Panasonic NN-CD58JS is a mid-sized convection, grill and microwave oven
4.8Overall Score
Name: Panasonic NN-CD58JS stainless steel, 3-in-1 combination microwave
Price (RRP): $549
Manufacturer: Panasonic

The Panasonic NN-CD58JS is a convection oven. It is also a grill. It is also a microwave. And, it does all these things very well. Add them together in combo cooking and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

GadgetGuy is about lifestyle tech, and one wonders why we like to review microwaves, coffee makers, home and other kitchen appliances. The answer is that if it plugs in, makes life easier then we will review it – all the better if there is an app for that.

We are quite expert at microwaves having reviewed LG, Panasonic, Sharp, KitchenAid, Samsung, Breville, Whirlpool, AEG, Miele and more. Our review paradigms have changed over the years. Long ago it was all about which microwave oven could nuke food fastest, e.g. Watts power. Then we saw the addition of steam that left vegetables and meats juicier. Some had auto weight functions and some auto cook.

But the true evolution is in the combination ovens.

Why? As housing gets more expensive, space becomes a premium. Kitchens are smaller – much to Uber Eats and Deliveroo’s delight. Evidence of that is more single draw and half-size dishwashers, two-plate cook tops and often no oven at all – replaced by a fancy built-in combo-one-size-fits-all oven.

Of the four combos last year the Sharp R890E impressed us most scoring 4.3-out-of-5 for overall features, value and functionality. In the second spot was the KitchenAid Bake Assist that while a competent microwave focuses on baking – mmm yummy cupcakes.

In the last place was an under-powered, undersized, overpriced ($2K+), European ‘fashion’ brand that would not be out of place in a swanky kitchen showroom. It was so bad to average at everything we decided not to review it. Yes, we should tell you the brand, but they have powerful lawyers.

First, a word on combo-cooking

For the right people, it can and does replace a traditional /microwave/oven/grill. With a little planning, you can avoid using the big power sucking oven or grill element.

But there are a few observations, and we will compare it with our current favourite Sharp.

  • Combo cooking is a serial form of cooking. Cook item one, cook item two etc. It is harder to get everything cooked to serve hot at the same time (but you can plate and reheat so no big issue). Both brands are on par here.
  • At 27L it is at the top-end of equivalent mid-size units. The Sharp at 25L fits a little less.
  •  It has a 34cm turntable compared to the Sharp with a 31.5cm. These suit a single or couple – it is not a family sized oven. Don’t try it on a big roast although the extra 2.5cm (one inch) allows for a little more flexibility.
  • Combination microwave/fan-forced oven/grill needs entirely different cooking pans. Both ovens come with a baking pan and a rack to adjust the height of the food. But you will need to buy more ‘round’ cooking plates and pans to make the most of turntable cooking.
  • The primary advantage of a fan-forced oven is the minimal pre-heat time compared to a full oven of often 20-30 minutes. Panasonic pre-heats a smidgen faster than the Sharp.
  • In all other respects use the same cooking time as you would in a larger fan-forced oven or grill.
  • The grill will produce crispy golden cheese on toast a little faster than the Sharp. The upside to both is no preheat time.
  • And it is possible to use a combination of technologies to get the result. For fear of oversimplifying a frozen pizza can be microwave defrosted, oven baked and grilled for a crispy cheese top in the one device.

For most of us it is getting used to serial cooking that takes the most effort – the result is pretty much the same!

Review: Panasonic NN-CD58JS stainless steel, 3-in-1 combination microwave

Australian website here.

Panasonic NN-CD58JS
Note the rear baby bump and short cord!
Panasonic NN-CD58JS

 Basic specifications

Size 520 (W), 395 (D) x 310 (H)
It is a little deeper than most due to the ‘baby-bump- at the rear
Capacity 27 litres or 395 x 352 x 217 mm internal space.
A slightly more usable space
Turntable 34cm
The largest in its class. All cooking uses a rotating turntable.
Microwave 1000W – 100, 270, 300, 440, 600 and 1000W settings
Convection 1300W – 40° (keep warm), 100-220° in 10° increments with pre-heat feature
Grill 1300W – three power settings – no preheat
The grill and oven use the same dual quartz  heaters
Combo modes Microwave and grill
Microwave and convention
Features Menu button for up to 29 pre-programmed menus (8 for kids)
Auto roast button
Auto cook button
Turbo defrost button
Timer button
Quick 30 (seconds) button can be added to by further presses
Rotary time dial (easier to use) Standing time
Start delay
Accessories Glass turntable, enamel baking tray, wire rack
Finish Stainless steel fascia and full stainless steel interior
Manual A comprehensive manual, recommended cooking times and cookbook

Microwave

99.9% of Australians know how to nuke food. What they don’t know is how long to nuke it to achieve the best results.

For example, my wife cooks morning porridge on full power for three minutes often resulting in the contents overflowing the bowl. A little exploration of the manual’s cooking charts shows setting it at 600W for three minutes is best – Voila.

Note: It also has porridge with milk (or water) auto-settings that selects the right power and time for perfect porridge.

We tested a variety of fresh and frozen vegetables and times were in line with any other similar quality 1000W microwave.

Auto settings

A little exploration of the auto-cook function reveals 29 pre-programmed settings for typical bread, meats, vegetables (fresh and frozen), takeaway, pasta, pancakes (pikelets), pizza (fresh and frozen) and more.

Panasonic NN-CD58JS

We tested a 1kg lamb leg mini roast that in a Webber BBQ takes about 1.5 hours. The Auto-settings produced a perfectly cooked roast in 40 minutes using a combination of 300W microwave to par-cook and a 180° oven to roast. We did use the grill to caramelise the roast and vegetables after.