Sharp R-1874 Over-the-Range Microwave Review
An all-around utility infielder.
The Sharp R-1874 (MSRP $579.99) is a reasonably-priced over-the-range microwave that we think would make a great addition to any kitchen.
In the lab, it passed every test we put it through, regardless of whether we were evaluating its worth as a range hood, microwave, or convection oven. While other over-the-range microwaves excel at particular tasks and fail at others, this Sharp had no real downfalls.
If you're the sort of home chef who uses a microwave for everything from pizza to roasts, this Sharp is a great choice.
Design and Usability
It blends in.
The R-1874 has one of the smallest interiors of any over-the-range microwave, and its chunky exterior profile belies a tiny interior capacity of just 1.1 cubic feet. Needless to say, those with large families should look elsewhere.
Otherwise, we kind of like it's blocky aesthetic. At first glance the text-filled control panel seems a little intimidating, and a phone-style keypad would make it easier to type in exact times. Fortunately, it is fairly well laid out with the settings divided between Microwave and Convection modes.
Keep in mind that Sharp doesn't sell ranges in the US. That means the R-1874 will never be a perfect match for the appliance it sits above. Still, it's unassuming enough that it shouldn't clash with the rest of your kitchen.
All microwaves should be this even
For the most part, the R-1874 did well in our tests. The microwave's default power settings reheated food with remarkable evenness and the appliance proved adept at defrosting as well. Set to convection, it had no problems making cookies.
There were a few inconsistencies that left us scratching our heads in bemusement. For instance, the sensor-based cooking options resulted in unpopped popcorn and uneven potatoes. Still, few microwaves we've tested have done better on those tests.
Before You Buy
This Sharp is pretty spiffy.
If you care more about your microwave's performance than whether it perfectly matches your oven, the Sharp R-1874 is an excellent choice. A $550 sale price makes it one of the more affordable over-the-range models on the market, and our cooking tests show it's also one of the best.
We evaluated it as a microwave, convection oven, and range hood, and struggled to find anything this Sharp didn't do well.
Sure, a 1.1 cubic foot interior won't fit as much as larger models, and some of the sensor settings proved less than perfect. But if space isn't an issue, this microwave is one of the best you can get.
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