Product Review: Whirlpool and KitchenAid Low Profile Over-The-Range Microwaves

Whirlpool low profile over-the-range microwave vs hood

Whirlpool Hood vs Low Profile Microwave

Why didn’t I think of that?

Whirlpool Corporation hits a home run with the industry’s first solution for replacing a low profile hood with an over-the-range microwave with its new low profile KitchenAid and Whirlpool models.

What’s So Special About This Microwave?

Upper cabinets for hoods are typically taller than upper cabinets for microwaves. This is because most microwaves are significantly taller than the hoods in most homes and, depending on the brand, you need 13 to 16 inches of clearance from the top of the cooking surface to the bottom of your hood/microwave.

So, as a result, if you currently have a hood and simply replace with a microwave, the clearance will likely be less than 13 inches.

That is, until now.

Whirlpool and KitchenAid’s NEW Low Profile Design

The new low profile design is currently available in three models:

Each model sports the following key specs:

  • 1.1 cubic feet
  • 1,000-watts
  • 12-inch stoppable turntable

In addition, all three models have enough height to easily fit a typical coffee cup and feature the useful Touch-to-Open feature, which opens the door at the push of a button for hands-full assistance when you really need it.

All three blend seamlessly in any kitchen with a streamlined appearance, few visible buttons and a full control panel hidden behind the door.

Upgraded Models

Whirlpool’s WML7501H features the following upgrades vs. Whirlpool’s WML5501H:

KitchenAid’s KMLS311H has a very similar feature package including designer colors like Black Stainless and PrintShield Stainless Steel (shown below).

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The KitchenAid model also features TouchMetal power buttons for more durable operation and an attractive, professional look.

The KitchenAid KMLS311H model also features an efficient, Whisper Quiet ventilation system that discreetly cleans the air while you cook.

Bottom view of KMLS311HBS showing ventilation fan

Vent View of Black Stainless KMLS311HBS

Conclusion

Any of these three microwaves is a no-brainer for anyone wanting to replace a traditional range hood. For many people, clearing the counter space in roughly the same footprint as your current range and hood combo is enough.

The interior height is a concern, but it’s easily tall enough for most coffee mugs, soup bowls and mixing bowls. In fact, turn the turntable off and you can even fit a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish.

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