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After testing the Panasonic NN-SN686S for more than 12 hours, we can clearly say that this is the perfect microwave for small families, couples, single people, and office break rooms. It’s especially good if you want to cook or reheat food in less time.
Specifically, we really enjoyed the high power output and the revolutionary inverter technology that improved our cooking results and shortened meal preparation time.
- Elegant Exterior
- Genius Sensor
- Inverter Technology
- Turbo Defrost
- Keep Warm Feature
- Child Safety Lock
- Hard to see touch buttons
Our Review of the Panasonic NN-SN686S
To start our Panasonic NN-SN686S review, we decided to examine the unit from the outside, then test its features. This microwave is characterized by an elegant exterior and looks like a reliable medium-sized appliance, but at ConsciousEating, we know that you can’t only judge a book by its cover.
However, as we got to put this unit to the test, we realized that it lives up to the claims. The following features made us believe that it’s one of the best choices in its category.
At first glance, we realized that this Panasonic stainless steel microwave would immediately complement the aesthetics of your kitchen. It has a shiny stainless steel exterior and comes in a dark silver shade that matches any décor.
The touch keypad is intuitive to use, and the cooking settings and time are displayed on a brightly lit 4-digits LED display, which you can read in any light condition. We specifically loved the bigger touch buttons because they were really comfortable to use.
Size and Installation
The overall body of the microwave is made of aluminum which is way lighter than stainless steel. This is why it only weighs 25.5 pounds, so it’s lightweight compared to other units of the same capacity.
We believe that if you ever decide to remodel your kitchen, it will be easy to move around. This also makes it perfect for an office break room.
With countertop ovens, there is always the problem of having enough space to fit the unit and all the other appliances you need.
But since the Panasonic NN-SN686S is a medium-sized oven that measures only 15.81 x 20.69 x 12.25 inches, it won’t occupy much space and you would still have enough room for other appliances.
Moreover, it’s compatible with a stainless steel trim kit that allows you to install it as a built-in model.
Just like most of the Genius microwaves, this one has a really large cooking capacity, in fact, it can easily fit an entire chicken without sacrificing countertop space.
This Panasonic 1.2 cubic feet microwave offers convenient cooking capacity, as the interior is big enough to accommodate a 9 X 9 inches baking dish and the 13.4-inch dishwasher-safe turntable will fit your dinner plate easily.
This versatile cooking capacity makes it suitable for multiple purposes, whether you’re using it at home or in the office and it’s an excellent choice for a small family, single person, or a couple.
The power output is high enough to cook your food to perfection without ending up with undercooked or cold food. Moreover, there’s a button that allows you to adjust the power output into 10 different settings, depending on your needs.
The high output also guarantees more even cooking, so the food cooks from the center to the edges.
By pressing the start button, the power will be set to the maximum output of 100%. You can increase the time by pressing the 30 seconds button to customize your cooking.
As we tested this Panasonic 1200w inverter microwave, we found out that, unlike other ovens, there was never the possibility of undercooked or overcooked food. Our dishes tasted and looked better, regardless of the recipe we had in mind.
This inverter microwave offers a patented technology, which provides a steady stream of heat, even at lower temperatures, for consistent cooking results.
The inverter feature retains the flavor and taste, giving you more flexibility whether you’re trying to poach, steam, or braise food for an incredible taste.
You can notice the difference for yourself when you use this unit to prepare salmon or steamed veggies that shouldn’t be overcooked. The color and texture will be just the way you expected.
If you want to use 50% of the power output, an ordinary microwave will alternate between 100% and 0% to reach an average of 50%. But the inverter technology delivers 50% of steady power for more even cooking and less power consumption.
The food’s minerals and vitamins won’t be subject to high heat and even in low settings, your food will be perfectly cooked, improving your overall culinary experience.
The inverter technology also provides us with the Turbo Defrost function. While all microwaves can be used for thawing, the Turbo Defrost function works according to an advanced sequencing system that thaws food without cooking it.
Regular defrost functions might not provide enough heat to thaw steak and poultry, so you end up with food that still feels icy towards the center while having dry and cooked edges.
This technique retains the texture and color of your ingredients, allowing you to prepare multiple tasty dishes.
If you want to melt butter, cheese, or chocolate for a recipe, this microwave won’t let you down. It softens your ingredients to the smooth, creamy finish that you desire without overcooking them.
Preset Menus with Genius Sensor
The Panasonic NN-SN686S offers one-touch cooking buttons that allow you to prepare the most delicious snacks and meals in no time.
This oven offers 14 Preset Menus that have been specifically adjusted to cook a single recipe to perfection. You don’t have to make any adjustments as the power output has been previously determined.
Whether you want to prepare oatmeal, omelet, frozen pizza, potatoes, rice, soup, or frozen vegetables, pressing the button will adjust the power output and the cooking time for the best results.
You can enjoy your favorite meals in a few minutes, which is a big plus for busy professionals or those who don’t have long lunch breaks.
There’s a special function for popcorn if you’re a fan of this healthy snack. There are three different settings, depending on the amount of popcorn you want to prepare.
We fell in love with the exceptional Panasonic Genius Sensor that improved our cooking results with the preset menus. This feature measures the humidity level in the food you’re preparing and adjusts the cooking time and heat accordingly.
Thanks to this microwave no more food will be wasted because the Sensor Reheat will reheat all leftovers without overcooking them. Food won’t get dry, rubbery, or burned because the sensor calculates the humidity level, so your meal will be heated from the center to the edges.
The Genius Sensor calculates the humidity level so it doesn’t overheat your food around the edges while leaving the center cold or soggy.
Reheated leftovers will taste as good as freshly prepared food, which is a big plus if you cook all your meals in one go to save time and effort. Your dinner or lunch will look and feel like it has just been prepared, although you might have cook it several days ago.
This is another feature that we loved about the Panasonic NN-SN686S. The Keep Warm feature can be used with sauces, gravies, hors d’oeuvres, and soup, as it maintains a warm temperature until the rest of your meal is ready.
You can even use it after preparing dinner, so your partner or other family members can find the food ready when they get home.
Child Safety Lock
This unit comes with a safety lock to prevent access without your permission. If you have a child in the house, the Child Safety Lock will be an essential feature because your kid won’t be able to use the microwave unless they’re supervised.
However, there’s no button to activate this feature. You need to press the Start Button 3 times to activate the lock, then press the Stop button 3 times to remove it. While this is not a big disadvantage, we honestly believe that a button could have made life easier.
Panasonic NN SN686S Reviews: What buyers are saying
People who bought this microwave agreed that it has a spacious interior and lightweight design, given its cooking capacity. The interior light will allow you to see your food while it’s being prepared, and you can activate the timer to keep track of your cooking.
The Preset Menus made cooking more straightforward, thanks to the sensor, which smartly calculates the humidity level in the food for even cooking.
However, some users felt that the touch buttons are a bit difficult to see because of the poor contrast. The black finish on the door is a little bit inconvenient because it requires more thorough cleaning and might deprive you of seeing your food clearly, especially if you have poor vision.
Final Verdict on the Panasonic NN-SN686S
By reaching the end of our detailed Panasonic NN-SN686S review, you probably already know that we love this powerful microwave. It has a decent cooking capacity that makes it suitable for small families, couples, and even office use.
We were impressed with how the inverter technology shortened the cooking time and improved cooking results. Due to the higher power output, given the capacity, we were able to prepare delicious snacks and meals in a few minutes.
While we’re not impressed with the keypad or the Child Safety Lock mechanism, we still love this unit and believe that it’s one of the top picks if you’re looking for a medium-sized microwave.