By April Khan, Appliances Connection
When it comes to choosing the perfect microwave, the brand name isn’t the only thing you should look for. You notice how on the back of frozen foods, the microwave instructions are never straightforward? They usually contain a chart that shows the microwave’s wattage and the amount of time the food should be set on. Some say ‘Best’ next to a specific wattage while others give one time followed by the phrase “results may vary”.
This makes it very hard to determine what setting your microwave should be one, so the food either comes out too dry or frozen solid. For the sake of saving you grocery money and energy, we’re going to answer the age old question – “How much wattage do I need?”
500 Watts and under
This wattage is the lowest you’re likely to find. Because the wattage is so low, cooking food is nearly impossible. People mainly use these microwaves to dehydrate foods. To do so, you’d need to program it to cook for a very long time. Special dehydration dishes are available to place the food on to get the best results.
500 to 800 Watts
Now here is where things get interesting. The cheaper end microwaves are normally within this watt bracket. At 500 to 800 watts you can steam and fry foods. Microwave dinners, bacon, eggs and small foods do well under this power. It also doesn’t take long at all to cook. Just a few minutes and voila! Tea and coffee are heated adequately at the highest wattage here.
800 to 1,000 Watts
You can pretty much cook proteins, boil rice, pop popcorn, and fully cook small desserts at these temperatures. However, you will have to use the correct setting for each individual type of food since the wattage is so high. Foods that cook under a high wattage require very little cook time.
Anything above 1,000 Watts is basically an oven. In some countries, having a stove just isn’t possible, so they’ve become used to cooking full meals in rice cookers and high wattage microwaves. You’d be surprised by what you could cook in a microwave at the right wattage and in the right dishes. For a few ideas, read this wonderful piece by the New York Times .
If you’re ready to buy, head over to Appliances Connection to browse our large selection of microwave ovens!