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microwave in the island

anyone have one? pros/cons? suggestions? hubs and i were worried about bending, but the more i think about it, i bend to get into an oven, and i use the oven way more than the micro.

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  1. I've cooked my mother's kitchen, which has one.

    I find it a pain. Bending to get items in and out is only part of the trouble (and I constantly slosh liquids). I have trouble reading the relatively small buttons, even bent at the waist. Maybe if it were MY microwave, and I was used to it and didn't need to actually see see/read the buttons, it would be different - but I've grown to really dislike it low.

    2 Replies
    1. re: NE_Wombat

      Good point about the buttons. I use my microwave all the time and yes, it would drive me crazy if I had to bend down to set the damn thing, lol!

      1. re: foodieX2

        Me too. I've had a full sized oven that is on the wall and cannot go back to an oven under a cooktop. My microwave is mounted above my counter. I definitely do not want to do all the bending.

    2. They only kitchens I see with microwaves in the island are those who rarely use them or only use them for reheating the occasional leftovers. If you do any "real" cooking in it would be a huge pain. One of my favorite microwave dishes is Sichuan green beans that need to be stirred/tossed often. Have to bend over to do so would get old, quick.

      The thing with an oven is that the door opens down, has a wide opening and you can slide the racks towards you as needed. I don't really see the comparison.

      16 Replies
      1. re: foodieX2

        Wow,a there's a generalization!
        We use our under counter micro daily.
        It's so not hard to set.
        To stir mid cook, you bend over, so what?

        If your micro is on a counter, then it's more ergonomic. If it's above or below, you're reaching.

        I like that I'm not reaching up. Lifting and lowering from and to below is better for me.

        1. re: monavano

          Why the wow? Of the 5 people I know with them all are self proclaimed non cooks and only use their microwaves for reheating leftovers and frozen meals. <shrug> I didn't say it was true for everyone in the whole wide world. The OP asked for opinions and I gave mine based on my experiences. I am very glad you love yours and I am sure the OP appreciates your opinion.

          1. re: foodieX2

            i appreciate everyone's opinion. i love to cook and bake, but primarily use my micro for the purposes of your self proclaimed non cook friends (except for the frozen meals part....i don't eat them). every detail helps. i do steam veg in mine.

            1. re: foodieX2

              Have you worked with an UC micro on a regular basis? Just curious what your experience has been.

              1. re: monavano

                never have worked with one. always been on the counter. i want it out of the way.

                1. re: eLizard

                  Our old kitchen had a cubby hole above the counter. I was happy to be able to get the micro out of the sight line and glad not to have to reach up and grab hot items.
                  I feel like I have more control now.

                2. re: monavano

                  Yes, our timeshare has them in the communal kitchen. PIA but it's only for a few weeks each year in the summer so we deal. Does that make you feel better about my opinion?

                  1. re: foodieX2

                    maybe a microwave drawer would be better....

                    1. re: eLizard

                      Ha ha! I bet someone will come up one

                      1. re: foodieX2

                        they have them. and they are a pretty penny.

                        1. re: eLizard

                          Cool! I never noticed them before, or I assumed they were something else! I am in the early stages of planning my kitchen redo. I have to go back and look at the swipes I pulled and see if any of them.

                          Now an extra drawer dishwasher I could totally get behind!

                          1. re: foodieX2

                            i was contemplating one of those. i went with a second oven and increased the size of my range. i hope i don't regret it. it's the only appliance i didn't go big or go home on. it's still nice, though.

                            1. re: foodieX2

                              Here's the drawer model we have in our island. http://bit.ly/1kz2Lmr

                              I like it very much. It's easy to get to, easy to clean and performs really well.

                              1. re: GRobin

                                awesome! that's the one that is being delivered today.

