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I’ll start this post by admitting I am not an enthusiastic fan of over-the-range microwaves. They have a few design flaws to say the least. Reaching over a stove to pull a hot item towards your body throws up a few safety red flags. Especially in homes with children, elderly residents (specifically those who have arthritis or limited mobility) or someone with a disability. Given the opportunity in a remodel or new construction, I suggest built in microwaves. But built in appliances require electrical hookups and an "appliance cabinet" not to mention they cost more. That said, installing a built in microwave in a budget conscious kitchen update is not usually an option. If you just want to replace your exhaust hood and clear space on your countertop, installing an over-the-range microwave is a consideration. It's a fairly easy replacement.
Something that drives me crazy is when an exhaust hood is replaced with an over-the-range microwave but the microwave is taller than the opening. The microwave hangs below the bottom of the cabinets which doesn't look very good from the front and leaves the sides exposed at the bottom.
The good news is Whirlpool has designed a Low Profile Microwave Hood Combination. The 1.1 cubic foot unit fits in a standard 30" wide opening and is only 10 5/16" high.
At 18" deep it does stick out a few inches past the face of the cabinets. Whirlpool has addressed this by replacing the handle with a Tap-To-Open Door and finishing the sides to match the front of the microwave. There are matching 3" wide filler panels available if you are installing the microwave in a 36" or 42" opening. It is available in five finishes: Black, Sunset Bronze, Black Stainless, White and Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel.
- 1,000 watts of cooking power
- CleanRelease® Non-Stick Interior
- LED Cooktop Lighting
- 90º Hinge Door - For installation next to a wall
- Turntable On/Off Option - Accommodates larger dishes
- 12" Diameter Dishwasher-Safe Turntable Plate
The 400 CFM Motor Class High Performance Venting quickly removes smoke, odor and moisture with two fans. The grease filter is recommended to be cleaned monthly. The odor removing charcoal filter should be replaced approximately every six months depending on use.
There are presets for small and large bags of Popcorn. Steam Cooking settings let you steam foods like rice, vegetables and fish right in the microwave. A steaming accessory is available separately. The Sensor Cooking feature uses sensors in the microwave that detect moisture released from food as it heats. It automatically adjusts the cooking time accordingly.
The interiors "purposeful capacity" was designed to fit the essentials. I personally do not cook in my microwave, I reheat food and heat water for tea. Everything going in is either on a plate or in a mug. I would definitely use this microwaves steam setting for rice and vegetables. I hate to clean a pot if I don't have to. If your family uses a microwave the same way you shouldn't have any issues with the size of the interior.
The new Low Profile Microwave Hood Combination from Whirlpool has received great reviews so far. What do you think? Would this work in your kitchen?