Buying Guide: What’s the Average Microwave Wattage?

average microwave wattage

A modern kitchen isn’t complete without a functional microwave, especially since it offers convenience across all kitchens by making it possible to bake and reheat foods quickly. But for your microwave to cook fast and efficiently, it must have the right wattage. So, what’s the average microwave wattage? Read on to find out.

Do Watts Matter in Microwaves?


It’s important to understand how watts work before you go out to buy a microwave. Walk into any local store that sells microwaves and the first thing you’ll notice on all the microwaves on display is their wattage. This means that watts are very important when you are looking for a microwave.

Your microwave’s wattage determines how quickly and effectively it will cook. Microwaves with higher wattages work faster and more powerfully than those with lower wattages. Understand that wattage equals power. So, a 1000-watt microwave is more powerful than a 500-watt microwave.

Generally, microwaves with less than 700 watts are slower and don’t always cook evenly. But those with more than 700 watts get the job done quickly and thoroughly.

The standard watt range for microwaves on the market is between 600 and 1200 watts. Larger microwaves usually have a higher wattage, while the smaller models have a lower wattage.

What Is a Good Wattage for a Microwave?


As mentioned above, microwaves come with varied wattages based on their intended cooking speed and power. Therefore, choose your microwave based on your cooking needs. Make sure that it has enough watts that can handle whatever you want to cook.

Your main objective should be to find a strong microwave that will cook your food without consuming a lot of energy. Here are the various microwave wattages available.

1. 600-800 Watts

Microwaves with 600-800 watts are the cheapest and can cook instant meals and warm small meals and drinks. Most foods that can be cooked in a microwave come with instructions for 800 watts. So, if your microwave has less than 800 watts, it will take longer to finish the job, and sometimes the results won’t be impressive.

2. 800-1000 Watts

Microwaves with 800-1000 watts are quite fast. They tend to boil water and other drinks very fast and cook raw foods thoroughly. They also cook popcorn very fast. Most of these microwaves come with heat control settings to help you cook your food without burning it.

3. 1000-1200 Watts

Microwaves with 1000-1200 watts are more ovens than they are microwaves. They’re normally used in big restaurants that have to prepare large meals within a short time. They can even cook raw meat. However, they aren’t the ideal choice for people looking for a microwave to reheat their foods and drinks once or twice a day.

These ranges should help you find a microwave that meets all your cooking needs without pushing your monthly electricity bills through the roof. If you just want something that can warm your breakfast or dinner, a microwave with 600-800 watts is more than enough for you.

But if you are running a busy restaurant in town, you should go for the 1000-1200 watts range.

What’s the Average Microwave Wattage?


As mentioned above, the higher the wattage of your microwave the faster and more powerful it is. So, if you are looking for a microwave that can quickly and thoroughly cook a wide range of foods and drinks, choose a higher wattage.

Also, remember that larger microwaves tend to have a higher wattage because they are designed to service large and busy kitchens like in busy restaurants.

Most of the latest microwaves come with various power settings to help you choose the most effective wattage for your foods and drinks. Microwave wattage is also important when you want to regulate the cost of energy in your house.

In short, watts measure the amount of energy a microwave or any other electronic appliance consumes to get the job done.

The higher the wattage the more energy it consumes. Therefore, don’t buy an expensive microwave that will force you to pay for the power that you don’t use. You also need to understand how your unit consumes power so that you can figure out how to adjust its power levels for more energy efficiency.

In general, most microwaves today are rated between 600 and 1200 watts. Most simple countertop microwaves are rated between 600 and 800 watts because they are designed to cook and reheat simple meals and drinks. The larger and more sophisticated models are usually rated between 1000 and 1200 watts because they are meant for busier kitchens like restaurants.

Although most of the simple countertop models are affordable and easy to work with, they don’t cook meals thoroughly. For instance, it’s common for a microwave with 600 watts to have cold spots inside. Therefore, avoid undercooked meals by choosing a unit with a higher wattage, preferably 800 watts for domestic use.

This range of power output will ensure your meals are quickly and thoroughly cooked without consuming too much power. In addition, most of the latest microwaves come with a standby setting that enables them to continue cooking and reheating meals without consuming a lot of energy. Most standard models consume about 5 watts per hour when they’re on standby.

Please note that most average microwaves will cost you at least 12 cents per kWh when they’re on but not in use. So, you should unplug your microwave when t’s not in use to save energy. You can also estimate the average wattage of your microwave by checking how long it takes to boil water.

For instance, a 600-watt microwave takes about three minutes to boil water, while a 1000-watt unit takes two minutes.

Is 800 Watts Enough for a Microwave?

Based on the information provided above, an 800-watt microwave is powerful enough to perform most of your cooking tasks quickly and efficiently. However, it’s not the ideal range when you are running a busy restaurant.

In that case, you should go for a higher wattage, preferably 1000 or 1200 watts because it shortens your cooking time and cooks thoroughly.

But don’t forget the fact that the higher the wattage the more power it consumes. So, for domestic use, go for an 800-watt microwave because it will cook and reheat your meals relatively quickly without leaving you with a huge monthly electricity bill.

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