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A built-in microwave is an appliance that is secured to the wall of your kitchen to save counter space. This type of microwave is ideal for small kitchens, and you can find built-in microwaves that double as hoods for your kitchen range. Here are a few tips to help you find the best built in microwave.
How We Chose Our Ratings
We looked for the best built-in microwaves we could find and assigned ratings according to these criteria:
- Different models. We selected different types of microwaves, including over-the-range models and drawer microwaves.
- Manufacturers. We looked for appliances made by well-known manufacturers who offer extensive warranties.
- Installation process. We gave higher ratings to the appliances that come with installation kits and that are easy to install.
- Features. We compared features such as cooking modes, presets, temperature controls, sensors, and other features.
Top Eight Best Built In Microwaves
Here are different types of built-in appliances to consider if you want to upgrade your kitchen.
Frigidaire 2.2 Cu. Ft. Built-In Microwave In Stainless Steel
We like this built-in microwave because the 2.2 cubic feet capacity is ideal for families. The appliance has a modern and discreet design that will work with most kitchen cabinets.
The controls include nine presets and a keep warm setting. You can adjust the power of the microwave between nine levels. The maximum output of the microwave is 1,200 watts.
The LED display is one of the best features of the appliance because it makes everything easy to see. The stainless steel exterior of the microwave is also very easy to wipe clean.
There are sensors inside the microwave. These sensors will automatically adjust cooking time and temperature and can detect when food is getting overdone.
This energy-efficient microwave is perfect for a top kitchen cabinet. It is 13.6-inches high, 19.6-inches deep, and 24.4-inches deep. You can purchase two different trim kits. One has a width of 27 inches while the other is 30-inches wide.
The large capacity, simple control, sleek exterior, and two trim options make this one of the best microwaves for families.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Sharp KB-6524PS 24-Inch Microwave Drawer Oven
This Sharp microwave is designed to fit inside of a base cabinet. You can use the towel bar handle to open the appliance just like you would with a drawer. This modern design will help you save space in your kitchen and makes your built-in microwave more accessible compared to an over-the-range appliance.
The power rating of this appliance is 1,000 watts. The interior capacity is just over one cubic foot.
We like the controls and LCD display because you can hide them when you are not using the microwave. You can safely lock the controls to prevent a child from tampering with them.
There are 11 power levels to choose from, a timer, and an auto defrost mode. The microwave also uses sensors to automatically adjust the cooking time and power level.
The microwave is 24-inches wide to fit standard kitchen cabinets. Shoppers say that the installation process is easy.
There are other options to consider if you want a microwave with more advanced features such as a convection mode, but overall this microwave drawer is an excellent choice if you want to save space without installing an over-the-range microwave.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Summit Appliance 0.9 Cu. Ft. Built-In Microwave In Stainless Steel
We recommend this small microwave if you live by yourself or only occasionally use your microwave. The power rating of this microwave is only 900 watts, which means it’s perfectly suitable for warming up leftovers and preparing frozen meals but can’t be used to cook meals.
We like the large controls. The microwave includes six different presets and a defrost mode.
You can install this microwave inside of a 24-inches kitchen cabinet. You need an opening of 22.5” to install the aluminum trim kit that comes with the microwave.
The door of the appliance features an original mirror finish. A reflective surface can help brighten up your kitchen interior but not being able to see your food cooking is a bit of a downside.
This built-in microwave is worth considering if you need a compact appliance with simple controls. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to adjust the power level or use a timer with this appliance.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Cafe 1.7 Cu. Ft. Over-The-Range Convection Microwave With Sensor Cooking Controls
This performing appliance could be one of the best built-in microwaves for a permanent installation thanks to all the features included. The black finish will work with a wide range of kitchen styles.
The over-the-range microwave includes a convection mode. You can switch between a bake and roast mode depending on what you want to cook. The controls are easy to adjust thanks to the dial.
You can easily adjust the power level whether you are using the regular microwave mode or the convection feature. We like the fast cook function since it combines microwave and convection cooking to warm up your food faster.
You will also find a steam cook mode that is convenient if you like to steam vegetables. The defrost mode is easy to use, and the microwave includes some sensors that can automatically adjust the settings in function of the heat and humidity levels detected inside of the appliance.
The microwave is designed to replace your stovetop hood. There is a vent fan with three speeds and lighting for your stove top built into the microwave.
The Chef Connect feature is an interesting addition. It allows the microwave to sync up with a compatible stovetop so that the lighting and fan turn on automatically when you use a burner.
The microwave has an internal capacity of 1.7 cubic feet and is designed to fit inside of a 30-inches cabinet.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SD945SS Stainless Steel
We like this Panasonic microwave because of how versatile it is. It’s originally a countertop appliance but you can purchase a trim kit to mount it on a wall.
It’s not as compact as an over-the-range unit but will fit inside of a 24-inches kitchen cabinet. It has a capacity of 2.2 cubic feet and a power rating of 1,250 watts. We recommend this appliance if you use your microwave on a daily basis.
The inverter technology is one of the standout features of this microwave. It will help you cook food evenly and prevent your food from being cold at the center even though you microwaved it for several minutes.
The controls are a potential drawback because they are very different from what you can typically find on similar appliances. Instead of having a dial pad with numbers you can use to select the cooking time, you will have to navigate a more complex menu with several presets.
The controls let you adjust the power level of the microwave and choose from almost 30 different preset modes. The different cooking and reheating modes can be used to cook a wide range of foods to perfection but the menu and controls can take some time to get used to.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Samsung 1.6 Cu. Ft. Over The Range Microwave In Stainless Steel
This Samsung product is a performing over-the-range microwave from Samsung. The affordable price tag is a positive point, and so are the simple controls. It could be the best built in microwave if you are looking for a no-frill appliance.
