Buying Guide: Microwave Ovens

Buying Guide: Microwave Ovens

Possibly the most versatile of all kitchen appliances, a commercial microwave can be used to cook, reheat or defrost food items. A kitchen isn’t a kitchen without a microwave!

Commercial vs. Residential

A residential microwave, while more affordable, simply will not hold up to the demands of a commercial application. They are not heavy duty and lack NSF sanitation standards. Most insurance and local codes require a commercial microwave oven.

Commercial microwaves are available with higher wattage options, ensuring faster cooking and safer defrosting. Pluse, they offer a more sophisticated heat distribution system to evenly re-heat food.

Many commercial microwaves have programmable controls to allow for easy, one-touch start. They save energy and are more efficient than using the oven to reheat food.

Consider the microwave as an option for cooking healthy dishes with no additional oils or fats!

How much power do I need?

There are several different power options to choose from. We can break them down into light, medium and heavy duty. Depending on your particular kitchen demands, you might be OK with the light duty models. Consider that if you’re using the microwave frequently, you might find you can save time and increase productivity by investing in a heavier duty model.


Light Duty

1000 Watt – This is the minimum requirement for small, limited use items such as the occasional sandwich meat, liquids, etc. Light duty models are ideal for establishments like coffee shops or convenience stores.

Medium Duty

1200 Watt – The next step up for cooking or reheating larger food items. Most come with touch pads and are cook time programmable. These models are great for back kitchens warming appetizers, sandwiches and soups.

1700 - 2000 Watt – This wattage will give you more power for buld food reheating and fast menu item turn-around. These medium duty microwaves come with dual magnetrons, which are designed with dependability in mind.

Heavy Duty

2200 - 3000 Watt - These are the most powerful commercial microwaves. With heavy duty models, you can quickly defrost items or heat enire entreees. Heavy duty microwaves are ideal for quick service restaurants and cafeterias, used more than 200 times a day.


For a better idea of how this can effect your business, check out this table that demonstrates how long each wattage takes to cook a baked potato:


Most high wattage commercial microwaves carry a 3-year warranty on the heating element so you can feel confident with your purchase.