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"Super" microwave ovens -- 1300 watts?

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I've just started shopping for a new countertop microwave to replace my old model which has served me faithfully for years. I use the microwave to heat or defrost supermarket frozen foods, but not for any cooking from scratch.

I don't know the wattage of my current model but I know it sometimes takes half again as long to heat frozen foods as the instructions indicate. And I've noticed that the labels on the larger things I cook (pot pies, lasagna, etc.) are starting to specify that the wattage should be over 1100.

I found several 1300-watt countertop models on Amazon, all Panasonic (NN-SA647, NN-SN667, NN-SD667S or NN-SN667W), all in my price range. My problem is that the reviews on all of these have a lot of negative comments about reliability (as in units that break down after 2-6 months and can't be fixed or replaced).

Does anyone have any experience with these or any other 1300 watt (or higher?) countertop models? And is the extra wattage worth it?

Thanks!

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  1. I got the $120 Kenmore mid-size (a best buy from Consumer Reports) a couple of years ago. I use it quite a bit, and it's worked fine. It's 1200w, which is plenty in ny experiece, and heats things up so quickly I have to make sure I don't overdo. I don't use the bells and whistles buttons, though. I know from a little expereience how long things will take.

    1. There's a direct relationship between microwave wattage and cooking speed. (This does not imply that any particular high wattage model will cook evenly, however!) Is the extra wattage worth it? Only you can decide. If you use your oven for "real" cooking and cook a substantial amount of food at one time, you will probably benefit. For reheating coffee, you probably won't. I'd suggest you get one from a store with generous return privileges and decide after a fair trial.

      1. I have an 1100 watt model that replaced a 900 watt model and if they had a 1300 watt model when I bought that I would have got that.
        IMO more is better with microwave ovens.

        1 Reply
        1. re: blade

          I gotta be honest, more than a little part of it is the Tim-Allen-more-power factor ... definitely a guy thing!