Sunday, March 11, 2012

Carousel Microwave Cooking - Center or Edge?

I've always used center.

Then I heard someone insiste that the edge cooks faster.

Random Googling shows this is a minor debate - certainly not on the "toilet paper: over or under" scale, but sizable - filled with opinion, prejudice, and stubborn conjecture.

Enter a man of science:
Two identical mugs were filled with 100ml of water. The temperature of the water was noted at 17.5oC.

One mug was placed at the center of the turntable, the other at the edge of the turntable. The microwave oven was set to 750 watts and 90 secs.

The experiment was repeated with fresh water for a period of 120 secs.

The experiment was then altered to microwave one mug only at the center of the oven, then one mug only at the edge, each for a period of 60 secs.


Exp. # - Centrally placed mug - Edge placed mug

1 - 31.6ooC 33.5ooC
2 - 38.4ooC 40.9ooC
3 - 35.2ooC 35.2ooC


It appears that there is no difference when placing an item at the center or edge when microwaving a single item, but when microwaving multiple items, those on the edge will heat faster than those at the center.

Oh, and toilet paper should go "over".


  1. >>>Oh, and toilet paper should go "over".

    Amen, brother!

  2. Under? Why in heaven's name would you want your toilet paper to be 4 inches further away from your fingertips?

  3. "Unknown" is as wrong as two left shoes. "OVER, Dammit!"

    As to the center v. edge deal (and, I sold microwave ovens from age 16 to 30), "CENTER" is the way to go if you're cooking real food. If you're heating up a coffee cup, or a soup mug, "EDGE" is a little quicker. But, who the hell really cares?

    I mean, it's the difference in a couple of seconds. Then again, that couple of seconds might help you avoid a car wreck on the way to work...or cause you to be in one.

    It's a mysterious Universe, and all sorts of minute details can either make your life pleasant, or make it hell on earth. So, I'm pretty sure you'll be happy to know that this comment is


  4. How is this for compromise?
    OVER if you don't have cats. UNDER if you do.

  5. No compromise!

    Don't let the terrorists win!

  6. Too funny. No science here but I noticed the chicken nuggets on the edges cooked faster, hence I put them all on the edges when cooking in the microwave. Yet, I find myself putting a cup of water in the center. Habits die hard! Thanks for the facts, I'll try to remember it when I'm microwaving in the future. Over.