March 13

Highest Watt Microwaves of 2022 – Nuke in Seconds

Written by: Jane Sofia

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When most people think of "wattage," they are usually thinking of light bulbs or something similar. Well, wattage is actually much more than that. "Wattage" means power. And you need power for any electrical appliance...even your microwave oven.

The highest watt microwave is the most powerful microwave. This is something we can all wrap our heads around. But what does it really matter? 

Below we've answered all your questions about microwaves and wattage, and have outlined the 5 most powerful microwaves on the market today, to make your search easy and enjoyable. 

Let's take a look.

Why Does Wattage Matter?

girl-with-microwave

To understand why wattage matters, we'll need to do a quick crash course (painless I promise!) on how your microwave oven cooks food. Your microwave oven uses something called "electromagnetic radiation" to heat up your food. This is basically just a fancy way of saying that your food is cooked by being bombarded with tiny particles, or "electrons."

And what is wattage? Well, it's a unit of measurement for power. So the more watts your microwave has, the more powerful it is, and the more electrons it will throw at your food.

The end result? A higher wattage will cook your food faster.


Are Higher Watt Microwaves Better?

So how does a high-wattage microwave oven help? Simply put, it cooks food faster. Rather than have to wait minutes for your popcorn to pop, you can prepare it all within the span of one commercial break.

If you're looking to cook large quantities of food or need to cook something quickly, then a high watt microwave oven is definitely what you're looking for.

How much better are higher wattage microwaves? Let's dig into the nitty-gritty!

What We Recommend

microwave-cartoon

The wattage you'll desire in a microwave oven depends on a few factors. Among these are what and how much you plan to cook, as well as how fast you'll need it.


Here's a table of common microwave wattages:

Microwave wattage and cook times graph

(Source: https://apartmentabc.com/microwave-wattage/)


As you can see, cooking times rather drastically decrease at first, with a 500W microwave taking over three minutes to pop your popcorn! A 1500W, on the other hand, is down to almost one. However, do you really need such a power tool?

No. Not really. And, as you'll notice, there's a system of diminishing returns, meaning that you get less benefit (less cooking time shaved off) out of each increase in wattage. Particularly, after 900W, you're saving less than ten seconds of cooking time for each increase of 100W.

1000 watts seems to do the average household just fine.


Highest Watt Commercial Microwaves


If you're running a business, you might need some super-powered microwaves. These are listed mostly just for interest's sake. For most people, they aren't practical. **Keep in mind that a huge wattage comes with a huge electric bill!


1) Amana AOC24 2400 Watt Commercial Microwave

amana-commercial-microwave

Specs:

Capacity: 0.32 cubic feet
Dimensions (LxWxH): 22 x 17 x 20.63 inches
Weight: 70 Pounds


10 Min Max Cook Time

10 minutes is plenty with the amount of power it has but if you're looking for something a little more versatile, check out the Panasonic below. 


Pros:

  • Customers are very impressed with the speed at which it cooks
  • Easy to use (despite being manufactured for businesses)
  • Everyone is pleased with the quality


Cons:

  • Companies are often out of stock or shipping is very delayed. This is not an everyday item
  • It costs close to $3,000
  • This looks like something out of Star Trek. It'll zap your food in a jiffy, but may scare away guests


2) Panasonic NE-21521 2100 Watt Commercial Microwave

panasonic-commercial-microwave

Specs:

Capacity: 0.6 cubic feet
Dimensions (LxWxH): 20 x 16.5 x 13.25 inches
Weight: 68 pounds


Includes a lot of goodies

2 magnetron heating elements, 3 power levels, easy-clean air filter, digital display and 60 programmable pads


Stackable

For when you're setting up your industrial kitchen


Pros:

  • Fits a 6" deep 1/2 size food pan with cover table pan with cover
  • See-through oven door for quick viewing of contents
  • Easy grip door handle offers fast and durable door opening
  • It's liked by customers


Cons:

  • It still costs around $2,000 (not worth it for most people)
  • Really only useful for commercial settings

 


Highest Watt Residential Microwaves


And now...if you're actually looking to buy a high wattage microwave for your home, how many watts can you get? The answer: 1250W. That'll boil water in under a minute and thirty, and pop your popcorn in about a minute and fifteen.

