Who has a microwave drawer?

MercymygftAugust 26, 2011

Just wondering who has a microwave drawer and what you think of it? I'm thinking of foregoing the OTR microwave and putting the microwave in a cabinet (somewhere??). I've seen the drawers, but don't know if I would like that.

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We incorporated the Sharp 24" microwave drawer into our new kitchen, and so far we really like it. There's room for nuking two medium sized plates at the same time and it cooks both very evenly. We'll have to see if the door mechanism holds-up, but so far so good. From what I understand, Sharp is the only 'OEM' manufacturer of these drawers, so the upgrade to Viking or Wolf, etc... should be based on aesthetics.

Also note that the 27" and 24" drawers have the same cooking area inside, there is just more 'chrome' on the 27" model.

Here's a picture of our drawer, its the unit to the right of the fridge. They are sized nicely so you can get a large drawer underneath for microwavable bowls, etc...

1 Like    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 6:23PM
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laura mcleod

We also went with a Sharp and I love it - I am shorter and really prefer stirring stuff in the drawers (as opposed to reaching over my head to pull something out and stir it) so for me it functions really well. The aesthetics are great too, I was trying to hide it a bit since we have a fairly open kitchen.

There are lots of threads on here about the drawers if you search for them - hth!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 6:34PM
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I like the idea of the microwave drawer; however, I worry about damage from vapor which seems a potential problem over time.

What does real experience say?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 7:09PM
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I've had mine for almost a year.
Love love it!

Easy for the kiddos to operator. Fits a 9x13 pan. Doesn't go round in circles. Has a great "sensor reheat" function which I use for reheating my leftovers (what i usually get for lunch!).

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 7:39PM
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Thanks for the info...sounds like something that would work for me.

laurainlincoln... I'm short too and sometimes pulling things out of the OTR microwave is tricky. I did do a search here and didn't pull up that much...maybe I'll try again.

eastfallsglass... love the way your kitchen looks! Also thanks for the heads up about the sizes.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 10:24PM
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Mine is coming up on 4 years now, used and no issues with the door, vapor damage or function. Was definitely a good choice even if we hadn't picked it because it solved several layout issues in one package.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 1:38AM
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We've been using ours for a tad over 3 years now and we love it! No issues w/vapor or door damage. As to functionality, it's been great and, like others, it solved layout issues.

I would say if you're average height or taller or you use the MW a lot, a drawer is much better, functionally, than a regular MW mounted/placed in an alcove under the counter.
No having to squat or lean far down to reach inside or blindly reaching inside to access the interior No having to squat or lean down to read/use the controls b/c the controls are on the top and angled up so they're readily visible/accessible by just looking down and pressing buttons If I need to stir something, I just open the drawer, reach down and stir, and close the drawer, no taking the dish out, stirring, and putting it back in. The drawer is "soft-close" so there's very little jostling of food/liquids

One negative: If you want to peer inside while food is cooking, you do still have to squat or lean down to look inside while it's closed...but that's a negative of all under-counter MWs & other ovens.

Ours is the Sharp 30" MW drawer, but as others have said, it's the same size as the 24", just more trim. It worked better for our layout (at least initially) to have a 30" cabinet there (well, actually, it's in a 31" Custom cabinet, but it will fit in a 24" or 30" cabinet).

Something else to keep in mind...as far as I know, Sharp is the only manufacturer of the MW drawer. Yes, there are other "brands", but they're just re-branded Sharp drawers with, possibly, one or two different functions to distinguish them from Sharp. Bottom line, go with the Sharp "brand" b/c, at least when I was looking, they were more reasonably priced!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 9:55AM
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I do not have a microwave drawer but for those that do, I have a few additional questions. I have just decided against it in my new house for a few reasons.
How is cleaning it? I thought perhaps it might be too hard to clean the back of the microwave since it doesn't pull out with the drawer. (and we are hard on our microwave and have had a few bags of vegetables 'explode').
Do you find yourself spilling liquids because you are pulling the drawer open?


    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 1:21PM
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"...Do you find yourself spilling liquids because you are pulling the drawer open?"

No, unless a dish is filled to the top with liquid...but then, even a countertop MW will also spill (the slight jiggling of the MW when you open or close the door). With a MW drawer, you don't "pull" it open per-se, you give it a gentle tug to start it opening...it opens on its own. To close, you give a very gently nudge and it closes on its own...to pulling it all the way open.

Additionally and as I mentioned b/f, the MW drawer has a "soft-close" feature which means it gently closes. Ditto for opening.

