What are the features that make the best over-the-range convection microwave? Thanks to their various cooking modes, dual functionality, and larger internal capacity, these appliances are some of the best microwaves for kitchen enthusiasts. They seamlessly switch between standard microwave functionality and convection oven functionality.
The best OTR convection microwave ovens offer plenty of user-friendliness and ease of installation, so you don’t have to spend ages getting them ready to cook. They should also provide all of the cooking modes and functions you need for your kitchen.
Keep reading to learn more about the best over-the-range convection microwaves and the key features to consider when shopping for one.
Top Over the Range Convection Microwaves
#1 Sharp R1874T Over the Range Convection Microwave
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has up to eight different cooking settings for users to choose from and has a large turntable for all-around heating. It also features a two-color display for easy reading and has eleven power levels for owners to choose from.
- Up to eight different sensor cook settings for added convenience
- Large turntable for even heating
- Easy to clean stainless steel body
- 1.1 Cubic Feet capacity may not be ideal for a large family
The Sharp R1874T is an 850-watt over-the-range microwave oven with a decent 1.1 cubic feet capacity and features a 13-inch turntable that makes it ideal for even heating. Weighing about 72 pounds, the microwave is pretty easy to install and features a 4-way convection system that can be used to brown, bake, boil, or crisp your favorite dishes. This microwave is designed with three convenient venting options and a two-color interactive display for easy reading. However, its 1.1 cubic feet capacity may not be big enough for a large family’s needs.
The microwave offers eight different sensor cook settings, and courtesy of its stainless steel body, it is pretty easy to clean. It also comes with a child lock to prevent unauthorized use and features a minute plus quick-start button that can get it going on full power whenever owners need to heat a quick meal. Inside, this Sharp microwave also has a cooktop light that allows users to maintain a good view of their food, and it comes with two brightness levels to alternate between.
#2 Galanz GLOMJB17S2ASWZ Over the Range Microwave
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has different methods of cooking that are healthier and oil-free, and eleven power levels to choose from. It also has a large turntable for even heating that can be easily removed for cleaning.
- Uses special cooking methods that require less oil when cooking
- Has a built-in humidity sensor to prevent over or under cooking
- Up to 11 power levels to choose from
- Exhaust fan may be noisy
This 1.7 Cubic Feet microwave oven from Galanz promises to deliver well-cooked meals thanks to its use of convection technology, and with up to 11 power levels to choose from, owners will have the latitude to prepare their meals precisely as they want to. This microwave relies on air fry and steam cooking to reduce the use of oil, and its stainless steel body also makes it pretty easy to clean. This microwave also comes with a large 12.8-inch glass turntable that guarantees even heating, but some people might find its exhaust fan noisy.
Inside, this Galanz microwave comes with an in-built humidity sensor to ensure that the food is never under or over-cooked. The microwave also has a child lock to prevent young users from tampering with its functioning and comes with a combo speed cooking function that combines both convection cooking with microwave cooking so that food gets cooked faster and with better texture.
#3 Zline Over The Range Convection Microwave
Award: BEST FOR QUIET OPERATION
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is very quiet in its operation and weighing only 64 pounds, is also pretty easy to install. It has an illuminated LCD display that is easy to read and has a reasonably large cubic capacity.
- Very easy to use
- Black stainless steel design gives it a very modern appeal
- Easy to read LCD screen
- No child lock
With a two cubic feet capacity, the Zline over-the-range convection microwave is relatively large by most standards. Its black stainless steel finish should also look good around any kind of kitchen cabinetry. The microwave has an easy-to-read LCD screen and features both standard microwave and convection cooking. The interior of this stainless steel microwave also makes it relatively easy to clean, and with a noise rating of around 46 decibels, the microwave is pretty quiet in its functioning. Unfortunately, it does not have a child lock.
With a power output of about 900 watts, this microwave is pretty powerful, and weighing only 64 pounds, installing it in a kitchen shouldn’t be very difficult. The microwave’s soft keys feel very good to touch, and since it also has a 300 CFM fan, its got pretty good air circulation.
