Researchers Found That Heating Water In The Microwave Causes It To Be Unevenly Hot
How to make tea is certainly a…hot…topic, especially amongst people who make tea using kettles and people (OK, fine, Americans) who are notorious for nuking some hot water in the microwave, popping in a teabag, and calling it a day. But now scientists have taken a stance against microwaving your tea once and for all.
Researchers at the University of Electronic Science & Technology of China published a study in the AIP Advances journal from the American Institute of Physics, finding that when heating liquid in the microwave, “the temperature of the top is always the highest in the liquid” while the bottom is quite a bit cooler. This is probably why your tea seems like it’s the optimal temperature for, like, two seconds. It’s also why, when you reheat leftovers in the microwave, you can have hot spots rather than it being heated evenly the whole way through. When you heat water in a kettle or on the stove, however, it’s able to be heated more evenly using convection, making that the superior method.
However, the rest of the study was not aimed to dunk on those who heat liquids in the microwave, but rather to find out how this uneven heating can be corrected. They designed a unique silver coating to put around the rim of cups to make things heat more evenly. Don’t go trying to make one yourself though—you still shouldn’t put most metal in the microwave.
So there you have it! Until their tool is made more widely available, it seems if you want an even heat, you’re going to have to lug out the kettle and do it the old-fashioned way…or at least get really good at stirring hot water.
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