If you are looking for a new microwave, you might be wondering how to choose the right one for your needs. One of the most important factors to consider is the wattage, or the power output, of the microwave. The wattage determines how fast and evenly the microwave can heat up your food, as well as how much energy it consumes.
But what is a good wattage for a microwave? And is 900 watts good enough? In this blog post, we will answer these questions and help you decide if a 900-watt microwave is suitable for you.
What Does Wattage Mean for a Microwave?
The wattage of a microwave is the measure of how much electrical power it converts into microwave radiation. Microwave radiation is a type of electromagnetic wave that can penetrate food and make its molecules vibrate, producing heat.
The higher the wattage, the more microwave radiation the microwave can produce, and the faster and more evenly it can heat up your food. For example, a 1000-watt microwave can cook a frozen pizza in about 12 minutes, while a 700-watt microwave might take 18 minutes to do the same.
However, the wattage also affects how much energy the microwave consumes. The higher the wattage, the more electricity the microwave uses, and the more it costs to operate. For example, a 1000-watt microwave might use about 0.2 kWh of electricity per hour, while a 700-watt microwave might use about 0.14 kWh per hour.
Therefore, when choosing a microwave, you need to balance between speed, efficiency, and cost. You want a microwave that can cook your food quickly and evenly, but also one that does not waste too much energy or money.
Is 900 Watts Good for a Microwave?
A 900-watt microwave is considered to be a mid-range microwave in terms of wattage. It is not as powerful as some of the high-end models that can go up to 1200 watts or more, but it is also not as weak as some of the low-end models that can go as low as 600 watts or less.
A 900-watt microwave can cook most types of food in a reasonable amount of time and with good results. It can handle frozen meals, popcorn, soups, vegetables, rice, pasta, and more. It can also defrost meat and poultry without cooking them too much.
However, a 900-watt microwave might not be able to handle some of the more demanding tasks that require higher temperatures or longer cooking times. For example, it might not be able to bake a cake or roast a chicken as well as a higher-wattage microwave. It might also struggle with thick or dense foods that need more heat penetration.
Therefore, whether a 900-watt microwave is good for you depends on what kind of food you usually cook and how often you use your microwave. If you mostly use your microwave for reheating leftovers or making simple dishes, then a 900-watt microwave might be enough for you. But if you use your microwave for more complex or elaborate cooking, then you might want to consider a higher-wattage microwave.
Pros and Cons of a 900-Watt Microwave
To summarize, here are some of the pros and cons of a 900-watt microwave:
- It can cook most types of food in a reasonable amount of time and with good results.
- It is more energy-efficient and cost-effective than higher-wattage microwaves.
- It is widely available and affordable in most stores and online platforms.
- It might not be able to handle some of the more demanding tasks that require higher temperatures or longer cooking times.
- It might struggle with thick or dense foods that need more heat penetration.
- It might not have as many features or functions as higher-wattage microwaves.
How to Cook Different Types of Food in a 900-Watt Microwave
One of the advantages of a 900-watt microwave is that it can cook a variety of foods in a short time and with good results. However, you need to know how to adjust the cooking time and power level according to the type and quantity of food you are cooking. Here are some tips and tricks to help you cook different types of food in a 900-watt microwave.
1. Frozen meals: Frozen meals are convenient and easy to cook in a microwave, but you need to follow the instructions on the package carefully. Some frozen meals might require you to pierce the film, stir halfway, or let it stand for a few minutes after cooking. You also need to check the wattage that the instructions are based on. If the instructions are for a higher-wattage microwave, you need to increase the cooking time by 10% to 20%. If the instructions are for a lower-wattage microwave, you need to decrease the cooking time by 10% to 20%.
2. Popcorn: Popcorn is a popular snack that can be made in a microwave in minutes. However, you need to use a microwave-safe popcorn bag or bowl and follow the directions on the package. Do not leave the microwave unattended while popping popcorn, as it can burn easily. Listen carefully to the popping sound and stop the microwave when the popping slows down to one or two pops per second. Be careful when opening the bag or bowl, as the steam can be hot.
3. Soups: Soups are comforting and nutritious, and they can be heated up in a microwave quickly. However, you need to use a microwave-safe container that is large enough to prevent spilling or boiling over. You also need to cover the container with a lid or a vented plastic wrap to trap the steam and heat evenly. Stir the soup halfway through heating and check the temperature before serving. You can also add some toppings or garnishes to your soup, such as cheese, croutons, herbs, or sour cream.
How to Test the Wattage of Your Microwave
If you are not sure what the wattage of your microwave is, you can test it yourself with a simple method. All you need is a microwave-safe measuring cup, some water, and a thermometer. Here are the steps to follow:
- Fill the measuring cup with one cup of water and place it in the microwave. Make sure the water is at room temperature and the cup is centered on the turntable.
- Set the microwave to high power and start it for two minutes. Do not open the door or stop the microwave during this time.
- After two minutes, carefully remove the cup from the microwave and measure the temperature of the water with a thermometer. You might need to stir the water gently to get an accurate reading.
- Compare the temperature of the water with the following chart to estimate the wattage of your microwave:
|70°F or more||1000 W or more|
|55°F to 70°F||800 W to 1000 W|
|35°F to 55°F||600 W to 800 W|
|Less than 35°F||Less than 600 W|
This method is not very precise, but it can give you a rough idea of how powerful your microwave is. You can also check the label or manual of your microwave for more information.
A 900-watt microwave is a good choice for most people who use their microwaves for reheating leftovers or making simple dishes. It can cook most types of food in a reasonable amount of time and with good results. It is also more energy-efficient and cost-effective than higher-wattage microwaves.
However, if you use your microwave for more complex or elaborate cooking, then you might want to consider a higher-wattage microwave. A higher-wattage microwave can handle some of the more demanding tasks that require higher temperatures or longer cooking times. It can also offer more features and functions than lower-wattage microwaves.
Ultimately, the best wattage for a microwave depends on your personal preferences and needs. You should choose a microwave that suits your cooking style and budget. You should also check the reviews and ratings of different models before buying one.