900 Watt Vs 1100 Watt Microwave: What’s the difference?

If you’re looking to buy a microwave and are confused by all of the choices available to you, you’re not alone. Two of the more common microwaves are the 900 watt and the 1100 watt models.

But what difference does the extra 200 watts make? And do you need a more powerful model? If these are questions that you have, keep reading. In this article I take a close look at the 900 watt and 1100 watt microwaves and compare the two.

What’s The Difference Between A 900 Watt & 1100 Watt Microwave?

person taking hot food out a microwave

There are three main differences between a 900 watt microwave and a 1100 watt model which are;

  1. The Size
    Larger models tend to have more power so a 900 watt microwave is likely to be smaller than an 1100 watt model. This makes a 900 watt microwave better suited to smaller kitchens or caravans, campervans etc. While 1100 watt models are more popular in larger kitchens. Larger models are also more suited to larger families whereas smaller models are often sufficient for one or two people.
  2. The Speed
    The higher the wattage of the microwave, the faster it will cook food or heat up drinks. In all honesty the difference in cooking times between a 900 watt and 1100 watt model can be nominal in many cases but is noticeable for items that take longer to cook.
  3. The Price
    Larger, more powerful microwaves tend to be more costly to purchase than smaller less powerful models. However, the price difference isn’t that great considering the faster cooking times and more power produced.

How Much Heat Does A 900 Watt Microwave Produce?

The average highest temperature that can be achieved by a 900 watt microwave is around 273o C (525o F). However, that doesn’t mean it will always achieve those high temperatures.

All microwaves come with different power levels allowing you to cook at high temperatures, reheat using a lower temperature, and defrost using the lowest temperature available on that model.

But the highest temperature will allow your 900 watt model to cook whatever you need it to, it just might take a little longer than an 1100 watt model.

How Much Heat Does An 1100 Watt Microwave Produce?

The average highest temperature that can be achieved by an 1100 watt microwave is around 330o C (625o F). Which is sufficient for cooking pretty much anything that you need cooked.

However, just like the lower powered 900 watt model, this will not be a constant temperature, and you will be able to adjust it using the various power settings. Allowing you to cook, reheat and defrost items in the same way.

How To Tell The Wattage Of Your Microwave

microwave wattage label

If you own a microwave, it’s important to know its wattage because different power levels mean different cooking times. Which means a 700 or 900 watt model will take longer to cook food than an 1100 watt model.

Your microwave will typically have a label on the back which will have its wattage displayed on it. Or in some cases, there could be a sticker on the door.

Otherwise consult your user manual as the wattage will be detailed in the manual. In the absence of any notices, stickers or a user manual, it is possible to determine the wattage by timing how long a cup of cold water takes to boil. 

You will need to keep a close watch on the cup and note the exact time it starts to boil. Below are the average times taken to boil a cup of cold water in a microwave depending on the wattage of the appliance.

Time Taken To Boil 1 Cup Of Cold WaterMicrowave Wattage
3 minutes 30 seconds500 watts
2 minutes 55 seconds600 watts
2 minutes 45 seconds700 watts
2 minutes 30 seconds800 watts
2 minutes 15 seconds900 watts
2 minutes1000 watts
1 minute 45 seconds1100 watts
1 minute 30 seconds1200 watts
1 minute 10 seconds1500 watts

Don’t forget to turn the microwave off after the water has started to boil in the cup. Please note the above timings are averages and represent the nearest time per wattage ratio for boiling a cup of cold water.

Is It Worth Getting A 900 Watt Microwave?

Samsung microwave

It is worth getting a 900 watt microwave as long as the interior is large enough for your needs. From a power and speed perspective, a 900 watt microwave will have sufficient speed and enough power to cook your food relatively quickly.

Lower powered models tend to cook food inconsistently and reheat unevenly and take far more time to cook food. Many 900 watt microwaves are smaller and more compact by design making them a better choice for smaller kitchens or caravans etc.

A 900 watt microwave is the perfect medium between smaller, less powerful models and larger, more expensive, more powerful models.

Should You Get An 1100 Watt Microwave?

If you have sufficient space for an 1100 watt microwave, I recommend you get one. It will be powerful enough to handle any cooking, reheating or defrosting but not so powerful that it requires a lot of electricity.

Plus 1100 watt microwaves tend to be smaller than larger, more powerful models which means you benefit from sufficient power in a more compact appliance which will take up less valuable kitchen space.

So, Which Is Better: A 900 Watt Or 1100 Watt Microwave?

The truth is that for the average household, both the 900 and 1100 watt microwaves are a good choice. If you have a small family and less kitchen space, a 900 watt model will be sufficient for your needs.

However, if you have a family of four or more and space isn’t an issue, you might prefer an 1100 watt model. 

SEE ALSO: Flatbed Microwave Vs Turntable – which is better?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 900 watts enough power for a microwave?

900 watts is enough power for a microwave; it will just take longer to cook food in a 900 watt microwave compared to an 1100 watt model.

Is 1100 watts good for a microwave?

1100 watts is considered to be good for a microwave. It allows you to cook food in a short time whilst not consuming too much energy.

What is a good wattage for a microwave?

The generally accepted guideline is that any microwave of around 1000 watts or above is a good wattage. This is because this is the standard power used for most recipes.

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