It can be very confusing when using your microwave oven to cook meals, when the different power settings are mentioned in a recipe, do you know what they mean?
When you follow recipes for cooking food in a microwave oven it can be very confusing as the recipe may refer to a power rating that is different to your own oven. So for example you are cooking using a 700 watt microwave oven and the recipe calls for a 800 watt power rating. A very broad way of converting between recipes is to add 15 second per minute for every 100 watts of power more than your oven, or when your recipe is for a less powerful oven you need to subtract 15 seconds for every minute described.
Whatever the recipe calls for it is important to check the food regularly, to ensure that you don’t either over or under cook your food. Also always include a period of standing time so that the cooking process can be completed evenly.
Microwaves have some interesting characteristics, microwaves are reflected from metal, with other materials the microwave will pass through, the microwaves are attracted to water.
It is this attraction of the microwaves to the water molecules in the food that creates the heat which then cooks the food. This is because the microwaves excite the water molecules making then move vigorously. The microwaves being safely contained within the metal casing of the microwave oven.
Even the leading Microwave ovens sub $100 in 2015 do not follow a standard formula. If the manufacturer of the oven describes their cooker as a 800 watt they are taking about the microwave ovens power output when used at full power. Generally the oven will cook faster the higher the wattage of the oven. There are some other factors that will effect the cooking speed, such as cooker cavity size.
What ever the wattage your microwave oven is at full power it will always be at 100%, therefore your full power setting will be described as high. When a recipe refers to medium and low the microwave oven is usually at 60% and 35% respectively.