Smart Induction Countertop Oven

In the inexorable march to the automatic food replicator, I give you the latest from Panasonic:

Ray, note the touting of one pot meals.


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Hi Kaleo,

Similar concept to their microwave/radiant “solution.” Very different use of induction from the Polyscience “control freak” that allows more individual creativity.


Not similar at all, Ray. Basically, there’s an induction hob inside the oven. Induction’s different.

Here’s the manual.

Yes, Kaleo, the technology is different. Manufacturers used a mixture of radiant and microwave before, but the concept of mixing several heating approaches at the same time is basically the same as the giant Quasar unit I used for several decades.

The induction Panasonic uses is not like the induction on my Vollrath Mirage Pro.


The induction is the same find of magnetic field in both cases–propagated the same and at the same frequency. They may or may not have the same or similar switches.


It has a radiant heat source and a fan for the air currents, and induction for items placed on the grill pan–stronger in the center, and weaker toward the sides. The radient, the fans, and the induction fields controlled by electronics. Not so different from my old Quaser.


It’s not weaker at the sides–it doesn’t even heat at the sides. The induction field only heats the pan at the center, and the aluminum then conducts some of that heat outward.

Utterly different from your Quasar.


We’re not communicating. I pass.


Then read the manual, Ray. The induction coil only generates heat in the steel bottom disk–which is apparently identical in size. But then some induced heat is conducted outward beyond the disk. Panasonic treats this problem as a virtue by urging users to cook meat over the hotter disk and veggies out at the cooler periphery.

Let take a step back. What is the main advantage of this smart induction countertop oven? So if it is not better heat evenness, could be better energy efficient? Or maybe speed (like microwave able to heat up very quick).

Based on that ad video, I assume speed? This is actually a good selling point since regular oven often take quite some time to preheat and then some more time to cook. Th carne asada would have taken at least 30 min.

My criticism (also admitting that I may not be fully informed) is that heating is only coming from the grill pan, right? So the heat isn’t really coming from all 6 directions of the oven walls. In effective, isn’t this just an induction heating pan enclosed, but sold as an oven? Then why don’t I just get an $50-300 portable induction hob instead of this $600 “oven”

I have nothing against induction. I do think it is inaccurate description. Maybe they could have added another heating element on the top?


Whatever advantage there is (or isn’t), it’s just a small induction hob inside a small 2-broiler-element nonconvection oven. I suppose running both heat sources together could speed cooking a bit for certain things, but it’s still going to draw a max of 1710 watts. Maybe it would save energy over a conventional, fullsize oven, but it would still take years to pay for itself. The only ostensible advantage is the 3 “Combo” modes, which seem to be tailored to different foods.

Did you notice how short the unit is? Even at counter height, it’s going to be hard to see what’s cooking on the proprietary pan. Consumers are going to want to pull out the pan/tray and look, and this may be a burn hazard. Will the appliance remember the time and setting when Susie Homemaker pulls out the pan to look? How do you flip grilled foods without removing the tray?

This just seems to be a solution in search of a problem.

Ugly surprises include: oven light is not user-replaceable; unit ONLY works with provided tray; tray ONLY works with this appliance; no deep frying; no canning; no paper or cardboard; no oven bags; no plastic containers or TV dinner trays; no lacquerware; no thermometers; drip tray is not DW-able; toasting requires filling a “water pocket”; maximum food weight is 3.3 lbs; there are only 2 broil elements (and only 3 settings); Baking REQUIRES powering the induction tray, so it’s a little like putting a metal box over an induction hotplate; Baking temps are in 25F intervals, starting at 325F, so apparently no slow-n-low use; the Auto features require weighing the food; to cook pizza, the pie must weigh +/- 3 OUNCES; every time you grill, you’re supposed to completely clean the entire oven interior; they advise painting foods with soy sauce to make them look more browned (!!!); hummin and clickin noises are “normal”; the 1-year warranty allows Panasonic to replace with a refurbished unit (and doesn’t cover any plastic parts).

If this is a successful product, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.


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Reading this, it occurs to me that this might be a way of making an indoor pizza oven. The power alternates from the lower induction plates/pans to the upper quartz elements. After preheat, the majority of the power could cycle to the broiler… etc. Could also cook steaks - both sides at the same time. etc.

Maybe, that’s a plausible application. But why not just have electric resistive elements cast in aluminum, as in all 500,000 chain burger griddles?

I think it is not a bad appliance… just a little on the expensive side. However, there are far worse way to waste money.

That sounds sort of like my old Sunbeam waffle iron. The elements aren’t cast in the aluminum plates obviously. It was just an idea based on possibly having a better induction bottom and better quartz top elements for infrared broiling and the ability to switch and control power. It could even have a hinged top like some electric pizza ovens.- or not!

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