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Pros and cons of microwave drawer please!

Liz B
7 years ago
Remodeling kitchen and am considering a microwave drawer. Please share pros and cons. Is it worth the money? Is it easy to clean? Too easy to spill things inside? Thanks in advance

Comments (42)

  • miacometlady
    7 years ago
    I don't have one nor would I. Anything too integrated is a pain to replace. It's hard enough finding a fridge that will fit into the space made for the last one! One on the counter is great for kid independence too! Good luck!
  • Kelley Dockrey
    7 years ago
    I was hoping that your post would have received more comments and opinions since I would like to know the pros and cons for myself. I'm planning a kitchen remodel too. I was considering a drawer microwave due the lack of valuable counterspace. however, placing it in the drawer causes me to have some reservations since I would have to adjust to using it.
    Liz B thanked Kelley Dockrey
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  • Liz B
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    I bought the drawer since it fits in a standard cabinet so although it's built-in, if it breaks, I just have an open cabinet (not the worst in my opinion). I am hoping it was the right decision.

  • raineycarole
    7 years ago
    A friend of mine has one and she loves it. She's short like me, so most micros are too high up to use easily. The only drawback is that you can't put tall things in it.
  • juudean
    7 years ago
    There was a prior post about this...I love my Sharp drawer. It is roomy, easy to clean, and very good looking. I love the fact that it doesn't take up precious counter space, and I couldn't have it hanging above the stove because I'm too short. It is a bit pricey, but worth it in my opinion. If it breaks I'll get another one...mine is 30" which is pretty standard.

    For some reason I'm unable to attach a photo...will try again in a bit.
  • PRO
    Darla Scheuerman
    7 years ago
    My issue with this is sizing. Microwaves are not consistent in size and so if it breaks, good luck. If it fits in a standard cupboard space, I would be sure to order the cupboard door, just in case it needs to be a cupboard again. I agree the microwave above the range is a ridiculous design, and for short people and children it's dangerous. I don't think I like the microwave in a cabinet any better, but at least there's no chance of a hot casserole tipping and dumping hot food down the front of you.
    Liz B thanked Darla Scheuerman
  • Liz B
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    good idea about the door

  • PRO
    Hal Braswell Consulting
    7 years ago
    Sharp MW drawers, by the time you add in protection plan and tax, kill $1,000. Then you must have a dedicated cabinet, another $350-500. You also need a dedicated electrical circuit (any MW). And you need to have the MW installed.

    Many people want a MW but not on the countertop (kills about 4 SF of counter, about $200-400).

    Under a countertop a MW drawer functions better than a regular MW.

    Over the range MW to me is not safe especially if the range is on.

    Best locations to me:

    1) if you have a wall oven, install built in MW above it (single oven). You use the same cabinet as the wall oven. MW and trim kit cost more than countertop model but less than MW drawer.

    2) use an over the counter MW. Similar in concept to an OTR MW but no vent function. Attach primarily to wall but need a cabinet above for a typical install. MW I self runs close to $400.

    Here is a pic
  • dclostboy
    7 years ago

    I have both a below counter with door and one with a drawer due to lack of upper cabinets. Door makes it hard to see into without really bending down. Drawer is a little less room inside, but still enough for everything I want to cook in it. Door one broke a couple years back...no problem replacing with another from the same company.

  • Ann DC
    7 years ago
    I used one on a recent stay at a guest house- I like the ergonomics quite a lot! We are gearing up for a kitchen reno ourselves and I am debating this item too- our other choice is an even pricier upgrade for a steamer/convection oven- it will produce a better cooked product- of course it leaves no room for the hailed microwave dinner
    Liz B thanked Ann DC
  • sacapuntaslapioz
    7 years ago

    no contras. I am on my third one. (on 3 houses) LOVE THEM. no lifting heavy hot items from above. no stupid dish to break.

    Liz B thanked sacapuntaslapioz
  • PRO
    Dezine Refined
    6 years ago

    Good comments! My vote is for an easy to reach location using the microwave drawer or 4 in 1 oven.

  • suezbell
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    For practical purposes, the center of your microwave needs to be eye level or slightly lower so you can easily see the food and controls; also, it needs room for the heat to circulate and exit. If the heat cannot properly escape from around your microwave, you will decrease the lifespan of the appliance. Opt for a shelf instead.

  • flipat60
    5 years ago

    These are ALL great comments.

    I'm always surprised, given how essential microwaves are, that kitchen designers STILL struggle to find a good location for them...any model. Over the range seemed like a great place, but cleaning built-up grease from the range burners below...yikees! And why, after 50+ years, are counter top models STILL gobbling up valuable work space and/or forcing kitchen designs to accommodate left-hinge-only doors?? Earlier, some companies offered top-hinged or bottom-hinged doors, but they're now discontinued.

