Is An 800 Watt Microwave Powerful Enough?

Is an 800 watt microwave powerful enough? An 800 watt microwave should be powerful enough for most uses.

Most microwaves on the market today are rated between 600 to 1100/1200 watts. The higher the watts the faster your food will cook.

Though do bear in mind that the higher the watts, the more you will typically pay as well.

The fact that most microwaves start from around 600 watts tells you that even at that wattage rating a microwave can still do a decent job of heating food. With lower wattage (e.g. 600 watts) ratings the main difference is that depending on how much food you need to heat, it may take longer than an 800 watt machine.

A lot of recipes for microwave cooking will often require at least 800 watts of power to ensure the food cooks evenly.

If you intend to use the microwave for reheating as well as cooking and you want things done relatively quickly then it may be worth you going for an 800 watt microwave. If you have a large family or tend to cook/heat large portions of food then you will certainly want to consider at least an 800 watt microwave.

So is an 800 watt microwave powerful enough? For most people and most uses yes.

800 Watt Microwaves

Now that we’ve established they are powerful enough, let’s take a look at the best 800 watt microwaves available.

Model CapacityPrice
Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH)20LitreBUY NOW ON AMAZON
Bosch HMT75M451B17LitreBUY NOW ON AMAZON
Russell Hobbs RHM2064C20LitreBUY NOW ON AMAZON
Russell Hobbs RHEM2301B 23LitreBUY NOW ON AMAZON

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#1 – Toshiba Microwave Oven MM-EM20P(WH) – 800 Watt White Microwave

The Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) is an excellent 800 watt microwave and our number 1 pick for the best 800 watt microwave. The Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) is rated at 800W of maximum power and it cooks quickly and evenly. You get a full range of cooking powers with 11 different levels available from 100% down to 0%.

Not content with making excellent TVs and laptops as well as a whole host of other well-loved appliances, Toshiba put their reliable touch on microwaves.

The white Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) is one of those lucky microwaves and it has a lot going for it.

Firstly let’s talk about the excellent value for money it offers. When we talk about value for money what we mean is paying for a product and finding you get a whole lot more benefits than the price you pay would otherwise suggest you should. This is definitely the case with the Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH). It’s hard to find microwaves of a similar price (check latest price on Amazon) that offer a combination of brilliant performance, compact size with great capacity, appealing design as well as rave reviews.

It’s hard not to notice how appealing the white Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) looks. The white colour really suits the design and the contrasting black panel and cooking window give it a real edgy feel.

For a microwave that looks so slick and has several options on the control panel , this is surprisingly easy to use.

It has several one-touch preprogrammed menu options to help you get your favourite foods made quickly and conveniently. These include auto programmes for cooking popcorn, potatos and pizza.

In addition it quite helpfully has two defrost settings; one that auto calculates the time needed for defrosting based on weight and the other simply based on the time you want.

One of the best cooking features of the Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) is the excellent multi-stage cooking programme. This will allow you to select up to two different cooking settings in one cycle. For example you could easily cook something at 80% power for 5 minutes and then finish on 50% power for 10 minutes. The idea is that this allows you to simulate what a gas fired oven might be able to do and it works well.

The Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) is rated at 800W of maximum power and it cooks quickly and evenly. You get a full range of cooking powers with 11 different levels available from 100% down to 0%.

To help you get the most out the microwave it also comes with a timer with a maximum of 99 minutes.

If you’re in a rush or just need to quickly reheat food which how most people use the microwave, you can simply whack your food in and select the time you need between 1 to 6 minutes and select start. You can also select 30 seconds of maximum power cooking power as well. This is a great function if you simply need to heat up some food quickly.

Witha 20litre capacity this microwave would work best for smaller households as well as couples and single occupied homes.

Part of what helps the Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) to really stand out from the crowd is that although it has ample cooking capacity it is still a neat and compact unit. With dimensions of W44cm x H25.8cm x D32.5cm it leaves a relatively small footprint but still manages to fit in a standard sized dinner plate.

The Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) comes with a few nice bonuses chief among them being a child safety lock for the control panel and a clock display.

