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Old 30th Jul 2023, 1:40 pm   #61
Andrew B
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Default Re: Our First Microwave Oven

I once tried softening a block of chocolate in the "nuke". I can report that chocolate burns VERY well with red flames, thick sooty smoke and makes a horrible stink.
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Old 30th Jul 2023, 10:28 pm   #62
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Default Re: Our First Microwave Oven

I've never had anything more eventful than the odd porridge boiling over! We were a bit late to microwave oven technology, only getting a Panasonic in the late eighties/ very early nineties. Pretty much identical to the one pictured, albeit with an LCD readout instead of VFD.

Like most, it eventually rusted-out and had to be replaced as it was starting to punch a hole through the back! I recall it blew the internal 8A fuse after a little firework display!
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Old 31st Jul 2023, 4:53 am   #63
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Default Re: Our First Microwave Oven

Our first microwave was a Zanussi ME 905, bought from the Norweb electricity showroom in 1989. The 'Appliance of Science'. I remember the adverts, and I've still got the instruction manual and recipe books that came with it.

It was big (as microwaves tended to be in those early days) and cost nearly £200.
I remember paying it off in monthly instalments!

It actually consumed 1200 watts when in use, but was woefully underpowered at 600 watts actual microwave cooking energy.

I think I chose it because it came with a free 20 piece Pyrex dinner service, which was very pretty, and still in use to this very day.

I recall the blue LED digital clock display being extremely bright. It lit up the whole kitchen at night when the lights were turned off!
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Old 3rd Aug 2023, 11:40 am   #64
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I remember all kinds of misunderstandings and myths in the mid to late 80s regarding microwaves. Apart from the never ending quest to cook crispy bacon in them, which lead to several useless products all of which delivered less than they promised. The "nuke" name might come from the comedy film "Twins" where the character played by Danny DeVito often eats microwaved meals...and his hitherto estranged twin played by Arnold Schwartzenegger has never seen such a device. DeVito refers to it as "nuked food". Also I have seen American literature from the early days of microwave cooking referring to a microwave oven as "Radar Range"...which might have been an early brand name? General lack of even basic scientific knowledge did lead to a lot of misunderstanding, and still does.

One thing I do remember was the warning in the manual for my aforementioned Samsung microwave not to put metal utensils inside. What intrigued me was the first time I accidentally did so, nothing bad happened. The spoon in my soup must have been very smooth. Next time I think my mother accidentally left an old fork in a dish she was reheating and it sparked/arced everywhere.

There was also the instruction not to clean/scrape the inside of the door with anything metallic or capable of scraping....seeing as I was studying physics at school I understood fully why this is so. I was horrified to see a friend's mother cleaning her microwave by scraping the inside door with a knife! It had spattered some goop from over-heated food and she felt scraping with a knife was called for. I tried to explain why this was dangerous and she replied, "Oh no, you're completely wrong. This is how you test the microwave seal to make sure it's working".

Some people don't deserve nice things....
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Old 3rd Aug 2023, 8:57 pm   #65
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Default Re: Our First Microwave Oven

Our "Plustron" that I referenced in #36 came with a hardback cook-book. It actually encouraged you to use aluminium foil to shield wings and legs of poultry.
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Old 4th Aug 2023, 6:38 pm   #66
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Default Re: Our First Microwave Oven

The foil-over-chicken-thighs to stop them overcooking is something I remember being a recommended procedure too.

Other metals - I remember someone using a teacup with a painted-on-and-glazed-over gold band round the rim. The 'gold' was clearly sufficiently lossy at RF that it arced impressively, and was black not gold afterwards.
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Old 4th Aug 2023, 10:33 pm   #67
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Default Re: Our First Microwave Oven

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Other metals - I remember someone using a teacup with a painted-on-and-glazed-over gold band round the rim. The 'gold' was clearly sufficiently lossy at RF that it arced impressively, and was black not gold afterwards.
I remember doing something similar in my Gran's microwave when warming up a cup of coffee.
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Old 5th Aug 2023, 12:53 pm   #68
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I remember doing something similar in my Gran's microwave when warming up a cup of coffee.
I've done that many times. It doesn't destroy the gold, just crazes with that genuine antique patina.
Keep shtum, she'll probably not notice, and don't feel guilty, after all, the piece is now microwave safe.
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Old 12th Aug 2023, 1:19 pm   #69
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Default Re: Our First Microwave Oven

Just spotted an 80's Toshiba Deltawave in a local skip. I wanted to take a piccy but me better half would not let me, adding that my obsession with skips is getting out of hand !

Might go for the nuclear option i.e. Rescue the Toshiba & if it works ,swap it out for our built in CDA oven. No doubt the sparks would fly although not necessarily within the oven.

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Old 13th Aug 2023, 10:19 am   #70
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Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
I remember all kinds of misunderstandings and myths in the mid to late 80s regarding microwaves. Apart from the never ending quest to cook crispy bacon in them, which lead to several useless products all of which delivered less than they promised. The "nuke" name might come from the comedy film "Twins" where the character played by Danny DeVito often eats microwaved meals...and his hitherto estranged twin played by Arnold Schwartzenegger has never seen such a device. DeVito refers to it as "nuked food". Also I have seen American literature from the early days of microwave cooking referring to a microwave oven as "Radar Range"...which might have been an early brand name? General lack of even basic scientific knowledge did lead to a lot of misunderstanding, and still does.

