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The Microwave Oven: Still a workhorse in our kitchens

When a Hershey bar in his pocket melted during a radar-related research project in 1946, Dr. Percy Spenser surely could not have imagined what was to develop from his discovery, the microwave oven.

The first Raytheon commercial microwave oven marketed in 1954 was so large and expensive that it was only for restaurants and institutional use. They have become small, efficient, and cheap; today more than 90 percent of American homes have and use a microwave oven.

This kitchen appliance heats food by passing microwaves through food. The waves are a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation with a frequency higher than ordinary radio waves but lower than infrared light.

More than just a food heating appliance, the microwave oven should be used to its fullest. There is much more to using a microwave than just warming or thawing food, heating water or maybe cooking a frozen dinner. It is also great for non-food related tasks. Here are some hints on how the microwave oven will make you...

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