Microwave above a gas cooktop

funnymercialsMarch 10, 2011

Installing a 30" GE Cafe dual fuel range and would like to mount a micro wave above. Trying to to avoid wasting limited space on a dedicated exhaust hood. Has anyone had problems with this arrangement?

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Did you also check the Appliances forum and the Kitchen (as in design) forum as well as the Cooking forum?

Personally I would never have a microwave above any cooktop, because I think that lifting things above shoulder level is an invitation to accidents.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 11:06PM
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Do a search on the kitchen forum. It's a love-hate situation regarding placement and ventilation. I recently redid my kitchen, and although the room is somewhat large, the actual kitchen area is small. The only logical, least intrusive place for the micro was above the range. The negatives are that it's heavy to lift items above the shoulder level, as mentioned above. It's also difficult to stir as necessary and any actions might have to be taken over a hot stove. The positives are that it looks neat and it's relatively inexpensive. There have been extensive discussions regarding how poorly the OTR micros vent; for me, it's quite sufficient. I've never found it necessary to turn on the vent every time I cook. But, if you check on the kitchen forum, there are those who turn on their vent hoods if they even boil water.

Good luck in making your decision.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 11:40PM
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In three homes that is the arrangement I have had and it has always worked beautifully for me........I don't have problems stirring and mine has always vented. I have an actual vent through my cabinets though not just a fan on the microwave. I don't know why you would be disappointed.........it's a win win situation as far as utilizing the kitchen space and convenient to work area.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 4:00AM
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I have this arrangement and have had NO problems AT ALL.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 6:51AM
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I've had an Advantium oven over my gas range for the past 11 years. I'd strongly advise NOT getting a regular microwave (after all, you're not installing a wood stove, are you?) Microwave ovens have such limited use--you can really only re-heat in them. An Advantium gives you the advantage of microwaving when you need to, but you can also bake, broil, roast in it--and it's SO fast. It actually browns food. You can do REAL baked potatoes (not those awful steamed ones you get when you nuke them) in 8 minutes--crispy skins and all! Cookies take 4 minutes. A hot bubbly, golden brown casserole takes 12 minutes. And no preheating ever. Many foods are programmed into the memory.

My advantium gets used many times a day. It's 8:06AM and I've already used it twice this morning. You'll get much more use out of a speed cooking oven (microwaves and halogen lights) than you will from a straight microwave oven. To me, having had mine for the past decade, it really would feel like a step back in time to have to go back to cooking with JUST microwaves. Take a look at your appliance store, and see what you think.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 8:08AM
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I hate having a mircowave above my stove. So many times I have almost dropped something and the door swings and hits your head! I know it saves space but somewhere else is better.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 8:37AM
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Everyone is different, apparently. I've never been hit in the head by my microwave door! :-)

The arrangement you describe works perfectly for me. But then I'm with Helene--I rarely use the fan. This is probably because I don't do much high-heat frying.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 9:25AM
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I hate it because of this: When I am boiling water for something, the steam hits that microwave and little droplets come down. It disgusts me to think what's coming down in those droplets -- general kitchen grease? (Yes, I clean, but there's always a layer of grime in any kitchen -- not thick stuff, but everyday stuff.) I guess I could put the lid on the pot, but still...

Also, sometimes with a really hot dish coming out of the microwave, it's a balancing act -- there's no countertop to slide it onto. I'm mostly talking about frozen entrees that are in plastic dishes that are kind of flimsy.

It is a space-saver, and I've never been hit by a door, tho, so there's that...

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 10:11AM
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had my very first micro over the stove (but it was electric) didn't mind it as the kitchen was soooo small! i had to go to a cooking class to learn how to use it, lol...

