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What is Microwave Oven Inverter Technology? – Learn Here

Most people use their microwave ovens for the same few things, boiling water and heating or reheating their food. Other people like to use their microwaves to prepare whole meals.

A microwave can come in handy when you need to get a meal ready quickly and with minimal effort. Since the waves cause the food to heat up by itself, microwave ovens can deliver better results than using a stove or a cooker.

However, microwave ovens are not made equal.

Here we will learn about what is Microwave oven inverter technology.

A regular microwave oven use a magnetron unit to generated the microwaves inside the device. This is a high power component that produces tremendous amounts of energy that is directed to the cavity where the meal is cooked by a waveguide.

This energy is very high and can lead to some problems like overcooking. A microwave inverter aims to solve such issues by allowing you to regulate the amount of energy that comes out of the magnetron assembly.

Also Read:

How Non-Inverter Convectional Microwave Ovens Work

Magentron Assembly
Magnetron Assembly

It is challenging to cook or defrost meals successfully in a microwave oven because they produce a lot of energy.

This energy needs to be distributed throughout the cavity evenly and in a stable manner for cooking to occur optimally.

However, sometimes when cooking, you will not want the maximum amount of energy that the magnetron can produce to go into the food.

Say you want to cook your food at 50% of the total power that your device can produce. The transformer cannot self-regulate so it will always provide the maximum amount of power it can, depending on the amount of electricity it is provided with and the power rating of the device.

In this case, the microwave will alternate the magnetron between on and off phases throughout the entire cooking period to control the cooking temperature.

The device will be turned on for some time, then it will be switched off continuously for as long as needed.

Theoretically, alternating equally between the maximum power, 100% and the minimum, 0% over time will, in effect, provide you with the required 50% power you needed.

With most non-inverter microwaves, you can even hear when the device switches off its magnetron and when it comes back on.

The transformer used in such devices is linear. The power output cannot be varied to match the magnetron’s needed levels.

What is Microwave Oven Inverter Technology?

The Transformer
Regular ovens use a transformer to step up the voltage and to regulate the magnetron; Inverter Microwave Ovens use an “Invert Circuit” instead of the Transformer.

Having seen some of the technical shortcomings of a regular non-inverter microwave oven above, the microwave inverter was created to overcome the challenges that users had faced when cooking food in a microwave.

Microwave oven inverter technology lets the device control the energy that is supplied to the magnetron.

This, in turn, makes it possible to control the level of output you want from the magnetron.

The result is a device that can vary the temperature inside to allow you to take more control over your cooking.

Unlike in non-inverter regular versions where the magnetron is switched on and off to facilitate cooking at a certain energy level, with an inverter, the required energy level is simply selected.

In this case, when you want to cook your food at 50% power, the device will deliver only 50% of its power to the food.

This eliminates the need for alternating on and off states which isn’t ideal for cooking.

How an Inverter Microwave Works?

What is Microwave Oven Inverter Technology
Working of a regular microwave oven with transformer (Left) vs Inverted Microwave Oven (Right) Source: Panasonic

Panasonic was the first company to develop a microwave oven that utilized the inverter technology.

With an ordinary microwave, the magnetron is connected to the transformer from where it gets powered. The voltage from the transformer is usually stepped up from the low voltage that household sockets provide.

With an inverter microwave, on the other hand, the magnetron gets powered from the inverter circuit.

The circuit can control the amount of power going to the magnetron which ends up controlling the power level of the device during operation.

The inverter offers several advantages but the main one is the optimization of the cooking process through a more flexible temperature control method.

Advantages of an Inverter Microwave

When preparing meals, heat can be both a friend and a foe. If you strike the perfect temperature balance you end up with a well-done meal.

Extremely high temperatures will burn your food and with a microwave.

An inverter microwave provides the user with these advantages:

Improved Temperature Control

As earlier noted, non-inverter microwaves approach temperature control in a rudimentary manner.

Alternating between temperature absolutes to get a median temperature value can prove to be quite cumbersome and it gets worse when you need power at different moderately low and moderately high levels.

With an inverter microwave, the control is more streamlined as you can simply choose the energy to produce and the inverter will ensure it supplies the required energy to the magnetron.

Steady Power Supply

With the basic workings of a non-inverter microwave in mind, we see that for some time the magnetron does not produce any energy and it’s switched on periodically.

This alternating between the maximum and minimum power is unsteady and can lead to poor results.

One such issue faced occurs when defrosting solid foods like meat. There are cases where the outer surface of the meat begins to cook while the inner parts, more so the center remains frozen.

The fluctuating temperatures mean that the exposed surface gets the most energy when the device is running and can begin to cook before other parts begin to thaw.

With an inverter, the device can continuously produce a steady amount of waves, enough to cook or thaw the food evenly.

Better Food Quality

You may have heard that constant high temperatures denature some of the nutrients in your food. This is more prominent when the food is cooked for long periods.

With a regular microwave, food is cooked in a shorter time, and with an inverter microwave, the maximum temperature can be capped depending on the type of food to prevent overcooking and subsequently the leaching of nutrients.

Inverter ovens also cook food better than non-inverter microwaves. As a result, you are less likely to end up with partly cooked and partly raw food.

Drawbacks

Inverter microwaves can be a little more expensive than non-inverter ones.

This has a lot to do with the value of the product and the components used in its manufacturing.

Nevertheless, you get your money’s worth of a device when you opt to go with the inverter option due to its benefits.

Who Builds Inverter Microwave Ovens?

Inverter Technology in Microwaves is a proprietary technology patented by Panasonic. Therefore, only Panasonic, at the moment, manufacturer these models.

Conclusion

When it comes to one of the most popular kitchen appliances, the microwave, subtle changes and improvements in tech can make the difference between an evenly cooked meal and an okay meal.

Here we looked at a common question being asked these days with regard to these appliances: “What is Microwave Oven inverter technology?”

Inverter microwaves are designed for better temperature control for your appliance.

Their most technical difference between a regular microwave oven is that they lack a transformer unit and instead make use a power inverter circuit  supply the magnetron with power.

Better temperature control reduces the risk of burning your food, resulting in better meals.

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