Saving Energy – One Microwave Minute at a Time

The most common recipe most of us follow is as follows

1. Open the refridgerator and get the frozen dinner packet.

2. Cut the box open. Throw the plastic tray in microwave.

3. Come back after 3 minutes. Find most of the stuff still frozen. Add 3 more minutes.

4. Come back to see it is mostly done. Take out and eat.

Normal microwaves consume around 700 to 1200 Watts energy. So if you can reduce microwave usage by one hour, you are reducing approximately 1 KWH energy. OK, agreed that is not much. But saving is saving right? Especially if you could achieve it without losing anything?

Let us take a quick dip in theory of microwaves. As the name suggests, the microwaves heat food by high frequency electromagnetic waves. When these waves are incident on water, they make water molecules vibrate. When the vibrating water molecues rub against each other, they get hot.

So microwave can very effectively heat any substance that contains water.

But no so much for ice.

Thus it would make a big difference if you took out your frozen dinner and let it settle for a while outside before putting it in microwave. If you are not really constrained for time, what you can do is take the food out, set the microwave on timer mode for say 5:00 minutes. When the timer goes out, just set the microwave to cook mode and start cooking it.

If you do not want to waste time absolutely, you can hold the tray under running hot water for a while before you put it in microwave. But using too much hot water might wipe out the energy saving you achieved by reducing use of microwave.

To achieve the most optimum cooking in microwave,

1. Make sure it contains some water,

2. Put it in white colored bowl which provides reflective concave surface,

3. Cover it with transparent lid to hold on the heat inside


~ by Kedar on November 21, 2006.

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