Which OTR Microwave do you hate the least?

flynnnjFebruary 11, 2012

Can you help me choose the best stainless OTR microwave for my new kitchen? I am able to vent to the outside, and if something is really smelly or greasy I use the outside grill.

I've read all the pro's and many, many con's about an OTR Microwave but still think that it's the best fit for my kitchen. My small children are all grown up so that's not an issue either.

Someone on GW suggested getting one with a handle rather than push buttons. Another friend said she hated having a handle stick out and likes the push buttons.

I also need a 30" gas range and I noticed a few brands had the HI burner on the front left rather than the right. I've read that the control panels go bad in some OTR brands. If the steam from boiling water isn't right in front of the control panel would that make a difference? Should I even make that a consideration when choosing my gas stove?

Bottom line - I'd rather hear about personal experience than rely on Consumer Reports. So if you have one that you hate because it broke quickly let me know. I don't expect you to 'love' your OTR micro but if it does the basic job while freeing up counter space - PLEASE, PLEASE let me know.

Most important of all is the 30" stainless gas range that will go under it. That will be used so much more than the microwave. I need it to have a storage and/or warming drawer and either want a slide-in or the look of a slide-in. I really NEED your recommendations based on your real-life experiences.

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I have an Advantium 120v OTR. I like it because of the oven and speed cook functions. It's a lousy vent; but then, every OTR that I know of is lousy at venting. The microwave function is fine. I use the defrost and 30-second settings usually. Every once in a while I might use the popcorn sensor and it seems to work well.

I have a fairly basic Maytag gas range underneath the Advantium. My "power burner" is on the bottom right. (BS and CC owners are cackling wildly at the thought of a "power burner" on a Maytag.) :)

I have had the Advantium for around 3 years now, and I've had no issues with it.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 10:51AM
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Did you really spend over $1000 for a microwave? It is recommended on CR but wow - can you tell me more about how you use it as a 2nd oven rather than just a microwave?

I have a very small countertop microwave and have only used it to reheat, make hot cereal, and for a baked potato.

Many times I use my Breville toaster oven as a second oven. I love it for that reason and almost choked when I spent $200 but since owning it I've decided it was worth every penny. Maybe I'd end up feeling the same way about the Advantium????

Here is a link that might be useful: GE Profile Advantium

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 11:24AM
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Can only recommend what I have knowledge of which is the one we bought.
We love them both, OTR microwave is a LG-LSMH207ST
We paid $395.61 total with free shipping for Microwave


Works great, fairly quiet, the vent is 400CFM which works fine for us, I love the Warming Lamp and use that feature almost every day to keep thinks hot while I finish cooking.
We have had it about a year with no problems.

Our stove, we got a 30" NXR NRG3001 which is the older model which we preferred over the newer one anyway.
We paid $1799 total cost, free shipping for the NXR.

ALL of our burners are "HI" burners and ALL of them go down to a very VERY low simmer also.
So from 15,000BTU down to 620btu on each burner which for me personally is the ONLY way I would ever want my burner configuration. Having all 4 burners different to me is ridiculous.

It has a great infrared broiler, very heavy duty grates and heavy duty stainless oven racks.
Looks like a slide in IMO, only thing on the back is just a small oven vent that comes up a few inches.
Had Range and Micro for just over 11 months now without ANY issues, LOVE both of them and if I had a do over would order exactly the same 2 appliances today.

NXR $1799.00
LG Micro $395.61
So $2194.61 for both.
Other than that we did spend $70 for the matching Stainless back splash which I highly recommend.

We still don't have our Granite Countertops and back splash yet, ended up spending all the money we had saved for that to remodel our downstairs bedroom so that my 94 year old mother could move in with us. Will just have to wait a bit longer I guess.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 11:38AM
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I have the 240v Advantium OTR that I really like. But I don't have it mounted OTR. It's OTC. I was going to post asking about your budget before recommending it. I paid around $900 for it. I think the 120v model recommended above can be had for about $750 or less.

Do a search around GW for posts about the Advantium. There are a lot of positive experiences and recommendations for it. It's definitely a splurge, but if you use it, it's worth it.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 12:11PM
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jscout - If I can get it in the $750 price range it's certainly worth checking out. The price I saw was on the GE site. Can you tell me how else you use it? It's a whole new concept to me.

Nunyabiz1- that stove looks and sounds great. I can tell you're really enjoying it. I just wish there was a bottom storage drawer. I don't know if you saw any of my other posts from yesterday. I have photos of my current kitchen and drawings of the new plan. I may really need that bottom stove drawer for pots and pans. There isn't a pantry in my kitchen so the new drawers will hold the baking items, Tupperware, corning ware and dry goods that normally go in a pantry.

I'm going to Ferguson's - I hope they have an NXR to look at and maybe one has the drawer???

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 12:49PM
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Have you thought of maybe installing a "Hanging Pot Holder" from the ceiling?
Haven't seen your other post so don't know if you have the room for it but it is an option if you do.
One small pot holder can hang MANY pots.

No NXR that I have seen has a drawer.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 8:00PM
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I've envied you that OTR microwave ever since you described it in a post last September....the one about OTR/MW noise. ( My GE space-saver is noisy and doesn't move the air yours does.) Fun to see your install pix. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 11:28PM
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flynnnj, take a look at www.ajmadison.com for an idea of retail prices. It's not gospel, but it is a realistic ballpark for reference. I used a local dealer and even they used it to compare prices.

I use mine a few times a week, since it serves as my MW, toaster oven, third oven, and warming drawer. So in my case it was worth the expense. The functional compromise has been better than expected. It's definitely worth considering in a small kitchen.

