Panasonic NN-CD58JSBPQ Combination Microwave Oven Review

A flexible, freestanding combi microwave oven

Verdict

Family friendly, fast and flexible cooking that’s almost foolproof, the Panasonic Combination Microwave Oven handles all jobs well.

Pros

  • Children’s meal programmes
  • Fan oven, grill and microwave cooking
  • 29 auto programmes

Cons

  • Microwave cookware required
  • Takes up worktop space
  • Instructions are extensive

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £199
  • 1300W grill and oven (1000W microwave)
  • Wire grill rack
  • Enamel tray
  • 310 x 520 x 395mm, 17kg

What is the Panasonic NN-CD58JSBPQ Combination Microwave Oven?

If your family relies on a microwave for quick meals, then you’ll love Panasonic’s freestanding, slimline Combination Microwave Oven NN-CD58JSBPQ.

From a new Junior Menu function that cooks dishes for children, to auto programmes for reheating and defrosting specific foods, Panasonic’s aim here has been to offer up an appliance that will prove useful day to day.

The NN-CD58JSBPQ’s combi capabilities are impressive, too, using conventional fanned heat or grilling with microwaving, plus clever inverter technology to cook casseroles, pasta, fish, veg, roast meat and more up to 40% faster than other combination and grill oven. The oven’s precise heat claims to help preserve vitamins and nutrients, too.

Panasonic NN-CD58JSBPQ Combination Microwave Oven – Design and features

While it requires 20% less counter space than previous models, this microwave is still quite deep for the average worktop – and bigger than most solos. However, this translates to a substantial cavity: inside you’ll find a generous 27-litre capacity and a 34cm diameter glass turntable capable of accommodating large dishes.

Also included is a wire rack to raise up food to the 1300W quartz grill, and an enamel tray for convection cooking. On the outside, it’s a riot of buttons arranged around a knob – but each is clearly labelled and none feel superfluous.

At the top of the panel, a clear display shows the function selected and a countdown timer, with a helper function that can be switched off once you’re up to speed.

The Panasonic combi oven is rich in features, then, but the highlights are 29 auto programmes, 100-220°C fan-assisted convection cooking, six microwave power levels, three grill settings and a button for a 30-second blast of power.

As well as cyclic defrost (bursts of power and standing), the oven offers chaos defrost that’s tailored to foods such as bread and meat. This uses a random sequence of microwaving based on type and weight for faster, more even results.

And to underline its family-friendly credentials, the NN-CD58JSBPQ features a child lock, which can be used as a kitchen timer, too.

Panasonic NN-CD58JSBPQ Combination Microwave Oven – What’s it like to use?

Most microwaves are fairly straightforward top operate, but given this model’s functionality, reading the lengthy instruction book is a must. On the plus side, there are recipes included that make great starting points for getting to know each function.

I started by using the chaos defrost function to thaw bread. Based on its weight, it predicted a time of 45 seconds, followed by some standing time. As the programme ran, a reminder to check on the progress of the bread popped up, although the microwave didn’t stop.

Once the programme had completed, the bread still appeared to have one or two cold spots. I let it stand and, sure enough, after a few minutes the cold spots had gone – and the white of the bread was soft without the crust drying out.

Next, I tested a Junior Menu programme. Each press of the button scrolled through available programmes (there are eight) and there’s a chart in the instructions to tell you which to use. I chose the purée vegetables programme for cooking 300g potatoes with water. This gave a time of nine minutes plus standing.

About halfway through there was an alert to stir the potatoes. After the time had elapsed, the potatoes were just soft enough to mash.

Then I moved on to a recipe for onion and feta tartlets. This involved microwaving onion with oil on High. After 10 minutes, the onions were cooked but not browned, so I gave them a few more minutes. There’s an option to add more time to any programme on the same settings, but once the door is opened, this disappears. This is frustrating, since you need to see the food to decide if it needs extended cooking.

The pastry for the tartlets required baking using convection only, preheated with the enamel tray. However, my rectangular baking tray wouldn’t fit in the cavity, so I had to use a muffin tin. I baked the tartlets for 12 minutes initially, but the pastry was still soft, so I put them back in for several more minutes. This time, the pastry was firmer and browned, although the onion topping had started to singe.

I’d planned to make coq au vin, too; however, since this was a combination convection recipe, my cast-iron dish wasn’t compatible.

Instead, I made brownies. This first used the Medium microwave heat (600W) to melt together chocolate and butter, which worked well. Once the mixture was ready, I baked it using the combination convection plus Simmer setting (300W) for 10 minutes at 220ºC. The brownies rose as they baked but sank towards the end. The mixture was still wet, so I baked for a further two minutes. This time, they were set but most of the chocolate chips had solidified on the bottom. The brownies were tasty but not aesthetically appealing.

Finally, I made a cheese toastie. Placing buttered bread on the rack, I grilled this on the hottest setting: Grill 1. Then I used the combination grill plus Simmer to toast the cheese sandwich. The toastie emerged with the cheese thoroughly melted, but the bread wasn’t burned. Having the instructions was essential – while this was a simple process, the steps might be tricky to remember. A quick guide for basics would be useful. The microwave was easy enough to wipe down inside, but note that the turntable isn’t dishwasher safe. The exterior also proved a magnet  for fingerprint smudges.

Why buy the Panasonic NN-CD58JSBPQ Combination Microwave Oven?

The microwave is ideal for time-poor families. It’s hugely versatile, does most things to a high standard and could easily fill in for your oven – or even supplement its capacity. The instructions might be exhaustive, but the advice on offer will ensure you can get the most from the NN-CD58JSBPQ. Note that some of the recipes might need a little test and adjust to replicate fan oven results, and you may have to invest in a glass or stoneware casserole for big meals. Otherwise, this multitasking micro is worth every penny.

Score


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