need to find high cfm otr microwaves

jaxoJune 1, 2010

I know most OTR microwaves have very poor exhaust fans.

However, some do have good fans as high as 600 CFM plus and I need to find those. I need to find a list of microwave with over 400 CFM ratings and I can't find anyway to find and sort search results. Even Consumer Reports ratings fails to mention CFMs and fan noise in their ratings.

Best Buy doesn't list CFM specs on microwave hoods on their web site. I have the owners manual of my current microwave (Kenmore Elite 80822500) and CFM isn't even listed din the manual. Very annoying that they hide this info!

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Well, going to was your first mistake. :-)
Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I went over to some major online appliance retailers (abt dot com and a j madison dot com, but this is not an endorsement of them) and most of the OTR microwaves had CFM ratings listed.

An extremely cursory look tells me that 300 CFM is the going capacity for the high end micro hoods, including a very expensive GE Advantium, Electrolux ICON, a Viking and a Dacor.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 10:36PM
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I don't know of any OTR MW's with 600 cfm's. I do know that Samsung makes some with 400 cfm's. Just go to the Samsung website, and you can sort their microwaves by cfm's.

Here is a link that might be useful: Samsung Website Microwaves

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 11:16PM
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This one in the link below is rated as 600 CFM, but I wanted to see what other choices are avialble with near the same ratings.

I just found the CFM of my current model after a Google search and it is already 300CFM which is higher than average for OTR microwaves. Still not good enough to do the job though, so I want at least 450 CFM.

Here is a link that might be useful: 600 CFM Microwave

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 11:28PM
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I just remembered after I posted above, that Sears has a Kenmore OTR MW with 600 cfm's (Model #88523). I don't know who makes it for Kenmore, and don't know if it's any good, but I'll provide a link. I bet the microhood has a really high noise level. Think about the noise caused by pushing 600 cfm's through those little microwave mesh screens, and then through the narrow MW duct.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sears Kenmore Microhood with 600 cfm's

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 11:30PM
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Well, they need to rate the fan noise in specs too then. Bathroom exhaust fans list both CFM and noise.
The Samsungs claim they are quiet in their description on the web site. I will have to see if Sears has the 600CFM hooked up and running so I can hear the fan, but it may not sound the same in the store as installed in a real kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 11:37PM
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frankly - I don't believe Sear's claim about the CFM's of that micro/hood. If you dig a bit and find the orig. manuf. of that hood you can look up the specs of their branded one to compare. Perhaps it is 600 cfm.

Anyhow, There is a reason that microhoods don't have high CFMs. Physics. It's hard to force that much air through the fairly small openings allowed by these units. It addition they have very poor capture areas - shallow and flat - that barely take advantage of the CFMs they have.

Bottom line is that if you really need 600CFMs for your cooking needs , you need to get a proper hood and find another spot for the microwave.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 9:05AM
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I don't have counter space for both a toaster oven and microwave and I can't find a toaster oven microwave combo that's isn't poor quality. So, I need the most effective exhaust fan available in a OTR microwave.
It may not need to be a full 600 CFM, but it needs to be significantly more effective than the 300 CFM I have now.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 9:58AM
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There was a post about a user that had found a 600 CFM OTR, They lived with it about a year, hated it, and after a year they installed a regular type vent, and found a place for a MW. Try searching for 600 cfm Otr, using the search at the bottom (Previous page from here).
We have seen a lotta posts about OTR's and Antss is "Right On" with his advice----if you are like most, you just never will be happy with an OTR, It limits both MW choices as well as Vent Choices.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 10:29AM
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Even a "600" CFM (highly doubtful numbers) will be darn near useless when faced with a prosumer level range. A 300 CFM one is darn near useless when faced with a consumer level range with 12,000 BTU burners or a standard electric coil range. What makes you think that having an additional "300" CFM will magically make any OTR be truly functional as a vent? It won't happen. All that will happen is that it will be LOUDER!

