This microwave was bought so many years ago (in 2003), and it is still going! It was bought from Currys (who no longer stock it) but it can be bought from soundandvision.co.uk for £156, or of course you could buy it second hand for much lower. We bought it because we wanted a microwave that was high powered to heat food quickly (which it does very well). It was our first microwave and we are very pleased with how it has lasted so long, but we have now decided to retire it because of how old it was, and we thought it might start to malfunction soon.
In my opinion, this is the best microwave on the market. At 900 watts, it cooks your food quicker than you can say 'microwave'. A big plus about this microwave is how many different settings there are; the microwave includes a grill but we don't really grill our food so haven't used that option. It also has the option to defrost bread and meat, which is useful in our household where we store meat and bread in the freezer and need a quick defrost option. It is also big enough to fit a dinner plate, which is a plus.
The Microwave has never given us any problems apart from the fact that because it heats food up so quickly, you may need to make sure your food doesn't become overcooked after just a short while of operating the microwave! This has happened a couple of times with curries, making a mess all over the microwave and this can be very difficult to clean, and if you cook frankfurter sausages in there they can explode and spray meat all inside microwave if they're heated for too long! Sometimes food does get too hot but that's not a problem, just wait for it to cool down. It can be a little noisy but the noise is not continuous and stops when the food is done.
Overall, its a great microwave, and if I could find it again I would but for now I'll stick to the microwave I recently bought from sainsburys. Its not quite the same as the panasonic however.
- Cooks food quickly and efficiently.
- Food always comes out piping hot.
- Looks decent (when new).
- Will last you a very long time.
- Has many different options / settings (apart from the poor defrost options).
- It is quiet.
- Has adequate space.
- Certain parts of the microwave yellow over time.
- Cooks food so quickly it might overcook.
- Can be annoying to clean.
- Defrost setting only allows you to defrost two things - bread or meat and it can be confusing which one to use for other food items such as cake.
- Very heavy for a microwave.
- Can be quite expensive to buy new.
This is my third one of these slightly updated models each time, my last one lasted 10 years and was used almost every day with some days getting used 3 times. It is a combi microwave oven, grill and conventional oven.
The control panel consists of a digital display panel this will display the time when not in use, time buttons, 3 auto microwave program buttons, 4 auto combination buttons, auto chaos defrost button, microwave, grill, conventional and combination buttons, also has time button with delay function weight button and start stop buttons.
There are autofunction available that will use a combination of grill and micro or micro and conventional oven, the one I use most is baked potatoes, quick and easy they come out perfect. To use autofunction press the button that you require ie for baked potatoes press the potatoe button, having done this the disply at the top will ask you to input the weight of the potatoes in Grams this is done by pressing the up button at the bottom right of the control panel, you can change this to Lb and Oz if you wish, there is also a down button incase you go over. and thats it simply turn half way. The manual combination is similair and the manual has a good number of recipes to help the learning how to use procces. The auto defrost function is the same as this.
Microwaving is straight forward press the microwave button once for full power 1000W twice for defrost three times for medium four for low five for simmer and six times for keep warm, once you have chosen your required program input the time required and then start, once the time is done it will switch off with a ding to let you know its ready.
There are 3 grill levels high medium and low, to use this it is neccesary to place the metal tray in on top of the glass microwave tray, this metal tray is provided with the microwave, there is also a metal rack supplied this will raise the food to just below the top of the oven about 2 inches the metal tray can also be placed on top af the rack if required, the turntable still turns using this function which I thought would make it cook evenly but not so if I do toast I stop it and turn the bread no hardship.
The conventional oven only goes up to 220 but thats fine for most things, with the exception of frozen roast potatoes, setting the heat is done by repeatedly pressing the convection button, the metal try will need to be in before pressing start, once start is pressed it will preheat and beep when ready, input the time put the food in and thats it, once done the oven will beep switch of which I like as forgetting to switch off is a hazard.
Size is a bit of an issue with medium chickens being the largest it can hold but the size is perfect for my needs, the inside of this is stainless steal and cleaning is not a problem if done regular, for me this is the way to go great multi function piece of kitchen equipment. Theres quite a lot in the manual recipes and tips and the likes I have only flicked through it but seems good.
