Nearly a year ago, Panasonic introduced its Countertop Induction Oven, a microwave-sized appliance that cooks like a full-size range. It uses infrared heat and induction (hence the name) to quickly and evenly cook your food. Getting a full meal of chicken cutlets and potatoes in 23 minutes — no preheating — is pretty impressive, and it’s partly due to the oven’s size. It’s about as wide as a microwave, though it has a lower profile.
To show off the innovative tech, Panasonic took us on a ride on Vegas’s High Roller ferris wheel. While taking in views of Vegas, we watched the chicken go from uncooked to nicely browned on both sides. The chicken turned out super juicy and the potatoes were neither too firm nor tender. During the first part of the cooking phase, the window steamed up with condensation. When the infrared heating kicked on, the condensation cleared and the food started to brown.
There are nine buttons on the face, including grill, broil, and bake. There are six presets: Frozen pizza, toast, bagel, fish, fish with vegetables, and chicken with vegetables. You can make adjustments based on weight. It comes with a nonstick, dishwasher-safe grill pan for magnetic induction.
The company says you can get a meal for a family of four on the table in about a half hour. Part of the secret is in how you arrange the food: The chicken goes in the middle, with the vegetables on the outside. It wanted to focus on family-friendly meals first before branching out into other avenues. Panasonic paired with the Culinary Institute of America and All Recipes to create recipes tailored for the oven. There are only 26 at the moment, so that means you’ll have to be a bit adventurous in your cooking. Bacon, burgers, and bread pudding were all on the list of things Panasonic has made in the oven.
The $600 oven is available now from Amazon and Williams Sonoma. Can you get a full-size range for less? Yes, but the Panasonic is quick and efficient. You definitely can’t make a turkey in there, or even a full chicken, but it is pretty revolutionary with what it can cook.
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