#4 Frigidaire FGBM15WCVF Over the Range Microwave
Award: BEST FOR MODERN DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a very modern design and a full-width door that is meant to work well even in tight and compact spaces. It has an LED cooktop light to illuminate the cooking surface below and a relatively powerful air ventilation system.
- Very modern aesthetics
- Large 13.6-inch turntable
- Full width door that can open up to 90° for added convenience
- High energy consumption
The Frigidaire FGBM15WCVF over-the-range microwave oven is a modern-looking 1.5 Cubic capacity microwave that comes with LED lighting for a clear view of what’s cooking and a relatively large 13.6-inch turntable for all-around heating. Weighing only 64 pounds, it shouldn’t be tough to install, and since it also comes with a SpaceWise rack, users will have the chance to cook two dishes at once. Its LED lighting delivers a clear and bright view of the cooktop, but its 1450-watt energy consumption might significantly increase energy bills.
This Frigidaire microwave oven comes with a full-width door that adds to its modern style and aesthetic, and on its bottom, it features a three-speed ventilation fan that can move air at a speed of up to 400 cubic feet per minute. Since its door can open up to 90°, the microwave can be adapted to fit tight and compact spaces, and when convection cooking, owners will be able to set temperatures from 100 to 425 degrees.
#5 Samsung MC17T8000CS Over the Range Convection Microwave
Award: BEST FOR EASY CONNECTIVITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has WiFi connectivity and can thus be controlled through an app or by voice. It also features a three-speed ventilation system and has a child lock to prevent unauthorized use.
- It can be operated through app or voice courtesy of its WiFi connectivity
- Its slim fry option uses less oil for healthier eating
- It has very sleek looks
- Users cannot set a cook time for pre-programmed pre-sets
The Samsung MC17T8000CS is a 1.7 Cubic feet capacity over-the-range microwave with ten power levels and a standout Slim Fry feature that gets food cooked with a minimal amount of oil. The microwave also features a three-speed CFM ventilation system for good air ventilation and WiFi connectivity that allows it to be activated through Samsung’s SmartThings app. The microwave also has a fingerprint-resistant finish for smudge-free use, but some might not like that users cannot program a cook time for pre-programmed pre-sets.
This microwave also offers several presets for quick cooking and comes with additional features such as auto-cook and defrost for added convenience. It also has glass touch controls that are pretty easy to clean and a child safety lock that can be used to prevent unwanted use. It also has very sleek looks.
#6 Cafe Stainless Steel Over-the-Range Microwave
We’re sorry, this product is temporarily out of stock
Award: BEST FOR GENERAL USE
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is excellent for cooking different types of food and is pretty easy to use. It has ten power levels to choose from and a four-speed ventilation system for dissipating smoke.
- Very easy to use
- Bright LED cooktop light
- Stainless steel finish that makes it easy to clean
- Heavy 95-pound weight may make it hard to install
Although the Café line of microwaves might be relatively unknown to some, they still produce pretty good microwave ovens, and this stainless steel, 950-watt release is no exception. Weighing 95 pounds, this Café microwave offers up to 1.7 Cubic feet of space for cooking and comes with up to 10 different power levels for users to choose from. It has a swift 300 CFM ventilation system that swiftly gets rid of unwanted fumes and an LED cooktop light to illuminate whatever’s going on underneath. However, its 95-pound weight may warrant some additional help during installation.
The microwave also comes with removable oven racks that make it easy to cook large amounts of food at once and a turn-key dial that makes it easy to choose the quantity of time required for cooking. It also has a stainless steel finish that makes it pretty easy to clean and a defrost function that can be set to work based on either weight or time.
What Are Over the Range Convection Microwaves?
An over-the-range, high-end convection microwave oven, also known as an OTR microwave, is an incredibly useful kitchen appliance that uses microwave radiation to heat up and cook food. Microwaves cook the food from the inside out, making the cooking process quicker and more efficient. This appliance also provides convection oven functionality.
