Commercial kitchens have needs that are different from those of domestic kitchens. Heating and preparing food in a busy commercial kitchen requires a specially made commercial microwave oven. A commercial microwave oven can handle all the tasks that are too heavy to be performed by a regular run of the mill domestic microwave.
Buying the best commercial microwave oven can be a tricky task because consumers often don’t know what exactly to look for. Buying the best commercial microwave oven requires some knowledge of all the nuances and the features that are necessary for a functional commercial microwave oven.
In this buying guide we will examine all the different all the different factors that are important and required in considering the purchase of the best commercial microwave oven. We will also look at what makes a best commercial microwave oven by taking an in depth look at the top 5 commercial microwave oven units in the market.
Commercial Microwave Oven Categories by Power
Most commercial microwave oven units are categorized by their cooking power according to the number of watts they have as output energy. There are three main categories; the Light-duty cooking power, Medium-duty cooking power and the heavy-duty cooking power commercial microwave oven.
Light-duty Cooking Power
Light-duty cooking power ovens are the ones with the lowest possible power output for a commercial microwave oven at around a 1000 watts. However, being on the lower end of the commercial microwave oven power category, doesn’t make these ovens weak by any means. A 1000 watt output commercial microwave oven is still many times better and more powerful than a regular old domestic microwave oven.
As the name of the category suggests, these ovens are designed to be used in the lightest load commercial kitchens where there is less work. For a small sized business, these types of ovens are best suited and can easily accomplish the task.
Medium-duty Cooking Power
This category of a commercial microwave oven usually has a moderately powerful output of around 1200-2000 watts. These are the most commonly bought and used commercial microwave oven units for most commercial food businesses. These ovens fare well in coffee shops, bakeries, sandwich shops and medium sized restaurants that get a healthy amount of traffic by customers on a daily basis. If you’re looking for something more durable than a light-duty oven and less expensive than a heavy-duty oven, this type of oven is your best bet without being too heavy on the pocket.
Heavy-duty Cooking Power
These are the most powerful of all commercial microwave oven units at an output of around 2000-3000 watts. This type of commercial microwave oven works best in extremely busy cafes and restaurants that frequently need to heat up their entrées and appetizers for each order. These ovens are much sturdier and durable than any other type of commercial microwave oven and are best for both heavy usage and long term usage.
Factors to Consider While Buying a Commercial Microwave Oven
The number of watts and cooking power is the main category you need to pick from when you begin your search for the best commercial microwave oven. However there are some other very important factors that you need to look into before you buy your own commercial microwave oven.
Type of Food
This is the single biggest factor you need to consider after looking at the wattage of your commercial microwave oven. Different types of commercial microwave oven are more suited to different types of food. If you need a commercial microwave oven just for maintaining heat on your food or for a light reheating of freshly cooked food, then you might want to consider a light-duty commercial microwave oven.
If your usage for the commercial microwave oven will be light then you also won’t need to opt for those ovens that come with too many complicated controls. However, if you will be using the oven for heating large batches of food, and different kinds of food categories like frozen food then you might want to consider a more sophisticated model. The types of food you want to heat in your commercial microwave oven will also dictate the types of controls you’ll be looking for and the timer options.
Size of the Oven
Most commercial ovens are countertop microwave oven units that come in different sizes. Again, the type of food and the sort of containers you’ll be heating those foods in will also dictate your choice of a good countertop microwave oven. If your kitchen is very crowded and there is less space for a countertop microwave oven, then you might want to go for a smaller sized model.
However, if you have plenty of space in your kitchen for countertop microwave oven, then you can get a larger microwave oven. Getting a large sized countertop microwave oven will also be good if you frequently heat food in large casserole dishes and pots and pans. Larger kitchens often have bigger containers of food that need to be defrosted and heated immediately, so they require larger sized countertop microwave oven units.
Usually the time a countertop microwave oven takes to cook your food is related to the number of watts it has for output. Higher wattage countertop microwave oven units heat food much quicker than lower wattage ones, which means even their lower heat settings will give a much thorough and fast heating. Another thing to look at is the heating timer options a countertop microwave oven gives you. Some ovens have very basic timer settings that don’t give you much of a choice when it comes to heating a large variety of foods.
If you’re looking for a countertop microwave oven that can heat a diverse group of foods, then you will need an oven with a more wide range of heating timer options. If your food types will be pretty straightforward and limited to one or two categories, then a countertop microwave oven with lesser timer options will also suffice.
Difficulty of Operation & Maintenance
While it may be tempting to buy an industrial microwave with a lot of settings and fancy features, one must look at the requirement of their commercial kitchen as well. If your kitchen is a very busy and you have to run around constantly to prepare orders, then simplicity and ease of use in an industrial microwave would be best for you. This way you can easily operate your microwave with a touch and go system instead of making mistakes in a hurry. However, if you absolutely need the extra features and settings, then try to get an industrial microwave that has extra features with easy accessibility and operation.
How easy an industrial microwave oven is to clean and maintain also factors into its ease of operation. If you’re getting a microwave that is too difficult to clean up and keep spotless, while operating a very busy commercial kitchen, then you will have a lot of issues. There are some industrial microwave ovens in the market the come with removable splash guards and trays that make cleaning them very easy and take the load off your shoulders. So if you run a very busy kitchen, you should consider those types of ovens.
Some Extra Features to Look Out For In an Industrial Microwave
Now that we’ve examined the main factors to look out for in a professional microwave, there are some extra features as well that you might want to consider.
