This toaster oven was selected as the “best small” choice in my Ultimate Toaster Oven Buying Guide. Enjoy!
Toaster ovens are incredible, quick and efficient. Back in 2013 I bought the famous infrared Panasonic FlashXpress Compact. It was not my first toaster oven but one that served me well and one that I remember fondly.
At that point, I was still single and neck-deep in my work, living in a small apartment in Cincinnati. I didn’t have much time to cook, or counter space for a big appliance, but I was not giving up on eating healthy.
I decided that I wanted to try the infrared Panasonic after reading up the reviews. I was sold on the idea of not having to heat it up for 15 minutes before I cook or reheat something (looking at you Black&Decker). And it did become a trusted companion in my daily routine. Seven years later, I can still recommend it for singles or small households.
The Panasonic Flashxpress NB-G110P is not a looker. Some of its physical attributes are odd to say the least. The Fahrenheit-Celcius board, for instance, is a copy-cut of the traditional radio’s AM/FM tuner. I like that touch of retro, but again why Celsius?
Anyway, it is not all negative with the design. It is still one of the smallest out there – and that’s a big plus.
The timer is another area I felt Panasonic could have done better. I mean, 25 minutes would not be adequate to cook most meals. I find it hard to believe when Panasonic claim that most of their customers hardly cook anything that goes beyond the 25-minute mark – but then again, this is targeted at bachelors and couples, not large families, so no need for large meals. If you do venture to cook something that needs a longer time, just be ready to set the timer several times.
There is a preset button for frozen pizza, frozen waffle, quick reheat, bread reheat, toasting and oddly enough one for frozen hash brown. Once I found my way around the interface, I could skip pressing the preset buttons. Instead, I used the up/down arrows to set the temperature and another set of arrows to set the timer.
The temperature is primarily calibrated in Fahrenheit, but also converted into rounded off Celcius figures. Working around the two ends of the temperature board is rather odd. For example, you can’t set the temperature at 300℃ but you can set 290℃, or you can’t set 350℃, but you can set it at 360℃. Another deviation from the conventional toaster oven design is that Panasonic doesn’t have a start/stop button. In its place you have an on/off button, which is a bit weird and, in the beginning, I used to turn it off all the time. It took me a while to get used to it.
I also didn’t like the flimsy crumb tray. Equally not up to my expectation is that small lip right under the oven. It keeps accumulating crumbs and means more cleaning work.
While none of these points are significant dealbreakers, they are potential sources of frustrations, so keep them in mind.
On the bright side, Panasonic FlashXpress Compact is sturdy, even though it does not come with the sophistication you see in everyday stainless-steel toaster ovens. It is in simplicity where this Panasonic shines. It’s also a big money- and space-saver. But if you are looking for a fancy toaster oven with bells and whistles, you need to try something else.
Since I was single and didn’t eat much, I got over the 25-minute timer and enjoyed the toaster oven. It was always pretty straightforward. I simply press the ‘on’ button, put in the food on the rack (only one rack height – remember, simplicity), then I press the specific preset, and voila.
It’s almost the same drill with non-presets, but with a few twists before you get it all figured out for a specific dish. Unlike most of other toaster ovens that use convection, Panasonic FlashXpress uses double-infrared heating. It heats up miles faster than any other oven I have used before – and, what’s extra important, it does not need preheating. That is a big plus for the long game, even though when I started, I overcooked several times before I got it right. I recommend you work with lower settings to undercook and keep on adding a bit until you get used to its cooking speed.
After the first few cooking sessions, I knew this Panasonic toaster oven will be a mainstay. But I didn’t know that was going to be years of loyalty service. I cooked everything they said this machine could cook, and I also tried a few menus that are not on the list and it all went smoothly:
- Frozen pizza
- Frozen waffles
- Hamburger (this one did not cook that well, however)
I was impressed by its performance. You should give it a bit more patience and tweaking, but for me the price tag was worth it. Not to mentioning cleaning was easy.
While it’s not going to win any beauty contests, it makes up for that with performance and size. It has a small footprint of 13″/12″/10.5″, cubic foot volume, and 7.5 pounds weight. The take home from this is that it does not need much space on your kitchen counter, but it can make you 4 bread toasts or 9-inch pizza at once. This is exactly what I needed for the small snacks and bigger meals for two.
- No preheating, faster heating, and evenly cooked meals
- Space-saving design
- Fairly priced and a better performer that its brothers
- Accessible controls
- Little or no radiation of heat when cooking
- Easy cleaning and maintenance
- Limited interior space that can’t roast a chicken for instance.
- Fiddly buttons
- Hardly adequate timer duration
- Not good at baking and broiling
I couldn’t afford a Cuisinart, and my kitchen space was cramped-up, and I’ve never been fond of fancy designed appliances that don’t match their price tag with their performance. Panasonic fitted by bill of needs and had been a loyal servant for several years in a row. It cooked 9-inch pizzas and outperformed some more expensive toaster ovens. It’s affordable and small. The presets worked fine.
It is the double-infrared heating that was the most helpful part: it could cook faster and get evenly cooked meals any time. Though with a few flaws, the Panasonic FlashXpress compact toaster oven is a winner in so many fronts.
How do you clean the Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven (NB-G110P)?
Does the Panasonic FlashXpress catch on fire?
Can a burnt-out heating light be replaced?
Does it get hot?
What are the dimensions of the inner chamber?