Being the ‘modern man’ that I am, my daily tasks extend further than just trying to stop the toddler from accidentally losing a limb. Sure, there’s a lot of watching TV to make sure that it still works, but I’ve also been known to vacuum, dust, iron, tidy, change the bed and cook. I know, the missus is one lucky lady…
Since we left Uni and became, ahem, adults, I like to think that Hay and I have eaten pretty well. The majority of our meals are prepared from scratch using fresh ingredients – although we’re obviously susceptible to the odd takeaway pizza and bar of chocolate (or seven). Since the arrival of Toddler L, we’re now even more conscious of ensuring that what we eat as a family is nutritious, healthy, tasty and kid-friendly.
I was therefore really interested to try out the Cook4Me when Tefal approached me about a review the other month. I’ll be honest, I’d not heard of the multicooker before, but when I did a bit of research, it sounded like a great bit of kit to help with preparing food for our mealtimes.
We cook a lot of our meals on the hob or in our slow cooker, so I was really interested to see how the Tefal Cook4Me would fit into our meal preparations. Would it replace how we did things, would it be a welcome addition alongside our other cooking methods or would it be a gadget that just collects dust?
After a number of weeks of owning the Cook4Me, I’m happy to report that it’s definitely a welcome addition to our kitchen and has been used nearly every night. Check out my review below to find out what we’ve made of the Tefal Cook4Me so far:
The product is described as:
Tefal introduces Cook4Me, the interactive, intelligent and smart multi cooker that simplifies everyday cooking by guiding you, step-by-step, through every recipe in its pre-programmed library of recipes. Designed for those who live a busy lifestyle, Cook4Me ensures cooking delicious everyday meals has never been so simple, as it also advises you on the quantity of each ingredient and automatically sets the respective cooking time, programme and temperature to match.
This intelligent multi cooker is similar to having your very own personal assistant in the kitchen. It comes with an impressive 50 pre-programmed recipes in its library, which means it is easy to keep dinnertime interesting and varied. At the push of a button, cook starters, mains or even desserts for up to six people, so why not try the potato and leek soup and the chicken tikka masala or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you could always opt for the moules marinière and the crème brûlée.
Ultimately, Cook4Me’s broad mix of recipes have been selected to suit everyone’s tastes, from curries, casseroles and soups, right through to risottos and puddings. What’s more, 22 of the 50 recipes are suitable for vegetarians and up to 33 recipes cook in 15 minutes or less.
The Tefal Cook4Me features a distinct and easy-to-use interactive LED display which makes navigating through its menus quick and easy. The interface comprises of four menus which can be easily accessed using the main rotary dial: an ingredients menu where you can select specific ingredients you wish to cook; a recipes menu where you follow a step-by-step guide to cook your desired recipe for up to six people; a manual mode where you can take the lead as head chef and; finally, a favourites menu where you can store your favourite recipes.
With step-by-step instructions at every cooking stage for every recipe, Cook4Me ensures you can consistently achieve good results easily and conveniently. Monitoring the cooking process is also kept to a minimum, as the appliance will automatically switch to its keep warm function for up to 90 minutes after your meal is ready and you can even pre-programme it to cook up to 15 hours in advance, in case you’re going to be out of the house when you would need to set it off.
The Cook4Me has a 6 L capacity which allows cooking for up to six family members or friends. It features a non-stick ceramic coated bowl and steam basket, both of which are dishwasher safe. Its compact design also means the Tefal Cook4Me won’t take up too much space on your kitchen counter and its safety pressure, leakage and lid opening devices remove any risk of spillage during the cooking process.
On opening the box, I was greeted with the Tefal Cook4Me multicooker, a steam basket, the ceramic coated bowl and user manuals. Aesthetically speaking, I really liked the look of the cooker – although it was larger than I expected, the black gloss contrasted really nicely with the metallic detailing to give an appearance that wouldn’t look out of place in a kitchen featured on Grand Designs.
I had a quick flick through the booklets – one of which is a user manual and the other has the ingredients with recipes – and everything looked pretty self-explanatory. As we were nearly out of food in the house, we couldn’t make any of the pre-programmed recipes just yet, but instead, we chose a few recipes which we wanted to make in the upcoming week and added these ingredients to our supermarket online delivery.
I was actually really surprised at how ‘normal’ the ingredients were. I had wondered whether we’d need to buy expensive items or find speciality shops for the rarest of spices, but a lot of the recipes constituted of things we’d normally buy – we just needed one or two additional items like natural yoghurt, crème fraiche or curry paste. I also noticed that quite a few of the ingredients could be used in different recipes, so it wasn’t like we’d have to eat the same meal three days in a row to use up a particular ingredient.
Of the 50 pre-programmed recipes in the Cook4Me – which includes starers, mains and desserts – the meals we decided to cook to start with were Bacon and Leek Risotto, Chicken Tikka Masala, Farmers Chicken, Pesto Chicken Risotto and Pot Roast Cider Chicken – obviously over consecutive days, not all at once!
The first meal I made was the Bacon and Leek Risotto. Using the recipe booklet that came with the Cook4Me, I measured out all of the ingredients beforehand, then turned on the cooker. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised at how easy and intuitive it was to use. You simply turn and press the rotary dial to select what you want – e.g. which recipe and for how many people (2, 4 or 6) – then follow the step-by-step instructions which are shown on the LED display.
