Thread Number: 68185  /  Tag: Small Appliances
It was fun while it lasted - Panasonic "Genuis" MW Oven
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Post# 909036   11/29/2016 at 19:00 (543 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Back in 2010 picked up a used (from CL) Panasonic 1300w "Genius" microwave with Inverter technology to replace a Sharp unit. Things went well for six years and one used this little oven at least several times per day (porridge, defrosting, heating milk for coffee, reheating, cooking veggies, etc...), and it performed without a hitch. However it seems all good things must come to an end....

Went to reheat something yesterday and the unit is making a sort of beeping noise, then shuts off after about three seconds. Have read several things online on what might be the problem, but am not one to mess about with microwave ovens, so guess this one is a goner.

Happily have an older Sharp "Carousel" microwave (timer dial, two setting dial; full and defrost power), that can use for most things until sort out next move.

Post# 909049 , Reply# 1   11/29/2016 at 21:06 (543 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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R.I.P. Genius .

Always wanted one of those when they first came out, the first time I used one I couldn't believe how accurate it was at the simplest of tasks.

You could keep the Panasonic to store electronic devices in to protect them from an EMP or solar flare, then you could still look at it. :-)

Post# 909093 , Reply# 2   11/30/2016 at 10:17 (542 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Yes, all three inverter boards have their

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While the inverter system doesn't do the least bit better job of evenly heating food, I love the quality, simplicity and power of these microwaves.

Bought my parents the 1350s regularly.

And I do mean regularly - six years from one (used at that) is a new record.


Post# 909131 , Reply# 3   11/30/2016 at 14:57 (542 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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I really like those Panasonic Inverter ovens. I have done Inverter repairs on two of them now. Here is a thread from a few years back that chronicles the fix.

That oven has seen several hours of use each week, I am actually amazed that it has held up as well as it has. The woman loves to cook a couple pounds of bacon at a time in batches. The oven runs pretty continuously for about a hour when she does.

The earlier models had smaller heatsinks for the inverter switching transistors so they would run hot. The repair kits Panasonic sent out came with an uprated fan to move a bit more air. I never changed the fan in the unit I repaired, amazing it hasn't burnt up.

Did yours do anything dramatic, or did it just start to beep and no longer function? As seen in this pic, Annette's mom's machine made a healthy cloud of semiconductor smoke when it stopped working...

  View Full Size
Post# 909170 , Reply# 4   11/30/2016 at 20:51 (542 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Actually read your wonderful Panasonic repair thread

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Not long after the oven went off the rails.

Wonderful, just wonderful.

According to what one has read of the Panasonic microwave repair manual issues such as what our oven is showing fall under "3/37" troubleshooting. That is how long the oven will operate before shutting off.

Since mine is on the "3", it does not usually point to an inverter or magnetron issue, but door latch, relay and a few other things.

There are a couple of known issues with these inverter microwaves, but again am not too sure about poking around inside.

Post# 909217 , Reply# 5   12/1/2016 at 09:27 (542 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Yup, my Genius oven died at about six years from brand new.


Its best feature was the defrost function. Also the keep warm, which many other MW's lack.


For regular cooking it has the habit of heating the bottom of foods first. So I got used to stirring things up half way through. When it died, it would just flick the light on and then off, without cooking.


I replaced the dead Genius with a cheaper non-Genius Panasonic MW (the Genius line was no longer available at Costco). That was in June of this year. By October it had to be replaced as well. It didn't work quite right from the get go. Little things like the interior light not lighting when door opened. The clincher was regularly having to slam the door shut before it would start cookiing. But Costco took it back without question. Bought a second one same day and it works much better. At $99, it's still a bargain. It has the inverter defrost and a usable popcorn function. But no sensor cooking, which actually isn't a big deal. I've yet to find a MW that does sensor cooking reliably.

Post# 909220 , Reply# 6   12/1/2016 at 09:40 (542 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
As long as one

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Remembers the dangerous high voltage, there's no reason not to take one apart and fix it. There's so much to like about the genius range of ovens.


