How do microwave ovens cook food? Ask Smithsonian (Smithsonian.com)
How do microwave ovens cook food?
Lexile

Here's a hint. It's really not an oven at all. Microwave ovens use microwaves. These include infra-red, visible light, ultraviolet and x-rays.

Press start on your microwave oven. This fires a blast of microwaves at your food. The energy in the microwaves excites water molecules in the food. The excited water molecules vibrate back and forth. This produces heat. And this heat cooks your food.

The great thing about microwaves is that they are at the right frequency to excite water molecules. They don't vibrate things like metal or plastic. Which is a good thing. Because who wants to eat cooked plastic?

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COMMENTS (5)
  • mc30police
    5/14/2014 - 12:58 p.m.

    When you cook your food you dont think that its just infred light that cooks the food.

  • Preston222
    5/15/2014 - 02:47 p.m.

    The lights and x-rays is what's heats your food up.They don't vibrate things.

  • John0724-YYCA
    6/10/2014 - 12:55 p.m.

    I thought that microwaves heat the food by the light but I was wrong. And I know what microwave works by reading the article. It is cool how the microwaves work. This article taught me a lot of stuff about microwaves today. But also some words were really difficult that i did not know what it meant at all.

    • Jason0421-YYCA
      7/31/2014 - 03:00 p.m.

      REBUTTAL:
      I think that you should give more information of how the food got heated. All you wrote was that the article taught you something. The only time you didn't talk about the microwave is when you talked about how you thought that the light was heating the food. I also think that you should type more about the microwave because you weren't very descriptive at all.

  • TomI-Saw
    5/28/2015 - 12:14 p.m.

    That was a great article but it was short I liked it though because it talked about micro things.

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