Many modern kitchens feature a new take on the microwave: the microwave drawer. Traditionally, microwaves come in two forms: a free-standing model on the kitchen counter or a model integrated into the range above your stove. But this third option is where the microwave opens like a drawer at counter level.
Keep reading to learn more about microwave drawers, their pros and cons, and which models to look for.
What Is a Microwave Drawer?
As its name implies, this is a microwave oven that opens up like a drawer. Rather than opening a hinged door, you pull it out to get to the microwave.
Luckily, for this microwave style you don’t need to buy and install a special cabinet. But you’ll need to make sure your cabinet space measures between 24 and 30 in. across (depending on which model you choose).
You can install this kind of microwave to be flush with the surrounding cabinets, or you could go for the “proud fit” option, meaning it will stick out slightly.
Advantages of a Microwave Drawer
There are a number of reasons to consider this alternate type of microwave:
- Saves valuable countertop space
- Easy access and an ergonomic design means you don’t have to reach up into a microwave with a potentially heavy and hot dish
- You can install them pretty much anywhere in the kitchen
- They blend in well with the surrounding cabinets
- You can stir your dish without having to take it out of the microwave
- Some models come with a passcode feature to prevent a child opening the microwave
- Easy to clean
Disadvantages of Microwave Drawers
While they look attractive and don’t take up valuable kitchen counter real estate like a traditional countertop microwave, there are some negatives to microwave drawers, including:
- They don’t include a turntable and so don’t always give even heat
- They’re currently only available in 24-in. and 30-in. exterior sizes
- The interior capacity is the same at 1.2 cubic ft. for both sizes, so a 30-in. microwave drawer won’t give you more cooking room
- Installing one is more complicated than just plugging in a microwave on your kitchen counter, so you may need to hire a professional electrician
- They’re fairly pricey—a regular microwave can cost as little as $100, but a microwave drawer will run at least $1,000, and some will be at least double that amount
If you like the idea of a microwave drawer and want to purchase one for your kitchen, check out the following models:
The Beko Built-In Microwave Fits Seamlessly Into Your Kitchen Cabinetry
This 24-in. Beko Microwave Drawer uses 950 watts of power to heat food and drinks.
- 10 preset power levels
- Digital controls
- Attractive black glass on the exterior, which will complement many kitchens
- Child lock
- A design that sits flush to the surrounding cabinets
The Powerful KitchenAid Under-Counter Microwave Detects Humidity Levels
KitchenAid’s 24-In. Under-Counter Microwave Oven Drawer is available in stainless steel, which will look sleek and stylish in many kitchens.
This model, which has a capacity of 1.2 cubic feet, also offers:
- An auto-touch feature, which allows you to open or close the microwave with the touch of a button
- 950 watts of cooking power
- Popcorn settings and a reheating mode
- A sensor that detects humidity coming from the food or beverages, and optimizes the reheating time accordingly
Bosch 800 Series Microwave Drawer Offers a Low Profile & Flush Mount
The 800 Series Drawer Microwave from Bosch is a 30-in. stainless steel microwave that features:
- Installation that’s flush to the cabinetry
- 950 watts of cooking power
- Finishes that match other Bosch appliances like the Bosch wall oven, warming drawer, or steam oven
- A built-in sensor that will automatically turn off the microwave when it detects that your food has finished cooking
- Auto touch to open and close the microwave oven
The Sharp Carousel Microwave Drawer Is Loaded With Features
Priced at $1099.99, the Sharp Carousel 1.2 Cubic Feet Drawer Microwave is among the more affordable microwave drawer options.
This Sharp microwave drawer offers:
- An auto-touch control panel
- An attractive stainless steel finish
- Enough interior height for a tall, 20-oz. coffee cup
- Adequate interior space for a 4-qt. casserole dish
- An easy-open handle
- The option to install it under an island, peninsula, wall oven, or regular kitchen cabinets
Give Your Kitchen a Sleek Look With a Microwave Drawer
Granted, a new microwave drawer can be an expensive investment—at least when compared to the price of traditional microwave ovens. However, it’s an elegant solution which allows you to free up useful kitchen counter space.
With unique features like auto touch, humidity sensors to optimize reheating, and ergonomic designs, you’re sure to find one that fits your kitchen and lifestyle.