Do You Want Multiple Microwave Ovens In Your Kitchen?

Tualatin kitchen remodel with two microwave ovens

New Tualatin kitchen with 2 microwave ovens

Most of us have a microwave oven that we use regularly. So why would multiple microwave ovens help the function of our kitchen? If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen, this article may help you think about and plan for an additional microwave.

The History of Microwave Ovens

Microwave ovens have been a popular convenience in residential kitchens since Amana started selling them in 1967. Homeowners liked the ability to quickly thaw frozen food and bring liquids to a boil faster than a tea kettle on the stove. Homeowners could quickly reheat leftovers, coffee, and tea without tasting reheated. Kids soon learned that microwave ovens could make popcorn and heat other snacks (if their parents allowed). Microwave ovens are seen in family rooms, especially if the area is not adjacent to the kitchen. In addition, they’re used in master suites and guest bedrooms with small refrigerators to prepare a light meal or a snack.

Microwave-convection ovens were made famous by Thermador in the early 1980s. We were fortunate to have a CMT with some great features, including baking or broil with the microwave turned on simultaneously. Another feature we loved was the ability to duct the heat (and cooking odors) out of the house.

How a Convection-Microwave Can Help on Thanksgiving

I’ll never forget the Thanksgiving we invited my husband’s parents for dinner at 6:00. My mother-in-law had prepared Thanksgiving meals for years and always put the turkey in the oven very early in the morning. She called me around 3:00 in the afternoon. Here’s how our conversation went:

Polly: “Hi. I just thought I’d call to see if there’s anything I can bring besides the cranberry sauce and pies.”

Me: “No, I think everything is taken care of.”

Polly: “How’s the bird doing?”

Me: “Fine. I’m just getting ready to put the bird in the oven.”


She was probably thinking, “I knew I should have had dinner here! But, unfortunately, we won’t sit down to eat until midnight!”

Of course, when they arrived at 5:30, the 19-pound turkey was ready to eat, a luscious golden brown, with juices dripping into the pan. It was, admittedly, the most delicious and moist turkey my in-laws had ever enjoyed. It was the first Thanksgiving using our new Thermador microwave-thermal oven, new technology they had just developed.

Multiple Microwave Mini-Trend

The mini-trend for multiple microwave ovens began several years ago when I was helping homeowners plan their new kitchen, the one featured in the picture. When compiling the list of appliances (remember, choose appliances first!), the Homeowners requested a microwave-convection oven next to the double ovens and a “regular” microwave oven next to the refrigerator for thawing and reheating. Then three other couples asked for multiple microwave ovens.

If the original family had requested only one microwave, we would place it in the baking preparation area. Unfortunately, this decision would require family members to walk across the kitchen, invading the working triangle. However, checking back with everyone who’s chosen two microwave ovens, they verified that it’s provided improved function in the kitchen.

When we were planning for our new home, we chose a “standard” microwave adjacent to the table and a microwave-convection oven installed over the convection oven. We use them both daily for different reasons. It’s nice to have the option and the flexibility! Both microwave ovens have been a great help when we entertain.

In a previous article, I discussed different types of microwave ovens, why some are better than others, and the recommended placement of these appliances for maximum function and safety. The only motivator for selecting multiple microwave ovens is your unique lifestyle and remodeling budget.

See before and after photos and a description of this project.

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