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A burning question: Why do I heat up soup in the microwave and then, wait up to five minutes for it to cool before I can eat it?

Gwendolyn2018 8 June 27

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Same reason we boil tea to make it hot, then add ice to make it cool, than add lemon to make it sour and then add sugar to make it sweet! Go figure! lol

Indeed, go figure!


I use the power level button. Usually start with, say 111, or 222 (always use same numbers in order to reduce pushing extra numbers) and then set the power level at 30%. Microwaves, on full often heats the surface first and the inside of the food is not done. Reducing the power warms things more evenly.


I don't know. Everytime I make my sock soup it turns out bad.

Do you wash the socks first? If so, don't--it's the dirt and sweat that provided the flavor.


You under estimated the power of electromagnetic radiation.

After decades of using microwaves, one would think I wouldn't do that . . .


You want to get it hot enough to kill any organisms.

I think that is part of it! I have been conditioned to cook food thoroughly.

@Gwendolyn2018 Cook it longer at lower power.

@JackPedigo what's the difference between doing that or heating for a shorter amount of time?

@Gwendolyn2018 The food cooks more slowly so that it can penetrate the insides.
"If using the power button just cycles the oven on and off, why not simply microwave food for less time on high power? Here’s why: Microwaves penetrate only the outer ¼ to 1 inch of food, and they can quickly superheat these regions. Running a microwave oven at lower power levels gives heat time to disperse away from the surface and toward the center, preventing the exterior from burning or drying out. This can be critical when heating solid foods you can’t stir (such as frozen foods or a block of lasagna); it also reduces the need to stir when heating/reheating liquids. " from []

@JackPedigo I don't even know how to set a lower power on my microwave.

@Gwendolyn2018 Sorry, different ovens have different systems. Do you have an owners manual? Look up the type on the internet. Mine is an older type and I first put in the time, 111, 222 or 333 then push power and hit 3 for 30%.

@JackPedigo I don't have the manual. If I am going to fiddle with dials, I might as well cook!

@Gwendolyn2018 At least microwaves won't burn the food (I think).

@JackPedigo not soup, but they can make some food tough if they are cooked too long!

@Gwendolyn2018 Which includes Pizza's

@JackPedigo my gas oven has not been operable for at least ten years and I don't get it fixed because I don't miss it. However, if I buy a frozen pizza (which is seldom) I defrost it in the microwave for a couple of minutes and then, brown it in a cast iron skillet. Works for me.

@Gwendolyn2018 We all (at least most) find ways that work for us. Defrost settings use lower power so as to not have the outside thawed but the insides still frozen. Just my observance and not to be mansplaining lol.


Don't cook it at full power, and stop it a few times to stir it. Works for me.

I would, but I tend to stick the container in the microwave and then, do something important for 3/4 minutes!


Unlike pizza, whose very purpose is to burn your mouth !

I bring pizza home, so it is cool when I get there!

@Gwendolyn2018 Apparently, you do not drive fast enough. If it is a long way home attach a rack to the top of your engine and place it there until you get home. I have heard that this works to cook a turkey on a long trip. Not sure it works.

@Gwendolyn2018 Cool pizza? It has no purpose.

@yvilletom I agree, but the closest Pizza Hut only has take out and I am too lazy to drive farther. However, I rarely eat it because of the high fat content.


Probably because you have cooked things in the microwave this way for a time, you like me want to get it hot and that is what you are supposed to do and then you let it cook so it does not burn your lips. I do the same thing. All that should be happening in the microwave is the water molecules are being excited, so they move faster, and the friction of this process heats the soup. I do not know about harming any of the various nutrients, as all that is happening is they are being heated. The same in principle is happening when you put the soup into a pan and heat it on the stove, it is just a different method. Radiation, if that is what you are worried about, here is nothing more than energy being added to the molecules of water so they will move faster and heat the soup. Works this was for everything.
Now there are microwaves that run on different energies, used in factories and such, that heat different molecules, this one can heat the plastic in trash and remove it from the rest of the garbage.

Hmmm . . . but once becoming aware of what I am doing, why continue?

@Gwendolyn2018 Because it is easy.

@dalefvictor wouldn't it be easier to nuke the soup for a less amount of time and not wait for it to cool down?

@Gwendolyn2018 Only if that is the way you want it.


It's the American way to heat food up to the point where most all nutrients are killed before eating it.

True, but I am sure the canning process kills the nutrients before I do.


Not a bad practice to pasteurize it.

I was thinking it might be a holdover from when I used to cook and wanted to make sure the food was safe.

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