How To Measure Cubic Feet Of Microwave For Free And Further Info

It has no doubt that Microwave is now becoming an indispensable part of household life. Thanks to its capacity of reheating leftovers and cooking mouth-watering dishes within minutes, there has been a growing number in the demand of microwaves all over the world.  However, despite being the most frequently-used product in the kitchen, no one actually knows how to measure cubic feet of microwave, even though this is actually the most common and easiest way to find an ideal microwave. 

According to some informative sources, 90%-97% of American households have a microwave in their kitchen. In order to meet this enormous customer’s needs, manufacturers are making plenty of these versatile kitchen appliances in different sizes and shapes. This allows customers to have a wide range of choices but at the same time bewilder them since they do not know exactly which size of the microwave will be suitable for their kitchen out of countless ones. 

On that account, we have written down this article to show you how to measure cubic feet of microwave, giving you the chance to make the wisest choice for your needs and space. And it is totally for free. 

To get the best result, you will have to go through all of the details of this list below to truly know how to measure cubic feet of microwave: 

  • Our guide of how to measure cubic feet of Microwave
  • Most Common Cubic Feet for Microwave Ovens
  • Typical size of a Microwave
  • What else should be consider when choosing a microwave rather than internal capacity
  • What else should you know about microwave

Our guide of how to measure cubic feet of Microwave

We officially used cubic feet to measure a microwave’s size. This measurement is often stated clearly along with other factors of a product such as brand name, material, usage,….However, this somehow causes some trouble since most of the time we use “inche” in order to measure everything. So, how do we know if a 2 cubic feet microwave fits in an 18 inches purpose-built space or not? Here is an easy way to find out.

For preparation, you need to have a measuring tape (in inches).

First step, use that measuring tape to get the distance from the highest to lowest point of the microwave. To measure the capacity of the microwave, you should only care about the internal chamber, not the entire machine. By doing this, you will first find out the height of the chamber. 

Second, for the inner width, use the same method as the first step and place it parallel to the width of the microwave chamber from one side to the other side. 

Third, to find out how deep is your microwave’s chamber, place the measuring tape lie parallely from the front to the back. And that is it, you have finally completed collecting data. 

You should remember to take note while measuring since we have to do some mathematics afterwards. 

Lastly, once you have all the three dimensions, multiply them all and divide that number by 1,728 to get the Cubic FT measurements.

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For example, if the height of the microwave’s chamber  is 12 inches, the width 20 inches and the depth 14 inches, after multiplying all these figures together we have the answer is 3,360 inches. Using that figure and divided it by 1,728, the result found out is 1.94 cubic feet. Since manufacturers usually round these figures up or down, 1.94 cubic feet sometimes is written 2.0 cubic feet.

If you have trouble dividing and multiplying or just simply do not own a calculator, use an online measurement converter instead like Metric Conversion website, where users can convert the cubic inch total to cubic feet. You just need to type 3 figures of height, width and depth to this tool and it will convert it from inch to cubic feet immediately. 

If there is something unclear and you do not know whether or not you are doing it right, check this video from experienced people to answer your curiosity. 

Typical size of a Microwave

If you still wonder whether you have the correct answer after following those instructions above, here are the typical sizes of a Microwave so you can check your result. 


This type of microwave is perceived as the most common and versatile one, compared to over the range and the built-in ones. 

Its size is pretty flexible, ranging from tiny microwaves which perfectly fit for student hostels to large one that can fill up your kitchen’s space. For a common household, you will find the microwave’s size is around 0.7 cubic feet to 2.2 cubic feet. 

Also, this type of microwave is pretty straightforward to install. Even if you are an electronic illiterate, you can install this equipment on your own. You just need to put this countertop somewhere near the socket in your kitchen and that is it. I bet most of us would rather choose a countertop thanks to its easy installation and also budget-friendly price. 

Over the Range Microwave

You can imagine the picture of this type of microwave just by hearing the name of it. Over the range or OTR will fit on top of a cooking space in your kitchen and function as an oven hood as well.

Unlike Countertop, you often just can not find a small size for this kind of microwaves. Their common measurements range from 1.4 to 2.0 cubic feet, which means that their external capacity is from medium to high. Since they have a great capacity, this is usually a great choice for a huge family with high demand for food. 