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 10:12AM
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I would go with ventilation especially with a gas stove and I would make sure it was vented outside not in the attic. I have one above my stove but it is elec.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 10:48AM
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My SIL has an elegtric range with a microwave above. I just don't like the idea of lifting food, especially hot food, over my head. I'm too clumsy. I have a GE microwave that hangs UNDER a kitchen cabinet. Also an under-hanging coffee maker and under-hanmging can opener. I find undermounts save a lot of counter space.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 11:48AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I have a microwave + vent over my current electric stove I absolutely hate it, I would never do that and hope to undo it when we redo the kitchen. The microwave catches so much steam when boiling something or cooking things that water is just dripping from it plus that is right where the control panel is for the microwave they are not supposed to get that much moisture and heat.

I would doubly not do it with gas, for gas I want an extremely good exhaust vent, venting directly outside with a powerful motor, venting out any gas fumes from the house. the vents in those microwaves are not very powerful at all.

With my hands and arms the way they are now it is almost impossible for me to lift anything in and out of my microwave. I had one in my island at my last house and loved it.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 12:20PM
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I have had clear counters for at least 20 years and that was before I stopped cooking. I just put things away and eliminated pots and pans I didn't use or stored them somewhere else. I use a manual can opener, I think the elec ones are nasty and hard to clean. My toaster is in a cabinet just below where I set it when I use it. Coffee pot under there also. I dislike clutter, it makes cleaning harder. This was the kitchen in my old house.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 12:27PM
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Honestly....I think it depends on how tall YOU are. My daughter is 5'10 and the arrangement works well for her. For me, at 5'2, I find that I am not comfortable when I have to take a bowl of heated food out with upreached arms, especially if there is a good amount of liquid in the bowl or if it is very full. Also bad if more than one range burner is in use and if young 'uns use the microwave. I have this arrangement in one house, but not the other....there are advantages/disadvantages both ways.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 12:38PM
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I had a full size microwave oven above my gas burners for 25 years.
No problems.

However....they were(I had 2 in all those years) was placed 29" above the burners, and vented to the outside of the house instead of using the inside vent that came with the microwave.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 1:12PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

one thought to consider is if this will be a kitchen you will be growing old in, a few years ago I would not even have thought of the fact that in just a few short years I would be unable to do so many things that were normal daily tasks. As we age lifting up high is not as easy! Plus if you get arthritis it really will play a part in things like that.
We now try to think ahead in all the things we are doing to our house. Re-doing the kitchen in the near future to make it more wheel chair friendly and heights really come into play there.
I wish more builders would make homes with growing old in them in mind.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 2:38PM
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Most of us buy houses when we're young and healthy. We bought our house in 1981, yup, 30 year ago. Back in those days we were able to do lots of DIY projects, both
indoors and out. An architect friend said we should make any projects handicap accessible, so we could use them ourselves or potentially sell our home to older people, not just young families. For example, put in lower counters in bathrooms and kitchen, put railings on all stairways, make any gardens raised beds, stuff like that. We listened to his advice, no one is getting any younger. And , guess what, both DH and I now have chronic medical problems! DH has MS (multiple sclerosis) and uses a wheelchair to get around. And I have kidney failure. While my condition is very treatable, I just don't have the energy I had when I was 28. Our house is great for us two old sick people!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 3:24PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I am so thankful we bought a single story home, we looked at several 2 story ones. That would be wasted space now. My wheelchair gets around here pretty well it does have very wide doors and halls but there is carpet in some rooms which I hope to replace with tile soon.
My plan for the kitchen is to put the island as a stand alone piece which can be moved if needed and which can have adjustable height legs on it so I can have it low for my wheelchair but if we move it can be raised to a more normal height. I will use it as my major prep area and the rest of the counters can be normal height. A lot of the European kitchens are built that way, in fact many of their cabinets are that way also.
I am looking at a restaurant style range with gas,it has the adjustable legs on it like you see in restaurants which would allow some height adjustment for me.
This getting old and falling apart is expensive in so many ways LOL

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 6:20PM
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I'm with azzalea re: Advantium, but first a few observations about over-the-cooktop microwave ovens from someone who's installed several:

They are restricted in depth compared to microwave ovens that are designed to be built into a 24" deep cabinet or countertop units. Since wall cabinets are only 12" deep, microwave/rangehood combos can't be much deeper than that.

