How Do Microwave Ovens Work

As the name suggests, the microwave oven is an electronic device that uses microwave radiation to heat food, tea, or coffee. A microwave oven is one of the compulsory appliances among others in a home kitchen. It can help you cook your food faster or reheat your food instantly. Let’s dig deep to learn how the microwave oven works. Let’s dig deeper and know “how do microwave ovens work?” and what are the parts and their functionality.

How does the microwave oven work:

Microwave radiation is the portion of the large electromagnetic radiation. The microwave spectrum has a wavelength of 1mm to 1m or corresponding 300GHz to 300MHz frequency. Microwave radiation with a frequency of 2450MHz is absorbed easily in water, that is the basic principle of heating food behind a microwave oven. As the ration is absorbed by the water molecules, the molecules vibrate and produce heat because of friction.

Is a microwave oven dangerous for your health?

As stated above, microwave radiation can vibrate the water molecule to heat up. Similarly, the skin of your body can heat up which will also heat the surroundings. Microwave oven operators can be at risk of leakage. But modern microwave comes with leakage-proof design and are safe to use. It could be the point of concern if the body or door of the oven is broken.

How Hot the Microwave Can Get

As the water inside the food absorbs the radiation of the microwave the rest of the food will not absorb radiation. In other words, if there is no water in any food, that food will not be heated inside the microwave oven. The maximum heat a microwave can generate is 100 degrees centigrade. Because after the said temperature there will be no water in the food, and it would be impossible for a microwave oven to produce heat by the friction of water molecules. You can learn more about how hot does a microwave get.

Parts of Microwave Oven

The microwave oven has the following parts with their function details.

Parts of Microwave oven
Parts of Microwave Oven Visualized


The part after the supply inside the microwave oven is a transformer. The magnetron works on high voltage like 3000 to 4000 volts, where the outlet voltage is either 110 or 220 volts. A step-up transformer is required for that purpose.


The magnetron is the electronic device that produces electromagnetic waves in the microwave spectrum i.e., 300GHz to 300MHz. Magnetrons contain a uniquely designed diode and two round molded magnets to divert electrons. The electrons shoot off the anode cavity and the radiation is generated.

Magnetron in microwave oven
Magnetron of a Microwave oven


The waveguide is the part that diver the electromagnetic wave towards the food for heating. Waveguides are hollow cylindrical metal ducts that avoid the wastage of microwave radiation.

Cooling Fan

The microwave oven contains a cooling fan to avoid any overheating of the oven. The fan distributes the heat from the stove and surrounding area in case of overheating and avoids any permanent damage.

Cooking Case

The cooking case is the space where the food rest for heating. The cavity of the waveguide focuses the radiation on the cooking case.

Rotating Disc

A rotating disc is a removable disc inside the cooking case for rotating the food to cook or heat evenly.

Control Panel

The Control panel can help you set the timer and indicate the time remaining. The control panel may contain multiple buttons depending upon the manufacturer.

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