How does a microwave cook food

More than just reheating food microwave oven is an incredible kitchen gear and an essential household item nowadays. From cooking, baking, defrosting to fix your midnight cravings quickly there is nothing it’s unable to handle. Cooking with a microwave is really simple and fast as compare to conventional methods.

In this article we will explain you in detail about microwave cooking, how does it work, health and safety guidelines and how to choose the best one for your kitchen.


It’s a relatively small, box like appliance that converts electrical energy into electromagnetic energy waves called microwaves.

These microwaves when generated inside the box stimulate food molecules, thus making them vibrate, spin and collide with each other turning the energy into heat and through this heat the food cooks or warms up depending upon our settings.

This phenomenon is quite similar to how we rub hands together in cold weather to make them warm


Choosing the right type of microwave oven can save you plenty of cooking hours and hassle in the kitchen. To pick the best one, keep in mind the design layout and size of your kitchen along with your family size and requirements.

Generally, there are three different types of microwave oven i.e. countertop, over the range and built-in. Let’s have a look on how do they work and what the difference between them.


Countertop microwaves are undoubtedly the most commonly used and popular among masses. The reason is because they don’t require any installation or fixing, you just have to unpack your appliance, plug the switch in and it’s ready to function. They are usually lightweight, easy to carry, pack, and move around so there is no difficulty in case you are moving elsewhere.

Before getting one for your kitchen be mindful of the available counter space and size of your kitchen so you don’t have to compromise on day to day functions and buy accordingly as it will take up a considerable counter space.


Over-the-range microwaves are installed directly above stove or cooking range. These microwaves blends aesthetically into the kitchen and come with few extra features that other microwaves may not have:

  1. Majority of these have a light fixture below that helps illuminate the Cooking surface more.
  2. They usually have a built-in ventilation system that helps removing, fumes, odor and excessive heat from the kitchen like a hood or exhaust fan.

Over-the-range microwaves may be the best choice for you if you have a small kitchen and wants to save the counter space but the downside is that they are relatively expensive and could be a struggle to access for kids and also some adults.


Priciest as compare to other models but built-in microwave is the best choice if you are looking for something really flexible with plenty of choices. They can be installed in to almost any part of your kitchen that fits in their space and electrical requirements.

Built-in microwaves are the best fit if you are remodeling or redesigning your kitchen interior. They require a proper fixing and installation by professionals and that’s what makes them more expensive than others.


Apart from the kitchen layout here are some other considerations to be made before microwave shopping.

  1. Your family size and daily usage. If you have a large family and dinner parties are a regular occasion than built-in or over-the-range may not be the best choice for you as they are relatively smaller than countertop microwaves and unable to fit large dishes and serving ware.
  2. Price: an important thing to keep in mind no matter what you purchase. You will have the most economical options in the countertop category. If you are looking for aesthetically sound and flexible one than go for the later ones.
  3. Wattage: the higher the wattage the faster the cooking. Usually microwaves of 1000 watts are the best and the fastest in terms of service. Anything lesser than that will be cheaper in price but may compromise on quality. Look for reviews and customer care before buying.


 Microwaves produce electromagnetic radiations so it’s completely fine if you have concerns about your health safety like most of the people. However, microwaves are proved to be safe and effective way of cooking. The radiations they produce are generally non harmful, also they are designed in a way with metal protective sheets that these radiations don’t leave the oven and stay inside.

One thing that you should be really careful of while using microwaves is to avoid any kind of plastic containers. Majority of plastics are known for their harmful chemical compounds e.g. bisphenol-A (BPA) which is linked with conditions like cancer, obesity and thyroid issues. While heating your food is likely to absorb these compounds from the container which is extremely harmful for health.


To safely operate a microwave oven:

  1. Thoroughly read the manual guide book that comes with it.
  2. Never operate if the door is not fixed properly or even partially damaged.
  3. Never keep metal pots or pans inside.
  4. Keep at least 24 to 30 inches of distance from microwave while using it.


Despite being a very useful tool for heating food. Microwaves don’t cook food inside out. When heavy foods such as lasagna, roasts are cooked inside microwaves the upper layers may cook perfectly due to the microwaves while the inner layers may not be cooked so perfectly due to slower heat conduction from the upper layers so these type of food are better cooked in baking or electrical oven.

Microwaves generally have a lifespan of 10 years, baking taking good care of your appliance it can perfectly work even after that. Make sure to clean it properly with manufacturer recommend cleaners, or baking soda, dish soaps and simple water. Clean it regularly and properly both from inside and outside to avoid building up bacteria and mold inside.