Cleaning...it's not difficult to clean the back, but it can be to clean the top. I instituted a rule when we got it that anyone who does not use a top and/or causes splatters on the roof cleans it up! It's been very effective...there are far fewer messes in our MW drawer then we had in our countertop MW in our old kitchen (it was on a MW cart).

IMHO, trying to put things or take things out of a "regular" or countertop MW that's mounted under the counter will be much more problem than a MW drawer. Cleaning it would be much more of a pain b/c the entire MW is under the counter, nothing except the door opens outside the cabinet.

If you've been exploding bags of veggies, then you're cooking them too long or on too high a power level! Reduce the time or power level. This is common when a more powerful MW is used than the directions are written for. Some items actually have directions for various MW power levels...usually 1000 watts, 1100 watts, & 1200 watts. The MW drawer is 1000 watts.

BTW...probably the best MW location, I think, is neck or chest level and I would actually have preferred that type of MW. However, if you cannot have one that height or at least counter-height, then the next best thing is a MW drawer - even better than an over-the-range MW (again, that's my opinion!)

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 1:46PM
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I've filled things closer tot eh top than I felt I should have and not had them spill. The only thing I've had run over was something I overheated that bubbled over.

The top is not hard to clean -- pretty much the same reach in as one higher, just lower. But you do find that covering things that tend to splatter really cuts down on the cleaning -- especially the top, but also the whole drawer. Same as any other micro I've had there.

Do vent your veggies and don't overheat -- use a lower setting or try one of the auto settings. Auto reheat works even fir frozen items.

I actually like the micro drawer better than a counter height or eye level one. At eye level, you can't see into a container. When you open the drawer, you can see right into a container and can stir or check on the food without having to reach in, pull it out and place it on the counter, then stir and reverse the process.

The price is the biggest negative, but it was worth it to us.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 10:42PM
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I wanted to add...if you heat water in the MW for a few minutes, dried/stuck on food on the walls, floor, and ceiling of the MW wipe off very, very easily. This is true of all MWs, not just drawers.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 11:45PM
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Buehl -- good point. That's all I've ever done. I heat for maybe 2 minutes and then let it sit a few more, wipe and done.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 12:37AM
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My last micro i bought about 15 years ago. An emerson 600 watt.

I don't know if "sensor reheat" button is on all modern micros or not, but I use this nearly daily on my drawer. The only boil over we've had is 12 year old related (more power = quicker i don't want to wait 2 mintes for my soup ).

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 12:56AM
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I hope it doesn't seem like I am hijacking this thread, but after seeing eastfallsglass's kitchen I'm having a panic attack.

Well, first I thought, "My god, that is a breathtakingly lovely kitchen." Then, I thought, "My god, I think my KD royally &*($#&@(#&@(^#^*@%#! us."

We told her we wanted a microwave drawer. We haven't purchased the microwave drawer as we have a fully functioning microwave at the moment and figured we'd eventually get the microwave drawer down the line; it's not exactly cheap. The cabinet she selected for us for the microwave drawer looks EXACTLY like the cabinet with the oven on the LEFT of eastfallsglass's kitchen and NOTHING like the one on the right with the microwave. Is that a convection oven?

Now, I'm not completely blaming the KD... Had I done my research ahead of time (which I didn't do until just now after seeing this side-by-side comparison of cabinets) I would've known I needed to get a 3 drawer base to modify for the microwave drawer. But how did she not know this?! Well, she's a college kid working part-time at the big orange box in a small town that's probably never seen a microwave drawer installed in a kitchen before (okay, maybe a handful but only in really high-end kitchens that are probably not getting their cabinets at the big orange box).

This is just the kind of thing that happens when you buy your cabinets at the big orange box and don't do your homework ahead of time, but now I need to find a way to remedy this situation. The cabinet is not yet installed; it's going in the island and we've not affixed the island cabinets yet. I could still order the correct cabinet... but assuming I was not going to go that route, what exactly am I supposed to stick in this cabinet? SO and I have been staring at it since we opened the box (months ago) and thinking, "That's a mighty big hole for a little microwave..."

Is it meant for a convection oven? A regular opens-to-the-side microwave with a kit?

I'm going to have to buy another cabinet, aren't I?

Sorry for the panic-induced rambling... I always feel better after "talking" to you guys.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 10:53AM
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Sounds like the gal may have misunderstood what you wanted. She might have intended for you to use that space as an open shelf for the current micro until you buy the drawer and then trim it out to modify if needed for the drawer. Problem is that you wind up with a smaller drawer for th longhaul unless you can modify the drawer or add a second shallow drawer.

