Commercial Microwave Buying Guide

Nowadays, the microwave is something no modern home or commercial restaurant can do without. Who even has the patience to turn on the stove and heat up the whole thing anymore when you can simply put a portion into a bowl and get it done with in only 30 seconds?

A typical commercial microwave was built to be fast, efficient in frequent use, durable in the long run, and built to be heavy duty (compared to most residential models). It’s the perfect appliance to have around in a society where time is money – especially if you have a lot to cook in very little time. So whether the brand you are looking for is an Amana, Sharp, Panasonic, or any other well known commercial microwave brand, make sure to look into the specs of what you are purchasing because you might find yourself later regretting not doing the research.

1. Types of Commercial Microwave Ovens

The types of commercial microwaves ovens are generally determined by their watts and cooking power. The microwave oven wattage is specifically designed for particular kinds of recipes or foods, and it generally falls into the following categories:

Light-Duty Commercial Microwave

Commercial microwave ovens that have been labeled as “light duty” will offer you 1,000 watts. It’s more powerful than your typical microwave, but it’s the weakest when it comes to “commercial” appliances.

Such a microwave is great for businesses where you’ll have to use the device around fifty times per day – and only to warm up things like drinks, pastries, or other small items that require heating or light microwaving.

One example is the Amana RMS10DSA made by Amana Commercial Microwaves. It’s very efficient when it comes to defrosting and reheating, and it can reheat both smaller and larger portions. These lighter duty models are also generally easier when it comes to the seller shipping them to you because rather then arriving by a freight truck, they generally arrive by packages rather than LTL.

Medium-Duty Commercial Microwave Ovens

These commercial microwave ovens come with a power between 1,200 and 2,000 watts, and they’re perfect for warming up foods such as appetizers or sauces. They are more durable and much faster than your regular light-duty microwave, and it can safely be used to microwave foods up to 150 times per day.

A good example for the medium-duty commercial microwave oven category would be the Amana HDC182 model, with its 1,800 watt power. The cooking power is extremely efficient, and it allows reheating without affecting the taste of the dish. It also has a cooking time that reaches 60:00 compared to most commercial microwave ovens that only go up to 35:00.

Heavy-Duty Commercial Microwave Ovens

If you have a business that needs you to heat food more than 150 times a day, you may want to go for a heavy duty commercial microwave. These can offer between 2,000 watts - 3,000 watts, and they can cook even faster than the average medium-duty microwave. Plus, they are even more durable, and they are perfect for restaurants that have fast turnovers.

The Sharp R-25JTF made by Sharp Commercial Microwaves is appropriate for such an environment since it offers expert defrost and superior cooking power that won’t affect the taste of the food. Plus, this model has ten programmable touch keys and 20 memories. Thus, using the appliance is a lot more time-efficient.

High Speed & Rapid Cook Microwave Ovens

If you need a commercial microwave oven that amazes your customers at how fast you cooked their food while making it taste delicious all at the same time, then you should check out the rapid cooking ovens models. Even though these models usually have a higher price tag on them, they definitely are well worth it since they usually not only incorporate microwave technology, but have other heating sources included in the all-in-one units to make your customer have an unforgettable experience. Keep in mind, when ordering one of these larger models, the shipping could cost a little more since it'll most likely be delivered by LTL. You'll also want to make sure to take the time to give a full inspection of your order before signing for it. It's always suggested to give your shipment a full look-over to ensure everything arrived in great condition.

2. Factors to Consider with Commercial Microwave Ovens

The cooking power is just one thing that you have to consider when buying commercial microwave ovens. There are several other things that you need to keep in mind when purchasing such appliances:

Food Types

Why do you need this microwave? Do you need it just to heat some pastries, or do you want it to reheat large steaks? If you need it for the former, then something light-duty such as the Sharp R-21LCF may be more than enough for you. It has a 6-minute light-up dial timer and lettered increments for various foods that you can set by yourself.

If you need it, however, for the latter purpose, then a larger heavy-duty commercial microwave might be a more fitting option.

Size

Depending on the size of the food that you intend to cook, you have to make sure that your dishes will fit into the microwave. It needs to be large enough to make sure that that your steak won’t be sticking out, but small enough so that it doesn’t take up the entire counter and then some.

Since most commercial kitchens are already packed with various appliances, you have to be sure that the microwave is not more trouble than it’s worth. Space is something that no busy business can really afford.

Use Frequency

When you are looking for commercial microwaves, you are looking for something that will withstand the test of time – and not something that will break down simply because you decided to use it two times more than its recommended frequency.

If you have a busy business, perhaps investing in a heavy-duty commercial microwave is the smarter choice – even if you have to spend a couple of extra bucks on it.

Cooking Time

Technically speaking, the higher the wattage, the faster it will cook. If your business goes at a fast pace, you should start looking for commercial microwave ovens. On the other hand, if you work in an environment where speed is not an issue, a light-duty microwave may prove to be a sound choice for you.

Ease of Use

When you are buying a commercial microwave, you need to make sure that it won’t be slowing you down in the kitchen. A device with many buttons that takes a lot of time to figure out is not going to help you if you have a fast-paced business.

Extra Features

What are the digital controls for the microwave oven like? What’s the warranty? How many programming options does it have? The Turbo Air TMW-1100NE made by Turbo Air, for instance, can program up to 20 different menus that you can activate with just one touch. It’s an appropriate device if you have a fast-paced business, with workers constantly on their toes.

3. Final Thoughts

There are many things that you need to consider when it comes to commercial microwaves, as you could see above. It’s not as easy as picking the cheapest microwaves, the most expensive microwaves, the smallest, or the cutest. If you want the food to be good – and the microwave oven to last – you’ll have to consider various factors and make the smart choice.

If you're not sure what brands to start with, we suggest the following brands that make an excellent commercial microwave oven for your establishment: Amana Commercial Microwaves, Sharp Commercial Microwaves, and Panasonic Commercial Microwaves.

Ultimately, it all boils down to power. Depending on the food or the pace of your business, you will have to choose an appropriate microwave oven.

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