Post# 909404 , Reply# 7   12/2/2016 at 20:09 (540 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Swapped out the Panasonic with older Sharp

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Last night.

According to metal tag on back the Panasonic was made in 2000. Not sure when the previous owner purchased, but we've had it since 2012. All things considered sixteen years of use seems to be pretty good for these units.

Not sure what will do next. Don't think it is a simple thing like door latches as the unit seems only to fail once the magnetron starts. This could be the DCP or inverter according to service manual. Panasonic inverter microwaves have a built in diagnostic system which generates codes if the magnetron or inverter have or are failing. Mine hasn't done any of that so far.

Quite honestly one can find a used microwave (including vintage) oven here in NYC area for < $50, sometimes even just "please take it away". So not sure about how much time and or funds want to put into repairing a nearly 20 year old MW. Been there and done that with the Sharp this unit replaced. Got about a year more out of that oven before it died again.

Also am not really sure how much one really needs a microwave beyond what the basic (made in Japan) Sharp oven does. Really don't like now meats and most other foods taste (or look) when cooked in microwave. Mostly use the thing to reheat, warm, soften butter, heat milk for coffee, and defrosting. Sensors make those tasks easier, but still.

Have two convection and one toaster oven that barely see use. Not to mention the vintage West Bend "Ovenette" and Sunbeam rotisserie. These all could be put into use and give better results for many things over a microwave.

Post# 909407 , Reply# 8   12/2/2016 at 20:27 (540 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Like you said, used one can be had for so little at places like the Restore. (and you're helping a cause)  .  So many times I'm putzing thru ours and see another MW I'd love to take home.. 


The best one we ever had was the full size 80's GE with the probe, auto cook, auto roast, and auto defrost. No turntable, didn't need one.  The sensors on that thing worked beautifully and you honestly could count on it to cook as programmed.  Sad day when it finally died.  My vintage Amana was having some problems so I had to put it down the basement. Unfortunately the previous owner of this house when they re did the kitchen only put a microwave shelf that holds a compact oven so I've got my sisters cheapo walmart RCA in there now.. but heck it's worked well for the last 8 or 9 years.  I've also got a very tiny Samsung Junior, cute as a button , you can just fit a Michelina's in it if you're careful  LOL  

Post# 909411 , Reply# 9   12/2/2016 at 21:27 (540 days old) by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

My 800 watt big Emerson stopped heating and it turned out to be a bad solder joint on the circuit board. Redid it and it has been working fine ever since and I garage sell'd it years ago.
Wouldn't hurt to poke around carefully and see if it's something stupid and easy like that on yours.

Post# 909414 , Reply# 10   12/2/2016 at 21:56 (540 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Well, after reading the material on Panasonic MW door latch issues, and after the door issues with the replacement for the Genius Prestige, I am wondering if perhaps the fail of the Genius was due to a door latch problem as well.


Unfortunately it's too late for me to check that out since it went into the trash a few weeks ago. If it was still here I'd probably tear it down and check out the latch and associated sensors. Oh well. The (second) replacement is working fine and fits my needs just fine.


I didn't attempt any repair while I had it, due to a frustrating attempt to fix an even older Amana brand (made by Hitachi) microwave that died shortly after I moved in here in 1997. I even replaced the blown fuse but it blew as soon as I tried to power it up again. So my conclusion was that most microwaves have a limited lifespan.


However, if any of my remaining MW's stop with symptoms similar to door issues, I'll be sure to (carefully) take a peek inside to see what's up.


Currently have the newish Panasonic 1200 watt inverter, an 18 year old Kenmore Elite (not used as much as the Panasonics), and a small-ish 950 watt Magic Chef that is barely used. I got it for a job site about 10 years ago but it's been decorating a counter top in the enclosed patio kitchen for about 9 years. It's actually supposed to be sensor equipped unit but I can't recall ever testing that feature on it. At the time I got it I understood it's made by GE. Somewhere in Asia. Anyway, got lots of backups in the MW department. I wouldn't say they foster fine cooking but they sure are handy.



