Welcome to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service "Food Safety At Home" podcast series,
featuring topics for the safe handling, preparation and storage of meat, poultry and processed egg products.
So, sit back, turn up the volume and listen in.
Some microwave ovens are small, and some are large. Some cook
fast, and some cook faster. The size of the oven doesnít always
correspond with the cooking speed. But itís important to know
how fast your oven cooks.
Thatís because food needs to reach a safe temperature to destroy
bacteria before you eat it. How many minutes should you
microwave food? Package cooking instructions and recipes give a
range of microwave times. You need to choose the correct cooking
time based on your ovenís power.
The speed of the microwave depends on the wattage. This number
is measured in numbers such as 700 watts or 1100 watts. The
higher the number, the faster the oven will cook food. If you
donít know your microwaveís wattage, try looking for it in
several places. You might find it:
- on the inside of the oven's door,
- on the serial number plate on the back of the oven, or
- in the owner's manual. If you canít find or no longer
have your manual, check the manufacturerís website. Many
appliance manufacturers maintain copies of their productsí
owner manuals on their websites.
If you canít locate the wattage in any of these places, you
can do a "Time-to-Boil" test to estimate the wattage. Hereís
- Measure 1 cup of water in a 2-cup measuring glass. Add
ice cubes; stir until water is ice cold. Discard ice cubes
and pour out any water more than 1 cup.
- Set the microwave on high for 4 minutes, but watch the
water through the window to see when it boils.
- If water boils in less than 2 minutes, it is a very high
wattage oven - 1000 watts or more.
- If water boils in 2Ĺ minutes, it is a high wattage oven
- about 800 watts or more.
- If water boils in 3 minutes, it is an average wattage
oven - 650 to 700 watts or more.
- If water boils in more than 3 minutes or not by 4
minutes, it is a slow oven - 300 to 500 watts.
Use the minimum cooking time given for your wattage oven. The
minimum cooking time may even need to be reduced for very high
Some foods will not reach a safe internal temperature if you do
not follow the cooking instructions on the package, putting
everyone at high risk for food poisoning. Always read and follow
package cooking instructions for you ovenís wattage to prepare
Check your steps at FoodSafety.gov
to see how you can decrease your risk of food poisoning.
Thanks for listening to this Food Safety At Home podcast. Let us know what you think of this podcast by sending your comments to
firstname.lastname@example.org.Thanks for tuning in.