Microwave Over the Stove

Many asked why I don’t like the microwave over the stove.  Most microwaves over the stove do have the light and exhaust fan built in.  Those exhaust fans mostly use some kind of filter and the air comes right back into your kitchen.  My preference is to have that air be vented to the outside.  Some of the microwaves do vent to the outside via a pipe through the ceiling but most do not.

Any time I state my preference or my opinion . . it’s only that . . my personal thoughts.  What I like is often what others detest.  If you like your white cabinets, I understand that.  I’ve seen beautiful kitchens with white cabinets.  I just like seeing wood grain and prefer to have no painted wood in my house but I don’t always get what I prefer!  🙂

About the stove – if I didn’t cook so much, I’d be perfectly happy with a glass top stove.  It’s easy to clean, there are no open flames and it looks sleek and modern.  If I didn’t cook so much, I’d be perfectly happy having the microwave over the stove.  It’s a convenient place for it without having to have a separate cabinet or something sitting on the counter.

The main reason I do not want the microwave over the stove is this:

Most cooks don’t can but I do.  See the amount of clearance above the canner.  It’s the same with the pressure juicer.  This amount of clearance is not good for the microwave nor is it safe for opening these lids.  There’s not enough space for me to be able to open the lid and get it off the pot quickly without being burned by escaping steam.  What works for the average cook just doesn’t work for someone who uses a stove as much as I do.

I never mind readers asking “why”.  That’s how we learn.  I do have some crazy ideas . . I’m sure you’ve noticed but I think the microwave over the stove issue is a safety concern . . both for the microwave and for me.


  1. 1


    I agree with you, I also have the same problem with my pressure cooker, it is not fun. Plus I am always hitting my head when I want to check out the pan on the back burner.

  2. 2

    Toni in TN says

    My cabinets are finished underneath so I can simply remove the microvave if at some point in the future I don’t want/need it. Maybe you could do the same. There is wiring but that would not be a problem to remove.

  3. 3


    we opted to not have the microwave over the stove in the new house for that very reason…i am hoping you will come visit after i move in and teach me how to can. K? we can also sew away in the sewing room…you can have either guest room you want..and Vince can come and putter around in the work shop and Chad can come and fish in the pond…

  4. 4

    Annie says

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been thinking of putting a microwave over the stove, and you just helped me make my decision. It’s the filter thing — I knew nothing about that.

    Like you said — questions are how we learn!

  5. 5

    Susan Torrens says

    I have my microwave over the stove, but only because I HAVE to. My kitchen is so tiny that I would lose what little counter space I have if the microwave had to be on the counter. I manage to cook in this kitchen, but only by doing one thing at a time. Whenever I get ambitious and begin a second or third recipe, I live to regret it. Items end up on the only table in the small townhouse, as well as stacked on every flat surface within reach!
    Since we chose the cabinets when renovating, I also chose wood cabinets. This was the first time I’d had a choice…..

  6. 6

    pati says

    you don’t even have to can to dislike the microwave above the stove. even the tall pots that i’ve used for soups, stews, and corn on the cob for a large group are a problem. i want them on the back burner so i can use the front ones for quick cooking things, but once they are back there the lids can’t be removed for checking progress without either getting steam burns or having to totally rearrange hot pots and pans to bring them forward. HATE microwaves above the stove!

    my friend’s house has very tall ceilings, so her cabinets are all hung higher on the wall. thus her microwave is higher up and allows more room — but i am only 5′ 2″ and higher is not better. when at her house i must remove whatever is in the microwave to check it. just give me a countertop microwave and i’m happy.

  7. 7


    I am a canner too so I knew EXACTLY why you didn’t want anything over the stove. Working with canners and boiling water with no clearance makes it super easy to burn myself. I know from experience!!

