When I moved house, the place didn’t come with an oven. As you’re probably aware, ovens can cost a pretty penny, and I had a budget of, well, not a lot, so I looked into some alternatives. There is only me, the Cub and our pets, and I had only ever switched the oven on in the last place once or twice for guests and so I made the decision not to buy a great big standard type of cooker.
I already had a convection oven, an electric steamer and a microwave oven but needed a hob. After ruling out camping gas type hobs as potentially quite dangerous and ceramic as slow and inefficient, I opted for a single induction hob. I can heavily recommend (electromagnetic) induction hobs, they are easy to clean and don’t get dangerously hot when cooking because the heat transfers directly to the pan. They also boil water faster than gas. Amazing stuff, particularly if you have small people in the house. The convection oven cooks everything a normal oven does, but faster and I use it on high to grill things as well.
It’s a really cool set-up, energy efficient and clean and perfect for my little two person family. But then my microwave broke, and being on a budget and my Grandma having passed away at around the same time, I inherited hers. The previous one was quite big and had a grill inside that I never really used but a few years on and I’m thinking about upgrading again. My current model is quite small and sometimes the popcorn gets stuck while it is spinning and burns – tragedy! For some reason I can’t get custard to cook correctly either, so I’ve been having a look at alternatives.
I’m wondering if I should opt for a combination microwave again, for the odd times I do the baking thing, or stick to simplicity?
Anyway, here’s a few microwave facts for your amusement and information:
- Microwaves ovens were discovered by accident by a guy called Percy Spencer, who was building magnetrons for radar sets and noticed that a chocolate bar had melted in his pocket.
- He first patented the method of microwave cooking in 1946, and the first ever microwave oven was almost six foot tall and produced loads more radiation than the ones we use today.
- Some people are scared of the word radiation, and indeed but there is radiation all round us, with waves that are different lengths, from the shorter visible ones that are light to the longer waves that are radio. Microwaves are just kind of high powered radio waves.
- Microwaves cook food by firing these waves into food to agitate the water/fat/sugar content. They cook uniformly, unlike conventional ovens that cook from the outside in.
- The waves can’t escape because they are kept contained in a metal box that they just bounce off.