Microwave ovens are an efficient method of heating food, but the texture of many foods are displeasing when directly heated in a microwave oven.
Cooking in a pot on a standard range cook-top is an effective way to prepare foods, but is a very inefficient use of energy, many kilowatts are lost to the
To address these two concerns one could use a microwavable cooking pot as described herein. The pot would consist of an exterior shell composed of microwave-transparent plastic. Inside this is a layer of microwave-transparent insulation (possibly aerogel or ceramic). Inside this is a thin microwave-absorbing layer of material designed to convert microwave radiation into heat. This layer is coated onto a heavy-guage aluminum inner bowl, similar to a non-stick pan. A lid of similar layered construction, but with out the microwave-absorbing layer fits onto the top of the pot.
When placed in the microwave the microwave energy passes through the exterior shell and thermal insulation, heating the layer of microwave-absorbing material. The heat energy is absorbed by the interior aluminum bowl to efficiently heat the food contained therein.
The aluminum bowl shields the food from direct microwave radiation, preventing the undesirable effects of microwave cooking (rubbery food texture, microwave-induced migration of molecules into the food, etc).
The complete encapsulation of the cooking vessel in insulation prevents the heat from leaving the container, allowing for very efficient use of energy, while at the same time allowing additional heat to be added to the vessel as needed.
The same scheme can be used for counter-top cooking in a crock-pot style electric appliance by replacing the microwave-absorbing material with an electrically powered heating element. The result is essentially a large electric powered thermos bottle.
On the range-top energy efficiency can be increased by insulating the sides and lids of cooking pots, leaving the bottom uninsulated for conducting heat from the cook-top. Inductive cook-tops could utilize a fully insulated pan.
The objective is to reduce the amount of electric power wasted in cooking activities by preventing the unnecessary escape of useful heat energy.