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 installing a microwave drawer may be a good call. If, on the other hand, you’re content with your existing microwave and turned off by the price and trickier installation, it may be wiser to simply save your money.