The microwave is one of the most common appliances and it is difficult not to find a kitchen that includes a microwave among its equipment. But if it is true that its use is now on the agenda, few know how it actually works and, indeed, more and more urban legends are born about the harmfulness of its use . Since this portal is completely dedicated to microwaves, it seems right to me to try to make you understand how this tool that has revolutionized the world.
Let’s start with a little history. The discovery of the possibility of microwave cooking was completely random. It was, in fact, the engineer Percy Spencer who, while working with a magnetron, realized that the microwaves had melted a chocolate bar. Shortly thereafter, Spencer tried to cook increasingly complex foods with the help of microwaves. In 1946 the Radarange was born , the first microwave model suitable, if we may say so, for commercialization. This microwave oven was in fact 1.8 meters high and weighed 340 kg. With the passage of time, technology, tending more and more to miniaturize, has made it possible to create microwave ovens with a very compact shape. Nowadays, however, it is possible to buy a microwave with just 13 l of capacity and that weighs just 12 kilos.
So how does the microwave work ? In practice, when we activate the microwave function, a magnetron is activated which produces the microwaves. These, “shot” in the cooking chamber, influence the quiet state of the water molecules present in the food . The water molecules, thus solicited, begin to oscillate until they produce about 2,500 oscillations per second. Reaching this speed, the water particles begin to overheat until they reach very high temperatures that allow food to cook .
Microwave oven: how does it work? And why is it so efficient?
The secret of microwave efficiency lies precisely in the fact that the energy produced is completely absorbed by food , there is no dispersion, if we want to say so. The result is perfect cooking in half the time compared to a classic electric oven, which instead must be pre-heated .
From this explanation it is easy to understand why many dishes, such as roasts or lasagna, do not lend themselves well to being cooked only in the microwave. This is why functions such as ventilated cooking and the grill have been introduced in the latest generation microwaves , which compensate for this aspect. If you want to know more about the differences between the different types of microwaves.
And we also understand why, if we put empty glass or plastic containers, they will not heat up.
But it was Whirl pool that provided microwave technology that completely revolutionized it. I’m talking about the crisp function , which I talk about in depth on this page, which allows a cooking very similar, if not the same, to that obtained with a normal static oven. Thanks to this function it is also possible to bake biscuits, roasted potatoes and much more.
Microwave oven operation: all clear?
I hope I have provided you with valuable information regarding the operation of a microwave oven. This appliance has evolved in such a way as to move from a simple tool to heat or defrost, to an appliance capable of preparing complex dishes . The technologies applied on very advanced microwave ovens have also made them arrive in the large kitchens of restaurants, where chefs, thanks to the help of Professional microwaves , manage to prepare delicious dishes.