Microwave ovens can work in operations of all sizes and do not require hoods.
This provides opportunities for menu and daypart expansion. Non-vented spaces and operators who can afford the newer microwave-convection technology represent prime candidates for microwave use. This equipment can be a lifesaver when line cooks are pressed to meet ticket time goals.
For operations needing a quick-heat solution by either fully heating or beginning the heating process, these units can free up stations that may get overloaded. Because microwave heat works from the inside of the product outward, this is especially helpful with dense products that would normally take 15 to 25 minutes in an oven and often burn on the outside before the center is sufficiently heated.
Microwaves can be used to quickly reheat premade thick, layered products, such as lasagna; heat creamy dips or thick sauces; retherm premade breakfast sandwiches in small spaces; and cook individual egg portions.
Prior to purchasing a microwave, operators need to determine how many times the oven will be used daily, the space requirements and its electrical needs. The cooking vessel size needs to be taken into consideration before choosing what size microwave works best. Also look at the application; this will determine the appropriate wattage. Bulk defrosting, for example, will require a higher wattage oven compared to a unit that will be used for simple reheating.
The oven’s magnetron tubes are rated for between 3,300 and 3,800 hours of use. Typically, when these units’ three-year warranties expire, the tubes are at the end of their service life.
It often pays to purchase microwaves with the most power since this ensures speed of service. In addition to being more affordable by not needing hoods and utilizing minimal energy, these ovens can take the place of other equipment like soup warmers and rethermalizers. Microwave heating helps minimize waste and potential food safety issues that can occur when a product is put through more than one heating cycle.