The next generation of microwaves will be small and light enough to take to the office, building site or even a car of truck where they can simply be plugged in to heat up favourite foods. Ditch the plastic lunchbox and flask of soup – it won’t be long before workers have a portable MICROWAVE oven in their backpacks instead, according to scientists.
And that is not the only technological advance for the gadgets found in everyone’s kitchen but which are currently heavy, cumbersome and not always easy to use on every kind of meals.
Future microwaves will detect when a food is completely thawed or cooked to avoid that telltale crunch when biting into a heated up meal only to find a frozen bit in the middle, say experts.
And they will know when a liquid or food is about to overheat and spill over and cut in to prevent it happening.
Other smart technology being introduced includes ovens that can cook different foods at different temperatures even when they are on the same plate, instead of doing each ingredient separately.
Current microwaves use something called a cavity magnetron, part of the same radar technology that dates back to the second world war, said the journal New Scientist .
This means they are very heavy machines and have a tendency to create hotspots where some of the food cooks quicker than other bits, even as the turntable revolves.
Read more: You should microwave your tea and even your Sunday roast if you want to save – but does it work?
New technology using metal oxide semiconductors which are currently found in mobile phone masts and other communication systems are set to revolutionise the industry, said the report.
It will make the machines lighter, even to the point they can become as portable as a tablet computer in a backpack or briefcase.
A company called Wayv , based in Hertfordshire, is set to launch one called an Adventurer in the US early next year for around £135 and weighing just 1.5 kilos (3.3 lbs).
It uses a rechargeable lithium battery is seen as perfect for campers and outdoor enthusiasts as well as workers as it does not emit smoke and carbon monoxide when used, unlike camp stoves.
Read more: Is your microwave leaking radiation? Apparently there’s a very simple way to check