Post# 909700 , Reply# 11   12/5/2016 at 07:29 (538 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Thanks for the suggestions/advice guys

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May decide to open up the Panasonic and take a peek. But again given can pick-up another MW (often in near new condition) on FleaPay or CL locally for $20 or less, it is more and more looking like this unit will be given the push.

Just do not have the space to "store" it until can dive in, and am quite pushed busy-wise at the moment. Last thing one needs or wants is yet something else around here haunting one. Have only just started on the Simplex ironer from several months ago, and then there is the Maytag wringer.

Post# 909716 , Reply# 12   12/5/2016 at 09:19 (538 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
I hear you, Laundress

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We've reached the point at which nothing which isn't vintage gets repaired. Preferably, not even bought.

Same with electronics - unless it's clearly better to buy new than what came before, it gets fixed. I'm in the process of putting Puppy Linux on an eleven year old laptop. Nothing wrong with the laptop and I'll be damned if I'm going to throw it out just because it doesn't have the muscles to run Windoof X.


Still, those Panasonics work well when they work. The inverter function doesn't cook better than the pulsed system, that's just marketing, but there is a difference between 1200/1300/1350 watts and 900 and it's not marginal.


Post# 909882 , Reply# 13   12/6/2016 at 10:57 (536 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        
Old PCs

That's a whole different story.

It might run Linux, but even then, its Linux first of all. I just can't see anyone use Linux efficently as long as you're not a developer or tech support, but even then..
Further, what is it capable of running afterwards? I doubt it will handle an up to date version of either Chrome or Firefox, maybe Opera, but haven't used that for a long time.
Either Open Office or Microsoft Office will be a pain in the ass as well.
And anything beyond that seems mostly impossible.

I bought a new Surface Pro 4 about 3 months ago and love it. Expensive as hell, but runs everything smoothly, even AutoCAD or Creo, and literally weighs less then any of my books.

The point I'm trying to get to: If buying new gives you and advantage, it's certanly the better option.
I see 3 possible advantages:
1. Better performance. In PC terms, more then 4 times overall system operating power; in terms of appliances it's efficency, features and performance.
2. Price: If I have to pay 150€ to get a mw repaired (I won't tinker with kV systems for my life), and can get a new one with 3 years of warranty for 70€, nobody in their right mind would repair the old one except
3. Collection value.

With microwaves, not a lot has changed since the inverter units came up. So I can't see why one wouldn't repair unless its a certanly cheaper option to buy something else.

Well, nothing new except those Bosch Series 8 ovens they launched a while back here in Germany. Full-size oven, with full-size (800W) inverter microwave build in, sensor backing, temperature probe, self-cleaning and even with a pull-out runner. I still want to use one of those...

Post# 909888 , Reply# 14   12/6/2016 at 11:39 (536 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

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I don't even know if they make something as small as 800watts in the US. German microwaves have been undersized from the beginning, partially to calm the fears of the idiots who can't tell the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Between causal and stochastic events.

As to Linux, I've got a degree in IT, I've stayed fresh in my profession (hint: I taught at a technical university in Munich for nearly 30 years) and I have to say, your assumptions, while they may have been true in the '80s and '90s are out-of-date. The ancient laptop (I finished it after that last post) runs the newest Chromium (the Linux version of Chrome) just fine. No stuttering on youtube. Just did a mail merge and printout of over 13,000 labels for a friend here. Only delay was when we had a laser printer jam on a page of labels.

Now, to be sure, I grew up in the UNIX world and used OS/2 to the bitter end. I've never liked Windoof and I resist the Cult of Steve (and guess what their system is based on, hint: It rhymes with Penguin).

We have over 20 computers in regular use between our offices, homes and the cars. Thanks to dear Austin (may he roast in Hell), my paranoia and use of honeytraps was confirmed. There's nothing on any PC I ever use to log-in here which would be of value to the mother-fucking asswipes like Austin who tried so hard to attack my family and me. At this point, sadly, it's (still) operating systems and user interfaces which lag behind the processing power and RAM. By a long shot.

You, dear boy, need to take more courses in 21st century hardware. You'd be surprised what's around the corner, you'd be disappointed at how much from ten years ago is still quite adequate to simple, everyday browsing.

