2. Panasonic Flash Xpress [NB-G110PW] – Best Infrared Toaster Oven
Dimensions (in): W-13 x D-12 x H-10.2 | Max Fit: 4 slices, 9” pizza | Number of Presets: 6 | Power: 1300W | Features: Excellent flashXpress technology, Auto Shut-Off, Auto Eject, Non-Stick Interior Coating, Interior Oven Light, LCD Display
A unique direction
The modern toaster oven may be a better-designed, fully featured iteration of the original 20th century toaster oven; but the mode of operation is undeniably similar.
Manufacturers have mostly stuck to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” maxim. Toaster ovens still take time to pre-heat, a downside the microwave movement capitalized on. The convection feature may reduce overall cooking time, but it doesn’t do anything about the preheating issue.
Faced with this conundrum, Panasonic developed the flashXpress technology. It is a different take on how toaster ovens should function.
Rather than have elements heat the air in the oven; and the heated air in turn heat the food; the ceramic and quartz elements in the Panasonic Flash Xpress [NB-G110PW] transfer thermal energy via infrared directly to the food.
On paper, the difference may appear to be marginal. But in reality, the difference elicits a “Holy Smoke!” response.
It just works
Aside the name of the technology, there’s nothing really fanciful to it. No ‘smart,’ ‘next-gen,’ ‘AI,’ or some other buzzword-labeled intricacies: Just the systematic use of a type of light wave, your body also emits.
But the performance rivals and sometimes bests that of conventional toaster ovens. To start with, the flashXpress double-infrared technology eliminates the need for preheating. Infrared is a type of light wave, which means it travels very fast, way faster than hot air particles.
The implication is that it doesn’t only just provide instant heating, it cuts regular toaster oven cooking time by up to 40%. More importantly, the cooking results are remarkable—whether it is toasting, baking, reheating, or defrosting.
Toasts have a lovely golden-brown (you can adjust the browning using the toast shade selector) without uneven patches, Bagel Bites are crispy-yet-melty, it reanimates leftovers, and it defrosts food thoroughly without leaving still-frozen areas in the middle.
Features that enliven the cooking experience
The Panasonic Flash Xpress NB-G110PW is a premium toaster oven. The ‘premium’ tag comes with certain expectations, and the Flash Xpress delivers on most of them. Its prominent functionalities include:
- An easy to use touch-pad for configuring cooking settings with an LCD display timer and a pleasant reminder beep
- SIX (6) pre-set functions complemented with a 5-shade toast shade selector
- Extensive temperature range, from 250 to 500 degrees (in Fahrenheit)
- Interior oven light
- Auto-eject feature
- Auto-shutoff feature
- Non-stick interior coating
- Add-on baking tray accessory
If it is so great, why isn’t it the top pick?
Bar the Breville Smart Oven models, the Panasonic Flash Xpress doesn’t have a rival. It even contends with the Smart Oven top models with its unmatchable quick cooking speeds, excellent performance, and slew of high-end features; despite being considerably cheaper.
However, it falls short on a few aspects that may matter to some individuals.
The Flash Xpress isn’t built to handle lots of cooking at a time. Its square inner tray can only accommodate FOUR (4) bread slices or a 9” pizza. In comparison, the Breville Mini Smart Oven BOV450XL (the smallest smart oven model) in comparison can fit an 11” pizza.
For many people though, this isn’t much of a big deal. Not everyone needs a large toaster oven (nor even have the space for on), and for this crowd an oven with a compact footprint is a MUST-HAVE.
Furthermore, the speed and exceptional performance of the Flash Xpress offers a bit (maybe more than a bit) of respite for the size limitation. It consistently gives thorough, evenly browned/cooked results, batch after batch in less time than a conventional toaster oven.
Convection has become a sort of regular feature on modern premium toaster ovens, that it seems like an odd omission on the Flash Xpress. Except that, the Panasonic NB-G110PW probably doesn’t need it.
The purpose of the convection feature in a standard toaster oven is to speed up cooking, by increasing the circulation of hot air. The Flash Xpress is already a speed demon in its own right, all thanks to the double-infrared technology. Which makes convection one feature you likely wouldn’t miss.
And there’s a practical basis for this inference.
The Frigidaire Professional Infrared Convection Toaster Oven [FPCO06D7MS] is an infrared toaster oven with the convection feature. Still, its performance pales in comparison to that of the Flash Xpress.
Not for roasting or broiling
You couldn’t get a chicken in it if you tried. And it doesn’t have a broil feature either.
Other downsides include:
- Bland aesthetics; it wouldn’t win a design award
- Lack of a dial; simply a subjective preference for folks who dislike the ritual of pushing buttons to operate a toaster oven
- Maximum cooking time of 25 minutes; you’d have to restart after it elapses
- You can only select between EIGHT (8) temperature pre-sets; for example, you can’t select 300 °F, you get either 285 °F or 320 °F but nothing between. This quirk doesn’t negatively impact performance though.
- The infrared elements make the interior unusually bright (for a toaster oven) while in operation and without the oven light turned on; more of a manageable inconvenience for some users than a dealbreaker
In spite of all these, the Flash Xpress NB-G110PW is an amazing toaster oven with a hardcore consumer following. Its exceptional performance at an affordable price point makes all its diminutive flaws seem immaterial to many users.
The Flash Xpress may not be the jack-of-all-trades of toaster ovens like the Breville Smart Oven flagship; but for the tasks it is built for, no competing toaster oven does it better—not even models that cost twice as much.
And for many users, that pretty much sums up why it is a MUST buy.
Panasonic Flash Xpress NB-G110PW versus Panasonic Flash Xpress NB-G110P: Is There Any Special Difference?
To answer the question: NO.
The NB-G110PW is the white model, while the NB-G110P is the grey model. Aside the exterior color difference, everything else about both products is the same.