Which Panasonic microwave is best?
Panasonic microwaves are among the better midrange brands. They provide plenty of power and offer useful features across their product line, all while being offered at comfortable price points. They also come in a variety of looks and finishes so they can fit in any kitchen and on any countertop.
A top option is the Panasonic NE-1054F Heavy-Duty Commercial-Grade Microwave. It has touch controls and the ability to store up to 20 heating settings for quick and easy repeat cooking.
What to know before you buy a Panasonic microwave
Size and capacity
Before purchasing a Panasonic microwave, it’s important to consider the total size and cooking capacity to meet your needs.
- Size usually doesn’t vary much from model to model, and if it does, it’s likely no more than a few inches. The typical range is 11 to 14 inches tall, 21 to 24 inches wide and 17 to 20 inches deep. When shopping for a microwave, the only real consideration is whether you have the counter space to place it. Remember to leave an inch or two of space around it for venting when doing your calculations.
- Capacity, on the other hand, varies greatly. Some Panasonic microwaves have only 0.8 cubic feet of capacity, while others have 2.2 or more. Capacity also doesn’t have a 1:1 correlation to size — the same given size microwave could have any number of capacities.
Like all microwaves, Panasonic measures their heating power in watts. Higher wattages not only mean faster cooking, but a more even one as well. Most models have 1,000 watts, but the very best can have up to 1,250. The weakest, though not necessarily bad for it, can have as little as 600 watts — these are rare, as most don’t dip below 800 watts.
The finish of a Panasonic microwave only affects how it looks in your kitchen, should you care about matching or contrasting. Most of them are either black or white plastic or stainless steel.
What to look for in a quality Panasonic microwave
Sometimes you need to heat food that would be damaged or overcooked if blasted at your microwave’s full power. In these cases, you’ll want a Panasonic model that lets you choose how much of its power to use for a given session. Models with this ability typically have three or five power settings. Some models have more than five but rarely have the 10 settings of high-end microwaves.
Most Panasonic microwaves have a turntable. This helps your food cook more evenly, so make sure your model has one. If you rarely use your microwave and only for basic reheating, it’s fine to use a low-powered and turntable-less model.
Like most microwaves, Panasonic models let you manually punch in the amount of time you wish to cook for. Some Panasonic models have time shortcuts that immediately start cooking for that chosen length — the most common times are 30 seconds and 1-minute intervals. The best models let you program any time and save it to a specific button — you can set a cook time of 75 seconds, for example.
Many microwaves offer some kind of sensor-based cooking; in Panasonic’s case, it’s called Genius Sensor. It measures the steam coming off cooking food and adjusts the total cooking time as needed. It isn’t perfect but is an excellent feature for basic reheating.
How much you can expect to spend on a Panasonic microwave
Panasonic microwaves usually cost $100-$300. For less than $150, you won’t get much more than the basics. Excellent midrange models usually cost $175-$225, with the best costing $250-$300.
Panasonic microwave FAQ
What’s the difference between a microwave, a toaster oven and a convection oven?
A. Microwaves heat their food using a combination of electricity and magnets to send special particles into the cooking interior. These particles travel through your food and the plates they’re on, causing them to vibrate and produce heat. Toaster ovens use heating elements just like a standard oven, usually just one but sometimes two. Convection ovens combine both cooking forms and can usually use one method at a time or both at once.
Can I adjust the volume of a Panasonic microwave?
A. Sometimes. Models with adjustable volume are able to adjust the levels or completely turn them off. Some also let you adjust how often and how many times it beeps after it’s finished heating your food.
What’s the best Panasonic microwave to buy?
Top Panasonic microwave
Panasonic NE-1054F Heavy-Duty Commercial-Grade Microwave
What you need to know: This microwave has the power and functions to be Panasonic’s best.
What you’ll love: It has 0.8 cubic feet of cooking space and 1,000 watts of power that can be used in six levels. It has 10 programmable buttons, each with the ability to store two personalized presets, and it has a sleek stainless steel finish.
What you should consider: A few buyers had issues with the timer function not working as it should. Several found its tendency to beep repeatedly once cooking is done to be irritating.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Panasonic microwave for the money
Panasonic NN-SN686S Microwave Oven
What you need to know: This option offers plenty of cooking functions at a lower price.
What you’ll love: Its design lets it work in both countertop and built-in orientations. It has a roomy 1.2 cubic feet of cooking space and 1,200 watts of power, plus it uses a special inverter technology to more evenly heat your foods.
What you should consider: Some users had issues with the magnetrons or inverter circuits dying as soon as one month after purchase. The interior light doesn’t trigger when the door is opened.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Panasonic NN-SD975S Microwave Oven
What you need to know: This is a big, powerful microwave that uses a special heating system to cook food evenly and efficiently.
What you’ll love: It has a huge 2.2 cubic feet of cooking space and 1,250 watts of power that heats using a special cyclonic wave inverter technology. Sensor cook and sensor reheat functions tackle foods without needing to set a timer.
What you should consider: A few consumers felt the door was a little loose on the hinge, though it still closes tightly. Some error codes are hard to fix.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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