Factors to Consider when Buying a Commercial Microwave

Picture this: you’re a chef running a busy commercial kitchen. You have orders coming in left, right, and center. The last thing you want is for your equipment to be slowing you down. That’s where a commercial microwave comes in. Not only can it quickly heat up or cook dishes, but it can also be a lifesaver during peak hours. However, with so many options on the market, how do you know what to look for when buying one? In this article, we’ll dive into the factors to consider when buying a commercial microwave. From size and capacity to controls and features, we’ll help you find the right one for your commercial kitchen needs.

Size and Capacity

Size And Capacity
As a business owner or caterer, one of the important decisions you’ll make is choosing a microwave that meets your unique needs. Size and capacity are also crucial factors to consider, which is why you need to evaluate your requirements thoroughly before purchasing. You don’t want a microwave that will take up too much space or have a limited capacity that doesn’t meet your needs. When it comes to choosing the best commercial microwave, understanding the physical space available, food size, and the power output needed is essential. This will ensure you get a microwave that serves your restaurant or business efficiently. To get more information on the best commercial microwaves, see our top commercial microwave list.

Physical Space Available

When considering buying a commercial microwave, the physical space available is an important factor to take into account. Make sure to measure the space where the microwave will be placed to ensure that the chosen microwave will fit. It is important to take into consideration the size of the microwave itself, as well as any required clearance space. Another important factor is the location of power source, as some microwaves may require a different voltage compared to others.

If the commercial kitchen is short on space, it may be better to consider a smaller-sized microwave. However, if you need to regularly heat up large dishes or have a higher volume of food to cook at once, a larger microwave may be the better option. Considering the physical space available is critical for ensuring that the microwave fits comfortably, and is usable without disrupting other kitchen activities.

For more information on different types of commercial microwaves available and their uses, you can take a look at this related article. Additionally, if you’re looking for recommendations for the best commercial microwaves on the market, check out our top 5 commercial microwaves page.

Food Quantity and Size

When it comes to food quantity and size, it is important to consider the size and capacity of the commercial microwave before making a purchase. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Internal Capacity: The internal capacity of the commercial microwave will determine the amount of food that can be cooked at once. Be sure to choose a microwave with an interior large enough to fit your largest dishes.
  • Turntable Size: Check the turntable size of the microwave to ensure that it can accommodate the size of your plates or trays. A larger turntable size allows for more flexibility in terms of the size of dishes that can be placed inside.
  • Power Output: A higher power output means that the microwave will be able to cook food faster and more evenly, which can be particularly useful for larger quantities of food.
  • Cooking Time: Keep in mind that cooking times will vary based on the quantity and size of the food. A microwave with adjustable cooking times or a variety of preset cooking options can be very helpful in this regard.

If your restaurant or food service business frequently prepares large portions of food, it may be worth investing in a commercial microwave with extra capacity, like the best commercial microwave for business. This will help to speed up cooking times and ensure that all food is cooked evenly and thoroughly, even when cooking larger portions.

Ultimately, the size and capacity of the microwave you choose will depend on your specific needs and menu offerings. However, taking the time to consider these factors will help you choose a commercial microwave that can handle the demands of your business and ensure that food is prepared quickly and efficiently. Learn more about the benefits of a commercial microwave for your restaurant today.

Power Output

When it comes to buying a commercial microwave, power output is a crucial factor that you need to consider. The power output is directly related to the cooking time and efficiency. A microwave with a higher power output will cook food faster and more evenly than a microwave with lower power output.

To help you better understand the importance of power output, we have created a table below that compares the cooking times of different microwaves based on their power output:

Microwave Power Output Cooking Time for a Plate of Food
1000 watts or higher less than 2 minutes
800-1000 watts 2-3 minutes
600-800 watts 3-4 minutes
400-600 watts 4-6 minutes

As you can see from the table, a microwave with a power output of 1000 watts or higher can cook a plate of food in less than 2 minutes, while a microwave with a power output of 400-600 watts can take up to 6 minutes.

