I had originally written this post back on July 31, 2012. There have been some changes to microwave drawers since then, so let’s see the most current lineup.
The first microwave drawer models were actually part of a range called the Insight. Now all drawers are their own stand alone units.
The microwave can be installed under a countertop and load from the top, much more convenient than a side swing door. The look is also much cleaner that the older style microwave and trim kit.
They are all still manufactured by Sharp with mostly asthetic changes to match the other companies products. The Sharp models are rated at 1000 watts while the others are all at 950. All are non convection and have no turntable.
Drawer microwaves are designed to be built into your cabinets at a more convenient height just below the countertop. By moving the microwave from that location the kitchen will be less cluttered with more available work space.
It is also an alternative to the over-the-range microwave. OTRs are convenient, but at 310 CFM they are underpowered for heavier cooking and higher BTU burners. With the drawer, you can now have a convenient microwave and a more powerful hood.
Sizes and Brands
Drawer style microwaves are available in 24 and 30 inch wide models and the capacity will be 1 or 1.2 cubic feet with at 950 or 1,000 watts. A few will have a manually opening door, but most will have a powered open and close feature. The prices range from $949 to $1,639. Models are available from Sharp, Wolf, Viking, Jenn-Air, Dacor, Bosch Benchmark and Thermador.
The Best Microwave Drawers
Dacor has 24 and 30 inch models, both available in a solid stainless (no window) door or black glass finish. These finishes are exclusive to Dacor, and all are priced at about $1,399.
These units are virtually identical, the Thermador is a bit cleaner looking with a mostly black door. The Bosch name is a bit more prominent on their unit. The Gaggeneau finish will match their more modern looking line. These are $1,199, $1,499, and $1,639 respectively.
A great match for the much improved Jenn-Air line.
Wolf offers three different models, one 24 and two 30 inch models. These match their new wall oven offerings. $1,739-$1,769
The Sharp branded units are a bit different than the ones above. These are stainless with a handle, so they cannot be installed flush like the others. There is one nice feature that the others do not have, the control panel is slightly angled, it may be easier to see from a standing position that the flat front models.
Sharp manufactures all the drawer microwaves for every brand, so you are buying some iteration of Sharp. However, Sharp is actually the least aesthetically pleasing. Jenn-Air, Bosch Benchmark and Thermador are also designed to be mounted flush to the cabinet.
As mentioned previously, there is not one drawer unit that will be “better” than the others. There is a difference of about $800 from the lease expensive Sharp to the most expensive Wolf. When choosing a model consider the installation type, installation location, and placement of the other appliances if matching is important.
Read our Electric Cooking Buying Guide for more info on Microwaves and all aspects of electric cooking, including induction. Over 70,000 people have already found answers in a Yale guide.