When it’s time to cook food or tackle meal prep, shopping for the best built-in microwave can transform your kitchen into a hub of culinary efficiency. Whether warming up a quick snack or orchestrating a full-blown dinner, a reliable microwave is vital. 

The latest models offer a sleek integration with your cabinetry, elevating your kitchen’s look while conserving valuable counter space. From the versatile microwave drawer oven to the multifunctional built-in convection microwave, these appliances come in various sizes, including the popular 2 cu ft capacity, to fit your cooking needs.

Full Review of the Best Built-in Microwave

The ideal model should offer the convenience of one-touch cooking, the versatility of a convection oven or air fryer, and the safety of a child safety lock. Look for options that provide quiet operation, a keep-warm setting, and varying power levels to give you control over your cook time and temperature.

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

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

The Panasonic NN-SN686S is a versatile appliance that can serve as a countertop or built-in microwave, boasting impressive microwave power. It is a high-performing microwave that combines convenience and power, making it an excellent choice for those looking to enhance their kitchen with a reliable appliance.

The microwave features a stainless steel finish, 1.2 cubic feet interior capacity, and an advanced inverter technology that delivers a seamless stream of microwave power. This model also offers a variety of cooking options, including a dedicated sensor cook feature for precise reheating and cooking.

Pros

  • Inverter technology allows food to cook evenly and more efficiently
  • 1200 watts of microwave power ensures quick and effective cooking
  • Flexible design suitable for both countertop and built-in installations
  • Smart sensor cooking function automatically adjusts cook settings

Cons

  • The interior capacity might be smaller than needed for larger cooking tasks
  • Higher cooking wattage can mean more energy consumption

2. Summit OTR24 24″ Built-In Microwave With Mirror Finish Door

Summit OTR24 24" Built-In Microwave With Mirror Finish Door

The Summit OTR24 is a sleek built-in microwave with a unique mirror finish door. It’s designed to integrate seamlessly with your kitchen decor while providing the power and functionality needed for various cooking tasks. It has a design for built-in installation in 24-inch spaces. The unit’s dimensions and sleek exterior make it an attractive addition to any modern kitchen, while its functionality ensures it can easily handle everyday cooking.

Pros 

  • The mirror finish door adds a modern touch to kitchen aesthetics
  • Designed for easy built-in installation in 24-inch cabinet spaces
  • Digital touchpad controls for simple and intuitive operation

Cons

  • The mirror finish may require frequent cleaning to maintain its appearance
  • It may not offer as many advanced features as other high-end models

3. Sharp Built-In Microwave Drawer

Sharp Built-In Microwave Drawer

The Sharp Built-In Microwave Drawer is a game-changer in kitchen design, offering a unique solution that frees up counter space while providing easy access to your microwave. This innovative appliance comes with multiple finishes to match the other appliances in your kitchen, ensuring a cohesive look. It’s not just about style, though; this microwave drawer is packed with sensor cooking programs that take the guesswork out of cooking, reheating, and defrosting, making it a must-have for any modern kitchen.

Pros

  • Modern, space-saving design 
  • Complements a kitchen’s aesthetic 
  • Multiple finishes available 
  • It has sensor cooking programs to adjust to the food type and weight

Cons

  • While offering multiple finishes, options may be limited compared to other models

4. COSMO COS-12MWDSS 24 in. Built-in Microwave Drawer

COSMO COS-12MWDSS 24 in. Built-in Microwave Drawer

The COSMO COS-12MWDSS 24-inch Built-in microwave is a sleek and functional addition to any kitchen. It provides the convenience of a microwave with the innovative design of a drawer, saving precious counter space and adding to the overall aesthetic of your kitchen. It has a 1.2 cubic foot capacity and 1000 watts of power for efficient and even cooking. The microwave features a smart auto-cook function, and its stainless steel construction ensures durability and ease of cleaning.

Pros

  • The space-saving design integrates into kitchen cabinetry
  • Easy access with a smooth glide drawer mechanism
  • The touch control panel enhances the modern aesthetic
  • 1000 watts of power for efficient cooking
  • Auto-cook function adjusts cooking time for convenience

Cons

  • Potential for more complex professional installation requirements
  • It may require customization of cabinetry for perfect fit

Considerations When Choosing a Built-In Microwave

When upgrading your cooking space, built-in models like the 24-inch built-in microwave offer a seamless look but require careful consideration. Ensure the microwave will fit into your kitchen design, allowing for adequate ventilation.

  • Sizing and Installation Requirements

For built-in models, accurate sizing is critical. A 24-inch built-in microwave drawer needs precise cabinetry space to ensure a flush fit. Professional installation is recommended to handle the complexities of integrating with existing kitchen appliances. It’s essential to ensure adequate ventilation for the safety and longevity of the appliance. Before purchase, clearances and support must be factored in to confirm that the microwave will fit seamlessly into your kitchen’s layout.

  • Key Functionalities and Cooking Technologies

Modern microwaves come equipped with advanced technologies. A built-in should have a reliable heating element and offer convection cooking, which circulates hot air for more even results. The function for baking is a sought-after feature in models like the COSMO COS-12MWDSS, which boasts a 2-cubic-foot capacity, accommodating larger dishes and providing versatility for various cooking needs.

  • Design and Aesthetic Appeal

Today’s kitchen appliances are as much about function as form. Built-in microwaves, with their integrated design, can enhance the overall aesthetic of your kitchen. Look for sleek finishes, hidden controls, and a style that complements your other appliances. A well-chosen built-in microwave can act as a statement piece while maintaining a harmonious look with your kitchen decor.

FAQs

1. Can I replace a built-in microwave with a countertop model?

While it’s possible to use countertop microwaves as built-ins with proper ventilation, the reverse is not usually feasible due to installation and design differences.

2. Do all built-in microwaves require professional installation?

Due to their complexities and the need for adequate ventilation, most built-in models benefit from professional installation to ensure safety and functionality.

3. What is the advantage of a microwave drawer?

Microwave drawers, such as the COSMO COS-12MWDSS, save countertop space and offer easy access, integrating smoothly into the cabinetry for a streamlined kitchen setup.

4. Are there built-in microwaves with air-frying capabilities?

Specific high-end models, like the HomeChef 4-in-1 microwave oven with air frying, combine multiple cooking functions, including air frying, for greater versatility.

Conclusion

The proper built-in microwave can transform your kitchen experience, merging style with functionality. Consider which features align with your culinary needs from the four best contenders, whether it’s the convenience of voice commands or the versatility of a 4-in-1 microwave oven. Remember, a well-integrated appliance elevates the look of your kitchen and enhances your cooking capabilities.

Author

Eliza is a culinary maven with an undeniable passion for the art of cooking and a deep understanding of all things kitchen-related. She is a renowned kitchen expert and a source of inspiration for aspiring chefs around the world. With years of hands-on experience and a knack for creating delectable masterpieces, she has established herself as a leading authority in the culinary industry.

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