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    Sandy says

    I have the microwave over my stove and love it. The main reason for it is because I don’t have much counter space. I would LOVE to have a kitchen like yours with all that counterspace!! I don’t can, have never used a pressure cooker and I can see the big problem you would have if you had to put yours over the stove. I think it would be unsafe too. I have an electric stove in IL and the glasstop in our Texas home. I think it takes alot longer to heat up than with the regular burners. I don’t blame you for wanting that gas stove with all the cooking and canning you do. Hope you find it when you get your Texas home, Judy.

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    Mel Meister says

    I had to have a glass top stove when they first came out. I could hardly wait! And then I cooked on it. OMG! I could hardly wait to get rid of it! Took me a couple of years, but I finally just bought a cheapie stove with burners to get out from under the glass top. I put it out on the curb and more power to whomever took it! I hated it!

    The microwave thing bothers me for another reason. The filter at the top gets greasy and then ANY and ALL dust, etc, in the immediate area sticks to the grease on the filter and I’m forever washing it off! There is always dust in Florida, no matter how well one cleans, so it’s a constant irritation.

    I’m sure If I start canning again, it would bother me for your reasons as well, Judy. Problem is, there is no other place for a microwave.

    We don’t “cook” a meal with it, but we do reheat, so it’s a necessary “evil”. When we first moved in here almost 8 years ago, we tried to do without a microwave all together, but it really wasn’t feasible.

    I prefer wood grain, too, but wouldn’t hate painted cabinets… depending on what they look like. It’s “white” that would bother me. I’m not into “white”.

  10. 10

    Balinda says

    I recently renovated my kitchen and I bought a JenAire with the vent in the stove. I put this in the center island with nothing over it but a light. I love it. The vent is really strong and takes the smells out of the house. I even got the cabinet with the microwave shelf so the microwave wasn’t sitting on my counter. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having an opinion. Yeah individuality!

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    Chris says

    If mine ever passes it will not be replaced. I am not very tall and the hot food coming out can spill and burn easily. Mine is vented out. I put the grates for the filters in the dishwasher and I also have to close the outside vent in the Winter due to wind blowing the flap open. So most of the year the fan isn’t usuable in my part of the country. I would rather have a shelf mounted to the wall for one at my level and not on a counter.

  12. 12


    I had a microwave over the stove at my old house and I loved it. In this house the microwave is built into the wall cabinet above the oven. But microwaves have been getting progressively smaller over the years and when the one that came with the house died, I couldn’t find a replacement that was as large, so the cut-out opening is now too large. The metal trim kit fit the old one and not the new one. I couldn’t find anyplace in town to get one to fit the new one, so there it sits. And when I went shopping for the microwave, I took my 9×13 pyrex dish with me because I had to have a carousel model that was big enough for this dish to go all the way around. Our favorite lasagna recipe calls for this dish so anything too small was not going to work. And most of them were too small.

  13. 13

    Anita says

    When a friend of mine remodeled her kitchen she had the microwave atop a second oven in a cabinet, there was also a slide out shelf was just under the microwave. It was a really well thought out kitchen that suited her needs

  14. 14


    My microwave is over my stove and I do not care for that design because 1) I’m afraid I’ll spill something hot trying to take it out of the microwave from the high level, 2) the moisture from things cooking on my stovetop affects the way my microwave cooks, and 3) no matter how careful I am grease from normal cooking gets on the microwave and it a pill to clean. I have a glasstop stove, too, and am not too pleased with it because it’s easy forget a burner area may still be very hot and then sit something down on it. I’m careful about it but the men in my household just plop things down on any flat surface – many a plastic bag has melted on the stove and that really takes some muscle to clean up. Next year’s tax refund: gas stove, new hood, and a small countertop microwave. Good luck on your house search.

  15. 15


    My mom’s microwave is over her stove, but her clearance is much greater than this. She cans and pressure cooks like mad too, and has never had a problem. I wonder if her’s is just higher than norm?

  16. 16

    Freda Henderson says

    Thanks for the explanation Judy. I have never been a canner so that didn’t bother me. Our microwave did vent just like an exhaust fan. Sadly I don’t live in the same house that had the microwave over the stove…sigh.