So, before you buy a commercial microwave, consider the type of food you will be cooking and how fast you need it to be cooked. If you run a busy restaurant or food business, you may need a microwave with a high power output to keep up with demand. On the other hand, if you only need to use the microwave occasionally, you can opt for a lower power output microwave and save some money.

In addition to power output, you should also consider the physical size of the microwave, the amount of food you need to cook, and the frequency of use. By taking these factors into account, you can choose a commercial microwave that will meet your needs and help you deliver delicious and timely dishes to your customers.

Cooking Time

When considering the purchase of a commercial microwave, it is essential to take into account the cooking time of the food items. Cooking time is an important factor that can affect the efficiency and speed of your kitchen operations. Depending on the quantity and frequency of use of the microwave, you will need to consider the cooking time of the microwave.

The table below shows a comparison of cooking times for some commonly microwaved foods. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the wattage of the microwave and the amount of food being cooked.

Food Items Approximate Cooking Time
Baked potato 8-12 minutes
Chicken breast 5-8 minutes
Frozen vegetables 4-6 minutes
Cup of soup 2-3 minutes

It is important to note that microwaves with higher wattage will cook food faster than those with lower wattage. Keep this in mind when choosing a commercial microwave. Additionally, some microwaves have multiple power settings, allowing for more precise cooking times and heat control.

When selecting a commercial microwave, consider the amount of food you will need to cook at once. If you will be cooking large quantities of food, you may want to consider a microwave with a larger capacity, as it will be able to accommodate more food at once. However, if you only need to cook small quantities of food, a smaller microwave may be more appropriate.

Cooking time is a crucial factor when buying a commercial microwave. Understanding the approximate cooking time for different types of food, as well as the wattage and capacity of the microwave, will help you choose the right microwave for your needs.

Commercial Microwave Uses

Commercial Microwave Uses
When it comes to purchasing a commercial microwave, it’s important to not only consider the size and capacity, but also how frequently and for what purposes it will be used. Understanding the uses of a commercial microwave will help determine the features and controls needed to make the most of this versatile appliance in a commercial kitchen setting. Let’s dive into some key factors to consider when deciding on the best commercial microwave for your business.

Frequency of Use

Frequency of Use:

When buying a commercial microwave oven, it’s important to consider how frequently it will be used. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Busy kitchen: If your commercial kitchen is particularly busy, and you anticipate that the microwave will be in use frequently throughout the day, then it’s worth investing in a high-quality model with powerful output.
  • Less frequent use: If the microwave is only going to be used occasionally—for example, to heat up soup or defrost frozen food—then a less powerful and more affordable option may be sufficient.
  • Specialty dishes: If your commercial kitchen specializes in certain dishes that require the use of a microwave—for example, steaming vegetables or reheating sauces—then it’s important to choose a model with specific features tailored to those needs.
  • Backup option: It’s also worth considering whether or not you need a backup microwave oven in case of emergencies or breakdowns. If so, then opting for a more affordable and basic model may make sense.

By taking into account the frequency of use, you can find a commercial microwave oven that meets the specific needs of your kitchen while staying within your budget.

Commercial Kitchen Needs

When it comes to purchasing a commercial microwave, it’s essential to consider your commercial kitchen needs. Here are some factors to take into account:

  • Menu Diversity: Before selecting a microwave, it’s crucial to evaluate the variety of menu items that you plan to serve. If you have a diverse menu, it’s best to choose a commercial microwave with versatile cooking options, such as preset menu options and multiple cooking stages.
  • Volume of Customers: If your restaurant attracts a high volume of customers, you’ll need a commercial microwave that can handle large volumes of food quickly. A microwave with a high-wattage output can help you prepare food faster and more efficiently, keeping up with the pace of your kitchen.
  • Food Presentation: For restaurants that prioritize food presentation, a commercial microwave with variable power levels is ideal. This feature permits you to cook food at different settings, maintaining the quality and texture of the food.
  • Energy Efficiency: Energy costs can create a substantial expense for commercial kitchens. When purchasing commercial microwaves, consider their energy efficiency levels. Investing in energy-efficient models can provide long-term savings by reducing energy consumption and lowering utility bills.
  • Staff Safety: Commercial kitchens require microwave models with safety measures to protect their staff from accidents. Look for microwaves with child safety locks, which inhibit unwanted usage and potential harm.

