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The 5 Best Over The Range Microwaves for 2021

Posted by Todd Buehler on Jan 28, 2021 8:45 AM
Todd Buehler

Best OTR Microwave - LG Lifestyle Image

 

One of the most convenient kitchen appliances found in almost every home is the popular over the range microwave oven, more commonly known as an OTR microwave oven. The OTR microwave has taken the place of the countertop microwave and hood assembly, saving space by combining both products into one handy package. Power capacities can vary from 850 watts for reheating or up to 1,200 watts for cooking full meals. 

Most of these models are manufactured with the option for recirculating ventilation through filters or external ventilation through ducting. The built-in exhaust fans will vary from a quiet 170 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) to a power-boosting 400 CFM fan velocity to pull odors, steam, smoke, oil mists, and heat through the filters. Many models have heat sensors built into the body that will automatically turn on the exhaust fan to cool the components and get rid of excessive heat if it recognizes an overheated interior cavity or too much heat from the cooking surface. For more info on microwave features, check out our microwave buying guide!

Let's take a look at the top five models available on the market today and try to identify the best over the range microwave for you. Prices range from $349 to $699 MSRP, and all models are at least 1,000 watts.

 

Table of Contents

  1. Frigidaire FGMV17WNVF
  2. KitchenAid KMHS120ESS*
  3. LG LMHM2237ST^
  4. GE JVM7195SKSS
  5. Samsung ME19R7041FS

*This model would win the "most stylish" award, if there was one. 

^This model offers a unique extending vent to improve smoke and odor removal.

 

Top 3 Tips for Buying a New Over the Range Microwave

  • LED Cooktop Lighting: If you have a dim kitchen and liked to use your old microwave's task lighting often, consider a model with LED task lighting. The halogen bulbs that are more common on OTR microwaves get hot after a few minutes of use - enough to be noticeable on a steamy summer day! LEDs stay cool and are more efficient as a result.

  • Coated Interiors for Easy Cleaning: Say good-bye to tomato sauce stains and scrubbing at baked-on spatters. Many microwaves on the market today offer some sort of coated interior that helps prevent food from sticking and staining, so they're easier to clean.

  • Keep Up on Filter Maintenance: Keep in mind that ductless recirculating setups utilize charcoal filters that need to be changed every 6 months or so. These filters become clogged with particulates over time and will lose effectiveness while also making the exhaust fan work harder than it needs to. Both ductless and ducted/externally vented models have metal mesh filters that should be cleaned at regular intervals for the same reasons. These mesh filters may be dishwasher safe for easy cleaning - check your owner's manual for details.

 

Learn more about choosing a new microwave in just 8 minutes!

 

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD OUR FREE MICROWAVE BUYER'S GUIDE

 

 

1. Frigidaire FGMV17WNVF - 1,000W, 1.7 cu ft - $389

The popular model Frigidaire FGMV17WNVF is a 1,000 watt, 1.7 cubic foot capacity oven. This is considered midsized in the industry, but don't let its "average" size fool you! It has plenty of space for a 13x9" baking dish, thanks to the 13.6" turntable.

This is a quiet appliance that has plenty of nice options for its price of $389 in stainless steel. The control panel has auto sensing selections such as Popcorn, Potato, and Beverages, while Sensor Reheat and Defrost are also available at the touch of a finger and allow you to quickly prepare last night's leftovers or tonight's oven roast. A metal rack is included for heating multiple items at once. The interior has a special coating that makes it easy to wipe down.

The 105/300 CFM fan assembly removes steam, smoke, and odors effortlessly using grease filters and a charcoal filter. Additional features like the option to disable turntable rotation, a kitchen timer, two-stage work surface LED lighting, an interior LED light, and multiple power levels complete this great package. The LED lighting is particularly nice because it won't heat up like halogen lighting - helpful if you're cooking on a hot day! With a one-year warranty covering parts and labor, this Frigidaire model packs a strong punch. 