    I thought the drawer models were the solution, but bending down to see the controls is inconvenient and they're accessible to kids who
    love to push buttons (same idea w/ ranges). Another reviewer said it's important to see the food as it cooks. And a drawer model forces you to sit
    on the floor to change bulbs or deep clean. Ick!

    Our solution was a wall mount MW (under wall cupboards), customizing the sight-line for our height, and placing it close to our dinette area (we reheat more than cook with it). We found it's clean(er) there, with a minimum footprint.

  • leemiller
    5 years ago
    We stuck ours in the pantry and I love it there. No worries about replacing it and it doesn't take up counter space.
  • Anne Duke
    5 years ago
    I have a MW for reheating only so a drawer or shelf wasn't worth the cost or cabinet space. This is a corner MV, takes up very little counter and can be replaced easily at a low cost.
  • Anne Duke
    5 years ago
    Forgot to attach photo.
  • rebeccarobinson1976
    5 years ago

    It's easy to clean out the drawer, but how do you clean out the inside of the walls and the ceiling of the unit? Our microwave came with the house. I can't find anything online about how to reach those areas (which are getting pretty yucky!)

  • Wendy Perez/Zone 6b
    5 years ago

    I have one and it is drop-dead gorgeous. Nothing spills. The problem is cleaning the beast. Microwave ovens are disgusting if they're not cleaned after every food explosion. My husband is a pain when it comes to putting lids on bowls and dishes before nuking them. I'm ready to shove him into the microwave!!! Cleaning these is not a day in the park. The bottom of the tray is fine and so are the sides, but behind the moveable tray there is ANOTHER tray way back there that you can't really reach. Let's not even talk about cleaning the ceiling of the foolish thing. You can't see up there so you don't know if you've gotten it all. I hate microwaves because they're so grungy and the stench in them is impossible to get out no matter how many water/lemon/cloves concoctions you boil in them. If you're highly disciplined and you know you will cover EVERYTHING (even coffee), go for it. Otherwise, stick with the ugly countertop-hogging models that you can at least clean routinely and have a good result.

  • Hilly Currie
    5 years ago
    Juudean- I see you have a nice stove. I am trying to decide between a cook top and double oven or a nice range oven combo. What are your pros and cons? My husband is worried it will be hard to cook in oven because it is so low and we are getting older.
  • jojomom
    5 years ago

    We just built a new house and I had considered one until I thought about cleaning the inside top of it. This is usually the dirtiest spot on a microwave. Instead we put a door microwave above our wall oven but at a good height where I could reach it easily. I had lived in a rental where the microwave was too high and it was a pain. Our kitchen designer said the bottom of the microwave should not be higher than shoulder high. We also have a free standing range so I have two ovens.

  • Andrew Sinclair
    5 years ago

    I've used the drawer versions at others' houses and they are convenient and have a high-quality / coolness factor. They seem to cost 3x what a swing door version costs though, and there seems to be an assumption that drawer must go under the counter and swing doors must go over the counter. Can I not put a swing door version under the counter and save $800? (Or even more if I re-use the countertop one I already have.)

    I'm an infrequent user btw - didn't have a microwave for 10+ years and only have one now because a friend moved to another country with different electrical service. We keep that one in the basement and use it now and then. I would skip it entirely except we're fully renovating our kitchen and basement cooking, however infrequent, seems like a ridiculous outcome.

    Back to the question: has anyone installed a swing door version at drawer height and not regretted spending the extra for the drawer?

  • Michael O
    5 years ago

    @andrewsinclair We have a swing-door microwave (intended for countertop) sitting in a cubby at drawer height and I HATE it. Can't see to push the buttons without leaning over and hurting your back. Have to do the same thing to pull something out especially if it contains hot liquid so has to be held carefully. We're thinking about getting a drawer MW during a renovation.

  • marakpetersen
    5 years ago

    We loved our Sharp drawer until it blew up. It was probably 7 ish yrs. old and was used a moderate amount with no prior problems. It caught fire while cooking something. I'm finding that online there are a fair amount of comments relating to catching on fire. We have to replace it and I'm finding that Sharp makes all of them and other makers just put their name on them. Not sure what we'll do, but probably will replace it with another one since the spot is cut in the cabinet for it.

  • dillnolan
    5 years ago
    I have had my wolf about 8 years. I don’t use it much but my cons would be open and close takes a few seconds longer since you just can’t pull the door open. You have to press the open/close button and it slides out. It’s very difficult to see inside the top of the microwave for when food splatters , I have to put a mirror inside or I lay my iPad camera inside and take photo the top to see how dirty it is. Thank you
  • gtcircus
    5 years ago

    Just redid my kitchen and i have a Wolf microwave/convection as my secondovern above my other convection. No micro drawers, just don't like them. Can't watch what is cooking and remember mine is a convection oven also.

  • Claire Pope
    5 years ago

    I keep my micro in the pantry as its only used for husband to reheat his coffee.

