How to Find Your Microwave’s Wattage

Not sure how to find your microwave's wattage? You're not alone. This task is often not as easy as it should be—but we've got a solution.

You’ve seen it on package instructions, and it left you puzzled: “Microwave in a 1,250-watt microwave for 4 minutes.” You wonder, Aren’t all microwaves the same? Nope.

To ensure your food cooks properly, many packages (and even some recipes) specify different cook times for different microwave oven wattages. And misjudging a few hundred watts can really affect the end result. So, before you tackle one of these recipes to make in the microwave or even just a simple mug cake, ask yourself: Do you know how to find microwave wattage?

If like me the answer is no, don’t spend hours looking for your owner’s manual. Instead, try this simple trick.

How to Find Microwave Wattage

Yes, some manufacturers are kind enough to put wattage information on the front of their appliances. And others put it on a small sticker on the inner part of the door or on the back of the oven. But some make it more of an informational scavenger hunt.

The good news is that finding your microwave’s wattage is not necessarily an impromptu research project. All you need is a glass container, a measuring cup and some ice-cold water. (We’re not kidding. Add ice cubes to a cup of water and let it sit in the fridge until the water is REALLY cold.)

Then, pour 8 ounces of the cold water into a glass measuring cup or similar container and pop it in the microwave. Set your display to 4 minutes on the highest setting. Now, all you need to do is watch and wait. Once the water boils, you’ll have your answer! (Here are more microwave tricks every cook needs to know).

The charts may vary slightly, but according to Microwave Cooking for One, these results should give you a good idea of what you’re cooking with:

  • 500 watts — water boils at 3:30 minutes
  • 600 watts — water boils at 2:55 minutes
  • 750 watts — water boils at 2:20 minutes
  • 1000 watts — water boils at 1:45 minutes
  • 1250 watts — water boils at 1:25 minutes
  • 1500 watts — water boils at 1:10 minutes

And there you have it! A super-easy way to find your microwave’s wattage. And as long as you have that boiling water handy, this might be a good time to clean your ‘wave.

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Cathryn Jakicic
Cathy Jakicic has written about everything from business and bacteria to beads and baking in her career —but she greatly prefers the last two. She is a baker and a crafter and loves to try new recipes for both.