Best over the Range Microwave

This the best over the range microwave and over 100 were reviewed. Also, I bought 2 of these in different price ranges. This article also includes all the things to look for in your best over the range microwave. This is a part of our Food Equipment & Tools category.

What is an Over The Range Microwave?

An OTR (Over the Range) Microwave is a microwave that is over the stovetop. It replaces the vent hood because the bottom part of this kind of microwave has an exhaust fan built-in. Most common widths are 30-inches and most cabinets or vent hoods over the stove burners allow for putting in an OTR microwave.

Adjust you width accordingly to match your needs. However, there are still some “off sizing” dimensions in peoples’ homes so it’s best to measure the width, depth, and height spaces you would have available if you removed the vent hood. Also, the OTR microwave requires a back wall to mount to so, if you have an island type of stovetop with no back wall, you’ll need a specialty type of microwave instead of these standard fit OTR units.

We have tips and reminders of what to look for in features and functions so keep reading. Also, we have the best countertop microwave list at the end.

What do you look for in the best over the range microwave?

This answer dictated the microwave over the range reviews process in selecting the best choice. Well over 100 microwaves were studied, including specs and customer opinions. While every individual has unique requirements, there is a set of specifications that are more popular overall than others. For example, colors are not considered. But, having a reasonably appealing design was considered very important. It was decided there was no need to have something like “10 best microwaves” on the list. There’s only 1 “best” for each price range. So, in our microwave over the range reviews, here’s what we considered.

FAN Specifications in the best over the range microwave

  • It must be able to exhaust outside or inside.
  • Speed must be minimum 300 CFM (cubic feet per minute). Preference is 400 CFM.
  • Minimum 3 speeds

Width and Depth Requirements in the best over the range microwave

  • It must be available in a standard width of 30-inches.
  • It must not protrude out too far from wall (max depth 17-inches).

Power Needs of the best over the range microwave

  • Wattage: 900 – 1300 watts
  • Adjustable power

Control Panel & Lighting Features of the best over the range microwave

  • Lighting over range
  • Cabin lighting
  • Control Panel backlighting

Control Panel desired options for the best over the range microwave

  • Reheat, Defrost
  • Baked Potato, Popcorn
  • + 30 seconds (extended cooking time)
  • Sensor cook, reheat
  • Keep warm

Other Desired Factors of the best over the range microwave

  • Turntable: minimum 12 inches
  • Price Ranges: $300-$500, $500-$800
  • Cooking space interior: Minimum 1.5 cubic feet
  • Other additional features not listed on requirements can add weight to decision

Importance of the Fan Exhaust Speed

So, with the above minimums, there is a Weak Fan Speed as the number one issue with many good OTR microwaves. They were around 200 CFM. Those manufacturers seemed to focus on quiet fans and would say that they were powerful when, in fact, they might not be very powerful. This was a huge surprise so, in looking over the best microwave over the range reviews, at least look at the fan’s CFM. Apparently, this must be a manufacturer’s expensive option to include, as there were surprisingly other superior features in some otherwise very good microwaves.

Over The Range Microwave High CFM

By the time we went through over 100 microwaves, that’s when this trend of low speed fans was discovered. Due to marketing, an average consumer focuses on the visible features and functions of the unit and not the fan. Since there are so many functions of today’s microwaves, it’s not easy choosing. We know from experience that 200 CFM is not enough to reduce smoking or smelly foods quick enough from the kitchen. This is one reason that lingering odors exist the following day so, it can be significant.

In reading through hundreds of microwave over the range reviews, it was noticed that many consumers wanted the quieter fans, and rightfully so. Reviews showed, in the quite fan achievement, they weren’t very powerful. It appears that the 300-400 CFM fans are going to be louder than the more common 200 CFM fans. If you insist on a quieter fan, you can always get the 300-400 CFM fan and just mostly keep it down to a quieter 200 CFM slower speed. It’s nice to know those few times you need a powerful fan, it will be there.

Do I need a Charcoal Filter? Big surprise (keep reading)

Many manufacturers will talk up their feature of a charcoal filtered filter. However, if your over the range microwave exhausts the air outside, that internal charcoal filter isn’t used.