Post# 909917 , Reply# 15   12/6/2016 at 15:07 (536 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I use Linux, and find that it works just fine for my needs. But my primary needs are pretty simple--the Internet, and word processing. Both of which are easily handled by Linux.

I'm currently using Linux Mint with XFCE on a computer about 10 years old. It's not a speed demon--but it gets the job done.

Post# 909920 , Reply# 16   12/6/2016 at 15:19 (536 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        
I don't even know if they make something as small as 800

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I don't know, either, but I don't spend a lot of time browsing microwaves, either.

One thing I do know--the last two microwaves I've bought have been low powered. I'm not sure exactly how low powered, but I do know I've studied the electrical ratings, and aimed for something with low amperage. My kitchen has ONE circuit for all outlets, and it's nice to run the MW and the refrigerator at once without tripping the breaker or burning the place down. I've bought both microwaves used, and in both cases, they were fairly hard to come by. Meanwhile, big microwaves aren't at all uncommon.

Post# 909930 , Reply# 17   12/6/2016 at 15:56 (536 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
You guys need to get out and shop more often. *LOL*

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There are plenty of microwave ovens out there with wattage ratings from 700 to under 1000. They tend to be countertop models but a few middle size (IIRC) as well.

Repairing the Panasonic microwave...

First off discovered last night one does not have the proper Torx screwdriver to remove the "anti-tampering" screws on that MW. Am *NOT* going out and purchase one or a set. Have been there and done that before, result being a vast toolbox/kit area full of various Johnny One Note tools.

Unless it is a case of simply being *loose* inside even the cheapest replacement parts for the Panasonic (door latches, switches, etc...) run between $5 to $20 or more USD. Once you add shipping and or taxes even for a grand sum of just $15, can find another used MWO on CL locally for same or less. Indeed CL is infested with microwave ovens it seems, often at give away prices. Ironically lots of Panasonics.....

Recall from a post several years ago one did pay very good money to have an older Sharp MWO repaired. Got barely one year more use out of the thing before it died again. Could have taken that money and purchased a new oven and likely would have come out ahead.

Leaving aside individual success stories, the general consensus is microwave ovens just aren't worth repairing, especially the more modern units and especially it seems those from Panasonic.

Post# 909932 , Reply# 18   12/6/2016 at 16:05 (536 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Ha - that is a surprise

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I thought the days of under 1000 Watts were gone. Shows what I (don't) know.


Post# 909934 , Reply# 19   12/6/2016 at 16:19 (536 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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More or less the same as on this side of the pond.

Most microwave ovens are made in Asia anyway, so there shouldn't be much of a difference between North America and Europe.

Post# 909944 , Reply# 20   12/6/2016 at 17:15 (536 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Under 1000w microwave ovens

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We are now several generations into the invention and use of microwave ovens, and guess what? Many have found despite all the hype and advertising claims otherwise, the things have a very limited range of use. You aren't going to be turning out "succulent" roasts from a standard microwave oven no matter what you do.

Have at least two microwave "cook-books", and few things outside some hors d'oeuvres, and simple dishes are worth bothering. Have yet to find anyone that can prepare most meats, fish and poultry in a MWO that has results anywhere near a conventional. Same goes for cakes, breads and so forth.

Most homes use a microwave for the basics; reheating, defrosting, preparing frozen dinner for one meals, veggies, and snacks. You don't need huge amounts of power for those tasks. My little vintage Sharp microwave does frozen veggies in just a bit longer than the more powerful Panasonic, but just.

Yes, in commercial/restaurant settings you can find powerful microwave ovens used mostly for reheating. But in such settings time is money, and thus you want to get things hot and on table quickly.

Post# 909962 , Reply# 21   12/6/2016 at 19:52 (536 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Microwaves are useful

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For lots of things, including real cooking.

Baking, except for stuff like bigclive's chocolate cake in a cup, is a washout. 

But, dairy and fresh vegetables and corn-starch based puddings and sauces and steamed fish/tofu work out absolutely great.

