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A microwave oven (commonly known as a microwave) can be an electric oven that heats and cooks food by exposing it to electromagnetic radiation in the microwave frequency range.[1] This induces polar molecules in the meals to rotate and produce thermal energy in an activity referred to as dielectric heating. Microwave ovens heat foods quickly and proficiently because excitation is rather uniform in the outer 25-38 mm (1-1.5 inches) of a homogeneous, high water content meal.

The development of the cavity magnetron permitted the production of electromagnetic waves of a tiny enough wavelength (microwaves). American engineer Percy Spencer is normally credited with inventing the present day microwave oven after World War II from radar technology developed through the war. Named the “Radarange”, it had been first sold in 1946. Raytheon later qualified its patents for a home-use microwave oven that was initially introduced by Tappan in 1955, but these units were still too big and expensive for general home use. Sharp Corporation introduced the first microwave oven with a turntable between 1964 and 1966. The countertop microwave oven was initially introduced in 1967 by the Amana Corporation. After Sharp introduced low-cost microwave ovens affordable for residential use in the late 1970s, their use spread into commercial and residential kitchens all over the world. In addition with their use in food preparation, microwave ovens are being used for heating in lots of commercial processes.

Microwave ovens certainly are a common kitchen appliance and so are popular for reheating previously cooked foods and cooking various foods. Also, they are useful for rapid heating of otherwise slowly prepared foodstuffs, which may easily burn or turn lumpy when cooked in conventional pans, such as for example hot butter, fats, chocolate or porridge. Unlike conventional ovens, microwave ovens will not directly brown or caramelize food, given that they rarely attain the required temperatures to create Maillard reactions. Exceptions occur in rare circumstances where the oven can be used to heat frying-oil and other oily items (such as for example bacon), which attain far higher temperatures than that of boiling water.[citation needed]

Microwave ovens have limited roles in professional cooking,[2] for the reason that boiling-range temperatures of a microwave won’t produce the flavorful chemical reactions that frying, browning, or baking at an increased temperature will. However, additional heat sources could be put into microwave ovens.[3]