1979: Microwave ovens put traditional ovens on back burner

Posted at 8:57 PM, Sep 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-12 17:03:17-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Whether it’s an air fryer, Instapot or NutriBullet, the latest and greatest in household technology can often be found in the kitchen.

The latest technology making its way into the homes of Hoosiers 40 years ago was none other than the microwave oven.

Former RTV6 reporter Derrik Thomas visited a Central Indiana JCPenney to find out more about the radical new appliances in Sept. 1979.

At the time, a Department of Agriculture report found that microwave ovens were three times more efficient than electric ovens and six times more efficient than gas. Even better, they were quick.

A JCPenney employee demonstrated the speed of the microwave oven by microwaving a coffee cake. While traditional oven would take 20 minutes to cook the cake, the microwave oven took just six-and-a-half minutes.

The same JCPenney employee told RTV6, “They are more energy efficient in most instances. There are more people buying them all the time because they reduce the amount of time that it takes to cook most items. You can still have a full course dinner that is nutritious with your vegetables, meat in a relatively short period of time.”

The cost of the microwave ovens were $200-$500.