After the Hubby and I moved in to a place without an Oven, I thought we were doomed to an eternity of Stove-Top cooking. Pizzas, Jacket Potatoes, Casseroles and the like were well and truly off the menu - until my wonerful parents surprised me with a Microwave as a birthday present.
* * * My opinion of the Product * * *
This is not just any old Microwave, it doesn't just 'nuke' your food, leaving it rubbery and insipid, it does pretty much everything except clean itself and wash the dishes. It Ovens, it Microwaves, it Grills and it 'Combi's' using alternating blasts of Microwave power and Oven heat, meaning you can cook a tasty jacket potato with a crispy skin in a little over 15 minutes.
It's Chaos Defrost function is brilliant as I always forget to take meat out of the freezer for the evening meal. Pop in your defrostables, pick from three types of food (bread, mince and meat) and use the up and down arrows to enter the weight of what you're defrosting and off you go! It will beep at you every few minutes to remind you to turn or rest what ever it is you're defrosting.
I use it's three setting Grill (low/medium/high) to cook everything from bacon and sausages to cheese on toast, and it's Fan assisted Oven for Baking, Casseroles, Oven Chips and it makes a mean Toad-in-the-Hole!
Also it's straight forward and simple to use, even for a technical dummy like me.
* * * The technical stuff * * *
- Slimline - fits on a 50cm worktop - Check!
- Power output 1000 watt - Way better than my old 900 watt-er
- Quartz grill output 1300 watt - Simply put, it makes cheese on toast in 2 to 3 minutes
- Fan assisted convection oven 100 to 220°c - Just remember to set it 20°c lower as with all fan ovens
- Heating category E - Categories go from A to F; A being the slowest to heat food, F being the fastest-
- Capacity 27 litres - It's not the biggest but it's plenty big enough
- Stainless steel interior lining; easy to clean - Check!
- 34cm diameter rotating turntable (just over a foot), maximum dish height 20cm.
- 6 power settings - 160 degrees to 220 degrees (or there-abouts) 3 grill settings - low/medium/high
- 10 auto cook programmes - pizza/potatoes/fish etc (I've never used them)
- 3 auto defrost programmes - never used them
- Chaos defrost for fast and efficient defrosting - Oh yes; it'll defrost a chicken breast in about 8 minutes
- Inverter system for fast and even cooking - Fast? Check! Even? Check!
- Scrolling automatic guide - Tells us technophobes what button to push next!
- 9 hour 99 minute timer - Set your casserole to start cooking while you're at work.
- Child lock - No children, never used it... although I may test it on the Hubby ;)
- Round wire rack and round enamel tray - great for the afore mentioned cheese on toast and for pizzas
- Size (H)30.5, (W)51, (D)39cm. Weight 15kg.
Microwave, oven and grill all in one.
On my original one I did have the plastic ring that holds the turntable disintegrate, and had to get a replacement but it was fairly easy to get. It was about 9 years old when the turning mechanism stopped working. Everything else worked & we still used it, turning the food by hand periodically. But eventually good sense prevailed & we replaced it with an identical one :-)
The main reason I got this one rather than a different one is the timer - I can put a casserole in it in the morning and set the timer so it starts cooking an hour or 2 before I get back from work. The only limitation is that the "delay" (the time before you want it to start) can't be more than 9 hours, 99 minutes & 99 seconds. If you go over the 9 hours then it's a bit of a complicated calculation for first thing in the morning!
It has various combi functions - oven and grill, microwave and grill etc. but I have to admit I haven't used them.
It is a fan oven - so when following a recipe (or instructions on a packet) drop the temperature by about 10 degrees or it will overcook. The microwave is 1kW which is also more powerful than most, so again watch out for over-cooking.
* the oven takes quite a while (about 10 minutes) to preheat;
* limits on the timer / programming as mentioned above;
* it's a fairly small oven so you wont' be able to use rectangular baking trays (it comes with its own round one) or a big roasting dish.
* you have to preheat the oven with the supplied baking tray in it, so it's difficult to grease the tray to put your pizza or whatever on (yes that's getting picky).
