Is 700-watt Microwave Enough?

So, you’re in the market for a new microwave and you’ve come across a 700-watt model. But the burning question in your mind is: is 700 watts enough? Well, let’s dive into the details and find out if this wattage is sufficient to meet your cooking needs.

Is 700-watt Microwave Enough?

Understanding Wattage in Microwaves

Microwaves are one of the most convenient appliances in any kitchen, making it quick and easy to heat up food or beverages. But have you ever wondered what the wattage of a microwave means and how it affects its performance? Wattage plays a crucial role in a microwave’s cooking power, speed, and efficiency. In this article, we will explore the topic of wattage in microwaves, with a specific focus on the 700-watt microwave.

What is Wattage?

Wattage is a unit of measurement that indicates the power output of an appliance, including microwaves. In simple terms, it determines how quickly a microwave can generate heat and cook your food. The higher the wattage, the faster the cooking process. Microwaves typically come in a range of wattages, with the most common options being 700, 800, 900, 1000, and 1200 watts.

The Role of Wattage in Microwaves

The wattage of a microwave determines its cooking power and the speed at which it can heat or cook food. Higher wattage microwaves have more power and can cook food faster. On the other hand, lower wattage microwaves take a bit longer to cook your food. The wattage also affects the efficiency of the microwave, determining how evenly and thoroughly the food is heated.

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The 700-Watt Microwave

The Definition of a 700-Watt Microwave

A 700-watt microwave refers to a microwave oven that operates at 700 watts of power. This wattage falls on the lower end of the spectrum but is still sufficient for most basic microwave cooking needs. While it may not be as powerful as higher wattage microwaves, a 700-watt microwave can still perform many essential cooking tasks efficiently.

Typical Features of a 700-Watt Microwave

Though lower in wattage compared to some of its counterparts, a 700-watt microwave often comes with several useful features. These features can vary depending on the specific model and brand, but some common ones include different power levels, cooking presets, a timer, and a turntable for even cooking and heating. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of higher wattage microwaves, a 700-watt microwave still offers great functionality for everyday use.

Comparing 700-Watt Microwave with Other Wattages

Lower Wattage Microwaves

While a 700-watt microwave falls on the lower end of the wattage spectrum, it still offers advantages over microwaves with even lower wattages. Microwaves with wattages below 700 may struggle to cook food efficiently and might take significantly longer to heat up your meals. In comparison, a 700-watt microwave strikes a good balance between cooking speed and power consumption, making it a reliable choice for basic cooking needs.

Higher Wattage Microwaves

On the other hand, higher wattage microwaves, such as those with 900 or 1000 watts, offer more power and faster cooking times. They are ideal for individuals who frequently cook and require quick yet efficient heating. These microwaves tend to be more expensive and may consume more electricity, making them better suited for larger families or individuals with higher cooking demands.

Effect of Wattage on Cooking Time and Efficiency

How Wattage Affects Cooking Time

The wattage of a microwave has a direct impact on the cooking time of your food. As mentioned earlier, higher wattage microwaves cook food faster than lower wattage ones. If you opt for a 700-watt microwave, it might take slightly longer to heat up your meal compared to a higher wattage model. However, the difference in cooking time is often negligible for most basic cooking tasks.

Efficiency of a 700-Watt Microwave

Besides cooking time, the wattage also affects the efficiency of a microwave. In general, higher wattage microwaves tend to distribute heat more evenly, resulting in more consistent cooking and heating. However, a well-designed 700-watt microwave can still provide satisfactory cooking results if you follow the recommended cooking guidelines. It’s essential to understand the power and limitations of your specific microwave to achieve optimal efficiency.

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Is 700-watt Microwave Enough?

Common Uses of a 700-Watt Microwave

Heating Beverages

A 700-watt microwave is perfect for quickly heating up beverages like coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Just pour your preferred drink into a microwave-safe mug, set the time, and let the microwave work its magic. Within a matter of minutes, you’ll have a perfectly heated beverage to enjoy.


