When it comes to making your kitchen into one cohesive unit that works together, choosing over the range microwave ovens could be a key piece to the puzzle. Fitting right in above your range or cooktop, over the top microwave oven models are installed right into the space where your range hood would typically go.
Since the over the range microwave oven is taking place of the range hood, the unit operates like a range hood would, helping to eliminate smoke, steam, heat and odors caused by cooking in the kitchen.
Ventilation and Other Benefits
It accomplishes this with a built-in ventilation system which is driven by a high-powered fan. This fan is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFMs), a unit of measurement that relays the amount of suction power your microwave has. As a general rule, the higher the CFM number, the more powerful the fan will be inside your over the range microwave.
While some models try to hide this vent system into the design (providing a cleaner appearance), others make no effort to conceal the fan’s power, instead opting for more efficiency and greater surface area from which to suction odors, heat, steam and smoke from.
Also, while some models utilize an internal ventilation filtration system to filter and then recirculate airborne irritants, other models simply draw them out of the kitchen and then dispose of them through an external vent.
You can also expect to enjoy overhead (or cooktop) lights to help you see what you’re doing on the range as you cook. But perhaps one of the only drawbacks to over the range microwave ovens is that they demand a fairly rigorous installation process, most typically done by the contractor in a new house (or newly renovated house) or by professional microwave installers in an existing house, they don’t have as much depth as countertop model microwaves and over the top range models cost a bit more than other styles.
But because of the many benefits of over the range style microwaves, most people overlook those drawbacks in favor of things such as:
- The ergonomic design of combining a range hood’s function with a microwave’s function all in one unit
- The space-saving, out of the way positioning of the over the range unit, leaving your countertops and tables freer
- The benefit of having additional range lighting above your cooking surface, affording you a better view for better kitchen functionality
- A larger range of units consisting of capacity ranges from 0.8-1.4 cu. ft. (mid-sized) to over 2.0 cu. ft. (large)
- Most over the range units are in excess of 800 Watts of power meaning that larger amounts of food are able to be heated, re-heated or cooked at faster rates
- Smoke, heat, steam and odors that occur from cooking on or around the range top are filtered and either recirculated into the kitchen as clean air or expelled outside via an external vent
- Over the range units are able to withstand anything up to heavy use meaning it takes whatever jobs you can throw at it without fail
- An In-Depth Look At Over The Range Microwave Ovens
Also called micro hoods (a combination of range hoods and microwaves), over the range microwaves have become the top-selling style in the industry over the last few years. This is thanks in part to its double function which not only saves space but money as well.
Depending on the location of your kitchen and ductwork, over the counter microwaves can either be hooked up to a recirculation vent on an inside wall (where air is filtered through a layer of charcoal) or hooked up to your exterior ventilation via your existing ductwork. Installation of an over the range unit is achieved with simple bracket screws and reinforced toggle bolts which are installed through the rear wall and upper cabinet for additional stabilization of the unit.
But perhaps the real treasure in the “microhood” comes from the design problem that it solves: freeing up counter space that would otherwise be taken up by a countertop microwave. By placing the microhood over the range and giving it dual functionality, the manufacturers are essentially giving consumers a piece of their kitchen back that they’ve been missing for decades.
And while the prices for over the range microwave ovens have typically been more expensive than conventional or countertop microwaves, with their growing popularity, we’re starting to see a huge drop off in prices of over the range units as production increases along with sales, dropping overall costs.
Typical Features of Popular Over The Range Microwave Ovens
Since the over the range unit is already multi-functional, it makes sense that with the advancements in technology, even more functionality would be packed into this popular item. Here’s a look at some of the most popular features of microhoods. Keep in mind that the more features you get, the more you are likely to pay for your unit. This means that unless you are planning to use these features on a regular basis (or at least regular enough to warrant their extra costs in your mind), you might be better served avoiding them and going with a cheaper model:
- Automatic Defrost: While the old way of defrosting items in the microwave consisted of guess-timating and then guess-checking the food as it cooked, automatic frost senses the weight and type of food, providing you with a pre-calculated automatic defrost timing straight from the manufacturer’s studies.
- Convection Cooking: Convection cooking differs from normal microwave cooking since it warms up the air in the unit, not just the food, allowing it to flow evenly around the food. This allows you to brown, crisp, broil and do many other things to foods that was typically only available in conventional convection ovens up until this point.
- Sensor Cooking: By sensing the steam coming off of cooking food, smart, over the counter microwaves use sensors to automatically adjust temperature and power levels during cooking and then automatically shut off when the food is done.
To find more information and ratings on over the range microwave ovens, please visit the home page at BestMicrowaves20.co.uk.