How does a microwave work?

microwave ovenMicrowave oven entirely change the way in which we cook and they have revolutionised the ways in which we cook. These days with the help of the microwave oven cooking has become much more easier. The predecessor of the microwave oven was the normal one but the only disadvantage and it was that it was pretty slow as compared to the microwave oven. In the older oven, the heat wave is used to heat the food from outside and then inwards and due to this the food was not cooked properly at all places. Often times, people complained that inside the for the remained raw.

This problem was overcome by the microwave oven. In the microwave oven, microwaves are used to heat the food and since they can easily pass through the food as well as other materials they heat and cook the food evenly at all places. The time which is taken for the food to get cooked inside a microwave oven is much lesser than the traditional one or any other kind of cooking method and therefore it saves you energy as well.

What are microwaves?

microwavesMicrowaves are high-frequency waves which carry the heat energy inside the microwave oven. As these can pass through the food they hate each and every molecule of food and therefore the cooking is even in a microwave oven. The same principle is used by the heat energy which is emitted by the sun to heat your face as well that is with the help of radiation.

A microwave is a high-frequency wave which is much smaller in size than the lower frequency waves and it travels at the speed of light. In spite of being a lot smaller than the lower frequency waves it packs a lot of energy along with it. The normal size of a single microwave is about 5 inches.

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The only disadvantage of the microwaves is that they can damage the live cells in the body of the living organisms. That is why the microwave ovens are always in a metal casing which prevents the microwaves from spreading outside. You should never be playing with your microwave oven to avoid suffering from the negative effects of microwaves. The same microwaves are present in our cell phones as well and on the radar technology which is used as well.

How does a microwave work?

microwave oven

As explained above we all know that the microwave produces heat energy along with microwaves but how does it can work the electricity into the microwaves along with heat energy. Below we would be going into the explanation of this.

1. The main part with generates the microwaves is known as the magnetron which is placed inside the metal casing of the microwave. It takes the electricity from the electric source and produces microwaves which are just 5 inches in size.

2. After these waves are produced by the magnetron they are directed by the magnetron into the chamber where the food is placed with the help of an area known as waveguide.

3. If you have observed the microwave oven from inside then you would notice that whatever food you place is placed in a rotating tray which rotates slowly and this tree rooted slowly so that the food is cooked evenly.

4. Inside the chamber where the food is placed the walls are made up of reflective material and therefore the microwaves keep on bouncing around. When the microwaves reach the food, the food is not made of the reflector material and therefore they penetrate the food instead of reflecting back from it and thereby heating the food. As the microwaves travel inside the food, they make the molecules of the food vibrate and thereby heating it.

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5. The vibration of the molecules as explained above causes the food to heat. This is how the energy is passed from the microwaves into the food and the food gets cooked.

How does microwave oven heat up so fast?

Most of the people have experienced that when they are using a microwave oven the food gets cooked pretty rapidly but that is because the microwaves are actually exciting the molecules inside the fort simultaneously and therefore you do not have to wait for a long period of time for the food to get cooked.

In the traditional cooking equipment, the food is cooked with the help of conduction that is first the pan gets heated then the heat is radiated from the pan to the outer side of the food and then finally to the inside of food and in this entire process a lot of time is consumed but since the heating is going on simultaneously in a microwave oven the process takes much lesser time.

The exact time which the process takes would always be dependent on what you’re cooking and the nature of the ingredients of that foot. Liquids get heated faster as compared to the solids and therefore if you’re making something like a fruit pie which is a lot of water content in it, you would find that the inside gets cooked very quickly because that is where the water content is at its maximum and then this heat is radiated outwards as well and also on the outer side the microwaves are already heating the outer side and therefore the cooking process takes a lot less time. That is why the actual time which is taken for cooking always depends on the type of dish which you are cooking.

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Microwaves cannot penetrate a longer distance because the moment they start penetrating something they start losing their energy and therefore you would find that most of the dishes which are to be cooked in a microwave or not more than a few inches. The more deeper the microwaves go the more energy they would be losing.

When you’re buying any microwave recipe, which is ready to be cooked in the microwave oven, you would find that the cooking time is already listed and the temperature is already listed and after that there is a standing time as well and this standing time involves the food being cooked but in this time the microwaves from the microwave oven are turned off because the food is getting cooked due to the heat energy which is inside the food.

Is the microwave oven and efficient?

In a nutshell, microwave ovens are much more efficient than any other traditional cooking methods, specially if you’re cooking an entire recipe or an entire meal.

When you’re speaking about heating up smaller things like a glass of water, then the microwave ovens are not that efficient because in order to power up a microwave oven you need to produce electricity into the magnetron and also you need to provide the energy to the electric motor which turns the tray which is they are inside the electric oven as well and therefore for smaller things like eating a cup of water it is actually not that energy efficient. In smaller tasks like eating a cup of water, microwave oven was found to be 40% less efficient as compared to the traditional cooking methods.