Kitchen trend alert: Microwave drawers are the new hot-ticket item. But some can cost upwards of around $1,800, not including installation. Is it worth the investment when you can own a traditional microwave for a fraction of the cost? Let’s look at the microwave drawer pros and cons.
First, What Is a Microwave Drawer?
You guessed it. A microwave drawer is just that: A microwave that functions as a drawer rather than a box with a hinged door. The point is to get it off your counter or out from under your cabinet — creating more space, especially if you need to install a hood vent over your stove and the microwave is blocking the way.
Pros to Owning a Microwave Drawer
Aside from the fact that you don’t have to stare at the large, out-of-place box when you walk into the kitchen, here are some other pros to installing the drawer:
- As mentioned previously, you gain countertop, under-cabinet and above-stove space.
- You’re lifting items up, not out, preventing you from potentially spilling hot coffee or soup (or anything else that may pour out) on yourself in the removal process.
- Kids and shorter adults can operate the microwave more safely, considering they don’t have to climb on a stool.
- On the flip side, you can lock the control panel, to prevent your kids from using the microwave.
- Because it opens as a drawer, you don’t need to crouch down to put your food in it; simply place it in the drawer.
- It adds a sleeker, cleaner, more modern look to your kitchen, since it doesn’t require a bulky trim kit.
- With some models, you have the option of installing it flush with your cabinets, so it doesn’t protrude.
- As opposed to the standard hinged-door microwave designed for right-handed cooks, the microwave drawer is easily accessible to everyone.
Cons to Owning a Microwave Drawer
Unfortunately, it’s not all roses when it comes to a microwave drawer. Before purchasing one, consider the following cons:
- Sure, you don’t have a microwave on your counter or below your upper cabinets anymore, but it’s still taking up lower cabinet space.
- The price of a drawer microwave is considerably higher than a traditional-style microwave.
- Your kids can now easily access the microwave (if the control panel is not locked), which can be scary.
- Because of where it’s installed, a microwave drawer lacks the option for convection cooking.
- Similarly, because the magnetron is located on the roof of the microwave instead of the side wall, it doesn’t have a turntable function.
- It’s harder to install. You may need to have a licensed electrician install a dedicated 120-volt plug for the microwave, and you’ll need a supporting shelf or platform within the cabinet for the microwave to sit on.
- To open it, you have to push a button. If you force it open manually, you’ll have broken tracks and potentially other problems.
- Most microwave drawers do not provide a comfortable depth for larger casseroles and food items.
So, it’s a toss-up. If you need the countertop or upper-cabinet space, you appreciate the safer handling and you can afford the cost