Choosing The Best Over The Range Microwave Convection Oven Combo In A World Of Look Alikes

Over The Range Convection Microwave

Here’s a little tidbit of information that will surprise you. We asked ten homemakers who use kitchen appliances about over the range microwave convection ovens, and four did not know what it actually meant. Do you belong to the category of people who are aware about the product or unaware about it? Well, we are about to level the playing field – with all the information that you need to know. Regardless of your knowledge or lack of it, this little handbook will help you put your money on the best over the range microwave convection oven combo.

What Exactly Makes The Product Different From A Regular Microwave Convection Oven?

In plainspeak, it is a combo – it works as a microwave convection oven in addition to working like a range hood for your stovetop. A range hood removes the fumes, heat, steam and smoke that rise from your stovetop, making the kitchen odor and smoke-free, while considerably bringing down the heat in your kitchen. In compact kitchens, the lack of space makes this combo a great option. Certain models offer enhanced cooking options, which sweeten the deal, making homemakers lives a lot easy. Now that we have outlined this basic difference, let’s understand the difference between a convection microwave and a microwave (regular/conventional models).

over the range microwave reviews

This effectively means that an over the range microwave convection oven combo gives you the advantage of a microwave convection oven plus a functionalities that you get from a typical range hood. With this important information behind us, let us look at other features.

Features That Matter When You Choose A Combo Model

These are the features that you need to look for in a model to determine if it is suitable for your use. These are the features that matter in the performance of a combo oven, and most of the other features are bells and whistles that are primarily vanity features with little functional contribution.

Microwave Oven Over The Range

Size – There are basically four different sizes of microwave ovens.

  • Compact – < 1 cubic foot
  • Midsize – 1 to 1.5 cubic feet
  • Full size – 1.6 to 2 cubic feet
  • Extra large – > 2 cubic feet

Let’s now interpret this in term of your size of your family. If you are a couple or all by yourself, then your needs can be fully met with a compact oven. If you are a family of four, then either the midsize or full size model will suffice. If your family is large, or if you frequently prepare food for more than 5 or 6 individuals, then you need the extra large model.

Power (Watts)

This will help you determine if your cooking is going to conclude faster and efficiently. Overall it means that if the model features higher wattage, your cooking will be faster. Ideally, you need to be looking at anything between 1000 to 1200 watts if you are cooking large portions. If the cooking requirements are for a small family or smaller portions, then sub 1000 watts would also suffice. You can also link this to the cubic size of the oven. For instance, if you are going in for the mid size or full size models, the ideal wattage should be 1100 watts. If you are opting for the extra large models, the ideal wattage needs to be 1200 watts.

Defrosting, Preheat

These features make a difference to your multitasking ability. In the kitchen it always helps to be able to do a couple of things together. Defrosting helps you to heat up the frozen food, while you make other preparations. Preheating prepare the oven to reach a certain temperature after which you can turn it on to begin your cooking.

Auto Cook, Timer

With auto cook, you can pick from pre-programmed options which will automatically adjust the power and the time setting. This helps you to swiftly get your food prepared, at the right temperature, with just one touch of the button, display. The timer gives you the flexibility to choose the right timings as per your preparation style/cuisine.

Display

This is an important feature that many individuals tend to overlook. You need to be able to clearly see the display to understand the settings or the timings. Therefore, the model that you choose should give you a crystal clear display with readings that are not confusing. Different types of displays include feather touch or mechanical.

Vent/Exhaust

As this function is one of the reasons why you have opted for this model in the first place, it is important to look at his closely. Ideally you need to be asking these questions – what is the CFM rating of the vent? Does it have multiple power levels? A good vent is one that has upwards of 240 CFM, with at least two different power levels. This way you will be able to adjust the speed with which the fan operates, and the noise level.

Convection Microwave Over The Range

The Top # 3 In The Market

Here’s a feature by feature listing of the top three models in the market. The comparison table at bottom helps you look at the functionalities of each model against that of other models. This will help you to choose one that is most suitable.

