An infrared microwave uses infrared radiation rather than microwave radiation to cook food. Food in an infrared microwave cooks from the outside in, rather than the inside out as in a traditional microwave oven.
Infrared radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation and the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that humans perceive as heat. An infrared microwave cooks food from the outside in by heating the surface of the food. In contrast, microwave ovens use a type of radiation that is similar to radio waves; this radiation excites water and fat molecules in the interior of food items, causing heat and cooking the food from the inside out.
One of the primary advantages of an infrared microwave over traditional microwaves is that food tends to be crispier on the outside and juicier on the inside than the same item cooked in a traditional microwave. A primary disadvantage of infrared microwaves is that they often take longer to cook the same amount of food than traditional microwaves. Additionally, many items of cookware and utensils that can be used in a traditional microwave are not safe for use in an infrared microwave. For example, paper towels are safe for use in traditional microwaves, but cannot be used in infrared microwaves.