I have owned this microwave for a few months now and it well yes it is a microwave but it does so much more than just that.
Since I bought it I have used all three functions which I shall comment on:
Microwaving - This model is a whopping 1000w which is currently the most powerful setting you can get on a microwave this size, if you do require more (which I really doubt but if you do consider a wall built one), on average when cooking something microwaveable take the 700w time and minus 15 seconds per minute to get the same effect in obviously less time.
Oven - The 1st time please read the manual and turn the oven on but with nothing inside as the oil used to protect the element has to evaporate (more on this is inside the manual)
Grill - Grills perfect but some foods aren't meant for microwave cooking so please read the back of the food packet before you do so.
Overall its a great microwave but yes there is one problem which won't apply to everyone, the top of the microwave has holes to let the air out therefore don't leave cups of liquids at the top as it may topple over and seep inside the microwave which is dangerous for the next user if unknown.
Recently I cleaned the microwave I had purchased when we moved into our rented house nearly 4 years ago and well I got a bit excited with the water and kitchen spray and when I next used our microwave I was greeted by a not very pleasant smell of burning and a light that wouldn't go off and a plate that wouldn't stop spinning until turned off at the wall!
So yes I had murdered my microwave, well lets call it manslaughter and a replacement was needed.
Our grill in our oven had also stopped working about a year ago so I decided that I would like to get a combination microwave as was starting to get severe withdrawal symptoms from cheese on toast.
After looking around the Comet and Curry's website and reading reviews left by purchasers I opted to buy the Panasonic NN-A554W from Comet at the cost of £115.99 although I reserved via Topcashback and made some cashback from doing so.
The microwave when removed from the packaging was about the same size of our previous (RIP) microwave although it does need more space around it as it does get a lot hotter when using the oven and grill functions.
It comes with 112 page manual which we found very useful in setting the microwave up and it describes all the different methods that the microwave can be utilised for and it also tells you how and when to use the accessories that came with it.
You are provided with a round metal baking tray and a metal grill tray on legs, when using the grill you can use the baking tray on top of the grill or underneath and whenever you use the Convection setting you must use the metal baking tray on top of the standard glass plate to protect it.
As with other Panasonic items i.e Bread makers there are lots of recipes in the book as well.
On the highest power setting the microwave cooks at 1000 watts but has power levels to choose from, the grill is set to either high, medium or low and when using the convection oven the lowest temperature is 150c and the highest you can cook at is 220c which is the standard for most normal ovens anyway.
You can combine cooking methods by using the convection and microwave together or the grill and microwave together.
The microwave has 9 auto cook programmes for cooking Curry, Chinese, Pasta, Casseroles, Fish, Vegetables,Jacket Potatoes,Frozen Potato Products,Whole Chicken and Frozen Pizza.
To use most of these programs you just enter the weight of the item your cooking and it works out the cooking time for you.
So far I have only used the auto programme for Jacket Potatoes and as I used larger ones than they recommend we did have to cook it for longer than said but they did taste nice, very soft on the inside and a nice crisp Jacket and it was still quicker than it would have been in a normal oven.
It also has a Chaos Defrost option where you enter the weight of the item you want to defrost, it works out the time and tells you when to turn the item to get it throughly defrosted.
The interior of the microwave is metallic and easy to wipe clean but they do recommend you wipe down after each use and only use a light detergent and not much water (well I won't be risking it again anyway!).
If you have young children you can also put the microwave on child lock to stop them from stuffing anything unwanted in like the family hamster which I think is a good idea.
If you lose the handbook at anytime it also has a demo function which can run you through what you are trying to do and I think this is a nice touch.
For the price it does a lot and I am happy with my purchase, my only negative is be careful when using the oven as the grill heats up too to warm it up and if your not careful you can burn the top of your food, my boyfriend did get a slightly browned pizza so you need to cover the top of your food really but this was mentioned in other reviews I read anyway.
This is a really good microwave that also has a convection oven function that is really quick and handy function to have. My hob oven is quite small and although this is not a massive microwave oven it is really handy to have both as gives a lot more cooking space.
The version of the microwave that I have is white, althouhg it does also come in silver. There a re a few differnet functions on the microwave, bsides the normal microwave, it also doubles as a convection oven and a grill.
