Best Built-In Microwaves 2021

Microwave is a household appliance which has surely revolutionized and modernized our home’s kitchen. Instead of standing for hours in front of our normal stoves, paying attention to the dishes being cooked, You can just toss everything in the microwave, press a few buttons and have your meal ready in minutes. Basically, a microwave heats food by converting electricity into electromagnetic waves of microwaves range. They are quick, convenient, safe and also cause least harm to the nutritional value of the food. With their popularization, they have lifted household convenience to a next level. Pros and Cons of having a microwave

  • Convenience: It provides easier and faster cooking and you don’t need to check on your food after every few minutes.There is no issue of burnt, or over or under cooked food.
  • Economical: Using a microwave consumes much less energy than conventional gas burners.
  • Healthier food: The healthiest method of cooking is the one which involves short cooking time and less amount of liquid involved. Cooking the vegetables in the water causes leaching of their nutrients into the cooking water.

Microwave cooking, being quick, retains more nutrients in your veggies.

  • Safe: There is less smoke and less heat. Microwaves also have technologies like child lock systems.

They do have some of the drawbacks.

  • Using Microwave safe utensils: You have to be super conscious and cautious of what materials and utensils you place in your microwave. Not using a microwave safe dish can lead to reactions between food and the material causing melted utensil, uneatable food and also damages to your microwave.

  • Limits the variety: There are some meals that just can’t be replaced using a microwave. A microwave also doesn’t let you deep fry.
  • Burnt Hands: This is a common problem most of the people face while using a microwave. Sometimes the pots or utensils are too hot to handle and it can lead to burn in your skin and hands.
  • Harmful for humans: There are many studies to show that microwaves are dangerous for humans. For instance, if they get damaged they can emit harmful radiations. Also the use of some plastic containers can cause the toxin to get into your food which are sometimes carcinogenic.

But, The pros of using a microwave outweigh the cons by far. A lot of these disadvantages can be eliminated if you use the right methods with right precautions. There are various types of microwaves ranging from Countertop to Built-in microwaves. If you decide to purchase a new microwave, you must be facing the dilemma of choosing the right one.

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Comparison between Countertop and Built-In Microwave




Placed on kitchen counter

Tucked in a cabinet or wall

Requires more space on counter

Saves counter and kitchen space


Inexpensive Low maintenance

Costlier, more maintenance required


Portable, can be moved around

Permanently installed


Easy to install

Require installation expertise


More parts to clean

Easier to clean

So, you have had a look at the important features of both countertop and built-in microwaves. While a countertop microwave can suit most of you, a built -in microwave is a perfect choice for those who have little counter space or small kitchens, and for those who want to add aesthetics to their kitchen.

Advantages of Built-in Microwaves

  • Saves Counter space: The biggest advantage of having a built -in microwave is that it saves your precious space on your kitchen counter.

This is a problem for most of us, especially those who are having small kitchens or less counter space. We never seem to have space to keep anything on our counter, because of this monstrous countertop microwave taking up all the area. Whereas Built-In microwave, being neatly tucked into your cabinet, gives you all the space you require for keeping jars, utensils or just empty.

  • Adds to the aesthetics: this is the second most useful advantage of a built-in microwave.

Most of us love our kitchen a lot and we try doing experiments to make it more beautiful. The last thing you need is big, bulky and unattractive appliances like microwaves, ovens and toasters to ruin your kitchen aesthetics. A built-in microwave can save you here. They fit seamlessly into your kitchen cabinet and fill your kitchen with a look of luxury.

  • Easier to clean: A built in microwave has less exposed parts to clean as compared to their countertop counterparts.
  • Less noise: One of the most annoying problems we face with using a countertop microwave is the noise it makes. A built-in Microwave can minimize this problem to some extent. The cabinet inside which it is placed, provides some muffling to the noise.
  • Safe: If you have a small counter space, touching a hot microwave while reaching up is a possible scenario. If your microwave is placed neatly in a cabinet, it is going to be least of your worries.

It also prevents unsupervised use of microwaves by children or unfamiliar members.

Disadvantages of a built-in microwave

  • Expensive: Due to less number of manufactures, these microwaves come costlier.
  • Installation: In countertop microwaves, you just need to put in the plug and they are ready to use. Whereas, Built-in Microwaves require a licenced contractor with installation expertise.
  • Maintenance: Unlike, Countertop microwaves, these microwaves require a lot of maintenance. If a part gets damaged, you need to replace the whole microwave.
  • No portability: This is one big, serious disadvantage which comes with built in microwaves specially for those who move alot. Since a built-in microwave is installed permanently you can’t just take it and carry it around with you.

Are Over the Range Microwaves same as Built-in Microwaves?

No! They are not one and the same. While over the range microwaves are installed above the cooking range and they have a ventilation system in the bottom side of the microwave, which acts as a range hood. Built-In microwaves can be fit in any cabinet. They have ventilation systems on their side or on the top front and they don’t have a range hood.

Factors and Features to consider while buying

  • Space: This is the most important factor which you need to consider.

You have to measure the space of the cabinet and keep an extra margin of 1-2 centimetres, where you want to place your microwave.

