Recommended Power Settings for Your Microwave Oven

Use of ovens can be very confusing when using your microwave oven to cook meals when the different power settings are mentioned in a recipe, do you know what they mean?

When you follow recipes for cooking food in a microwave oven it can be very confusing as the recipe may refer to a power rating that is different from your own oven. So for example you are cooking using a 700-watt microwave oven and the recipe calls for an 800-watt power rating. A very broad way of converting between recipes is to add 15 seconds per minute for every 100 watts of power more than your oven, or when your recipe is for a less powerful oven you need to subtract 15 seconds for every minute described.

Whatever the recipe calls for it is important to check the food regularly, to ensure that you don’t either over or undercook your food. Also always include a period of standing time so that the cooking process can be completed evenly.

Microwaves have some interesting characteristics, microwaves are reflected from metal, with other materials the microwave will pass through, the microwaves are attracted to water.

It is this attraction of the microwaves to the water molecules in the food that creates the heat which then cooks the food. This is because the microwaves excite the water molecules making them move vigorously. The microwaves being safely contained within the metal casing of the microwave oven.

Even the top compact microwaves do not follow a standard formula. If the manufacturer of the oven describes their cooker as an 800 watt they are talking about the microwave ovens power output when used at full power. Generally, the oven will cook faster the higher the wattage of the oven. There are some other factors that will affect the cooking speed, such as the cooker cavity size.

Whatever the wattage your microwave oven is at full power it will always be at 100%, therefore your full power setting will be described as high. When a recipe refers to medium and low the microwave oven is usually at 60% and 35% respectively.