Kenmore sells several microwave types at varied price points targeting the value-minded buyer. The company’s current microwave lineup is made up of inexpensive models that cost about $300 and below. In fact, with about $50, you can get yourself a Kenmore microwave.
To keep their prices low, Kenmore opted for a no-frills approach, foregoing the high-tech bells and whistles found in more premium brands. To help you decide whether you should consider a Kenmore microwave, we’ve done lots of research on their features, prices, and performance to put together this Kenmore microwave model guide. Keep reading to find out all you need to know.
What to Consider When Choosing a Kenmore Microwave
Type of Microwave
Kenmore sells three types of microwaves: built-in, countertop, over-the-range.
These microwaves are designed to be installed amongst cabinets for a modern, integrated style. Most kitchens have these microwaves above the built-in oven, but this isn’t necessary.
Built-in microwaves help to free-up countertop space, making them ideal for compact kitchens. However, you might need a professional to set them up as their installation isn’t as straightforward as that of a countertop microwave.
Also, if you’re renting your home and there’s no accommodation for a built-in microwave, you may need to consult with your landlord before altering the cabinetry. If you might move house within the near future, consider a countertop microwave as these are more portable.
Sadly, Kenmore doesn’t have any built-in microwaves in stock at the time of writing this piece.
Since these microwaves stand on the countertop, you’ll lose some workspace in your kitchen. This may not be an issue if you have a large kitchen. However, if yours is compact, you might need to consider whether you’re willing to lose some countertop space. Thankfully, Kenmore’s countertop microwaves come in various sizes.
These microwave models are a good choice for those on a budget; they cost the least among built-in and over-the-range models. They’re also easy to set up since all you need to do is plug them into a wall socket.
Designed to sit above the range, the microwaves have a vent underneath them, so they offer both hood and microwave functions. They’re often the most expensive types of microwaves because of their two-in-one quality. However, I think that over-the-range microwaves offer the greatest value since you don’t have to buy a separate hood and microwave.
For basic home kitchens, these models’ vents do a great job at eliminating smoke and odors. However, if you have a busy kitchen, then you may need to consider a dedicated hood as the over-the-range microwaves might struggle to function effectively—more on the vent systems below. Find out more about the types of microwaves in this article.
Over-the-Range Vent System
If you’re leaning towards an over-the-range microwave, you’ll need to consider the type of vent that you’re getting. There are over-the-range microwaves with a physical ventilation system that expels the smoke outside the house. Others have a charcoal filtration system that cleans the air and passes it back into the kitchen.
If you have a duct running from your kitchen to the exterior of the house, then you may look for a model with a physical ventilation system. However, since it’s expensive to have a duct installed, most people would prefer to use the charcoal-filter over-the-range microwaves. These are the types the Kenmore sells.
Also, consider the venting power of the microwave. This is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), and it determines the amount of airflow that the microwave’s ventilation system can handle. The higher the CFM rating, the greater the airflow, resulting in cleaner air.
Consider your stove’s size and heat output to determine the amount of CFM that’s ideal for your needs. Some online sources state that for a 30-inch range, you need a hood with a fan speed of at least 250 CFM. This piece dives deeper into finding the ideal CFM for your needs.
Kenmore’s over-the-range microwaves have 200 to 300 CFM, which may be ideal for a regular home kitchen.
A microwave’s power is measured in watts, so the higher the wattage, the more powerful the microwave.
How many watts do you need?
This depends on your cooking needs. If you have a large household and use the microwave to cook/warm large portions of food, then you’ll need a high-wattage microwave.
For a small household of one to three people, a microwave of 700 to 800 watts will do just fine. This is enough power to quickly warm your meals and drinks.
If you plan to do more than just warm food, consider a microwave with over 800 watts. Those who want a microwave to complement their oven (or those with large households) should get one with over 1000 watts. These can cook food all through, and they can also quickly heat large meal portions.
Kenmore sells microwaves with as low as 700 watts of power and as high as 1100 watts.
