Stylish, innovative, sleek – a microwave drawer isn’t just an incredibly cool upgrade to a kitchen staple, it’s also the latest trend in cooking equipment and gadgets designed to make the most effective use of your space.
A microwave oven that functions and operates as a sliding drawer, a drawer microwave is a total kitchen game-changer. Installed under the counter, in the lower cabinet system, or in the kitchen island, these appliances are conveniently located, space-saving, ADA-accessible, and considered to be a safer alternative to regular microwaves. While still a relatively new kitchen appliance category, these microwaves are available with all kinds of crazy-cool features and offer home cooks a great cooking experience.
Our list of the best drawer microwaves features five models we know you’ll love. For all the details on these incredible appliances, read on.
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2. ZLINE 24″ 1.2 cu. ft. Microwave Drawer in Stainless SteelPros:
- Innovative design that features multiple defrost settings and a unique "melt" feature
- With 1000 watts of cooking power, this is the most powerful microwave on our list
- Available in both a traditional stainless steel, and black stainless steel
- 1.2 cubic feet of interior cooking space, 11 power modes
- One touch open and close functionality
- Easy to use and read touchscreen display
- Sleek and gorgeous design
- Spacious, but examples of what items can fit in the appliance is not available
- Not as tall as the other microwaves on our list
- Some reviewers commented on having a difficult time reaching manufacturer when issues occurred
A sleek and gorgeous design helps this 24-inch drawer microwave from Z-Line stand out. Blending together 11 power modes, smart cooking programs, and 1.2 cubic feet of cooking space, this is one awesome and aesthetically pleasing addition to any kitchen. It’s also available in black stainless steel, too.
Featuring 1000 watts of cooking power, this is easily the most powerful microwave drawer on our list. Equipped with an easy-to-use and read display with touchscreen controls, effortless one-touch open and close functionality, multiple defrost programs, and a control lock feature for added safety, this model from Z-Line has it all.
Here’s something else that’s cool about this model: the “melt” feature. Perfect for butter, marshmallows, chocolate, and cheese, you can melt all your favorite ingredients to perfection. The one thing we will say about this microwave is that information is limited on what it can hold. Based on photos and similar models, we’re assuming that a 20oz beverage and a casserole dish will fit, but just be aware before purchasing.
Dimensions: 24″ wide x 25″ deep x 14″ high
5. Bosch 24″ Stainless Steel Microwave DrawerPros:
- Cooking with 950 Watts is no joke - this is one powerful drawer microwave
- With 1.2 cubic feet of cooking space, you can fit a 20oz beverage or a 13" x 9" casserole dish
- With smart sensor programs this microwave helps you cook and reheat
- 10 power levels
- Can be installed so its flush with cabinets
- Stylish and aesthetically pleasing
- Expensive microwave
- Availability is currently limited
- Some reviewers commented that the microwave was just "okay" and not worth the price
With the push of a button, this drawer microwave from Bosch opens and closes for a convenient and cool user experience. Bosch’s 24″ Stainless Steel Microwave Drawer features 1.2 cubic feet of interior cooking space, providing you with enough room for a 20oz beverage or a 13″ x 9″ baking dish.
Featuring 950 watts of cooking power, this appliance also has 10 power levels that you can control for a customized cooking experience. Feeling like taking it easy and letting the microwave do the work? No problem. With all kinds of automatic sensor programs, including a high-tech defrost program that detects the food and determines the right power and cooking time, you’ll be cooking up and reheating all kinds of meals in no time.
With a sleek and low profile design, this stylish addition will look great in any kitchen. It can even be installed so it’s flush with the cabinets.
Dimenions: 23.87″ wide x 23.37″ deep x 16.31″ high
What Is A Drawer Microwave?
Drawer microwaves are a relatively new kitchen appliance. First designed and patented by Sharp, the idea for this innovative design was inspired by the 1998 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, where Sharp executives noticed dishwashers, refrigerators, and warmers all being demoed in unique drawer designs. The one appliance they didn't see: microwaves. And, so, the concept was born.
Now, a popular addition to any kitchen, a drawer microwave adds all kinds of star-power and wow-factor to any home. Designed to be permanently installed in the lower cabinet system or kitchen island, these appliances have several notable design features:
Drawer Design - you guessed it! Rather than opening via a hinged door system, these microwaves slide open like any drawer. Some models even feature one-touch open & close functionality, while others have automatic features.