You have your tradeoffs in any kitchen. If ventilation is important, you junk the useless OTR and put in a real hood with real capture area and accurately rated CFM and vent it externally. If space saving is more important, you go with the OTR (hoping you don't melt it!) and open the window when you cook. This isn't a case where you can have it all by throwing more money at a longer list of suspect specs.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 11:00AM
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I went through the same thing! Couldn't find an OTR micro that could handle a 15,000 btu range, and everyone told me I was nuts to try. Not that you should do this, but I found an "affordable" built-in microwave on closeout from Austex, and got a 600 cfm vent for OTR.

If you are interested in my solution, check out Fulgor. They are an OEM company that decided to enter the American market soon before the housing bubble burst. They have since bailed back to Italy/Europe I think, although their fancy-pants USA website is still up. The unit itself is/was made by Sharp, so there are no parts worries.
I couldn't spring $800 on a built-in micro, so this works for me at $350 including the trim kit. Installation is next week, so I'll let you know if it's a dud.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 12:14PM
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I have the sears otr microwave / hood that alwayfixin posted above.

We have been using it for 2 months and it works absolutely fine and is not noisy at all. I do some high heat stir frying but do not do any deep frying. It seems to me that this model is perfectly adequate for a regular home cook.

The microwave is great also and I love how the door opens from both sides. Also, it is very easy to wipe clean because everything except the stainless is smooth glass. It is also very functional for a short person as the controls are on the bottom and very easy to see and operate.

I would be happy to answer any specific questions if you have any.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 12:30PM
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the Sears mw has no turntable. I've always had a turntable with pretty good results. Are you happy with the cooking ability without a turntable?


    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 3:57PM
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It does have a turn table - sort of - it is rectangular and moves side to side. I don't really do any cooking in the microwave apart from oatmeal, reheating and making popcorn. No problems with anything so far. It is more powerful than my old microwave so I have had to adjust some of the heating times.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 4:39PM
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My opinion is put in a real range hood and buy a 99.00 microwave and put it on your counter somewhere. Trying to combine these ends up giving you the worst of both.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 6:53PM
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Jaxo, I did research months ago about this same topic with the same constraints (space mostly). I feel your pain. You didn't mention:
- what kind of cooking do you do (high heat?) and on what (gas, electric)?
- how important is smell and grease capture to you (OTR micro do not extend to the front burners/elements and low CFM)

OTR microwaves are not good for many reasons already cited by others, however they are a compromise that lets you have 2 appliances in one.

If you really must have one, the 2 that are in the 500/600 CFM range are by Panasonic and Sears respectively. Dacor has one that can go up to 600 CFM with an inline blower option.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 10:13PM
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Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but I believe my Bosch allegedly hits 600.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 10:14AM
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I remembered wrong.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 12:42PM
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I do not recommend Electrolux EI30MH55(GS) OTR microwave (300 cfm). Horrible customer service/service repair. Microwave has been repaired 4 times and still doesn't work. Not worth the price paid ($650 but now retails for $350 only 6 months later). Get another brand!

And it doesn't even match the ranges, which is the main reason I purchased this model to match my range.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 1:36PM
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Hi, threebees, I need a OTR MW and we are choosing WOLF range (30" and 16,000 btu), I do some deep fry and high heat cooking and I am worried if OTR would be ok. I understand the best solution is to have a hood but unfortunately I don't have that as an option. A few questions regarding your sears MW:
1) what type of range are you using?
2) are you venting outside or recirculation?
3) do you find it's noise?
4) do you usually use the 600cfm mode or ?

thank you.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 4:41PM
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Wenxin5, tell us more about your situation. Because a Wolf range with 2 or 3 burners going on high is going to melt an OTR microwave hood.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 11:16PM
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Bumping this up because I have the same question----am wondering the results for the OP and others...

