Pros & Cons of Microwaves

James Red

Millions of homes have a microwave oven in addition to a traditional oven and stove. While microwaves are ideal for cooking some food, certain disadvantages make them less than perfect for some situations.


Microwaves have many advantages and disadvantages over traditional ovens.

It's hard to argue with the convenience of microwave cooking. Foods that can take 15 to 30 minutes to cook in a conventional oven usually can be cooked in a fraction of that time in a microwave. Not only does a microwave cook food faster, it expends less energy. According to the the Advanced Microwave Technology website, cooking with a microwave is up to 70 percent more efficient than cooking with a conventional oven.


According to the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler website, some foods heat better in microwave ovens than other food. Microwaved meats and vegetables may not always have as appealing a texture as the same foods that were broiled or grilled. Also, microwaves do not always cook uniformly, leaving food very hot on the surface but not fully cooked inside.

Safety Concerns

The university's website also states that some plastic containers cannot withstand the heat generated in microwave ovens and can introduce potentially harmful chemicals into the food cooked. Also, materials such as aluminum foil can spark and cause violent reactions in microwave ovens.