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What Do Microwave Presets Do?

What Do Microwave Presets Do?


Microwave presets are pre-defined settings that allow you to cook quick microwavable foods without having to manually set a time or power level. When you choose a task function, it signals the microwave that a particular item should be cooked at a specific power for a specific amount of time. For instance, many microwaves are preset to pop popcorn at 100% power for 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Located on the appliance's front control panel, you can heat up delicious pizza, beverages and more in minutes with just the push of a button. Certain settings also are programmed to automatically defrost frozen foods and pop popcorn based on common times and heat levels.

Common Preset Buttons on a Microwave

  • Auto defrost - This setting uses up to three power levels to quickly defrost frozen foods. You can defrost meat and poultry quickly instead of waiting hours for them to unthaw at room temperature.
  • Hot beverage - Use the hot beverage function to restore cooled liquids to an appropriate drinking temperature. Reheat your tea or coffee so that you can enjoy a warm and toasty cup of your favorite drink.
  • Popcorn - When you choose the popcorn preset on a microwave, the machine's sensor will detect the amount of humidity from the popcorn bag and the time is set accordingly. Most microwaves use maximum heat power for 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
  • Pizza - The pizza function enables the microwave to warm up slices of pizza. Many machines allow you to choose the number of slices your heating, which will adjust the temperature and time accordingly.

Learn about sensory heating & inverter technology on a microwave.
Microwave control panel