By considering these factors, you can select a commercial microwave that meets your specific needs, ensuring the efficient operation of your kitchen, satisfactory customer experience, and maximizing profits.

Menu Items

When considering buying a commercial microwave, it’s crucial to think about the types of foods you’ll be heating up. Different menu items will have different requirements for cooking time, power output, and capacity.

Here’s a table to help you evaluate which commercial microwave is most suitable for your menu items:

Menu Items Cooking Time Power Output Capacity
Small Snacks (e.g. popcorn, nachos) 1-3 minutes 1000-1200 watts Less than 1 cubic foot
Sides (e.g. french fries, onion rings) 2-4 minutes 1200-1500 watts 1-2 cubic feet
Entrees (e.g. lasagna, baked potatoes) 4-7 minutes 1500-1800 watts 2-3 cubic feet
Large Items (e.g. whole chickens, hams) 7+ minutes 1800-2200 watts 3+ cubic feet

By understanding the cooking needs of your menu items, you can avoid overbuying or underbuying a commercial microwave. Overbuying can lead to unnecessary expenses, while underbuying can result in extended cooking time or uneven results.

It’s also a good idea to consider whether your menu items will require any additional features or controls, such as defrosting or reheating options. Keep in mind that more advanced features could affect the price of the commercial microwave.

Take the time to thoroughly evaluate your menu items in terms of cooking needs, and choose a commercial microwave that is the right fit for your restaurant or business needs.

Controls and Features

Controls And Features
When it comes to buying a commercial microwave, one of the most important factors to consider is the controls and features it offers. The right controls and features can make all the difference in terms of efficiency, convenience, and overall performance. From manual to programmable controls, cooking stages, and cleaning options, there are many different factors to consider when looking at the controls and features of a commercial microwave. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at what to consider when evaluating these important aspects of your chosen microwave model. So, let’s dive in and explore this vital factor in more detail!

Manual vs Programmable Controls

When considering buying a commercial microwave, it’s essential to think about the type of controls you prefer. There are two main types: manual and programmable controls. Knowing the characteristics of each type can help you decide which model to choose.

Manual Controls: These models have a series of knobs or buttons that allow you to set the desired time and power level. Manual controls are straightforward to use and intuitive, making them ideal for people who want a simple interface. They are also cheaper than programmable models, which makes them an attractive option for businesses with a tight budget. However, manual controls lack advanced features such as automatic defrosting or sensor cooking. You might need to experiment a little to get the best results. Here are some of the pros and cons of manual control microwaves:

Pros Cons
Cheaper than programmable models No advanced features
Straightforward to use and intuitive May require some experimentation
Easy to repair and maintain Less precise

Programmable Controls: These models use a digital interface that allows you to program multiple cooking stages, automatic defrosting, and other advanced features. Programmable controls provide more precise cooking, making them ideal for businesses that need consistent results. They are also excellent for cooking various dishes simultaneously, saving time and improving efficiency. However, programmable models are often more expensive than manual controls. They may also require regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly. Here are some of the pros and cons of programmable control microwaves:

Pros Cons
More precise cooking More expensive than manual models
Advanced features such as automatic defrosting and sensor cooking May require regular maintenance
Efficient for cooking multiple dishes at once More complicated controls

Whether you choose a manual or a programmable control microwave depends on your business’s specific needs. Manual controls are excellent for those who want a simple, low-cost option that is easy to maintain. In contrast, programmable controls are better for businesses that need precise cooking and advanced features. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which type of microwave is the best for you.