The most common use of the speedcook feature for me is for frozen stuff. The best example I can give is a whole batch of frozen chicken nuggets in less than five minutes. I've done fish a few times with surprisingly good results. I also like to toast sandwiches in it. I've been meaning to try roasting chicken in it. It took me over an hour conventionally last week and that doesn't include preheat and rest time. So maybe I'll try the speed oven
this week where preheating isn't necessary.

I also found the warming feature very useful. Its sensors seem to do a good job with both dry warming and moist warming.

The only thing it doesn't do well is making toast (sliced bread). But it's fine toasting bagels and English muffins. I did figure out that if I preheated it, I could make acceptable toast. Fortunately, we don't really eat toast that much, so it's not an issue.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 8:15AM
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We have a Frigidaire gallery in our rental - it's hooked up recirculating but I think you can get them vented too. It works well as a microwave. Popcorn doesn't burn and most of the kernels get popped. That's about the only quality difference I've ever noticed in microwaves though...

OTOH, the base line Frigidaire gas range below it is awful.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Nunyabiz1 - is your LG MW externally vented, or recirculating?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 8:44PM
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I was deciding between the Frigidaire Professional or the GE Cafe stove and microwave -- today I was told that the original GE Cafe' OTR microwave is being phased out and replaced with one that is also a convection microwave - another big difference is that the control panel has a knob on the key pad. I read that there were lots of problems with the original key pad so maybe this knob will take care of that.

The GE package costs more than the Frigidaire - at this point I'm spending so much that I don't want my decision to focus only on the bottom line. My big hesitation with the GE has been so many horrid reviews for the OTR microwave - I LOVE the way the stove looks!

Maybe this new model will make a difference. Does anyone have this convection model? GE Cafe Series CVM1790SSSS

I guess it's sort of a hybrid between a basic OTR microwave and the Advantium???

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 10:40PM
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It is recirculating through a charcoal filter.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 7:59PM
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Flynn, I responded to your other post about the GE Cafe range and asked what it was about the OTR microwave that was giving you pause but I'm not sure if you ever saw my post. I have a GE Cafe range with an OTR microwave (a GE Profile) and have not had any problems with the microwave. Mine is also a convection microwave that has the a knob along with a key pad. We had the OTR before the range and haven't changed it out (we hope to some day when we reno the kitchen) but we have had no problems with an OTR microwave above the GE Cafe. What problems did you read about? I use the burner that is directly below the keypad/knob almost daily. It is also one of the power boil burners so it's often at high heat, but I don't have any negative complaints about it affecting the function or use of my OTR.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here is a link that might be helpful: GE Profile OTR

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 1:13PM
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I had GE OTR microwaves in my previous home. The first one had a recall on it and techs fixed it free, of course. Then we got rid of all the almond appliances a year ago and bought all GE since we turned the house into a rental. Never a problem with the GE OTRs in 11 years.

We built a new house in the mountains of New Mexico and I outfitted the kitchen with mid-range appliances in 2010. By far my favorite is the GE Profile Advantium 120 microwave-oven combo. It's mounted at countertop height in the wall near my Maytag Gemini gas (LP) range. I was always short on ovens in every other home, not now! I have a small upper oven and a large convection oven in the range, plus the versatility of the Advantium that gives me microwave, convection oven, speedcook, and warming oven. For small items or toasting I use the countertop toaster oven.

Caveat: when the Advantium was first pulled out of the box the lower right hinge didn't work correctly. I thought it would be a simple fix, so let the installers leave. Mistake! The guy the appliance store sent out the following week tried to fix the hinge without the right tool (specialized one he didn't have in his kit) and he scarred my cabinet AND the Advantium. Fortunately, I had the appliances department manager as my salesman, so the appliance store replaced the oven and we re-installed it ourselves (piece of cake, just plug it in, slide it in the wall, screw in a few screws to hold in place). Re-installing an OTR would be a different matter entirely.

Anyway, I do recommend the Profile Advantium 120, and think an OTR unit would be a good choice for you. There is a learning curve and the instructions must be followed carefully regarding which trays to use for microwave (glass) vs. convection and speedcook (metal tray).

What I definitely don't recommend is any gas range with a black porcelain top surface, it's impossible to keep clean looking. I'm happy with the performance and two ovens on my Maytag Gemini, there weren't many double-oven ranges on the market when I bought 20 months ago. I would look hard for a unit with a stainless top if I had it to do over.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 1:58PM
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Thank you everyone for all your suggestions and input - it was so helpful. I've read and reread all the threads and after a ridiculous amount of thinking I finally made a decision - today I purchased the GE Cafe' gas stove and the OTR microwave that's also a convection with the knob. It's NOT the Advantium -- but something I hadn't seen before that's a step above the basic OTR micro with the convection feature. The original Cafe OTR has been discontinued and they're selling off what is left before a new one is released mid-April.

I need my appliances for the middle of March and since I don't know exactly what the new model will be I'm happy to choose the one with the convection. BTW- it's about $650, not the $929 listed on the web site.

It really does feel good to have made a decision. It's draining but exciting at the same time.

Now I have to choose the sink for a 24" base cabinet, the faucet, the granite or corian, and the knobs and handles.

Little by little ... inch by inch... with the help and guidance of GW ... the deed gets done!

So bring on your suggestions for counters, faucets, knobs - after a good night's sleep I'll be ready ... I think!

Here is a link that might be useful: GE Cafe Convection OTR Microwave

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 9:23PM
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After doing a bit of research here, I decided to go with the LG LSMH207ST (Studio series) as it would fit in the existing space replacing the old OTR microwave. The 2017 models are 1.25 inches too large in height to fit.

Well wouldn't you know, AJM cannot sell to an address outside a certain area for the Studio series. No, I'm not close enough to any of these areas to make it worthwhile.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 12:19PM
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