Commercial Grade Microwave Oven?

jcthorneSeptember 8, 2009

I have been looking at Panasonic, Sharp and Amana Commercial microwave ovens for a few weeks. The speed of these ovens is amazing compared to consumer varieties. Sharp and Panasonic have 2100w versions and Amana adds a 3000w version. Like the features on the Sharp. The Panasonic is cheapest and most widely sold and the Amana has POWER.

Anyone else purchase one of these for a large home / catering kitchen? Power requirements appear to be about the same as for our advantium so that is not a problem. Other considerations?

Did I mention they are FAST? The Amana demostration showed a 1 pound bowl of mixed FROZEN veggies steamed to perfection in 60 seconds.

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Are you really that pressed for time?


We've done them a few times for clients that insist. They are typically ugly,
more expensive,
and have NO features. No defrost setting , no popcorn, ect...

They need a lot of clearance around them 8-10" as I recall, so not great for building in and No trim kit.

Their number pads are linear and not laid out like a typical micro (calculator or telephone style pad) so entering time is not as intuative.

You have to clean filters on most a couple times a year or they'll beep at you.

They are great for Americans obsessed with the biggest, fastest, mostest , greatest spread sheet specification hounds while live out there hectic lives in the vending machine world.

I can already taste that 3 week old Kansas farm fresh frozen corn taste , and I won't even have to put down my iPhone.

Instant potatoes and precooked processed bacon are pretty good too if you're really hungry and haven't had the real thing in a while.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 8:11PM
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High power is not very important in normal noncommercial ordinary portion size use. Much of the time better results also require rest times or very low power intervals. A lot of skill and experience too. If you have enough room and want to see what is possible, try one or two of the ne1054 units from Panasonic or something similar. A lot more flexibility may be all that is necessary, not a lot more power.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 10:57PM
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"flexibility may be all that is necessary"

where's the fun in that? How am I going to brag to everyone that Mine has 3 0 0 0 watts of pure unadulterated power?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 3:35AM
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I suppose its not really a NEED as much as a desire. But no on NEEDS 20k btu burners, 48" cooktops, 30 cuft built in fridges or hoods that move 1200cfm. Since when was this forum anything about NEED. I was looking at adding something interesting, new, fun and upscale to my already very functional kitchen. I like the idea of 3000w in a microwave for the same reason I like 700hp in my car. I don't use it all the time but it sure is fun when I do.

Now, has anyone actually USED one of these compact high power units? I already have an advantium and a TriVection and love them both. I currently have a commercial grade magic chef basic countertop microwave that is years old, 750watts and nearing end of life. If I am going to put something new in its place on our counter, thought I would explore the possibilities.

And yes, all three of the units I mentioned have defrost setting (300w) that work better and more evenly than the timed on/off cycles of older units. They also do popcorn just fine. Two of them have preprogrammed buttons, the panasonic can have a button programmed for it or any other task that you do on a regular basis.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 10:52AM
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The difference is that 20K burners and 1200 cfm hoods can actually contribute to better food, kind of the point behind a kitchen IMHO. With that combo, you can sear foie gras, stir fry bok choi, or actually boil, rather then kind of soak pasta in hot water.

Along antss' line, what is it exactly that you want to cook with this megawatt MW? I can try to emulate my favorite chef using my range. I guess you can emulate the teenage kid down at the fast food joint nuking frozen pseudo-food?

Here's a suggestion:

Here is a link that might be useful: Slow Food USA

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 3:11PM
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Haven't seen em for 5 yrs or so. Good to know about the new user friendly settings.

700 HP whew - that's rare air especially for stock, what is it?

Shelby Aero

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 10:43PM
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Just a suggestion, jcthorne...

If you like newer, faster, cooler, you might want to check out the TurboChef single oven. I sat through a demonstration at the Kitchen & Bath Show this year and was thoroughly impressed!

Here is a link that might be useful: TurboChef Residential Oven

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 9:02AM
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antss: pretty amusing. I had to look to see if I could find a non-customized vehicle with at least 700 hp not already on your list. Excluding tuner cars like the Hennessey Viper Venom at 1000 hp, the closest I could come was the Saleen S7 at 750 hp. That slides by on a technicality, as Saleen is certainly known best as a tuner. However, the S7 is an all-original vehicle sold "stock" by Saleen at 750 hp, not an existing vehicle reengineered with twin turbos, etc.

So, waiting anxiously to see what vehicle jcthorne is cruising around in.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 3:59PM
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forgot about the boys over at Ford.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 9:52PM
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Its a Shelby GT500 with a few Ford upgrades. Thanks for asking.

I'll check out the Turbo Chef.

And FYI, most commercial 5 star kitchens DO have these high power microwaves. If I had asked about a Panasonic Sonic Steamer would you have given different advise? These are used all the time as super fast flash steamers for veggies but they do have many other uses that do thing faster and with better quality that on a stove top.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 4:48PM
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Sure commercial kitchens have commercial microwaves , and ranges not the pretend commercial ranges in residences, and commercial sinks, and commercial fridges that are typically walk ins and energy hogs, and commercial dishwashers that will do an entire load in 12 minutes or so. They also have commercial boat motor blenders that would knock over most home chefs that tried to use them. All of these will save you time or impress the spec. snobs. The problem with all of this stuff for the home market is that much of it is not UL listed for home use , almost never carries any kind of warranty for resi. use and has few creature comforts.

In my experience those that really want them just get em and live with em, faults and all. It's part of the ownership experience. This group also just wants what they wants and writes the check and hardly ever cares what the masses think or say about style , or reliability, or Consumer Reports take or what it costs.

Would b same advice on a commercial steamer, there are nice residential products out there now.

