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The Best Over The Range Microwave Oven

Last updated on February 28, 2024
Best Over The Range Microwave Oven

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Over The Range Microwave Ovens

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Strong Contender

Frigidaire Over the Range Microwave, 1000-Watts

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval


Over the Range Microwave, 1000-Watts

This Frigidaire Over the Range Microwave, 1000-Watts offers a super sleek and modern option for your kitchen. With countless settings for presets and a bright digital display, you'll have no problems figuring out how to use this microwave.

Overall Take

Modern AppearanceStyle and function in one is what you'll find in the Frigidaire Over the Range Microwave, 1000-Watts.

 Best Overall

Panasonic Countertop/Built-In Microwave, 1250-Watts


Countertop/Built-In Microwave, 1250-Watts

The Panasonic Countertop/Built-In Microwave, 1250 Watts is rated the best overall by consumers for its high-power cooking that saves time. The microwave also cooks food extremely evenly and the power settings allow you to increase decrease the strength depending on the food. In addition, the sensor can adjust the cook time based off the amount of s...

Overall Take

PowerfulThe Panasonic Countertop/Built-In Microwave, 1250-Watts is at the top of its game. This unit is sleek and modern, too.

 Stylish Pick

GE Over the Range Microwave, 1000-Watts


Over the Ran Microwave, 1000-Watts

Find all you need in the GE Over The Range Microwave 1000 Watts with easy-to-use settings and a sleek, modern appearance. The GE JVM3160RFSS offers a variety of colors to complement any kitchen décor and the cooking options include potatoes, popcorn, and beverages in addition to the amount of each item. You can’t go wrong with this user-friendly...

Overall Take

Color Choices GaloreNo matter the style of your kitchen, this GE Over the Range Microwave, 1000-Watts comes in a color to complement it.

 Also Great

GE Over the Range Microwave Oven, 1000-Watts


Over the Ran Microwave Oven, 1000-Watts

For a great value, the GE Over the Range Microwave Oven, 1000 Watts is the way to go. With ten power settings, defrost and preset buttons for popcorn and potatoes, you can do it all in this microwave. In addition, the unit is easy to install and made of sturdy materials for a long life.

Overall Take

Handy MicrowaveThe GE Over the Range Microwave Oven, 1000-Watts cooks up almost anything in a flash.

Buying Guide

Do you rely heavily on a microwave to make your life in the kitchen a little easier? Is your current microwave taking up valuable prep space on your counters? If you’ve answered yes, then consider purchasing an over-the-range microwave to free up that countertop for other things. You can find an affordable unit with ease and be on your way to having an abundance of counter space for prepping.

To start, you might be wondering how an over the range microwave vents. Your countertop microwave usually vents out the top or sides and you must leave clearance around it to accommodate the vents. With an over the range unit, you’ll most likely have the top and sides all covered by the cabinets around it. So sometimes, with a unit that is over the range, a recirculating vent is built into the unit itself. The concept is that the vent draws the odor or moisture coming off the stove through an internal filter and blows it back out into the kitchen. It can be made of many different types of filters, but one type is a charcoal filter. These charcoal filters will need frequent replacing, between six and twelve months to keep the ventilation system working at its best. The GE 1.7 Cu. Ft. Over-The-Range Microwave even comes with a recirculating charcoal filter kit for non-vented applications. For a better ventilation system, you’ll need a contractor to create a ventilation system to the outdoors that connects to your microwave. This will help to keep all the odors from smoke and cooking at a minimum. The Panasonic Countertop/Built-In Microwave is a unit that can be interchangeable with the correct installation.

Now that you know a bit about the ventilation systems on an over the range microwave, let’s see what features you want to look for in a good unit. Julie Chernoff, a culinary expert and member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, offers a few things to consider when looking for the best. First, she recommends looking for a retail option that offers free installation, which is sometimes offered with pricier models. You’ll also want to consider size.  “Size is an important consideration with any microwave, but with an over the range model, you also have to consider height,” Chernoff says. If you are one for reheating coffee or only using the microwave for popcorn, you don’t need a huge microwave, but for reheating large casseroles, you’ll want a bit more in size and in strength. The Panasonic Microwave offers 2.2 cubic feet of space and 1250 watts for power.

One more tip from Chernoff is to find a microwave that is easy to use and has a display that is easy to read. As simple as it sounds, some microwaves are not so user-friendly. The GE JVM3160EFES and the GE JVM3160DFBB are both 30-inch over the range microwaves that are extremely straightforward for users. They feature preset buttons for common foods such as popcorn, a minute timer setting and a turntable setting. It won’t take long to figure out these microwaves.

Find a microwave with the features that matter most to you. This will give you a customized unit that will do exactly what you need it to. There are several options to go as fancy or as simple as you need when it comes to finding the best over the range microwave for your lifestyle.

Our Expert Consultant

Julie Chernoff
Culinary Expert

Julie Chernoff is a long-time member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (past president of the Chicago Chapter, and current co-chair of the LDEI Legacy Awards Committee), the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Chernoff is the dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. Her journalism started in the test kitchens of Weight Watchers Magazine. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has spent the last few decades styling, photographing, teaching, developing recipes, editing, thinking and writing about food.

What to Look For

  • Be sure to measure your space above the range before buying your microwave unit.
  • Decide what type of exhaust you want to use.
  • Compare cubic feet per minute rating of the fan between different models.
  • If choosing a recirculating exhaust option, learn how to change the filter.
  • Make a list of the most important features before shopping to help you narrow down the units in your price range.
  • If you are conscientious of the environment, check the microwave’s “green” rating.

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