Q:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of microwave cooking?

A:

Quick Answer

Microwaves provide an energy-efficient way to heat food quickly and easily; however, they don't always heat food evenly and can potentially be harmful if food is not heated properly. Microwaves are useful for preparing convenient meals and for defrosting meats immediately before being transferred to the oven or grill.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of microwave cooking?
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Full Answer

According to The University of Texas Health Centers Northeast, carcinogenic compounds can potentially be released when cooking steak or hamburger in a pan or on the grill, but microwaving meats beforehand helps to prevent this.

Microwaves have their limitations. Only "microwave-safe" dishes should be used in the microwave; otherwise, unsafe chemicals like polyvinyl chloride may contaminate the food. According to foodsafety.gov, it’s important to follow directions on the boxes of convenient meals because it can be easy to undercook or unevenly cook the food in the microwave. Covering, stirring and rotating food may be necessary to ensure it is prepared safely. If these directions are ignored, the food may not be heated fully and bacteria will not be killed, causing food-borne illness. It’s important to also recognize that a microwave is not the same thing as a convection oven or a toaster oven.

The wattage of a microwave is also important — if the microwave’s wattage is lower than recommended, the food may not be heated entirely within the recommended time frame. If it is unclear whether a food has been heated properly, use a food thermometer to check the temperature.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What year was the microwave invented?

    A:

    The first microwave oven was built in 1947. Sometime around 1946, Percy Spencer, while working for Raytheon, discovered that a magnetron developed to jam radars during World War II also melted the chocolate bar in his back pocket. Corn kernels were some of the first foods Spencer tested, and when they popped, he began attempts to heat other foods using the magnetron.

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  • Q:

    Who invented the microwave?

    A:

    The microwave was invented by Dr. Percy LeBaron Spencer.. The technology behind the microwave was discovered by accident when Spencer noticed that his candy bar melted while working on a radar-related project. He made this discovery, shortly after World War II, in 1946.

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  • Q:

    When did the microwave oven first come out?

    A:

    The microwave oven was patented on October 8, 1945 by the company Raytheon. At the time, it was called the Radarange. It wasn't until 1967 that the microwave was more affordable and reasonably sized.

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  • Q:

    When was the first microwave invented?

    A:

    Plans for the first microwave were patented on Oct. 8, 1945, but the microwave itself was not actually created until 1947. A man named Percy Spencer came up with the idea for the invention, but his employer, Raytheon, officially filed the patent request.

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