You must have A LOT of mods done to that engine. Aren't those just 5 liter, 500 HP mills including the supercharger?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 6:14PM
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One of the few areas that a serious home kitchen can benefit by "going commercial" are small (but quite heavy), powerful, countertop mixers like the Hobart n50 and the Varimixer w5a and a few others. Very expensive (approx $2000, $1000) but capable units. If frequent small batch breads and cookies are needed, they will get the job done.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 10:16PM
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GT500? Cool car, but like antss I'm skeptical of 700 hp figure. Stock GT500 rated at 500 hp. The '08-09 "King of the Road" GT500KR, with the SVT engine upgrades, still is listed at 540 hp. Even the Shelby "Super Snake," at $28K more, puts out "only" 605 hp. The Saleen S302 Extreme, the highest hp model he sells, makes 620 hp. There are rumors that Shelby will sell you a 725 hp twin screw supercharged model, but that's way beyond "a few Ford mods."

Still, even a stock GT500 would blow my poor Toyota into the weeds, so just consider this sour grapes.

Still, had I the budget to add even more to my kitchen redo, beyond the LaCanche, Mieles, Therms, etc, I still wouldn't have considered a commercial MW. Pacojet, maybe, induction wok hob, maybe, Hobart mixer (agree with laat2), maybe, salamander, maybe, blast chiller, maybe (I can get the liquid nitrogen from work), but commercial MW? Boring.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 8:57PM
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I have a TurboChef oven and it is AWESOME! Not only does it cook fast, it cooks better!! If you want something cool, trendy and an incredible piece of equipment--check it out.
It will cook a frozen pizza in 3.5 min--and better than you've ever had out of a residential oven.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 10:33PM
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"It will cook a frozen pizza in 3.5 min--and better than you've ever had out of a residential oven. "

This illustrates my sentiment and jaded comments.

Is frozen pizza really something to ascribe too especially with a $8000 oven ?

Seriously is that the best we can do?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 11:45PM
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I have used one of the Panasonic models before ,it was a commercial 220VOLT(everyone always burnt their popcorn,LOL),just be sure if you really want one that you have a 220VOLT outlet capable of the amperage you need ,a regular 15amp 120 volt plug just won't cut it!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 12:33PM
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The frozen pizza is only one example (and, oh by the way--many times make my own frozen pizza--that is, grind my own wheat, and make the dough from scratch. Then freeze for later). So, I am no "fast food" cook! How about a 12 lb turkey in 45 min. If I can make a gourmet meal in less time, it's more time I can sit outside with my husband on the screened in porch that overlooks our waterfall. It's all in where you want to spend your time! I made carrot muffins this evening from scratch. I cooked half of them in the TurboChef. The other half I cooked in the Bluestar range. There was no comparison. The TurboChef oven cooked faster, more evenly and the muffins were moister. So, it's something to consider.
And, I only paid 6 grand for mine. We think it is one of the best investments we made in our new home.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 10:15PM
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Bobber - I have no issue with your application of this technology,

I do have a problem using an 8k oven to cook a $5.99 frozen pizza from the supermarket because I can save a few dollars and 6 minutes of my day.

But, since this is America my opinion only really counts for me, so.............

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 9:36PM
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GT500 is a 5.4l, 32V DOHC engine with roots type supercharger. The super snake package starts at 605 with the TVS blower. With the KennyBell blower (Ford Racing/Whipple for 2010) it is rated at 725. Mine dynoed at 605 at the rear wheels while being tuned. Going from 500 stock to 625 is less than $1500 in upgrades and well known, supported. Gets a bit more expnesive after that but I still have less than 3000 in HP upgrades. Ford has upgrade components to get this car well past 800hp and the aftermarket well past that. The factory tuned engines are well detuned. The KR was a collector's car, not really a performance upgrade from the more normal GT500s.

Thanks for you folks thoughts on the microwaves and turbo-chef. I'll do a bit more looking and reading before making a decision. For me, the 240VAC outlet was not a problem. Already have 3 in the kitchen now and can easily install another.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 6:04PM
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220 - 240 v for smaller appliances is pretty easy to retrofit if the outlets are dedicated (which they should be anyway) and you have extra space in the electrical panel.

Some commercial micros are 120v, the change over occurs when the power gets to and above 1500 watts, as high power delivery is more efficient at 220v .

JC - interesting about the GT. I though they were pushing the envelope of that block in the 500-600 HP range. I think 800+ might be a bit nuts for that setup but I know this isn't a bunch of shade tree mechs. fooling around on the weekends.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 7:03PM
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Consider the Miele Speedcook. I have one and I have successfully blackened (burnt) everything I have attempted to make on the combi setting. You really need 3 minutes to heat a rack of churros, not the ten minutes that I set the unit. They were unrecognizable. The microwave along heats very quickly and does not create crispy food.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 10:53AM
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The miele require 220v - 4 wires and must be built in , so is not an easy retrofit.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 10:55AM
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I already have an advantium. Have owned and used one since they were first released in 1990. Will not have a kitchen without one. I was looking for something different for the second micro in the kitchen which for us is always a countertop model. Was thinking of a high power micro to replace the 1200w magic chef we have now and is about worn out.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 11:45AM
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Hi jcthorne,

I realize you posted this a long time ago, but may I ask which microwave did you end up getting?

I also really want to get a powerful commercial microwave for great steaming results. I am looking at 1700-1800 watt ones, and have narrowed down to Amana RFS18TS (medium-duty), Amana RC17S2 (heavy-duty), Sharp R-24GTF (heavy-duty).

According to their manual, these microwaves only require about 2" clearance, which sounds a bit too tight to me. If you have purchased a commercial microwave, how many inches of clearance do you have for your microwave?

Thank you!

This post was edited by ILoveCookie on Fri, Apr 11, 14 at 20:23

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 7:57PM
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