At a Glance
In 14 years of blogging, this article has created more comments than any other post. I've rewritten this article six times to address service problems and our reader's comments.
This was simple to write initially.
Sharp manufactures all microwave drawers for every brand, so your options are limited.
However, there are a few tricks to buying one much cheaper. By cheap, you can even buy one for free or almost free, depending on the brand.
Unfortunately, by reading comments, we still have to address certain concerns.
In this article, we'll explore whether you should consider a microwave drawer, the models, and the answer to everyone's burning question - are microwave drawers reliable?
Let's get started.
Are Microwave Drawers Reliable?
Bosch Microwave Drawer Installed at Yale Appliance in Hanover
In 2020, we performed 37,061 service calls in the Boston area.
We keep statistics on every brand and product to minimize our service exposure.
Most stores without service will sell every product and brand. Then again, they don't fix products after the sale.
I am mindful of the many comments left by people below who bought drawers and had issues, even fires.
We have never had a report of a fire caused by a drawer. We wouldn't sell them at Yale if there were.
I certainly wouldn't place one in my house with an infant now four-year-old daughter.
Further, the first year's rate of service for a drawer is low at 4.04% as shown below.
The average for appliances was 9.7%.
Microwave Drawer Reliability December 2019 - November 2020
These figures are based on a minimum of 100 units sold for a total of 1,321 products.
Microwave Drawer Problems
They are not as easy to install as a trimmed microwave.
Microwave drawers are also operated with push buttons to open and close, so you cannot open and close a drawer manually.
Forcing them open will lead to broken tracks and problems.
I bought one for my new place.
It needed a new control board. The technician replaced it within 30 minutes. That was 28 months ago.
The biggest problem reported by service is not for service.
Microwave drawers are more intensive for installation.
Much of the service is installation-related.
Problems happen with all appliances. We have not seen any fires in our service data, as reported in the comments below.Short on time? Get our free Appliance Buying Guide
Best Microwave Drawers for 2021
There is no one best microwave drawer. How could there be? There are all manufactured by the same company.
That said, you should take advantage of offers from the manufacturer and buy one at a reduced price. How reduced, you ask?
How about a free microwave drawer?
Many manufacturers have rebate programs to cover the whole cost of the microwave drawer.
Pro Tip: Many of the rebate programs include a free $1,299 dishwasher or $1000 towards the purchase of another appliance. However, the $1,299 dishwasher has similar specifications to a $699 dishwasher.
To maximize the rebate, buy the dishwasher and apply the discount to a microwave drawer.
Now, let's take a look at the best microwave drawers.
I have liked microwave convection, so the old Sharp rep, Bill Petrino, demonstrated the technology back in 1986. (Fun Fact: His granddaughter worked at Yale years ago).
Anyway, by cooking in microwave and convection, you can save half the time without losing texture by cooking microwave only.
It has some cool features since 1986 and is enabled to work with Alexa. You can wave your hand in front to open it as well.
It has introduced a smart feature that allows you to link your smartphone to the microwave. This allows you to control how you can cook the food remotely.
You are probably wondering why you want to heat food remotely only to have it cool by the time you are ready to eat.
That is a good point.
The SMD2499 is a bit small at 1.4 cubic feet but can be a good secondary cooking oven in your kitchen.
Beko can be flush-mounted, so it looks good as the others. They also do not have their name in large letters like a vanity plate.
Also, Beko has a five-year warranty with all the same features as the others at the same or for a less high price.
And yes, it's made by Sharp.
These units are virtually identical other than the colors. Then again, both brands are all part of the Bosch company.
The Thermador microwave drawer has been updated with grey trim around the glass window to match their new wall ovens and ranges.
They match especially well with their new wall ovens with the Masterpiece trim level.
Thermador has its One-Two-Free Program.
You can buy a professional range or qualifying wall oven and cooktop, so the drawer becomes almost free.
You can mount these models flush to the cabinet, so it is more attractive. Technically, Thermador is better with a second-year warranty for the same price.
Bosch has its 5-10% off the program with other appliances.
JennAir also introduced two new microwave drawers to match their new Rise and Noir cooking lines.
Both are available in a 24" or 30" width, with predominantly black glass covering the front of the microwave to match the more European esthetic of the line.
The styling of the Rise is more traditional. The Noir 24" is $1,699, and the 30" is $1,799.
Like Thermador, you have a $1399 credit with other qualifying purchases, so the drawer nets down to $300-400.
Microwave Drawer Sizes
Microwave Drawers and Specialty Ovens at Yale Appliance in Hanover
Microwave drawers are available in 2 sizes, 24 and 30 inches.
Although the cutouts are different, the internal sizes and capacity are identical.
The 24 inch looks better without the side trims of the 30 inch.
Is a Microwave Drawer Worth It?
Typically, a microwave uses a valuable countertop workspace or higher cabinet space (especially in built-ins).
Additionally, as stoves become more powerful, over-the-range microwave vents are not strong or deep enough to exhaust.
If you cook high volume or fry, wok, or use a griddle, an over-the-range microwave will not be able to vent that kind of volume.
But when not having a microwave is out of the question, many clients turn to microwave drawers.
They work especially well in lower spaces and islands as well.
With a drawer, you can place a microwave anywhere.
What Are the Advantages of a Microwave Drawer?
You will like not having to bend for your hot food with a microwave drawer as the drawer slides open.
You can even lock out your children as I do with my 4-year-old.
Before the drawer, we hung the microwave from the cabinet or built it into the wall with a trim kit.
Microwave drawers look good, can be placed anywhere in your kitchen, and you don't have to stoop like other types.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Microwave Drawer?
A drawer will cost between $1,100-$1,900. It does look better, but you could save $400-800 with that microwave and trim kit.
Microwave Drawers, Wall Ovens, and Warming Drawers at Yale Appliance in Framingham
The drawer looks good in your kitchen, and it's very convenient to operate and use.
One last word about reliability: The drawer is tougher to install and can cause problems if not installed properly.
Make sure you check the specifications with your designer, installer, contractor, and cabinet shop.
Once again, we sell many drawers in different brands. We have not experienced fires or major issues out of the norm.
Lastly, look to combine the drawer with other appliance purchases from the same manufacturer.
The package rebate will greatly reduce the price to free or almost nearly free.
Don't get caught in features. The Sharp convection is the best. After that, buy a drawer on warranty and price.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much do microwave drawers cost?
Microwave drawers are typically more expensive than other types of microwaves. They usually range from around $1000 - $2000.
2. Can you install a microwave in a cabinet?
Microwaves can be installed in a cabinet. You can install countertop microwaves (with or without a trim kit), microwave drawers, and drop-down microwave ovens.
3. What sizes are available for microwave drawers?
The sizes available for microwave drawers are 24" and 30". However, the interior dimensions for cooking remain the same at 1.2 cubic feet.
Have questions on appliances? Read the Yale Appliance Buying Guide with the 10 most frequently asked questions, the best time to buy appliances as well as detailed profiles of all the brands. Well over 900,000 people have read a Yale Guide.
My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.
A Note About Pricing