Space Saving - as these appliances are intended for permanent installation in the lower cabinets, they're a great way to free up prep space.
Spacious Interior - all of the best microwave drawers on our list feature 1.2 cubic feet of cooking space. Ideal for tall 20oz beverages, 4-quart casserole dishes, and 13" x 9" baking dishes, there's a lot that can be cooked and reheated in these appliances.
No Rotating Turntable - drawer microwaves do not have rotating turntables. While this might seem odd to those of us familiar with traditional microwaves, this design actually allows for larger dishes to be placed into the appliance.
Features & Functions - many microwaves come with various power levels and some pre-programmed cooking settings, but drawer microwaves come with even more. From multiple defrost options to WiFi and smartphone connectivity to unique "melting" programs, each model offers something special to the cooking and food prep process.
Safe Cooking Experience - ever get nervous transferring hot items out of your microwave? Fear not. Because of the drawer design and lower location in the kitchen, your lifting items up and out as opposed to out and down.
ADA Accessible - because these appliances are installed in the lower cabinet system, they are accessible to everyone and anyone.
Which Microwave Drawer Is Best?
Each of the models on our list of the best microwave drawers have similar features, functions, prices, and cooking capacities. You honestly can't go wrong with any of them, however, there are a few notable differences and fun facts we feel are worth mentioning:
Sharp is the leader in this particular microwave segment. They developed the concept, hold the patents, and have the most options available today. The model that tops our list, the SMD2489ES from Sharp, is one of the newest releases and is also the only smart drawer microwave currently on the market. So, if you're after a device you can control from your phone that also has other incredible smart features and programs, this one is for you.
The only model that features 1000 watts of cooking power is the option from Z-Line. It also features an incredibly cool "melt" mode that's perfect for cheese, chocolate, marshmallows, and butter. It's also available in two finishes - traditional stainless steel and black stainless steel.
Two of the models on our list feature physical handles, while the other three do not. Other than a physically different appearance, they operate the same. The ones without a handle do have one-touch and automatic open/close functionality, which is awesome when your hands are full.
So, which of these drawer microwaves is ideal for you? Think about what programs and features work the best for you and your lifestyle. Smart features are great, but maybe you prefer more power? More power is great, but maybe you prefer a sleeker design? At the end of the day, we suggest picking the one that best integrates into your kitchen or home aesthetic. After all, it has to look good in your house, too.
Appliance Drawers: All The Rage
When we think of appliances we think of big, bold, and beautiful kitchen equipment - french door refrigerators, gas ranges with tons of cooking space, and large dishwashers to handle even the biggest of loads. But, bigger isn't always better. As more people are downsizing and trying to limit their footprint, there's a need for quality kitchen appliances that fit into a space rather than add to it.
Enter the world of appliance drawers. Much like the microwaves on our list, other popular and must-have kitchen gear is getting the drawer design make-over. These built-in and slide in/out appliances are popular because they offer a cleaner and sleeker look. Designed to be integrated and flush with cabinets, the aesthetics are unmatched.
For other popular appliance drawers, read on:
Fisher Paykel is the leader in the drawer dishwasher market, but other manufacturers make incredible models as well. Available in both single door and double-stacked door styles, you can add as much dishwashing capacity as you like. Full warning: most models are not as large as traditional dishwashers.
If you're in need of a lot of fridge space, we would not recommend a drawer fridge. However, if you have a small kitchen or don't need as much space to store produce and leftovers, be sure to check out this cool drawer refrigerator from Thor, or this one from Summit Appliances.
Are Drawer Microwaves Worth The Added Expense?
Are drawer microwaves more expensive? Unfortunately, they can be. Most drawer microwaves run between $1,000 and $2,000, so when compared to the traditional microwave design, yes, they are more expensive. However, if you're wanting a kitchen that's sleek and modern, and appliances that offer more cooking convenience, they're totally worth looking at.
Not only do these appliances offer more cooking space, more features, more functions, and more cooking programs. They also save you precious countertop space, are safer to use, and ADA-accessible.
So, whether you're looking for a new home or renovating your current one, there's no better time to upgrade the aesthetics of your kitchen. A drawer microwave is a great addition to any lower cabinet system, and we think that you'll enjoy the features and functions they offer to home cooks.