Built-in microwave ovens provide some additional advantages in comparison to traditional ovens. The biggest of which is its compact and space-saving design. Built-in microwave ovens are designed to fit in neatly inside a cabinet or your kitchen wall. This helps in freeing up more space on your kitchen countertop. In this article, we will talk about the best built-in microwaves on the market that you should buy!
Please take note that built-in cabinets are more expensive than its countertop variation and installation can be a handful which is why it is best to hire a licensed professional to do the task. This type of microwave oven is designed to be a permanent fixture as well, so take that into account if you are planning to get one.
The higher cost and relatively complex installation may seem daunting. Still, if you wish to maximize your kitchen space, then a built-in microwave oven is a good investment for your home. If you are interested in a built-in microwave but have no idea where to start looking, then you have come to the right place! In this article, we will be discussing essential elements that you need to consider when looking for a built-in microwave.
We will also be going a step beyond by providing you with a list of the top brands and units in the market today to help further narrow down your search. Without further ado, let us begin our countdown, shall we?
A little bit busy and don't have the time to go through our highly detailed buying guide and review section? We got you covered there with our top 3 picks of highly recommended built-in microwave ovens.
Best Overall: Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN966S Stainless Steel Countertop
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
With its substantial size, the Panasonic NN-SN966S Microwave Oven will need a bit of planning first if you wish to buy it. That said, it comes with numerous features that will you achieve fast and delicious results with your recipes. It is also user-friendly and incredibly easy to operate even for first-timers.
High-end Pick: Sharp KB-6524PS 24-Inch Microwave Drawer Oven, 1.2 cu. ft., Stainless Steel
Overall Rating: 4/5
With a feature-rich functionality and sleek modern design, the Sharp Microwave Drawer Oven not only saves space in your kitchen, but it will also guarantee delicious meals. If you have the extra cash then why not go the extra mile with this excellent built-in microwave oven?
Built-in Microwave Buying Guide – Important Things to Consider Before Making a Purchase
Before heading out to get your hands on your very own built-in microwave oven, it is always best to know what you are dipping your toes into. Being adequately armed with the right information means that you will be able to make an informed decision as to which product will be able to provide you with the best benefits and advantages. Check out our buying guide below and learn what to look for when searching for a built-in microwave oven.
#1. Size of The Microwave
Quite possibly, the most crucial factor to consider is the unit's size. Measure how much space is free in your kitchen cabinet or wall. This is mandatory, especially if there is already a pre-made microwave oven space in your kitchen. Generally, built-in microwave oven cabinets are designed to accommodate a 24-inch unit, but some offer larger rooms, so make sure you take accurate measurements first.
As noted previously, you have to make sure that the installation area is prepped and ready before buying a built-in microwave oven. Besides the size of the installation spot and unit, you also have to consider whether the cabinet will be able to hold the weight of the microwave oven. This is also why we highly recommend you hire a professional when setting up your built-in microwave oven to ensure proper installation.
Modern microwaves are a step above the ones we had a couple of years back. Nowadays, microwave ovens come with additional features to make cooking extra convenient and easy. If you wish to cast a broad net, we recommend going for units that provide roasting, grilling, and baking capabilities. Some also come with defrost and reheating functionalities as well. You should also check the microwave oven's pre-programmed cooking options to see if it will be able to cover all or most of your main recipes.
Another vital factor when buying a microwave oven is its power output or wattage. Microwave oven wattage will range in between 650W to 1950W. The higher the power, the faster it can cook. This particular factor will be subjective to the customer. If you enjoy cooking, we recommend you get an oven with a higher power output. For those who primarily reheat food, 650W will suffice. You will also notice the Heat Category that is displayed on the microwave oven. Those categorized as A are the least powerful units, while E is classified as the most powerful in terms of wattage.
#5. Turntable or Flatbed?
There are two variations available in the market in regards to microwave ovens: microwave ovens that use turntables and units that use flatbeds. Microwave ovens with turntables utilize a platform that rotates during the cooking process to help ensure even cooking. These are removable as well, which means cleaning is relatively easy. Some microwave ovens also have features that allow users to turn off the rotating feature if you wish the food inside to remain stationary.