Thanks to its capacity, over the range microwaves are also all the rage over the world. However, their raised position somehow poses a threat to children if they uncarefully wander around the cooking area. Moreover, you need a professional in order to install this equipment since it has to be perfectly fit in your cooking space. 

Built in Microwave

Just like the countertop, Built-in microwaves vary in sizes, ranging from 1 cubic feet to over 2 cubic foot. However, unlike the countertop, large built-in microwaves do not take a lot of space, compared to large countertops. This is mainly because it is usually wall-mounted or attached below a cabinet, which is truly a space-saver.  

But that advantage also comes along with the disadvantage. In order to achieve the space-savor effect, built-in microwaves have to be specially installed by a professional. You just can place it on the counter like the countertop. Because it is mounted in a cabinet, a purpose-built area or a hole in the wall, it has to be done by experienced people with high-tech methods.  

If you want to know more about the typical size of a microwave and which one is the best among each size, you should read the article about Best Microwave under $100 in order to find your pick. This article also gives you information about affordable microwaves so it is easy for you to have online shopping. 

Most Common Cubic Feet for Microwave 

As you can see, Microwave varies in sizes and each of them is perfect for at least one household. 

However, according to some statistics, most microwave customers prefer the full-size one. About relatively 60% of the customers want to take a 1.1 cubic feet – 1.9 cubic feet home with them. This is perceived as the golden size for microwaves since it can be installed without taking a lot of space and as the same time has enough capacity for the whole family. 

However, there are some people who prefer smaller microwaves, which are below 1.0 cubic feet, thanks to its space-saving and easy installation. If most of the time they choose to eat fresh meals or they just lack sufficient counter space, they will definitely go for the small one.  

In contrast, there are also other people who prefer larger ones in order to save time and energy since they can cook a great amount of food at the same time when using a larger microwave which is above 2 cubic feet. 

What else should be considered when choosing a microwave besides how to measure cubic feet of microwave?

In order to choose the perfect microwave out of hundreds for family use, there are more you should consider rather than just knowing how to measure cubic feet of microwave, in terms of its internal capacity. 

External size matters

If your pick is the cutting-edge microwave that has thin frames and the cooking chamber comprises most of the machine, it is fine for you to forget about the external size.

However, if you prefer long-established microwaves which are designed to have thick frames with smaller oven sections, you will have to pay attention to the external size too.  If your counter area is limited, you might want to measure the space carefully before making the buying decision. The interior of the microwave may suit your needs but what if the exterior is too big or too small for your counter or purpose-built space? External dimensions also vary just like the interior of the microwave, so measure the desired location’s space should be taken into consideration, especially the depth, which should be measured while the door is open and close since you will need to have enough space for the door to swing in and out freely without againsting any obstacles. 

The counter or other space 

Since the external dimensions of the microwave can vary rapidly from types to types, from 10 by 18 by 14 inches on the smaller side to 14 by 24 by 20 inches on the larger side, you should first measure the space where you plan to place your microwave. Then, measure 3 dimensions including the height, width and depth of the design that you are considering to find out if it will fit on your countertop, over your range or in a custom area. 

Purpose for using

The perfect microwave is the one that suits your needs. So first of all, you have got to know what you truly ask for.  

For dorm

If you are a college student and have many leftovers to reheat, you will opt for a microwave with small capacity, ranging from 0.6 cubic feet to 0.9 cubic feet. Because living arrangements in the dorms are quite limited and there are only 1 or 2 students sharing the same room in the dorms, there is no need for a great capacity microwave. 

For Apartments and Small Kitchen

Just like the dorms, apartments and small kitchens have limited space too. In order to save space for other purposes, you should only use microwaves that are between 0.6 cubic feet to 0.9 cubic feet only. 

For Smaller Families

Microwaves that are around 1.0 cubic feet are ideal for smaller families with 2 – 3 members. 

For large families

Use microwaves that are 1.0 cubic feet to above 2.0 cubic feet to help you handle the heavy cooking jobs since you have a lot of beloved family members to cater.

What else should you know about microwaves besides how to measure cubic feet of microwave?

What is the shelf-life of a microwave?

A common microwave usually has a shelf-life that lasts for around 10 years. But you can still use your old machine after that if it still manages to operate well without any issues. However, I recommend that you should change your best kitchen friend after all of that time because prevention is better than cure. You do not want to face any electronic incidents while using the microwave, do you? 