Type of Controls
There are two main types of controls, digital and manual. Manual controls usually just consist of a knob of a dial timer which you rotate to your desired cooking time to operate. However, some of the newest and best commercial microwave oven units come with digital type controls. These consist of touch screen soft keys that are sometimes even custom programmable and much more advanced. Whether you want to make use of the digital or the manual type controls depends on your comfort level and the comfort and operational knowledge of your staff.
As with all kitchen appliances, commercial microwave oven units also come with different kinds of warranty coverages. If you’re looking for a durable and long lasting oven that you’ll be using in your kitchen for a long time, it is better to get extended warranty coverage ovens. However, if you are certain you won’t be using the oven regularly and it won’t be incurring too much damage then lower warranties will also suffice.
Not many commercial microwave oven units come with invertor technology. Invertor system ovens basically help you save a lot more power and give you greater consistency in heating your food. So if you’re looking for the best commercial microwave oven, then getting one with an invertor system will definitely be to your advantage.
Having a turntable in a professional microwave is a very relative requirement. If you microwave has top or side wall energy feed then you will need a turntable to rotate your food so that it can get an even cooking. However, if your oven has a bottom energy feed then you don’t need a turntable as your food will get an even distribution of heat and be cooked properly. Invertor system ovens don’t require a turntable because invertor technology enables heat to spread out consistently and uniformly through the food.
best commercial microwave
10. Cuisinart CMW-200 1.2 Convection Microwave Oven & Grill
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For sure it is not only a great product you can consider acquiring, but also it is a model that you can combine microwaving so that your food can cook quicker. For this reason, it has been highly recommended if you are baking pizza or casserole. They will just come out as if they were baked in a regular oven. Just imagine an oven that heats up your whole kitchen in summer as you are baking your food. For sure, if you purchase this product, you will never regret the decision.
9. Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor
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With a programmed sensor menu, you have the full freedom to heat popular foods like pizza and veggies to the optimum. Also, it is accompanied by a large digital display that is not only easy to read but also efficient if you in a hurry to warm your food. Interestingly, it is so quiet such that no one can notice when it is running. Additionally, it has been known even to eat food with no hot spots. If you purchase it, you can access the times and settings on the read instructions book.
8. Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SD945S Stainless Steel
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Having a high power of about 1250 Watts, you are guaranteed that you will always have food cooked fast. This model is so reliable such that you need not to worry about warm food. It will keep foods like sauces, desserts, vegetables, and soups warm. Away from that, it has been developed such that you can reheat your foods at an interval of about 30 seconds. Additionally, unlike other models it has a smart but a compact design that devotes less space in your kitchen.
7. Amana RMS10DS Light-Duty Commercial Microwave Oven with Dial Timer
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If you don’t like complex things, this is then the right brand for you. With this model, you can set the classic dial timer from anywhere. You will easily spot the indicators that permit glace monitoring. Similar to recent designs, it’s very spacious in that it can accommodate single servings and also prepackaged foods. Moreover, the see-through door will give a chance to monitor without actually opening the door. For maintenance purposes, it got both exterior and interior wraps that are easy to clean.
6. Panasonic Consumer NE1025F Commercial Microwave Dial
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Boasting 1000 Watts of power and an extra-long dial timer, it is an easy to use model that is an ideal choice for any establishment you want. It guarantees you top-notch performance at the twist of any dial since it has a convenient automatic cool down feature. If you purchase have no doubt on its durability, it has been designed with durable stainless steel in both its exterior and interior.
5. MAGIC CHEF RA46228 9 Cubic-ft Commercial Microwave
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As its name dictates, the chances of it disappointing you are close to impossible. Being an essential piece of equipment in any restaurant, it makes your operations efficient. You can customize your cooking process by using the programmable buttons. Also, having a stainless exterior and full ceramic floor, it will be very hard for it to rust. In short, it is worth giving your friend as a gift.
4. Sharp Medium-Duty Commercial Microwave Oven
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Have you ever dreamt of a model that can work flawlessly? For sure, since it was developed, it has proved and created a good history of working efficiently. Though at times, interior light bulb needs some maintenance, you don’t have to send services techs to check it. In short, you can solve the hitch on your own. Even without rotating what is getting cooked, there will be no issue. Moreover, it has a handle which truly works better than a button.
3. Sharp R-21LCFS Medium-Duty Commercial Microwave Oven with Dial Timer
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Arguably, it is the easiest brand you can have in town. For a commercial look, the manufacturer ensures that it was designed with both interior and exterior wrap for easy cleaning. Also, it has an auto-cancel timer. For that reason, if you open the door during cooking, the remaining time will be canceled. Away from that, it can fit in your kitchen cabinet without having to modify the furniture.
2. Panasonic Countertop Commercial Microwave Oven
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For a couple of years since it was released to the market, the stainless steel model has been providing quick applications to many convenience stores and also restaurants. Having been designed with a bottom energy feed system allows the energy to travel just a little distance to food. Also, it can easily accommodate glass bowls, coffee mugs, and other popular kitchenware.
1. Sharp R-21LCF Medium Duty Commercial Microwave.
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With a close look of its great and admirable features, it is seriously dedicated to improving people’s lives through the use of the most advanced technology and a full-time commitment to the recent innovations. So that you can be able to heat your delicious meals, it has an on spot reference that is very convenient for time-saving. If you always settled on bad brands in the past, now you can try this and see the difference.