Technical Question Re: Commercial Microwave for Home

texasgal47June 2, 2014

I am remodeling my kitchen and plan to put a countertop microwave in a 30"w x 18"h x 18"d wall cabinet. Reviews for residential microwaves indicate that they seem to fall down when it comes to durability so I've decided to purchase an Amana RCS10DSE 1.2 cu. ft. 1000 watt commercial microwave with varying power levels. It will have it's own dedicated 120v recepticle. The issue is for large family gatherings I want to cook 4.5 qt. casseroles until almost done and then pop in the oven for the last 15 minutes as my home only has one wall oven. I previously used this technique with my Montgomery Ward residential countertop microwave purchased in 1975, and it worked well. The Amana has 10 min. on the dial so for a large volume I plan to run for 10 min., let the MW rest with the door open for 1 - 2 minutes, and then microwave for another 10 minutes. Do you think this should work? I just don't want the microwave shutting down on me.

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Sophie Wheeler

You don't need a commercial unit. It's a waste of money. It isn't designed to fit into a cabinet like that. And it's less versatile than a home unit. You need a residential model with a trim kit. GE makes several models that will work fine.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 9:24PM
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I'm sorry but this unit is available for just under $300, including shipping so not huge bucks. It does the basics any mw does and meets the clearance requirements per the manufacturer. Venting is out the front. I plan to have my carpenter fabricate wood trim around the unit? The magnatron tube has a 3 yr. warranty. What's not to love?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 10:15PM
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What's not to love?

The fact that what your carpenter will build might not look all that great, and more importantly will void the warranty of the unit.

You may not care about warranty though.

I've had the same Panasonic microwave for the last 7 years with zero problems. You can get them at any Target or WalMart for around $150 !

Those commercial ovens are pretty robust, but have no creature comforts like a defrost setting, popcorn button, ect... SOme folks don't use that stuff though.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 11:43PM
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Instead of cycling on and off at full power a Panasonic varies the inverter output. This makes a difference.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 10:02AM
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I don't know about the Amana and how it would work for you - but sounds like a speed oven would be a good idea - you could pop in the casserole and cook it until finished - nice an golden brown on top and toasty on the inside - but a lot more than $300!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 3:28PM
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The space around the MW has to remain open for ventilation purposes. MW's that are designed to be built in have a trim kit that gives them that built in look and provides proper ventilation.

The functions that you describe yourself wanting are not available in a commercial microwave. They are designed for small amounts of time at high heat only, not extended cooking. I second the recommendation to look at speed ovens if you really want the capability to do what you are wanting to do in a single appliance. Or, at least get a MW that will actually function as you desire instead of you working around it's limitations. Even a simple convection MW combination is a vast improvement over a commercial unit in the home.

The only time a commercial unit is really useful is if you are one of those people who does a massive amount of cooking on the weekend and only reheats during the week with no additional cooking. That's exactly what a commercial MW is designed to do.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 5:13PM
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Best idea is to run your own evaluation on the unit mounted in a suitable box on your counter before getting involved in custom cabinet work to house it. It may work exactly as you want, it may not. You won't know until you give it a good workout.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 5:25PM
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Thanks to all of you for the thoughtful feedback. I do not want to go the expense of a speed oven just for a few times a year. Xedos, apparently I have done more research in this area than you. This Amana model has five power settings so it does defrost at the 20% power level and can do popcorn at one of the lower power settings. It just doesn't have the dedicated button. Since posting this question, I have called the Amana rep who states that I can use this model for cooking large casseroles as long as I allow the mw to rest for two minutes between 10 minute settings with the door open to allow moisture to vent out. The rep said that unlike the residential mw, the commerial ones do not have a way to vent moisture for longer cooking periods. By the way, I like the fact that commercial microwaves usually rotate the energy source in the roof of the oven rather than rotating the food as in residential microwaves.
Folks, I know there is no such thing as an attractive commercial mw. For me in this situation, function trumps aesthetics. I'm really disgusted with the current disposable mw market when the technology for longevity was known two generations ago. Think how many landfills are full of all those dead microwaves. For many models, two years is considered a good track record.
Dan1888 and Xedos, thanks for the Panasonic invertor information. I had studied that model, but it had it's fair share of negative reviews. You have definately peaked my interest, and I will look again. Seven years plus is not too bad of a track record. I just don't know if the cavity will hold really large casseroles. Xedos, what model do you have?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 2:01AM
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Deleted -- duplicate post

This post was edited by Texasgal47 on Tue, Jun 10, 14 at 10:15

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 2:02AM
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Just to help muddy the water, I often cook 9x13 pans of lasagna in my Kenmore (LG?) microwave for 20 min cook times without having to pause. Don't remember what I paid for it but it was way under $200.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 8:19AM
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Texasgal47, I'm with you. My next microwave will be a light duty commercial model. I am now using a Little Litton that is at least 30 years old. In the interim I've had a couple of newer models, but they both broke down in short order (one caught on fire). The residential models have flimsy handles and hinges and, as you said, are made to be disposable.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 6:40PM
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