Defrosting frozen items is another common use for a microwave, and a 700-watt microwave can handle this task with ease. Whether you need to defrost meat, vegetables, or leftovers, simply set the microwave to the appropriate defrosting power and time. This wattage is suitable for defrosting most items efficiently without partially cooking them.

Reheating Leftovers

Leftovers are a staple in many households, and a 700-watt microwave can efficiently reheat your meals without drying them out. By selecting the appropriate power level, you can evenly heat your leftover pizza, pasta, or casserole to enjoy just like it was freshly made.

Limitations of a 700-Watt Microwave

Cooking Large Meals

One of the main limitations of a 700-watt microwave is its capacity to cook large meals. Due to its lower wattage, it may take longer to cook larger portions of food. If you frequently cook for a larger family or need to prepare large meals, a higher wattage microwave might be more suitable for your needs.

Crisping and Browning Limitations

Crisping and browning food items like toast, bacon, or certain types of pastries can be more challenging in a 700-watt microwave. Achieving that desired golden-brown texture may be difficult due to the lower wattage. If you frequently cook these types of dishes, you may want to explore other options or consider using alternative appliances such as a toaster or oven.

Is 700-watt Microwave Enough?

Safety Considerations for Using 700-Watt Microwaves

General Microwave Safety

When using any microwave, safety is paramount. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation, including guidelines for using specific wattages. It’s vital to use microwave-safe cookware, never operate the microwave when empty, and avoid heating certain materials like metal or foil in the microwave.

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Specific Considerations for Lower Wattage

While a 700-watt microwave is generally safe to use, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Due to the longer cooking times, it’s essential to test the temperature of your food to ensure it has reached a safe level to consume. Additionally, some models may have limitations on the maximum cook time allowed, so be sure to consult the manual for any specific guidelines.

Purchasing a 700-Watt Microwave

Factors to Consider When Purchasing

When looking to purchase a 700-watt microwave, there are several factors to consider. Think about the size of the microwave and whether it will fit in your kitchen space. Look for additional features that align with your cooking needs, such as specific cooking presets or a turntable for even heating. It’s also important to read customer reviews and gather information about the reliability and durability of the model you are considering.

Price Range

The price range for a 700-watt microwave can vary depending on the brand, features, and overall quality. Generally, microwaves with lower wattages tend to be more affordable compared to their higher wattage counterparts. However, it’s essential to strike a balance between price and quality to ensure you are investing in a microwave that meets your needs and expectations.

Maintenance and Care for a 700-Watt Microwave


Proper maintenance and cleaning are vital to ensure the longevity and efficiency of your 700-watt microwave. Regularly wipe down the interior and exterior surfaces with a mild detergent and a soft cloth. Remove any spills or food debris promptly to prevent odors and stains. It’s also crucial to clean the turntable and rotating ring regularly to maintain even heating.

Handling Minor Repairs

Like any appliance, you may encounter minor issues or malfunctions with your 700-watt microwave over time. If you experience any problems, consult the manufacturer’s manual for troubleshooting tips. In case of more complex issues, it’s recommended to contact a professional technician to handle the repair work.

Conclusion: Is a 700-Watt Microwave Enough?

For Small Kitchens and Light Usage

In conclusion, a 700-watt microwave is an excellent choice for individuals with small kitchens or those who have light cooking needs. It offers sufficient power to heat beverages, defrost frozen items, and reheat leftovers efficiently. Its compact size and affordability make it a popular option for many households.

When You May Need More Power

However, if you frequently cook larger meals or require a microwave for more demanding tasks like crisping and browning, you may find a higher wattage microwave to be more suitable. Microwaves with wattages of 900 to 1200 watts provide increased cooking power and faster cooking times, making them ideal for individuals with more demanding cooking requirements.

Ultimately, the decision of whether a 700-watt microwave is enough depends on your individual needs and preferences. Consider your cooking habits, kitchen space, and desired features to determine the microwave that will best serve you and make your everyday cooking experiences convenient and enjoyable.