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Things to Consider When Choosing a Commercial Microwave for Your Commercial Kitchen

WangSteven |

Microwaves might not be at the forefront when outfitting a commercial kitchen, and some wonder if a standard home microwave would suffice. However, for restaurants with high-volume reheating needs and fast service goals, a commercial microwave becomes a vital tool. While the higher cost might be a deterrent, the benefits outweigh the expense.

  • Durability: Built to withstand constant use, commercial microwaves have heavy-duty components and can handle the high volume of a restaurant environment.
  • Speed and Even Cooking: They often have more power and use stirring mechanisms or magnetron placement to ensure food heats evenly and quickly, crucial for fast service.
  • Programmability: Many commercial microwaves allow for multi-stage programming, letting you set specific settings for reheating different dishes consistently.
  • Safety: They may undergo stricter safety testing and have features to minimize the risk of burns or unevenly cooked food, reducing the chance of foodborne illness.
  • Ease of Cleaning: Stainless steel interiors are common, making them easier to sanitize and maintain cleanliness in a high-traffic kitchen.
  • Frees Up Space: By efficiently reheating food, they can free up conventional ovens for other cooking tasks, improving overall kitchen workflow.

In this way, a properly selected commercial microwave will be one of the most frequently used pieces of equipment. But there are various commercial microwave models on the market, how can you determine which one is the best one for your professional kitchen? 

Generally, the microwave best suited for your needs will be dependent upon the volume of customers you serve on an average day and the type of foods you prepare.

Here are a few of the important factors you should consider when choosing a commercial microwave for your restaurant.


Wattage and Power

When it comes to microwaves, wattage equals power. Power is important in your kitchen. When you need to cook a lot of food quickly, you will want something that can provide you with faster heating so that you can get your food out to your customers as soon as possible. Here are the types of commercial microwaves available, based on their wattage and power.

  • Light Duty Ovens – Perfect for kitchens that don't require heavy-duty food warming equipment, such as hotels, gas stations, grocery stores, and convenience stores.
  • Medium Duty Ovens – Most ideal for professional kitchens that are short on space but require reliable commercial food equipment, such as schools, hospitals, and food courts.
  • Heavy Duty Ovens – Ideal for busy kitchens that require a microwave that can withstand heavy usage and hold large volumes of food, such as large chain restaurants. 

Microwave Size/Capacity

Here are the different interior capacities or sizes of a typical commercial microwave. You can choose one according to your cooking need.

  • 3 to 0.8 Cubic Feet: This capacity accommodates high-temperature food pans in ¼ to ⅙ sizes. They can also fit small, oven-safe chinaware like small plates and bowls.
  • 8 to 1.0 Cubic Feet: It accommodates ½ and ⅓ sizes. You can also use this size of microwave to microwave microwaveable takeout containers as well as medium-sized plates and bowls.
  • 2 to 1.6 Cubic Feet: This capacity accommodates most full-size high-temperature food pans as well as oven-safe microwaveable plastic muffin trays. No metal trays or containers, please.

    User-Friendly Controls/Ease Of Cleaning

    Consistency and speed are two important things in any commercial kitchen. You need to be able to produce high-quality meals that are consistent with your customer’s expectations. Not only that, but you need to do it quickly. For this, programming your microwave for specific needs is an essential requirement for a commercial kitchen. Commercial microwaves are going to come with an easy-to-use programming menu that will allow to you provide a consistently cooked product every time. If a microwave requires many steps or has confusing or awkward controls, valuable time may be lost which could lead to unsatisfied customers, and in turn, potential lost revenue. 

    Look for a microwave model that allows you to program various functions easily and quickly. Before purchasing a specific commercial microwave model, consider these questions:

    Is the commercial microwave easy to operate for busy employees?

    Can they get the job done with a simple push of a button?

    Is the microwave relatively easy to clean?


    This is where the huge differences between commercial microwaves and domestic ones come in. Commercial microwaves are constructed way more carefully and from more quality, commercial-grade parts so a single commercial microwave will outlast multiple domestic ones! Take SMAD commercial microwaves as an example, they are made for consistent and heavy use so they will give even heating without a problem.

    Commercial microwaves are worth the investment if you intend to use them in a professional environment, but it takes much research work to make a wise choice. 



    Besides the above, there is much more to discover when diving into the world of commercial equipment. If you need help, feel free to leave a message letting us know