One thing I do remember was the warning in the manual for my aforementioned Samsung microwave not to put metal utensils inside. What intrigued me was the first time I accidentally did so, nothing bad happened. The spoon in my soup must have been very smooth. Next time I think my mother accidentally left an old fork in a dish she was reheating and it sparked/arced everywhere.

There was also the instruction not to clean/scrape the inside of the door with anything metallic or capable of scraping....seeing as I was studying physics at school I understood fully why this is so. I was horrified to see a friend's mother cleaning her microwave by scraping the inside door with a knife! It had spattered some goop from over-heated food and she felt scraping with a knife was called for. I tried to explain why this was dangerous and she replied, "Oh no, you're completely wrong. This is how you test the microwave seal to make sure it's working".

Some people don't deserve nice things....
'Radar Range' was an early brand name. The cooking potential of microwave energy was first revealed when an engineer at Raytheon was working on a radar set that was operating! A chocolate bar in his shirt pocket melted.

There was a warning against heating liquids in a microwave oven, then putting a spoon in without carefully swirling the heated liquid around. The BBC consumer affairs programme 'That's Life' covered this in the late 1970s, if memory serves. Would this be relevant to any ovens without a means of varying the RF field or rotating the food within it? I thought all ovens had either an RF 'stirrer', or a turntable.
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Old 13th Aug 2023, 5:11 pm   #71
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Originally Posted by Pfraser View Post
There was a warning against heating liquids in a microwave oven, then putting a spoon in without carefully swirling the heated liquid around. The BBC consumer affairs programme 'That's Life' covered this in the late 1970s, if memory serves. Would this be relevant to any ovens without a means of varying the RF field or rotating the food within it? I thought all ovens had either an RF 'stirrer', or a turntable.
Having a stirrer or turntable doesn't fix that problem. It's caused by pockets of water being superheated, but not actually turning to steam because there's nothing to trigger the transition. Until you move it, put a spoon in or whatever, it doesn't boil, but then suddenly does so very violently.
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Old 13th Aug 2023, 7:00 pm   #72
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Default Re: Our First Microwave Oven

Earlier on in this thread it was noted that you effectively lose the first 2-3 seconds of cooking time whilst the magnetron heater is warming up, but some microwaves, like my Breville illustrated below, lose a further 15 seconds at the end of the cooking cycle when the timer is set beyond a certain minimum, in the case of my Breville it's 5 min or longer.

You can hear the transformer hum stop at T-15.

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/c6xSqaPcPkQ

Presumably the reason for this is to discourage the user from opening the door until the contents have had a little time to settle.

When I used to repair microwaves in a workshop I would test them with a cupful of plain tap-water and I witnessed superheated water explosions that were powerful enough to blow the (Michael Caine) door open in some models.
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Old 13th Aug 2023, 7:51 pm   #73
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Our First Microwave Oven

Indeed, I have had to discourage the other user of our uWave from simply throwing open the door of ours, especially given it's at eye level.

EDIT: also because when reheating some meat products, the fatty bits can spit for seconds afterwards, and 'baked' spuds are particularlay nasty for similar steam based reasons.
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Old 18th Aug 2023, 10:11 pm   #74
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My first encounter with a microwave was in the early 80’s. They had one in simon engineering canteen for nightshift to warm up meals from a vending machine.
Of course us apprentices had to have a go at it not realising how fast it was. It could turn a burger into a smouldering lump of charcoal the size of a 50p after 20 mins on full power.
It was the size of a laundrette washing machine with a tiny little door. It was over 40years ago. All gone now. Light industrial units on the site. Making me feel old reminiscing like this
I would hazard a guess and say that would have been a DYSONA microwave .huge thing with a door that opened [upwards]when the cooking was done .I worked on these machines back in the 70s they were used i cafes and self service canteens .frozen meals would be bought from a vending machine the package having a plastic key attached .pop the meal in the microwave pull down the door and put the key in the slot to start the correct cooking time for that paticular meal .Door pops up and bell rings when ready
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Old 19th Aug 2023, 10:30 am   #75
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Just spotted an 80's Toshiba Deltawave in a local skip. I wanted to take a piccy but me better half would not let me, adding that my obsession with skips is getting out of hand !

Might go for the nuclear option i.e. Rescue the Toshiba & if it works ,swap it out for our built in CDA oven. No doubt the sparks would fly although not necessarily within the oven.

Rog
Walked past the same skip again yesterday & sadly the Deltawave has been "rescued"' no doubt by local scrapper's. Yet another moment in my life when I have regretted not acting on impulse.
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Old 19th Aug 2023, 1:22 pm   #76
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Default Re: Our First Microwave Oven

I cant remember working on one, but I understand that commercial microwaves often double up on everything ie two Magnetrons and two transformers one set each side of the cavity.
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Old 19th Aug 2023, 10:23 pm   #77
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I cant remember working on one, but I understand that commercial microwaves often double up on everything ie two Magnetrons and two transformers one set each side of the cavity.
The dysona commercial models only had one of everything but they were built like tanks and all the components were much meatier than the average domestic model
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