How to Choose the Perfect Microwave With Extractor Fan for Your Home

Incorporating a microwave oven into a small kitchen is often challenging. If you don’t have enough counter space, an over the range microwave sounds like a good idea. But this appliance would replace the range hood.

So, what is the best microwave with extractor fan that can trap odors and fumes while also cooking foods fast?

We know that finding the best microwave oven on the market is often complicated. That’s why we did the hard work for you. We spent hours reviewing and selecting the most promising products. Check out our top five below.

What is a vented microwave range hood?

A vented microwave range hood is a microwave oven with an incorporated extractor fan and venting system.

Like range hoods, over-the-range microwaves can be vented outside or use active carbon filters that trap the cooking smells. However, those with a carbon filter may struggle to remove moisture from the air, throwing it back into your kitchen.

Can you replace a vent hood with a microwave?

Yes, you can replace a vent hood with a microwave with extractor fan.

As explained above, you have two options. Before deciding which one is best for you, check the building code in your area. Some municipalities require homeowners to install range hoods that are vented to the outside.

If that’s the case, you need a vented microwave. Otherwise, over-the-range microwave with a carbon filter could save you some money and trouble if you don’t have ducts running through the wall or roof outside your home.

Factors to Look for When Buying A Microwave With Extractor Fan

Before buying a microwave and extractor fan combo, you must consider a few essential factors:

Extraction Method

As explained above, you can choose from outside venting and active carbon filters. The former is your best choice, but the latter could also work well if your kitchen has a window.

In addition to the method itself, also consider the extraction rate.

Most over-the-range microwaves have fans that can output up to 300 CFM. However, some of the best models go up to 400 CFM and have variable speeds.

Capacity

How large is your family? Over the range, microwaves come in various capacities, from about 1.0 to 2.2 cubic feet.

If you don’t use the microwave often or only need it for one or two people, a lower capacity would do.

If you want a convection microwave oven or have to feed larger crowds, pick a capacity of at least 1.5 cubic feet. This would be enough for heating two dinner plates at once.

Technology

Microwave ovens nowadays incorporate various technologies, such as inverter technology that produces better cooking results, convection technology that allows you to use the microwave oven as a regular oven as well, and so on.

Again, think about your needs and pick an oven that best suits your situation.

As a rule of thumb, standard microwave ovens are the cheapest. Inverter microwave ovens are generally the most expensive, whereas convection microwaves might deliver the best value for money if you don’t mind having two appliances in one.

Cooking Settings

Almost all microwave ovens come with pre-programmed cooking settings that allow you to cook anything from popcorn to meat or rice at the touch of a button.

Some ovens have more cooking settings than others and are a good choice for avid home chefs. Others only have a few pre-programmed options and are ideal for busy people who only need a microwave to reheat leftovers or cook microwavable meals.

It goes without saying that the latter are the least expensive of the two kinds.

Power

While all microwave ovens can cook a variety of meals, the most powerful ones can do so faster and provide better results. The unit should output at least 1,000 watts.

Exterior Size

Another thing to consider is the exterior size of the microwave with the extractor you want to buy.

Since all over the range microwaves must be mounted under a cabinet, it’s crucial to get the width right.

Kitchen cabinets come in two standard sizes, and so do under-cabinet microwaves. You can pick from 30-inch and 24-inch widths.

The former is much more popular since most people nowadays have 30-inch wide kitchen cabinets. The latter is a better option for narrower cabinets (usually found in smaller kitchens) or custom-size kitchen furniture.


Microwave With Extractor Fan Reviews


1. FRIGIDAIRE FFMV1846VS 30″ Stainless Steel Over The Range Microwave

This over the range oven from FRIGIDAIRE is one of the best microwave ovens with an extractor fan you can get your hands on.

FFMV1846VS-microwave

It is ideal for larger families, thanks to the 1.8 cubic feet of capacity. The control panel is intuitive, while the non-ducted vent makes it ideal for all kitchens.