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 12:42PM
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I decided that a dedicated vent hood would be what I wanted since I was able to make space for a countertop microwave and I wasn't really satisfied with my previous 300 CFM Kenmore Elite Microwave/Hood which was already a bit better than the average microwave exhaust.

The new hood is a Zephyr with 800+ CFM through a 7 inch duct to the outside. It works very well at exhausting air from all burners.

However, if you absolutely don't have any space at all to use a countertop microave like this kitchen:

Then I would say get an induction range if you can (to limit how much heat is generated) and then get the Samsung SMH9187 400 CFM microwave/hood and try to limit cooking things that need a good exhaust fan to the back burners since there is little coverage towards the front. The Samsung will probably do well enough if you avoid using the front burners when you need exhaust and especially if you can also open a window.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 9:27PM
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This microwave will fit in the tiniest kitchen.

It would easily fit in the pantry of that last kitchen !

"can't find a toaster oven microwave combo that's isn't poor quality" are willing to live with a poor quality hood/micro that is more expensive and fairly permanent? This is a bit on the foolish side considering the range you've selected.

Don't take this the wrong way but, you might consider dropping the typical American view of "give me the BIGGEST prettiest and cheapest thing" and focus on getting item that REALLY meet your needs and budget.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 8:37AM
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At least the OP did the smart thing and got a proper hood. Folks who don't have counter or upper cabinet space for even a GE spacemaker (wrong width for us) should look at the micro drawers. Folks are not used to them and they are more expensive, but so are the OTRs and they don't work well. I'm wondering about the person who said they were getting a Wolf range and putting an OTR above it. That's a no and for a reason.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 10:05AM
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I'm glad my kitchen was large enough for everything to fit.
Microwave drawers are interesting but if you have a really tiny kitchen, you may not be able to give up the drawer and cabinet space.
There will be some people who only have the choice either to use an OTR microwave or move to a bigger place and moving may not be a realistic option.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 10:59AM
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Seems to me a number of comments here are people projecting their own situations to a highly variable needs base.

there are doubtless people who fry, sear, or indoor grill many times a week and other people who cook a huge amount without doing that more than half a dozen times a year.

there are probably people with a nice 1000 CFM hood that due to ductwork run length, diameter and dampers have less airflow than others with 400 CFM microwave/hood combination.

There are people with cabinet or counterspace options and those with less.

Average to below average CFM OTR microwave are adequate for people who do not often aerosolize oils/fats (some would say an indication of unhealthy cooking and destroying taste).

There are higher CFM (400-600) OTR micros which are a better choice when range hoods are not a good option for other reasons (eg space) for people who aerosolize a bit more.

If you have more space, a gas oven, are on the upper half of the average in frying/searing/grilling a hood is a wise decision. Also an entirely valid point is the fact that hoods look very nice if you can afford the space.

in the end there are probably many people who could cook several meals a day for a year with no hood and have zero on their wall next to their cooktop and people who in a week would have a huge amount of gunk.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 7:27AM
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It has plenty of power, but if you use the high speeds to get that power, it gets noisy.

[This message originated at GardenWeb]

I'm considering purchasing a Zephyr hood like you had posted in the past. Could you let me know your thoughts on it and if you think it's worth getting? I'm worried it won't pull the steam from the front burners of my gas stove.

Any advice would help. Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 1:24AM
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Whirlpool has a countertop microwave that is a bit wider than a diner plate. Looks cute too. We had an OTR and... never again.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 9:55PM
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I am also looking for a decent otr microwave and thought I found the perfect one-- the LG 2016. It has excellent reviews and I was all ready to get it until I noticed the chicken nuggets and hot dog button. I'm sure these are conveniences for some but since my family and home is vegetarian, it seems inappropriate and out of place. Can anyone recommend a comparable otr that would not have meat references? BTW, I contacted LG to ask if there was anything they could do and they said no.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 8:16PM
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Great joke. I like your sense of humor!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 9:04PM
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