It’s been a really long day, and the last thing you want to do is get back home and cook. Maybe you even have leftovers in the fridge, but nobody wants to eat cold food. This is where possibly the most helpful kitchen appliance of the 21st Century comes into play, a countertop microwave. We’ve all used them a lot, and whether we care to admit it or not, it’s hard to find something more convenient than the smallest microwave oven.
Today, these nifty tiny appliances have become more or less a requirement for college students and bachelors living alone, providing an easy way to cook a dish, heat leftovers, or save time on cooking.
For people looking to buy a microwave oven, how much electricity does a microwave use is a very commonly seen question, and that’s precisely what we’re going to find out (after we take a teensy look at what makes microwaves so popular).
What Makes Microwaves So Overwhelmingly Popular?
Microwaves see everyday use in hundreds of thousands of homes, and that’s just in the US. When you think about the rest of the world, it’s no surprise that microwaves have risen to become some of the most in-demand appliances for kitchens and new homes.
Microwaves aren’t just convenient because they give you an easy way to cook. What makes these devices stand out is that they just make life so much easier with the benefits they provide.
Regardless of whether you’re a career woman short on time or a college student living alone, buying a microwave will have massive benefits and uses like:
- Heating Leftovers: Cold, clammy food is the worst fear of anybody who comes home after a long and tiring day. A microwave oven allows you to heat yesterday’s leftovers quickly, and while they’ll be a little hard, the compromise offers a much preferable alternative to eating cold food.
- Saving Time on Cooking: The convenience offered by these devices is their trademark benefit and quite really the most obvious reason behind their popularity. Cooking something on the stove means a frying pan, a spatula, and other kitchenware, whereas all you need for a microwave is a simple microwave-safe container to cook the food in.
- More Diverse Food Options: Who hasn’t heard of frozen food? The 21st Century’s modern solution to being short on time, frozen food is prepared to a level where all you have to do is pop the thawed, half-prepared items into a countertop microwave, set the timer, and voila! Not more than 5 to 10 minutes later, you have an entire meal ready for you.
- Reaching the Perfect Temperature: Controlling the temperature on a stove is… not that intuitive, which is why many picky eaters who prefer their food at the perfect temperate choose to use microwaves instead.
These four reasons why a convection microwave oven could easily be the best thing in your kitchen are all major points of interest. However, if you don’t own one yet, chances are you’re afraid of the power bill. After all, who wants to pay more in utilities when they could just as quickly do the same thing on a stovetop? The following section details the power consumption of microwaves and how you can regulate it to make sure your power bill stays in check.
How Much Power Does A Microwave Consume?
Understanding the exact power consumption of your microwave oven can be a pain since there’s no direct answer to the question. The electricity used by a microwave (and thus its impact on your utility bill) is generally measured in the unit’s wattage, defined as an amount of electrical power in watt units.
Considering the volume of the smallest microwave oven, the wattage can vary a lot from an inexpensive 800 watts to a hefty 3000 watts, which is sure to impact your power bill.
It’s pretty easy to find the wattage for your microwave oven: all you have to do is check the specifications on the website where you ordered it from or the back of the box. You can also infer the wattage of a microwave oven (if you’re too lazy to look it up): A 20-liter volume microwave will consume about 800 watts of power, and a 28-liter microwave can go to just above 2900 watts.
Factors Deciding the Electricity Consumption of A Microwave
There’s no definite answer to how much power a microwave uses. Instead, the answer depends on several factors that play significant parts in deciding the device’s power consumption, like:
- Size and Model: Microwave ovens use microwave radiation to heat water particles in the food, which produces the heat to cook or warm things up. Larger microwaves will utilize large amounts of microwave radiation, thereby leading to more electricity consumption.
- The Manufacturer: There are hundreds of famous manufacturers who make different kinds of microwave ovens, if not more. The electricity used by their devices depends heavily on the manufacturer since other companies will use materials and components of different grades and quality.
- The Temperature: It’s common sense that a microwave oven set to 50 degrees Celsius won’t consume the same electricity as one set to 100 degrees celsius. The reason is pretty simple: fewer microwave radiation waves are used for cooking things at 50 degrees celsius.
Now that you know all about microwaves and their electricity consumption, the next logical step is to, well, buy one! Before you do, though, it’s worth taking the time to read up on the Dos and Don’ts of microwaves, which is precisely what the next section deals with.
If you read the article carefully, you know everything you need to know before buying a convection microwave oven. What about after, though? Just like with every electrical appliance, you have to use a microwave carefully.
You should never place metal cutlery or containers inside the microwave and instead, opt for microwave-safe plastic containers. You can find microwave-safe containers at any store retailing cutlery and plastic kitchenware or even order a set online.
And finally, microwaves aren’t a one-stop shop for cooking your food. They evenly heat everything, but you’ll only see the best results if you regularly check up on your food and maybe even pause the cooking time to stir the food a little!