Induction cooking is great for budding chefs: it rarely needs preheating, it's energy-efficient and it's safer than conventional burners. Getting it has usually meant going for a full-size oven or a cooktop, however, which isn't always practical if you're in an apartment or otherwise can't justify tearing out your existing appliances. That's where Panasonic thinks it can help. It just introduced the first-ever countertop induction oven, giving you all the benefits of the technology in a relatively tiny, enclosed space. If you want to grill a barbecue-grade steak, you can do it with a device that's roughly the size of your microwave.
Don't plan any summer meals around Panasonic's compact cooker -- the mini induction oven won't ship until October. There's also no mention of pricing so far, and it won't be alarming if this world-first model carries a premium. Regardless, it's nice to know that you don't have to forego the latest in culinary tech just because you're stuck with an old-school oven in your kitchen.