What are the advantages and disadvantages of using microwave ovens?

Advantages:

(i) Microwave oven cooks many foods in about 1/4th of the time necessary on a gas burner. There is no wastage of energy.

(ii) It saves time in heating frozen foods. Thawing can be done in minutes or seconds.

(iii) Only the food is heated during cooking. The oven or the utensil does not get heated except under prolonged heating periods.

(iv) Flavour and texture do not change when reheated in a microwave oven.

(v) Loss of nutrients is minimized. (3-carotene and vitamin C are better retained by microwave cooking compared to pressure cooking and saucepan cooking.

(vi) After cooking in a microwave oven washing dishes is much easier as food does not stick to the sides of the vessels.

(vii) Food gets cooked uniformly.

(viii) Preserves the natural colour of vegetables and fruits.

(ix) No fat or low fat cooking can be made.

Disadvantages:

(i) Due to short period of cooking, food does not become brown unless the microwave has a browning unit.

(ii) It is not possible to make chapati or tandoori roti in it. It cannot cook soft or hard boiled eggs. Deep frying necessary for puris, jalebis, pakoda, vadas cannot be done in it.

(iii) Sometimes unwanted chemicals migrate to food from plastic cookware or food packages. Only "microwave safe" should be used.

(iv) The short cooking time may not give a chance of blending of flavours as in conventional methods.

(v) The operator should be careful in operating the microwave oven since any exposure to microwave oven causes physiological abnormalities.

(vi) If the food is greater than 80 mm the central portion is out of range of the microwave radiation will only heat by the normal slow process of conduction. It will be relatively uncooked while the exterior accessible to microwave is cooked in minutes or seconds.