One of the best things about the Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) for long-term maintenance is the fact it’s fairly easy to clean. The paint-finish interior makes it easy to wipe down with a damp cloth and the turntable can be easily removed for washing in hot soapy water.

Overall the Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) 800 watt solo microwave provides excellent value for money from a highly reliable brand and a microwave that does it’s job very well.

key features

  • 800W of power for fast and effective cooking
  • 11 power levels
  • 20 Litre capacity
  • Dimensions: W44cm x H25.8cm x D32.5cm
  • Available colours: White

#2 – Bosch HMT75M451B Microwave Oven – 800 Watt

The Bosch HMT75M451B is an excellent solo 800 watt microwave that also comes in white. As you would expect with Bosch, you get the feel of a highly engineered machine without the unnecessary complications. It does what a microwave should do brilliantly giving you a quick and easy way to cook your food exactly the way you need it. This is a great choice if you are after excellent durability in a compact design.

The all white finish looks very slick and contrasts nicely with the black trim on the glass panel. The white smooth lines of the Bosch HMT75M451B would complement your other white kitchen appliances very nicely.

One of the best things about the Bosch HMT75M451B in addition to how well it does the job, is how easy it is to use it. Simply choose the power level you want from one of 5 easy to understand buttons, turn the retractable dial to select the time you need and then hit the start button.

This model is equipped with 800 watts of power spread out across 5 power levels (90, 180, 360, 600 and 800 W) which should be plenty and offer you lots of variety from simple defrosting tasks (90 W) to heating liquids (800 W). It would work great for someone looking for a quick and easy way to reheat food regularly or defrost items. It can also of course cook more intricate meals in the way you’d expect.

The Bosch HMT75M451B is a solo microwave so no grill or oven which is perfect if you’re only after classic microwave functions and do not want to pay for features you are never going to use.

To cater for all your culinary needs the machine comes with 7 automatic programmes. This list includes 4 defrost programmes covering mince meat, chunks of meat, chicken and bread. In addition there are 3 separate programmes for cooking rice, vegetables and potatoes.

If you were knitpicking you’d say that the only slight drawback of this model is that there is no correspondinig defrost button on the control panel and you need to use one of the programme numbers though this simpe enough once you know which they are out of the 7.

To get a programme started is once again refreshingly simple; you select the one you want, enter the weight using the retractable (pull-out) dial and then hit start. The machine does the rest as it determines the best cooking power and time for your dish based on the weight and programme. This is great as it avoids you having to guess the best way to cook your rice or whatever else you have on the go.

Quite helpfully the white Bosch HMT75M451B comes with a memory function that allows you to setup your favourite or most commonly used set of commands as an auto programme. So for example if you cooked rice at 600 W for 15 minutes quite often you could use the memory function to set this up as a dedicated programme. This at first appears to be a gimmicky feature but it may be quite a time-saver if there’s no pre-set programme that immediately works for you.

With a 17 litre capacity and 245mm turntable this microwave would be best suited for a single person household, a couple or perhaps a small family.

There’s a good firmness to the door and the opening mechanism leave you feeling reassured about its durability. You can tell this a well-built model and it has real solid yet stylish feel in a way only a brand like Bosch could manage.

Due to it’s compact size (H29cm x 46.1W x D35.1cm) this white Bosch HMT75M451B doesn’t take up much space and would be great for someone looking for an excellent microwave to fit into a small space or kitchen. It’s a freestanding unit but can also be fitted under a wall cupboard which is a great added bonus if you need to place it into a fitted kitchen but are constrained for space (just bear in mind the vents will also need breathing space).

The cooking compartment fits a standard size dinner plate (H19.4cm x W29cm x D30cm) if you ever need to reheat a whole plate of food.

As well as being compact and well made, this also does not feel very heavy at 11.2kg which is great especially if it’s going into a fitted unit.

A consistent benefit you’ll see a lot from users is the fact it’s not too noisy. In addition you have the option of changing the gentle beeping sound at the end to either 3 short beeps or 30 long beeps which could be useful for those who need reminders when it’s done.

