How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 546

Does the volume in the cooking chamber of a microwave oven affect the rate at which it cooks the food? In other words, which cooks faster, a small microwave oven or a large one? - RP
The size of a microwave oven's cooking chamber should have little or no effect on how quickly it cooks food. The oven's magnetron tube delivers a certain amount of microwave power to the cooking chamber and virtually all of that power will eventually be absorbed in the food. It may take a few moments longer for a large cooking chamber to fill with microwaves when you first start the oven, but soon the food inside it will be exposed to the same intensity of microwaves as food cooking inside a smaller microwave oven with a similar magnetron power.

On the other hand, the magnetron's power does affect cooking speed so that an oven with a more powerful magnetron will cook food faster than one with a less powerful magnetron. The speed of cooking in a microwave oven also depends on how much food it contains because the food shares the microwave power. In general, doubling the amount of food in the microwave doubles the cooking time.


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