The most effective over-the-range microwave – The New York Instances


Whirlpool Corp. manufactures microwaves under the brands Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana and KitchenAid. Most of them are similar to the WMH31017 hot tub based on what we’ve seen of them in stores. We believe you can expect similar performance across the board. So if you find any of the other models for sale, or if you prefer the look or certain options, you can still get a good microwave.

We tested the GE JVM3160, which is the bottom-end microwave in the company’s OTR line of products. It’s a solid alternative to the WMH31017 whirlpool, with more express control, but less uniform heating and roughly the same light and fan noise. It is also one of the few models that are still available in the classic bisque finish. GE also makes a slightly larger and more expensive model, the JVM7195, which is otherwise similar to the JVM6175.

The Frigidaire FFMV1645T appears to be similar to the GE JVM3160 and will likely be assembled in the same factory but has fewer express options and a white hob light that does not work as a night light.

The LG LVM1762ST has a lower average user rating than most of the other models we tested, which is a sign of that. It lacks some express controls (although there is an add 30 seconds button and a More or Less button to adjust the run time by 10 seconds). We found a dead point in the middle of the platter which is very unusual and can make it frustrating to use.

We planned to test the Samsung ME16H702SE but couldn’t get our hands on it until the coronavirus pandemic closed our office. Like many Samsung devices, it’s usually one of the cheaper big name OTR microwaves you can get. However, it also has a lower average user rating than the others.

The Magic Chef MCO165UW is usually the cheapest OTR microwave you can get, but it also has the lowest average user rating we’ve seen in this category. It doesn’t have a night light setting, its only express control isn’t a very useful “add minute” option, and it has a dead spot in the middle of the microwave.

Insignia (Best Buy’s trademark) has some OTR models. We haven’t tested any due to time constraints, but based on some research, we believe the stainless steel model NS-OTR16SS9 could be essentially the same low-end microwave as the Magic Chef. The black and rustproof NS-OTR16BS8, however, seems to be a higher quality model.

Most of the brands we cover have high-end models that we haven’t tested. GE Profile models are a notable example. Some premium brands of appliances also have microwaves, which are often included as an insert in a larger package of kitchen appliances. Based on what we know about building microwaves, these are all built in the same few factories as the cheaper models, most likely around the same core components. So the main differences are in the aesthetics and the control panels. High-end models might go better with a high-end kitchen design, but don’t expect them to heat up your lasagna more evenly and they may or may not last longer.

A notable high-end model is the Whirlpool WML55011 (or one of the similar models from Whirlpool Corp.), an OTR flat-panel microwave. It’s a few inches shorter than anything else and fits into rooms with lower-mounted cabinets. It’s big enough for a mug about the size of a pint glass. It’s an expensive microwave, but it solves a unique problem.

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