Cooking Appliances Made Simple!

Are Microwave Ovens Safe....

It is often speculated that microwave ovens are injurious to health although (to the best of my knowledge) there is no scientific evidence to prove this theory. In the past, people have been unduly worried about the safety of microwave ovens due to lack of understanding of their functioning and the use of the word "radiation" in conjunction with this relatively new cooking system.

It is a well known medical fact that microwave ovens produce non ionizing radiation, which agitates the water, fat and sugar molecules present in food producing heat that cooks the food. They do not make food radioactive. Furthermore, food does not retain any microwave energy after being removed from the microwave oven. The energy produced by microwaves is in fact converted into heat energy which is absorbed by the food and results in cooking.

All microwave ovens (irrespective of brands) undergo stringent quality tests for electrical safety and microwave leakage before they are shipped for sale. Following features are also incorporated in the machine design for better safety:

  1. Microwaves cannot be produced unless the oven door is securely closed. The doors and hinges are fitted with locks, seals and cut out switches which automatically switch off the magnetron as soon as the oven door is opened.
  2. The stainless steel cavity of your microwave oven is specially designed to reflect all microwaves into the food, and to contain any excess microwaves (if at all any) within.
  3. The specially designed oven door contains a strip of microwave absorbing material as well as a sheet of perforated metal sandwiched between its panels, which prevent any microwave energy from escaping.
  4. The oven door also has a specially designed door latch (along with two safety interlocks) which switches off the magnetron instantly when the oven door is opened.

All these safety measures make the microwave oven an absolutely safe appliance. Due to its simplicity, ease of operation and the fact that the oven walls remain relatively cool even during cooking, adolescents and young adults can be taught to use it without the fear of scalding or burning. Its weight makes it heavy enough not to topple over the counter. Also the lack of smoke and condensation in the kitchen reduces heat and discomfort caused by conventional cooking appliances.

Microwave ovens are very easy to operate. They can cook low fat food, save up to 70% cooking time and 55% fuel costs (under standard operating conditions), preserve natural nutrition - vitamins and natural colours - all of which make it a healthier cooking option than most conventional appliances. However there are certain things you cannot do in a microwave oven like boil eggs in their shells (without making a small pinhole in the shell), deep frying or making chapattis. (Although parathas, tandoori style rotis etc are now possible in certain brands / models.) We therefore recommend using your microwave oven in conjunction with your gas stove and not as a replacement to your existing cooktops and hobs.

Microwave ovens offer a host of advantages....

Some of these include:

  • 1. Convenience - Microwave ovens offer the ultimate in convenience - just set the time for cooking while you watch your favourite TV programme! Moreover you can cook and serve in the same dish saving time and energy on cleaning up and dish washing.
  • 2. Energy Efficient and Economical - Microwave ovens save up to 60 - 70% of cooking time and up to 40% of energy as compared to gas stove cooking (under standard operating conditions)
  • 3. Cook Healthy Food -. Microwave ovens preserve maximum nutrition due to shorter cooking times. Since most foods can be cooked in their own juices without the necessity of adding any water thus preserving water soluble nutrients and vitamins from leaching.
  • 4. Low Fat Cooking - it is possible to cook low fat / zero fat Indian dishes in your microwave oven. This is particularly useful for the calorie conscious, diabetics, hypertensive and heart patients.
  • 5. User Friendly - A microwave oven is a simple and safe appliance to use. Special metal mesh on the oven door and an interior oven light allows you to watch the progress of your cooking. Easy to use touch buttons and functions enable you to prepare your meals effortlessly and tasting just like your traditional cuisine.
  • 6. The taste and appearance of food cooked in a microwave oven is very close to that of dishes cooked by conventional cooking methods. In fact if prepared well, most "blind tests" would not reveal the difference!
  • 7. Defrosting / Thawing of frozen foods (frozen at -18° C) can be done in minutes.
  • 8. Microwave ovens do not heat up the cavity walls or the container holding the food, they only heat up the food inside the container making it safe for the aged and children to use.
  • 9. The flavour and texture of most dishes is not altered during reheating, if reheated correctly.
  • 10. A microwave oven offers uniform cooking results.
  • 11. Microwave ovens also offer the advantage of cooler kitchens since both the oven and the dishes used for cooking remain cool while the food becomes piping hot within minutes.
  • 12. Microwave ovens also provide the additional benefit of lesser cleaning and washing up after cooking since food may be cooked and served in the same dish even for parties and formal gatherings.
  • 13. Faster reheating - due to short reheating times individual family members can heat and eat when they want and even late comers can a have a declivous "hot" meal reheated to perfection within minutes.