Everything you need to know about the microwave oven


The microwave oven is one of the most used appliances in the kitchen, but several myths persist around it, and most people use it only to reheat food.

Actually, it can be used for many other things. Here we are going to tell you some, in addition to giving you some tricks to keep it clean.


How does a microwave oven work?


If we do not fully understand how a microwave heats food, it seems that it is simply magic, a box with a light that makes our lives easier. But it is not like that, science can explain in a very simple way what this process is like.

This is the step by step of its operation:

  1. The microwave receives electricity from the mains when we connect it in our houses.
  2. The electrical current, inside this appliance, passes through a magnetron. This object is fundamental, it is what makes it possible for us to heat food.
  3. The magnetron transforms electrical energy into electromagnetic waves, which are a type of microwave, hence its name.
  4. The microwaves then enter the box where we put the food.
  5. As the walls of the box are covered by a material that reflects the waves, the waves begin to bounce off and crash into the food.
  6. When the microwaves hit the food, they start to move and agitate the water molecules inside. This constant vibration is transformed into heat, which is distributed throughout the food.


Microwave types


Although almost all microwaves look like the same object, with minor variations in design details or colors, different classes have some specific characteristics.


The classic microwave oven

It is the one that is used, basically, to reheat food or heat some liquids. Although its power is not very high, it also varies depending on the brand and the models, it does not usually work to cook many things either.

It is perfect if you want a microwave only to heat or defrost food or drinks. It also works to melt some ingredients, for example chocolate.


The microwave with grill

Unlike the previous option, this kind of appliance has an electrical resistance in the upper part that heats up and serves as a heat source for cooking.

In this case, they are microwaves that work very well to brown or gratin some dishes. As might be expected, they are more expensive than the basic ones, and they also have more modes and power.


The microwave with convection

It is a mix between a microwave and a convection oven. You may be wondering what this type of oven is. Its main feature is that, unlike a traditional oven, the convection oven has a fan on the inside that distributes the heat evenly throughout the box, cooking the food, too, with the air currents.

So what is a convection microwave? It is a union between these two appliances. We have already explained to you how the microwaves work, the resistance in the upper part, and the fan.


Although they are the most expensive, they have the great advantage that they can be used to reheat or defrost food and cook foods for which an oven would normally be used.

For those who enjoy experimenting in their kitchens, there are also models that allow you to mix the three options and even use them at the same time to prepare dishes that you would otherwise have to carry from one appliance to another.