Post# 909970 , Reply# 22   12/6/2016 at 23:26 (536 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        
You guys need to get out and shop more often.

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I would, except it's so hard escaping from my cage since they started using better padlocks!


Post# 910017 , Reply# 23   12/7/2016 at 11:27 (535 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
The truth of the matter is,

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I use microwave ovens for real cooking, so the weak one (except the real Amana Radarranges) don't catch my eye. I made a point of going down the microwave aisle at Walmart yesterday and, yes, there are 800 and 900 watt ovens. Who'd a thunk it?

Post# 910033 , Reply# 24   12/7/2016 at 14:09 (535 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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"I made a point of going down the microwave aisle at Walmart yesterday and, yes, there are 800 and 900 watt ovens. Who'd a thunk it?"

Who'd thought of what? The existence of 800 watt ovens? Or that you'd shop Walmart? LOL

I was guessing that they must have smallish ovens still, since I see them here and there. But when the time to buy rolls around, I do my heavy shopping--and comparisons--where I might actually buy: the thrift store. Current oven was 99 cents on special color tag sale last holiday season.

Post# 910037 , Reply# 25   12/7/2016 at 15:14 (535 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

I've ranted about this before here many times, so I'll try to keep it short.

The biggest culprits for the lacking performance of microwave cooking are lack of knowledge and "no metals in the microwave!" crap.

Sometimes you need some aluminum foil to shield stuff so it doesn't overcook, period end of sentence. If you don't know what you can and can't do with foil, roasting might be hard. Also, older microwaves with a stirrer fan and better wave guides (particularly before the bad stuff that has *only* a carrousel showed up) are less likely to self-destruct when used with foil than the cheapest trick on the block you can get new for a buck a dozen. With some particularly ill-designed microwaves you don't even need to use foil sometimes to cause trouble. We've used to live in an apartment that had a OTR microwave so badly built that if you had less than half a cup of liquid inside it it would just arc like crazy instead of making the liquid boil very quickly like other microwaves.

If you are *cooking* instead of just popping corn or rewarming leftovers, it pays to remember a few general things, which don't work exactly like this in *all* microwaves, but it's a good start:

(a) the center of the microwave is "cooler" than the middle -- if possible, arrange asymmetric food (like chicken drumsticks, for example) with the thinnest part inside the dish and the bulbous part facing the outside of the dish; if you alternate them instead to fit more, you'll need to pause the cooking at least once and reverse each item's position to get even cooking;

(b) whether or not you have a rotating carrousel, you'll probably need to stop the cooking at least once or twice and rotate the dish or stir the contents for best even cooking -- only microwaves with stirrer fans *and* a rotating carrousel might make this unnecessary; I find it funny that I have to mention this, because in the '70s, when nukers became affordable, people were amazed that they had to pay attention to the dish only once or twice and things were cooked *so fast* in less than 10 minutes compared to stirring constantly on the stovetop for 20 minutes, when now people are often appalled that they have to rotate and/or stir food once or twice and it takes *so freaking long* to cook at 5 minutes! ;-)

(c) just like you would never cook most dishes on a standard range burner using high power only, you usually do not want to set a dish on a 1200 W (or even 750W) microwave and let it go for a long time; that's why you have at least 3 different power levels (if not 10 or more) to use. It's very common to start a roast at one power and then switch midway thru and finish it;

(d) microwaves *can* brown roasts, particularly beef; it's just a question of using the proper timing and power; it's easy to make a meatloaf that is properly browned and delicious in a microwave in a fraction of the time it takes to make it in a standard oven;

(e) cakes can be moist and delicious, but you can't just make any single recipe and stick in there, even if they rise, they might become rubbery. For nice cakes from a microwave you need to use a recipe developed for baking in the microwave and such recipes will, in turn, fail miserably if you put them in a conventional oven;

(f) possibly the most important tip for microwave cooking: if you put a dish in for say, 1 minute, and then check it and it's halfway done, set the timer for 30 seconds next. If you are cooking one item for say, 5 minutes, and you want to cook 2 items, try 7:30 minutes *first*. You can always return the food to cook for another few seconds, but you can't undo "burnt". We are so used to regular burners and ovens taking proportionally longer that most people make the mistake of just doubling the time with microwaves. Most of the time you only need half of that, that's why it gets rubbery. It's not a miracle happening, it's that microwaves don't expose the food to cool air like regular cooking does, so you need less time;

