There's this really cool microwave lemon squares recipe that I've been dying to try out - only, the recipe insists on the cook time being 3 minutes on 80% power. I don't have a microwave where you can adjust the power, so is there any way to change the cooking time so I can make the recipe on full-power?

  • Uh multiply 3 X 0.80 = 2.40 ?
    – paparazzo
    Aug 7, 2016 at 5:46
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    Hi Angie and welcome to Seasoned Advice. Unfortunately it's not quite as simple as @Paparazzi says. This question ( cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/17099/… ) is not a duplicate but may give you an idea of some of the factors involved in conversions. An example would be the wattage of the microwave used for the recipe vs the wattage of your microwave.
    – Cindy
    Aug 7, 2016 at 9:40
  • @Cindy According to the link it is that simple. The recipe did not list watts only 80%. So what do you have better to go on? Watt is energy (heat) / time to that is exactly how to deliver the same heat.
    – paparazzo
    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:10

1 Answer 1


Without any other information besides "80% power", this really isn't a very well written recipe. If you don't know the wattage of the microwave used in the original recipe (i.e. how much is 100%?), you are in the situation of the musician in the movie "Spinal Tap", who prefers the amplifier whose volume knob goes up to "eleven" when all the other amps stop at ten.

But it doesn't matter anyway if you have no way to adjust the power of your own microwave. You will just have to experiment with different times. This is the case whenever you use a microwave oven for anything. As the saying goes, "microwave ovens vary". The prescription given by Paparazzi, ...[ 3 minutes X 0.80 = 2.4 minutes ] seems like as good a starting guess as any. Test the lemon squares a little before 2.4 min., & keep cooking in increments until they're good, then record the final cooking time for the next batch.

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    I'd break the time down a little. 1 minute, wait 10-20 seconds, repeat, then the last 40s. This is similar to what 80% would do and gives a little more time for the heat to spread out.
    – Chris H
    Aug 7, 2016 at 17:32

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