Understanding the Discrepancy: Decoding Microwave Cooking Instructions for Industrial vs. Household Ovens

Have you ever wondered why microwave cooking instructions are often given for 1100W industrial ovens when the average household microwaves are only 600-800W? This discrepancy can be confusing and may lead to improperly cooked food if not understood and adjusted for. This article aims to decode the difference between industrial and household microwave cooking instructions, helping you to better understand and use your microwave.

Understanding the Power Difference

Firstly, it’s important to understand that the wattage of a microwave oven determines how quickly and efficiently it can heat food. Industrial microwaves, often used in restaurants and food production facilities, typically have a higher wattage (around 1100W) compared to household microwaves (usually between 600-800W). This means that industrial microwaves can cook food faster and more evenly than their household counterparts.

Why are Instructions Based on Industrial Microwaves?

Food manufacturers often use industrial microwaves in their test kitchens when developing cooking instructions. This is because these microwaves are more powerful and can provide a more consistent cooking result. However, this can lead to confusion for consumers using household microwaves, as following these instructions may result in undercooked food.

How to Adjust Cooking Times

Understanding the power difference is the first step in adjusting cooking times. As a general rule, if your microwave’s wattage is lower than the wattage specified in the cooking instructions, you’ll need to increase the cooking time. Conversely, if your microwave’s wattage is higher, you’ll need to decrease the cooking time.

  • If your microwave is 800W and the instructions are for a 1100W microwave, increase the cooking time by about 40%.

  • If your microwave is 700W, increase the cooking time by about 60%.

  • If your microwave is 600W, double the cooking time.

Checking Your Microwave’s Wattage

If you’re unsure of your microwave’s wattage, check the user manual or the back of the microwave. There should be a label or sticker that lists the wattage. If you can’t find this information, you can also try contacting the manufacturer or searching for your microwave model online.


Understanding the discrepancy between industrial and household microwave cooking instructions can help you cook your food more accurately and safely. By knowing your microwave’s wattage and how to adjust cooking times accordingly, you can ensure that your meals are always perfectly cooked.