The exhaust fans are usually wimpy - most are 300cfm, a few manage 400cfm. Another problem is that they don't stick out as far as separate range hoods, so they don't catch steam and smoke from items cooking on the front burners of your stove very well. A small number of these (made by LG I think) have a retractable extension that pulls out at the bottom that helps solve this problem.

OTOH, they are a space saver. Building code requires the bottom of the cabinet over the cooktop to be at least 30" higher, but the exhaust hood can be any size, and for code purposes an over-the-cooktop microwave is just a big exhaust hood, since it does incorporate a fan and is non-combustible.

Now back to the oven itself: If you can afford it, get an Advantium. More specifically, get the 240 volt version, not the 120. The Advantium 240 also runs on a 30 amp line rather than the 120's 15 amps. Result is that is has access to 4x as much power - 7200 watts rather than 1800, and this makes all the difference not just in cooking speed but also in taste and texture. I know of whence I speak; I've used both.

The A240 is an incredibly versatile appliance. It's a microwave, it's a convection oven, it's a broiler, it's a warming drawer, it's a proofer, it's a monster-sized toaster. And most importantly, it's a restaurant-style high-speed oven that uses something like 5000 watts of halogen lights, ceramic heaters, microwaves, and conventional heating elements that combine to cook food with near-microwave speed, but without that soggy microwave taste. Most foods come out crispy as if they were broiled or even grilled.

According to manufacturer General Electric, the 120V version takes twice as long to cook as the 240V version. It does, but what they don't make clear is that it relies much more heavily on microwaves to achieve that result, so food doesn't quite have that regular-oven taste. In speed-cook mode, there isn't enough power in the A120 to even use the conventional heating element, and the halogen lamps are about 1/5 the power. That said, I still would rather have an A120 than just a microwave or a convection/microwave. But the A240 is worth the extra cost of the appliance and whatever it costs to have a 240V/30A circuit installed (same type used by an electric clothes dryer).

My preferred setup is an oven cabinet with a good wall oven and an Advantium 240V above it. The built-in Advantiums are big enough inside to use as second ovens when necessary, and they will be lower and more accessible than the over-the-cooktop versions of the Advantium.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 3:09AM
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I have a microwave/vent/fan above my gas stove. I almost never use the microwave to cook, but I use it for storage. I think it is dangerous to remove hot food from a microwave that is basically above my shoulder height. Like sushipup said. The microwave I use is hogging precious space on the counter, but that's ok.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 11:55AM
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My preferred setup is an oven cabinet with a good wall oven and an Advantium 240V above it.

This is the setup we have now....used to be 2 conventional wall ovens, but when the upper oven died, we replaced it with the microwave that was hogging counter space.

One of the best decisions we ever made.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 6:05PM
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Geeze this has become like a hot topic. Obviously it is just personal preference but if you need more encouragement to do it over the range.........I'm almost 72 and have Fibro Myalgia and Arthritis and lifting anything in and out hasn't been an issue. I'm also only 5 foot 3 inches tall so unless you are very very short, I wouldn't worry about it ...I'll mention also that I have never had steam droplets dropping down on other pots and my vent and fan work just fine.....They are also not the top of the line models.....just good ones.........

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 6:48PM
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Adding to my earlier post, I have never had any steam droplets forming underneath my micro to drip down onto pots on the range. My OTR micro has been in place for almost 10 years and the bottom of it is spotless - and believe me I do plenty of range-top cooking with pots of hot water and oil and other stuff. I would have loved to have another place for the micro as I love the way kitchens look with a nice hood, but it wasn't practical for my kitchen. Function over form works for me.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 12:50AM
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