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Microwaves, for More than Heating Leftovers

Wikipedia reports that cooking food with microwaves was discovered by Percy Spencer in the 1940s, while he was building magnetrons for radar sets at Raytheon. He was working on an active radar set when he noticed that a chocolate bar he had in his pocket started to melt. The radar had melted his candy bar with microwaves.

After decades of experimentation and refinement, microwave ovens became common in household use in the 1970s and 1980s. These devices have revolutionized food preparation as a result of their fast, efficient ability to heat and cook foods, as well as speedily defrost frozen foods.

Now a standard convenience in residential and commercial kitchens around the world, microwave ovens are available in sizes ranging from small countertop models to large-capacity models for cooking larger meals. In addition to standard microwave cooking units, many newer models include a convection cooking option.

Microwaves with the Convection Cooking Option

A report by Consumer Research says, “With convection technology, ovens use traditional microwave heating and a small fan to circulate heat throughout the oven, a process that aids in surface browning—a traditional weak spot for microwaves. This enables the oven to produce a roast chicken with crispy, browned skin or fries that are golden and crunchy. Convection cooking also helps food retain moisture.

“Microwave/convection ovens also let you choose which cooking technology you want to use: microwave only, convection only, or microwave and convection combined. In convection mode, you can almost use these models like a second regular oven. Though foods won’t cook much faster, you can bake and roast. Using microwave and convection together, cooks food faster, and you get crispier results than you would by using a regular microwave. Editors at Consumer Reports say that many microwave/convection ovens work very well, and for small dishes, it could save you from turning on your regular oven.”

There are thousands of models of microwave ovens on the market, with some sources offering over 3,000 models available for purchase. In addition to convection cooking features, microwaves come in every size and color, as well as the following features, among others:

  • Self-cleaning
  • Sensor cooking and heating
  • Turntable included
  • Speed cooking
  • Built-in models
  • Countertop models

Want to save space and build a space in your wall for the microwave? Contact a certified kitchen contractor in your area for a free estimate.

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