The blue LED display improves visibility and you can turn it off you aren’t using the appliance. You will find controls for a two-speed fan for your stovetop and lights with two different intensity settings so you can see what you are cooking under the microwave.
The discreet stainless steel finish is easy to wipe and should blend in with your kitchen cabinets.
You won’t find any advanced features in this 1.6 cubic feet microwave but there are all the basic controls and cooking modes you would expect from a no-frill appliance. There is a timer, a defrost mode, and four presets.
The soften, cook, and reheat buttons will come in handy to quickly program short cooking cycles. The maximum rating of the microwave is 1,000 watts.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
GE PEM31SFSS Profile Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave
The GE PEM31SFSS is a countertop microwave that you can mount inside of a kitchen cabinet thanks to the built-in kit that you can purchase separately.
We like this appliance as a built-in microwave because its low profile won’t take up an entire kitchen cabinet. The microwave will fit inside of a 24-inches cabinet and is only 12” high.
It uses sensors to automatically adjust the cooking settings. You can stop the turntable, which is a convenient feature for preparing large dishes that don’t allow the turntable to rotate properly.
There are ten power levels but keep in mind that this is a microwave with an 800-watt power rating. There are more powerful options to consider if you want to prepare large dishes or want to heat your food faster.
You will find a timer, a defrost mode, and five different presets in the controls. Overall, this microwave is worth considering if you want an affordable appliance that is easy to install thanks to its low profile.
However, there are other built-in microwaves to consider if you would like more presets, a higher power rating, or advanced features like a convection mode.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Frigidaire 1.7 Cu. Ft. Over-The-Range Microwave
We like the original white finish of this microwave. The white color could brighten up your kitchen and make a small kitchen look larger.
This over-the-range microwave will fit at the bottom of a 30-inches kitchen cabinet. It doubles as a hood for your kitchen range thanks to its two-speed fan and lighting.
The controls are very simple. You will find four different presets for common foods, as well as melt, reheat, and defrost buttons.
The auto cook is an interesting feature. Pressing this button will automatically select the best cooking time and power for the food inside of your microwave.
The LED display is really small and might not be a convenient kitchen clock due to its size and location, but the appliance is still a good option if you are looking for a simple but performing over-the-range microwave.
The large turntable is worth mentioning because it will help you reheat large dishes and get even results.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
What To Consider Before Choosing A Built-In Microwave
Is a built-in microwave the right appliance for your kitchen? Here are a few things to consider so you can select the best built in microwave.
Pros And Cons Of Built-In Microwaves
A built-in microwave is a great option for a small kitchen since it will free up some counter space and you won’t have a power cord in the way.
The main downside of a built-in appliance is that installation takes time and replacing the appliance isn’t easy. You will also be limited in your shopping options depending on where you can attach the microwave and how much space you have.
Over-the-range microwaves are a popular option. You can secure one of these microwaves above your stove or kitchen range if the appliance features a fan and built-in lighting.
If you have an old range hood that you want to upgrade, think about replacing it with a built-in microwave.
You can also find microwaves that are designed to be mounted on the wall just like a kitchen cabinet. You will lose some cabinet space if you decide to install one of these microwaves but will end up with more counter space.
Some built-in microwaves are designed to replace a kitchen drawer. These appliances tend to be smaller and are a great way to save space.
The best type of built-in microwave depends on your kitchen design and on where you can mount this appliance.
What To Look For When Choosing A Built-In Microwave
Keep in mind that replacing an appliance that is attached to the wall isn’t easy. Take the time to compare features and to look for a durable appliance you won’t have to replace anytime soon.
Cleaning should be one of your top considerations when choosing a built-in microwave, especially if you are looking at over-the-range models. You should be able to easily wipe the inside of the microwave with a sponge since it might be in an area that is hard to reach.
If possible, choose an appliance that comes with brackets and trim. Otherwise, you will have to shop for brackets and trim that match your new microwave.
Pay attention to the power rating of the microwave. Look at the presets and controls. Your new microwave should be easy to use and powerful enough to warm up your food within a few minutes. Sensors can be an interesting feature since they will automatically adjust cooking time and temperature.
Some microwaves double as convection ovens. Some appliances have a grilling mode and are just as versatile as a small oven. If you have a small kitchen, we recommend that you look into getting a convection microwave to save space.
If you want to get an over-the-range microwave, learn more about the ventilation feature. Make sure it is powerful enough for your kitchen range and that it turns on automatically when needed.
The Installation Process
Most built-in microwaves are designed to replace a standard kitchen cabinet. You will find appliances with a width of 23, 27, or 30.”
Some appliances are designed to be attached under a top cabinet while others will replace a base cabinet. The height can vary between 19 and 22.”
If you are shopping for an over-the-range microwave, height will vary between 15 and 17,” and width will be somewhere between 30 and 36.” Look for a microwave that matches the width of your kitchen range.
Measure the space where the microwave will be mounted and make sure there is enough clearance for the power cord. Use additional trims to close any gaps.
Wall-mounted brackets are the best way to secure a built-in microwave. You will need to locate a stud in your kitchen wall, drill some holes, and screw the brackets to the wall.
If you are mounting a microwave to a top cabinet or installing an over-the-range microwave, the bottom of the appliance will be supported by the wall brackets while the top of the appliance will be securely attached to a kitchen cabinet.
If you can’t use a stud to securely attach the microwave to the wall, it’s safer to opt for an appliance that you can mount inside of a base cabinet.
If you are not sure how to install your built-in microwave, it’s best to hire a professional to do it. You should still measure the space that is available so you can start shopping for a new appliance.