Breaking Down the Microwave: Why It Poorly Heats Your Mac and Cheese

This video shows you exactly how your microwave works

Ever wonder why your Hot Pocket/lunch/bowl of soup never really heats well in a microwave? And why you always have to mix your frozen dinner once or twice in the middle of that 10-minute heat up?

Well, here science explains exactly how a microwave oven works... and how it doesn't. Bill Hammack, of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, takes apart a microwave (on a spinning table!), showing viewers where microwave radiation comes from, how it works, and how it affects the food you put in there.

And while he calls is a "truly remarkable feat of engineering," he does show how wavelength form does affect the even heating of food. Apparently there are all sorts of cold spots that occur, even though the electromagnetic waves changes direction some 2.45 billion times a second. Watch below for more seriously scientific discussion about microwaves.


Jessica Chou is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @jesschou.