How To: Easily Convert Cooking Times for Your Microwave's Wattage Using These Apps

Easily Convert Cooking Times for Your Microwave's Wattage Using These Apps

Not all microwaves are created equal, so when you use the recommended cooking time on any microwaveable meal, chances are you're actually cooking the food too much or not enough. And unless you're really good at mental math or have a virtual assistant that's smarter than Siri and Google, you have to do things the long way — but not with these helpful apps for iOS and Android.

In my experience, a lot of prepackaged microwaveable meals and foods come with fine print saying the time they suggest for cooking is for a 1,000-watt microwave oven, which has become fairly standard these days for microwave power. However, the microwave in your small apartment might only be 600 watts, and the one at your office might be a whopping 1,500 watts. Using the time for the former will give you undercooked food, while the latter will overcook it.

To make sure your food comes out just as the company intended for its microwaveable meal or food item, you're going to have to convert the time and wattage on the packaging to the time appropriate for your microwave.

Sure, you could use "Hey Siri" and "Hey Google," but all they will do for you is pull up some search results. Yes, that could help point you to a chart that you have to dig through to find the right time conversions, but there's an even easier way to do this without them. (Note that I also tried Alexa on my Echo Dot and she just flat out ignored my request every time.)

Siri (left) and Google (right) are not smart enough yet to do this on their own.

To get these necessary conversions done fast so you can start actually cooking your food in the nuking machine, your best option is to download an app specifically for that purpose. If you have an iPhone, I suggest using Watts Up?, which is totally free and intuitive. If you're using an Android phone like a Samsung Galaxy or Razer, then Microwave Wattage Converter is the one you want, also free.

Using Watts Up? On Your iPhone

When using Watts Up?, just open it up, then enter the cooking time that your meal or food item suggests. Hit the "Enter" button, then enter the wattage that the label recommends (not every company lists the recommended wattage), followed by the wattage of your microwave. Most microwaves will say how many watts they are on a sticker on the side of the door or inside the cooking space. After hitting "Enter" that third and final time, you'll have the perfect cooking time.

Using Microwave Wattage Converter on Android

For Android users, open up the Microwave Wattage Converter app, then tap on the Watt drop-down next to Microwave you use. Select your own microwave's rated wattage. Most microwaves will say how many watts they are on the side of the door or inside the cooking space. Next, tap the Watt drop-down next to Description of the goods, and select the wattage listed on the food's packaging. Last, select the minutes and seconds that the label states. Your required cooking time will immediately show.

If you really want to make this process easier, you'd buy a 1,000-watt microwave so you don't even have to use these apps much. But when you come across a recipe for 1,100 watts, you're not going to be very happy — remember, I said "a lot of" prepackaged microwaveable meals and foods, not all. And 1,100-watt is also fairly common.

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Cover photo and screenshots by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

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