What is Sensor Reheat?
How to Use Microwave Oven Function Sensor Reheat
I recently bought a new microwave oven, and on it I found a new feature: Sensor Reheat. This feature is supposed to simplify microwave cooking by using the built-in Panasonic "Genius sensor" to detect steam and then just cook the food long enough to get hot.
Since the manual's instructions are brief, here are my step-by-step instructions to help you figure out how to use this automatic feature.
I hope that my instructions on how sensor reheat works will save you some time and frustration.
Add liquid and cover with vented lid or plastic wrap
You can use the sensor reheat function to heat up leftovers, canned foods, casseroles, etc. If the food is dry, you will need to add a little liquid before cooking. Add a few tablespoons of water to casseroles, or add gravy or other sauces.
Use a microwave safe dish and cover it with a vented lid or plastic wrap with holes in it. This part is very important. Steam has to escape.
Use a Microwave Plate Cover Like This
I like this one because it has steam vents along the edges and a handle in the center so you can take the cover off without getting burnt. It's also a bargain price!
Place in microwave, push buttons
Ah.. Here's the easy part.
Push sensor reheat, and then push start.
Once you become familiar with how hot your microwave gets your food, you may optionally push the more/less button, if your microwave has one. This will cook it for less time or more time than usual.
(This is the correct instructions for the Panasonic NN-SN797S microwave.. if your microwave is a different model, check the owner manual.)
Smell the food cooking..... Listen for two beeps!
Having a microwave cook automatically, with no preset time, can be kind of scary! (well, at least the first time you do it...)
My Panasonic microwave beeps 2 times when it detects steam. Yours may as well.
Once it detects steam, it starts a timer countdown sequence.
You can, of course, take it out early, if you don't trust it... But if you open the microwave door before steam is detected, then the sensor reheat won't work right.
I find that I can usually smell the food for a little while before steam is detected.
Let it Cool.... and Enjoy
Recommended Dishes and Cookwear for Microwave Cooking
Panasonic Microwave Ovens with Sensor Reheat
Sensor Reheat Troubleshooting
If it doesn't work right, here are some possible reasons why:
The dish you are using may not be microwave safe. Follow these instructions to test to see if it is microwave safe.
Was the outside of your plate or dish wet? Make sure the outside of your dish is dry... If it's wet, then it may cause the microwave to sense steam too early.
Was the microwave oven cavity warm before beginning? If so, you will have to wait until it cools off. If it's already warm, the sensor won't work correctly.
Not all foods work well with sensor reheat.. My owner's manual says to not use it with: bread, pastry products, raw or undercooked foods, beverages, or frozen foods.
You may also want to try a different microwave cover with more or less vents. Bigger vents or more of them may cause the food to be undercooked, and fewer vents or less of them can cause it to overcook. So there may be some trial and error.
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