Microwave ovens provide a convenient and quick way to cook, reheat, and defrost food. They use electromagnetic radiation to bombard the food, and this causes its molecules to build up heat which cooks it relatively evenly throughout.
Microwaves are very efficient in terms of energy-use, because they only use exactly the amount of energy required to cook the food. They are limited in usage, since it isn't possible to roast, bake, or fry food inside them, however, many modern microwaves come in a combination format which enables food to be cooked using more than one heat source overall. Combi-ovens are very useful, since an initial microwave action can significantly reduce the cooking time of the dish.
Microwaves were first used during World War II, when the cavity magnetron was invented to improve radar use. It enabled the production of electromagnetic waves with a very short wavelength.
The first countertop microwave oven for domestic use was released in 1967, and there are now hundreds to choose from. The more expensive varieties do tend to have a wider range of functions and auto-settings, but this isn't always the case.
Most microwaves have a front-opening, left-hinged door, but some 'ÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ especially combi-ovens 'ÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ have a front-opening door with hinges at the bottom, and there are now some designs which have a lid on the top, which enables easier access for cooking larger items, such as a whole chicken.
Whatever the kitchen dÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ©cor, it's possible to get a microwave which suits it. There are classy designs in stainless steel, glossy black glass, and bright- or white-coloured plastics.