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Commercial Microwave vs Regular Microwave

Homeowners and business owners alike may need to determine the difference between a commercial microwave vs. a regular microwave when looking for new models. As a result of these two types of microwaves, the market for the best microwaves has widened in price and power level since the device’s introduction. Unfortunately, these aspects provide more significant variability in cooking speed and programming options as well. As a result, you may feel that the difference is as great as that of a pressure cooker vs a microwave.


  • Many professional chefs do not use microwaves, commercial or domestic, frequently, preferring to use other cooking methods.
  • Commercial microwaves offer higher speed and power for heavy usage with options for programming presets.
  • Regular or domestic microwave ovens offer an affordable option for consumers who do not spend much time using the microwave.

Difference Between Commercial and Residential Microwaves

A commercial microwave oven is designed for increased use throughout the day, resulting in greater durability using stainless steel parts. Additionally, this product cooks food faster because of its increased power for use in your commercial kitchen. However, a residential microwave is significantly more affordable than these stainless steel models. Because of this aspect, you most likely want a domestic microwave oven or a residential microwave oven if you are not using the microwave frequently throughout the day.

The information below generally refers to standard microwaves, so you may want to read about the difference between a convection microwave vs a standard microwave oven, low profile microwaves vs regular microwaves, and convection steam ovens vs microwaves.

Insider Tip

Domestic microwaves offer lower cooking speeds due to their higher wattage.

Microwave Durability with Stainless Steel Designs

Because many brands design each commercial microwave oven with durability in mind, most of these devices consist of stainless steel parts. The outside, hinges, door, and inside of the device are constructed using stainless steel to withstand heavy usage. This stainless steel surface remains easy to clean as well. They also feature tempered glass where there is no stainless steel. Additionally, the hinges seem stronger and more durable than a regular residential microwave oven. However, these designs and the stainless steel’s durability often result in more expensive devices.

Speedy Commercial Microwaves

Many domestic microwave ovens have about 700-900 watts of power. This wattage allows them to cook foods fairly quickly with a lower amount of energy. Commercial microwaves create about 900-2200 watts while in use, which results in faster cooking. The device creates more heat because of the increased power. As long as the device provides a consistent heat to the food, you should see a considerable difference in cooking times. However, you should still follow the recipe’s instructions if there is a specific temperature or mode to use.

Easy Programming Options for Microwaves

Most domestic microwave ovens feature presets for specific times, such as pressing one for one minute. Some also include sensors for cooking particular food types, including pasta and microwave popcorn. However, these household microwaves do not often have additional programmable panels for other lengths of time. On the other hand, commercial microwaves may include a large control panel that can be programmed for certain dishes or times, allowing you to cook a large variety of food by pressing a button. The microwave should be consistent every time you use the button.

Microwaves Designed for Higher Usage

Domestic microwave ovens can handle on average 10 minutes of use each day, limiting one in a commercial kitchen that needs to use it several times per day. Most households do not use their microwave more than that, but a business or large household may need more use. The commercial model can be used for hours each day, making them ideal for you if you have a business that uses microwaves several times per day. But, a microwave vs electric oven is a question you should ask yourself, as some foods just can’t be made in a microwave alone.


Domestic microwaves are not made to be used for more than ten minutes each day, so if you need more use, a commercial microwave may be ideal for you.


What is a commercial microwave?

A commercial microwave is a microwave oven designed for more use with more durability and quicker cooking times throughout the day. They often come as light-duty commercial microwaves, medium-duty commercial microwaves, and heavy-duty commercial microwaves.

What is the power consumed by a microwave oven?

An average microwave uses about 800-1800 watts, with commercial models often requiring 1700 watts or more.

Why don’t commercial microwaves have turntables?

A commercial model does not include a turntable because they are built to hold large quantities of food. As a result, they are used with dishes that are too large to rotate. However, turntables are not necessary because the heat is distributed more evenly throughout the device.

STAT: Consumer household microwave ovens usually come with a cooking power of 600 watts and up (with 1000 or 1200 watts on some models.) (source)

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