Panasonic’s NN-CF853W and NN-CF873S – are they any good?
You can get a basic microwave oven from around £50 – but it’s becoming increasingly popular for customers to invest larger sums in their kitchen appliances, with the manufacturer’s adjusting their product range’s to suit. An expensive combination microwave can ultimately replace half of your kitchen, with some modern versions including ovens, grills and even healthy built in steamers – whereas in the past you were limited to heating and basic cooking, it’s now possible to cook an elaborate meal using just your microwave.
It’s for this reason that the more expensive models have gained in popularity – a microwave takes up far less room, as is a lot more practical and economical to use, when compared to a bulky and energy wasting convection oven or grill.
Here we take a look at Panasonic’s crème de la crème – the NN-CF853W and NN-CF873S combination microwaves.
The first thing you notice about both models is the size and styling – they’re pretty large for a microwave, with a 32 litre capacity. Most basic models start at around 20 litres, with some micro sized microwaves being as little as 14 litres – so it’s safe to say that these are very spacious indeed. This is extended further by the fact that neither of these models requires a space wasting glass turntable, and instead feature a flat bed design. This is designed to be easier to clean, and will prove to be more reliable due to the lack of moving parts.
The black and silver colour scheme more resembles a smart phone or technological gadget than a microwave – Panasonic have designed this range from the ground up, aiming to create a modern looking yet high performing appliance – in our opinion they have certainly achieved both. A beautifully minimalist “swipe and touch” keypad design is used to operate the various functions, with a gorgeous deep blue LED screen fitted to display the cooking proceedings, with the subtle Panasonic branding located at the base of the door. Speaking of the door, both of these microwaves have turned their back on the left handed hinge convention, and instead have opted for a base hinge, so that the door unfurls to reveal a shelf. It’s the little touches like this that make this range stand out of the crowd.
Enough about the styling – what’s so special about these microwaves?
Well for starters, for an additional fee you can buy a kit which enables these microwaves to be built in units – so you’re not stuck with positioning them on your work surface or fridge. This adds further value to the package, as if you are planning on having a kitchen fitted in the coming years then you can rest assured that this microwave range is versatile enough to fit in with your new design. Under the hood they feature a 1000w microwave and 1300w powerful quartz grill, both of which work remarkably well; a lot of thought has gone into the performance of these features.
For example, the two level convection cooking enables you to evenly cook two different dishes simultaneously, with a built in fan ensuring that the heat gets circulated uniformly. Similarly the grill and oven can also be used at the same time should your dish require both cooking and crisping. Both also include the Sensor Cooking option, which takes the hassle and effort out of cooking common food types.
The NN-CF853W build quality is also exceptional, which you would expect given the price tag – from the sleek modern control system to the unusual yet strangely practical bottom hinged door, it’s clearly built to last.
Overall we were very impressed by this range – I think the highest compliment we can pay them is that they are the least microwave-like microwaves we’ve ever seen! The styling and construction more resembles a high end HD television. Not only do they look good, they also live up to expectations in use, and thanks to the intelligent design are capable of helping you to create some beautiful dishes. Granted, they are a very substantial investment, but in time it will not be one you regret.