700 watt microwave ovens are among the least powered variants. So it is quite natural to ask, is a 700 Watt microwave good?
The answer to this question depends upon your needs. 700 Watt microwave oven is a good option if you value a small, and a compact microwave oven with a budget price tag.
Here we will talk in detail about 700 watt microwave oven and also talk about the situations in which this category of microwave may make the most sense.
Also Read: Best 700 Watt Microwave Ovens
A Note on Input and Out Power Rating
It should be noted that when we talk about 700 W microwave oven, we are actually referring to the output power and NOT the input power.
The input power is higher than the output power.
For a typical microwave oven with 65% efficiency, a 700 Watt microwave oven would correspond to about 1100 Watt of input power.
Read more about the difference between Input and Output Microwave wattage.
In short, however, the input energy relates to the circuit design and the consumption of the microwave, whereas, the output power corresponds to the strength of the microwave radiation generated.
Is a 700 Watt Microwave Good?
In order to decide whether a 700 Watt microwave is good or not, we need to look at the following points.
Weakest Output Power Rating
For starters, note that the 700 Watt output power microwave is the weakest class of microwave oven in terms of generated microwave radiation strength.
Basically, the lower the output power, the longer it will take for it to heat your food, so you may reconsider getting only a slightly more powerful one to do what most households need it to do as we explained in this post earlier.
A glass of water takes 2 minutes to boil in a microwave with 700 Watt output. The same glass of water would take about 45 seconds in a microwave with 1200 Watts output power.
The power also relates to the consistency of the heating across the food. Weaker microwave ovens cannot heat up densely packed food like rice, mashed potatoes, easily.
Hence you may need to stir your food or make sure that the amount of food placed is small.
700 Watt microwave oven are also quite small. It is almost a rule in the market that the 700 Watt microwave ovens corresponds to 0.7 CU FT interior capacity. There are exceptions.
This is the smallest class of microwave oven for home use.
This size corresponds to a turntable diameter of about 10″, which is about the size of a small pizza.
Therefore, this oven is suitable for limited food portion both because of its power as well as its physical size.
One of the best parts about 700 Watt microwave ovens is that they are very cheap to procure. On top of that, they are also easy on energy consumption and hence reflect lower on your energy bills.
Hence, if you are running short on cash or if you are certain that you would not be needing a powerful microwave, then why spend more?
In that case, a 700 Watt microwave oven would make most sense.
A 700 watt microwave oven is considered a basic microwave oven.
Generally, 700 watt microwave ovens offer the most minimal and least viable features.
Hence, if you are interested in acquiring a microwave with a griller for roasting your food, or an option with convection fan or perhaps you are looking for an advanced microwave with an inverter circuit, unfortunately, you will not find those features here.
On top of that, most of the 700 Watt microwave ovens do not come with smart sensors. Smart sensors are found in a powerful microwave ovens which help in automatically cooking your food based on the selected presets.
Speaking of presets, while most of the 700 watt microwave ovens do have presets for common tasks like defrosting or reheating, they do not offer the more advanced multi-stage cooking presets for cooking meat, rice, pasta and loads of other items.
Hence, the 700 watt microwave are only good for basic reheating or defrosting – something which an average users really needs anyways.
Limited Power Level Settings
Microwave ovens have settings for power levels. Power levels allow you to set the percentage of total output power that the microwave should operate at.
Selecting the right power level is essential for cooking different foods.
Most digital microwave ovens have 10 power level settings from 1-to-10. Each level corresponds to a 10% increment. Hence a power level “1” corresponds to 10% of the total power, “5” corresponds to 50% and “10” corresponds to 100% here.
The issue with a 700 watt microwave oven is that it is limited in its maximum power. While a 1000 watt microwave oven can be dialed down to 700W by selecting Power Level “7””, a 700 Watt microwave cannot be dialed up to a 1000 Watt.
Power Level selection for home chefs is essential as it allows them to have better control at their cooking.
A higher than 700 Watt output power is required for certain recipes that a home-chef would value. Therefore, if you often cook using a microwave, then a 700 watt microwave may not be the best option for you.
