The Panasonic FlashXpress is a revolutionary toaster oven that breaks new ground. Although it has a small capacity and seems powered by rocket fuel, the heating elements can quickly make frozen meals and toast bread fast (Xpress toast, if that’s what you want).
This is the only model that we tested that has both ceramic and quartz heating elements. These heating elements heat food quickly, without preheating, and can blast heat from inside and outside. It can heat up almost instantly and make toast, making it a very convenient device.
The Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster oven, priced at $149, is a small but capable machine. Its speed, accuracy, and above-average cooking performance consistently amazed me. This is a mid-range toaster oven, which often performs as well as, if not better, more expensive models from Cuisinart and Breville.
You will likely fall in love with the Panasonic if you overlook the outdated display and the inconsistent temperature and timer settings. These little details may become part of the appeal over time. I was drawn to it. The Panasonic FlashXpress is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a toaster oven. It’s especially suitable for those with limited counter space and only needs to cook one or two meals daily.
FlashXpress is not the right choice if you are looking for a toaster oven that can be used for baking. It was not designed for baking. Its timer is only able to cook for 25 minutes. This is far less than the time needed for most baking applications. It did not score well in our baking test, placing it behind top-performing models.
The super-powerful heating elements left most items crunchy on the outside due to their super-powered heating elements. The cookies were crispy, and the cakes had blackened edges. The drumsticks were slightly burnt.
The FlashXpress did not achieve the same pleasant textures and consistency as standard ovens. However, everything was cooked to the desired extent. The FlashXpress is fast and easy to use so that you can make small batches of cookies at home.
The FlashXpress was hot in our temperature accuracy tests and received the lowest score in this metric.
The temperature rose instantly, but it was always above the desired temperature. It reached 370 when we turned it up to 350. It was warm at the 7-minute mark, 20 degrees warmer than at the 30-minute mark, and 50 degrees warmer at the 15- and 30-minute marks.
Our frozen meal performance test revealed that FlashXpress was our best performer. The FlashXpress was the clear winner in our firm meal performance test, although there wasn’t much difference in scores.
The frozen pizzas were cooked well in the oven. It added slight crispiness to the crust and melted the cheese just enough to begin to brown it. The interior of the pizza was a little undercooked due to its quick heating. Although most testers liked the texture, some felt it was not ideal. We also used 6-inch pizzas for FlashXpress testing, as the FlashXpress couldn’t handle the 12-inch pizzas used in other models.
Although it can hold a 9-inch frozen pizza, these are not easy to find. The outside of tater-tots was crispy, while the insides were soft and fluffy. It could also do these things faster than other ovens due to its lack of a preheating stage. The FlashXpress is a fast-frozen option for those who want quick meals.
FlashXpress excels at toasting. It received the highest score in our toasting tests.
This made the best toast, toasting the top-facing slices of bread evenly and with minimal striations at the bottom. The toasting sweet spot can hold four slices of bread.
There is a small spot of cold near the door. If you are making toast in this model, it is recommended that you move the bread to the back. Only one model we tested had a bagel function. The bagels were toasted evenly by the machine, but the backsides were also well toasted, so it lost some points.
Panasonic made the best toast. The four slices were evenly toasted in the different settings. Some toaster ovens can toast unevenly, so some toast areas are lighter than others. This is usually the toast that’s closest to the machine’s front. Panasonic didn’t have this problem. Although it was more delicate towards the show, the toast was uniform and consistent throughout and was never burned.
FlashXpress is a fast way to make toast. It can make toast in just two minutes on medium heat. It takes about the same time as a traditional slot toaster and about a third less time than most toaster ovens. This is especially impressive when you consider that conventional slot toasters are equipped with heating elements next to the bread.
We found a more significant front-to-back temperature difference on the cookie test than with the toast. Although the Panasonic cookies won our taste test, they didn’t cook evenly. The back cookies came out perfectly cooked, while the ones closer to the front were still soft.
This is great for a group of cookie-lovers who have different preferences. But it’s not what you want when baking. Since the Panasonic can only bake five cookies at a time, it doesn’t seem like a common thing to make in a toaster oven. This is a vote for portion control.
