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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.
The R-1874's sensor cooking modes were a little disappointing, in fact we discovered that cooking eveness improved considerably when we stuck with the default power options. The Popcorn setting setting performed fairly well, we found no burnt kernels, however we counted 122 (out of a possible 300) unpopped kernels once the cycle was finished.

The Sensor Cooking mode was also disappointing as we measured a wide variance in temperatures between sections of the potato we cooked.

The convection modes of the R-1874 faired slightly better in our tests. We cooked a batch of cookies as well as two cakes. The cookies were acceptably cooked, we noticed little difference between the tops and bottoms, however there was little uniformity between the individual cookies. When viewed as a whole the cakes emerged fairly uniform, however on closer inspection, sections of each cake where overdone.

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.

The Sharp R1874 over-the-range microwave oven.

The Sharp R1874 over-the-range microwave oven.

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.

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The R-1874 isn't the quietest over-the-range around, we measured 54.5dB during normal operation and 64.2dB when the extractor was engaged. That isn't exactly deafening, however it's bound to get annoying after a while.

The R-1874 faired better in our defrosting and reheating tests. The defrost setting, while a bit slow for our liking was uniform. There was little ice left behind, and only tiny sections of the food where overdone after the cycle was completed.

Reheating was also excellent, with very little variance between portions of the reheated food. The R-1874 also heated water in a flash. The microwave took only 3 minutes to get 68°F water to 207°F .

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.

It may not be to everyone's tastes, but we kind of like R1874's blocky profile.

It may not be to everyone's tastes, but we kind of like R1874's blocky profile.

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.

Meet the tester

James Aitchison

James Aitchison

Staff Writer

@revieweddotcom

Aside from reviewing ovens and cooktops, James moonlights as an educational theatre practitioner, amateur home chef, and weekend DIY warrior.

See all of James Aitchison's reviews

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