As for flatbed microwave ovens, these units do not have a rotating element but instead utilizes a different type of heating technology to help evenly cooking food. Flatbed microwave ovens also provide more cooking space inside than turntable units. That said, flatbed microwave ovens are considerably more expensive than the traditional turntable variation.
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Additional Microwave Features That You Should Consider
Besides the main microwave features, we listed above, the advancement in technology allowed for other functionalities to be implemented into the unit's design. While these features are not strictly mandatory to have, they are, nonetheless, welcome inclusions that will help improve your overall experience with using these vital kitchen appliances.
- Auto-Cook Program – The pre-programmed setting will allow you to circumvent the guesswork that sometimes comes with using microwave ovens. This feature has the temperature and time already set for popular meals. Some modern microwave also has features that automatically adjust the power and cooking time based on the type and weight of food that is inside.
- Control Panel – Do you prefer the classic button and knob configuration or the modern touch control? Touch controls are far easier to clean and operate. However, make sure that the display is bright enough to be read correctly.
- Quartz Grill – Microwave with quartz grill feature is less powerful compared to a standard oven grill but can achieve similar results. Quartz grill is ideal if you wish to achieve that perfect surface browning when roasting food.
- Radiant Grill – The radiant grill feature is suitable for cooking large or thicker food. If you love to prepare pork chops, then a microwave oven with radiant grill is an excellent choice. Just remember to preheat the oven first before placing the food inside as radiant grill is also less powerful than the traditional range.
- Sensor Cooking – This feature is beneficial as it can detect the moisture in the food as well as the overall humidity within the oven. The oven will then automatically adjust temperature and cooking time on the fly to provide the best results.
- Child Lock System – If you have children at home, then having this feature is highly recommended to ensure their safety. This safety feature will prevent children from turning on the oven without your supervision.
The Best Built-In Microwave with Reviews - Top 5 On The Market Right Now
Below, there is a list of the best 5 built-in microwaves after we've done the research. We analyzed the Pros & Cons with detailed information for each product. Let's check it out!
#1. Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SD945S 2.2 Cu. Ft. 1250W
- Large capacity of 2.2 Cu. Ft. and powerful 1,250W.
- It is equipped with Inverter Technology that significantly improves stability and even distribution of heat.
- It is equipped with Advanced Inverter Turbo Defrost technology that speeds up defrosting time.
- Packed with advanced features such as Smart Cooking, Genius Sensor, and Keep Warm functionality.
Panasonic is one of the premier names in electronic appliances, so it is not surprising for one of their products to find a way into our list. This is a powerful microwave oven as it comes with up to 1,250 Watts of power and at 2.2 cubic feet, it is also quite large. What helps separate this microwave oven from the competition is its Inverter technology which not only delivers consistent and evenly prepared food, it also significantly speeds up the defrosting time.
Additionally, the inclusion of features such as Smart Cooking and Genius Sensor further helps improve convenience as it allows the oven to automatically adjust the power and cooking time based on the food inside. This is a highly innovate microwave oven that offers top-tier convenience in the kitchen.
With a decent build and feature-rich control, the Panasonic NN-SD945S could easily beat the competition. However, a rather complicated and inefficient control configuration holds this microwave back from breaking through the glass ceiling.
#2. Farberware 1.1 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave Oven
- 1,000 Watts with 10 Power Levels.
- Comprehensive Defrost feature based on weight or time of the food.
- Comes with Child Lock Safety feature.
- Detailed LED display with digital timer.
- Fast reheat and cooking.
- Has six preset cooking features.
The Farberware Microwave Oven is a spacious and stylish kitchen appliance that will surely fit nicely within the modern household. It features a sleek stainless-steel exterior accompanied by a highly detailed LED display and digital clock. The microwave oven comes with ten power levels to cover all cooking necessities.
For convenience, the Farberware also has up to six preset cooking programs for popcorn, pizza, potato, defrosting veggies, and dinner plate. Reheating leftovers can also be done in an instant with this microwave oven. Additionally, it comes with a child safety feature which locks the control panel. Inside is a 12.5-inches glass turntable which you can also remove for easy cleaning.
A robust microwave oven that can double as both a countertop and built-in mode, the Farberware delivers every bang for your buck. The well-rounded build, excellent features, and sleek design make this among the top of our most recommended products in this category.
