Over-the-range microwaves vs. range hoods

Last reviewed: August 2010

Microwave

Microwave
Microwave

Best for convenience and saving counter space. Many have a convection feature, and most now have a sensor that helps avoid under- or overcooking by adjusting cooking time based on the steam the food emits as it heats.

But none of the over-the-range microwave ovens we tested could match the smoke-clearing ability of an effective range hood.

Price $300 and up.

 

Range hood

Range hood
Range hood

Best for venting smoke, fumes, and heat. Today's offer more style; many stainless hoods cost less than $1,000.

But you must find countertop or other space for a microwave oven if you use one in your cooking. Good undercabinet and wall-chimney range hoods often cost $800 or less, but island models for venting cooktops often cost $2,000 or more.

Price $225 and up.