Who knew there was a national day devoted to microwaves?

We all recognize the delightful "beep, beep" signaling the sustenance inside the microwave is ready. Whether it's a reheated cup of coffee, macaroni and cheese, or a bag of frozen vegetables, you're ready to consume the item in mere seconds.

According to National Day Calendar, December 6 is set aside as National Microwave Oven Day. We can all celebrate the one appliance that has sped up what we do in the kitchen—here's how.

History of the Microwave Oven

Bell Labs, General Electric, and RCA had all been working on ways to heat food with radio waves. It wasn't until Percy Spencer, of Raytheon, visited a lab in 1945 that was using active radar. The radar waves inadvertently melted a candy bar in Percy's pocket. Percy wanted to know more about this phenomenon and tried to heat popcorn and an egg. While the egg exploded in a lab partner's face, the popcorn test was quite successful. 

In 1946, Percy Spencer filed a patent for using microwaves to cook food. That same year, Raytheon began manufacturing microwave ovens for use commercially in restaurants. In 1955, microwaves were being produced for the home consumer.

To this day, about 90 percent of homes in the United States contain a microwave. They're sold at various retailers beginning at just $35. If you're looking for a convection oven/microwave oven or a microwave oven that fits over the range, you'll spend a few hundred dollars.

How to Observe National Microwave Oven Day

While National Microwave Oven Day might not be a gift-giving holiday, here are a few ideas to celebrate this handy appliance:

  • Serve leftovers tonight! Pull out the leftovers from your fridge and have a smorgasbord of sorts by reheating the leftovers in the microwave.
  • Heat uncooked beans or uncooked rice in cloth bags to soothe tired muscles from holiday shopping.
  • Pop some popcorn using that handy "Popcorn Button" before you sit down to binge-watch the latest series on  Netflix.
  • Clean your microwave by dampening a clean dishrag and placing it in the microwave for 20 seconds. Allow the rag to steam and cool slightly for a couple of minutes. Wipe out the inside of the microwave.
  • Try a few of these recipes:

How have you celebrated National Microwave Oven Day? Tell us in the comments below.