Can you imagine life without a microwave oven? I can’t. They’ve just become so much part of our day-to-day lives.
Ironically, the functionality of the microwave oven was discovered by accident. In 1945, Percy Spencer, an engineer from America, was busy working on radar systems using magnetrons. Magnetrons emit microwaves. Spencer decided to stop for a snack only to discover his candy bar had totally melted. Putting two and two together, he reasoned it was the effect of the microwaves that had cause the chocolate to melt.
And so the idea of cooking with microwaves was born.
It’s extraordinary how these ovens work. We can toss a plate of last night’s dinner into the oven, set the timer for 1-2 minutes and end up with an evenly warmed plate of food. A child can heat up a bag of popcorn. A couple of minutes later and hey presto, freshly popped, hot corn. Microwave ovens are practically magic.
When food is placed inside a microwave oven, radio waves are emitted. These are absorbed by the food and cause some of the atoms to move faster. In turn this motions causes heat to be generated which cooks the food.
Because it is only the atoms of the food that absorb the energy the air inside the oven remains at the same temperature- meaning we don’t waste energy heating empty space.
But do they harm our health? From the very first day that microwave ovens were used concerns were expressed about their safety. Is cooking food with radio waves dangerous? Rest assured, according to numerous studies, there is no known health risk associated with using a microwave. Why? Because the oven uses non-ionizing radio waves which do not cause mutation of our DNA in the same way that ionizing radiation does.
Of course you still have to check your oven for wear and leaks in the same way you would with any other household appliance.
Microwaves are not only safe and efficient they’re versatile as well. Most people associate microwave ovens with heating up yesterday’s left overs but there is a growing awareness that microwave ovens can be used to cook entire meals from scratch including cakes and bread as well as deserts. One of my favourites is the cake-in-a-mug – a chocolate cake in less than 5 minutes.
What really came as a surprise for me was in discovering the range of non-cooking uses for my oven. For instance did you know you could fuse glass, dry flowers, heat wax (for your legs) or heat a pad to sooth aching muscles – all in your oven?
But what I love best about my microwave oven is the price! They are just so affordable there are very few people who can’t afford to splash out $ 50 for a basic model. Of course you can add on a range of extras, get a larger oven or one that heats superfast but even then you’d rarely need to pay more than a few $ 100.
For more information or microwave oven recipes and tips, visit, www.microwaveheaven.com