Ever defrost something in the microwave only to get a mushy pile of hot and cold food?

Me too.

That’s because defrosting frozen food in a microwave usually means uneven results, overly dry food, ice crystals and more. Sure, you can air defrost that ground beef or put the food package in warm water, but some of us are busy and have things to do (congrats on your free time though).

But help might be on the way. Semiconductor giant NXP, a company that has been developing RF cooking components for years, is introducing its “smart defrost” solution at CES 2018.

The solution uses the same RF energy as the RF cooking products, only designed specifically for defrosting food rather than cooking. In technical speak, this means lower frequency magnetic waves, and longer electromagnetic waves that allow them to pass completely through the food. And, just as with the RF cooking solutions, the RF energy causes the molecules in the food to rotate and collide, resulting in heating of the food.

I asked Dan Viza, who runs NXP’s RF cooking business, how this type of solution would be implemented. With all the gadgets competing for space on our counter top, I’m not sure I have room for a new type of ‘defrost machine’ even if I get better results.

He told me the technology could be used in a variety of ways by a manufacturing partner, including in microwaves, as stand alone smart defrost boxes or, perhaps most intriguingly, into a refrigerator. Viza pointed out that increasingly fridge makers are interested in creating multiuse, user-defined spaces within fridges themselves and one of these could be a “smart defrost” chamber.

You can see some of the implementations that NXP envisions for the tech below:

NXP is still working with appliance makers who are interested in this technology to bring it to market. Just as with RF cooking, this market is still early stages as of today. It was only last fall we saw the first consumer RF cooking appliance announced, the Dialog from Miele, the high-end product that will set consumers back about $10 thousand.

So while it might take a while for smart defrost products to hit the market, it might be worth the wait, especially if it means we could get it built into a fridge or, even better, buit into a box that both flash freezes and then defrosts.

A guy can dream, right?

You can see a little more about the NXP offering in their promo reel below:

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