Kenmore’s lowest-priced over-the-range microwave costs about $240, and the most expensive one costs about $300. The cost difference among these models is determined by the CFM rating and extra features like cooking sensors. The color and finish also affect the price; stainless steel models are about $50 more expensive than black or white models.
The company’s countertop microwaves are the most affordable, with the lowest-priced one costing about $50. At this price, you’ll get a basic no-frills appliance. Kenmore’s most expensive countertop model costs $450. This is also the highest-priced microwave in the company’s lineup. At this budget, you’ll get fancy cooking technology like convection and sensors as well as a large capacity, among other features.
If you’re looking for a microwave that can do more than just warm your morning coffee, then consider a model with features that boost its cooking functionality. Kenmore’s higher-end microwave models have convection cooking. This feature allows the microwave to evenly cook and bake by combining the speed of microwave technology with the even heating of a convection oven.
Sensor cooking is another feature found in some of Kenmore’s microwaves. This allows the appliance to determine the amount of time and temperature required for a meal to be ready. The sensors work by detecting the amount of vapor emitted by a meal to tell whether it’s almost done or not and adjust the settings accordingly.
If you’re on a tight budget, then consider foregoing these advanced features and opt for a basic microwave with a high wattage.
Kenmore sells microwaves from 0.7 cubic feet to 2.2 cubic feet.
What capacity is right for you?
- A 0.7 to 1-cubic-foot microwave is an ideal size for one to three people.
- A 1 to 1.5-cubic-foot microwave is adequate for a household of 4 to 6 people.
- 1.5 to 2.2 cubic feet is adequate for a large household of more than 6.
If you’re getting a convection microwave, consider a slightly larger capacity to take advantage of its cooking capabilities.
Colors and Design
You can get a microwave with a handle or a handle-less model. Kenmore has models with both styles, offering you a benefit of choice. You can also get three color options depending on the model: black, white, stainless steel. The stainless steel models are about $50 more than the black and white options.
Recommended Kenmore Microwave Models
To come up with this list of recommended microwaves, I considered the following:
Reviews – The recommended Kenmore microwaves have positive reviews on the official retailer’s website, mainly citing quality and performance.
Features and performance – I considered the features available that make the microwave a useful appliance. These features include sensor cooking, convection, large capacity, and wattage, depending on their price point.
Value for money – The models on this list offer the greatest value for money in their price categories.
Kenmore 83529 1.6 cu. ft. Over-the-Range Microwave Oven
Kenmore sells inexpensive over-the-range microwaves, and this 1.6-cubic-foot model is one of the company’s best. However, it’s designed for a small household with few cooking needs; its 200 CFM vent fan is a testament to this. Like a microwave, it outperforms most in its class thanks to its large capacity and powerful 1000 watts.
Inside, there’s a 12.6-inch turntable that I’m sure will hold your largest dish. Sadly, there’s no cooking sensor in this model, but there had to be a tradeoff to bring the price to below $250. Still, this is a good starter over-the-range microwave for a small home.
- The Kenmore 83529 has a width of 30 inches, a height of 16.8 inches, and a depth of 14.9 inches.
- Its capacity is 1.6 cubic feet.
- There’s a 12.6-inch turntable.
- It also has a removable wire rack.
- It has 1000 watts of power, and you get ten power levels.
- The vent fan has a maximum speed of 200 CFM.
- It has two fan-speed settings.
- This model uses charcoal filters to clean the air.
- There are six one-touch cooking presets.
- This model comes in black, white, or stainless steel.
- This is an affordable over-the-range microwave.
- It has a large capacity.
- Its turntable is large enough for most dish sizes.
- It is powerful.
- The vent system isn’t powerful enough for a busy kitchen.
- There’s no sensor cooking function.
Kenmore 83539 1.8 cu.ft. Over-the-Range w/ Sensor cooking
If the over-the-range microwave above isn’t sufficient for your needs, this option would be a perfect one to consider. It rocks a larger capacity – 1.8 cubic feet as opposed to 1.6 cubic feet in the previous one. Its vent system is also more powerful, rated at 300 CFM, allowing it to do a better job at eliminating kitchen smoke and odors.
