Though infrared ovens have been around for some time, they do represent the latest and most revolutionary way of cooking food. Unfortunately, the very success of infrared ovens has led companies into cut-throat competition. This, in turn, drives them into coming up with peculiar jargon for describing their infrared cooking technology. Now, it cannot be denied that each company has its own patented infrared cooking process, but there is an underlying commonality that can be explained in very simple terms. Therefore, we have come up with a short description of the way in which infrared cooking technology works, how it translates to the infrared oven benefits and (as is often asked) whether it is safe.
Inside An Infrared Oven
Infrared ovens get their name from the far infrared heating elements that are present at the core of their heating assembly. These infrared heating elements produce radiant energy, which is the same energy that dries our clothes in the sun. However, as technology has advanced, infrared heating technology has gradually attained a stage where the radiant heat produced is far more intense, and takes far less time to spread across the length and breadth of the container.
Once it comes in contact with the food, the radiant heat transfers itself to the molecules of the food. Since most foods are non-conducting by nature, this heat is trapped inside, causing the food to heat up and get cooked.
How Does Infrared Cooking Technology Translate To Better Cooking?
The above description may give the impression that infrared ovens just cook the food, like any conventional or microwave oven. In reality though, infrared cooking by its very nature ensures a much better cooking. By better we mean:
Quicker cooking – Far infrared heating elements can reach high temperatures far more rapidly, and distribute heat equally quickly, thus ensuring that food is cooked faster.
- Even cooking – Since infrared penetrates all surfaces of the food almost simultaneously, the food is evenly cooked.
No fats or oils – Oils are needed to facilitate movement of heat. Since radiation ensures this, fats and oils are unnecessary in infrared ovens.
No preheating – Since the infrared ovens reach required temperatures rapidly, there is no case for preheating, as the food is cooked at optimal temperature almost from the first minute.
But Is Infrared Cooking Technology Safe?
Talk of radiation and infrared, and the thoughts that come to mind are not exactly wholesome. However, as we mentioned, radiation is everywhere since that’s how the sun sustains life on earth. Nevertheless, some elementary precautions need to be taken, simply because the infrared oven is after all an electrical appliance with a heating element.
Calculate cooking times correctly – Infrared ovens typically cook food much faster than conventional ovens, so setting a wrong time and leaving the oven unattended can ruin you food.
Avoid direct contact during cooking – It is the job of the infrared oven to heat up food, so the surface will naturally be hot. Avoid contact with the glass or plastic surfaces of the container or the power assembly during or immediately after usage.
Do not stare too long at the heating element – Like all heating elements, infrared heating elements are placed in a secure casing, which emits only marginal amount of light. Nevertheless, in the interests of your eyesight, avoid prolonged observation of the heating element.
As may be clear from the above, this technology technology is really a highly efficient method of using a heating process that is all around us. Indeed, the precautions would apply for any efficient heating appliance, but they need to be reiterated lest any mishap happen out of ignorance. On the other hand, if one keeps the above points in mind, one can easily enjoy the benefits mentioned above without having to wonder about the exact physics and/or safety issues associated with infrared cooking technology.