Panasonic NN-SB458S Review
Pros: Good at defrosting meat
Cons: Not the most convenient to use, heating performance could be better
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Our Analysis and Test Results
We did find that this microwave delivered one of the best performances of the entire bunch with the frozen burrito, along with having one of the better popcorn presets. These aren't necessarily the main reasons we would make a purchase decision when it comes to these products but might be something to keep in mind if you are considering this particular model.
As mentioned above, the Panasonic NN-SB458S delivered its most noteworthy performances when it came to frozen foods, both with premade foods and when it came to defrosting frozen ground turkey. This appliance exceptionally impressed us with its performance in the burrito test, with the left, right, and center zones only showing an average temperature difference of 3°F, with the entire burrito warmed up both above the recommended temperature and warm enough to serve in the opinion of our testers.
It did almost as well with the Hot Pocket, with the only average temperature difference only increasing to around 7°F. However, the Panasonic NN-SB458S did lose a few points for slightly burning one end, getting it a little crustier than we would have liked.
The Panasonic NN-SB458S continued its strong showing into the defrosting test. This microwave completely defrosted 8.75 ounces of the one-pound block and the remaining part very easily broke apart — enough that we would have felt fine to toss everything right into the pan. It did alert us to flip the turkey a few minutes into the process and we liked that it didn't cook any of the meat prematurely.
The Panasonic NN-SB458S did do a bit better than average in some of our heating tests. It heated up the 125 mL of water very quickly, raising its temperature almost 90°F after 45 seconds of heating. It also did exceptionally well with our plate of leftovers using its auto-reheat function. The sausage, potatoes and green beans weren't too far apart in temperature and all three were warm enough to eat without additional time in the microwave.
The Panasonic NN-SB458S also did an above-average job when it came to reheating the canned soup, getting it more than warm enough when we followed the heating instructions.
The Panasonic NN-SB458S did deliver some relatively poor results in our minds when it came to reheating the pizza. The two slices were heated very unevenly, with one slice being far from hot enough to eat and the other exhibiting significant temperature discrepancies.
We weren't amazingly impressed with how this appliance did in our heat map tests, with some areas getting burnt completely while others were still browning.
The Panasonic NN-SB458S also disappointed us a bit with its performance at heating up the individual miniature lasagna. It overall wasn't heated up quite enough and there were very large temperature swings between the six points we measured — one as large as 52°F.
We also found this product to be a little less user-friendly to use compared to some of the competition. The +30 seconds button doesn't start it automatically and it lacks any one-touch features. Its internal light isn't terribly bright and we found that it easily slides around when you push a button or open/close the door if it's on any sort of slick countertop.
This microwave is an average value in our mind, as it pairs a middle-of-the-road performance with what we see as a relatively average price tag.
The Panasonic NN-SB458S has a few noteworthy performances but we don't feel it overall did well enough to warrant an award.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer