Nuevo Horno de Microonda!

3 Apr

The old broken microwave has been replaced at last. My parents had a credit from a big cappuccino machine they returned so they offered us to pick a microwave to replace ours. We found a very neat looking stainless Panasonic that looked like it would be a good upgrade while taking up a little less counter space.

Theoretically the microwave is a bit bigger than the old one and it’s 1,100 Watts compared to about 850 for the old one. We had about 8 microwaves to choose from and this one had the best reviews despite a few issues people had. My biggest concern with this model was the lack of a numerical keypad. This worried me because in my mind less buttons usually means more pressing of one button. Think of the example of setting an alarm clock, and how long it takes to change the time, where if you could just punch in 7:45 am it would take about one second to set the alarm.
This microwave uses a dial and a “quick minute” button to set the time. So if you just want to microwave something for 1 minute, you press Quick Minute and Start. For 2 minute you press Quick Minute twice and Start. For something like 2 minutes and 45 seconds you twist the dial clockwise until you get 2:45
It actually gets there pretty quickly, and the increments increase as you get to longer times; for instance you could do 27 seconds but not 2 minutes and 27 seconds. You’d have to do 2:20 or 2:30, over 5 minutes the increments go to 15 seconds, over 10 minutes it’s only full and half minutes.
One of the key features of this Panasonic is the Inverter technology that it employs, which unlike traditional microwaves, allows it to actually cook at different power levels rather than turning on and off repeatedly. This is actually similar to how the Honda inverter generator we have is able to provide stable power at various engine speeds while most generators rely on a fixed throttle to provide consistent voltage.
You can also do two stage cooking, like 5 minutes at power level 3, then 4 minutes at full power. There are also a whole bunch of preset “Genius sensor” settings that you can use to cook or defrost commonly microwaved foods. Apparently it detects steam to know how far along the cooking is. I tried to make some rice the first night we set it up, instead of using the instructions in the package, to see how it would come out. The directions called for 5 minutes then 15 minutes at lower level, I didn’t time it exactly but I think it did about 5 or 6 minutes and then about 17 minutes. I think it might have been slightly dried out but to be fair it was basmati rice and not standard white rice as the program is intended for so that could be a factor.

I’m sure I’ll have more to write about this in the future, but for now we’re pretty pleased with our new microwave, and it looks pretty sleek in our kitchen. The only thing I really miss is the little plastic food cover I accidentally threw out with the old microwave… Oops!


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