The types of microwaves that equip our kitchens these days sure have come a long way. This key appliance can come either as a countertop microwave, an over-the-range microwave/wall oven, or a microwave drawer. We have had all three over the years and nothing makes my kitchen, and my stomach, happier than our stainless steel microwave drawer in our kitchen island.
By far the drawer-style microwave in my island is one of the most useful appliances in my kitchen. I love my microwave drawer for many reasons, especially how it works with our kitchen design, adding a sleek stainless steel accent. Another reason is that it’s below eye level and tucked out of sight when I walk into the kitchen, which is a biggie both from a design and organizational perspective. The drawer function is super easy to use and convenient. Even with its placement, my older kids can reach and operate the microwave with a touch of a button.
The microwave drawer in the island has provided a ton of functionality to the entire kitchen space. It has freed up additional countertop space that gives me more room for entertaining, food preparation and just general use. The extra space on the counter also makes room for some other small kitchen appliances I use regularly. Besides, I like my kitchen counters to be clutter-free, and it definitely meets that goal.
Microwave Drawer In Island
There are a few tips I wanted to pass on if you are considering adding a built-in microwave to your kitchen. These are the must-know basics, so keep these tips in mind!
Microwave drawers come as preassembled, self-contained little units. Unlike microwaves over the oven, built-in microwaves have ventilation systems, well, built in. This is a huge benefit that offers flexible placement in your kitchen which is perfect if you want more space for your kitchen appliances or want to declutter your countertops.
Most homeowners can install this drawer-style microwave themselves, which is a massive money saver. However, since most front flanges on the drawers generally offer less than an inch for the hole cut for your microwave, you will need to measure carefully. You may have to hire a carpenter for any additional framing you need to build if your cabinets are custom-built.
Drawer heights are generally set at a standard countertop height and the control buttons of the microwave are at a similar level to your dishwasher, meaning it will be out of the way and yet still very accessible. For most brands, the basic choices are 24-, 27-, and 30-inch microwave drawer units. Since most cabinets (stock) are generally 12 inches to 60 inches wide, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a cabinet that a drawer-style microwave will fit. The interior of the drawer is the same regardless of brand, so no need to worry about that when you’re looking.
Best Microwave Drawers
Sharp (Model SMD2470AS)
I have the Sharp microwave drawer oven in a sleek design of stainless steel. For reference, my drawer measures 24-inches and is 1.2 Cu. feet, which is big enough for a 9×13 casserole dish. Besides everything that this drawer offers, I especially love the concealed control panel. The drawer opens easily, is easy to read and operates at a 45-degree angle. The drawer has an easy-touch automatic system that makes opening and closing smooth, hands-free and way less messy.
Viking has a 24-inch drawer with a 1000-Watts power level. It comes with a 30-minute keep-warm feature, sensor cooking modes, and button-operated opening and closing which make cooking both easier and cleaner. The Viking has a two-year warranty on the whole microwave and five years of coverage on the magnetron tube (a high-power vacuum tube) that is perfect for any avid microwave chef.
Bosch model (Model HMD8451UC 800)
The Bosch has a sleek and simple style that would mix with virtually any style of kitchen, making it an absolute staple. The push button open and close feature is convenient, especially if you are active in the kitchen and handling multiple cooking tasks.
Dacor has a sleek metal and modern-looking styling. You can set the Dacor to perform up to four cooking operations in sequence or have it start automatically at a certain time of day, which is a lifesaver for big or complex meals. This model also has a very handy 30-minute stay warm feature.
In my opinion, there are very few reasons you wouldn’t want to own a microwave drawer. In fact, you get all the benefits of any other microwave oven, but the drawer provides a few more, like the extra counter space and the various stay-warm features. The pros definitely outweigh any cons!