On December 6th, National Microwave Oven Day honors one appliance that changed the way we use the kitchen.
Quite by accident, self-taught American engineer Percy Spencer discovered a way to heat food safely with microwaves. While working with an active radar in 1945, he noticed a candy bar in his pocket was melting. The high-powered microwave beams created a heating effect ideal for cooking. Spencer deliberately attempted cooking popcorn with the microwaves. Next, he tried cooking an egg. The egg test was less successful than the popcorn. It exploded in his fellow engineer’s face! However, we can cook eggs in microwave ovens. Try poaching one.
This is the closest my husband gets to cooking. If you can’t do it in the microwave, he needs extensive instruction and supervision. Try a mug treat from Betty Crocker too. They make a late more brownie only a few buttons away….
Spencer, employed by Raytheon, continued experimenting with different methods of heating food safely with microwaves.
- Raytheon filed a United States patent application for Spencer’s microwave cooking process on October 8, 1945.
- In 1947, Raytheon built the first commercially available microwave oven. It was called the “Radarange.”
- An estimated 90% of homes in the United States have a microwave in them.
HOW TO OBSERVE #MicrowaveOvenDay
The microwave oven is more than an elaborate popcorn popper. Use this celebration to explore the many uses of the microwave oven. We’ve provided a few suggestions to get you started, but we also encourage you to share your favorites, too!
- make crispy bacon (and you won’t get burned either)
- melt chocolate for all that holiday dipping
- heat rice or bean-filled hot pads for achy muscles
- steam vegetables
- soften brown sugar
- dry herbs
- loosen labels from jars
While testing these ideas out, take some time to clean your microwave, too. Steam a wet cloth for a minute on high and let stand for another minute. The steam softens any build-up. Then, wipe your microwave down with a little hot soapy water to remove any greasy splatter.
Use #MicrowaveOvenDay to post on social media.