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Commercial microwaves should be able to withstand high-volume use and be easy and quick to operate. But which one is the best commercial microwave for you? After testing 12 different models, we finally found the answer you’re looking for.
The Midea 1025F0A is the ideal microwave for the busiest hours of the day because its controls are quick and intuitive, while the Sharp R-21LTF is highly customizable and its large capacity will surely come in handy.
However, the very best commercial microwave oven is a multi-program unit that comes from a brand leader in the microwave market. Which microwave could it be? Find out below!
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The Best Commercial Microwaves Of 2021
When we need a commercial countertop microwave for our business we should take into consideration the workload the machine should be able to withstand in order to decide capacity, wattage, and functions needed.
A professional microwave is mostly used in cafés, restaurants and other food-related businesses, however in recent years many people have chosen this type of microwave for their home kitchen.
The absence of the turntable and the high-volume use you can make of these microwaves are the main reasons why many home cooks choose a commercial-grade microwave over the more popular appliances.
Whether you need an industrial-grade microwave for your business or for your home, in the list below we compiled what we believe are the best commercial microwaves currently on the market.
If you still have doubts after comparing these units, we also prepared a final section on how to choose a commercial microwave that can guide you through this purchase.
Sharp is a leader in the microwaves market and the R-21LCFS is a perfect example of their top-quality products.
This commercial kitchen microwave is pretty straightforward in its appearance, as it only has a dial knob to set the cooking time. The process is simple: you open the door, put the food in, set the timer, and wait for the food to be done.
Among all the microwaves we tested so far, the Sharp R-21LCFS is one of the easiest to operate, so it’s perfect for busy restaurant kitchens where you don’t have the time to press countless buttons.
It’s also ideal for people who aren’t well-acquainted with modern technology and just wish for a microwave that executes its main function quickly and efficiently.
The cooking menu printed on the front panel is helpful when deciding for how long you want to heat something, although we believe it to be more useful in a private kitchen rather than a commercial one.
Sharp added small LEDs around the dial timer, which are incredibly smart and helpful since they turn off one by one as the remaining cooking time decreases. We found it to be a great substitute for the more common digital timer.
You can adjust the cooking time by simply turning the knob, even while the microwave is still working. We thought we needed to open the door before changing the cooking time, but we made a mistake as the timer resets every time you open the door or if the power goes off while the microwave is running.
The timer goes up to a maximum of 6 minutes. It may not seem much, but we found it a smart choice to avoid unpleasant mistakes or accidents if you forget the food inside.
The light stays on while the food is heating, although it may be hard to see through the dark panel, so if you don’t know for how long you should cook something, it may become bothersome to open the door and reset the timer every time.
Apart from this small flaw, this 1 cu. ft. industrial sized microwave is a solid unit that makes the best of its 1000 watts of power. The price of this product is quite affordable considering the advanced mechanism that substitutes the turntable.
- Fast cooking
- Easy to clean
- Touch-control keypad
- 10 customizable pads
- Loud beeping
With a simple but intuitive design, this microwave will be perfect for your restaurant, store, office breakroom, or even for your own kitchen. In fact, the Panasonic NE-1054F is fairly small and lightweight when compared with other units in the same category.
Its reduced dimensions and weight make it a perfect countertop microwave for small spaces, including private kitchens, college rooms, and campers. However, despite being lightweight in comparison with other industrial microwaves, this unit is still quite solid and won’t easily budge or move around.
Just like the other commercial grade microwave ovens, this unit doesn’t have a turntable, because it features a bottom energy feed which ensures that the food is cooked quickly and evenly. This also means you can fully use its 0.8 cu. ft. capacity and it also makes it easier to clean.
One of the details we were most impressed by is the design of the touch-control panel. In fact, Panasonic proves to be quite mindful of their customers and their needs, as they included a Braille keypad which we believe will be really helpful for visually impaired users.
