Microwave Innovations We Saw At TIHS 2024

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Humankind will forever be indebted to the creator of the microwave. (If you're wondering, this was 20th-century American inventor Percy Spencer.) But what Spencer probably couldn't foresee when he developed the technology in the 1940s was just how far the device would come in the ensuing decades.

Today, we've moved beyond the simplistic T.V. dinners of generations past and found new ways to use this appliance. There are countless things you can cook in a microwave that you may have never considered before, from popcorn in a brown paper bag to steamed milk for your latte — without any fancy frother.

Beyond the microwave itself, there are plenty of modern-day tools you can pair with the device that make cooking not only quicker and more convenient but also mess-free. Mashed got to see some of these latest innovations at 2024's The Inspired Home Show in Chicago, and suffice it to say, we're totally buzzed about them.

Lékué Omelette Maker

Making the perfect omelet in a pan (especially if that pan is cast iron) can seem like a never-ending battle, and often, all you have to show for it are broken dreams and yolks. Fortunately, there's an easier option: This one-and-done omelet maker from Lékué takes the guesswork out of cooking and flipping. Simply pour your eggs, veggies, cheese, and any other desired toppings into the silicone mold, then close it up and pop it into the microwave. In about 90 seconds, you'll have a hearty breakfast on your plate. Not only will the dish turn out fluffy and perfectly cooked, but since there's no cooking oil involved, it'll also be less greasy.

The product also comes with various omelet recipes, making it "more than just a product," as one Lékué representative told us. They went on to describe it as "a complete solution" to all of your breakfast needs: It's convenient, easy, and gives you extra time to multitask while prepping a morning meal. Lékué's Omelette Maker is available online for $18.

Hamilton Housewares Microwave Curve Hotpot-Casserole

The beauty and durability of a casserole pot have been made microwave-compatible, keeping your dinner warm for four to six hours. Hamilton Housewares Pvt. Ltd. has made what it claims is the first microwaveable insulated steel pot, allowing you to cook dinner in a flash without the mess. All you have to do is put your stew, spaghetti, chili, or practically any other dish inside the vessel, pop on the lid, and cook it. For extra helpful cleanup, it's also dishwasher-safe.

Since Hamilton Housewares' Microwave Curve Hotpot-Casserole just launched, it's not yet available for purchase; that said, orders are in the works, and the product should be hitting shelves soon. A representative from the company told Mashed that its sleek color, potential for nested storage, easy handling, and appliance compatibility (specifically with microwaves and dishwashers) make this item not only a convenient product but also "the perfect gift" for the home cooks in your life.

Lékué Microwave Grill

The next time you want grilled meats, paninis, or veggie kabobs, there's no need to fire up the charcoal grill. Lékué (the only brand to appear on this list twice) has developed a microwave-compatible device that makes barbecue favorites possible in mere minutes — and in any weather. Lékué's unique design features distinctive grill grates, as well as attached silicone bands that keep your food extra secure. These will give your proteins and veggies the well-defined grill marks you're always looking for.

Just preheat the device in the microwave for a few minutes, then place your food on the non-stick surfaces and let it cook. The machine uniquely transfers the microwave's power into a hot surface, allowing you to grill foods easily without creating overwhelming smoke. As for the best dish to make in it, the folks at Lékué say sandwiches take the proverbial cake. Lékué's Microwave Grill is available online for $44.

Talisman Designs Microwave Bacon Tray

Bacon grease and splatter can ruin a perfectly good breakfast if you spend so much time cleaning that your meaty strips go cold; putting off the cleanup and dreading it throughout your meal isn't much better. Fortunately, there's a way to avoid this hassle and enjoy bacon while it's still piping hot: a reusable tray from Talisman Designs that microwaves bacon. (The oven is also an option with this tool, but why use it when you have a handy-dandy microwave?)

This silicone mat features individual slots to separate each slice of meat. Plus, the tray's exterior has tall edges to contain the grease, and the built-in pour spout allows you to easily discard leftovers. (As for where to put them, you might want to check out Talisman Designs' Bacon Bin grease holder.) When asked about the product's most notable benefits, the Talisman Designs crew told Mashed that convenience, quick cooking time, and easy cleaning top the list. You can get Talisman Designs' Microwave Bacon Tray online for $23.

Fasta Pasta Microwave Pasta Cooker

Whether you're making mac and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, or lasagna, cooking your noodles to your desired doneness is now even simpler with the Fasta Pasta Microwave Cooker. "It's easy, it's fast, and it cooks perfectly," a brand representative told Mashed at The Inspired Home Show.

The container allows you to measure the exact amount of water you need via holes in the top and markings on the side. Once you've added your pasta and water, just microwave the vessel for the recommended amount of time (this will depend on how much and what type of pasta you're making) and drain it when ready. It's also large enough to prepare four servings of noodles at once, perfect for when you're cooking dinner for the family. Fasta Pasta also makes a Ramen Microwave Cooker for those seeking some noodle variety. Fasta Pasta's Microwave Pasta Cooker is available on Amazon for $14.99, and the Ramen Microwave Cooker is available for the same price. If desired, you can even buy them together.