The microwave oven is a marvel of convenience in this modern age, but many people have no idea how it works. Believe it or not, it is not as complicated as it sounds.

Microwaves are electromagnetic waves similar to radio waves. They are generated by a device called a magnetron in the microwave oven and directed into the cooking area, where they bounce from wall to wall.

So how does this cook the food? Most food has a high percentage of water molecules contained in it, and these water molecules are what make it possible for the microwaves to do their cooking. As the microwaves pass by and through the food they excite the water molecules, which begin vibrating quickly. These vibrations generate heat, which cooks the food.

Cooking in microwave ovens can be done in containers made of glass, ceramic, or some plastics, which allow the microwaves to pass through them. However, because metal reflects microwaves, microwave cooking should not be done using metal cookware. In addition, metal in the microwave can cause electric discharges, appearing as small lightning bolts, which could potentially damage your microwave.

Microwave ovens are equipped with mesh on the doors to stop the microwaves from exiting through the glass and harming anyone on the outside. Safety mechanisms stop microwaves from being emitted the moment the microwave door is opened. Even so, it is recommended to stand several inches away from the door, just in case there is a leak.