We tested out the hi-tech Steam Combination Oven, a four-in-one hi-tech cooker from Japanese company Panasonic
Panasonic’s Steam Combination Oven, the NN-DS596, is a microwave-grill-oven combi machine that also features a super-healthy steam oven.
The stylish-looking DS596 has a large capacity and a flatbed design that the Japanese tech gargantuan says results in 27 per cent more useable cooking space.
The black glass fronted machine comes with a full-width rectangular ribbed Panacrunch tray that slides into the appliance like an oven shelf.
This makes it possible to use the unit as additional oven space as well as for microwave cooking.
The Panacrunch tray is also used for grill mode.
And in combi mode the pan absorbs microwaves and turns them into heat to cook the base of your food; the grill cooks from above.
Food cooks more evenly, with no need to turn over half way through.
It’s an end to soggy bottoms, on pizzas, for example.
I think the best feature is that it also offers steam cooking — without the use of any microwaves.
There’s a water tank on the right, below the door, and to the left is a drip tray.
It uses a turbo steam mechanism that injects steam directly into the top of the oven.
Steaming food retains more nutrients and natural flavours than any other method of cooking.
Steaming with the DS596 is a much more convenient operation than using a traditional steamer on an oven hob. (It takes roughly the same time to steam everything, by the way).
The steamer can also be used in combination with the microwave or quartz grill, which reduces cooking times and keeps food moist.
Operating the machine in all modes is simple.
There are plenty of smart programs, and a handy list inside the door to choose these from.
The DS-596 comes with an instruction booklet that is really useful.
You’ll repeatedly refer to the array of popular recipes with detailed information on cooking times.
A jacket potato takes about 15 minutes using the grill/microwave combi mode.
As for the microwave, it differs from competitors in that it uses Inverter Technology.
This delivers graduated cooking that controls the six power level choices directly and results in food being cooked more evenly.
The inverter tech also powers the Turbo Defrost function that thaws frozen food out much more quickly and evenly than conventional microwaves.
Overall, this combi microwave is recommended and ideal for steam cooking and extra oven capacity.