Do you know how a microwave works? How can you heat and defrost foods quickly? We explain it to you in this guide.

The microwave oven heats food, saves on electricity and gas bills compared to the traditional oven and is environmentally friendly. This appliance for twenty years has not stopped being successful in the homes of Italians and a bit all over the world.

Simple and practical, just a common electrical outlet and can heat and cook any type of food. However, almost nobody knows how a microwave works.

What are microwaves

Let’s do some order starting from the beginning: the microwaves. These are nothing but electromagnetic waves, similar to vibrations of energy (we use simple terminology to aid understanding). Electromagnetic waves surround us and have nothing to do with them (or rather they are not alone) those of radio repeaters.

Among electromagnetic waves, for example, we have colors. If the waves are longer, we have red, if they are shorter, we have purple. The infrared ones are even longer, the ultraviolet ones are shorter.

Since the lengths range from thousandths of a millimeter to kilometers, we have radio waves on one side and X-rays on the other. In between are the microwaves.

The microwaves in an oven are produced by a magnetron, a special device.

How do you heat food in the microwave?

The microwaves are emitted in the amount of five million per second. They are able to react with some food components, such as water and fats.

These molecules try to follow the microwaves, but five million displacements per second are very many and so they collide with each other and in this way produce heat.

The longer the microwaves last, the more heat will come out of the molecules, the warmer our food will be. And here we also understand why, for example, hard and stale bread, once put in the microwave, becomes soft. The internal water, generally still, evaporates and so it is as if the bread were steamed. Interesting, right?

So, foods containing more water cook faster than solid foods.  Precisely for this reason it is sometimes difficult to establish the right cooking time.

The shorter cooking times are also due to the propagation of the heat that is generated from inside the food. Quite the opposite of what happens with cooking in the oven, where the heat is transmitted from the outside to the inside, with inevitably longer times.

For example, to cook a chicken leg with roasted potatoes, the time in the microwave is about 4 minutes, while in the normal oven it takes at least 10 minutes. Must check Toaster Oven 

 

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