Since its invention in 1945, the microwave oven has become a ubiquitous feature in commercial kitchens around the world. Convenient and effective, microwave ovens use high frequency non-ionizing radiation to transfer energy to water and fat molecules in your food – heating them rapidly. Despite claims to the contary, the CSIRO has found that microwave ovens are often more effective than conventional ovens in retaining trace nutrients and vitamins, additionally, they found that microwave ovens carry a lower risk of burns than conventional ovens.
Can I use a ‘home’ microwave?
Consumer grade microwaves are targeted at household users. They generally are of a lower power than commercial designs, and do not have the same level of build quality. Unless your kitchen uses the microwave very infrequently or is not food-oriented (bars, gelaterias, etc), these microwaves will be insufficiently robust. Furthermore, these models are often much harder to clean properly, and lack some of the time-saving features that purpose built industry microwaves offer.
Light vs. Heavy Duty microwaves
Commercial microwaves range in power and size from light to heavy duty. Light duty microwaves range from around 900 to 1100 watts, and are intended for (as the name suggests) light duties. Examples of businesses which could benefit from a light duty microwave are small cafés, food trucks or bars. Additionally, light duty microwaves are generally cheaper than their medium and heavy-duty counterparts. The tradeoff is that these models will take longer to heat food, and are generally of a smaller size. The BONN CM-901T oven is an ideal light-duty microwave, and comes with a one year pars and labour warranty.
Medium and heavy duty microwaves are targeted at larger businesses, and are significantly more powerful than their little brothers. High end models can boast as many as thousands of watts of cooking power, though even the most demanding kitchen applications will be adequately served by a 1500 watt oven. The BONN CM-1401T oven is extremely popular in medium to large kitchens – boasting an impressive 26 litre cooking capacity, and a 1400 watt output, capable of cooking rapidly and thoroughly with minimal fuss.
In order to figure out what sort of oven you need, the general rule is that if you use the microwave less than forty times a day, then a 900w light duty microwave will be sufficient. With each additional 40 uses, try to increase wattage by 200. So if your kitchen uses the microwave around 100 times a day, you’ll want a microwave with about 1500 watts of power.
Other features to look for
As all chefs know, the most basic requirement for a food business is excellent food handling and safety practices. While microwaves can be very useful in achieving this, they can represent a risk to food safety if they are not properly maintained and cleaned. Consider the purchase of a microwave oven protection liner – a clear plastic insert for microwave ovens which greatly increases cleaning speed and quality. BONN, a microwave manufacturer, has found that the use of microwave oven protection liners can reduce repair downtime by as much as 80%.
Still not sure?
The massive range of microwaves available can appear daunting, particularly if you’re still unsure about your business’ exact needs. Protech Hospitality has over 30 years of experience in hospitality fitouts, and a staff of trained hospitality professionals with combined decades of experience. Protech prides itself on offering a stellar grade of customer service – come in today for a quote or consultation, and make your hospitality ideas a reality.