How effective are odor eating, space saving microwaves?
October 16, 2005 6:40 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone had good luck with over the range microwaves? I'm interested in knowing how good these things do at capturing and reducing odors while cooking. We live in a small apartment and there's no vent over the stove. Would something like this over the range microwave actually reduce cooking odors?
posted by teddyb109 to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Did you mean for your link to be to generators?

Anyway, our new house has an over-the-stove microwave, and it's fan is somewhat effective at reducing cooking fumes. The visiting in-laws were able to overpower it sometimes with their stir-frying, but it helps. The crucial feature for any range hood is it must be vented outdoors. If it isn't, the best it will do is trap some grease.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:06 AM on October 16, 2005

Since you are in an apartment you probably can not vent to the outside. As KG said, without an outside vent you can at best trap grease. Some hoods have charcoal inserts. They work poorly for a few weeks and then not at all.
posted by caddis at 7:17 AM on October 16, 2005

What's already been said. Any sort of filtering device is just a nice way to attract grease and smoke to a central location (making the thing a pain to clean), and won't do much to clear the air in the kitchen.
posted by rxrfrx at 12:56 PM on October 16, 2005

My mom's had an over-the-range microwave with hood for, oh . . . fifteen years or so now. There is also a ceiling fan in the kitchen. She replaced the original microwave probably four years ago, and she's never, to my knowledge had an issue with it. Of course, we've also not had kitchen fires or any sort of insanely smoky events in her kitchen, as my parents have a gas grill outside and there's little need to get into anything any smokier than bacon on most occasions inside. If you can't vent to the outside, and you don't generally need a hood to clear out the smoke from your latest kitchen disaster, the microwave/hood combo should be fine. It's never a bad idea, though, to have a window-box fan to use in the event of an unforseen kitchen incident. (Or attic fan. If we do something paricularly assinine in our house, we just open the windows and turn on the attic fan. Similar principle.)
posted by Medieval Maven at 1:10 PM on October 16, 2005

I can't comment on the lack of a vent. But our OTR is pretty good. If you get one, get someone to install it for you. My husband and father (both quite handy) took 3 hours to install ours. My mom had to help them hold it when they put it in, too. I would have helped but I was about 18 months pregnant at the time!
posted by acoutu at 1:44 PM on October 16, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks everyone--these are all very helpful answers. It sounds like the OTR would be better for saving space than cutting down on fumes. If the landlord's willing, the range is close to a wall, so it's not unimaginable that we could vent it outside, but it will could be a challenging negotiation.

Not sure why that link went to generators--was trying to link to something like this.

Thanks again everyone!
posted by teddyb109 at 7:38 PM on October 16, 2005

The best way to clean the grease trap in a vent hood is to put it in a dishwasher.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:40 AM on October 17, 2005

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