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Best Overall: GE JNM3163DJBB 1.6 cu. ft. Over-the-Range Microwave
For an over-the-range microwave that combines function and value, this GE model is a popular option. This microwave has 1.6 cubic feet of interior space and includes both express cook settings and convenience cooking modes (for items like popcorn and potatoes). An "Add 30 Sec" button is useful for tacking on extra cook time or for giving your coffee a quick warm-up. With 1,000 watts of power, this microwave performs well and heats food thoroughly.
Available in black, stainless steel, or white finishes, this microwave will make a handy addition when it's installed above your cooktop. The onboard 300 CFM vent fan helps to dispel smoke and odors from your cooktop, and you can select from two fan speed settings. Reviewers appreciate that the surface light has two brightness settings as well.
Best with Sensor Cooking: GE Profile 2.1 cu. ft. Over-the-Range Microwave in Stainless Steel with Sensor Cooking
Over-the-range microwaves with sensor cooking provide efficient heating and reliable results. This GE Profile model combines sensor cooking technology with other microwave must-haves, like a variable speed 400 CFM exhaust fan, 1,050 watts of cooking power, and a turntable that can be set to rotate or remain stationary.
Reviewers find the sensor cooking to be a huge help in heating food. Many people report that this over-the-range microwave heats food quickly without over-cooking it. The touchpad is also conveniently located at the bottom of the unit’s door, which is easier to reach—especially on an over-the-range microwave. The only common complaint is that the buttons require a firm push, which some users found annoying or difficult.
Best Convection: KitchenAid 1.9 cu. ft. Over the Range Convection Microwave in Stainless Steel with Sensor Cooking Technology
An over-the-range microwave with convection cooking is a must-have multi-tasking kitchen appliance for many home cooks. This convection over-the-range microwave has almost 2 cubic feet of space to quickly cook pizzas and pies or reheat leftovers and beverages.
Reviewers say that the convection function of this model works great and find it is often faster and easier than heating up a full-sized oven. An over-the-range convection microwave also makes an affordable substitute for a double oven configuration when space and money are limited. In addition to convection cooking, this KitchenAid microwave model includes other features that users appreciate, like a steam sensor, simmer function, and steam cleaning mode that makes microwave clean-up even easier.
Best High-Capacity: LG LMHM2237ST 2.2-Cubic Foot Over-the-Range Microwave with Sensor Cook and ExtendaVent
The LG Extendavent Microwave is one of the largest over-the-range microwaves on the market. With 2.2 cubic feet of interior space, this high-capacity microwave has plenty of space for heating family-style dishes, casseroles, and more. If you rely on your microwave to reheat multiple servings or have oversized dishware or serving bowls, the extra space inside this microwave will come in handy.
There are many reasons that reviewers love the LG Extendavent, aside from its roomy interior. In addition to being able to hold multiple dishes for reheating, the Extendavent’s other claim to fame is its powerful 400 CFM ventilation fan. As the name suggests, this vented over-the-range microwave has an extendable fan that does a great job of circulating air over the cooktop. Exhaust can be internally or externally vented, depending on your kitchen configuration.
Best for Smart Homes: Whirlpool 1.9 cu. ft. Smart Over-the-Range Microwave with Scan-to-Cook Technology
Microwaves make quick work of reheating your favorite foods, but Whirlpool’s model with Scan-to-Cook technology takes fast, intuitive cooking to the next level. This over-the-range microwave for smart homes is loaded with tech-savvy features and an easy-to-use digital display. An app lets you control many microwave functions—you can even turn on the microwave’s convection mode and start the pre-heating cycle.
While full-featured, over-the-range microwaves for smart homes are not always user friendly, this innovative model is easy to use. The scan-to-cook functionality enables you to scan the barcode of many different frozen foods with an app on your phone. This information is sent to your microwave and triggers a series of step-by-step instructions from your microwave on how to perfectly heat that item.
Even if you’re not big on pre-packaged frozen food, users appreciate that this microwave learns some of your most frequent functions and stores them—saving you time and steps in prepping your favorite foods or beverages.
Best Low-Profile: Whirlpool WML55011HS 1.1 Cu. Ft. Stainless Over-The-Range Microwave Oven
The Whirlpool WML55011HS is our top choice for a low-profile, over-the-range microwave that saves space without minimizing function. This slim model fits in the space of most under cabinet exhaust hoods. You won’t miss the ventilator, though, since this model features an exhaust fan rated for a surprising 400 CFM per minute.
With a standard width, you can still heat larger dishes inside this model—you just may need to turn the turntable off to do so. One reviewer was happy to point out that it’s still wide enough to fit a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish inside and tall enough to accommodate a 4-cup measuring cup.
We love the GE JNM3163DJBB 1.6 cu. ft. Over-the-Range Microwave (view at Amazon) for its power, efficiency, and roomy interior. For high-tech sensor cooking, look no further than the GE Profile 2.1 cu. ft. Over-the-Range Microwave (view at Wayfair), which boasts a convenient touchpad and reliable results.