Why Does Microwave Make Food Soggy? (What Science Says)

In today’s times, there’s hardly any homeowner who doesn’t know the benefits of using a microwave. A large number of homeowners already use it regularly. A microwave helps you not only to heat and reheat food, but also offers a plethora of other features. The only downside of using a microwave is that it makes the food soggy, while heating food.

A lot of times homeowners have been disappointed when they placed crispy, crunchy snacks inside for heating but ended up getting hot but unflavoured, soggy ones. Have you ever faced the same issue? Did you wonder why is the food getting soggy?

Well, in this guide we have explained the cause of this problem in detail. Since microwaves have become a commonly used appliance in our daily lives, we must understand the cause of soggy food and heat food properly. Let’s discover the reason for food becoming soggy inside a microwave oven. 

Why Does Microwave Make Food Soggy?

Why Does Microwave Make Food Soggy

We know that microwaves release electromagnetic waves to heat anything that’s placed inside. This radiation causes the water molecules present in food to move. The movement of water molecules causes friction and that heats the food in turn. Now this moisture present in food remains inside the microwave and settles on the food as steam, making it soggy.

For a better understanding of the cause, let’s see how the heating process works.

  • When a microwave is switched on, a magnetron or vacuum tube uses the electrical energy to transmit microwaves.
  • The microwaves then make the water molecules present in food move and vibrate.
  • The movement of the water molecules creates heat. This resultant heat gets absorbed by the water molecules in the food, which gets heated in the process.
  • Now, the moisture has no way of escaping the heating chamber and ultimately settles on the surface of food itself, making it watery.

If you heat cooked meals like chicken curry or veggies, this might not be a great problem. However, if snacks like chicken nuggets, french fries, pakoras, etc. become soggy, that becomes disappointing. 

Wondering why food doesn’t become soggy in a traditional oven? That’s because ovens heat food using a different method. They heat food from the outside and then transfer the heat to the inside of the item.

The outer layer of the food stays crunchy and crispy because of this. On the other hand, microwaves heat the entire food at the same time. It reduces chances of the food staying crispy. The heating process of a microwave has already been discussed above.

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The Bottom Line

We agree that soggy food is a real disappointment. Luckily, there are tips and tricks to prevent your food from becoming watery while heating in the microwave oven. For instance, you can use paper towels or place a mug of water inside the microwave, to ensure the excess moisture gets absorbed and doesn’t settle on the outer layer of food.

Heating the food at a medium temperature and not overcooking the item are also effective ways to retain crispness in food. So, the next time you need to reheat food, make sure to try out these tips and enjoy a delicious, flavourful, satisfying meal.

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