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Andrew Pollock


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Saturday, 15 January 2005

On microwave oven power

Last week, our microwave oven stopped heating things. It'd go through the motions, but after it finished, your dinner was still stone, motherless cold. I dropped it into the repair place, and a week later (after much nagging) they told me the magnetron tube had died. It was going to be comparable to getting a new microwave in repair costs, so I decided to get a new one rather than getting it repaired, as the display was dodgey.

The microwave I had was 1000W, and the microwave I bought to replace it is 1200W. I remember when they used to be 650W. It's all good that they're constantly getting stronger, as they cook faster, but it really stuffs around microwave recipes and cooking instructions. The microwave dinners that we frequently eat are geared towards a 1000W microwave, so we've got to experiment with the time to avoid overcooking them.

The power levels apparently do something like Medium High = 70% (so 840W) and Medium = 50%, and so on. I'd rather see them have the ability to dial up the wattage directly instead, so if something had cooking instructions that said "8 minutes on high, assuming a 1000W microwave oven", you could set the power to 1000W, and cook for 8 minutes, instead of having to come up with something less than 8 minutes that cooks the food properly without overdoing it.

Maybe I should have just shopped around more...

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