What is a Good Wattage For a Microwave?

Last Updated on February 8, 2023 by Mosabbir

Yes, wattage matter when purchasing a microwave. The amount of wattage used by the microwave affects the speed and depth of the cooking process.

The higher the wattage, the better the work a microwave will do. Typically, a wattage is known as the universal measurement for electrical power.

The microwave wattage is displayed inside the door or on the face of the microwave. You can also see the wattage in the microwave specs or features list.

The wattage of the microwave depends on the size of the magnetron and the electrical current generated by the power in the device.

This will determine how quickly the microwave will cook.

If the wattage is higher, the microwave will be more powerful, and it will perform its function very fast. Also, it will cook more evenly.

Knowing the wattage of a microwave is important to help you cook food well without trial and error. Depending on the model, you will get various wattages.

Most of the microwaves have a wattage of 600 to 1,200. The bigger one can have the higher wattage and are generally more expensive.

Is a Higher Wattage Microwave Better?

It is paramount to ensure your microwave handles anything you throw in it. The goal is to have a microwave, which is powerful enough to cook without wasting energy.

Here are different wattage levels:

500 to 700 watts

The cheapest microwave on the market generally ranges from 500 to 800 watts. This can heat small foods, reheat drinks, and cook instant foods.

Many microwaves for between 500w, 600w, and 800 watts come with the cooking instructions. So, anything lower than that will take a long time to cook your food though there are some benefits of low wattage microwave ovens. In general 500w microwaves are popular amongst motor-home users. Check out What are the best microwave ovens for Caravan.

800 to 1000 watts

This is the top end of the traditional microwave. 800w, 900w & 1000w microwave ovens are the most popular in the market. Raw food cooks thoroughly, popcorn doesn’t take long, and water boils quickly.

Many microwaves, which are between these ranges, have multiple settings to avoid accidentally burning food.

1200 watts

When the microwaves exceed 1,000 watts, they are closer to the ovens than the traditional ones.

Microwaves in restaurants are commonly found in this range or even above.

Nevertheless, they are slightly superior for reheating drinks or cooking dinners. With the correct cooking techniques, you will even cook raw meat safely.

How to Determine Microwave Wattage?

Check in the manual, the manufacturer’s website, or check inside the microwave’s door on a serial number at the back of a door. To determine wattage, you need to carry out a time-to-boil test. This means you will measure 1 cup of water into a 2-cup glass, add ice cubes, and stir until the water freezes. Get rid of ice cubes and pour water over 1 cup. Set the microwave on full power for four minutes. Watch the window at the water to see when it is boiling. When the water boils in:

  • 2 minutes or less = 1000 watts or more (very high wattage microwave)
  • 5 minutes = 800 watts or more (high wattage microwave)
  • 3 minutes = 650 to 700 watts or more (average wattage microwave)
  • 3 to 4 minutes = 300 to 500 watts (slow microwave)


Wattage matter very much to the microwave for several reasons. It has a direct influence on the cooking time.

The wattage required to warm coffee is much less than that required to cook chicken in the microwave. Typically, wattage matters more in the microwave.


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