#3. Farberware Professional 1.3 Cu. Ft. 1100-Watt Microwave Oven
- Equipped with Smart Sensor technology.
- Comes with pre-programmed cooking settings and two defrost settings.
- 1 to 3-minute start function.
- Incorporates Energy Saving Mode technology.
- Up to 10 Power Levels available.
- Comes with a 12.4-inches glass turntable.
- Child lock safety feature.
Farberware makes another appearance twice in a row with their Professional 1.3 Cu. Ft. Microwave Oven. This is an upgrade to their previous entry and comes in two variations: black matte and white. The Farberware Professional is equipped with dozens of features to improve overall convenience in the kitchen.
This microwave oven comes with up to 9 One-Touch preset programs that cover a handful of popular meals such as pizza and popcorn. You can also expect lightning-fast cooking with it 1,100W power and ten adjustable power levels. We also love the Smart Sensor technology, which enhances precision in cooking your favorite recipes. Additionally, the Energy Saver mode will help cut down on your electrical bills.
For a mid-range built-in microwave oven, the Farberware Professional is undoubtedly the right choice. While it does offer flexibility when it comes to cooking different types of meals, microwave technology does not provide a perfectly even heat distribution. If you love cooking a wide variety of recipes, you might find this oven a bit limiting. For those who want a quick and easy meal, this might be the missing piece in your kitchen.
#4. Sharp KB-6524PS 24-Inch Microwave Drawer Oven, Stainless steel
- 1.2 Cubic Feet capacity.
- Equipped with Sensor Technology which provides up to 11 sensor programs.
- Features Smart Design functionality such as the Auto Touch Key which opens and closes the oven door automatically.
- Available in 24-inch and 30-inch sizes.
- Delivers a stable 950W power output.
Sharp is another brand known for its innovation, and the Sharp Microwave Drawer Oven is an excellent example of this reputation. While more extensive, the KB6524PS certainly looks sleeker and is designed to be user-friendly. It comes in both 24-inch and 30-inch models. It has a power output of 950 Watts so don't expect it to cook large food quickly.
It has some highly convenient features like the Auto-Touch button which closes and opens the oven door with a press of a button. Overall, while it may not pack the power of the other entries in this list, the polished features and functionality help elevate the Sharp KB6524PS Microwave Drawer Oven to new heights.
Reliable, well-built, stylish, and convenient – the Sharp KB6524PS Microwave Drawer Oven is one of the most well-rounded products that we have tested. While it does come with some excellent features, we hoped that it had more to give considering the price. Well, if "ease of use" is what you are looking for in a microwave oven then this fits right up your alley.
#5. GE JVM3160RFSS 30″ Over-the-Range Microwave Oven in Stainless Steel
- 1.6 Cu. Ft. Capacity
- Comes with a glass turntable with Turntable Control features.
- Auto and Manual Defrost for optimum results.
- Equipped with a two-speed 300-CFM vent system which helps remove smoke, steam, and odors from inside the oven.
Another staple when it comes to home appliances, the GE Over-the-Range Microwave Oven is a traditional microwave oven with a few curve balls thrown in. One of the most notable tweaks to its design is the 300-CFM vent system which helps eliminate smoke and odor from inside the oven. I do want to point out that the fan can be rather noisy at times, and it will automatically turn on if the unit senses the temperature on the bottom is reaching a certain point. Overall, this is a pretty straightforward built-in microwave oven without much bells and whistles.
Why We Should Choose a Built-In Microwave Oven?
Now, if you are here because you are interested in the notion of a built-in microwave oven but is still on the fence on whether to buy one – we can help you make up your mind with that. There is one unique advantage that comes with purchasing a built-in microwave oven that conventional ovens cannot provide.
Since the range will be installed into a closet or wall, you will be able to free up a lot of space on your countertop. This is the right choice if you plan on renovating your kitchen or in the process of building a new one. Having the microwave built into the wall or a cabinet is an excellent space-saving method.
A built-in microwave is a great space-saving kitchen appliance for those with limited space. Since it will be installed inside a cabinet or wall, you can free up a good chunk of space in your kitchen. Of course, this means that you will need to spend some cash in the installation, but if you are already in the process of doing so, I say why not opt for this type of microwave oven instead? Mainly if your kitchen space is already limited as is.