Over-the-range microwaves clear up counter space and look more streamlined in your kitchen. Consumer Reports tested more than 80 to find the best.
Lonnie Lum loves to cook so she needed a microwave that could keep up.
“I use the microwave ten to fifteen times per day.” said Lum.
Consumer Reports’ Kimberly Janeway checked out how much you have to spend to get a great microwave.
“Well how hard could it be to buy a microwave? That’s what we thought until we tested three GE over-the-range microwaves.” said Janeway.
All three look similar. All have about one thousand watts of power, a stainless steel finish, and about the same amount of cooking space but this one costs 250 dollars, this one, 400, and this — 550 dollars.
The differences? The two
higher-priced microwaves come with some extra features like a wire rack, a sensor that detects when food is done, extra settings for things like snacks and steaming and more speeds for the exhaust fan.
To check for differences in performance, testers made popcorn and measured how much each microwave actually produced. They used frozen chop meat to see how well each defrosted and reheated trays of lasagna. These temperature probes help to see how evenly the microwaves heat.
It turns out the 550-dollar GE Profile only slightly outperformed the others. So you can save money and opt for the 250-dollar GE — a Consumer Reports Best Buy.
“If you’re just planning on using it as a basic microwave, heating, venting defrosting, this will do.” said Janeway.
If you prefer a microwave that sits on the counter, Consumer Reports named a midsized one from Sharp a Best Buy for 140 dollars. It’s a bit smaller than the GE over-the-range microwave but is impressive at reheating and defrosting. It’s the Sharp R-323TKC.