Why we love it

This microwave oven boasts 1,000 watts of power and ten power levels. It can cook meals fast, and includes six pre-programmed functions.

FRIGIDAIRE-FFMV1846VS

The vent has two speeds, with a maximum of 300 CFM. As you can expect, you’ll get an over-the-range lamp and even a kitchen timer.

In addition to the pre-programmed functions, you can also memorize your own. The control panel is intuitive and easy to use.

What could be better

keypad

The 30-second button is an excellent addition for those moments when you want to add a bit more cooking time in the middle of a cycle. However, it’s not a quick-start button as other microwaves have. You’ll still have to input the cooking time before being able to use this function.

Another sore point is the non-vented microwave. This is great if you can’t install a duct vent for one reason or another, but it doesn’t manage smoke and fumes, as well as vented microwaves, can.


2. GE JVM3162RJSS 30″ Over the Range Microwave with Convertible Venting

If you need a smaller microwave, this GE microwave oven could fit the bill. It’s similar in size with the FRIGIDAIRE, but it has a capacity of only 1.6 cubic feet.

GE-JVM3162RJSS

However, the unit still suits 30-inch cabinets and comes with all the bells and whistles expected from a top over-the-range microwave.

Why we love it

JVM3162RJSS
keypad

The best thing about the GE is its convertible exhaust fan design. Depending on your circumstances, you can install it to work like a ducted or ductless range hood.

The unit is also powerful, outputting up to 1,000 watts. Like FRIGIDAIRE, the exhaust fan can reach a speed up to 300 CFM, and you can choose from two-speed options. You’ll also get six cooking programs and a very user-friendly control pad.

This oven has an enameled interior and is very easy to clean. It also has a 30-second button and a clock that you can use as a kitchen timer.

What could be better

Despite the power rating, the oven seems more sluggish than other 1,000-watt microwaves. Some plastic parts, including the handle, also seem a little bit frail. We would have expected better from this oven, considering the price range.


3. Cosmo COS-3019ORM2SS Over the Range Microwave Oven with Vent Fan

Cosmo is a brand of luxury appliances, and this over-the-range microwave oven doesn’t disappoint. It doubles as a range hood, too, and impresses homeowners with a cooking capacity of 1.9 cubic feet.

Cosmo-COS-3019ORM2SS

Sleek lines and a gorgeous design are other essential highlights. The unit features a brushed stainless steel finish, while the 11 power levels and eight cooking options ensure quick control.

Cosmo-COS-3019ORM2SS-installation

Perhaps the only downside is that the unit is not vented to the outside. That said, the active carbon filter does an excellent job in removing fumes and odors from your kitchen.

Why we love it

This microwave oven is an excellent choice for any higher-tech household. It fits 30-inch wide cabinets and has a powerful vent.

It is not vented outside, but it does its job brilliantly. On the other side, it is large enough so you can cook enough food at a time to feed large crowds. It even comes with a rack that allows you to cook on multiple levels.

The controls are large and intuitive, and the countertop light is bright enough to illuminate the stovetop even when you don’t want to turn on the main light in the kitchen.

The unit also comes at a price that won’t break the bank.

What could be better

While this microwave oven features sensor cooking – a technology that senses the amount of vapor coming from your food and adjusts the cooking time and power for perfect results – the sensor isn’t very sensitive. You’ll still have to monitor the food to prevent overcooking.

The unit also lacks a weight and time defrost option, the function setting up the time automatically – and not always for the best.


4. Cosmo COS-2413ORM1SS Over the Range Microwave Oven with Vent Fan

If you have a smaller cabinet, this 24-inch wide over-the-range microwave oven from Cosmo is an excellent choice.

Cosmo-COS-2413ORM1SS

It comes with a vented extractor fan, which gives it an edge above the 30-inch unit we described above. At the same time, it packs all the bells and whistles you can expect from the brand.

Cosmo-COS-2413ORM1SS-microwave-size

More compact than the Cosmo above, it has ten power levels and six cooking functions. Nevertheless, you can still use it to prepare all your favorite dishes.

