What is a Built in Microwave Oven [2024]

A built-in microwave oven is a sleek addition to any kitchen, integrating seamlessly with your cabinetry to save precious counter space. Unlike the more common countertop microwave, this type of microwave oven is designed to fit into a cabinet or beneath a wall oven, offering a cleaner look and a more permanent solution for your cooking needs. Built-in microwaves offer functionalities that range from defrosting and reheating to convection cooking and sensor cooking, handling everything from your morning coffee warm-up to intricate dinner preparations.

What is a Built in Microwave Oven? A built-in microwave oven is an integrated appliance designed to fit seamlessly into kitchen cabinetry, providing a streamlined look and saving counter space. Unlike countertop models, built-ins are permanently installed and often match other appliances in design and functionality.

What makes these appliances stand out is their ability to blend into the kitchen layout while providing all the power and features of major appliances. For those who enjoy a coordinated kitchen, brands like KitchenAid are a go-to, offering stylish stainless steel options that match other kitchen fixtures and appliances, such as the over-the-range microwave or hood. These built-in units not only maximize the aesthetics but are also packed with advanced features to enhance your cooking experience. Whether you’re defrosting leftovers or experimenting with convection cooking, a built-in microwave oven simplifies the process, ensuring that every meal is a breeze to prepare.

What’s the Scoop on Built-in Microwaves? From Over-the-Range to Microwave Drawers

If you’re thinking about updating your kitchen with a new microwave, you might want to consider the perks of going with a built-in model. Unlike the traditional countertop microwave that just sits on a shelf, built-in microwaves can be installed directly into your cabinetry or over your range. This setup not only frees up counter space but also gives your kitchen a sleek, custom look.

Built-in microwaves come in a variety of models, including the popular over-the-range and microwave drawer options. Over-the-range microwaves double as a range hood, providing ventilation and lighting over your stove, while microwave drawers can be installed under the countertop or in a lower cabinet for easy access.

When choosing a built-in microwave, it’s essential to think about the microwave features that matter most to you. Do you need quick reheat functions, sensor cooking that adjusts time automatically, or advanced defrost capabilities? Also, consider the aesthetics—would a stainless steel finish complement your other appliances?

If you’re not ready to commit to a full built-in model, you can still mount your countertop microwave in a cabinet for a built-in look. This is a great way to test if the built-in style suits your kitchen’s workflow and design.

For those looking to purchase, keep an eye out for promotions, as discounts taken off the regular price excluding taxes can make upgrading more affordable. Whether you’re reading through a microwave buying guide or visiting a showroom, understanding how microwaves are installed and what each model offers can help you make an informed decision that best suits your kitchen needs.

Choosing Your Next Kitchen Buddy: Countertop vs. Built-In Microwave Ovens

Countertop Microwaves: The Versatile Choice

Countertop microwaves are freestanding units that are perfect for kitchens with limited space or for those who prefer a flexible setup. These microwaves sit on a shelf or in a cabinet and can be moved easily, which is great for renters or anyone who likes to rearrange their kitchen layout. Countertop models come in a variety of sizes and power capacities, making it easy to find one that fits your daily needs. Whether you need a microwave for simple reheating or for cooking full meals, there’s a countertop model that can do the job.

Built-In Microwaves: Sleek and Integrated

Built-in microwaves are installed directly into your cabinetry or over your range. This type of installation helps to free up counter space, giving your kitchen a more streamlined appearance. Built-in microwaves are ideal for kitchen remodels or new builds where you can plan for a custom kitchen layout. They come in various styles, including the popular over-the-range and built-in models, which can be matched to your existing appliances for a cohesive look.

Microwave Styles and Features

When choosing between built-in vs. countertop microwave ovens, consider how you use your microwave. Do you rely on it heavily for cooking and defrosting, or do you just use it for occasional reheating? Microwave size and features will also play a significant role in your decision. Built-in microwaves often offer more advanced features like convection cooking and sensor heating, which can enhance your cooking experience. On the other hand, countertop microwaves might offer more flexibility without the need for installation.

Brands and Options

When it comes to brands, KitchenAid is known for its reliable appliances that fit well both as built-in and countertop options. Choosing a brand like KitchenAid can ensure you get a quality appliance that lasts. Also, consider the variety of microwave options available. Some microwaves come with special discounts or promotions (like those that end on May 31) that can provide additional savings, but these offers often have conditions like “cannot be combined with other offers” or “excludes ground-shipped products.”

Decision Time

In summary, your choice between a built-in or countertop microwave will largely depend on your kitchen’s size, your cooking habits, and your design preferences. Both styles offer unique benefits, so consider what alignment works best for your lifestyle and kitchen layout. Remember, choosing the right microwave can make your kitchen more functional and enjoyable to use.


In wrapping up, whether you opt for a built-in or countertop microwave, each type offers unique advantages tailored to your kitchen and cooking needs. Microwaves, especially models like the over-the-range microwave installed above a range or cooktop, can be a game changer. They not only serve as cooking appliances but also as space savers. For those in kitchens with limited cabinet space, the use of trim kits that allow you to close gaps around the appliance can create a seamless look that’s both sleek and functional.

On the other hand, countertop microwaves are a great option for renters or anyone looking for a one-time use appliance that doesn’t require any venting hookups or special installation—simply plug in and start cooking. This flexibility allows you to place your microwave anywhere in your kitchen, making it a best fit for changing layouts or needs.

From quick recipes to kitchen hacks, discover how integrating a stainless steel built-in microwave or a versatile over-the-range model can help revolutionize your cooking experience. Not just an alternative to a traditional oven, microwaves may also enhance your culinary creativity, ensuring that you make the most of every meal in any kitchen setup.

Frequently Asked Questions (What is a Built in Microwave Oven)

What is the difference between a microwave and a built-in microwave?

The primary difference between a microwave and a built-in microwave is their installation and placement. A microwave is a freestanding appliance that can be placed anywhere, while a built-in microwave is designed to be integrated into cabinetry or a wall, offering a sleek, streamlined look.

What are the benefits of a built-in microwave?

Built-in microwaves seamlessly integrate into kitchen cabinetry, saving valuable countertop space and contributing to a sleek, modern aesthetic. They offer a streamlined look, enhance kitchen design coherence, and can be installed at convenient heights, improving accessibility and ergonomic use.

What is the disadvantage of built-in microwave?

A disadvantage of built-in microwaves is their higher cost and installation complexity compared to countertop models. They require specific cabinetry space, limiting flexibility in kitchen design and making replacement or upgrades more challenging and potentially more expensive.

What is the difference between freestanding and built-in microwaves?

Freestanding microwaves are standalone units that can be placed anywhere with a power source, offering flexibility in kitchen layout. Built-in microwaves are integrated into cabinetry or walls, providing a seamless look that saves counter space but requires professional installation for a custom fit.

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