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Panasonic NN-CD58JSBPQ combination microwave
Pros: great value, allows for accurate cooking, perfect baked potatoes
Cons: no handle, hard-to-navigate instructions, slow defrosting
Star rating: 4.5/5
Read our full round-up of the best microwaves to buy
This multi-tasking oven/grill/microwave is good value, and performs its multitude of functions impressively.
Easy to set up, and not too large for a standard kitchen, accessories include an enamel tray for crisp cooking, and a wire grill rack with rubber feet to prevent slipping.
Despite a relatively slimline footprint, the turntable is a generous 340mm – large enough to comfortably hold a dinner plate.
The 29 auto programmes detailed in a comprehensive instruction booklet have been developed to make your life as easy as possible.
‘Auto Cook’ tackles standard defrosting, reheating and cooking, while ‘Auto Roast’ uses the enamel tray to tackle items which could do with a crisp-up, such as jacket potatoes, pizza and meat. By using a combination of the microwave and grill, the potato function is a particular success, resulting in a soft, fluffy inside and a crisp outside, for perfect spuds.
A unique ‘Junior Menu’ cooks up kid-friendly menus such as pureed fruit and veg and frozen breaded products (ideal for whipping up fish fingers), and the convection oven cooks cakes well. A dial allows you to increase the temperature by five degrees at a time, which we found useful.
With so much going on, the instruction booklet can be hard to navigate at times, although comprehensive cooking charts and photographs help things along.
Once you’ve found the item you want to cook, instructions are simple to follow, and it also includes over 80 recipes, including leek and potato gratin and Thai trout – Panasonic really want you to make the most of this microwave.
The downsides are comparatively small: the grill was a little bit sluggish compared to an oven grill, although we’ve tested worse.
We’d prefer a handle to a fiddly push-button door release, and defrosting chicken using the ‘Chaos Defrost’ setting (which aims to reduce drying out) requires 15-30 minutes resting time, which could prove inconvenient.
The design also lacks panache and keenly attracts fingerprints – although they’re easy to wipe off, and the whole thing is fairly easy to clean.
Overall, though, this is excellent value for money, and an outstanding performer in the multi-cooker bracket.
Panasonic slimline combination microwave specifications
Wattage: microwave 1000w, grill 1300w
Dimensions: H310mm, W520mm, D395mm
Microwave recipes and tips
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