Aug 082012

Sometimes you just need toast quickly (see answer to the hangover post earlier!). But a toaster can seem to take forever, so maybe your microwave could do a quicker job?

There are different ways you can heat things up. Your toaster uses a type of heating called ‘radiation’. If you peek inside when a toaster is switched on (be careful!) you will see some very thin wires glowing red hot. As well as the visible red light you can see, these wires are also giving out invisible heat called infra-red heat. This heat dries out the surface and makes it crispy and a bit sweeter where the bread has changed colour.

A microwave heats things in a very different way. The energy of microwave ovens makes the water inside your food vibrate very quickly. This movement creates a lot of rubbing together of the tiny parts inside the food, and this gives us the heat that cooks your food.

If you put a slice of bread in the microwave for a short time, the water in the bread gets very hot and turns to steam. The steam gets trapped in the bread and turns it very soggy. Not great with your marmalade! If you cook a slice of bread in the microwave for long enough it will eventually dry out and start to burn, but the bread will be dry and crunchy all the way through. Nothing like the delicious combination of crunchy outside and soft bread inside that we love from toast made in a toaster.

 Taken from Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?: A Book of Weird and Wonderful Science Facts

 August 8, 2012  Add comments

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