  • Wendy Perez/Zone 6b
    4 years ago

    After seven years, the control panel on the microwave finally died. It gave me notice that the end was near as the clock would start blinking at any given time as it does when we lose power. I don't miss it at all. We're going to fix it, of course, but right now, I'm loving the freedom from peeling gunk off the ceiling.

  • Natalie Mahar
    4 years ago

    I came in to this conversation excited about a drawer microwave. After all I've read, I will be building deep shelves in the pantry along with outlets. The beast can live in there. Yay! I like saving money and clearing the countertops!

  • Annastacia
    4 years ago
    The biggest pain about these, is the cleaning! If you have kids, and they don’t always cover things, getting to the ceiling of it is really, really, REALLY annoying! You essentially have to get on the floor, then crane your neck up and over, just to see if you got all of it.... So I would say, if you like the exterior look, then go for it, they make the kitchen look amazing. But be prepared to swear under your breath as you try to clean exploded tomato soup lol.
  • lb92557
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    We just built and decided to go with microwave drawer as my husband has a lot of arthritis in his back and bending is and issue and didn't want over my range. It's awesome. Our finishing Carpenter took two drawers out in island and finished it in. Love it... If anything ever happens to it, we still have the drawers. You have to determine what works for u, it definitely was right decision for us.

  • 20helen13
    4 years ago

    BUYER BEWARE!!!!.... JENN AIR drawer microwave!!!

    Bought this JennAir drawer microwave 2 years ago...apparently Whirlpool acually makes most of these drawer style microwaves....the mechanism that opens and closes drawer broke..after months of Whirlpool "investigating" this problem, their final answer is..

    "The replacement part needed to repair this issue is NOT available"


    So we're out the full cost of the microwave ( $1950) plus a $350 installation fee. WE now have an empty cubby hole...have no choice but to buy another microwave and pay out for another installation fee!!!!!!!



  • Wendy Perez/Zone 6b
    4 years ago

    UPDATE: My under counter microwave finally died (seven years) and I thought I wouldn't replace it. Just leave it there. Husband went through withdrawal. It has taken us nine months to find the part we needed (the control panel died). Sears had it on backorder for seven months; we finally found another vendor who had it in stock and charged us half the price. The part arrived, husband replaced it in less than an hour. I'm back to cleaning the god-forsaken piece of equipment that I can't stand, but the kitchen still looks good!

  • juliaop
    4 years ago

    Wendy Perez/Zone 6b, you showed remarkable restraint not shoving husband in it! And the kitchen looks fabulous! Well done.

  • Wendy Perez/Zone 6b
    4 years ago

    I came close, @juliaoo. Very close.

  • Susan Davis
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    When I see them in model homes they look like they would be v e r y s l o w to operate......just sayin.

    My daughter put hers on a shelf in her island.....I do not like using it ; awkward to read down as I wear glasses......

  • suezbell
    4 years ago

    Have you considered building a totally separate rolling cart to put the microwave at the eye level you prefer and to store the dishes you most use in the microwave beneath it.

    What did you decide? Update?

  • juliaop
    4 years ago

    After looking at microwave drawers and the cabinet needs for it, the math looked like this: $$$ + $$$ = way too many $$$$$. At the same time, we moved the peninsula 3" further into the dining room, giving us a tiny bit more room on that wall. So we decided to put the microwave on the counter, but in a cabinetry alcove so it's less visible. I'll update with a photo when it's all done, so stay tuned....

    ;)

    And thanks for all the advice and thoughts here! :)

  • kelleygirl
    4 years ago

    Buyer beware! We purchased the GE Monogram drawer microwave in Spring 2017. It burned up inside in April 2018. GE replaced it under warranty in May. The brand new one with a manufacture date of April 2018, just did exactly the same thing! We've only had it 3 months!! Sharp actually makes these and there are complaints about this all over the internet. Now I'm not sure what we will do, I'm afraid to have another one in the house. Drawer microwaves are nothing but a pain to operate and clean anyway, would never want one again.

  • wednesday morning
    4 years ago

    I have never understood why it has become so popular to mount these microwaves above the stovetop. It is very high for safety and ease of use and it imposes on the space above the stovetop. I did not opt to do that when I redid my kitchen. Instead, I had a small one on an under the counter shelf.

    When that one broke, I never replaced it and have no microwave now. I do not miss it at all---not one bit. I really only used to bake potatoes and warm up the occasional something. I never actually cooked in it.

    It was always a pain to clean.

    I will bet that many do not actually use it to really cook anything as it does such a lousy job of that. I can heat something in a small iron skillet on the stove just as fast.

    Since when did it become almost a requirement to have one?

    I really don't miss it---really.

  • Sheri Henderson O'Neill
    2 years ago

    I love my drawer micro. The only con is that it is very hard to clean the back wall. You have to put your whole arm in between the drawer and back

    wall. Awkward. Any suggestions??