How to Choose Best Size of Microwave Ovens

Buying the suitable kitchen gadget is the most common care of housewives. You knew how microwave oven works, but you might not know about its size. If you are considering which is the best size of microwave oven for your family, here are some information that you might need.

Mini Microwave Oven

Almost any type of foodservice operation is a prospect for a microwave oven. They have become an essential part of the kitchen cooking line in fast food units, family operations, white tablecloth restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, and prisons. Many operations that started with smaller units are now so dependent on them that they are good-prospects for larger, more versatile models.

Another big use for microwave ovens is in office and in-plant feeding, where refrigerated sandwiches, soups, and entrees are heated. It’s a rare hospital-ward pantry that doesn’t have a microwave, even if its main use is heating water for instant coffee.

Which Size Is the Best for You?


  • You’ll find special models for every type of use. Smaller ovens (500 watts or less) for vending and office feeding usually have special controls that can be pre-set and labeled for reheating specific foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, soups, and casseroles.
  • Somewhat higher wattages (500 to 750 watts) are often used by fast-food operations for off-peak preparation, or for meeting heavy-peak demand by reheating previously prepared items. One major hamburger chain uses microwaves to back up its regular preparation lines during peak periods.
  • Larger models (750 to 2000 watts) are used for defrosting frozen foods, heating large batches of food for banquets, baking potatoes, and other cooking tasks. Users of these models are large-scale preparation kitchens in hotels, hospitals, schools, cafeterias, and prisons.

How Microwaves Cook

Microwave ovens cook foods by heating their water molecules with high-frequency radio waves. These microwaves penetrate only a short distance; the molecules just under the surface of the food are heated. Those molecules, in turn, heat adjacent molecules until the heat penetrates to the food’s center. “Cooking from the inside out” is not what a microwave oven does, despite that common misconception. The idea came about because cooks notice that foods cooked with microwaves do not brown. In fact, microwaves cook at too low a temperature to brown the surface. Most food heats to an internal temperature not much higher than 212 degrees Fahrenheit-the boiling point of water-giving many products cooked by microwaves a steamed appearance.

Cooking vegetables in a microwave oven

Other foods, such as crusty breads or rolls, win be cool to the touch, while literally steaming on the inside. The reason the surface of such foods remains cool is that there are few water molecules in dry crust. So, there’s not much on the surface to heat.

Avoid Somethings Won’t Cook

Some things won’t cook as well with microwaves because of their composition. Foods that are both dense and large often require so long to cook that the outside is overcooked and dehydrated. Foods that have different densities, such as muscle fiber and fat, cook unevenly. But, microwave manufacturers recognize those problems. Many models have variable heating controls so lower power is used for thicker, denser foods. This lengthens the cooking time but provides a more even result. An unwanted side effect is that it may dehydrate the food’s surface. Despite the longer cooking time, and the risk of overcooking the foods exterior, the outer surface still won’t brown as it would in a conventional oven. There’s no heat in the oven chamber to caramelize the surface.

Some microwave models come with a browning coil, which is an electric element that browns food surfaces through radiant heat. However, this feature hasn’t proven popular in foodservice. Most commercial users prefer to place the cooked item in a conventional oven for a short time to brown it.

There are also combination microwave/convection ovens. These cook either by microwaves, or by convection heat, or both together. Combination models cook and brown in less time than a conventional oven alone. The convection portion is usually electric, although a gas/microwave combination is said to be in the works.