  17. 17

    SarahB says

    I understand exactly! When my last microwave/exhaust broke I had my husband remove the cabinet above it and raise it up a foot so I have clearance for the pressure cooker and my BIG pasta pans. Not a perfect solution but nice for this house…

  18. 18

    WiAmy says

    Our stove vents to the outside for safety reasons. If you have a vent just venting into the attic and a fire occurs when the fan is on, the flames can get sucked up and start a fire in your walls or attic without you even realizing it right away. Hubby doesn’t like painted wood either. I like the brightness of it, but would not want to have to maintain it! I bet spots show right away. I’m hoping the next house Vince looks at will fit your needs better.

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    Hi Judy- not that you need more to think about but…..have you ever thought of having a 2nd kitchen just for canning? I know it might sound strange but I have 2 aunts who have a 2nd smaller kitchen in the basement of their homes that they just use for canning or when they give big family get togethers ( biiiiiiggggg Italian family) . Of course it helps that both of these aunts have husbands who are carpenters and having the 2nd kitchen made them very happy. Good luck on the house search – I know what a pain it can be — I’m living in a house that I HAD to find in a 3 day weekend. I thought we’d be here 3 yrs max- its coming up on 18 yrs in July — choose wisely- I know you will .

  20. 20


    I too have a microwave over the stove and in this house I do not like it. My kitchen is so small it has to be there. In my old house we solved the problem of the canner by putting a hot plate out on the inclosed patio, and using that. We had about 5 or more feet of space above so no problem. I retired from canning after we moved. Also no place to store canning jars. I can make jam though in a big soup pot with a trivet.

  21. 21

    Frankie says

    I’m with you — can’t stand those over-the-stove microwaves. I don’t know why they’re so popular, but I’ll never have one in my kitchen again. 🙂 I hope you’re able to find a house soon — I know how stressful the looking can be when you have a deadline.

  22. 22


    Gee—I like my microwave over the range. I don’t have any space issues with it. It’s vented outside, and I use a huge pot to make applesauce and it never interferes with the fact that there is a microwave above the pot.
    I do however notice that the two front burners on our gas range are out quite a ways from the front edge of the microwave, so maybe that is the key or clue to why some over the range microwaves are in the way—and others are not.
    Our range is now considered “vintage”. A 35 yr. old GE gas range. Maybe the newer ranges are more shallow in depth. The microwave is a year old, and it replaced one that was 10 yrs. old.

  23. 23


    When we had our kitchen remodeled, the man that designed it and built the cabinets (painted wood) talked me into putting the microwave under the peninsula. It is safer than up high, it is hidden and when you want to buy a new one, the counter models are cheaper.

  24. 24


    I’m with you, Judy. If it doesn’t vent to the outside, it settles all over your furniture. Ask me how I know.

  25. 25


    I have a micorwave over the stove, but I would rather just have a fan with a light. Both homes this microwave was installed had the fan with an outside exhaust. The fan on the microwave is much closer to the food and gets dirty fast.

    The plus with the microwave over the stove is the counter space saved. The minus is having to lift everything that goes into the micro to about neck level. I use my microwave almost every meal. Sometimes like today to just reheat something, but I also cook from scratch using the microwave. I even use it when I am canning my tomato sauce to cook the tomatoes a bit before juicing them.

    Due to the fact that I can, cook from scratch and love soups a lot of steam goes up to the microwave. The fan can not remove all the moisture. One day either moisture or time of use caused the touch pad to stop working properly. We just bought a new counter microwave as we figured having the old one repaired would cost about the same.

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    Doe in Mi says

    I’m to short, would never have a microwave over the stove.
    Cause I’d have food all down my front or in my face!!

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    Ever the engineer, my husband suggested a high mounted microwave is a danger for any number of food containers that need to be lifted in or out of the microwave. They are not only heavier with the food and also hot, or hold liquids that could be spilled.