What Is a Commercial Microwave?

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  • Written By: Christian Petersen
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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A commercial microwave is a microwave oven designed for use in a restaurant. Commercial microwaves are constructed with higher quality materials and designed for superior durability compared to a typical residential microwave. They are also designed for much more frequent and heavy use than a home model. A commercial microwave will typically have a much higher power output than a residential microwave.

Most restaurants use microwave ovens in their kitchens. These ovens work in much the same way as a typical residential model but have several significant differences. The main difference between a restaurant microwave and typical residential models is the quality of construction. A commercial microwave is designed to take much heavier use than a home model, as they can be subjected to hours of nearly continual use on a daily basis. A commercial microwave is usually built with a cabinet of restaurant-grade stainless steel for ease of cleaning.

The size of commercial microwave ovens also sets them apart from typical residential models. Most restaurant microwaves are significantly larger than home models and can hold and cook more food at one time. Some restaurant microwaves have doors which swing upward as well, instead of opening to one side like most home models. Like residential models, some commercial microwave ovens are available with a rotating carousel feature to ensure more even heating of foods.


The main difference between a commercial microwave and most residential models is cooking power. Commercial microwaves are more powerful than a typical home microwave and often are capable of cooking food in as little as half the time. Most home microwaves have a maximum power of 1,000 to 1,200 watts, but a typical commercial microwave will have an output of between 1,500 and 2,200 watts. Some of the most expensive and heavy duty models may be even more powerful, with an output of as many as 3,000 watts.

Pre-programmed, quick buttons are another common feature of commercial microwaves that are not seen on most residential models. This helps in streamlining operations and makes using the ovens quicker and easier for restaurant cooks. These buttons allow the cook to simply put the food in the microwave and push one button to activate the oven for the desired time.


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