Microwave Benefit of Power Levels

The power levels give you greater flexibility and allows you to fine tune or adapt your recipes.

To change the Power Level (on most models):

  1. Touch TIME COOK.
  2. Enter the desired minutes.
  3. Touch POWER LEVEL.
  4. Enter the desired Power Level.
  5. Press START to start the cooking process.

You can also change power levels during cooking but you cannot change them during "automatic functions."

Power levels are most commonly used in recipes to prevent overcooking.  Fats and sugars heat very quickly (for example, cheese toppings or brown sugar glaze). Using a lower power level or adding toppings halfway through the cooking time will avoid overcooking of these items.

The time it takes to cook food in microwaves depends upon the volume of the food, its size, shape, density and starting temperature as well as the wattage of the microwave.

These are general guidelines to help in cooking:

  • High (100) percent power is best for browning, boiling liquids, cooking or heating fish, ground meats, bacon, and zapping food.
  • Medium-high (70) percent for roasting meats and poultry, baking casseroles and convenience foods, sauté and re-heating food.
  • Medium (50) percent power for slow-cooking and braise food.
  • Low (30) percent power for defrosting, simmering, delicate sauces.
  • Warm (10) percent power for heating breads, keeping food warm for a short period of time, soften butter, cheese and chocolate.

Microwave ovens vary in the number of power levels available, depending upon the model. Each level serves a definite purpose and should be used as recommended. Power levels are a percentage of "on time", or the magnetron tube cycles on and off to obtain the various levels. Below are list of percentages that are found on GE microwaves.

Most GE models
High Power 100% on time
level 9 90% on time
level 8 80% on time
level 7 70% on time
level 6 60% on time
level 5 50% on time
level 4 40% on time
level 3 30% defrost
level 2 20% defrost
level 1 10% warm
Models with 5 power levels
High power 100% on time
Medium high power 70% on time
Medium power 50% on time
Low power 30% on time
Warm power 10% on time