Aside from this greatly appreciated design choice, the keypad is kept quite simple and intuitive, easy to set-up and use. It includes 10 customizable memory pads and 6 power levels, plus a convenient Double Quantity quick option.
As the Panasonic NE-1054F was made to fulfill high-volume duty in commercial businesses, it also features quite a loud beeper that can be heard even in crowded rooms. However, this might be bothersome when using this microwave at home, but luckily there’s an option to turn off all sounds.
With its reduced capacity, this commercial microwave might not be suited for all commercial uses, so we believe this is a product that would better fit a private kitchen.
- Large capacity
- 100 auto-programs
- 3 cooking stages
- Defrost option
- Really heavy
Midea gave us a microwave oven for restaurants that’s got the best of both worlds. In fact, unlike other commercial microwaves, the Midea 1034N1A is not limited to basic functions and has additional features and cooking options like the modern home microwaves we’re used to.
The first thing we noticed about this model is its size and weight. In fact, the Midea 1034N1A has a capacity of 1.2 cu. ft. and weighs more than 50lbs. If its weight means it’s difficult to move around, it also means this microwave is solid and compact and won’t budge when using force against it.
Given its large capacity, this microwave is a good microwave and pizza oven combo. It can fit a large dinner size plate or several smaller bowls at the same time.
While this might not come always in handy at a restaurant, it may become your favorite feature at home, because it allows you to heat the dinner for the whole family at once.
The Midea 1034N1A boasts 1000 watts of power and is made for medium-volume use, but when we tested it we didn’t really notice a big difference between this model and the more powerful microwaves we tried in the past. We believe this unit to be a good compromise between power and low wattage.
What sets the Midea 1034N1A apart from the other industrial microwaves is its additional features. First of all, on this model, you have quite a modern control panel with touchpads and a digital display.
Through the control panel, you can browse through 100 auto programs that will cover all of your cooking needs. On top of that, the Midea 1034N1A has 5 power levels and 3 cooking stages to fulfill all cooking demands.
Among the one-touch options, you also have a Defrost setting to speed up your cooking process. This function is one of the most used among home cooks, which is a bonus point if you wish to purchase this model for your private kitchen.
Besides being a commercial microwave, the Midea 1034N1A is definitely a good family-size microwave, and as such, it is fairly pricey, but we believe it to be a good value for money.
- 20 cooking programs
- 3-stage cooking
- Large capacity
- Smart door handle design
- A bit pricey compared to other models
Sharp manages to rank one more product on our list of the best commercial microwaves. The R-21LTF is a retro-style unit whose quality proved to be up to its brand reputation.
With a simple yet aesthetically pleasing design, this microwave will easily fit into any kitchen, whether in your fast-food restaurant or your home.
The Sharp R-21LTF presents itself as a compact and solid unit, yet it’s fairly lightweight for a commercial microwave. With a capacity of 1.0 cu. ft., this microwave can fit large plates or multiple smaller bowls at a time.
Since we were testing industrial microwaves, we wanted to see how much work they could handle. We were very satisfied with this unit because it handles heavy workloads really well, proving to be a real restaurant grade microwave.
Unlike other “stainless steel” microwaves that only have the front panel made of steel, the Sharp R-21LTF is completely made of stainless steel, which not only makes it easier to clean but also ensures greater longevity.
The control panel is kept very simple in its design, which makes it easier to set up and operate. There is a Defrost function with different power levels, and a Double Quantity function, which adjusts the settings for two servings of the same food, without prolonging the cooking time.
You can program up to 10 memories on the front panel, and since there is enough space left beside each pad, we placed stickers on each one to remember at a glance which button does what.
These keypads also have safeguards in place to prevent unauthorized customizing, which could turn into disastrous cooking adventures.
One thing we absolutely appreciated about the Sharp R-21LTF is the door handle design. The door handle on this model has a release button that removes all strain from the latches on the door. Since latches are often among the first pieces to break down in a microwave, we wholeheartedly approved this smart design choice.
The one unhappy thing about the Sharp R-21LTF is the price because this microwave is as expensive as the Midea 1034N1A.
