Without looking, do you know the wattage of your microwave?

Since I live alone and I don’t always feel like cooking after a long day at work, I eat more frozen dinners than is probably good for me, and I was musing recently about the standard disclaimer in the microwave instructions that cooking times vary based on wattage, and I realized that I have never in my entire life known the wattage of any microwave I’ve owned or used. Usually the times on the box are written for a specific wattage, 1050 or 1100 or so. I know my microwave is lower than that because I always have to add a minute or two to the cook time. I also know the microwave in the breakroom at work is higher than that, because when I’m microwaving my lunch I have to subtract time or the food comes out overcooked. I’m honestly not even sure where I’d check - I assume it was on the box when I bought the microwave, or in the manual that I lost well over a decade ago. Maybe it’s on a label somewhere on the oven itself? I don’t know.

Do you know your microwave’s wattage without looking?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

I don’t have a microwave at home, but the one in the breakroom at my current job is only 900 watts. It sometimes seems even less powerful than that. I make sure to check instructions for the expected wattage so I can add the needed time.

If I get one for home, it’ll be closer to 1,200 regardless of physical size.

The thread title mentions “without looking.” Another question would be, “Do you know how to check your microwave wattage?” It is often unlabeled.

Our current one and its predecessor were the same make/model (DH didn’t want to deal with learning a new model if he didn’t have to), and I remember Googling for the current one when the previous one conked out. Ours is 1250 watts (DH insisted on getting the most powerful one he could, I would have preferred 1100 because that’s what most instructions are written for).

I knew, but it’s because it was replaced not that long ago. Looking at the unit to confirm, it’s very difficult to even find that info. I would have to google the model number on the back.

Panasonic was thoughtful enough to print the wattage on the front panel in quite readably type. :slight_smile:

I believe mine used to be 650 watts many years ago. Thinking of replacing it, I tested it a few days ago and its output is now a puny 565 watts.

Microwave oven power test

I don’t care. Pretty much ALL of them are too powerful.

I learned a long time ago that MWs work way better at 30 to 50%.

At least if you’re a fan of even heating.

Our home microwave is tiny (smallest I’ve ever seen). It is very old. No turntable. It is low end wattage.

My microwave at work is huge. It has a turntable. It is high end wattage.

If I put one cup of water in each microwave, the unit at work is boiling vigorously in two minutes. The home unit is just barely starting to boil at 5 minutes.

I just got a new one a few months ago and finally did something I’ve always meant to do; I wrote the wattage on the front of it.

No wonder you don’t use it.

Our home microwave is great for melting butter. There’s nothing else I’d use a microwave to do that I couldn’t do better with another tool.

I have no idea.

In fact, until this thread I didn’t know that microwave strength was measured in watts, or that different microwave ovens had different strengths. I just assumed that a microwave was a microwave.

I knew only because I had asked myself this question several months back and was surprised at how this number isn’t on any of the labeling.

I had Googled the model and remembered that mine was just a little weaker than the standard 1100w. So that meant “hmm… must be 1000w” and I was right–I checked the model and it is indeed a 1000 watt unit.

According to these folks, it looks like your home unit is 600w and work is 1100w or so.

To find an approximation of your machine’s wattage, fill a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup with 1 cup cold water. Microwave on High and keep an eye on it, noting how long it takes for the water to come to a boil:

  • 1 1/2 minutes: 1,200 watts
  • 2 minutes: 1,000 watts
  • 2 1/2 minutes: 800 watts
  • 3 minutes: 700 watts
  • 4 minutes: 600 watts

Surely this test isn’t nearly as accurate as the one posted earlier, but it’s close enough, and it’s easier to do than searching around the house for beakers and accurate thermometers that measure Celsius.

Mine’s only about four months old (the old one started making weird buzzing noises), so I remember pretty clearly that I got a 1000 watt microwave, since that’s the standard on pretty much every piece of food packaging I’ve ever seen. Plus it had a pretty crazy vent fan as well (it’s one of those built-in microwaves), and the anemic vent fan on the old one was a major complaint of ours.

I relied no. But the answer is ‘sort of’.

We have two microwaves. One in the laundry room and one in the kitchen. Seems silly I know, but was the result of having a big remodel. A complete and total R&R of the kitchen.

The one in the laundry room doesn’t get much use, but is about twice as powerful as the one in the kitchen. I always used to heat my tea or coffee up in it before heading to work. Now I work from home and don’t do that anymore.

We don’t do frozen dinners, instead we make a big pot of something on the weekends and eat it for the rest of the week. So the microwave is mostly just for re-heating left overs.

Sitting in the office at work, 1000 watts.
It’s what I always get on the rare occasions when I have to replace my microwave oven. I do that because there is enough variation from oven to oven within even the same brand at any given power rating. Stick with the same power rating and spend less time fine tuning memorized cooking times for things like heating a cup of water to the desired temperature or reheating that pot roast or what have you.

I voted Yes but I was wrong. I thought ours was 1200 W but when I opened the door to stir my oatmeal I checked the sticker and it says 1100 W.

1100 watts. It’s a Breville. Best microwave I’ve ever owned.

I did not know, so I went and looked. 1000 watts. Here’s the weird part, for years I haven’t known or cared, but now that I know, I bet I never forget. Not that I have a photographic memory or anything, far from it. But this is just the kind of thing that’s gonna stick. A thousand watts. Lotta good that does me.