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Thread: Microwave Power vs Time

  1. #1
    [email protected] Guest

    Default Microwave Power vs Time

    The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    ovens. Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    can be reduced in 10% increments. For small changes, is the
    relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?

  2. #2
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    On Tue, 12 Jan 2010 11:59:33 -0800 (PST), "[email protected]"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    >ovens. Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    >can be reduced in 10% increments. For small changes, is the
    >relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    >not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?


    1. You didn't state how many watts your microwave is.
    2. Seems bazaar they'd base cooking times on 1100 watts. Aren't more
    microwaves under 1000 watts than over?
    3. What's wrong with your regular oven?

    --
    I love cooking with wine.
    Sometimes I even put it in the food.

  3. #3
    Mort Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    [email protected] wrote:

    > The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    > ovens. Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    > can be reduced in 10% increments. For small changes, is the
    > relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    > not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?


    Are you actually asking for help microwaving a tv dinner?

    Someone please hold me.

    --
    Mort

  4. #4
    EJ Willson Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    [email protected] wrote:
    > The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    > ovens. Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    > can be reduced in 10% increments. For small changes, is the
    > relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    > not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?


    In my experience these things are about linear, but they get nonlinear
    for very short times.
    EJ in NJ

  5. #5
    Andy Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    Mort <[email protected]> wrote:

    > [email protected] wrote:
    >
    >> The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    >> ovens. Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    >> can be reduced in 10% increments. For small changes, is the
    >> relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    >> not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?

    >
    > Are you actually asking for help microwaving a tv dinner?
    >
    > Someone please hold me.



    Actually not an unreasonable question.

    It's a simple matter of percentage.

    Since the box said 1,100 watts for say 5 minutes, and his microwave is
    1,500 watts, the time will be reduced by 1,100/1,500. So 73% (or .73) of
    300 seconds (5 minutes for base-10 math) = 220 seconds OR 3:40 minutes.

    If the microwave was less powerful, calculate 1,100/900 = 122% (or 1.22)
    for example and you'll get 6:06 minutes.

    Andy

  6. #6
    --Bryan Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    On Jan 12, 2:12*pm, Mort <m...@nospam.com> wrote:
    > bobneworle...@yahoo.com wrote:
    > > The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    > > ovens. *Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    > > can be reduced in 10% increments. *For small changes, is the
    > > relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    > > not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?

    >
    > Are you actually asking for help microwaving a tv dinner?


    Apparently. One would think that the manual to his inverter would
    answer those questions.
    >
    > Someone please hold me.


    Why? Are you feeling lonely?
    >
    > --
    > Mort


    --Bryan

  7. #7
    James Silverton Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    EJ wrote on Tue, 12 Jan 2010 15:44:05 -0500:

    > [email protected] wrote:
    >> The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are
    >> for 1100W ovens. Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the
    >> power level can be reduced in 10% increments. For
    >> small changes, is the relationship between power and cooking time
    >> nearly linear so it would not make any difference
    >> whether I decrease power or time by 10%?


    > In my experience these things are about linear, but they get
    > nonlinear for very short times.
    > EJ in NJ


    At least for my oven, the different power levels (10 in my case) are
    gotten by turning on the magnetron for different times, 10%, 20% to
    100%, so they are no doubt linear except perhaps for very short times.

    --

    James Silverton
    Potomac, Maryland

    Email, with obvious alterations: not.jim.silverton.at.verizon.not


  8. #8
    aem Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    On Jan 12, 11:59 am, "bobneworle...@yahoo.com"
    <bobneworle...@yahoo.com> wrote:
    > The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    > ovens. Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    > can be reduced in 10% increments. For small changes, is the
    > relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    > not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?


    Other than idle curiosity, does it matter? All you're doing is thawing
    and heating an already cooked dish so the correct time and power level
    is whatever it takes to get it all as hot as you want it. Since
    underwarming is easily fixed and overcooked is not, the general rule
    for microwave timings is to err on the short side, test, and then
    continue. -aem

  9. #9
    jmcquown Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    "sf" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > On Tue, 12 Jan 2010 11:59:33 -0800 (PST), "[email protected]"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    >>ovens. Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    >>can be reduced in 10% increments. For small changes, is the
    >>relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    >>not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?

