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The Cooking and Heating Principle of a Microwave Oven

Updated on February 7, 2009

Radiation and Conduction

Heating or cooking is the movement of molecules in solids, liquids and gases. This was discovered by a botanist, Robert Brown more than 120 years ago. The molecules move freely in gases and rotational or vibrating in liquids and solids. It’s the speed of movement of molecules in a material that determines the temperature. The materials will heats up whenever the speed of the molecules is increased. The heat is passed on by radiation and conduction.

Heating From Outside Inwards

In normal cooking of food using oven, grill, naked flame or hot plate, food is heated from the outside inwards. The interior of the food heats up relatively slowly. Microwaves ovens have magnetrons equipped with ceramic tubes or glass tubes. Ceramic ovens are better because the temperature differences can be compensated.

Microwave Oven

A microwave oven is a kitchen appliance that cooks or heats food by dielectric heating.
A microwave oven is a kitchen appliance that cooks or heats food by dielectric heating.

Microwaves Are Electro-Magnetic Waves

A microwave oven or what is generally called microwave, is a kitchen appliance that cooks or heats food by dielectric heating. Microwaves are invisible waves like television waves. They are electro-magnetic waves similar to radio and television waves, infrared radiation, visible light or ultraviolet rays. They are the very same waves you use in your mobile phone’s Bluetooth or infrared connections. When you connect to the internet using the wireless USB broadband modem, you are actually using microwaves.

Dielectric Heating

A microwave oven or what is generally called microwave, is a kitchen appliance that cooks or heats food by dielectric heating. Microwaves are invisible waves like television waves. They are electro-magnetic waves similar to radio and television waves, infrared radiation, visible light or ultraviolet rays. They are the very same waves you use in your mobile phone’s Bluetooth or infrared connections. When you connect to the internet using the wireless USB broadband modem, you are actually using microwaves.

Microwaves

Microwaves can not be seen but can be converted to music and pictures. The shorter the wavelength, the greater the energy content of the microwaves. The energy in microwave is sufficient enough to cause water and fat molecules in organic substances, such as food, to rub against each other, producing heat. It’s an ultrasonic vibration. The microwaves vibrate 2.5 billion times per second.

Shorter Period of Time

A microwave oven will take a shorter period of time to heat up food than with other heating processes. The microwaves penetrate into the organic substance and generate heat. The heat is generated simultaneously on the outside and in the deeper layers.

Traditional Ovens and Stoves

Where time efficiency is needed like in restaurants and homes, a microwave oven will be very useful. But when it comes to quality cooking, then traditional ovens and stoves are better. Traditional ovens and stoves are better because browning, and other flavor-enhancing reactions are adequately achieved due to the wide range of temperatures unlike microwave ovens.

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    • conradofontanilla profile image

      conradofontanilla 

      6 years ago from Philippines

      Food absorbs microwaves and converts them into heat. Electrons in the food move or oscillate very fast generating heat.

      Microwaves can penetrate meat as thick as two inches that cook meat evenly.

      There are eleven kinds of electromagnetic waves in the electromagnetic spectrum. Microwaves and radar belong together, of the same wavelength; they are seventh in the spectrum (Goldsmith, M. Dr. Guglielmo Marconi.2003). Galactic cosmic waves come first in the spectrum; they have the greatest energy followed by gamma rays and X-rays, etc. I have a Hub "Why the Microwave Oven Is Good In Cooking Food." Browning of meat cooked in microwave can be achieved with infrared rays applied by an infrared unit.

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