|When you are defrosting and the magnetron is turning on and off, when it is off, are the microwaves still bouncing around or is the food just sitting there warming itself up? - LEA, PA
During the defrost cycle, the microwave oven periodically turns off its magnetron so that heat can diffuse through the food naturally, from hot spots to cold spots. These quiet periods allow frozen parts of the food to melt the same way an ice cube would melt if you threw it into hot water. While the magnetron is off, it isn't emitting any microwaves and the food is just sitting there spreading its thermal energy around.