(g) resting (or carry-over cooking) time is important -- if a recipe says for example, cook a meatloaf for 15 minutes and then rest for 5, it means that the outside inch or two of the food is at a much higher temperature than the inside, and the heat will transfer and finish cooking the inside in 5 minutes. If you check and find the middle uncooked and return it to the microwave without the resting time you risk overcooking or even burning the roast.

Anyway, there are plenty of yummy things that come off the microwave better than other methods. You can wrap corn on the cob or broccoli in saran wrap, for example, and in a minute or two it's steamed and ready.

Another thing to remember, it's much faster to cook some things (for example, a can of condensed milk, 3-6 minutes becomes a very nice caramel) than on a stovetop, but (1) some foods, like the caramel, might reach over 200F and you should be extremely careful with them and (2) they may expand 2-3 times their normal volume while cooking (they'll contract when cooling), for example, the can of condensed milk I just mentioned might need your largest pyrex dish to avoid overflowing while it bubbles and becomes caramel. DO NOT place the hot pyrex on say a granite-like countertop, use a trivet or potholder to avoid shattering the granite or pyrex, or melting/burning materials like Corian or Formica. I mention this because people are so used to quick stuff like warming coffee in the nuker and having the container on the cool side that they often don't think they'll need potholders and trivets when they are roasting, making a meatloaf or making caramels.

Good luck,
-- Paulo.

Post# 910050 , Reply# 26   12/7/2016 at 16:52 (535 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

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I never buy new appliances unless I have no choice, that's what thrift stores are for.
Paulo, those are wise words. Nothing there I hadn't learned in the 1970s, but each generation needs to learn it again.
To this day when German friends visit us here in the 'States (no visits until after 2020, seven relations/friends have already written), they always ask if we 'radiated' the food - just like back in the 1980s. Some cultures just never will be good at microwaving and the German left/green is one of them.

Post# 910064 , Reply# 27   12/7/2016 at 19:02 (535 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Have a few vintage microwave oven cookbooks

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From the 1980's that came with various ovens purchased and or purchased at thrifts for one dollar. All outline the various methods and techniques listed above (stirring, use of tin foil, rearranging, initial arrangement of foods, etc....), and still one found results often lacking.

We aren't large red meat eaters, but will be darned if am willing to risk a crown rib or other top choice roast to a microwave oven. Not at today's prices anyway.

Have found that chicken comes out well if coated/breaded. Otherwise it tastes more like it has been "steamed" than roasted/baked.

Post# 910071 , Reply# 28   12/7/2016 at 19:55 (535 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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When I had my larger Litton and GE, I used to make lasagna, meat loaf, a baked carrot ring, and many other things.  Last summer or the previous spring, I made a zucchini/squash/egg/cheese casserole that was from my GE microwave cookbook from the late 1970s.  My partner couldn't believe something so tasty came out of a microwave.  He thinks defrosting and even reheating most things in a microwave significantly changes the texture and taste.  Then again, the 2nd time I visited him and was cooking something in his OTR microwave and he was watching me, he turned to one of the dogs and said "Daddy Bob is using buttons on the microwave I've never used"  He also claims he cannot defrost in a microwave because the food begins cooking. 

Post# 910079 , Reply# 29   12/7/2016 at 21:06 (535 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

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That's how I approach everything I cook (not reheat, cook) in the microwave: It's a steamer.

Once you accept that the Maillard reaction is next to impossible to reach (I didn't say impossible, dah-links, I said next-to) you can work wonders with many foods.

They sure did try in the '70s and '80s though. I think the disasters were the reason so many folks regard these as fancy popcorn makers and food reheaters, period.

Post# 910081 , Reply# 30   12/7/2016 at 21:49 (535 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
To be totally fair

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Microwave ovens are yet another tool for those who cook to have in their kitchen. Just as with say a double boiler, there are things a MW is good for, others not so much, and or if one knows what one is doing can get things done regardless.