Here are the top-wattage microwaves for residential use – which you can generally find for a couple hundred dollars, and around $300 for the highest-powered option.

1) Breville BMO850BSS 1250 Watt Microwave Oven

breville-microwave-exterior
breville-microwave-interior

Specs:

Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet
Dimensions: (LxWxH): 19 x 20.43 x 12.44 inches
Weight: 33.6 pounds


Sensor iQ technology and 15 presets

These nifty things take the guesswork out of cooking with a microwave oven.


Pros:

  • Excellent "smart" defrost and reheat modes
  • Very quiet when operating
  • Easy to use, and easy to learn the functions (Advice: read the manual)


Cons:

  • It's reported as breaking immediately after the warranty period ends
  • Very few of the "smart" functions use the smart IQ sensor function
  • The clock is not backlit, so you can't see it in the dark


2) Panasonic NN-SN966S 1250 Watt Microwave

panasonic-microwave

Specs:

Capacity: 2.2 cubic feet
Dimensions (LxWxH): 19.44 x 23.88 x 14 inches
Weight: 37 pounds


Inverter Technology with Turbo Defrost

Generates a seamless stream of power and delivers consistent, evenly prepared food without overcooking


Smart Cooking Settings with Genius Sensor

Adjusts power and times based on different foods; 14 preset menu items


Pros:

  • This is a very nice looking unit
  • It cooks food well
  • Inverter technology doesn't "pulse" on and off like other microwaves


Cons:

  • You have to press a button on the microwave to unlock the door and then open the door as two separate actions
  • The stainless steel portions of the face (including the door button and the door handle) show finger prints easily


3) Panasonic NN-SN936B 1250 Watt Microwave Oven

panasonic-microwave-oven

Specs:

Capacity: 2.2 cubic feet
Dimensions (LxWxH): 19.44 x 23.88 x 14 inches
Weight: 37 Pounds


Inverter Technology with Turbo Defrost

Generates a seamless stream of power and delivers consistent, evenly prepared food without overcooking


Smart Cooking Settings with Genius Sensor

Adjusts power and times based on different foods; 14 preset menu items


"Keep Warm" feature

Keeps soups, gravies or desserts warm and fresh until ready to serve


Pros:

  • Cooks food very well, evenly inside and out (unlike most microwaves)
  • Works well for melting items such as butter: power level 2 and 42 seconds melts two tablespoons of butter perfectly
  • The reheat sensor works very well
  • The auto cook feature for heating soups or making baked potatoes is great: the sensor works well so items are usually cooked well, not over- or underdone
  • The inside is very spacious. "Rarely do I have a casserole dish that’s too large to allow the turntable to keep spinning."
  • The “keep warm” feature gets rave reviews


Cons:

  • The auto cook feature relies on the numbers 1-14. This requires you to remember what 3 or 7 does. Unless you post a list on a cabinet door.
  • The exterior door could be made of thicker plastic. It's a tad flimsy.
  • Panasonic's customer service isn't great.
  • The warranty is difficult to use (overly bureaucratic).


4) Galanz ExpressWave 1250 Watt Microwave Oven

galanz-microwave
galanz-microwave-dimensions

Specs:

Capacity: 2.2 cubic feet
Dimensions (LxWxH): 24.75 x 19.94 x 14.19 inches
Weight: 42.6 pounds


Comes in black or white

Depending on what goes aesthetically best in your kitchen.


Inverter technology

Unlike traditional microwave heating systems that pulse on and off, the inverter creates continuous, constant, even heat to maintain exacting temperature during the cooking process.


