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Putting a microwave in a cupboard?

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After reading a lot about how useless combo range hood/microwaves are when it comes to exhaust, we've decided to keep our counter top micro and existing range hood when we renovate our kitchen. I'm wondering if it's safe to put the microwave inside a lower cabinet rather than having it sitting on the counter. The cupboards have already been ordered, so it's too late to incorporate a built-in, but we could feasibly adapt a regular cupboard by installing an outlet inside and reinforcing the shelf. Thoughts?

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  1. I would think you need to vent the microwave. They put out a lot of heat.

    1. Our microwave is built into the cabinet. The build out is nothing more than a cut out and the microwave sits on a rack with a vent frame around it as part of the built in kit.

       
      1. Mine was built-in a cabinet during a new house build. Six years later, it's going strong. Is it vented? I have no clue.

        1. My MW is in a big cupboard next to the ref. Not vented, but the cupboard doors stay open when the MW is in use. Never a problem. No MW in sight.

          1. My daughter put her microwave in a cupboard in two different houses. Admittedly, she didn't live in either house for more than a few years but it didn't seem to cause any problems. Door was left open while MW was operating. Personally, I thought it was a pain and terribly inconvenient but it didn't bother her or her husband. I do think having it in a lower cabinet could be a bit awkward though.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rexsreine

              If the goal is to free up counter space there is an alternative. I used adjustable wall mounted shelving to hold a large convection microwave just below the cabinets. This left the counter clear and was conveniently high enough to put our toaster oven under the oven. I was also able to put it next to the refrigerator so that the wall outlet was easily accessable.

            2. First of all, I'm working from a gut reaction so, yes, I'm probably pulling this out of my butt.

              I'm uneasy about where you want to place your microwave. The only comparison I can think of is that I would never put a computer in an enclosed place like that and that great care is usually taken in making sure that servers are well ventilated and that there is clear space surrounding the whole unit.
              I don't know, perhaps the worst case would simply be that you are shortening the life of your microwave because it might not be able to vent as well as it would elsewhere.

              But I would feel better if you could ask a professional rather than ask for opinions.