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Thread: Drawer type microwave: Pros and cons?

  1. #1
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    Drawer type microwave: Pros and cons?

    As my wife and I work on planning our kitchen remodel, I am thinking about an under-counter drawer type microwave. We have an over-the-range unit now that will be replaced by a proper range hood so we need a different solution. We are adding another row of base cabinets and a peninsula, so we could go with a counter top unit or a drawer unit, but I am leaning toward a drawer unit to keep as much counter space available as possible. We don't have a lot of wall cabinet space, so I don't want to put it up there.

    I'd love to hear about folks' experience with drawer style MWs.

    From the limited research I've done, there seem to be two drawbacks: First they tend to have less capacity, and second they lack the turntable. We use the MW a lot, but not for cooking lots of food or large food, mostly for warming leftovers and cooking vegetables, and cooking fresh sweet corn in season. So smaller capacity I don't think is a big deal. I'm not sure how important the turntable is for our use. Supposedly at least some of the drawer units are designed to provide even cooking without the turntable, but I don't know how effective it is.

    We are planning to have a double oven induction range that will have convection capability in one of the ovens, so having that in the MW isn't necessary.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  2. #2
    If you've ever used a microwave you'll realize there are many reasons to install one at eye level.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  3. #3
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    My good friend has one installed under the huge "kitchen continent" I made for him a few years ago. They absolutely love it. They have not had any issues at all. I do not recall the brand at this point.

    That said, for incidental warming, a smaller counter-top might be more practical. I'll probably be going that route when the unit over the range in our new home (which I despise...both the MW and even more-so the glass top electric range) when proper venting and proper cooking gets installed. I can't consider the drawer type unit for here as there's no place to put one in the small kitchen.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    I have a under cabinet drawer microwave in our kitchen. We love it since you can easily put dishes into it without a higher lift. Capacity wise it is pretty large; there's never been a time when we wanted to put something into it and couldn't due to size. As for a turntable, my understanding is that new MWs are designed to not need a turntable to ensure even heating.
    ===========

    James Cheever
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    Run Silent, Run Deep
    Commander, USN (Retired)

  5. #5
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    I guess, from the posts above, that some like them. I hated mine, and actually made a replacement cabinet to be able to get rid of it. You can't see what's going on in it without stooping and I found that the opening for lifting items out always felt too shallow. I also had to stoop to run the controls. Of course, mine was when they first came out, maybe they've improved. My current one is a corner unit in my walk-in pantry now and it is much, much better.

  6. #6
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    I don't like drawer microwaves. My in-laws have one *below* a wall oven and that layout makes no sense. We were over there last weekend and my mother-in-law said she wishes their places were reversed, with the wall oven lower and the microwave at eye level.

    I would say ditch the "pure" microwave and get a speed oven instead (ours is a Miele), but since you are going with double ovens otherwise perhaps a speed oven is overkill. We have a dual-fuel oven/range unit (oven is electric, range is gas), with a speed oven at eye level on an adjacent wall. My wife *loves* the speed oven.

    (Side note: I can't remember how many times I typed "over" instead of "oven" when writing this post.)
    And there was trouble, taking place...

  7. #7
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    I prefer eye level but I'm tall and I don't like to bend over. One look at my shop and you would see this. Nearly all the outlets are in the ceiling.

    But my sister in law is not tall and loves her MW drawer.

  8. #8
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    Co worker bought an older house with a built in fold out toaster in the breakfast area. Still works. seems unsafe to have that much heat i n a wooden wall when it is closed up. Of course I reassured her it is probably insulated with lots of firesafe asbestos. And maybe a lead sleeve on the wires.
    Bill D

  9. #9
    We have the Sharp 24" Stainless Steel Drawer microwave oven. It came with the house.

    I think the biggest appeal is that you don't have the microwave taking up space on a counter or using up cabinet space. My wife doesn't like the look of a microwave on the countertop.

    As a microwave, it's average. And pretty expensive to replace, around $1200.

  10. #10
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    Sounds like the return of the fifty's . Does it come in turquoise? In the movie Blast from The Past they had a pull out stove in the bomb shelter.
    Bill D

    https://clickamericana.com/topics/ho...ir-ranges-1965

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F Franklin View Post
    So smaller capacity I don't think is a big deal.
    The only place I like a small microwave is sitting on top of a counter. In situations when you can only grab the food with one oven mitt you can drag it out with one hand and quickly set it on the countertop.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy bessette View Post
    If you've ever used a microwave you'll realize there are many reasons to install one at eye level.
    Perhaps you could elaborate? I've been using microwaves since the 70's and the only thing I can think of where you want to see what's happening inside is when melting butter. And even for that I now know how long it takes and don't even have to watch for that anymore. It's not like you are checking to see if things are browned (they aren't) or other visual cues. I suppose if you were boiling water, but we do that in electric kettle; way faster. With the sensors built in these days, 99% of the time we use one of the automatic reheat or thaw or cook settings and when it beeps, it's done perfectly. But I'm open to persuasion.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  13. #13
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    Thanks to all for thoughts and comments. I guess the consensus is there is no consensus: some people love them, some people hate them. But at least I understand more of the tradeoffs and I have another option (speed oven) to think about. Thanks again!
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F Franklin View Post
    Perhaps you could elaborate?...
    Sure.

    Perhaps most importantly, virtually every microwave I've ever used has a display and keypad on the front that is far easier to see and use if it is placed at eye level.

    When cooking meals such as instant oatmeal it is important to stop the cooking cycle just as the contents begin to rise. Otherwise it immediately overflows the container and makes a huge mess.

    At eye level, it is easy to see when the inside needs cleaning and also easy to clean without squatting or bending uncomfortably.

    When heating liquid meals, such as soup, care must be taken when inserting and removing the container so as to not spill the contents. This is far more easily done with the microwave at eye level.

    The consensus is actually that people can get used to anything, even when it is not well thought out.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  15. #15
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    I'm in the process of building a massive island (17' x 5 1/2') for a client, and it will have a microwave drawer in it. Specifically, Sharp's newest model SMD2499FS, that also has a convection oven feature.
    It, along with a few other models in the Sharp line, have a tilting control panel so you don't have to bend down.
    It's on order, so can't say how it works yet, but seems promising.
    The price is up there though.....

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