    >
    > 1. You didn't state how many watts your microwave is.
    > 2. Seems bazaar they'd base cooking times on 1100 watts. Aren't more
    > microwaves under 1000 watts than over?
    > 3. What's wrong with your regular oven?
    >
    > --


    It's not bizarre; most microwaveable meals specify the recommended heating
    times and power level based on being tested in a certain wattage MW. 1100
    is pretty standard as stated on the packages. This person says they can
    step theirs down to 1100 so that's what I'd suggest doing. And I'm guessing
    this person doesn't want to use the regular oven because they bought
    microwaveable food.

    Jill


  10. #10
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    On Tue, 12 Jan 2010 17:37:15 -0500, "jmcquown" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >"sf" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]. .
    >> On Tue, 12 Jan 2010 11:59:33 -0800 (PST), "[email protected]"
    >> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>>The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    >>>ovens. Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    >>>can be reduced in 10% increments. For small changes, is the
    >>>relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    >>>not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?

    >>
    >> 1. You didn't state how many watts your microwave is.
    >> 2. Seems bazaar they'd base cooking times on 1100 watts. Aren't more
    >> microwaves under 1000 watts than over?
    >> 3. What's wrong with your regular oven?
    >>
    >> --

    >
    >It's not bizarre; most microwaveable meals specify the recommended heating
    >times and power level based on being tested in a certain wattage MW. 1100
    >is pretty standard as stated on the packages. This person says they can
    >step theirs down to 1100 so that's what I'd suggest doing. And I'm guessing
    >this person doesn't want to use the regular oven because they bought
    >microwaveable food.
    >

    That person must be 10 years old.

    --
    I love cooking with wine.
    Sometimes I even put it in the food.

  11. #11
    Kajikit Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    On Tue, 12 Jan 2010 14:10:33 -0800 (PST), aem <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >On Jan 12, 11:59 am, "bobneworle...@yahoo.com"
    ><bobneworle...@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >> The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    >> ovens. Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    >> can be reduced in 10% increments. For small changes, is the
    >> relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    >> not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?

    >
    >Other than idle curiosity, does it matter? All you're doing is thawing
    >and heating an already cooked dish so the correct time and power level
    >is whatever it takes to get it all as hot as you want it. Since
    >underwarming is easily fixed and overcooked is not, the general rule
    >for microwave timings is to err on the short side, test, and then
    >continue. -aem


    But if you read the box directions they'll have you believe that
    you'll automatically die a horrible death if you don't microwave the
    food to death! I'm on my own this week so I stocked up on lean
    cuisines and I made the mistake of trying their 'potstickers with
    rice'. The instructions on the box said to nuke it on high for eight
    minutes! So I did... and when I opened the seal I had rice glued into
    a solid lump, and strangely dried-out dumplings. I have no idea why it
    needed to cook twice as long as all the other lean cuisines... I guess
    the dumplings were not pre-cooked. Either way it doesn't matter - they
    were only vaguelly edible and the rice was a total washout.
    --

    My website - http://www.kajikitscorner.com
    My cooking blog - http://kajikit.wordpress.com
    My crafty blog - http://kajikit.blogspot.com

  12. #12
    [email protected] Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    On Jan 12, 4:37*pm, "jmcquown" <j_mcqu...@comcast.net> wrote:
    > "sf" <s...@geemail.com> wrote in message
    >
    > news:[email protected]..
    >
    > > On Tue, 12 Jan 2010 11:59:33 -0800 (PST), "bobneworle...@yahoo.com"
    > > <bobneworle...@yahoo.com> wrote:

    >
    > >>The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    > >>ovens. *Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    > >>can be reduced in 10% increments. *For small changes, is the
    > >>relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    > >>not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?

    >
    > > 1. *You didn't state how many watts your microwave is.
    > > 2. *Seems bazaar they'd base cooking times on 1100 watts. *Aren't more
    > > microwaves under 1000 watts than over?
    > > 3. *What's wrong with your regular oven?

