Thursday, November 17, 2011

How To Cook With A Microwave Oven

Cooking with a microwave seems like a pretty mindless topic, right? Put the food in, enter the time to cook, push start, and endure the torturous ninety seconds it takes to turn the outside of your food into lava-hot rubber while leaving the inside cold.

Take that vegetable peeler away from your wrist... there's a better way!

The way microwaves cook is by exciting water and sugar molecules. These in turn vibrate and heat up the non-water and sugar molecules around them.

The problem comes when you try to heat these molecules past their limit by not giving them a chance to pass their heat to the other molecules. It's called sharing or convection or something. What happens is that these molecules get overloaded with heat energy and then burn, or in this case turn to rubber. It's like cooking eggs on the range top with the burner cranked all the way or a cake in an oven set to 500 (Fahrenheit, not therms). Bad things will happen when you try this blowtorch cooking method.

That's why microwave ovens have this great thing called a "Power" button. Cook your food for twice as long at 50% power and not only will the middle get warmed but the texture of your vittles will remain intact. Sure it will take twice as long but three unattended minutes in the microwave is still faster than five minutes on the stove where you have to stay in the same room and stir occassionally.