As often stated things like veggies, potatoes, and certain other things do up well in a MWO. If one is willing to bother rice can be done as well, but since have been cooking rice on stove top since *dot*, don't see the need. Have never tried but am willing to bet certain casseroles will do well in a MWO.

Do a wonderful pork roast, and favorite bit around here is the nice crispy top skin. You just won't get that from inside a MWO.

Post# 910083 , Reply# 31   12/7/2016 at 22:25 (535 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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I am still using my Whirlpool RFM 7800 microwave since 1979. Knock on wood, I can still push the keypad for 1 minute to reheat whatever even though it came with a 2 inch thick cookbook, temp probe and 6 different cycles. Cycle one, 1 minute, start is all I do. No way I would cook anything in it as microwave cooking is way far from tasty.

Post# 910137 , Reply# 32   12/8/2016 at 10:25 (534 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

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Microwave cooking can be very tasty. I look at it the same way as I do cooking foods in a steamer basket in a pressure cooker ('live' steam doesn't carry taste). You're steaming the food.

Here's some microwaved things that taste great:

Chocolate pudding.

Fresh egg omelettes.

Garlic cloves.

Baked apples/pears

Fatty fish.

There's much more. 

Cheese tamales.


Stuff which needs a crust or development of the Maillard process, of course, doesn't come out well.


For many individual steps in recipes, using a microwave makes a difference between having to watch the food like a hawk and getting reliable results. One of them is 'browning onions until transparent and slightly caramelized'. We  all know that the recipes which say to brown onions and garlic for five minutes are bullsh horse-feathers. It takes at least 20 minutes to brown onions that way and the garlic would long since be burnt and bitter.

If you put the onions in a covered container and nuke them for three minutes first, then put them in hot oil, wow - consistent, predicable delicious results.

Garlic shouldn't be treated like onions, sheesh. No wonder so many people think it's bitter.


Anyway, milk sauces and fish like flounder come out far better in a microwave than 'conventionally'. 

Post# 910142 , Reply# 33   12/8/2016 at 11:34 (534 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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My Whirlpool, being nearly 40 years old, does not cook anything evenly. Even reheating needs a few rotations of the dish. You figure this model was invented before microwave popcorn was. Although I got the not so bright idea shortly after buying it to try and pop regular popcorn in a pyrex bowl. Popcorn did not pop but the pyrex bowl shattered.

Post# 910144 , Reply# 34   12/8/2016 at 11:49 (534 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I'm enjoying this thread...


I do cook chicken legs and thighs in the MW, and they are a quick easy meal that way.  I also make stuffed green peppers in the MW too, another quick meal, though I do end up browning the meat first. 


I have used standard cake mixes in the MW also.  I'd use the large glass bowl that I mixed it in and insert a large glass tumbler in the middle to act as sort of a bunt pan.  Made a  light airy cake, nothing you could frost, but a sprinkle of powdered sugar was a nice finish.


The Whirlpool I had previously in the kitchen that now resides in the garage had both halogen and infrared browsers that did work very well.  You can combine those with MW power to get a good meal.  I wish the current MW/convection oven I'm using had that option.  Maytag used to make a 3 in one, but it's long gone from the market.

Post# 910145 , Reply# 35   12/8/2016 at 12:09 (534 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Part of the reason Europe has got away with

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the super underpowered microwave ovens is because we have the power over there to run browners and convection ovens with microwaves.

A 230V circuit at 16amps means you can run a constant 3200 Watts with no difficulty and more for short times.

(And no, I'm not interested in playing the stupid 'but that doesn't count with AC games. The difference comes out to less than 1%).

Here, we're lucky if we can run a 20Amp circuit at the wimpy 120VAC.  Pitiful.

Post# 910695 , Reply# 36   12/11/2016 at 20:07 (531 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I consider microwaves to be an inferior source of heat for most cooking. Even for steaming veggies, I've found the MW tends to char broccoli buds, which gives them a bitter taste and unpleasant appearance. 