    >
    > > --

    >
    > It's not bizarre; most microwaveable meals specify the recommended heating
    > times and power level based on being tested in a certain wattage MW. *1100
    > is pretty standard as stated on the packages. *This person says they can
    > step theirs down to 1100 so that's what I'd suggest doing. *And I'm guessing
    > this person doesn't want to use the regular oven because they bought
    > microwaveable food.
    >
    > Jill


    Many of my frozen dinners can be prepared in the oven but I don't want
    to take the time, especially at lunch.
    And although I'm not expecting gourmet results, I want my fast lunch
    to be as good as it can be;
    since there's a choice of regulating either power or time I thought
    I'd check out what others think.
    Thanks!
    Bob

  13. #13
    Dan Abel Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    In article
    <[email protected]>,
    aem <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On Jan 12, 11:59 am, "bobneworle...@yahoo.com"
    > <bobneworle...@yahoo.com> wrote:
    > > The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    > > ovens. Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    > > can be reduced in 10% increments. For small changes, is the
    > > relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    > > not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?

    >
    > Other than idle curiosity, does it matter? All you're doing is thawing
    > and heating an already cooked dish so the correct time and power level
    > is whatever it takes to get it all as hot as you want it. Since
    > underwarming is easily fixed and overcooked is not, the general rule
    > for microwave timings is to err on the short side, test, and then
    > continue. -aem


    It matters more for frozen food. Ice does not absorb microwaves as
    well as water. At first this doesn't matter, since the microwaves just
    keep bouncing around until they get absorbed. Since they travel at
    186,000 miles per second, Joe and Susie Average aren't going to notice
    this. However, as soon as any ice melts, now the microwaves are getting
    absorbed more in that location. This is often in the corners, or food
    that absorbs more. Thus, part of the dinner gets burned, while some is
    still frozen. This is why most microwave ovens have a defrost setting.

    --
    Dan Abel
    Petaluma, California USA
    [email protected]

  14. #14
    aem Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    On Jan 12, 3:11 pm, Kajikit <kaji...@jagcon.com> wrote:
    > On Tue, 12 Jan 2010 14:10:33 -0800 (PST), aem <aem_ag...@yahoo.com>
    > wrote:
    > [snips] .... Since
    > >underwarming is easily fixed and overcooked is not, the general rule
    > >for microwave timings is to err on the short side, test, and then
    > >continue. -aem

    >
    > But if you read the box directions ....


    Directions for that kind of product are at best a guideline. The
    general rule is always a good idea--just as you test food as you go
    along when using other methods of cooking it makes sense to do it with
    a microwave as well. I've ranted about this several times before.
    You don't cook by 'so much time at such a temp,' you cook until your
    testing tells you the food is where you want it to be. Think about
    it--steamed broccoli is not 5 minutes and 15 seconds, you start
    checking at around 4:30 and it's done when the last test is perfect;
    spaghetti is not 9 minutes, it's when your test bite gives you
    whatever is your ideal 'al dente'. Roast beef is not x minutes per
    pound at y temp, it's when the meat thermometer reaches the temp you
    like. So trial and error and testing and experience should guide your
    microwave use in the same way. The frozen veggie package tells you to
    overcook the product but you're the cook and you don't have to do what
    they tell you. I frankly don't know what frozen dinner packages say
    but I know ithout looking that whatever it says will be only a
    guideline and I will test it well before the stated time.. -aem

  15. #15
    Dan Abel Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    In article <[email protected]>,
    sf <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On Tue, 12 Jan 2010 11:59:33 -0800 (PST), "[email protected]"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    > >ovens. Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    > >can be reduced in 10% increments. For small changes, is the
    > >relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    > >not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?

    >
    > 1. You didn't state how many watts your microwave is.
    > 2. Seems bazaar they'd base cooking times on 1100 watts. Aren't more
    > microwaves under 1000 watts than over?


    That's what I thought. However, this site shows about a third of the
    Panasonic ovens *over* 1200 watts!

    http://www.epinions.com/Microwave_Ov...rand_panasonic

    > 3. What's wrong with your regular oven?


    And cooking a regular meal rather than junk? Maybe Bob isn't retired
    like we are?

