20 November, 2014

Panasonic NN-DS592B Combination Microwave Oven

I bought this oven, thinking it could replace several kitchen appliances: conventional (normal, baking) oven, toaster, steamer and microwave. Unfortunately I don't recommend it as it's ridiculously difficult to use. At first I thought I was growing old when I couldn't understand the manual. Now, having tried to use the oven, I found out it's not me. I also have a Panasonic fridge and the manual is similarly hard to understand / missing information, so maybe Panasonic just isn't good at writing manuals. A pity, because I was quite happy with their TV.

Ok so what's so hard to use about it?
  1. It has many modes (that's fine, that's why I bought it), but it doesn't clearly state what kinds of heating each mode uses. e.g. does combination use microwaves? Does double-grill use microwaves? (answer: yes and yes) This is important, because you need to know whether you can use metal in such modes.
  2. You'd think all the modes are equivalent, but for some reason they're spread out all over the controls and manual. I mean, some are above the round knob and some are below.
  3. It comes with no less than FOUR trays, TWO of which can only be used in ONLY ONE MODE EACH. The LCD even has an indicator which tray to use, but the icons all look similar. It also has a reference table showing which trays and modes are compatible.
This is way beyond what you can expect the average household to learn.

For example, I was trying to grill a sausage. So I put aluminium foil on the double-grill tray and used the double-grill mode. Does the double-grill use microwaves? See above. "Hmm, does my sausage contain glitter?" "No? It's sparking, then"

Ok fine, switch to the normal, conventional oven mode. This should be fine, right? What's that plasticky smell? Check the reference table. THE DOUBLE-GRILL TRAY IS ONLY FOR THE DOUBLE-GRILL MODE! Why? BECAUSE THE BOTTOM OF THE TRAY HAS PLASTIC! (Aside: I think the double-grill mode uses the heating element to cook from the top, and the tray absorbs microwaves to cook from the bottom, because it has no bottom heating element)

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