Inside, there’s a 12.8-inch turntable plus a wire rack – both of these are removable. Thankfully, there’s sensor cooking in this model, allowing you to cook more meals than you would in the model above. The Kenmore 83539 offers all these features at a reasonable price of just slightly above the $250 mark.
- The Kenmore 83539 has a total capacity of 1.8 cubic feet.
- It has a width of 30 inches, a height of 16.3 inches, and a depth of 15.9 inches.
- It has a removable glass turntable with a diameter of 12.8 inches.
- There’s also a removable wire rack.
- This model has 1000 watts of power.
- There are ten cooking power levels.
- Its vent fan has a maximum speed of 300 CFM with two fan speeds.
- The vent system uses charcoal filters.
- The microwave has sensor cooking.
- It comes in three color options: black, white, and stainless steel.
- This microwave has a large capacity.
- It looks sleek.
- It’s easy to use.
- There’s sensor cooking.
- The fan isn’t powerful enough for busy kitchens.
Kenmore 70919 0.9 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave Oven
This Kenmore countertop microwave is for those on a tight budget. Costing just $100, it offers great value for the price. Granted, it isn’t the cheapest microwave in Kenmore’s lineup; it offers some excellent features that make it the best low-priced model, in my opinion.
For starters, this microwave has a power of 900 watts, making it ideal for a small household. Its capacity of 0.9 cubic feet might not seem like much, but at this price point, it’s one of the biggest. You won’t get much more than general microwave functionality from this model, but with a budget of $100, I’m sure you’re not looking for much either.
- This countertop microwave has a width of 18 inches, a height of 11 inches, and a depth of 14.5 inches.
- It has a total capacity of 0.9 cubic feet.
- The microwave has 900 watts of power.
- There are six preset auto cook functions.
- The interior has Kenmore’s diamond cavity design.
- It has an auto-defrost function.
- There’s a child-safety lock feature.
- This model comes in black, white, and stainless steel color options.
- The Kenmore 70919 is an affordable countertop microwave.
- It is powerful for its price.
- The recessed turntable traps spills, making this microwave easy to clean.
- Its interior light turns off when you close the door.
Kenmore 71612 1.6 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave
Approaching the $200 mark, this Kenmore countertop microwave is one to consider if you’re looking for a model that does more than warm your meals. The 71612 has an impressive capacity of 1.6 cubic feet, as spacious as the over-the-range models on this list.
It’s also a very powerful microwave, boasting 1100 watts. Plus, it also has sensor cooking and is able to automatically set the correct cooking time and temperatures thanks to this feature. There are several preset cooking settings, three of them being sensor cook functions and three one-touch cook options. All these settings make it easy to use this Kenmore microwave.
- The Kenmore 71612 has a capacity of 1.6 cubic feet.
- It has a width of 23 inches, a height of 13 inches, and a depth of 18 inches.
- This model has 1100 watts of power.
- It also has sensor cooking.
- There are three sensor cook functions.
- The microwave also has three one-touch cook options.
- There’s an auto-defrost mode.
- It has a child lock.
- It has a glass turntable with a diameter of 13.4 inches.
- This model has ten power levels.
- It has sensor cooking functions.
- This microwave is powerful.
- It has a large capacity and a large turntable.
- Its large size means that it takes up a lot of countertop space.
Kenmore 71513 1.5 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave Oven with Convection
The Kenmore 71513 is the most expensive microwave in the company’s lineup, costing about $450. It, however, makes a good case for its high price, offering advanced features that make it a worthy oven companion. Kenmore gave this a convection function, which allows it to bake and roast effectively on top of regular microwave functions.
With a capacity of 1.5 cubic feet, it isn’t the largest model sold by Kenmore but is sufficient for a countertop model. On paper, its 1000 watts seems underwhelming, but don’t forget that this is boosted by the convection function that makes it more powerful than it seems. And to make it easy to use this microwave, there are four Auto Bake and five Auto Cook presets.