    --
    Dan Abel
    Petaluma, California USA
    [email protected]

  16. #16
    Arri London Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time



    Dan Abel wrote:
    >
    > In article
    ><snip>



    > > Other than idle curiosity, does it matter? All you're doing is thawing
    > > and heating an already cooked dish so the correct time and power level
    > > is whatever it takes to get it all as hot as you want it. Since
    > > underwarming is easily fixed and overcooked is not, the general rule
    > > for microwave timings is to err on the short side, test, and then
    > > continue. -aem

    >
    > It matters more for frozen food. Ice does not absorb microwaves as
    > well as water. At first this doesn't matter, since the microwaves just
    > keep bouncing around until they get absorbed. Since they travel at
    > 186,000 miles per second, Joe and Susie Average aren't going to notice
    > this. However, as soon as any ice melts, now the microwaves are getting
    > absorbed more in that location. This is often in the corners, or food
    > that absorbs more. Thus, part of the dinner gets burned, while some is
    > still frozen. This is why most microwave ovens have a defrost setting.
    >



    They only travel at lightspeed until they hit the food. At that point
    they slow down of course

  17. #17
    Bruce Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    jmcquown wrote:
    > "sf" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]..
    >> On Tue, 12 Jan 2010 11:59:33 -0800 (PST), "[email protected]"
    >> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>> The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    >>> ovens. Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    >>> can be reduced in 10% increments. For small changes, is the
    >>> relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    >>> not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?

    >>
    >> 1. You didn't state how many watts your microwave is.
    >> 2. Seems bazaar they'd base cooking times on 1100 watts. Aren't more
    >> microwaves under 1000 watts than over?
    >> 3. What's wrong with your regular oven?
    >>
    >> --

    >
    > It's not bizarre; most microwaveable meals specify the recommended
    > heating times and power level based on being tested in a certain
    > wattage MW. 1100 is pretty standard as stated on the packages. This
    > person says they can step theirs down to 1100 so that's what I'd
    > suggest doing. And I'm guessing this person doesn't want to use the
    > regular oven because they bought microwaveable food.
    >
    > Jill

    Women...

    Bruce

  18. #18
    Bruce Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    Andy wrote:
    > Mort<[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    >> [email protected] wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>> The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    >>> ovens. Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    >>> can be reduced in 10% increments. For small changes, is the
    >>> relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    >>> not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?
    >>>

    >> Are you actually asking for help microwaving a tv dinner?
    >>
    >> Someone please hold me.
    >>

    >
    > Actually not an unreasonable question.
    >
    > It's a simple matter of percentage.
    >
    > Since the box said 1,100 watts for say 5 minutes, and his microwave is
    > 1,500 watts, the time will be reduced by 1,100/1,500. So 73% (or .73) of
    > 300 seconds (5 minutes for base-10 math) = 220 seconds OR 3:40 minutes.
    >
    > If the microwave was less powerful, calculate 1,100/900 = 122% (or 1.22)
    > for example and you'll get 6:06 minutes.
    >
    > Andy
    >

    Women generally aren't good at math. Many of the Walmart jokes I get
    show something like SALE! 2 For $7.00! (Was $3.50 each).

    Bruce


  19. #19
    Ed Pawlowski Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    [email protected] wrote:
    > The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    > ovens. Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    > can be reduced in 10% increments. For small changes, is the
    > relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    > not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?


    Pretty linear.

    Ignore the directions though. I sometimes make Stouffer's for lunch at work
    and we have a 1200 watt MW. If the directions say 7.5 minutes, it is
    usually done in 4.5 to 5. The thick things like a lasagna though, need
    longer times at lower power setting, or a lot more standing time. It cooks
    faster if you take it out about half way and cut it down the center and make
    an opening. In any case, I've never go near the times on the box.



  20. #20
    [email protected] Guest

    Default Re: Microwave Power vs Time

    On Jan 12, 9:17*pm, "Ed Pawlowski" <e...@snet.net> wrote:
    > bobneworle...@yahoo.com wrote:
    > > The cooking instructions for Stouffer's frozen dinners are for 1100W
    > > ovens. *Mine is more powerful but it's a Panasonic so the power level
    > > can be reduced in 10% increments. *For small changes, is the
    > > relationship between power and cooking time nearly linear so it would
    > > not make any difference whether I decrease power or time by 10%?

    >
    > Pretty linear.
    >
    > Ignore the directions though. I sometimes make Stouffer's for lunch at work
    > and we have a 1200 watt MW. *If the directions say 7.5 minutes, it is
    > usually done in 4.5 to 5. *The thick things like a lasagna though, need
    > longer times at lower power setting, or a lot more standing time. *It cooks
    > faster if you take it out about half way and cut it down the center and make
    > an opening. *In any case, I've never go near the times on the box.


    Thanks! This seems to be the consensus. I always reduce the time,
    just not as much as you. And I do get overcooking at corners. Now I
    know.
    Bob

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