As we all look for better ways to cook our food — and by better, we mean “better for you” — it’s important to acknowledge steam cooking, which is what Panasonic is doing with a model on its way to stores.

If the place you’re living in lacks a decent oven or any oven at all, it might be time to consider something that can cook the food in your life and not be installed, taking up space on your counter and yet offering so much in the way of cooking modes.

Convection and microwave cooking are generally included in most external ovens, as well as grilling, but Panasonic is stepping it up with a steam function, bringing its microwave ovens into the 21st century with the inclusion of a boiler unit in the top section of the microwave.

This section will push steam out into that section, cooking food using the healthful steaming method, whether it’s fish, veggies or anything else.

Steaming is only one method, however, with the 1350 watt oven also capable of baking, roasting, grilling, microwave reheating and cooking, and even working out how long something should be cooked for using a humidity sensor to analyse the food and cooking it based on this.

Split level convection is also built in this oven, meaning you can cook on two levels at the same time, with a fan-forced system spreading the hot air more quickly, with microwave power applied simultaneously thanks to a “turbo-cook” button which decreases cooking time.

“Representing our 50 years of experience in microwave oven engineering, this latest model in our range offers ease of use and versatility,” said Nicolas Cauzac, Product Marketing Manager for Microwaves at Panasonic Australia.

“With the latest in steam technology, the NN-CS894S helps you to prepare delicious, healthy food every time. Whether you’re looking to steam fish or vegetables, bake a cake, grill sausages or defrost meat, Panasonic’s new microwave oven will provide outstanding results.”

We do need to note that you will want some room to store the NN-CS894S, which probably needs an easier to memorise name, but needs space even more. While Panasonic has ditched the turntable and made the microwave antenna built into the flatbed, it’s still a relatively large machine, and with 1350W of power, we’re not surprised.

Fortunately, there’s a clean touch-based interface to work with, so when you do find a place for it, you won’t be reaching for the manual every time you want to use the appliance.

Panasonic’s NN-CS894S will be available in stores shortly for a recommended retail price of $1209.