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The commercial microwave is typically reserved for food heating applications, including retherming and defrosting, though larger, high-powered units can cook. Because of the reputation of microwaves for providing inconsistent heating, smaller models are not often relied on for cooking. Still, most any commercial microwave oven can provide convenient and fast warming. More ▾
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To heat food, microwaves produced by a magnetron are released into the cabinet. When they pass through food, they cause the water molecules inside it to move, which causes friction and heat. That heating of the moisture in the product can cause it to evaporate, which can create drying. To combat that and speed cooking time, some models employ steam produced by the food or water on it.

A commercial microwave is a common piece of cooking equipment thanks to its speed and ease of use. Unlike trying to retherm or defrost items with other methods, operation is simple. Many commercial microwave oven models are controlled with a simple rotary dial, while more advanced models offer the user the ability to program in dozens of menu items for one-touch button operation.