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A commercial microwave oven is unlike the at-home varieties you grew up with. These countertop workhorses pack a punch of power needed to tackle long days of heating, defrosting and more—simply put, you can use a commercial microwave for longer than a residential variety. Another fun fact? Should a fire ever occur in your kitchen, many insurance companies will leave you in a lurch if they find out you had residential-grade equipment operating in a commercial kitchen. Don't take the risk, shop for a better performing (e.g., faster) and more powerful microwave. At Tundra Restaurant Supply we carry a variety of commercial microwaves from the industry's leading manufacturers like Amana, Sharp Electronics, Turbo Air and more.
It's true that microwaves get a bad rap when it comes to kitchen appliances. But this humble kitchen appliance can do much more than heat up pre-cooked foods! A commercial microwave can quickly heat up ingredients, defrost stocks and even cook up recipes when the occasion calls for it. The power that's packed in these small countertop units are invaluable in small kitchens with limited counter space, convenience stores, small cafes and even quick-service kiosks where location prohibits the installation of a hood.
Most commercial microwaves are categorized into light, medium and heavy duty classes. When it comes to microwaves, more power is not always necessary for your unique needs. Volume and time demands are key to sizing a microwave correctly. Cafeterias and those in health care may consider heating larger potions on-demand to help reduce waste. Before purchasing, consider what you'll be microwaving and for how long. For example, if you're a small coffee bar and your microwave is the only way to prepare a majority of items on your menu then your equipment will most likely be running for long periods of time. On the other hand, if the microwave is simply a supplement to your existing kitchen equipment, and will only be used to items here and there, then a light duty microwave may work better for your needs.
Another critical component to sizing a microwave oven correctly is the power outage and plug. If your outlet is only designed for a 140v unit, you'll have difficulty making use of your new 200v equipment.
Finally, don't forget about the interior size of your unit! The food should be able to fit within the equipment right? Don't get caught purchasing a microwave that you can't utilize regularly.
Many microwaves come in either a digital push button or a dial. The dial-operated microwaves tend to be more cost-effective than their digital counterparts, however, they are not programmable; this could affect menu consistency because you'll have to rely on your employees to remember proper cook times for the food they are preparing. The operation of digital, push button microwaves, are almost foolproof. As a manager you can pre-set multiple programs with precise cooking times and power levels for individual menu items—seems simple, but you'd be surprised how much time it can shave off from regular preparation!
As with most items in a commercial kitchen, cleanliness is the best way to extend the life of your equipment. Hard, baked-on splatters and grease can quickly work its way into the interior side of the panels, damaging its electrical components. Plus, failure to follow a regular cleaning schedule means that food particles will start to burn, damaging the interior of your equipment. Each night after service give the interior of your microwave a wipe down to save yourself a larger mess to clean later down the line.
For more information about commercial microwave ovens, check out our Buying Guide on Commercial Microwaves.
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