Cooking in Microwave

Heat transmitted by electromagnetic waves for cooking. Microwaves are very short in length radio frequency waves and are produced by a special generator in the oven called a magnetron. The waves' frequency is tuned to the vibrating frequency of water. These waves are then distributed throughout a metal cavity and in some ovens, the food rotates on a revolving shelf.

Microwaves are sources of energy, not heat. When the waves are absorbed by the water molecules within food, the energy is transformed into heat and bakes and roasts food. Microwaves penetrate to 3 inches into food, cooking from the inside to the outside on all surfaces.

Microwaves reflect from all the metallic walls in the oven and penetrate the food from all angles, passing directly through the utensil. For this reason, glass, ceramic, plastic and paper are used as cooking utensils in microwave ovens. Metallic cookware reflects the microwaves away from the food and can cause arcing that may damage the oven's electronics. Some microwave cookware contains a safe combination of plastic and metal to give controlled cooking. In choosing microwave cookware, don't assume that all plastics are microwave safe. Some may melt at low temperatures and, in others, chemicals within the plastic compounds may be liberated when the plastic is heated.
 
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Heat Sources

Cooking in Microwave

Heat transmitted by electromagnetic waves for cooking. Microwaves are very short in length radio frequency waves and are produced by a special generator in the oven called a magnetron. The waves' frequency is tuned to the vibrating frequency of water. These waves are then distributed throughout a metal cavity and in some ovens, the food rotates on a revolving shelf.

Microwaves are sources of energy, not heat. When the waves are absorbed by the water molecules within food, the energy is transformed into heat and bakes and roasts food. Microwaves penetrate to 3 inches into food, cooking from the inside to the outside on all surfaces.

Microwaves reflect from all the metallic walls in the oven and penetrate the food from all angles, passing directly through the utensil. For this reason, glass, ceramic, plastic and paper are used as cooking utensils in microwave ovens. Metallic cookware reflects the microwaves away from the food and can cause arcing that may damage the oven's electronics. Some microwave cookware contains a safe combination of plastic and metal to give controlled cooking. In choosing microwave cookware, don't assume that all plastics are microwave safe. Some may melt at low temperatures and, in others, chemicals within the plastic compounds may be liberated when the plastic is heated.

Cooking in Microwaves

Metal in Microwaves

Contrary to popular belief, some metal can be used in microwave cooking, especially when its microwave energy-reflecting properties are used to protect foods from overheating or overcooking. This is called "shielding." These utensils generally include a matrix material, usually aluminum, that absorbs the microwave energy and the heated metal does the cooking.

This same principle applies to microwave steamers designed specifically for vegetables, seafood and eggs. Most common metal cookware cannot be used in a microwave oven. The reason is that the metal reflects the microwave energy and the food inside the pan would not cook. When it comes to microwave-safe cookware, look to the recommendations of both the microwave oven and cookware manufacturers.

 

 

 
 
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