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How to convert microwave time to conventional oven time

Updated January 16, 2019

People are busy, and there is often no time to prepare a home-cooked meal. With a microwave cooking, complete and healthy meals can be made quickly, saving your family -- and your waistline -- from a constant diet of fast food. Converting conventional oven recipes, such as casseroles and stews, to microwave recipes can be completed once the microwave cooking time is calculated.

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  1. Locate the traditional cooking time of the food item. For boxed food, this can be found on the side or back of the box. For wrapped foods such as meats, the cooking time is located on a label. If no cooking time can be located on the item's packaging, consult a cookbook.

  2. Set the microwave heat setting to "High." A microwave's highest power setting is the equivalent of a 190 degrees C (375 degrees F) conventional oven.

  3. Divide the conventional oven cooking time by four. Microwave cooking required one-fourth the time of conventional oven cooking. For example, if a recipe requires an hour of conventional cooking time, the microwave cooking time would decrease to 15 minutes.

  4. Tip

    Microwave wattages vary -- the higher the wattage the shorter the cooking time. The steps above are for microwaves with wattages between 600 and 800. The temperature of the food can lessen or lengthen the cooking time. For example, frozen foods will take longer to cook than room temperature foods.


    Check food periodically to make sure the food is cooking evenly. Adjust the cooking time by one to two minutes if necessary.

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About the Author

K.A. Francis is a freelance writer with over 20 years experience, and a small business consultant and jewelry designer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and business administration and a Master of Arts in Adult Education. She has written for "The Einkwell," "Windsor Parent," MomsOnline, Writer's Stew, Lighthouse Venture Group and others. Her jewelry design company, KAF Creations, has been in operation since 1998.

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