Microwaves, microwaves, microwaves. The magical invisible waves that cook and warm up your food. You cannot see them, but they are there, just like magic.
Mysteries apart, you can see microwaves through certain methods and it’s a combination of electro-magnetic energy that heats up fat, water, and any sugar molecules. Hence, you get ready food all warmed up right from the refrigerator.
But do microwaves cook from the inside out? Like ovens and cookers? Turns out they don’t. They can only warm up using electromagnetic waves to vibrate water molecules which are free. This means the waves can’t get into solidified ice molecules because they are not moving.
It’s all hardcore science stuff and we are going to explain it to you, in the simplest, meaningful sense.
Why Microwave Doesnt Cook From The Inside Out
As we stated earlier, microwaves work by generating electromagnetic energy and making the water molecules vibrate. Which in turn heats up the food.
But, the waves go in a straight line and get defected. Meaning it starts to warm up from the outside, not the inside. The illusion that your food gets warm faster than any other heating source like an oven or stove is just because of that.
As the outside is constantly getting warmer and warmer, the center gets warmer gradually. If you place frozen food inside a microwave, you will notice that the center is still solid sometimes. This is because the outside molecules can vibrate and transfer heat, but the solid parts cannot.
But thinner-layer foods get heated up pretty quickly into retrospect of thicker layers, even though they are frozen. As there is not much barrier on the top, the waves get to work inside more, making you think it heats up from the inside.
And only then will you understand that a microwave only heats from the outside in, not the other way around.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the microwave cook inside first?
No. Microwaves start to heat the outside of the food first and the vibration of molecules start to vibrate inwards. That’s how cooking in the microwave happens.
Can you cook inside a microwave?
Yes. You can cook a full-on meal inside a microwave. This ranges from cooking a simple dish such as eggs to a full-on roast chicken.
Why don’t microwaves cook in the middle?
Microwaves cannot travel beyond the outside layer of the food. The constant vibration of water, fat, and sugar molecules starts to heat up the food from the outside in. If the food is too thick, the center won’t be cooked. This is why there are conduction microwaves that use hot air to circulate and cook any food.
So if you have been believing till now that microwaves heat foods from the inside out, we are sorry to debunk that. You can do a test yourself by placing a frozen burger in the oven and seeing it practically happen. And thank us later. There’s no shame in learning new things, and we just did.