It also comes fitted with a fan that will also continue to run after the timer runs out and then automatically shuts down which is great as it helps to keep the interior from steaming up from the hot food.

The interior also benefits from a light that will automatically turn itself off if you walk away and leave the door open.

Overall the Bosch HMT75M451B is a great option if you’re looking for an 800 watt microwave that is well-built yet stylish and is small and neat enough to fit perfectly onto your kitchen counter or shelf. It may be small but it packs enough power to get through all of your heating and defrosting needs quickly and effectively. It gives you lots of benefits and does it in an unfussy yet effective manner.

key features

  • Easy to use interface
  • 17litre capacity
  • 800W of cooking power
  • 5 power levels
  • 7 auto programmes
  • Available Colours: Stainless Steel; Black; White
  • Dimensions: H29cm x 46.1W x D35.1cm

#3 – Russell Hobbs RHM2064C

The Russell Hobbs RHM2064C 800 watt microwave looks and feels like it has been designed with style, ease of use, and functionality.

At 800watts the Russell Hobbs RHM2064C will cook your food quickly and efficiently. It has 5 different power levels to choose from covering the full spectrum your likely to need from “P10” which is 10% of the power through to “P100” =100% (take a look at our article on selecting power levels for clarity on what these mean).

It also quite helpfully has an automatic weight defrost programme meaning all you need to do is enter the weight of the item you need to defrost and the machine will do the job of selecting the best defrost time saving you the headache. And just in case you don’t know the weight of your frozen leftovers from the other day or if that’s too much work for you, you can simply use the defrost function by selecting the time you need up to 95 minutes.

Another really useful feature of the Russell Hobbs RHM2064C is its “multi-stage cooking” which lets you enter two settings in one go so you don’t have to come back later after the first. So for example if you wanted to defrost some rice then cook it for 7 minutes you have the option of setting both at the start and then not needing to interfere until it’s done. This is a great function that should save you some time and fiddling about once your food has defrosted but still needs to be warmed up.

The Russell Hobbs RHM2064C comes with 8 automatic cooking programmes including settings for cooking fish, pasta, vegetables, meat, soup and pizza.

At 20litre capacity the Russell Hobbs RHM2064C is perfect for smaller households and in terms of sizes makes it the best microwave for single person. The 20litre capacity will comfortably take a standard size dinner plate giving you a good range of flexibility for your cooking and reheating needs at home.

Lets start with the style and that lovely cream coating. It’s not easy to pull off a cream colour in an appliance and still manage to make it look modern as well as sleek but the Russell Hobbs RHM2064C does just that. The cream finish gives it a real quality feel and is easy to match up with other products in the Russell Hobbs range like kettles and toasters.

To add to the modern look the door has an appealing mirror finish which gives the machine yet more elegance. Though mirror doors can sometimes be prone to showing smudges, this is fairly easy to clean.

One of the first things that strikes you about the Russell Hobbs RHM2064C is how easy it is to use. The control panel is limited to 5 simple and clearly labelled buttons, a hand dial for selecting time, weight and auto programmes and the door button. Control panels do not come any easier than this (well maybe except for the Russell Hobbs RHEM2301B with its staggering 4 buttons).

For added peace of mind in your kitchen, there’s a child lock setting which will allow you to keep the machine on lock down and stop anyone from tampering with it.

Overall this is a nice and compact unit (External Dimensions: H25.8cm x W44cm x D34cm; Turntable diameter: 25.5cm) which won’t take up too much space on your counter. Though you will need to bear in mind that you’ll need at least 20cm of clearance between the microwave and any adjacent walls. In addition you’ll need 30cm of clearance above the unit whilst the rear should be placed against a wall.

Though turntable microwaves can sometimes be tricky to clean, the plate in the Russell Hobbs RHM2064C is dishwasher safe which will make life even easier.

