6 Smart Alternate Locations for the Microwave

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Do you use a microwave? Microwaves have enjoyed a boost of foodie cred the last couple years, thanks to praises from Harold McGee, Mark Bittman, and others who have debunked some of the myths surrounding microwave cooking. But that hasn’t changed the microwave oven’s footprint ‐ it is still one bulky appliance. Here are six smart ways to get it off the countertop.

The classic location for a microwave oven is on the countertop, hogging tons of precious counter space. It’s also often above the stove, which I loathe, personally. I want more head space, and I find that microwave stove vents and fans are usually pitiful.

So, let’s say you want the convenience of a microwave, but you want to stash it out of the way. Here are five smart options, with examples drawn from our kitchen tours and spotlights.

  1. Under the countertop – Stash the microwave on the lower shelf of an island, or in a specially-built cupboard nook. This has become a popular option in many kitchens lately. We’ve seen it in too.
  2. In a drawer – This is a twist on the under-countertop option, and it involves a different model of microwave altogether: a drawer microwave. This is installed under the counter and slides open like a drawer. Ivy says that she . This may be the sleekest, most space-efficient option, especially for very small kitchens.
  3. In the wall – You can also install a microwave in the wall, like an oven, as seen in Jamie Oliver’s TV kitchen. See another example of this here.
  4. Over the fridge – Katin found and stuck the microwave up there.
  5. In a cupboard or appliance garage – In some ways this doesn’t really save you much counter space; you’re still leaving the microwave on the countertop, but you’re closing it away behind a door, as seen here.
  6. On a shelf – I really don’t like microwaves above the stove, but that doesn’t mean they can’t go elsewhere in the upper cabinets. I like how .

Where do you keep your microwave? Have you found any particularly smart ways to hide it away in your kitchen?