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Panasonic Steam Oven

Eric Srikandan

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I recently bought the Panasonic NN-DS581M, the Chinese localized version of the Steam Microwave Oven. Price was 2200RMB, about $350 USD. 






Size snugly fits a quarter sheet pan. My 2qt pyrex pan fits in there but not my 3qt pan. 



Water tray for steam injector:




Overall impressions:


It's designed much more for microwave reheating than serious baking. It has nifty features where you can "IR reheat" to a specified temperature and "steam reheat" until something is cooked. Although the maximum specced temperature is 250C/480F, when I attempted to set it to that temperature, the oven never left the preheating phase. Overall heating is also less than even, when I roasted a chicken with potatoes, the potatoes in the back right corner browned significantly less than the front left.


Annoying, although this device has the capability to inject steam in while baking, it's not directly exposed in the user interface. Instead, it's only available via 3 of the preset "auto menus", steaming eggs, baking cream puffs and baking cheesecake. The oven also has a "feature" where it will turn itself off every time you open the oven door and you must manually turn it back on by pressing start.

The oven also doesn't have the feature where you can both microwave and grill although I care far less about this. Bizarrely, this version of the oven doesn't come with a clock (foreign versions do)!


However, the UI design of the device is pretty good. The wheel style interface makes most common tasks pretty easy although I'm annoyed this doesn't allow you to push the start button to instantly start the microwave and add 30s cooking each time.


Still, it appears that Panasonic is selling the same "guts" of the oven all around the world with different UIs localized for each market and, at $350USD, the Chinese version is significantly cheaper than overseas versions. If you have a Western kitchen with built in ovens, it's questionable whether this is worth buying. But living in a Chinese kitchen with limited counter space, it's a compact unit that lets you get something that's 80% good at 3 different things.

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PS: I am a guy.

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From the pictures and stories and results above, it seems as if this Panasonic unit is no match for the Cuisinart Steam Girlie Man.


Perhaps Panasonic should stick to what they're good at, whatever that might be.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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3 hours ago, Shalmanese said:

Still, it appears that Panasonic is selling the same "guts" of the oven all around the world with different UIs localized for each market


I think the Chinese seldom bake, but steam a lot. They believe baking is not good for health.





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The February issue of Delicious UK has a mini review of the Panasonic Steam Oven.

Under drawbacks they say: "It's a bit pricey but you could argue it's not so expensive if it replaces a full size oven. I did find the baking results uneven and the oven is for countertop use only, which is tricky if workspace is limited. It's also hard to see what's going on inside because the oven door is tinted and the lighting inside is poor."


Their verdict: "Generally well thought-out bit of kit - ideal for the single householder who is into cooking but lacks space." 

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