Cooking Stages and Options

When considering a commercial microwave, it’s important to look into the cooking stages and options that it offers. This will help you ensure that the microwave is capable of cooking your specific meals or dishes efficiently and effectively. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Multiphase Cooking: Some commercial microwaves offer multiphase cooking, which allows you to specify multiple cooking stages for a dish. For example, you could configure the microwave to defrost your food for a certain amount of time, then cook it for a set period, and then allow it to rest to adjust the temperature before serving.
  • Cooking Programs: Many commercial microwaves come with pre-set cooking programs that are tailored for specific foods or dishes. These programs are designed to ensure consistent cooking results every time. Some examples of cooking programs include defrost, reheat, and cook-by-weight programs.
  • Power Levels: The ability to adjust the power output of your commercial microwave is crucial when trying to achieve the perfect cook on your food. Being able to lower the power output for more delicate foods, or increase it for tougher cuts of meat, will make all the difference in achieving a quality meal.
  • Multiple Cooking Options: A good commercial microwave will offer multiple cooking options, such as grill, convection, or combination cooking. This will allow you to cook a wider range of dishes, from grilled vegetables to baked goods.
  • Customizable Settings: Apart from presets and pre-programmed options, a good commercial microwave would also let you configure personalized settings according to your preference. This ensures that meals turn out to your expectation every time.

By taking into account these cooking stages and options, you can make sure that your commercial microwave is providing the cooking experience you need for your specific menu items. Remember that investing in a high-quality, versatile microwave will make a substantial difference in the quality of your dishes, and will save you valuable time in the kitchen.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Keeping the commercial microwave clean is crucial to ensure its longevity and also to maintain a hygienic cooking environment. It’s essential to consider the cleaning and maintenance process of the microwave before buying one. Here are some factors to consider:

Cleaning and Maintenance Factors Description
Ease of cleaning Look for a microwave with a smooth surface, detachable parts, and a removable ceiling plate, making cleaning simple and fast.
Stainless steel construction A microwave with a stainless steel exterior is easier to clean and resistant to corrosion and rust.
Removable air filters Ensure that the microwave has air filters that can be easily removed, washed, and replaced to prevent air circulation issues and buildup of dirt and bacteria.
Cleaning frequency Determine how frequently you need to clean the microwave, according to your usage, and choose a model that can handle the frequency and can be cleaned quickly and efficiently.
Internal light A microwave with an internal light allows you to monitor the cooking and cleaning process, ensuring you can see and clean every nook and cranny effectively.
Warranty and support Consider the warranty and support provided by the manufacturer to ensure that in case of any issues or problems, you can conveniently get repair or maintenance services, without incurring extra costs.

When purchasing a commercial microwave, you need to consider cleaning and maintenance factors that will help you keep the appliance in good condition for a long time. The ease of cleaning, stainless steel construction, removable air filters, cleaning frequency, internal light, and warranty are essential factors to consider. By evaluating these factors, you can ensure that you buy a commercial microwave that is easy to clean, maintain, and keeps your kitchen environment hygienic.

Brand Reputation and Price

When buying a commercial microwave, considering the brand reputation and price is important to ensure that you are investing in a reliable and cost-effective appliance. It can be perplexing to choose the right brand that will offer quality and value for money. However, by keeping in mind certain factors, you can make an informed decision that will benefit your commercial kitchen in the long run. Let’s explore these factors in more detail.

Brand Quality and Warranty

When it comes to buying a commercial microwave, brand quality and warranty are significant factors to consider. It’s important to choose a reputable brand that provides a reliable, long-lasting product. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Brand Reputation: Look for brands that have been in the industry for a long time and have a good reputation for producing high-quality commercial microwaves. Do some research and read reviews from other businesses to get an idea of the brand’s performance.
  • Warranty: Make sure to choose a brand that offers a warranty for their products. A warranty will provide you with peace of mind and protection in case of malfunction or defects. Look for a warranty that covers the product for a significant period of time, preferably at least a year.
  • Customer Support: In addition to a warranty, consider the customer support that the brand offers. Are they easy to get in touch with if you have questions or concerns? Do they have a helpful customer service team that is knowledgeable about their products?
  • Brand Specific Features: Some brands have specific features that set them apart from others. For example, some brands may have more durable interiors or more powerful heating elements. Consider these features when choosing a brand.

Choosing a reliable brand with a good warranty can save you money and hassle in the long run. It’s worth investing in a quality commercial microwave from a reputable brand to ensure that you have a product that will last and perform well for your business.