The standard, internal double filters over the cooktop are typically cleaned with hot water spraying and are reusable. However, the single filter that’s often the charcoal one is for the top vent for when the air is exhausted back into the kitchen. That’s the filter you have to replace once or twice a year if you don’t exhaust to outside venting.

The Latest Trend in Control Panels: Backlit Display?

One of the recent trends is that the Control Panels either have limited backlighting or they’ll have none. That’s correct… None. But that’s not all so, read further. We noticed that many models didn’t mention anything about backlit displays so, if it was in the final selections, we spent time to download and read user manuals in case the marketing people didn’t think to promote it. And yes, surprisingly, there were some.

Typically, NONE have a full backlit display! Of the few that had one, it was often minimal backlit items.

We saw several models that stated they had control panels with backlit displays. But, in downloading the user guide and reading through it, a surprise revealed that the thing with the backlit display was the clock and the cooking times and power. That was quite revealing to double-check what the marketing person’s interpretation of backlit display was. Backlit displays is something that we think a lot of people tend to overlook until afterword (at night when the kitchen light’s off), in reading loads of microwave over the range reviews.

Convection Feature

Some models have the convection oven as an added feature. Others show air fryer, broiler, and so on. There are pros and cons to having any of these. While it might be thought of as picking one unit over another to buy, you’ll want to think it through and ask yourself how often will you use it.

So, continuing through this thought process, if you want to use the microwave function right after its convection oven usage, you’ll need to wait awhile. You’ll need to remove the hot metal shelf first and you might have to let it cool down, depending on the container you’re wanting to microwave.

Another thing to think through on this, is that your next full-sized oven will potentially have this convection function so, do you need 2 convection ovens in the future? The current trend on kitchen full-sized ovens is an increase of having a convection and air fryer feature built-in.

Now, on the featured benefit side, having a convection oven in a microwave means you don’t have to heat up the big oven.

Another one is that it can be an extension of your current oven such as for entertaining or holiday meals. Just ensure you check the power consumption required for that feature as it might differ than the power consumption of standard microwave usage.

The Best Above Range Microwave – 2 Price Brackets

After all the microwave over the range reviews, the example model numbers below reference a particular color and width but, it provides enough information that you can select your own specific model in that category.

Winner: Best Microwave Over the Range Reviews – 1st Place ($300-$500)

Samsung ME19R7041FW

  • Fan 400 CFM
  • Touch controls, reduced backlit
  • 1.9 cubic feet
Samsung 300x300 1


Samsung ME19R7041FW. Winner for low price range.

Biggest reviews complaint is no backlit display beyond the LED clock/timer, as shown. Still has lots of features not commonly found in this price range.

Winner for Mid Price Range – 1st Place ($500-$800)

Whirlpool 1 300x300 1
Whirlpool 1 300×300 1

Whirlpool WMH78019HW

  • Fan: 400 CFM
  • Tap touch controls, most are backlit!
  • Convection Oven
  • 1.9 cubic feet

Winner: Best Countertop Microwave ($50-$200)

Best Countertop Microwave: Magic Chef

This is a bonus addition to this best microwave over the range reviews article. The Magic Chef model HMM1110W is the best countertop microwave for this price.

  • 1.1 cubic feet
  • 1,000 watts power
  • presets for potatoes
  • +30 seconds added cook time
  • turntable


So, if looking for a microwave, whether newly adding or replacing, you have some of the key functions and features to consider. You’ve learned about a key aspect of the venting fan and common speeds.

And, you also know now to think about the future of the kitchen oven, as some of the touted features of microwaves, are trending to also be features of full-sized ovens, in case you might be replacing the oven relatively soon.

Automatic sensors in microwaves are a huge time saver. Also, automatic sensors are used frequently.

Visit™ for some Speedy, Easy, and Tasty recipes. Some of our recipes will reference reheating or defrosting in microwaves. And some recipes will reference cooking in the microwave such as these. Here are some you can consider for either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *