Most of us have a microwave oven at home and would love to use it. No doubt, it is a timer saver and helps us cook a variety of recipes, including kebabs, pasta, noodles, pizza, baking, and reheating.
But there are a host of benefits it offers other than those mentioned above. While we are aware of a few, there are many that we do not know.
If you are someone who falls into the same category, do not break your head, thinking what they are. We are here to help you gain understanding on the same.
In this article, we shall discuss the upsides to using a microwave oven and how one can get benefitted from it. Don’t you have a microwave at your home yet? Do not worry! After you finish reading this write-up, you will surely make a wise decision in investing in one.
Here is everything you should know about the advantages of a microwave.
How Does a Microwave Oven Work?
Do you know how a microwave oven works? If no, here is what you should know. A microwave works on the principle of electromagnetic energy. This miracle device consists of a crucial component inside called the magnetron. Whenever you switch on the appliance, the magnetron absorbs all the energy from the power source and converts it to microwaves.
The magnetron now allows these microwaves to bounce back and forth, up and down inside the cooking chamber of the appliance. They travel through and penetrate the food, further stimulating the water molecules. As a result, it causes friction and finally produces heat. The food gets heated inside the plate or bowl, helping you prepare hot food in less time. The faster the water molecules stimulate, the hotter your food gets!
Is It Safe to Cook in Your Microwave?
Some of them have this question in their mind. Is using a microwave oven actually safe? Well, the answer is yes, and we will tell you why and how. The primary reason being that it helps in retaining more nutrients than your traditional gas stove cooking. We are not saying this. It is the studies that concluded the above statement.
As mentioned earlier in the working mechanism, the magnetron inside the microwave oven creates microwaves. These electromagnetic waves are of short wavelength ranging from three feet to 1mm. The appliances use these waves at a high frequency to stimulate the water molecules. If we consider the ultra-high frequency signal of television, the microwave wavelength it generates is about three inches. Whereas microwaves it is 12cm or 4.7 inches.
The electromagnetic microwave waves are not the same as ionizing radiation or nuclear radiation.
Advantages of a Microwave Oven
Let us try to learn the advantages of a microwave oven. We jotted down the significant benefits in the below points to help you gain better insights on this topic. Continue reading below:
Speed In Cooking
Do you want to save your time on cooking and use it for something even more important for you? You can always rely on a microwave oven. It not only quickens your cooking but also helps you spare some time for other crucial activities.
Let us say you are preparing idli for your breakfast. This popular and easiest Indian breakfast may take around 20 minutes for making on your gas stove. If you try preparing the same idli in your microwave, do you know how much time it would take? Just five minutes of your precious time. Isn’t that cool! You can easily and quickly prepare your morning breakfast in less time when compared to a stovetop. Similarly, you can even steam fish in your microwave very faster.
Let me give you another example. Assume that you need butter for one of your recipes or want to spread it over your bread for breakfast. You cannot use the one straight away that you often store in the refrigerator. Since it will hard like a stone, you need to melt the butter before you can use it. The smartest thing you can do is use the microwave to soften the butter in just a few seconds and apply it.
Similarly, you can also melt chocolate blocks for using them in your recipes. It would hardly take you few minutes in a microwave. Not only that, you can cook rice and even quinoa much faster than on your gas stove.
As mentioned earlier, a microwave oven helps in retaining the nutrients from the food. The Harvard University stated the same in its Harvard Health Publishing (HHP) website. According to HHP, when you cook your food in a shorter time using less quantity of water, it helps in preserving the nutrients in the food. Using less water in a microwave helps the food to cook in steam, further retaining all the nutrients and vitamins in it. This makes your food healthy and safe to consume.
If you consider the conventional cooking methods, microwave cooking is healthier than the former. No doubt, the appliance earned its recognition in the market.
Use Less Energy
Let us talk about energy consumption. Microwave ovens consume less energy you’re your gas stoves. Yes, that is true. When you are using a gas stove, it takes time for the burner to transfer the heat to the cooking utensil. During this process, the energy used is only 40% of the total energy consumed. This makes a gas stove less efficient.
On the other hand, microwave ovens do not need anything as such. Instead, they come with better control options giving you total power over the heat. All you have to do is just choose the preferred temperature and time from the setting menu. The automatic on/off option makes your job all the more easier. You can save energy as well as the time when using a microwave appliance.
Heat Does Not Spread In The Kitchen
Unlike the traditional gas stoves, microwave ovens do not heat the surroundings. It does not pass on the heat to items or appliances placed nearby. In addition, you do not have to keep your fan switched off when using the microwave.
A gas stove is completely opposite to the above. It transfers the heat to the surroundings, and other objects placed nearby. Moreover, you will always have to switch off the fan when the flame is on.
A microwave oven facilitates safer cooking than a traditional gas stove cooking. A gas stove heats the surroundings when cooking, and there are chances of burning your hands. Contrary to this, the microwave does not heat the surroundings or does not have any flame. Hence, it nullifies any risk of burning.
A microwave comes with a child lock feature that helps to lock the appliance and keep your children away from it. When you consider all these features, the microwave is definitely the safest option to use.
Usually, when cooking on a gas stove or electric stove, there are chances that the food splashes outside because of the heat. This might create a mess in the surroundings, which can be annoying to clean. Moreover, the cooktop you are using may not be compatible with all types of cookware.
Although the microwave is not compatible with all kinds of cookware, it will prevent the chances of food spills and splashes. You can choose the required temperature that is just perfect for the recipe. Also, you can select the time, accordingly. However, you should know the right method to cook your food in the microwave. After you finish cooking, you can clean the appliance easily. For cleaning your gas stove, you may have to invest a lot of time and effort. Unlike this, the microwave requires less time and simple steps for the cleaning process.
Auto Power Off
Microwave ovens come with an auto power-off feature that makes the appliance turn off immediately after the food gets cooked. All you have to do is to set the time before you start cooking. After the stipulated time, the appliance switches off on its own. There will be an alarm to alert you after the food gets cooked. The upside to this feature is it eliminates the fear of food getting overcooked. You can always preset the time whenever you want.
As mentioned earlier in the article, the microwave oven comes with temperature settings giving you better control over the temperature. You can choose your preferred time and temperature for cooking your food. Choosing the right temperature helps your food to cook perfectly and evenly. Moreover, the rotating plate inside the appliance ensures the even distribution of heat to the food. That means, you will not have to keep stirring the food very often, as you do on a gas stove.
No Pre-Heating Required
While other conventional ovens require pre-heating, your microwave does not. There is no need to pre-heat the device for cooking your food. Just switch on the appliance, and it starts heating instantly. You can save a lot of time and also energy in this.
The other advantage of using a microwave oven is that it is durable. It has a longer life span of about ten years or even more if you follow proper maintenance. Let us say you use it normally without taking proper care as much as needed. Even then, the appliance will work for five years or more without any question. It means there is ample time for replacing your appliance. And the best part, it involves less maintenance costs.
Easy To Heat Food
Do you want to reheat the food that you stored in the refrigerator last night? Your microwave oven does that all. It perfectly and evenly reheats the leftovers without leaving any complaint. Apart from that, you can also prepare crunchy popcorn, defrost frozen food, and heat packaged food easily. Unlike other conventional ovens and stoves, this appliance does the job very quickly.
Easy To Clean
A microwave oven is a low-maintenance kitchen appliance. It is very easy to clean and maintain. Also, it does not steal your time. Below are the simple steps to help you with the cleaning process.
This is all you need:
- Lemon Juice
- Spong or Damp Cloth
- Use a sponge of a damp cloth to wipe the inside or outside of the microwave.
- If there is any smell sneaking out from the device, do this.
- Take a bowl and fill it with some water.
- Add few drops of lemon juice to it.
- Place the bowl inside the microwave and allow it to boil for a few minutes.
Your oven is now free from the stinky smell and ready for the next use.
Helps in Defrosting
Do you want to defrost your frozen food? With a microwave at home, you can easily accomplish this task without any hassle. Unlike other normal ovens, most microwaves come with this feature to help you defrost the food in a short span of time without compromising the taste.
Disadvantages of Microwave Oven
A microwave oven has both advantages and disadvantages to it. Let me take you through the drawbacks of using this device.
Microwaves Radiation Leakage When Damaged
When damaged, the microwave might leak radiation, and it is dangerous. You can notice the phenomenon whenever there are holes in the cooking chamber’s surface or when the door does not function properly. Ensure that your appliance is free from all these.
Although the radiations from the microwave are non-iodized, prolonged exposure to the leakage might lead to the following health issues:
- It may cause burns
- It may cause eye irritation and will damage the eyes
- It reduces the immunity power of the individual
- It will alter the heart rate
- It may even lead to the formation of cancer cells in the body
Another disadvantage of using a microwave oven is that it may facilitate uneven cooking. We all know that this appliance uses a standing waves pattern. As a result, cold and hot spots may get formed inside the food, resulting in food poisoning.
Although microwave helps in retaining the nutrients in the food, you may have to compromise the taste, food colour, and texture.
Makes The Food Dry
A microwave oven heats the food by stimulating the water molecules. This reduces the water content in the food and makes it dry. If you are using less water than required, you may have dry food for your meal. So, ensure the right amount of water to prevent the food from becoming dry.
No Options For Deep Frying
We all love deep-fried foods. Don’t we! However, there is no option as such in a microwave oven. You cannot use this appliance for deep frying. While a conventional oven provides you with the option, a microwave does not. This is one of the significant drawbacks of this device.
Don’ts For Using a Microwave Oven
There are certain don’ts that you need to be careful of when using a microwave oven. Here are they:
- Never stand in front of the microwave while cooking. It is harmful to health as it emits radiation from the device when operating.
- Never use plastic cookware for cooking in the microwave. It emits harmful chemicals like bisphenol, which is dangerous to health.
- Never ever cook your baby food in the microwave. It is strictly not advisable as it is dangerous to the baby.
Safety Tips While Using Microwave Oven
You need to take some safety precautions when using a microwave oven. To help you with the same, we enlisted the necessary tips below. Make sure you follow them diligently.
- Always use only those cookware that is microwave safe. Refrain from using plastic or metal cooking utensils. You may use ceramic or glass cookware provided they are safe to use.
- Always use microwave mittens for taking out the cooking utensils from the appliance. You can buy them either online or in shops.
- In case of any repair, or let us say the appliance is not working, never try to fix it yourself. Seek the help of a professional who can sort this out.
- If you ever notice any spark or fire from the microwave, switch off the device immediately. We suggest you to turn off the main power source, as well, using an insulated object or a wooden stick. Now, call the technician immediately.
- It is advisable to follow the instructions mentioned in the user manual before preparing any recipe. Also, read the pointers carefully before cleaning the appliance to prevent any mess from taking place.
To wrap up, a microwave oven offers plenty of benefits than a traditional gas stove. You can try various recipes in the appliance without losing the nutrients from the food. It is very much safe to use a microwave for cooking.
I hope this article clarified all your doubts concerning a microwave oven. You can now happily and confidently use your appliance without any second thought in your mind. Don’t have a microwave yet? No worries. Since you know the merits of using it, you may want to invest in one. If you are planning to purchase this superb kitchen appliance, go ahead and do it right away.
Write to us in the comments section below if you find this article insightful and helpful. Let us know if you have any questions or require more information on the same. Also, do not hesitate to write to us if you have any inputs on this article. Let us know if we missed out on any points. We would love to hear from you.
Enjoy your cooking and stay safe!!!