You Don’t Need a Dedicated Circuit
The good thing about a 700 Watt microwave oven is that it does not draw a high amount of current from the wall socket.
As mentioned earlier, a 700 Watt microwave oven corresponds to 1100 Watt input power. This, in turn, corresponds to 9.16 Amps at 120 Volts (US Standard) or 5 Amps at 220 Volts (Europe, Asia Standard).
A typical kitchen in US has 20 Amp circuits for kitchen and according to electrical standards, each circuit should be not be operated at more than 80% of its capacity.
Hence a 20 Amp circuit should be used at a maximum of 16 Amps.
Here you can see that 9.16 Amps draw for a 700 Watt microwave oven is well below the 16 Amps threshold.
This means you do not need to have a dedicated circuit here. The more powerful microwave ovens draw more current and some may even need a dedicated circuit.
What Are They Good For?
We have talked about the details and features of a what a 700 watt microwave oven denotes to. Now let us see where they would make the most sense.
Basic Home Use
For starters, they are excellent for basic home use.
If your cooking does not require you to utilize a high powered microwave oven or if you do not like the preset cooking on the more powerful microwave ovens, then a 700 watt microwave oven is quite decent.
Simply put, they are good for reheating and defrosting. Reheating may take a bit longer, but looking at the affordability a 700 watt microwave oven offers, that is a sacrifice you should be willing to make.
Another important factor is the size of your countertop space. If you have a small kitchen or a small apartment, then you can leverage on the small 0.7 CU FT size of a 700 Watt microwave oven.
Also Read: Best microwaves for small apartment
Another important application is their use in office spaces.
Employees have limited heating needs as they will neither be expected, nor would they have the time to cook meals in a microwave oven.
For reheating lunch for an individual or for heating up a cup of coffee, these microwave ovens are excellent.
Also Read: Best Microwave Ovens for Office Use
Finally, if you are a student living in dorm, then a 700 watt makes a lot of sense.
Firstly, they are easy to place and cheap to procure and hence they will not put a heavy dent in your wallet.
Plus we all know that an average student has neither the time nor the drive to cook complex recipes that would require a powerful microwave oven routinely, and would rather microwave a quick snack like a Hot Pocket.
In that situation, we recommend this category of microwaves.
Also Read: Best Microwave Ovens for Dorm
All in all, it is important to know that the output power is an important consideration when purchasing a microwave oven. It directly corresponds to how fast and well it would heat up your food.
Here we talked specifically about the least powerful category of microwaves, the 700 Watt models. So is a 700 watt microwave good? Well, again, as we talked extensively, a 700 watt microwave oven is good if you have limited needs, a small budget, or a limited counter / storage space.
1. Is 700 watt microwave good?
A 700 watt microwave should be more than adequate for most home cooking needs. However, it is always important to read the manufacturer's guidelines to ensure that the wattage is sufficient for the task at hand.
2. What can a 700 watt microwave cook?
A 700-watt microwave will typically boil a cup of water in about 2 and a half minutes. However, a 1,000-watt or 1,200-watt option is optimal for the majority of people's needs. It's more than enough power to thoroughly heat or defrost anything in the freezer section.
3. How much longer does a 700 watt microwave cook?
A recipe that calls for 10 minutes of cooking time would only require an increase of about 1 minute. Consider a comparable conversion for a 700-watt microwave. A 5-minute recipe would require approximately 2 1/2 minutes more cooking time, while a 10-minute recipe would require approximately 5 1/2 minutes more.
4. Will a 700 watt microwave cook a frozen dinner?
Most frozen dinners require an 1100-watt microwave. For example, in a 700-watt oven, a five-minute meal may need up to three additional minutes. While a 10-minute meal may need up to six additional minutes of cooking time.
5. How much does it cost to run a microwave for 1 minute?
At maximum power, that microwave will consume approximately.02 kWh per minute, which is approximately one-fifth of a penny. If you used that microwave for one minute per day for a year, the cost of cooking power would be approximately 73 cents.