Have you ever finished cooking in the microwave and noticed condensation on the walls, or the outside of your bowl feels damp? It is quite normal for condensation to appear during the microwaving process but you should be aware that it is important to prevent this build-up. In this article we look at how condensation affects your microwave’s performance and how to prevent it from building up.
Why does condensation appear during cooking?
Condensation appears during cooking as moisture is released during the cooking process. This is released as water vapour and rises. As the microwave is a closed unit, the rising vapour has nowhere to go so hits the cooler surface of the microwave walls and turns back into water droplets we know as condensation.
How does condensation impact your microwave?
In some ways, condensation can be viewed as a positive. The condensation can help to keep certain foods moist and prevent the cooking process from drying them out. However, it can create problems over time. One example of this is surface damage. This is due to excessive condensation slowly wearing down the walls of the microwave. As a result, the interior coating can break down and it can lead to markings or even rust.
What microwaving methods can we use to prevent condensation from building up?
There are some simple steps you can take to prevent condensation during the cooking process. Depending on what you are cooking, you can lower the power setting which will use less energy. This reduces the condensation as the cooking is less intense. Check your cooking instructions to see if this is appropriate for your food.
You can also stir or mix any foods between microwaving intervals to help evenly distribute the heat. As a result, less condensation is formed. This may not be applicable for every recipe, but if you’re cooking gives time for food to rest between heating then this gives the opportunity to do so.
Microwave-safe containers are also a great way to retain moisture in the food, but also prevent the moisture from covering the walls and becoming condensation. They are available from many retailers, and we advise checking the information in accordance with your product information to ensure it is suitable for your appliance.
How important is cleaning with preventing the effects of condensation?
Once you're cooking is done, you should take care with how you clean your microwave and the condensation that has built up. You should wipe down the walls of your microwave with a dry, soft cloth or tissue to remove the condensation. Then, leave the door open to allow the appliance to ventilate and evaporate any water residue. When this has been successfully removed, you can close the door again until next used.
Preventing condensation build-up is important for the longevity of your microwave and can easily be done by adopting small habits such as keeping the door open after use and trying lower power settings if applicable.
For more on microwave maintenance, click our blog here.