The oven function was very helpful on Christmas Day, as my oven is quite small, so this came into play when helping to try to get eerything vooked in time. It is small enough to sit tucked away in the corner of our kitchen. Size wise of what yo can fit in is a about a pizza sized width and one of those microwave bags of rice height fits comfortably in.
I have found in the past that defrosting meat in the microwave leaves the thing either really soggy, or cooked around the edges. The defrost function on this microwave is very good and does not start to cook the thing you are defrosting.
I found that the oven function does pizzas to perfection as well, makes them much crispier than the normal oven.
It is easy to clean, like any microwave. You take out the glass plate and clean it and wipe the painted inside clean. The controls are very easy to use, like most microwaves, you push buttons after reading the manual that tell you what they do. it is a little bit noisy when used, but not so loud that you can not hear youurself think.
It cost about £110, but I would say it is definitely worth it as you are getting a lot more than an ordinary microwave.
I have a tiny tiny kitchen and had to search for a microwave that would fit into the tiny space I had available. I was very pleased when I came upon this slimline Panasonic NNA554W. Not only is it a micro wave but it is also has a combination oven. This model was especially designed for compact spaces. It has a 1.3kw quartz grill and fan assisted convection oven with a cool turbo bake, as well as a conventional microwave with 6 power levels. This micro wave also has a function called chaos defrost. The oven lining is hardwearing stainless steel. I find the oven looks great and is also very easy to clean but you must clean immediately because dried on stuff is a nightmare to remove from the special lining of the microwave. The instructions that come with the micro wave are very easy to follow ans simple to understand. I love this combo microwave as you get both spped of the micro wave and nice good quality of an oven.
Four models are covered by the single manual for this product. The base model is the NN A554 with white enamel finish, NN A524, NN-A574 and the NN A514 the premium aluminium stainless steel finish.
Having had good and long service from two previous Panasonic microwaves we opted for the A514 top of the range model. Sadly it deviated from the long standing procedures of entering power level or autoweight program and then entering weight. The 112 page manual does not set out alternative procedures clearly and what is needed is a simple step by step pull out card/s for each of the combined, convection, grill or microwave operations.
Contacted Panasonic about not being able to enter weight on some of the autoweight programmes. After going through a check list of what we had done they said return product to Currys.
Currys, to their credit, offered return of money or replacement product without question and even put us in touch again with Panasonic from their phone.
From Curry's phone Panasonic assured us that end of one year guarantee did not mean end of their support and they would still cover inherent defects or certain key parts (Sale of Goods Act requirement on retailer?)
Decided to take replacement Panasonic but pay for Curry's five year extended warranty.
However a problem we encountered on the replacement oven in cooking a pizza by convection oven shows that simplicity and consistency have not been a primary marketing consideration.
OK the adviser at Panasonic Customer support should have known that for some of the autoweight cook programmes it is not possible to enter the weight until the preheating stage has been completed. This is not explained on page 42 but if you persevere to page 46 there is an explanation!!!! Maybe we need not have returned the first oven to Currys.
Once we had mastered that the start button for the convection oven also set the temperature. Although on page 32 it states that "The oven starts at 150C" (presumably a default setting) this is followed by a bold boxed statement "The oven will automatically work on HIGH Microwave Power if a cooking time is entered without the oven temperature previously being selected"
Well it seemed to us that you could not enter a cooking time until the oven had finished preheating to the starting temperature.
The engineering and quality seem to be what is expected from Panasonic but the manual is awful and you might damage the product if you fail to understand or implement the instructions properly.
This microwave seems very efficient and perhaps this is linked to the "inverter" and "chaos defrost" technology.
Panasonic get your finger out and improve the instructions or provide more detailed stage by stage instructions on the computer screen. You should not need to have a 112 page manual by the microwave at all times!!!!
Space in the modern kitchen is always at a premium, epsecially on the work surface / Microwave ovens compete with an ever increasing range of new appliances, designed to make life easier / Recognising this fact, Panasonic gave themselves to the challenge to reduce the size of one of their best selling microwaves / without sacrificing the capacity of the oven / Short name: Panasonic NN-A554W