While almost every household is sure to have a microwave oven, those home varieties differ greatly from their commercial counter-parts. The power of a commercial microwave oven is much greater, and the inner cavity of the oven is usually much wider, deeper and higher than a house-hold model, allowing for more product to be heated in a shorter amount of time.
Commercial microwaves can operate on 120 volts, but some larger models require 208 to 240 volts. A smaller unit can produce about 700 watts, while larger units can pump out close to 3200 watts.
Most microwave ovens are made of stainless steel and have powder-coated handles. Standard features usually include programmable memory pad selectors, see-through doors, a cycle counter, and a lighted inner cavity, and an automatic shut-off system to avoid over-heating. Doors are required to have individual, but inter-locking systems that automatically turn the oven off when opened.
A new heating technology found in commercial microwaves allow constant energy to penetrate the center of the food, allowing for more even cooking and less burning around the edges of the product. This new technology also allows for keeping food warm longer after heating.
While microwaves do not require hoods, the operator should take into consideration the overall usage of the unit. For example, users that spend a great deal of time defrosting products rather than simply heating them, should consider a unit with higher voltage capabilities to avoid wear on the machine. Also, since a microwave is an electronic device, it requires ventilation space for the hot air to escape and avoid over-heating, so take care not to place a microwave directly over a fryer or steamer, and all manufacturers warn not to turn on a microwave when it is empty.
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