Industry: The Two-Minute Oven

Ten years ago microwave ovens seemed just the thing for everyone's dream kitchen: roast beef cooked in 30 minutes, apple pie in 18, meat loaf in 13. But the ovens flopped: they were priced too high (well over $1,000), cost too much to repair, sometimes turned meat a bilious grey. Despite this, expensive microwave ovens are now back in force—this time not intended for everybody's kitchen. Vastly improved small models are cooking up a storm in the nation's restaurants.

No Leftovers. The microwave ovens will never take over in restaurants that consider a meal something of an art as well as...

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