A microwave oven is a very handy tool for cooking your food fast. We all have those moments when we need to prepare a snack fast and put it into our bag before rushing out the door towards work. But speed is not always accompanied by quality, and so is the case also for microwaves.
A new scientific research analyzes the way microwaves can heat liquids. It turns out that this method is clearly worse than other heating methods.
Don’t buy a microwave oven
You should save your money for something else, as the scientists believe that the major flaw of microwaves is that they don’t allow the circulation of the water inside the glass that it’s poured in. But when you choose to heat water on a stovetop, the liquid is heated by convection. This means that hot water from the bottom of the vessel moves upward, which allows the water to circulate. The outcome will be that the liquid will be evenly heated once you remove it.
What happens in the microwave ovens is fairly simple to understand: the vessel itself heats up for raising the temperature of the water from all sides. While this way of heating doesn’t cause the circulation of the water inside the vessel, the liquid near the top is much hotter than the one from the bottom.
However, if you’re in love with microwave ovens, it’s still not a totally bad idea to purchase one for your urgent needs. The researchers also developed a vessel that treats liquids in the microwave by pretty much the same way as a stovetop. They used thin silver plating on the rim of the vessel to prevent the top of the water to get overheated. This allows the liquid to heat up via convection.
Baoqing Zeng, who is co-author of the study, explained how it’s done:
“After carefully designing the metal structure at the appropriate size, the metal edge, which is prone to ignition, is located at weak field strength, where it can completely avoid ignition, so it is still safe,”
The research was published in the journal AIP Advances here: https://aip.scitation.org/doi/full/10.1063/5.0013295