  • Ventilation: Adequate ventilation is a must, especially in the case of built-in microwaves. Keep three inches of space between the oven’s top, sides, rear and the area where the unit is to be installed. Blocking air vents during use of microwaves can cause overheating and failure of the microwave.
  • Size: Size is, hands down, one of the most important factors. Think about the capacity you require, members in your household, types of dishes you want to typically cook? Will the pans you use fit or not?
  • Wattage: Higher the wattage, lesser will be the cooking time and the contents inside will be heated evenly. Suggested wattage is 700-1000 Watts.
  • Preprogrammed Settings: You can look for a microwave with preset cooking options. Most microwaves come with the following settings:

•Popcorn setting allows you to cook according to the size of the bag. Defrost is used in thawing frozen food products. Reheat: Reheat button is used to heat your leftovers perfectly, without setting up any additional power level. •Convection mode: Convection mode is used for the microwaves which can also do the baking. They enable you to cook food in the same way as in a traditional oven. Moreover, they are cheaper to run than a traditional oven. So, it can cut down your bills.

  • You can also look for removable racks and sensors which prevent over-cooking of the food.
  • Child Lock Option: Microwave has a child safety program installed in it to prevent a child or anyone unfamiliar of it from accidentally operating it.

Measurement and Placing options

Built-in models are designed to fit standard cabinet widths, which have openings 24, 27 and 30 inches wide. Typical widths of these devices usually range between 19 – 26 inches. Microwaves designed for built-in installation are available in heights ranging from about 17 to 22 inches. The depth can be defined as the length between the front end and the back end of the microwave oven when the door is closed. Depths range from roughly 20 to 25 inches with the door closed and 30 to 35 inches with the door open. Trim Kit The frame around the microwave is called a trim kit. Trim kit enables easy installation of a microwave in a cabinet opening or wall. You can place them where they can be easily accessed. They ensure a better fit along with facilitating proper air flow to avoid overheating of microwaves. These kits come in a variety of finishes. You can get metallic or stainless steel as well as plastic kits, in various colors and finishes.

Top picks

Advent MW912BWDK Black Built-in Microwave Oven with Wide Trim Kit PMWTRIM

Description: It is specially Built for Recreational Vehicles, Trailer, Camper, Motor Home etc. It can be used as a Countertop Microwave Oven without the Trim Kit and as a Built-in with the Trim Kit. They come with one-touch easy-to-use electronic controls to adjust cook times, cook settings, power levels, clock and timer. Capacity: 0.9 Cubic foot Power: 900 W Dimensions (W×H×D): 19 x 14 x 15.5 inches Weight: 38 pounds Features:

  • 6 pre-programmed one-touch digital cook settings.
  • Easy access door
  • Specially built for RV Recreational Vehicle, Trailer, Camper, Motorhomes.

Check it out Amazon

Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN686S Stainless Steel Countertop/Built-In

Description: With its sleek, stainless-steel door and base and stainless silver body, the powerful Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN686S Countertop/Built-In with Inverter Technology and Genius Sensor makes a stylish and convenient addition to any home, apartment or condo kitchen. Capacity: 1.2 Cubic foot Power: 1200 W Dimensions(W×D×H): 20.69 x 12.25 × 15.81 inches Weight: 25.5 Pounds Features:

  • Inverter technology: Unlike traditional microwaves that rely on pulse-on, pulse-off power at lower temperatures, it delivers a constant stream of cooking power at every temperature for more evenly cooked meals.

  • Turbo Defrost: It thaws food quickly and evenly. Advanced Inverter Turbo Defrost speeds up defrosting time.
  • Smart Cooking Settings with Genius Sensor: Built in automatic genius sensor adjusts power and times according to different food items.
  • 14 preset menu items.
  • Quick minute timer, delay start and child safety lock.
  • Touch pad control.

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Frigidaire FGMO205KF Gallery 2.0 Cu. Ft. Built-In Microwave

Description: Frigidaire is the brand you have come to know and trust. Year after year Frigidaire has been the most reliable brand among leading appliance brands. And it surely doesn’t disappoint, this time either. This Microwave comes with a huge capacity, child lock system, auto weight defrost and multiple preset options to make your cooking hassle-free. Capacity: 2 Cubic foot Power: 1200 W Dimensions(W×D×H): 24 x 20 x 14 inches Weight: 41 pounds Features:

  • 3 Auto Cook Options
  • Sensor Cook
  • 7 User Preference Options
  • One-Touch Options

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Equator Combo Microwave + Oven Free Standing/Built-in

Description: This innovative combo takes the best features of the appliances you love and combines them to create the ultimate cooking machine for busy families. This 2-in-1 appliance lets you use it as a microwave, an oven or a combination of both functions. It is equipped with a variety of programmable cooking, thawing and heating options that saves you time and space. It includes a separate trim-kit for built-in installation. Capacity: 0.8 Cubic foot Power: 800 W Dimensions: 12 x 18.5 x 13 inches Weight: 31 Pounds Features:

  • Microwave+Oven: 2-in-1 appliance.
  • Memory Function: Allows you to program and save a cooking function.
  • 6 preset cooking options.
  • Child Lock, Auto Weight Defrost, Timer Function, Glass Turntable.

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Daisy Kim
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