Like the best built-in microwave, an over-the-range model is installed in the cabinet space directly above your stove, saving counter space. They usually include a built-in exhaust system that acts as a hood for your stove, eliminating cooking odors and smoke. But, even with these great benefits, sometimes replacing above-the-range microwaves might be difficult unless you’re a professional. These appliances typically have a similar appearance, with a control panel, digital display, pre-set cooking modes, and a glass turntable.
Over the Range Convection Microwaves vs Traditional Microwaves
When it comes to core functionality, both OTR convection microwave ovens and traditional microwave ovens are one and the same. They use microwave radiation for cooking or reheating your food. However, models with a convection feature extend this functionality to include a heating element and fan that blows hot air evenly around your food. This can provide a more consistent and precise cooking experience.
The next main difference between OTR convection microwaves and standard alternatives is that OTR models can only be installed above your stove. Traditional microwaves come in all different sizes and configurations, some of which can be installed over the range and others that can simply be placed on your countertop. Despite whichever model you have, if your microwave is making crackling noises when not in use might mean it has an impending electrical short
In general, OTR microwaves also tend to offer more advanced functionality and more pre-set cooking modes than standard alternatives. As such, they are a little more expensive and larger than the average microwave oven.
How Over the Range Convection Microwaves Work
Over the range convection microwaves offer two different cooking modes: microwave and convection oven. The microwave functionality works in the same way as every other microwave appliance. Once connected to a power source, the appliance’s internal components generate high-powered radio waves called microwaves.
The appliance then directs these waves into the interior chamber, where they bounce around and pass through the food you are preparing. As the microwave energy passes through your food, it generates heat by agitating the molecules in the food, which then cooks it.
The convection oven functionality operates much differently from the microwave function and, as you might suspect, resembles a traditional oven’s functionality more closely. It utilizes a heating element and fan housed in the rear portion of the appliance to heat up or cook your food. As the heating element gets hot, the fan blows air across it and circulates throughout the microwave’s interior chamber. This function allows you to roast, bake, and crisp your food, which a traditional microwave cannot do on its own.
Do You Really Need an Over the Range Convection Microwave?
If you’re looking to elevate your kitchen’s overall utility, then you can’t afford to miss out on over the range microwaves. Thanks to their dual functionality, these handy kitchen appliances give you a quicker way to cook and reheat food. Instead of firing up your large oven to bake or roast something, you can simply use the convection function on your microwave instead.
These appliances also offer more power and more capacity than traditional microwave ovens. If you’re looking for more space in your microwave, you might as well opt for the option that gives you added functionality, too.
Is an Over the Range Convection Microwave Worth Buying?
- You Want More Variety in Different Cooking Modes: The biggest selling point of an over-the-range microwave oven is its multi-functionality. Traditional microwaves are good for quick snacks and reheating leftovers, but OTR convection microwaves give you the option of roasting and baking dishes with more convenience than your full-sized oven. If you’re looking for more variety in cooking modes without sacrificing the convenience of using a microwave oven, then these appliances are perfect for you. Speaking of versatility, if you want not only a microwave but also a toaster oven, the best microwave toaster oven combo is a great all-in-one appliance.
- You Need More Capacity and Power in Your Microwave: OTR convection microwaves tend to offer higher wattage ratings, which results in faster cooking times and more consistent results. They also tend to be larger in size than countertop models. If you’re looking for more internal capacity, an OTR microwave usually offers anywhere from 1.7 to 2.0 cubic feet of capacity.
- You Need a Ventilation System for Your Range: If you don’t have a hood ventilation system above your stove, then an over the range microwave convection oven is an excellent choice. These products are installed directly above your stove and feature a fan system on the bottom side that can act as a ventilation system for anything you cook on your stove.
- You Want to Save Counter Space: Since these appliances are installed directly above your stove, you’ll be able to free up more kitchen space on your counters. This way, you can have more room for food prep and serving.