 

Features

  • Height: 16.4"

  • Depth: 15.03"

  • 13.6" turntable

  • 2-speed 300 CFM fan assembly (ducted/recirculating)

  • 2-stage work surface LED lighting and LED interior light

  • Auto-start heat sensor

  • Effortless Clean interior

 

Click here to read over 1,145 real customer reviews of this product!

 

Frigidaire FGMV17WNVF - $389

Frigidaire FGMV17WNVF Over the Range Microwave

 

 

2. KitchenAid KMHS120ESS - 1,000W, 2.0 cu ft - $699

The KitchenAid KMHS120ESS is a great contender for the best OTR microwave of 2021 due to its professional design and well-featured control panel. Also cooking with 1,000 watts, compared to the previous model it has a larger 2.0 cubic foot oven interior and 14" turntable.

The recirculating exhaust fan is rated at 300 CFM for quick removal of smoke and odors, also incorporating a charcoal filter. The cooking surface Lo/Hi halogen bulb produces bright, crisp lighting for cooking and comes in handy as a kitchen night light for the midnight snacker. KitchenAid's Cookshield Finish on the interior cavity helps make the microwave easy to wipe clean.

A convenient turntable on/off selection allows the user to disable the turntable's rotation of oversized cookware, such as casserole dishes that are too wide to rotate. Some interesting sensor cooking features include a Keep Warm function and a Sensor Steam/Simmer cycle for precise heating.

KitchenAid offers a full one-year warranty of the entire microwave oven, a five-year parts-only warranty on Solid State touch control system parts and a 10-year parts warranty on the stainless steel oven cavity and inner door liner.  Available in white and in stainless steel for $699, and now also in black stainless steel at $749, this model will do a lot to save you time in the kitchen.

 

Features

  • Height: 17.125"

  • Depth: 16.75"

  • 14" turntable

  • 3-speed 300 CFM fan assembly (ducted/recirculating)

  • 2-stage halogen work surface light

  • Tons of sensor cooking options!

 

Click here to read over 1,140 real customer reviews of this product!

 

KitchenAid KMHS120ESS - $699

KitchenAid KMHS120ESS OTR Microwave

 

 

3. LG LMHM2237ST - 1,000W, 2.2 cu ft - $499

Another brand worth considering is LG. LG has been a large player in the cooking industry for many years now, and the LG LMHM2237ST has been a hit with many consumers due to its sleek SmoothTouch glass controls, EasyClean interior, and ExtendaVent technology. It comes in stainless steel at $499 and black stainless steel at $549.

The extendable ventilation system offered with this OTR microwave ensures coverage of your entire cooktop. You may have noticed that most over the range microwaves don't stick out enough to cover the entire cooktop surface, so they can have trouble pulling smoke, steam, and odors from the front burners. The LG ExtendaVent aims to solve this problem with a telescoping vent. You can still operate the vent system as usual without using the vent in the slide-out position, too.

Other cool features include the EasyClean interior, a special coating that helps keep splatters and spills from sticking, so it wipes clean with little effort. The microwave is covered with a one year full parts and labor warranty plus 10 years on the Magnetron.

 

Features 

  • Height: 17.9"

  • Depth: 15.8"

  • 14.2" turntable

  • 4-speed 400 CFM fan assembly (ExtendaVent; with charcoal filters)

  • 2-stage LED lighting

  • 10 power levels and plenty of auto cooking options

  • EasyClean interior resists stains and buildup and is easy to wipe down

 

Click here to read over 80 real customer reviews of this product!

 

LG LMHM2237ST - $499

LG_Microwave_LMHM2237ST

 

 

4. GE JVM7195SKSS - 1,100W, 1.9 cu ft - $469 

The GE JVM7195SKSS is one of our consumer favorites due to its traditional styling, outstanding performance, and features for the money. Let's start with the 1.9 cubic foot oven cavity with an included metal oven rack for multi level cooking. We're already a step ahead of the average microwave! Then, let's turn to its 1,100 watts of cooking power with 10 adjustable power levels, which is above-average in the industry and will cook and heat slightly faster than its 1,000 watt competitors. Be aware that due to the higher wattage, paying closer attention to heating instructions found on food packages is necessary. 