It's OK for microwave popcorn and reheating mostly liquid based foods. I also use the lower power levels on the inverter to warm things like hoagie rolls and burger buns (30% power). A setting of 10% could be used as a keep warm setting (haven't tried that yet, though). 


It's also OK for heating up most prepackaged entrees that are designed for the microwave. Some, though, do poorly, like fried chicken (Swanson's Hungry Man). The problem there is that even with turning the pieces around, bits tend to get overcooked, dried out, tough, while other bits are undercooked. The best stuff has ample moisture in it to start the steaming process instead of singing the food. I've found that for bagged entrees like Fried Rice and Yakitori noodles, cutting a small notch in the face of the bag with scissors, adding a tablespoon or so of tap water, and microwaving with the notched side up, tends to avoid uneven heating and its attendant problems. Otherwise the noodles, rice, or chicken bits can get dry and tough.


Cooking a roast or whole chicken in the microwave? No thanks, been there done that. For rice I prefer the Zojirushi rice cooker, which gives good, consistent results, even on brown rice. For roasting chicken or turkey I prefer the outdoor BBQ/Rotisserie. And for tough cuts the slow cooker or crock pot generally works best. Steaming veggies? Takes less than 10 minutes in a stovetop lidded pan. Often a covered frypan can be used for single pan meals, like stir fry: cook the meat pieces in hot oil until they are browned, remove. Add the sliced veggies (bagged frozen ok too), sear in hot oil, add enough water to steam, before they are al dente add back the meat pieces and any other ingredients that only need heating. Serve of the noodles or rice prepared in advance. Delicious!


Post# 910713 , Reply# 37   12/11/2016 at 23:47 (531 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Well unless something moves me otherwise

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Panasonic will go out this week on recycling day.

Have too many other projects that need doing, and again the experience of having that Sharp MWO repaired is still fresh in one's memory.

There is also as one keeps repeating no shortage of microwave ovens here locally on CL going for very little money.

Have the vintage Sharp microwave that suits needs for now. No, it doesn't have sensors or any of the other bells and whistles of modern microwave ovens, perhaps that is why it has lasted so long! *LOL*

Post# 910714 , Reply# 38   12/12/2016 at 00:00 (531 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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No bells and whistles might well be a reason why it lasted so long. I'm a firm believer in this equation:


Features=More Things To Break




But...shouldn't there be at least be a bell to announce "I'm Done!"? At least, it seems like those ones with mechanical timers had a bell, rather than electronic  beep.


As far getting rid of the Panasonic, it makes sense. I admit...I'm a bit torn on such decisions. I hate throwing things away. I like getting full use out of something.'s not like there is a huge shortage of microwaves. And the cost of repair is probably not worth it, unless the microwave is something special.

Post# 910719 , Reply# 39   12/12/2016 at 00:50 (531 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Yes, there is a bell

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This Sharp rings it only once when timer is done, and that is all you need. *LOL*

You wouldn't think that such a little microwave oven would have such a loud bell tone.

Post# 910720 , Reply# 40   12/12/2016 at 01:26 (531 days old) by Brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

I found this ad in a 1984 National Geographic. I had no idea that the "Genius" had been around that long. If only mum and dad had sprung for this model when they bought the model below in 1985.

The 8 auto programs were just time and power based. You pick a food type and enter the weight. That is what mums microwave has. The auto sensor humidity programs are what was missing from mums.

Post# 912053 , Reply# 41   12/21/2016 at 15:40 (521 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
It's gone

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Today was recycling/appliance rubbish pick-up for our street, and the microwave got the push.

Know it may seem like sacrilege to some but quite honestly have neither the time nor patience at the moment to dig into the thing, and or repair. Also quite honestly CL, thrifts and FleaPay are over flowing with microwave ovens including Panasonic. Some used but a surprising number are NIB and all at such low prices that unless someone *gave* one the parts to fix the old Panasonic it just didn't make sense.

Meanwhile do not need another appliance lying about here here haunting me. Still haven't gotten to the Maytag wringer and now the AEG Lavamat is playing up.

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