Why an Over the Range Convection Microwave May Not Be For You
- You Can’t Install Anything Over Your Range: If you don’t have any space above your range to install a microwave, purchasing an OTR model doesn’t make sense. Yes, you could hire a contractor to create a space for an OTR microwave, but this isn’t very cost-effective. If you want a built-in option in a different location, you may want to consider the best microwave drawer.
- You’re On a Budget: An over the range microwave convection oven is often more expensive than a standard countertop microwave. If you’re on a strict budget for new kitchen appliances, then you may not want to consider OTR convection models.
- You Don’t Need a Large Microwave: The microwave needs to be larger than other options to house the convection heating element. If you don’t need a large microwave capacity in terms of cubic feet, or you simply don’t have the space for it, then you should look at traditional alternatives like the best small microwave of 2023.
How Long Will an Over the Range Convection Microwave Last?
If you were to ask industry professionals in the kitchen appliance world, like those at Ocean Appliance, you’d find that they estimate a seven-year expectation for a microwave’s average lifespan. Manufacturers typically state that their appliances will last upwards of ten years with the proper care.
As with any other product on the market today, the way you treat your over the range convection microwave will have a direct impact on its overall lifespan. If you don’t follow the manufacturer’s recommended operation procedures, you run the risk of causing damage to your appliance. If you’re using the microwave functionality, avoid putting metals or foods like potatoes in the appliance. However, if you’re using the convection oven functionality, these are completely fine.
How to Choose the Best Over the Range Convection Microwave
As you research the different options available to you in this category, you’d do well to keep a few key considerations in mind. Before you make a purchase, one of the most important things to do is ensure the model you get fits in the specific space for OTR microwaves in your home. After that, you’ll want to purchase a model with the capacity, cooking modes, and advanced functionality that fit your cooking needs.
Over the Range Convection Microwave Key Factors to Consider
1. What size and internal capacity do you need for your microwave oven?
There are two components to a microwave’s size that you need to consider. For starters, you’ll first need to determine what the appliance’s external dimensions are. This way, you’ll be sure the microwave oven will physically fit into the space created for it. All manufacturers list their product’s dimensions in the product description.
Next, you’ll need to consider how much internal capacity your convection microwave offers. This is measured in cubic feet. For the most part, OTR microwaves with convection ovens feature an internal capacity of anywhere between 1.5 to 2.0 cubic feet, although you can purchase options on either end of that scale. Most people are fine with around 1.5 cubic feet of capacity.
2. How easy is the microwave to install?
If you purchase a microwave oven in this category, it will need to be installed correctly above your range. You’ll need to decide between installing it yourself or hiring someone to install it for you. If you opt to install it yourself, you’ll want to be sure you purchase an option with an easy installation process.
Fortunately, if you’re replacing an existing OTR microwave, all of the mounting hardware and brackets should already be present. In this sense, all you need to do is remove the old appliance and place the new one in its spot.
3. What kind of power do you need for your microwave oven?
A microwave’s power is measured in wattage. The more watts of power your microwave offers, the quicker and more efficiently it can cook or reheat your food. You’ll find models with power levels anywhere from 600 to 1,200 watts of cooking power. When it comes to the range convection microwaves, however, these models have around 1,000 watts of power.
4. Do you need any specific functionality or cooking modes?
Apart from the standard microwave and convection oven functionality these microwaves offer, you may want to consider some additional cooking settings and usability features. These can increase the overall utility of your microwave and offer more convenience. Consider some of these extra features:
- Kitchen timer
- Child safety lock
- Frozen foods
- Baked potato
- Variable power settings
5. What kind of advanced features do you need on your microwave oven?
If you’re willing to spend a little extra, consider a model with advanced microwave features and functionalities. You can get these combination appliances in a countertop form as well, like the best toaster oven air fryer. While the core functionality of microwaves hasn’t changed much over the years, manufacturers have started to include additional features and functionality to increase the microwave’s overall utility, including:
- Air fryer functionality
- Built-in sensor settings
- Smart technology
- Steam cleaning function
- Inverter technology
- Easy clean interior