Its two lines of scrolling display make it easier to read cook times, power levels, fan speeds, and lighting positions. The two-stage cooking surface halogen lights provide bright lighting. The exhaust system features an astounding power-boosting 400 CFM three-speed fan assembly with heat sensor activated cavity, and surface detection will do a great job of getting rid of smoke and odors from your kitchen. The fan assembly can be adjusted for recirculation or outdoor venting.

This GE model has a 14.25" recessed turntable with the option to disable rotation for oversized cookware. And how's this for handy controls?  Beverage, Defrost, Popcorn, Potato, Reheat, Melt, and an Add 30 Seconds button are all included to speed up the cooking process.

The manufacturer's warranty consists of one year on parts and labor. This unit prices at $419 in white or black, $469 in stainless steel, and $519 in GE slate, black stainless steel, and GE black slate.

 

Features

  • Height: 16.5"

  • Depth: 15.5"

  • 14.25" recessed turntable

  • 3-speed 400 CFM fan assembly (ducted/recirculating)

  • 2-stage halogen work surface lighting and incandescent interior light

  • Two display lines for easy reading of power levels and other settings

  • Auto start heat sensors for exhaust fan

 

Click here to read over 1,320 real customer reviews of this product!

 

GE JVM7195SKSS - $469

GE JVM7195SKSS OTR Microwave

 

 

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5. Samsung ME19R7041FS - 1,000W, 1.9 cu ft - $349

Samsung has amazed us with their popular 1,000W model ME19R7041FS that's loaded with user-friendly features. Inside, you'll find a 1.9 cubic foot ceramic enamel coated oven cavity with a 14.2" turntable and a removable rack for multi-level cooking.

For ventilation, it has a four-speed 400 CFM convertible vent fan to reduce odors with a Simple Clean Grease Filter that only needs the push of a finger to eject from its slide-out frame for cleaning or replacement. It's designed to operate quietly, too.

Cooking settings include Popcorn, Potato, Pizza, Frozen Entree, Reheat, Veggies, Auto Defrost, and more. It also has an easy-to-read Ice Blue LED displayKeeping the interior clean is easier than ever - the enamel coating found inside this microwave is known for easy clean-up! If a boil-over or spatter occurs, simply wipe up with a damp cloth. This coating normally helps keep foods from sticking to the surface.

Samsung covers this product with a one-year parts and labor warranty and 10-year parts warranty on the Magnetron. It is priced at $329 in black or in white, $349 in stainless steel, and $399 in fingerprint resistant Tuscan stainless steel or in black stainless. Don't forget to add this one to your shopping list!

 

Features

  • Height: 17.063"

  • Depth: 16.5"

  • 14.2" turntable with metal rack for multi-level cooking

  • 4-speed 400 CFM fan assembly (ducted/recirculating) with Simple Clean Grease Filter

  • Halogen cooktop lighting and incandescent interior lighting

  • Ceramic enamel interior coating for easy cleaning

 

Click here to read over 125 real customer reviews of this product!

 

Samsung ME19R7041FS - $349

Samsung ME19R7041FS OTR Microwave

 

 

RECOMMENDED ARTICLE: Microwave Buying Guide - 6 Important Steps! 

We hope you enjoyed our review of the five best over the range microwave models on the market from some of the top kitchen appliance brands. Samsung (#5) offers a lot of great features at a low price, while the Frigidaire model (#1) is a solid value pick. Explore new features with LG's ExtendaVent (#3), or go big with the KitchenAid's premium sensor cooking features (#2). If you want an OTR microwave that will blend in more with your kitchen or work with limited height over the cooktop surface, consider a low profile microwave. Now you can head out shopping and see which model fits your needs!

Please leave us a comment below - We'd love to hear from you! 

 

Best Over the Range Microwave Bellingham_Electric_Microwave_Display_Photo

 

Editor's Note: This blog was originally published in February of 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy as of the publication date noted above.

Topics: Microwaves

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