Affordability and Value for Money

When it comes to buying a commercial microwave, considering the affordability and value for money is crucial. While it may seem tempting to opt for the cheapest option available, it is important to remember that a commercial microwave is an investment that can greatly impact the efficiency of your kitchen and the quality of your food.

Price range and comparison

It is recommended to set a budget for your commercial microwave purchase and compare prices and features of different models within that range. It is important to consider the long-term costs of maintenance, repairs, and replacement when making this decision.

Brand reputation and price

A reputable brand with a strong warranty may cost more initially, but it can save money in the long term by providing consistent performance and reliability. It is also important to consider the availability and cost of replacement parts for repairs.

Size and power output

Another factor to consider while evaluating affordability and value for money is the size and power output of the microwave. A larger capacity and higher wattage microwave may be more expensive, but it can also handle larger portion sizes and cook food more quickly, potentially increasing productivity in the kitchen.

To compare different commercial microwave models and their prices, it can be helpful to create a table:

Brand and Model Capacity Power Output Price
Panasonic NE-1054F 0.8 cubic ft 1000 watts $252.45
Amana RMS10TS 0.8 cubic ft 1000 watts $274.30
Sharp R-21LCFS 1 cubic ft 1000 watts $295.00
Commercial Chef CHM009 0.9 cubic ft 900 watts $160.02
Proctor Silex Commercial 0.9 Cu.ft 0.9 cubic ft 1000 watts $195.00

Remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best value for your money in the long term. Evaluate the features, brand reputation, and warranty of each option to make an informed decision.


After considering all the factors mentioned above, it is clear that buying a commercial microwave requires careful consideration. You need to ensure that the microwave is the right size for the available physical space and has sufficient capacity for the amount and size of food that you will be cooking. The power output and cooking time are also important factors to consider.

Additionally, you should take into consideration the frequency of use, commercial kitchen needs, and menu items when selecting a commercial microwave. It is also important to choose a microwave with controls and features that meet your specific needs, such as manual or programmable controls, cooking stages and options, and ease of cleaning and maintenance.

Brand reputation and price should also be taken into account when selecting a commercial microwave. Consider the quality of the brand and the warranty offered, along with the affordability and value for money.

In conclusion, buying a commercial microwave requires careful consideration of all of these factors. By taking the time to evaluate your needs and choose the right microwave, you can ensure that your commercial kitchen operates smoothly and efficiently, allowing you to deliver high-quality food to your customers with ease.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size commercial microwave should I buy?

The size of the commercial microwave you should buy depends on the physical space available and the food quantity and size you will be microwaving.

What power output should a commercial microwave have?

A commercial microwave should have a power output of at least 1000 watts for efficient and fast cooking.

What is the cooking time of a commercial microwave?

The cooking time of a commercial microwave depends on the power output and the food being cooked. Generally, cooking times range from 30 seconds to several minutes.

How frequently should I use a commercial microwave?

The frequency of use of a commercial microwave depends on the needs of your commercial kitchen and the menu items you offer.

What types of menu items can be cooked in a commercial microwave?

A commercial microwave can be used to cook a variety of menu items, including soups, stews, vegetables, pasta dishes, and baked goods.

Should I buy a commercial microwave with manual or programmable controls?

The choice between manual or programmable controls depends on personal preference and cooking needs. Manual controls are straightforward and easy to operate, while programmable controls offer more cooking options and customization.

What cooking stages and options should a commercial microwave have?

A commercial microwave should have options for defrosting, reheating, and cooking. Additionally, it should have the option for multi-stage cooking, which allows the user to program several cooking stages in one session.

How should I clean and maintain my commercial microwave?

Regular cleaning and maintenance of a commercial microwave is essential for longevity and hygienic cooking. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and use a microwave-safe cleaner.

What should I consider when choosing a reputable brand?

You should consider the brand’s reputation for quality and reliability, as well as the warranty offered for the product.

What price range should I expect for a commercial microwave?

Commercial microwaves can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the brand, size, and features. Consider affordability and value for money when making a purchase.


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