- This Kenmore countertop microwave has a capacity of 1.5 cubic feet.
- It has a width of 23 inches, a height of 15 inches, and a depth of 22 inches.
- Its turntable has a diameter of 13 inches.
- This model has convection cooking.
- It has a power of 1000 watts.
- There are ten power levels.
- The microwave has sensor cooking.
- It has Auto Cook, Auto Bake, Auto Roast, and Auto Reheat presets.
- This microwave can bake and roast perfectly thanks to the convection function.
- It is easy to use.
- It has a large capacity.
- It is ADA compliant.
- This microwave takes up a lot of countertop space because of its large size.
Alternatives to Kenmore Microwave Models
Sharp Stainless Steel Carousel Countertop Microwave Oven (SMC0912BS)
This Sharp countertop microwave is an alternative to Kenmore’s value models, costing just $90. At this price, you get a decent capacity of 0.9 cubic feet, similar to the Kenmore 70919, which costs more than Sharp’s offering. This microwave also offers 900 watts of power, again, just like Kenmore’s budget model.
Here, you get 11 power levels for more cooking/heating diversity. Inside, the microwave has a 10.6-inch turntable that’s made of ceramic. As Sharp assures us, a full-size dinner plate can fit inside this model. To make operating the microwave easy, there are six one-touch presets as well as a multi-stage cooking feature.
Considering getting a Sharp microwave? Check out our Sharp microwave model guide and learn about this and other microwaves from this brand.
Whirlpool WMH31017HB 1.7 cu. ft. Microwave Hood Combination with Electronic Touch Controls
Whirlpool is known for its reliability, and this over-the-range model carries this reputation. The company has its brand of OTR microwaves known as Microwave Hood Combination. Fancy naming aside, this model is a good alternative to Kenmore’s options, offering almost similar features at a reasonable price. This particular model has a large 1.7-cubic-foot capacity with a 12-inch turntable that happens to be dishwasher safe.
Sadly, there’s no rack as you’d find in a Kenmore over-the-range. This model boasts 1000 watts of power and a vent fan speed of 300 CFM with two speeds. Underneath the unit, there’s an adjustable light that illuminates the stovetop; you can also use this as a nightlight.
Find out more about Whirlpool’s microwave models in this article.
GE® JVM3160DFBB 1.6 Cu. Ft. Over-the-Range Microwave Oven
Consider this GE over-the-range microwave as an alternative to Kenmore. This model has a capacity of 1.6 cubic feet, just like what Kenmore offers. Its power is 1000 watts, and it has ten power levels, in line with what its competitors are offering.
The vent system is also similar to others at this price point, rated at 300 CFM; this model uses a charcoal filter that’s easy to install and remove. Inside, there’s a large turntable with a diameter of 13.5 inches, able to hold large dinner plates. Unfortunately, this model doesn’t have cooking sensors like the Kenmore option. Check out this GE microwave model guide to learn more about what GE has to offer.
Question: How long does a microwave last?
Answer: On average, a microwave lasts seven years, depending on how well it’s maintained and how often it’s used. When heavily used, a microwave might last four or five years.
Question: What is the best wattage for a microwave?
Answer: For a small household of up to three, a 700-watt microwave is ideal. For a larger household, a microwave with at least 900 watts is best. However, avoid models with less than 700 watts as these will struggle to evenly cook and warm food.
Question: Do microwave ovens get weaker with age?
Answer: Yes, microwaves tend to lose their power as they age.
Kenmore microwaves are affordable and reliable, making them good options for those looking for a simple microwave on a tight budget. The company focuses on basic functionality rather than fancy features, a good thing if you don’t want to spend too much.
However, those looking for high-tech features may be underwhelmed by the lack of choices in Kenmore’s lineup. Only one model at the time of writing has convection cooking, and none has smart features. If these are important features to you, consider one of the alternative brands on our list above. If you’re looking for a simple, no-frills microwave that does its job well, then Kenmore’s microwave models are worth considering.