Design and features of Panasonic FlashXpress compact toaster oven
Although it’s difficult to describe, this toast is charming. It doesn’t have the “sophisticated look” of stainless-steel ovens, but it has a lot of panache. It is also sturdy and well-constructed, with a minimalist design that maximizes simplicity. This Panasonic has some odd or questionable characteristics that combine to make a somewhat bizarre aesthetic.
One example is the Celsius/Fahrenheit dial. It looks like an old AM/FM radio tuner. I think this retro design feature would work well, but it is not calibrated for Celsius. It’s OK if you cook at 200 °C. However, the Fahrenheit equivalent is 390°. That’s about the closest you can get to cooking at 400 °. It is reasonable to assume that any toaster oven sold in the United States would have Fahrenheit settings. Its temperature range is between 250 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
It isn’t swift either. It can take up to 25 minutes. Panasonic FlashXpress claims that consumers will not make it here for longer than that. Panasonic’s two-hour timer on the Breville Smart Oven makes this seem restrictive, even if it’s true. For longer cooking times, you can use the second timer.
It also has an on/off switch, which is something most toaster ovens lack. It works by plugging it in and selecting “toast” to start. Instead, it would be best to push the “on” button before any other buttons. This is simple but can be dangerous if it’s not turned off.
You will also find quartz and ceramic double-infrared heating technology, a removable crumb tray, a cooking pan, a non-adjustable rack, and the following presets—toast, Frozen Waffles, Reheated Rolls, Frozen Pizzas, Quick Reheated and Frozen Hash Browns.
The design of the Panasonic FlashXpress may be well-built, but it is quirky. However, I have to ask: Does a company specializing in making waffles, pizzas, and hashbrowns need fancy stainless steel? This is subjective. However, it may not be the right toaster oven if you expect something elegant. It will, however, save you space and money compared to the other ranges that we tested. It reminds me a lot of the Delorean’s interior from “Back to the Future.” That’s it.
It’s easy to use.
As we have mentioned, FlashXpress is a little more eccentric than other toaster ovens. Its user interface continues to reflect this, earning it one of our lowest ease-of-use scores.
FlashXpress controls have no knobs or dials and are all buttons. The LCD is retro-looking and displays all information in bright red. Each of the six cooking modes is represented by a switch: frozen waffles, toast, quick reheat, and frozen pizza.
A pair of dedicated up and down arrows allow you to select the toasting shade. You can choose a temperature with another set of up/down buttons and set the time using the third set.
This toaster oven is convenient and will make it easy to reset your timer if you cook for more than 25 minutes. You can use the preset to make it easy to use. I used it for toast, frozen waffles, and frozen pizzas. It was easy to turn on and put the food in.
This holds for all non-present items, but there is a big caveat. The Panasonic FlashXpress uses double infrared heating instead of convection. This means it can cook faster than other toaster ovens. This is a great thing over the long term, but you must experiment with the settings when you first use the product.
I recommend that you cook the chicken a little longer than recommended. If necessary, increase the time. When I first roasted chicken drumsticks in the toaster oven, it took 50 minutes. However, they were far too cooked. They were done in 40 minutes after the third run. They tasted better than the previous two runs.
We toasted bread, baked cookies, frozen pizza, and roasted chicken drumsticks in each oven. We also broiled hamburgers. As a separate test, I made frozen waffles with this toaster because it has a dedicated setting. Here’s a list of all the trials and how the Panasonic performed.
Unless you are looking for a toaster oven with steam cooking, such as the Cuisinart, or if you’re serious about sophisticated design, the Panasonic is the best option. The price difference between them is not worth it. Amazon currently has a great deal for this toaster at $89.99 instead of the original $149.95.
It’s worth the money and saves you space if your counter is small. The settings will ensure that you get consistent, well-cooked food every time. If you are more hands-on, non-preset meals can also be made. It is faster than any other model we tested.
The double infrared heating technology is fantastic. The Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven, which costs $299 and $249, respectively, is a charming little kitchen appliance.
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