choices that meet your feature requirements and the final verdict will be based on price. Besides the manufacturer’s retail price, you may be able to find the microwave you want on sale, used, or refurbished at a lower price so you should be on the lookout for that situation.
We found a top rated over-the-range microwave oven from Sharp USA that meets all of our criteria and comes in black or white. We would have preferred stainless steel for our kitchen, but a lot of folks have white or black appliances these days. The Sharp Carousel microwave we found is also a great value.
Take a look and see if this OTR microwave from Sharp USA is the best microwave oven for your needs!
Spacesaver Microwave: Over-the-Range OTR Microwave Oven Buying Tips
You want to save counter space and gain the convenience of having the microwave right where all the other cooking is done; over the stove. The Sharp R-1406 950W OTR Microwave in White has all the options you would expect from a modern microwave, mounts neatly above the range with flexible mounting options, and is a great value. Some of its outstanding features include a 950 watts of power, a Minute-Plus function, an industry-leading 14-1/8-inch turntable size, Auto Touch controls, Programmable Cooking, 10 variable power settings, and a reasonable 1-Year warranty. Here’s what you need to know about this Sharp microwave.
- Clean-lined, 950W, 1-2/5 cu. ft. (1.4 cu. ft.) OTR white microwave oven
- Three convenient venting installation options including vertical, horizontal, and non-venting, ductless recirculation
- Class-leading 14-1/8-inch Sharp Carousel glass turntable can hold up to 9 x 13 inch dish
- Pre-programmed 12 automatic cooking settings
- 10 variable power levels give you the flexibility to get good results every time
- Minute Plus function sets microwave at highest power with one touch
- Reheat center has 4 built-in functions including dinner plate, beverage, rolls & muffins, and soup
- Built-in Cook Center produces up to 6 servings of perfectly cooked popular foods automatically including baked potatoes, fresh vegetables, frozen vegetables, and frozen entrees
- Quickly defrost meats and poultry by weight using the Defrost Center which includes automatic settings for ground meat, steaks/chops, boneless poultry, and bone-in poultry
- Auto-touch panel with precise controls makes time and power level selection easy and fast
- Easy-to-read 5-digit, 2-color lighted display
- Precise programming with 5-digit, 2-color lighted display
- Perfect popcorn popping using automatic popcorn key regardless of package size or brand
- 11 variable power levels
- Up to 3 programmable cooking stages
- Built-in kitchen timer
- Built-in work light and single-speed exhaust fan
- Child safety lock
- Microwave alarm can be muted
- Dimensions are 33.1 x 19.3 x 15.6 inches and weighs 55 lbs.
- 7-Year limited warranty on magnetron tube, 1-Year limited warranty on other parts, 1-Year labor warranty, and in-home service included
- Good value
- Easy to install
- Modern design
- Many cooking features
- Only single-speed fan
- Some complaints of too much plastic
- Can’t mute keypad sounds
Over the Range Microwave Installation Video
Spacesaver Microwave Comparison Chart
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As always, thanks for reading our MicrowaveOvenCentral.com post! We sincerely hope that it has given you valuable information that helps you choose the best spacesaver microwave for your needs!