In buying a microwave, one of the things that you want to consider is the appliance’s wattage. The watts of home-grade microwaves usually stay from 600 to 1200 watts. If you look at the lower range of microwaves, is a 700-watt microwave good?
700 watts is good enough for basic microwave use cases. You can comfortably reheat leftovers, thaw frozen food, and make popcorn with 700 watts. Although cooking times are longer, it shouldn’t be a major issue for people who only cook meals in a microwave occasionally.
Being in the lower range, a 700-watt microwave is still a reliable appliance that can do everything you’ll expect a microwave can do. However, its lower wattage will limit the possible uses you can have for it. As long as you don’t have intense cooking requirements, 700 watts will suffice.
Cooking Times for a 700-Watt Microwave
If you come from a higher-watt microwave, you will feel a difference moving into a 700-watt microwave. A lower wattage indicates lower output power, so cooking times will be longer. The higher the difference between the wattages, the greater the increase in cooking times.
For example, let’s compare a 700-watt microwave and a standard 1100-watt microwave. At lower cooking times, you will have to add around 10-20 seconds to the cooking time of 1100-watt microwaves. You may even have to increase as much as 10 minutes to the cooking time on larger meals that may take 12-15 minutes on higher-end microwaves.
The additional time you have to compensate for the lower wattage will increase as the indicated cooking time also increases. You have to be mindful of this cooking time increase to avoid leaving your meals uncooked.
However, an underrated benefit of 700-watt microwaves is that most recipes that use a microwave measure cooking times for a 700-watt microwave. That means following a recipe somewhere will often be straightforward and you don’t have to convert cooking times.
When Does It Make Sense to Have a 700-Watt Microwave?
Although standard microwave wattage is usually 900 watts and above, it may not always be the best for you. If you see yourself using a microwave infrequently, primarily for reheating meals and occasionally making popcorn, then a 700-watt microwave will suffice.
With that said, since cooking times get increasingly longer with complex meals, you have to decide beforehand if you are going to be making large meals in the microwave. The lifestyle that calls for a 700-watt microwave is pretty specific, but it is a relatively common one.
People who live alone or with a few people in an apartment and students living in a dorm are some of those who might want to get a 700-watt microwave. The benefits of a 700-watt microwave are valuable to these kinds of people.
Albeit niche and sometimes impractical, people who live in camper vans and are looking to buy a microwave may also want to buy a 700-watt microwave. It is the only microwave that ticks all the boxes for an appliance in a camper van: compact does not consume a lot of power, and does everything you want it to do.
Benefits of a 700-Watt Microwave
Despite being on the lower wattage, 700-watt microwaves still have some things going for them. First off, 700-watt microwaves are generally on the cheaper side of microwaves, if not at the lowest rung. If you don’t need the extra fancy features that higher-end microwaves offer, a 700-watt microwave will be enough that will not break the bank.
Aside from costing less, 700-watt microwaves also consume less power, with it having a lower wattage. As long as you only use it for basic microwave uses, this may help you cut down on electricity costs.
A lower wattage also usually indicates a smaller capacity. If you do not have a lot of space on your countertop or kitchen, such as in an apartment or a dorm, a 700-watt microwave with a capacity of around 0.7 cubic feet will easily slot into a small kitchen’s corner.
Is a 700-watt microwave good? While it’s true that its uses are limited compared to a higher-wattage microwave, sometimes you just don’t need all that power. As long as your use cases are relatively basic, like reheating and defrosting, you may not need to look further than 700 watts for your first or next microwave.