Tips using microwave for better food 

Overcooking or overheating is something that usually happens in the kitchen and it causes frustration. In order to prevent this situation, you should stir your food once or twice while cooking. You should also wrap your food in a cover or paper plate or kitchen foil to prevent splatters. If you want to keep the moisture of your food, use plastic wrapping paper or a lid that is designed exclusively for microwaves instead. Paper towel or waxed paper on the other hand is used when you want to let the steam escape from your food. And if you want to give boiled food a try, put the ingredients in a big bowl to give more space for boiling.

How to clean microwave

These little simple tips can help you to expand your microwave lifespan and keep it free from excess grime: 

  • To make your microwave shiny as new, use these ingredients to clean it on a weekly basis: baking soda, dish soap or vinegar from white or apple cider. 
  • Use a special cleaning product in order to get rid of stubborn dark spots. 
  • Regularly wipe down your machine on a weekly basis or daily basis if possible to prevent gunk from building up over time.

Popular Microwave Features 

Convection fan  

Convection cooking fan is usually placed in the back of a microwave. It is used to circulate the hot air in the cooking chamber around the food that needs to be done. Thanks to this method, the food is cooked quickly and evenly. Some convection fans also come with a browning option that helps the microwave function as a broiler. However, not all microwaves have a convection fan. Those with a convection fan are usually more exorbitant than those without. 


Since microwaves should help the users to save time cooking and reheating their food, it should have a fast cooking-speed that is able to deal with the most time-consuming food. Moreover, since each dish requires different perfect time to be well-done, microwaves should also offer users a wide range of time settings. 


Sensors play an important role in most microwaves. It is used to adjust time and temperature as needed. This also functions as an automatically shut off power to prevent overcooking. Also, the Sensors are capable of measuring emitted steam to decide whether food is at an optimum temperature or not. 

Common Task Buttons/Convenience Controls 

These shortcut keys will allow you to freely adjust the right time or temperature through preset cycles for common snacks and beverages, namely popcorn, pizza, hot dogs, hot chocolate, cake and so on. Some shortcuts buttons even enable you to add time to the cycle in the middle of the cooking process without stopping the oven. Other shortcuts even provide you defrost and reheat options. The most interesting shortcut options are softens and melts, which is an ideal environment for ice cream and chocolate.

The interesting thing about microwave is that it is not only used to reheat leftovers, it is also used to make drooling dishes, especially for baking

Nonstick Interior 

Microwave with nonstick Interior coatings make cleanup is no longer a daunting task for users. You just need to use damp cloth or wiping paper to clean up your cooking chamber. You will not have to worry about the stubborn stain anymore. 

True Power Reduction 

An environmentally-friendly and economical microwave should allow for actual power reduction rather than just cycling between full power and no power during the cooking process. This will result in even cooking and defrosting without overcooking or burnt edges.

Turntables, Trays and Removable Racks 

These convenient interiors allow you to arrange your cooking space easily and flexibly. Moreover, you are capable of cooking or reheating a great number of foods at one time if you have a wise arrangement.  

High Wattage 

Wattage stands for the power of your microwave. The higher wattage, the faster the food is cooked. High-wattage microwaves dramatically speed up the cooking process and you will have more time to spare. However, since the cooking time is reduced, you should pay more attention to your food, preventing it from overcooking. 

Cautions when using a microwave

After reading the interview between Rachelle Williams – Chair of the Food Safety Information Council and Huffingtonpost Australia, we have made a list of 10 things that you should or shouldn’t do in order to protect yourself and your microwave.

Metal bowls or utensils are microwave’s enemies

Since these materials usually get affected at high temperatures, it is not a wise choice to use these things and put it in a microwave to reheat or cook food. “ It tends to shield and spark” Williams said. If you do not want to create a mess after using the microwave, stay away from metal bowls and utensils. 

For the correct way of using the microwave, you should replace metal bowls and utensils by glass and ceramic materials. Plastic is acceptable if it is made exclusively for using in the microwave. 

Glass, ceramic and microwavable plastic are friend

Some people are not willing to use plastic because they are afraid of the chemicals in these materials. However, there are plastic containers that are made for microwaves. So if you are looking for microwavable containers, check the bottom of the containers. The tag will tell you if they actually work with microwaves or opt for a BPA-free container. 

