Need a recommendation on an over-the-range microwave.
February 21, 2017 10:21 AM   Subscribe

Our 7-year old over-the-range Frigidaire microwave died last night. We need a new one.

We were never happy with the old one - it never vented that well, it had the most annoying beeps (long, loud, and wouldn't stop until you opened the door or pushed "stop") it required repairs within a year or two of getting it, the display started dying after a couple years and is barely readable now, and the plastic on the door cracked just after the 1-year warranty ran out ("a common problem" according to the repair guy). To say the least, I ain't ever buying a Frigidaire again. After that experience I am gun-shy about buying another one. We need a 30" wide unit, stainless or black to match the rest of the crap, that is decent at venting (outside vent is already in place). Any recommendations on what to buy or what to avoid? Thanks!
posted by fimbulvetr to Shopping (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The LG over-the-range microwaves are good and have decent quiet venting. Some models even have this thing where the vent can be pulled on to extend further over the stove. Pricing is fair too.
posted by w0mbat at 10:54 AM on February 21, 2017

When my over-the-range microwave died a couple years ago I replaced it with a GE JVM3160RFSS. All good until about 18 months in, when the glass door spontaneously shattered into thousands of pieces when it wasn't even in use. I happened to be in the kitchen and needless to say was pretty surprised. GE was gracious about sending a tech to replace the door, even though it was past warranty. A quick Google shows it's happened to others...there's even a class-action lawsuit!

But honestly, I figured what are the odds of it happening twice, and was happy to have the door replaced. Easier than trying to choose a new model. Aside from the shattering door it's a decent microwave oven, although the vent fan could be stronger.
posted by bassomatic at 10:57 AM on February 21, 2017

I've had a Whirlpool for about five years now that is the most polite microwave oven I've ever had. It chirps quietly about every 30 seconds or so if I have neglected to remove the food after the cooking time is up. I've been very happy with it and since I've never noticed a venting issue, I'd have to say there isn't one.
posted by Dolley at 11:13 AM on February 21, 2017

I got a new GE last year mostly because I didn't want to redo the mounting plate from the previous one, but all the time I spent on research basically taught me that over the range microwaves are fungible crap. If it fits your space, has four speeds, sounds bearable when you run the fan in the store, a 3 year warranty, and is cheap, just go with that. I didn't consider microwaves that could also do convection cooking.

If I ever have the space, I'm getting a dedicated range hood and a separate freestanding microwave with "inverter" technology because it actually varies the cooking power instead of switching the magnetron on and off to fake it and somehow that is supposed to be better and I like technology so don't ask me any questions about why because I don't know (though I did at one time).
posted by mattamatic at 11:14 AM on February 21, 2017

We replaced our over-the-range microwave last year. The new one is substantially larger than the old one, it hangs down closer to the stove and stick out further away from the wall. It's a pain when you lean in to look in a pot and you bonk your head and it seems like were are always wacking a lid on the bottom of it.
We don't really need the larger cooking space that it provides so I wish we'd gone with a smaller one.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:03 PM on February 21, 2017

>> If I ever have the space, I'm getting a dedicated range hood and a separate freestanding microwave

Putting an electronic appliance directly over a hot steamy range is asking for trouble, I've found. I had three over-the-range microwaves die before I finally wised up.

I installed a range hood and got a separate countertop microwave. You'll find you can get a much higher quality microwave oven for a lot less money if you give up the idea that it has to be over the range.
posted by superelastic at 5:12 AM on February 22, 2017

We have a tiny kitchen in a tiny house (maybe 900 sq ft at most). In an ideal world I would love to have a proper range hood and room on a countertop for a microwave, but that just isn't possible.
posted by fimbulvetr at 5:46 AM on February 22, 2017

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