Microwave In Island – Pros And Cons

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Your kitchen island creates a central point in a place that is an ongoing hub of activity.

From preparing and having meals, and packing lunchboxes, to having the day’s evening meal. The island offers additional storage space for appliances such as a microwave.

Microwave in Island - Pros and Cons

What are the pros and cons of a microwave in a kitchen island? A kitchen island microwave saves space and adds sparkle to the kitchen. However, drawer microwaves are expensive, and built-in microwaves may require modifications. Both solutions are potentially unsafe for small kids and require special ventilation and wiring.

The Benefits Of Having A Microwave Inside Kitchen Island

The Benefits Of Having A Microwave Inside Kitchen Island

Installing the microwave inside the kitchen island is a useful solution when using the island to prepare and cook. A microwave can also fit perfectly with a countertop island or a cooking center that includes a sink and a stove.

  1. An island microwave saves counter space around the kitchen. Having all the required cooking appliances with the foodstuff, ingredients, and a cookbook or recipe makes cooking simpler.
  2. Your island is the best place for the microwave, where preparation and cooking happen. Microwaves seem unsightly if they do not match the kitchen design or when placed at an angle on the counter.
  3. An island microwave looks stylish, and the appliance stays out of sight, avoiding any style mismatch. If you place the microwave away from the cooking side, people may use it without disturbing the one who cooks.

The Drawbacks Of Having A Microwave Inside Kitchen Island

Installing a microwave successfully in a well-designed, beautiful, fully functional island has a few downsides that need to be considered. The two main obstacles to overcome are price and ease of use.

  1. Price is the first challenge you face when considering an island microwave. Drawer microwaves and built-in microwaves are more expensive than countertop and over-range units. You can expect additional costs for installation and wiring.
  2. Drawer microwaves are significantly more expensive because they use new technology patented by electronic appliance manufacturer Sharp. While other brands offer drawer microwaves, these units are all made by Sharp. All of which pushes up the price.
  3. The position of the microwave inside the island, about knee-heigh, poses new challenges. While countertop microwaves are placed at eye level or a bit lower, you must now bend down to see the controls, put a dish in, and take it out.
  4. A low, easily reachable microwave is unsafe for small children. Children are naturally curious, and a microwave is too attractive. You should also protect your child by insulating all electric wires and keeping them out of their reach.
  5. Ventilation poses another challenge. Drawer and built-in microwaves self-ventilate, but some drawer units may down-vent into the cupboard below, and built-in units may vent into the back of the cupboard. Ventilation issues are pertinent with island microwaves.

    Improving the microwave’s air recirculation can be addressed during installation with microwave stainless steel deflector and vent kits at an additional cost.
  6. Drawer microwaves have no turntable, and the food is cooked from the top rather than from the sides. Drawer microwaves cannot do convection cooking, which is only possible with convection microwave drawer ovens.

Is A Drawer Microwave The Same As A Traditional Microwave?

Is A Drawer Microwave The Same As A Traditional Microwave

Drawer microwaves have grown in popularity since Sharp introduced them in 2009. Unlike traditional microwaves, where the door hinges open sideways or downward, drawer microwaves slide outwards, like a cabinet drawer.

A countertop microwave is simple to position on top of a kitchen counter or as part of a top cupboard. You place this plug-and-play unit on a suitable flat surface and plug it into an electrical outlet. Countertop microwaves have various cooking ranges, from simple to complex.

Countertop microwaves are usually placed at mid-drift level and are easy to access. Other microwaves require users to stretch to reach the appliance or bend over to use them.

A built-in microwave is like the countertop microwave in that it has a door that opens forward or sideways. Creating the cabinet space may require assistance from a handyman or a carpenter. An electrician may insert an electrical outlet inside the cabinetry.

Some may consider installing a built-in microwave inside their kitchen island. This is not impossible, as American retailers offer built-in microwaves that may fit on your island’s shelf. They seem to work well, providing electrical and ventilation requirements are met.

An over-the-range microwave is positioned above the stove. It is fitted into the wall below the top cabinetry. Because the microwave has ventilation facilities, it may also be used as an exhaust outlet for the stove below.

Over-the-range microwaves are not fitted into the cabinet above the stove but bolted into the wall under it. Since there is no wall inside the island, you will need to add a wall or find a safe way to attach the unit to the island cabinet. This may prove cumbersome and pricy.

A drawer microwave is often the preferred choice for one’s kitchen island. The unit is designed so you can pull out the cooking surface. Sharp’s design offers two ways to pull the drawer out, automatically, by pressing a button, or manually, by pulling it out like a drawer.

This well-designed and easy-to-use appliance gives your island a sleek and stylish look. Its special features include left-hand and right-hand compatibility, various capacity sizes, and the ability to reach the dish from the top. It comes at a premium, and it looks the part.


Installing a microwave inside your kitchen island adds food preparation and cooking space. It frees countertop space and adds a focal point for the many functions undertaken in one’s kitchen. The choice depends on your style, culinary requirements, and your budget.

The most obvious options are to install a built-in microwave or opt for the more expensive drawer unit. You may decide to start with the cheaper option and find out if it answers your needs at lower costs. You may also opt for beauty and style right now at a higher price.

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