If you still feel unsafe with those microwavable plastic containers, use glass and ceramic since they are neutral their chemicals can not be mixed with your food and create toxic. 

Cook different kinds of foods at the same time is a bad idea

Since different foods require different time that they need to be done, it is hard to put all of that food together in a time. “The more dense a food is, the more different it will heat compared to something that has more liquid in it” – said Williams.

A dense food like steak or chicken usually takes more time to heat up than a liquid dish like soup. So you should categorize your food first if you want to save time. 

Stir food frequently during cooking or reheating process

A microwave is designed to be capable of reaching all parts of the food to cook it evenly and quickly. However, for some dishes that are thick and dense, you will realize that not all sections of the food are cooked perfectly. 

So that is the reason why you should stir your food to allow the heat to invade all parts of your food, making your food heated and cooked thoroughly and throughout. 

Bubbling is the sign of a perfectly cooked food

Most of the foods need to be heated up at least 75 degrees celsius to be fully cooked. So, you should put your food in a shallow dish or bowl to give it enough space for boiling and leave it some minutes depending on the food. 

In the middle of the process, stir it once or twice, if you still can not find the bubble or hot spots, put it back and wait for some more minutes. After seeing it bubbling, you can now be sure that it has been cooked thoroughly and reach 75 degrees. 

Remember to cover your food when microwaving 

One of the first rules of using microwaves is to cover them by a plate, a lid or plastic wrap before putting it into the microwave. I have seen a lot of people in my workplace never cover their food and end up with a bolognese explosion which is terrible. 

Foods, especially liquid should be covered carefully since the high temperature can cause them to explode and splatter all over the microwave, wasting more time cleaning while all you need when using a microwave is time-saving. 

Clean your microwave regularly 

Keeping your microwave clean and stain-free is an important thing to expand its life span. Moreover, leftovers from the previous microwave that stick to the sides, the top and the bottom of the cooking chamber can drop down to your new food. In order to protect your health and your microwave, you should not forget to clean it, at least on a weekly basis.

In addition, if you clean your microwave regularly, you do not have to waste your efforts to erase stubborn dark spots that are built up over time. 

I recommend you use recyclable paper towels for cleaning  not a dirty cloth. If you do not own recyclable towels, use clean towels, however, use it once only. 

Do not use microwave to thaw food 

As mentioned above, microwaves only cook thick and dense food partially, it is even harder to cook thaw meat or fish. 

So if you are planning to make steak tomorrow, take it out, cover it in a container and place it in the bottom of the fridge. It will be ready to use after that. 

Check on your food particularly 

By doing this, you will make sure whether or not your food is cooked perfectly or not. Steak requires a different cooking time compared with poached eggs or pumpkin soup.

I often over cook my steak since I leave it in the microwave for too long and never check my food in the middle of the cooking. After reading this tips, I can finally make a perfect medium-rare steak which is my all-time favourite. 

Remember all these rule to become a wise user

  • Wrap your food
  • Never thaw food
  • Keep stirring and checking
  • Wait until it bubbling to reach 75 degrees celsius
  • Keep your microwave clean after use

These golden rules will help you have a perfect cooking experience. 

Bottom Line

In this article, we have shown you the easiest way of how to measure cubic feet of microwave for free as well as some common size of microwaves to check your calculations. 

There are a plethora of microwaves that come in different sizes and shapes but they are all categorized in 3 types: countertop, over-the-range and built-in. By knowing all of these types through this article, you will know which one suits your needs. 

However, since cubic feet is the measurement of the interior capacity only, you should care about other features of the microwave to actually choose an ideal one for your space such as: your purpose, your kitchen space, the exterior size, convection fan, cooking-speed, etc….

In addition, in order to expand your microwave’s lifespan and know how to use a microwave to cook food properly, you should also read all the tips that we have synthesized from reputable sources. Even the best microwave can not make edible dishes if you have no idea about how to make use of your microwave. 

All in all, we have provided all the information that you need to know how to measure cubic feet of microwave as well as further information about microwaves in order to help you find your pick. If you find this article useful, please share it with your family and friends to inform them as well. Also, if you have other intriguing tips that are not shown in this article, let comment and share with us all. 

So, what you should do now is use a measuring tape and let’s check it out whether your current microwave is suitable for your space and do you need to replace it with a new one or not? 

Read Also:
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How To Use A Smoker Box On A Grill

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