Overall the Russell Hobbs RHM2064C would make a classy addition to your kitchen whilst providing you with a highly rated microwave that looks great. It is one of the most well-renowned solo microwaves on the market and offers excellent value for money.

key features

  • 800Watts of power
  • 20 Litre Capacity
  • 5 Power Levels
  • Available Colours: Cream
  • Type: Solo microwave
  • Mirror Finish Door
  • Dimensions: H25.8cm x W44cm x D34cm

#4 – Russell Hobbs RHEM2301B 23L Easi Flatbed

The Russell Hobbs RHEM2301B 800 watt microwaves focuses on keeping things simple but effective and it does it perfectly.

With this delightful creation you get a super-easy to use microwave that’s also offers great value for money and with a flatbed design that makes it very straightforward to clean. We like it so much we picked it 2nd in our search for the best microwave for single person.

The Russell Hobbs RHEM2301B is a microwave that shows the renowned British manufacturer at the top of its game. To say this microwave is easy to use would be a wild understatement. The control panel features 4 buttons. In case you missed that let me repeat; it features four (4) buttons. 1 – Microwave, 2 – Defrost, 3- Stop/Cancel and 4 – Start are all the buttons you’ll ever need to get the most out of this beauty.

A widely stated stat is the fact that 98% of Britain’s microwave users only ever reheat or defrost their food. That means there’s a lot of microwaves out there that have way more features than people actually need. The fact that users cannot stop raving on about how easy to use this Russell Hobbs RHEM2301B is speaks to this fact.

If you are like most of people using microwaves for purely reheating and defrosting purposes but want a nice straightforward interface then this is the unit for you.

To use the microwave for example, you press the Microwave button until the time you need is reached. The timer jumps in 30 second intervals until you get to 5 minutes at which point it increases by 1 minute up to a maximum of 60 minutes.

Alternatively if you just press and hold the button from the start it will skip through the minutes much faster until you reach the time you need. Once you have the time you require, you press the Microwave button again and then hit the Start button for the machine to come at full power. As simple as that.

The Defrost button works in exactly the same way though at an appropriate power for defrosting.

If you need to pause a cooking cycle you simply hit the Stop/Cancel button once. If you need to stop the cycle completely you press the Stop/Cancel button a second time.

The great thing about the Easi microwave is that you only ever need to really worry about the time you want for heating or defrosting your food. There are no fancy programmes for auto cooking based on the weight of food you have no clue about.

Not only is this model easy to use but even more importantly it does its job quickly and efficiently. At 800Watts it is a nice and powerful microwave meaning your food will get heated and defrosted quickly. This is something you see mentioned time and again from users.

As well as cooking your food quickly the flatbed design and crucially Russell Hobb’s diamond shaped cavity mean that your food is also heated evenly. The diamond cavity helps to distribute the microwaves more evenly within the cooking chamber resulting in a food that is heated evenly with no cold spots.

As this is a flatbed design (i.e. no turntable) it means you get more space than you would with a traditional microwave. With a 23litre capacity in total in addition to the flatbed design, you can get larger and more awkward shaped dishes into the microwave for heating and defrosting purposes. At 23litres we think this makes it a perfect addition to the list for best microwave for single person. 23litres is big enough for a small family but not too big for a single person or a couple.

The flatbed design makes it much easier to clean that otherwise would be the case with a turntable design.

As we’ve come to expect from Russell Hobbs, the RHEM2301B looks great. The door has an elegant mirror finish which gives it a real sleek and modern feel. Though mirror finish doors can be difficult to keep clear of finger print smudges, this unit elegantly avoids this issue with the door handle meaning you won’t need to touch the mirror when opening and closing the microwave.

Overall the Russell Hobbs RHEM2301B cannot be rated highly enough. It is a wonderfully intuitive microwave that focuses on making your life as easy as possible and gets the most important aspects of the microwave (heating and defrosting) just right. It’s easy to use, easy to clean, cooks very well and offer excellent value for money.

key features

  • Super-easy control panel with only 4 buttons
  • 23Litre capacity
  • Flatbed design (no turntable)
  • 800W for quick and convenient cooking
  • Type: Solo Microwave
  • Available Colours: Black with silver backing; Silver
  • Dimensions: H30.4cm x W50.2cm x D41.8cm

Is An 800 Watt Microwave Powerful Enough? – Let us know your thoughts.