Last updated: August 9, 2021

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The microwave - probably the most practical household appliance in our kitchens. It allows food to be prepared in no time at all and also helps to save electricity. We have long appreciated this all-round talent. This is true not only because of its rapid defrosting and reheating function, but also because of its many additional programmes. Particularly space-saving and elegant are the so-called built-in microwaves, about which you will find a lot of helpful information in the following guide. Deciding on an individual model is often difficult. Therefore, you should always consider a few criteria before buying. The various appliances differ from each other primarily in their performance, functionality, capacity and dimensions. In order not to lose the overview, we have summarised the most important things for you in the following article.




Summary

  • The built-in microwave is one of the most useful kitchen appliances. Not only can you heat or defrost food, but depending on the model, you can also grill, bake or steam it.
  • The most important things to consider are the correct dimensions and the location. That's why you should think about this before you buy. Then you need to measure the niche correctly so that the appliance can fit in seamlessly later.
  • The larger the appliance, the larger the cooking space. The price and performance also increase accordingly. For normal household use, a capacity of 20 litres is usually sufficient.

The Best Built-In Microwave: Our Picks

In the following points, we have listed our favourites. We want to give you a rough overview of the appliances available on the market. This should help you compare the different offers and find the perfect built-in microwave for you.

Buying and evaluation criteria for built-in microwaves

Finding the right appliance for you can sometimes be quite nerve-wracking. To make your decision easier, we have listed the most important buying criteria for you. These are as follows:

In the following points, we would like to go into more detail on the requirements listed above so that you are guaranteed to make the right decision.

Power

The maximum power of the various appliances is between 700 and 800 watts on average. This power is normally sufficient. A higher output of over 1000 watts only really makes sense for appliances with special functions or if you want to heat food particularly quickly.

However, it should not be forgotten that a higher power output is accompanied by higher electricity consumption.

An essential consideration when selecting the power level is the capacity of the microwave. The larger the volume, the higher the wattage should be. However, remember that a lower wattage is sufficient to heat food more slowly but evenly, avoiding unwanted hot or cold spots.

Functions

When it comes to the functions of your future microwave, you should think about how it will benefit you and your household members. Is a simple appliance with defrost and reheat functions enough or do you need an all-rounder with numerous additional functions?

  • Grill function: In thegrill function, the food is heated strongly by the heating elements on top, which makes your food wonderfully crispy. This function is ideal for baked dishes such as lasagne and casseroles.
  • Hot air / convection: Your new kitchen appliance allows you to bake cakes, pizzas or even rolls with the help of the hot air or convection function, which means it can even replace an oven. Thanks to an even distribution of heat, your dishes will turn out just like in the oven, but with much lower energy consumption.
  • Steamcooker: Steam cooking is particularly popular in healthy cuisine. Food can be prepared very gently with pure steam without losing flavour or vitamins. The microwave radiation heats the water in an integrated water tank. The steam then enters the microwave and cooks the food.

Appliance dimensions

When it comes to built-in microwaves, the dimensions of the appliance are one of the most important criteria. Before you even start looking, you should check the space available in your kitchen. Most built-in microwaves are installed in overhead or tall cabinets. As with ovens, only the front should be visible.

The niche dimension is often mentioned for built-in microwaves.

This is the housing dimension of the appliance. This is to ensure that the microwave fits perfectly into the niche. The most common models are 60 cm wide and therefore fit into most standard kitchen cabinets. Narrower models are adapted to the kitchen by means of a built-in frame. Be careful not to confuse the dimensions of the frame with those of the cabinet. The height of microwaves varies from 28 cm for small microwaves to around 45 cm for standard appliances. Most models have a depth of 30 to 40 cm. However, this can vary considerably for compact microwaves or for models with additional functions.

Cooking chamber volume

The cooking chamber volume is primarily determined by the appliance dimensions. The larger the appliance, the greater the capacity. This can be 13 litres for small models and up to 42 litres for large models. For normal household use, 20 litres is usually sufficient. Closely linked to the size of the cooking chamber is the diameter of the turntable. Make sure that your dishes or food are no larger than the turntable of your microwave. It is also important to note that the more space you use, the more electricity you consume.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about built-in microwaves answered in detail

Kitchens are as individual as their owners. They differ in size, shape and colour. Consequently, the built-in microwave must be as unique as the kitchen itself. However, when looking for the right appliance, most people come up against various questions about this topic. That is why we have answered the most important questions about this valuable kitchen appliance in the following points.

What is the difference between freestanding microwaves and built-in microwaves?

When buying a microwave, the first question to ask is which type is best suited to your needs. Freestanding appliances are characterised above all by their flexibility. You are free to choose the size, design, colour and location.

Einbau Mikrowelle-1

By mounting the microwave at eye level, you always have your dish in view. The microwave is also out of reach of small children. (Image source: unsplash/ HiveBoxx)

A freestanding microwave is also more suitable for you if the kitchen in your home is already integrated and you have a large kitchenette available. In addition, both types differ fundamentally in price. If you have a smaller budget, it is better to opt for the freestanding version. However, if you attach great importance to an aesthetic overall appearance and space-saving installation, the built-in microwave will clearly win the race.

Where is the best place for my built-in microwave?

Before buying, you should find the right place for your built-in microwave. A tall or wall cabinet and the space between two kitchen cabinets are particularly suitable for this. In any case, the selected location must be able to bear the weight of the microwave. The selected location should be easy to reach and preferably at eye level. Once you have found the right place, you should also pay attention to the door hinge of the microwave. To ensure that you can open the door easily later on, the hinge side should be aligned with the other doors of your kitchen cabinets. Last but not least, make sure that there is a power source at the location.

What needs to be considered during installation?

If you want to install your appliance yourself, you should consider a few points. First, make sure there is enough space between the microwave and the back wall. Ideally, the back of the kitchen cabinet should be recessed. This is important because most appliances need space for air to circulate. When installing the microwave, always follow the manufacturer's instructions. If your appliance does not fit flush in the niche, the installation frame supplied must be flush with the cabinet front. Also take care not to damage the power supply unit when sliding it into the niche.

Conclusion

Choosing the right built-in microwave can sometimes be very difficult. This is not only due to the variety of different appliances, but also to the individuality of the different kitchens. This results in numerous possible combinations. However, before you start your search, you should find the right place in your kitchen. Next, measure the niche. Only with these measurements can you then start looking for your built-in microwave. Your preferred appliances should definitely meet your requirements and budget. In addition to the various preparation functions, these can also include the cooking chamber volume and the power. Take your time when choosing your microwave and you will certainly find the appliance that meets your personal expectations. (Cover picture: unsplash / Le Creuset)

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