How Do I Choose the Best over-The-Range Microwave?

Patti Kate

When choosing an over-the-range microwave, consider how much space you have to work with. Measure the top of your range so you can find a perfect fit. You should also compare the features and costs of several models before making your final decision. Determine how much power you'd prefer your over-the-range microwave to have. Also, be sure to choose a color that coordinates with your kitchen.

Microwaves should be measured before purchasing.
Microwaves should be measured before purchasing.

Shopping for an over-the-range microwave can offer many options, and there are several manufacturers to choose from. You should choose a brand name that is well established and known for manufacturing microwaves and household appliances. Also look for a company with a good record of customer service.

A microwave should come equipped with a rotating turntable, so as to facilitate even cooking.
A microwave should come equipped with a rotating turntable, so as to facilitate even cooking.

If you cook large meals, consider the interior of the over-the-counter microwave. Choose a microwave that has sufficient cooking space. If you're concerned about saving time when you cook, buy a microwave with high wattage. More power will enable you to cook food faster.

In addition to fast cooking, you'll want to be sure your food is cooked evenly. If your over-the-range microwave does not include a turntable, the food may not cook evenly unless you rotate the pan. A glass turntable is easy to clean and durable.

While an over-the-range microwave will save counter space, some models also offer a two-level wire rack for doubling your cooking capacity. A microwave with a twin cooking rack is helpful when preparing large meals. You'll want to be sure that your pans and dishes are not too large for the rack, however.

Consider the various settings of a microwave and which may be helpful for you. If you tend to melt butter or cream cheese, a one-touch low setting can be helpful. Defrost settings are important if you want to quickly thaw your frozen poultry and other meat.

An over-the-range microwave will typically come with an exhaust fan. The exhaust fan is designed to dissipate cooking odors, and some microwaves have fans with two or three speeds. Many models will also feature a built-in light, as well as automatic shut off for the fan.

Before selecting your new over-the-range microwave, be sure to read consumer reviews. The ratings can help you determine which model to choose or what issues other consumers have had with a particular model. Reading reviews may also help you determine if customer service is satisfactory.

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