Talk to the store - if that's not what you wanted, you may be able to get the order corrected before it's delivered. If the box is the right size, it's a matter of a different cutout on the face and a different depth drawer -- maybe just the drawer head. Shouldn't be a huge problem and if you gave the KD the micro drawer info, they should man up and take care of any charges for the change.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 5:15PM
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Thanks, lascatx. I'm going to the store tomorrow. Unfortunately, we've had the cabinet out of the box for almost 7 months now. We had some install issues with the cabinets that took a LONG time to remedy (although this particular cabinet is in the island and not installed yet) and we've been unable to find a granite we like, so luckily everything can still be fixed... but I'll have to see what the store suggests.

I think you may be right and she did think we were just going to put our current little microwave on the shelf, even though we said we were just going to keep it on the counter in the meantime.

Could one of these cabinets (looks to be sized for an oven) be trimmed out to fit one of the micro-drawers? The Sharp manual online says to use a 3-drawer cabinet and offers no other suggestion.

Tomorrow I'll see if maybe I can just get a different cutout on the face and a different depth drawer... that could be a great solution. Although we'd have to install it ourselves... EEEEK! Thanks lascatx!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 6:04PM
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lado -- it depends on the size of the microdrawer you're using. The 30" will take something that looks more like the cabinet on the left vs. the micro cabinet on the right which appears to be a 24". The 30" microdrawer is cheaper, that is one bonus. But if your cabinet is 24" you are probably going to want to change it out, or get some trim boards and find a way to make use of the additional space.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 6:05PM
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Really?! Kris-ma, I could kiss you! The cabinet is 30" and we were planning on the 30" microdrawer. Maybe I won't have to put this in the "Yet Another Problem with the Kitchen Reno" list. Maybe we'll go buy the microdrawer sooner than expected and see if we can make it work before we try switching out or re-facing the cabinet.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 6:25PM
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I'm pretty sure you can download the manual/installation instructions from sharp, it has specifics on the size of the opening. The install itself is very easy, just four screws in the front of the unit and plug into electrical behind (if the opening is the right size).

The microwave drawer will be considerably "shorter" than a typical wall-oven. In fact we had to have our cabinets built with 3" kicks to leave enough space for the drawer under that 27" wall-oven on the left.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 6:54PM
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yep. i took a look at the spec sheet/manual on the sharp site. it looks like we might be able to "rig" something with this crazy oven cabinet. height-wise it's only off by about 2" and we have some extra fillers. SO is NOT looking forward to more of my pleading for DIY magic.

and because i REALLY do not want to hijack mercy's thread, i will say that the kitchen we gutted had an OTR micro and, while we did not cook in the kitchen prior to gutting (we bought and renoed immediately) i hated the OTR micro the second i saw it. the underside, all around the fan, was crusted and caked with grease. it was a white micro and i could not get the yellow-ish stains off of it during our after-closing clean-up. i told my SO right there and then we were getting a real hood.

although the condition of the OTR might have been due to the old owner's cooking/cleaning habits.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 8:36PM
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I am also doing a renovation and plan on putting the 24" Sharp microwave drawer in the island. I think I prefer to go with the less expensive 1.0 cu rather than the 1.2 cu. Does anyone really see a difference in the two? Also since it looks like it has vents in the front, can I assume it doesn't need any other special venting when installed?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 7:09PM
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Marissa--very quickly cuz dinner is burning. The larger one has a taller cooking cavity which may or may not be of importance to you.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 9:04PM
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I have the shorter one because it used to be the only one. I think the only things I ever put in a boxy micro that won't go in my drawer are my tallest mugs (which turned out no to be micro safe anyway) and my large mixing bowl. Everything else I've tried, including large rectangular casserole dishes that would not have fit in the boxy one, has worked fine.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 2:20AM
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I've heard so many great things about the MW drawer that when the our cabinet guy recommended it I started praying DH would go for it. Luckily it was at the beginning of the project (& budget haha!). It will be delivered this week.

It is a big expense but I look forward to not having the MW on the counter!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 10:14AM
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Didn't read all the previous posts, but we've had ours now a few months and I LOVE it! Totally worth the money to me to have a larger microwave, and to have it off the counter. Plus the cool factor when anyone comes into the kitchen and sees it open with the push button.

I don't have a recent picture - but here it is right after install. We got the warming drawer too. DH and a friend had to do some custom stuff to the Ikea base cabinet before the install but it worked out perfect with their standard size 30 base. (We got the 27 model only because we wanted it to match the warming drawer size).
From Berta Install

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 6:43PM
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We are thinking of ordering this microwave for our house build. We have the space for either way. Question is are any of you bothered by the short height inside? The sales guy seemed to be steering us away from the drawer based solely on it being not a roomy, particularly if we try to put something tall in there. We have a Keurig, so I don't think we'll ever be reheating a mug.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 9:41PM
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