Difference Between Commercial vs. Residential Microwave

You may think that your kitchen microwave is powerful and durable enough to work in a restaurant setting, but think again. Commercial microwaves and residential microwaves are designed very differently from each other. Namely, because they have different demands placed on them and serve different needs. 

Today, we are going to talk about some of the key differences between domestic and commercial microwaves. 

Usage of commercial microwaves vs. residential

The most important thing for restaurant owners to know about commercial microwaves vs. residential is that the usage in each of these places is far different. In a small family of 4-6 people, each of the people in this household may use the microwave once per day. In a restaurant, you may be using your microwave at least 4-6 times per hour, or for hours per day. 

The challenge here is that most residential microwaves aren’t built to withstand that type of heavy, daily usage. Put under these demands in restaurant conditions, a brand new microwave may blowout within a relatively short time of using it. 

Commercial microwaves are designed for heavy usage, and are able to take hours of consistent use, day in and day out. 

Rotational vs. non-rotational components

Another major difference between residential and commercial microwaves is the internal components of the microwave itself. In your standard home microwave, you are used to having some kind of plate or turntable that rotates your food as it heats. This is to help distribute heat evenly throughout. You will notice that with commercial microwaves, there are no rotating components or turntables. 

Dishes that go in commercial microwaves are too large to rotate. Because of this, these commercial microwaves are designed for more even heat distribution throughout the oven. They don’t need to rotate on a table to cook or heat a dish evenly. 

Microwave speed and power

If you take a look at your standard residential microwave, they are going to produce between 700 and 900 watts of power. If you look at your commercial grade microwaves, these normally produce anywhere between 900 watts and a whopping 2,200 watts of power. This massive difference in power dramatically speeds up the time it takes to cook any dish. When you are microwaving at home, you normally have the luxury of time. When you’re using a microwave in a busy restaurant, you need to be able to head foods as quickly as possible. 


With that added size, power, and performance, you are going to notice a difference in cost. You may see some restaurants trying to get by using a residential microwave because they are far less expensive than commercial grade microwaves. Residential microwaves aren’t built to withstand that kind of heavy usage, and therefore don’t require the industrial components that restaurant-quality microwaves need to perform. 


Residential microwaves will normally offer some basic programming options for defrosting, cooking a pizza, popping popcorn, or heating up a potato. They cover some of the basic household meals to meet the needs and wants of their consumers. 

Commercial microwaves require more customization since restaurants need to cook a wide variety of foods in their microwaves. With that, commercial-grade microwaves give you extensive programming capabilities so that you can cook all of your dishes perfectly. 

Materials and construction

In terms of construction, it is difficult to compare the quality of a residential microwave and that of a commercial microwave. Commercial microwaves are made of heavy materials that are built to withstand rigorous, frequent daily use. The kind of use that residential microwaves won’t see in the lifetime of the product. 


We provide a wide variety of commercial-grade microwaves for our customers in Texas. If you are interested in buying or selling a commercial microwave in Texas, take a look at our inventory at Texas Restaurant Equipment or contact our experts today.