By Don Lindich
Week 43, 2020
Great products in the weeks to come: Every year I produce a holiday gift guide, but there never seems to be enough space to mention all the great products I would like to recommend. To expand the playing field a bit, every week from now until the end of the year I will be highlighting some exceptional products that make great gifts, too.
We are going to start with a unique cooking device that bears a passing resemblance to the Panasonic Countertop Induction Oven I touted back in 2017. When I told a friend about it her response was, “How cool is that? I want one!” That was pretty much my response when I heard about it, too.
The Panasonic Home Chef 4-in-1 Countertop Multi-Oven (Model number NN-CD87KS, $479) is an advanced technology microwave with a built-in air fryer. Like my friend said, how cool is that?
The inherent genius of the combination was immediately obvious to me. I had an air fryer but it was not getting much use because I had to take it out and set it up every time I used it. It also requires cabinet and counter space, both in short supply in my kitchen. When I read about the Panasonic Home Chef I realized if the air fryer was part of the microwave, always there and ready to go, I would do a lot more air frying than I did before. That is exactly what I experienced once I owned the unit, and I now cook delicious, low fat fries for myself all the time.
Not only does the Home Chef have a built-in air fryer, it is an exceptionally good air fryer. The microwave carousel rotates to ensure that everything in the air fryer tray receives even heat and airflow, for consistently excellent results. The fries I have been making are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, just as they should be.
As you may guess from the 4-in-1 moniker, the Home Chef has two additional functions, a FlashXpress Broiler and a convection oven. As great as those functions are, it is the microwave/air fryer combination that makes it so irresistible to me. It also has the look and tactile feel of a luxury product, which adds to the appeal and the microwave functionality is state-of-the-art. The Panasonic Home Chef has proven to be an incredibly hot seller (no pun intended) and dealers are selling out as soon as the product hits the shelves. If you want one, get your order in ASAP.
Q. I read your column last week and tried to use the code VOTE2020 to save $100 on the ZVOX AV157 TV speaker. The code did not work on either Amazon or zvox.com. How do I get the deal? I definitely want to get a speaker that makes it easier to understand TV dialogue!
-J.L., Mt. Vernon, WA
A. I received a few emails like yours when the column first started running and checked with the company to see if there was a problem. They verified that the code does work, and readers were successful activating the discount after trying again.
Please note that the code VOTE2020 only works on zvox.com and is good through Election Day. The $100 discount only applies to the AV157 SuperVoice TV Speaker, regularly $299. For those interested in a home theater soundbar with big sound at a similar price, the excellent ZVOX SB380 soundbar is on sale for $199, reduced from $299 with no coupon code required.