, is akitchen appliancethatcooksor heatsfood bydielectric heating. This is accomplished by usingmicrowaveradiation to heatwater andother polarized moleculeswithin the food. This excitation is fairly uniform, leading tofood being adequately heated throughout (except in thick objects), a feature not seen inany other heating technique.Basic microwave ovens heat food quickly and efficiently, but do not brown or bake foodin the way conventionalovensdo. This makes them unsuitable for cooking certain foods,or to achieve certain effects. Additional kinds of heat sources can be added to microwave packaging, or into combination microwave ovens, to add these additional effects.Microwaving food may raise safety issues, but it does reduce certain risks, such as that of fire from high temperature heat sources.Cooking food with microwaves was discovered accidentally in 1945.Percy Spencer , anAmericanself-taught engineer fromHowland, Maine, was buildingmagnetronsfor radar sets with the American companyRaytheon.He was working on an active radar set whenhe noticed that a peanut chocolate bar he had in his pocket started to melt. The radar hadmelted his chocolate bar with microwaves. The first food to be deliberately cooked withSpencer's microwave was popcorn, and the second was an egg, which exploded in theface of one of the experimenters.
To verify his finding, Spencer created a high densityelectromagnetic field by feeding microwave power into a metal box from which it had noway to escape. When food was placed in the box with the microwave energy, thetemperature of the food rose rapidly.On October 8, 1945 Raytheon filed a U.S. patent for Spencer's microwave cooking process and an oven that heated food using microwave energy was placed in a Bostonrestaurant for testing. In 1947, the company built the
It was almost 1.8 metres (5.9 ft) tall, weighed 340 kilograms (750 lb)and cost about 5000US dollars each. It consumed 3kilowatts,about three times as muchas today's microwave ovens, and was water-cooled. An early commercial modelintroduced in 1954 consumed 1.6 kilowatts and sold for US$2000 to US$3000. Raytheonlicensed its technology to theTappanStove company in 1952. They tried to market alarge, 220 volt, wall unit as a home microwave oven in 1955 for a price of US$1295, butit did not sell well. In 1965 Raytheon acquiredAmana, which introduced the first popular home model, the countertop Radarange, in 1967 at a price of US$495.In the 1960s,LittonboughtStudebaker 's Franklin Manufacturing assets, which had beenmanufacturing magnetrons and building and selling microwave ovens similar to theRadarange. Litton then developed a new configuration of the microwave, the short, wideshape that is now common. The magnetron feed was also unique. This resulted in an oven