Microwave Cookery

Microwave cookery is not new-it has been particularly popular with the cater7 ing trade in most parts of the world for many years because its special process enables food to be cooked far more quickly than by a conventional oven.

A special oven is used to cook food by microwaves. Electromagnetic waves (microwaves) are conducted by an elec-tron tube in the oven and the resulting energy is sent directly into the substance being cooked. This causes the liquid molecules in the food to vibrate and cause friction, which in turn produces heat energy which is conducted through-out the food.

Because the energy is so direct, food takes much less time to cook – an 8- to 10-pound turkey will cook in 7 minutes, for instance.

Microwave ovens may also be used to heat precooked food and to defrost frozen food. They cannot, however, take the place of a conventional oven because food cooked in this way does not look brown. Steak cooked in a micro-wave oven looks unappetizingly grey and needs to be browned under the grill before being served.

Paper, glass and some plastics and ceramics all make good cooking utensils for use in a microwave oven – they have no moisture molecules and therefore transfer microwaves rather than absorb them. Metal, on the other hand, reflects microwaves and slows down the cooking process. Metal utensils, therefore, are not recommended for use in microwave ovens.