A microwave oven is a household electrical appliance designed for quick cooking or quick heating of food, as well as for defrosting food.
Unlike other devices (for example, an oven or a Russian oven), food is heated in a microwave oven not on the surface, but throughout the entire volume. This significantly shortens the cooking time.
Each microwave oven contains a magnetron, in which electrons are charged from electromagnetic fields to produce microwave radiation equal to 2450 Megahertz (MHz) or 2.45 Gigahertz (GHz). This is microwave radiation and interacts with food molecules.
Microwaves bombard food molecules, causing polar molecules to rotate millions of times per second, creating molecular friction that heats the food. This friction causes significant damage to food molecules, tearing or deforming them. In the scientific world, this process is called structural isomerism.
Despite the fact that the history of microwave ovens is quite long (the American engineer P.B. Spencer invented the microwave oven, who received a patent in 1945 for the use of microwaves in cooking, and in 1949, according to his patent in the United States, the first microwave ovens for fast defrosting strategic stocks of food), in the minds of the mass consumer there are still many myths associated with these so popular household appliances.
A microwave oven is a source of radiation that is harmful to health. This is not true. In the instructions that come with any oven, you can read that microwaves - a type of energy similar to electromagnetic waves used in radio and television broadcasting - are also present in sunlight. So these waves constantly surround us from all sides. Microwaves generated by a magnetron (or an inverter in some microwave models) (i.e., 2450 MHz waves) enter the chamber through holes in the walls of the oven. Upon penetration into food, energy is completely converted into heat due to the effect of microwaves on the water molecules present in the food. Molecular vibrations cause internal friction, therefore, the temperature of the food being cooked rises. There can be no "radiation" from ready-made products. The oven is reliably protected from loss of waves during operation (the metal case shields the waves, the frequent metal mesh located on the glass window of the oven door also serves as a reliable obstacle to microwaves). Microwave leakage can only occur if the sealing surfaces between the door and the oven are heavily soiled or if the oven is not tight. Therefore, it is important not to drop the stove and keep it clean.
You can stick your hand or head into a working oven and "grab" the microwaves. No, this is not possible - all ovens have locking devices that prevent operation with an open door.
The microwave oven is only suitable for defrosting and reheating food. Indeed, when you do not have the strength and time to stand at the stove and monitor the heated dish (so that it does not burn, it warms up evenly, does not dry on the edges and does not burn) - the microwave will gently defrost the food stored in advance or it will heat up the finished dish, preserving both the consistency and taste qualities. However, it should be remembered that a modern microwave oven makes it possible to cook porridge, stew meat, cook barbecue, bake cake cakes, cook fish and chicken, vegetable dishes, etc. The capabilities of the ovens are significantly expanded by additional modes: grill, convection, combined mode, as well as functions embedded in it. There are also many recipes, using which you can learn how to cook whatever your heart desires in one microwave mode.
Microwaved food is not tasty. Most often, this opinion stems from an elementary inability to use the various modes of the microwave oven to achieve the desired taste of the prepared dishes. For example, if you use only microwave radiation, the food will look more like boiled food. If you want the dish to be slightly fried, ruddy, aromatic, with a crispy crust, it is better to use the grill. This kind of heating element is also used in electric ovens. But in combination with microwaves, the grill allows you to cook evenly fried, toasted and very appetizing dishes.
Microwaves are for bachelors. Not entirely correct opinion. A microwave oven equipped with automatic programs (from 4-6 to 42) for cooking, relieving a person from the need to understand culinary intricacies (choose a dish from the menu, press a button - and no worries) is useful not only for bachelors. She is an indispensable assistant to those who cannot or are just learning to cook, mothers and teenagers who are busy with children, old or sick people who simply do not have the strength to stand at the stove for a long time. It should be noted that the care of the microwave is extremely simple due to the fact that the chambers of the microwave ovens are made of stainless steel or covered with heat-resistant paint, which is perfectly washable. Some ovens have an antibacterial coating, and some have an Easy to Clean Ceramic coating. It is absolutely smooth and resistant to external influences. Drops of oil and fat do not stick to such a coating, so to bring such a microwave oven to a perfectly clean state, you just need to wipe the chamber with a sponge.
It is difficult to understand how a microwave oven works. Erroneous, although quite widespread opinion. After all, the microwave oven is controlled using a mechanical, touch and button panel. By means of a mechanical panel, by turning the knobs, the power and the cooking time of the products (indicated on the packaging of semi-finished products) are selected - nothing complicated. And in ovens with touch control, in addition, it is possible to automatically evaluate and set the time required for cooking, taking into account the type and weight of the product. Some ovens are equipped with a display on which all manipulations are reflected, prompts are given about which parameter should be set.
Microwaves are very energy intensive. Compared to electric ovens, a microwave oven consumes almost half the energy.
A microwave oven requires special, very expensive dishes. Indeed, special plastic or heat-resistant glassware is best suited for the microwave. But the usual dishes you already have will do. Do not use only metal plates and mugs, as well as dishes with a metal finish, as well as ordinary glassware (especially crystal), which may also contain metals.
The microwave oven is extremely durable, so you can put whatever your heart desires in it. This myth has long been debunked by curious teenagers, putting a variety of objects in the microwave: a light bulb (lights up and then explodes), a propane can (explodes, blowing the stove and table to pieces), a singing toy (lights up and dies down).
Metal objects are not at all dangerous for the microwave oven. Remember that metal absorbs microwaves much better than food or liquid. As a result, the metal heats up very much and an electric current arises. This current can cause a high voltage discharge that can pass from the object to the microwave body and is quite capable of damaging the electronics of the magnetron - a device that converts mains electricity into microwaves.