The Best Above-Stove Microwaves
During the past 40 years, microwave ovens have become an increasingly indispensable home appliance. Today, most kitchens feature either a countertop or built-in microwave unit. One type of built-in microwave, known as above-stove or above-the-range microwave, frees up valuable counter space and includes an exhaust fan to vent or filter odors, steam and smoke from the cooking surface. Before investing in an above-stove microwave, consider these models, recommended by expert testers and consumers.
GE Profile JVM1790WK
GE microwaves lead the way in innovative technology, according to the Consumer Reports website, which cites the company's sales dominance in both countertop and over-the-range models. The GE Profile JVM1790WK fits into any kitchen color scheme, offering bisque, white, black and stainless versions of this over-the-range convection microwave. This microwave features 17 cubic feet of cooking capacity with 1,000 watts of power on the microwave setting and 1,500 watts in convection mode. This above-stove microwave includes a three-speed exhaust fan, a turntable, two wire racks and automatic cooking sensor settings.
Kenmore Elite 8601
Sears' large selection of above-stove microwaves includes the Kenmore Elite 8601. The Elite 8601 earned a 5-star rating on the My Sears Community website based on user reviews. The 17-cubic-foot appliance handles conventional microwave cooking and switches gears to roast meats and bake bread as a convection oven. It will also cook in microwave-convection combination mode The Kenmore 8601 removes cooking odors and smoke, thanks to a 300-cubic-feet-per-minute ventilation system with five speed settings. This over-the-range unit has a Soften & Melt setting for jobs such as softening butter and ice cream or melting chocolate without fear of creating a liquid mess. Additional features include removable cooking racks, six auto cook settings and preprogrammed custom settings.
Whirlpool bills this 17-cubic-foot over-the-range model as a family capacity microwave that holds four dinner-sized plates at one time. A special setting eliminates the need for a separate warming drawer in the kitchen. The warm-hold feature will keep plates heated using only 10 percent of the unit's power. Not sure how long to cook that frozen pizza? The 6th Sense cooking sensor will adjust the cooking time and temperature based on the food's humidity level. The Whirlpool WMH2175XVS has preprogrammed settings and a recessed turntable that can be turned off to take advantage of the oven's full capacity Consumer Reports likes the Whirlpool Velos design exhaust system, saying it "removes smoke better than any over-the-range model we've tested".
The Samsung SMH9187ST boasts a large oven capacity of 18 cubic feet of cooking area to accommodate full meals. The quiet ventilation rids the room of fumes, odors and steam without the noise of conventional exhaust fans. Defrosting food in a microwave seldom works as planned. Some parts remain frozen and others partially cook. With this microwave, the Rapid Defrost feature thaws foods quickly and uniformly, eliminating the guesswork and unpleasant surprises. The large capacity means more power. The Samsung SMH9187ST uses 1,100 watts with a variety of preprogrammed automated cooking modes.