If you need this unit for your business, it would be a good investment, however, if you were considering the purchase for your home, you might find something more multi-functional for the same price.
- Easy to use
- Dial timer
- Cooking guide
- The fan takes a bit to shut down
Midea snatches another place in this rank of the best commercial microwave ovens with its 1025F0A model, a good mid-range appliance that adapts well to both the industrial and the home kitchen life.
The Midea 1025F0A uses its 1000 watts quite well as we found that it is slightly more powerful than other microwaves in this list, despite having the same wattage. It works so hard that the fan usually stays on for a while after you open the door because it needs to cool down.
While the noise is quite bearable, we understand how this detail could be bothersome for some people. We have no way of knowing what this could mean for this unit in the long run, as we’ve only tested this model for a little more than a week, but we can tell you we did not find other flaws apart from this.
In fact, we believe the Midea 1025F0A to be quite great, even for less tech-savvy people. This commercial microwave could be a great gift for your grandparents and would certainly make an impression in a breakroom.
We’re not sure about heavy commercial use because despite its power, it is a little slower than other models and it has a slightly smaller capacity (0.9 cu. ft.). We believe it would work great in a kitchen that is not excessively busy at all times.
You will hardly find another microwave as easy to use as the Midea 1025F0A. The control panel features a dial timer and a cooking guide printed on the front. Much like the Sharp R-21LCFS, you just need to place the food inside, select the time and let it work.
On top of being quite a beautiful model, the Midea 1025F0A is also quite affordable for being a commercial kitchen microwave, which we believe it’s a bonus point if you were looking to purchase an industrial unit for your home kitchen.
How To Choose A Commercial Microwave.
At ConsciousEating, we’ve all worked in professional cooking environments and it’s not the first time we happen to work with commercial microwaves.
It goes without saying that even before we started our testing period, we already had long years of experience on our shoulders and knew what sets a good commercial microwave apart from the others.
After we finished testing these models, we compiled a list of properties to look for in a professional microwave, so we can share with you the secrets on how to choose a commercial-grade microwave.
Commercial microwaves are pricey. In comparison with the average countertop microwave designed for home kitchens, even the less-worthy industrial sized microwave can be fairly expensive.
While a commercial microwave like the Sharp R-21LTF is the only choice for a business owner, a home cook should take into consideration the price range a lot more closely.
Nowadays, there are many technologically advanced microwaves that are meant to almost substitute us in our kitchen. While they’re not meant for heavy workloads, for the same price as a commercial microwave you could get a multifunctional countertop microwave.
Unless there is a specific reason why you need a commercial microwave, don’t rush into the purchase, but rather make an informed choice.
When choosing a microwave for your restaurant, it is always better to strive for a bigger capacity, because it leaves you with a greater range of choices for your dishes.
You don’t want to find yourself not able to fit a dish into the microwave in the middle of the busiest hours, plus a smaller microwave usually means a lower wattage, which in turn translates into a smaller workload that the microwave can handle.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a microwave without a turntable for your home, then a smaller model like the Panasonic NE-1054F would be perfect.
Picture your kitchen in the middle of the rush hour and ask yourself: would you rather have a microwave with a few basic functions, but that you can set up fast, or one that needs you to press several buttons in order to work?
For business owners, we’re sure that the quickest microwaves are the best choice. A good commercial microwave should have a control panel that is simple, intuitive, and easy to operate, like the Sharp R-21LCFS.
This is true for some home cooks as well. Many people nowadays prefer microwaves that have one-touch settings and no complicated setup. That’s why microwaves with dial knobs like the Midea 1025F0A are making a comeback.
Microwaves like the Midea remind us that price and power aren’t everything when it comes to this kind of kitchen appliance, because a smaller and less expensive microwave can still make a great addition to your kitchen and give you more satisfaction than an expensive model.
That’s why you should have a clear overview of the product before making your choice. And that’s exactly what our mission is about.