Best Over The Range Microwave Convection Oven Combo | Comparison chart

     ★ Best Overall ★       

GE JNM3163RJSS

microwave convection oven combo over the range

Easy To Use

Easy To Install

Highly Durable

     ★ Best Value ★       

LG LMC2075

top rated over the range microwaves

Best Brand

High Quality

Most Reliable

     ★ Premium Choice ★       

Sharp R1874T

best rated over the range microwave

Powerful Fan

4 Way Convection

Easy Sensor Settings

Reviews of Best Over The Range Microwave Convection Oven Combo

Here’s a feature by feature listing of the top three models in the market. The comparison table at bottom helps you look at the functionalities of each model against that of other models. This will help you to choose one that is most suitable.

     ★ Most Recommended ★       

Sharp R1874T

This is a four way convection oven with a turntable which ensures that the food is evenly heated, with sensor settings that simplify cooking. You can broil, bake, brown and also get a crusty layer on your preparation.

In microwave settings you can use thermo plastics, paper cups, cling films and cartons, while metal containers can be used in convection settings. You get an oven with flexible exhaust options that assist you during range top cooking; you can choose either horizontal, ductless or vertical venting.

Tech Specs

  • Watts – 850

  • Display – 7 digit interactive, sensor

  • Space – 1.1 cubic feet

  • 13 inch turntable 

  • Build – stainless steel

  • Dimensions – 29 x 16 x 15 inches

  • 4 way convection

  • Built-in exhaust with fan and hood light

The stainless steel finish, and the user friendly interactive display makes cooking easy. This is a neat, compact model, with low and high racks that allow you to finish your cooking fast. You do not need an external vent with this 240 CFM inbuilt exhaust fan. It is powerful enough to rid your range top of odor and fumes. The 850 watts model means that it is good enough to heat/defrost food quickly and efficiently.

Where It Could Have Scored Better?

The convection could do with a little improvement. The heat does not seem to be retained long enough.

     ★ Most Recommended ★       

GE JNM3163

This model offers faster cooking time than the previous one featured on this list. It has a powerful 300 cubic feet per minute exhaust system which means that it offers exhaust good enough for a range top in a medium sized kitchen.

This is a full sized model, which means that you can use this for a family of four or five conveniently for all cooking requirements. The programmable auto and defrost settings makes it easy to multitask.

Tech Specs

  • Watts – 950

  • Programmable defrosting

  • Space – 1.6 cubic feet

  • 300 CFM venting system

  • Build – stainless steel

  • Dimensions – 29 x 16 x 15 inches

  • Replaceable charcoal filter

  • Electronic touch display

This is a good model to have for families that have bigger requirements. If you need to speed up things a bit, or if you want more power in your exhaust, then this is a good model to choose. Additionally, the two speed settings in the exhaust also ensure that you do not overdo the exhaust. The turntable on/off function, the exquisite stainless steel design and the touch display complete the feature roundup, packing in all the functionalities that you will need.

Where It Could Have Scored Better?

The vent is loud, bringing down the sound a bit would certainly help the cause of this model.

     ★ Most Recommended ★       

LG 2 Cubic Feet

This figures in the extra-large category and offers faster cooking options with 1200 watts of power. The advanced Sensor Cook options automatically detects the humidity levels inside the oven and adjusts the settings to ensure that the cooking time is optimized with best results.

The three different power levels in the 400 cubic feet per minute exhaust offer powerful options to rid your kitchen of odor and fumes.

Tech Specs

  • Watts – 1200

  • Display – 12 digit VFD scrolling

  • Space – 2 cubic feet

  • 16 inch turntable

  • Build – stainless steel

  • Dimensions – 30 x 16 x 18 inches

  • AutoCook option for different preparation styles

  • Built-in exhaust with 400 CFM fan, 3 power levels – Turbo, High, Low

This stainless steel model comes with interesting features such as the Soften Key which helps in handling ice cream, butter, frozen juice and cream. The large turntable ensures that the food is exposed to uniform heat, thereby giving your preparation the ultimate flavor and consistency. The display is intelligent, offering you the option of setting the units, and comes with convenient timer settings.

Where It Could Have Scored Better?

Two issues are dampners. The first is the digital display – it is touch to read the display easily. The second is the size of the window which permits you to look inside – it is small, and as it happens to be an OTR, it could be challenging to see the contents inside, if it has been mounted over the range.

Comparison Of The Features That Matter In The Three Models

This feature by feature comparison will help you decide on the most suitable model as per your requirements and preferences.

Convection Microwave Oven