Express Cooking Knob

Just turn the knob to select time and then press it, you can start your microwave cooking very quickly.


Built-in humidity sensor

Ensures that your food is never undercooked or overcooked.


10 variable power levels

Allows you to adjust the cooking power from 10% to 100%.


Pros:

  • It features a dial that gets rave reviews
  • The adjustable power settings are great


Cons:

  • It's dark inside of the black microwave option and hard to see
  • Customer service (and getting a refund if it breaks) can be a nightmare


5) Toshiba ML-EM45P(BS) 1200 Watt Microwave Oven

toshiba-microwave

Specs:

Capacity: 1.6 cubic feet
Dimensions (LxWxH): 17.91 x 21.77 x 12.87 inches
Weight: 36.6 pounds


10 power levels

Includes a pre-programmed sensor menu for optimal heating of popular foods like pizza, potato, vegetable and more.


You can mute the buzzer

Long press on the button "8" for 3-5 seconds.


One-touch presets

Program up to three favorite time and power combinations.


Pros:

  • Fast and efficient
  • Heats up leftovers quickly


Cons:

  • Control panel doesn't light up
  • Some people claim it's noisy


FAQs


breville-microwave

Is there a 2,000 Watt Microwave?

Yes, there is, but as you saw in the listings above, it costs a pretty penny and is only designed for commercial (not residential) use.


Do they make 1,100 Watt Microwaves?

Yes. However, they aren't all that common (which makes them more expensive) and they aren't much better than the 1,000W versions. So why bother?


How many Watts are Commercial Microwaves?

Most commercial microwaves have wattages between 1,100 and 2,500. It all depends on what the business needs the microwave to do.

For example, a pizzeria might want a high-powered microwave oven to reheat pizza quickly, while a cafe might only need a lower-powered one to heat up pastries for customers who want them warm.

In almost every case, commercial microwaves will be higher-powered than residential (household) ones. However, remember that the amount of cooking time you shave off really decreases after about 1,000W.

TL/DR: Businesses have stronger microwaves than your average Joe, but so what?


Is a 1,000 Watt Microwave Enough?

In almost every case, yes. A thousand watts is clearly enough. Keep in mind that after this point you don't get that much return from increasing the wattage. A 1,000W microwave normally costs just over $100. Whereas the 1,250W models can be up to three times that!


Is a 900 Watt Microwave Enough?

As you saw in the table, there a 900W microwave and a 1000W microwave aren't significantly different. However, a 1000W microwave normally costs about the same as one with a lower wattage, so there's no reason not to just go for the full power.


Is a 700 Watt Microwave Enough?

You may read online that 700W is a good wattage for microwave ovens. However, as seen in the table above, 700W really doesn't cut it. It's taking an extra 45 seconds to do heat water or cook a bag of popcorn. And think how often you use your microwave oven. Use it eighty times, and that's already an extra hour you've waited, versus if you got the 1000W model.


If at this point you've realized you might not need a super high-powered microwave, we have a great list of the best mini microwaves, the best convention microwave options, or a microwave without that annoying turntable! You can also free up some space with our list of the best microwave carts, or learn how to dispose of your old microwave


Conclusion


Looking to get a new microwave? Tired of your popcorn taking forever to cook? If so, you might have an old, crappy 700W microwave...and then you really need an upgrade!

If you want the crème de la crème, you can get one of the 1,250W models on the market. But for most people, 1,000W will do just fine. However, check out some of the high wattage microwaves above if you want to dazzle your friends with how fast you zap your food!

Thanks for reading, and please reach out if you have any further questions or comments. We would love to hear from you. 

Jane Sofia


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About the author

Jane Sofia Struthers is a self-taught vegan chef who’s always terrorizing kitchens of one continent or another. When she’s not culturing her own soy milk yogurts in the oven, she’s either cooking plant-based goodies for her Couch-surfing hosts or on the lookout for more delectable, animal-free goodies.

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