Why we love it

COS-2413ORM1SS-interior

This microwave oven is RV-ready and perfect to use in mobile or off-grid homes. It fits perfectly over smaller stovetops, and its vented extractor fan can remove all fumes and odors thanks to the 300 CFM max speed.

The digital display is intuitive to use, and we particularly like that it’s located at the bottom of the door, rather than on the side. It is way easier to access overhead, especially if you’re on the shorter side.

That said, this oven is a better option if you need a smaller OTR microwave. It has a capacity of 1.34 cubic feet.

What could be better

A large glass door isn’t particularly useful when the microwave oven is located above the head. However, this oven has a very small window and if you’re taller, it won’t make a whole lot of difference having it or not. That’s because you’ll still have to open the door to check on your food.

Like with the other oven from the brand, Cosmo could also improve its cooking sensors.


5. Impecca OM-1600ST 1.6 cu. ft. Over-the-Range Microwave

If you’re all about cooking programs, the Impecca microwave oven might be the right one for you. This unit comes with ten pre-programmed options, alongside ten power levels and up to 1,000 watts of power.

Impecca-OM-1600ST

The microwave oven with extractor fan is convertible, meaning that you can use it with active carbon filters or vent it outside.

Impecca-OM-1600ST-microwave-size

The fan is powerful enough to remove odors and fumes no matter what venting option you choose. It goes without saying that if you decide to vent it inside, it won’t do a great job in removing vapors and moisture.

Why we love it

Impecca is an excellent choice if you want a smaller over the range oven. It has a capacity of 1.6 cubic feet, which is just right for a small family without becoming cumbersome.

It fits 30-inch cabinets and impresses with a stainless steel exterior. The enameled interior adds to the cleaning ease – a quick wipe and you’re done.

What could be better

While the overall quality is good, the control panel is a big mess. It is not intuitive at all, especially until you get the gist of it.

Another downside is customer support. All appliances can have troubles, but getting the team to respond is sometimes complicated.

Microwave With Extractor Comparison Table

 FRIGIDAIRE FFMV1846VSGE JVM3162RJSSCosmo COS-3019ORM2SSCosmo COS-2413ORM1SSImpecca OM-1600ST
Capacity1.8 cu. ft.1.6 cu. ft.1.9 cu. ft.1.34 cu. ft.1.6 cu. ft.
Max power1,000 watts1,000 watts1,000 watts1,000 watts1,000 watts
Power levels1010111010
Cooking programs668610
CFM rating300 CFM300 CFM300 CFM300 CFM300 CFM
Exhaust fan speeds22222
Exhaust typeNon-ventedConvertibleNon-ventedVentedConvertible
Cabinet width30”30”30”24”30”
Price$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

How to install a microwave with an exhaust fan?

Installing a microwave with an exhaust fan is the same as installing a fanless, over-the-range microwave. However, the actual procedure can vary from one model to another, and especially between vented and non-vented units.

Refer to your user manual – all manufacturers provide installation instructions with their over-the-range microwaves.

Does a countertop microwave need ventilation?

All microwaves need ventilation, regardless of what type they are. Proper airflow around the appliance reduces the risk of overheating and the fire hazard.

Once again, refer to the user manual to know what clearance your microwave needs. Also, don’t forget that you should never cover the top of a countertop microwave.

Do over-the-range microwaves need to be vented?

Like range hoods, over-the-range microwaves come in a variety of styles. You can choose from vented models that must be attached to a duct that vents outside and models with active carbon filters that aren’t vented.

Consider the building codes in your area and whether you can alter the interior of your home before deciding which model to get.

Summary

A microwave with an extractor fan is an excellent choice if you want a microwave oven but have limited space in your kitchen. It goes above the range, replacing the range hood and compacting two appliances into one.

We hope this article can help you find the best microwave oven for you.

About Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz is an experienced editor and food blogger based in New York. He focuses on healthy eating and living. When he’s not acquiring and publishing cookbooks, you can find Justin sampling food in New York’s restaurants or trying new recipes in his kitchen.

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