PROS / The sensor and convection cooking options increase the variety of food you can cook in your microwave.
CONS / The interior capacity is relatively small.
VERDICT / This over the range convection microwave has less space and less power than similar models, but it still boasts impressive features.
While the Sharp R-1874 over the stove microwave includes sensor and convection cooking, this microwave has considerably less cooking and venting power and less interior capacity than the best over the range microwaves. However, it does offer great functionality as a microwave, hood vent and convection oven.
At 1.1 cubic feet, this over the range microwave has a smaller capacity than many others we reviewed, yet it has an average-sized exterior, so the smaller interior won't save you any space in your kitchen. It also has less overall power than most at only 850 watts, which means that it could take longer for this microwave to cook certain foods.
The Sharp R-1874 does provide convection cooking, which allows you to bake cookies or a cake and roast a chicken or veggies. The circulating hot air cooks and browns food evenly and quickly. The best part is that you don't have to heat up your traditional oven and increase the temperature in your entire house, especially for smaller portions. This model even has 12 programmed convection settings, which is more than any of the other microwaves we reviewed.
The sensor-cooking feature takes the guessing out of microwaving. Sensors in the microwave can detect the amount of moisture in your food to determine how much cooking time it needs to reach the perfect temperature. The Sharp R-1874 offers eight sensor-cooking options for items like vegetables, seafood, bacon and, of course, popcorn. The sensor reheat warms your leftovers without drying them out.
The unit includes a ventilation fan that can work at multiple speeds to dispel a variety of cooking odors from the stovetop. However, the fan is the lowest performer on our lineup, with a capacity of only 240 cubic feet per minute. The included cooktop light has two settings to illuminate your tasks, and the low setting also serves as a night light.
You can configure this over the range microwave to filter and recirculate air or vent it to the outdoors, depending on your kitchen's design. If you do vent it outside, you can arrange the ductwork to vent air horizontally through a wall or vertically through the ceiling. The vent is exposed in this over the range microwave oven.
There is a built-in kitchen timer, which works independently of any microwave functions. The Minute Plus feature is handy when you want to cook for one minute at 100 percent power. All you need to do to extend that time is hit the Minute Plus button again. The auto start allows you to program the microwave to turn itself on at a certain time.
The Sharp R-1874's multicolored display is especially easy to read, and the smooth surface controls also are easy to understand as well as keep clean. The unit includes a high rack and a low rack, and the high rack allows double-level baking, which increases your cooking area and options.
In addition to the normal limited one-year warranty on parts and labor, the manufacturer offers a seven-year warranty on the magnetron, the main cooking component. The Sharp website is informative and well organized. Customer service options include telephone, email and live chat.
The Sharp R-1874 over the range microwave offers convection cooking, sensor cooking and ventilation for a price comparable to similar models. However, it has less interior capacity, less cooking power and less venting power than the best microwave ovens.