Why is my microwave smoking? There are a few possible explanations. First, it could be that your food is causing the smoke.
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Have you also faced a situation when you overcooked something in the microwave? It happens with everyone, particularly when you’re new to using microwaves. This raises an important question: how hot does a microwave get? 

Knowing this answer can help you become a pro. You’ll be able to reheat any food item to perfection by setting the appropriate temperature and time. So here’s the quick answer: 

A microwave doesn’t get hot by itself, but it heat the food at the maximum temperature of 212°F (100°C) using a magnetron. The magnetron generates waves that vibrate the food’s water molecules and create heat, which makes the food hot. 

How Hot Does a Microwave Get? Detailed Answer 

First, I want to clarify one biggest misconception: microwaves don’t get hot. It’s food that can be heated to a specific temperature. So, in general, you can heat up the food up to 212°F in a microwave. 

The reason why the microwave doesn’t get hot itself is that it doesn’t have any heating element like an oven. Instead, every microwave has a machine called a magnetron that generates waves. 

Rather than building up the air inside the microwave like an oven, these waves excite water molecules within the food. When water molecules vibrate, this process is called friction which generates heat, and the food heats up. 

Since the heating process of food is related to the water, the microwave can only heat up maximum to the water boiling point, that’s 212°F or 100°C.  

How Hot Does a Microwave Get in 2 Minutes? 

Another common question many individuals ask is how hot a microwave gets in 2 minutes. The answer is your food will be reheated at about 100°C (212°F) or above in 2 minutes. This is the highest temperature you’ll get in the microwave. 

Normally you can reheat any item, from chicken to leftover food, at this high temperature. However, you should know that the microwave’s wattage also matters. The higher wattage microwave you’ll have, the better it will instantly heat up your food. 

I’ve tested two microwaves. One was an older version (700 watts) that’s still working, and another was a new 1000-watt microwave. 

Both work well in reheating food, but the biggest difference I’ve noticed is that a 1000-watt microwave is powerful and works better than the 700 watts microwave. 

In a 1000 watt microwave, the food was reheated within 2 minutes. At the same time, the 700-watt microwaves took a little bit more time than 2 minutes. 

Here’s the temperature chart of a 1000-wattage microwave that will help you understand the microwave better. In this chart, I’ll share my experiment in which I’ve boiled water with different watts of microwaves. 

Microwave WattageHow long does it take to heat up at the highest point (100°C)? 
500 to 700 watts microwaveAround 3 minutes 
700 to 900 watts microwaveAround 2 ½ minutes 
1000 to more watts of microwaveLess than 2 minutes 

How Hot Does a Microwave Get in 5 Minutes? 

In 5 minutes, your microwave will reheat food at its highest temperature, 100°C (212° F), the hottest boiling point of water. The temperature can’t go above that whether your microwave is working for 5 minutes or 10 minutes. 

This is because microwaves work by exciting water molecules within the food, causing them to heat up and cook the food from within. Water can’t boil above 100°C (212° F) except in certain conditions, so the temperature will be the same, but there are some caveats. 

Running a microwave for too long without any reason may be unsafe, particularly if you have an older model. New microwaves come with safety features; if the microwave parts become too hot due to running long, the microwave will shut down automatically. 

However, older microwaves don’t have these special safety features, so the microwave’s internal parts can be damaged if you use them too long. So, it’s important to be careful when using older microwaves and not to use them for too long if you feel they have become hot. 

How Hot does the microwave get in 30 seconds?

In general, a 700-watt microwave can heat up food at around 30°C. You can check the chart below to understand the temperature of any regular 700-watt microwave. 

TimeThe temperature of the microwave
30 seconds 30°C (around 86° F)
60 seconds (1 minute)60°C (around 140° F)
120 seconds (2 minutes)100°C (around 212° F)

Is It Safe to Run a Microwave for 30 Minutes?

Yes, running a microwave for 30 minutes is safe, but only if it’s designed to work for this long. Usually, all types of food leftovers to frozen food can be cooked or reheated for about 5 to 8 minutes, so most models can’t run for this long time. 

Microwaves have a safety feature that enables the auto-shutdown if the microwave parts become hot. This indicates you must look for convection microwaves with a heating element specifically. 

With convection microwaves, you can reheat food, also bake, broil, and roast for a long time like any oven. The best part is the microwave will not stop working after 10 to 15 minutes. 

What Happens When a Microwave Is Too Hot?

You’re running the microwave for a long time and suddenly realize it has become too hot. Believe me, this isn’t an ideal situation. First of all, you’re running the microwave for a long time, that’s wrong because it’s not designed for it. 

Since the microwave has been working for a long time, it’s natural to become hot from outside. Neglecting this situation can create a big issue. Not only will the microwave’s internal parts get damaged, but there’s a safety risk. 

microwave can start a fire if you don’t follow safety precautions and leave it running longer. Hence, If the microwave is too hot, turn it off immediately and give your microwave a break for about 10 minutes. 

What does it mean when a microwave gets hot on the outside?

If your microwave is getting hot outside, it might mean something is wrong with it. There are two possible reasons for this. 

  1. One is that the food you’re cooking takes too long, creating the overheating issue. 
  2. Another reason is the air vent that helps the microwave cooldown is blocked or not working, which can cause it to get too hot. 

No matter what the situation is, If you see your microwave getting too hot, stop using it immediately. Also, get it checked by an expert to ensure it’s safe to use.

Final Words

I hope you’ve got the answer about how hot does a microwave gets. It’s 212°F, the maximum water boiling temperature. That’s the highest temperature you can get in a microwave. 

If you want to cook or bake something that needs a high temperature, I suggest you use a convection microwave. This will be a better and safe option as you can easily cook anything continuously without worrying about the timing. 


The maximum temperature of a microwave oven is 212°F or 100°C. 

A 1000 watt microwave does not have a specific temperature, as its heat output is in the form of electromagnetic radiation that heats food rather than heating the air inside the microwave.

A microwave can reach temperatures up to 100°C.

It depends on the power rating of the microwave, but on average, it could increase the temperature by around 10-20 degrees Celsius in 10 seconds.

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