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Mini eggs in the Microwave – Easter treat

Mini eggs in the Microwave – Easter treat
There are lots of film clips and pictures going around on social media at this time of year about how tasty mini eggs are if you microwave them. Microwaving them for a short while softens the chocolate inside and makes them warm and even tastier.
So, we thought this might be a good time for a little education about the science of microwave ovens and microwave cooking for you.
Microwave ovens work by applying energy to molecules in their path. Microwave energy effectively makes molecules move faster, that movement in turn causes friction and friction causes heat. 
In a microwave the effect of that heat is the food heating up. Molecules that move more easily heat quicker which is why liquids or food with a high moisture content heat up quicker in your microwave than those with less moisture. 
Occasionally there is no moisture present in the oven and when this is the case the microwave doesn’t like it. Simply put, the microwave energy needs to be absorbed by something – preferably something in the oven or it will find the next weakest part (the plastic roller ring or the waveguide cover) or if run ‘empty’ for too long will cook itself ! – to destruction.
This is sometimes where problems occur. In our workshop we will occasionally get a call from a customer who has reported some random sparking in the microwave. A little questioning about ‘what were you heating?’ ‘How soon did it spark?’ ‘how big was the portion being heated?’ generally reveals one of 3 scenarios :
The customer was defrosting something from frozen. If something is taken from the freezer and put straight in the microwave, there is no moisture until the frozen food starts to melt.
The customer was heating such a small quantity of food that there were more microwaves in the oven cavity than could be absorbed by the food.
The food – as far as the microwave was concerned was solid, such as butter or chocolate, again for the first few seconds until it started to melt on the outside.
There are simple solutions to prevent sparking in all 3 of these situations. 
For frozen food ; let the food stand for a few minutes before putting it into the microwave, the longer the better of course but if its long enough that the outside becomes wet as the outer layer of frost melts enough to absorb microwaves.
For small quantities or for solids just put a (microwave safe) mug of water in the microwave with it. It might take fractionally longer to heat overall but the water will absorb some of the microwaves to prevent them damaging parts of the oven before the butter or chocolate melt.
You might find as you’re melting your mini eggs that this happens to you. If it does, now you know why and what to do to prevent damaging your microwave. 
One last tip. If you do heat your mini eggs or chocolate or butter. These all have fat or sugar in which absorb microwaves very well. This means that they will get very hot very quickly. Don’t burn yourself on melted chocolate. 
Created On  17 Feb 2023 13:34  -  Permalink


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