                          2. re: eLizard

                            We ruled that out- just not feeling confident about performance and reliability.
                            There aren't many choices.
                            They were expensive too, but so was our built in.
                            It was one of our "splurges".
                            We were going to get a warming drawer, but went for the microwave instead.
                            Best decision!
                            (we can still do a warming drawer in the future, but so far, don't see a need)

                3. We went with an under counter micro and love it.
                  We were going to put it in the island, but since our island isn't that big, and I stand behind it a whole lot, I figured anyone trying to use it would get in my way, so we moved it to the side.
                  Again, we love it. I like being able to raise and lower hot foods vs. having the micro above the counter.
                  I was always worried I'd drop something.

                  19 Replies
                  1. re: monavano

                    ok, but it would be about the same height as the island one, right?

                    1. re: eLizard

                      The same height, and in my island, a little higher since my island is higher than my counters.
                      https://www.flickr.com/photos/1105586...

                      1. re: monavano

                        i can't get over how similar our kitchens will be save for granite and back splash colors....my subway tile is white.

                        1. re: eLizard

                          Our KA micro has a knob that pops out to set time.
                          Open door.
                          Pop knob out and spin.
                          Push start.

                          1. re: monavano

                            Hi, monavano:

                            You are lucky to have such an intuitive MW. I have at one house an original Amana Radarange, the controls of which consist of 3 large color coded buttons and a large lit analog twist dial to turn the unit on, off and set the time. In reality, all the operator needs to do is twist the dial.

                            I would consider mounting something like this below waist level. But the models currently offered (and the two at my other houses) all seem to have a plethora of buttons on smooth, reflective surfaces. I'd rather pith myself than deal with controlling one of those whilst bending over or squatting down.

                            Beyond this, my advice to the OP would be: If reefers with the freezer section on top bother you, don't put the MW in the island. OTOH, if s/he doesn't mind bending over every time s/he reaches for something in the reefer, s/he prolly won't mind the MW mounted low...

                            ...at least until s/he needs reading glasses.

                            Aloha,
                            Kaleo

                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              great points. we DID move to a bottom door freezer. that's the hubs, though, not me. but his opinion is just as valid as mine, and i will take that point back to him. the micros made specifically for undermount, as far as i can see, have angled controls (i am not saying they are intuitive, matte, or few) so that you don't have to squat as much.

                                1. re: monavano

                                  Sharp. i think they're the ones that invented it or at least held the patent on them until recently

                                  1. re: eLizard

                                    Oh, it's the drawer, nice.
                                    My KA door flips down, no drawer.

                                    1. re: monavano

                                      it so much to spend on a microwave, though!

                                      1. re: eLizard

                                        Ours was 1200 or 1400, something like that. We looked at it as part of the kitchen aesthetic and we gush on and on about how much we love it.
                                        It's a bit of luxury and looks it.
                                        Money well spent.

                                        1. re: monavano

                                          for us, our appliance were the splurge.

                        2. re: monavano

                          maybe it's in this thread somehwere ,monavano, but I can't find the type of mw that you have. i'm definitely going in island and now i'm trying to decide between drawer or door.

                              1. re: monavano

                                Hey, that's mine! Love it, and had it installed above the wall oven. We had 2 wall ovens before the kitchen re-do, but I like this micro so much more.

                                1. re: pine time

                                  I love it. We went with double ovens, so the micro is under counter.
                                  Again, DH and I say how much we love it at least weekly.

                                  1. re: monavano

                                    i went double oven and micro drawer. ovens are side by side, though, because i didn't want to give up any counter space.

                                    1. re: eLizard

                                      I like the look of side by side. For some reason, it looks very "cheffy" to me!

                    2. Something to keep in mind with bad experiences using UC micros is that you really need to choose the right model
                      Models that are for counters or above will be tough to use below the counter because the buttons will be too low.
                      My UC micro is designed for being placed low to mid level.

                      I can't imagine using it cabinet level.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: monavano

                        exactly. i'm thinking using a trim kit on mine would result in a negative end user experience. my husband would hate it. but the ones built specifically for seem to address many of these concerns. the one thing i am seeing is that liquids can slosh if the drawer (vs door) is opened too quickly.

                      2. I prefer my micro to be on a shelf over the counter or over the regular oven. I don't think I'd like it to be in my island.