The steps included cooking the onion and bacon, cooking the leeks, adding the rice, then adding the stock and peas (although being the rebel I am, I used mixed veg). You’re then instructed to close and lock the Tefal Cook4Me, which then finishes the cooking process in a similar way to a pressure cooker. Once the meal is done, the cooker beeps and steam is released to let you know that it’s ready.
On opening the lid, our risotto was still a little watery, but the Cook4Me gives you the option to continue cooking, which I did for another three minutes. I then mixed through the cheese, added some salt and pepper, then plated up the food. For something so simple which uses cheap ingredients, the missus, Toddler L and I were all really impressed with the 20 minute risotto – so much so, that the four person portion was eaten by two adults and a toddler.
The following day, I decided to make us a Chicken Tikka Masala. Again, I found the process very easy. I selected the recipe, chopped the ingredients – with added mushroom and pepper which wasn’t in the recipe – and then used the Cook4Me to prepare the food. This included browning the chicken, adding the veg, natural yoghurt and the curry paste before closing the lid for 10 minutes.
Obviously, curry isn’t a curry without rice, so I cooked this separately in a pan – you can steam rice in the Cook4Me, but not when you’re already cooking a meal. Once the Tefal Cook4Me had finished, I added the cooked rice into the cooker and turned it on for another two minutes to make a biryani-eque meal as the rice soaked up any remaining liquid.
Again, the food was really nice – in fact, better than the usual curry we make in our slow cooker. Using a jar of curry paste did feel a little lazy if I’m honest though, as we normally use a tin of topped tomatoes and then spices. I guess the recipe is designed to be as easy as possible, but I wouldn’t have thought it’d be too much hassle to replace the curry paste with more raw ingredients. Similarly, it was a bit of a shame that the rice couldn’t be cooked in the Cook4Me along with the curry as this meant we had to use a pan on the hob in addition to the cooker.
The third meal I served up in the Cook4Me was the farmer’s chicken – a kind of stew / casserole – which I was instructed would take 15 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to cook. Similarly to the curry, I decided to tinker with the recipe a bit by adding leeks and potatoes, in addition to substituting the chicken leg for breast – you just can’t hold back a culinary genius!
Again, the food was really nice – I can tell that you’re sensing a theme here. The chicken in particular was very tender and the additional vegetables I threw in meant that it was more filling and boosted our veg count. Similarly to the curry mentioned above, it felt like the Farmers Chicken needed to go with something, hence me using potatoes.
Our fourth meal in the Tefal Cook4Me was the most testing to date – a pot roast cider chicken which used a whole chicken. Now, I’ll admit, I was very dubious about this as the recipe suggested browning the chicken then cooking for just 35 minutes in the Cook4Me. Considering that we usually stick a whole chicken in the slow cooker for 6+ hours and that in the oven it takes a good few hours, I wondered whether it’d be cooked after half an hour. The pressure was even higher as the in-laws were around too – the last thing I wanted to do was serve an undercooked chicken to the mother-in-law!
Again, I followed the simple steps on the Cook4Me. First browning the chicken, then removing it to cook the additional ingredients, then putting the chicken back in and closing the lid. I didn’t have any bacon lardons as we’d used them up already in previous recipies, so I instead chucked a bit of chorizo in there instead.
To my surprise, the chicken was fully cooked when the Cook4Me alerted me to the fact that it had finished cooking. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but as I say, 35 minutes didn’t seem long enough! I cut up the chicken, added flour to the sauce to thicken it up, then served with roast potatoes that we’d done in the oven. It was a very tasty meal – the chicken was tender and the cider sauce was really nice. So much so that the missus used up the remainder of the sauce with her lunch the following day.
Since those first four days of using the Cook4Me, we’ve also made Korma Chicken Wings, Pesto Chicken Risotto, Chili Con Carne, Beef Bolognaise Sauce and Spring Lamb Stew, as well as the Bacon and Leek Risotto a number of times as this is a firm family favourite. All of these have been simple to make, have taken around half an hour and have tasted really nice. The Chili Con Carne wasn’t quite as nice as our own slow cooker chili (but to be fair, it is pretty awesome) but it was still tasty. We’ve also experimented with mixing up ingredients, so we used chicken breast rather than chicken wings for the Korma and the Spring Lamb Stew was made with pork.
We’ve not yet experimented with starters and desserts. We don’t really eat starters, but will definitely be doing one of the soup recipes at some point for lunch. Similarly, we’ve very surprisingly not made a dessert yet, despite eyeing up the Molten Chocolate Pudding ever since we got the Tefal Cook4Me. The main reason is probably laziness – obviously you need to wash the cooking bowl after use, so we’ve never got round to using the Cook4Me twice in the same night as we put the cooking bowl into the dishwasher. The chocolate puds will be made at some point though and I imagine they will be as awesome as they sound.
Something I particularly like about the Tefal Cook4Me is that it’s smart. “Smarter than you, Dave”, the missus may have even remarked. It has 50 recipes pre-programmed so it tells you what to do and how to do it – almost like you have your own robot chef in the kitchen. However, you can also do manual cooking should you wish to make different meals designed by yourself and can also cook individual ingredients like rice, meat, fruit or veg. There’s also other things, like it goes into warming mode after the meal is cooked so that it doesn’t get cold and you can also set a delayed start so that it turns on at a future time.
As you can probably tell, we’re very happy with the Cook4Me. We’ve found it simple to use, meals are produced quickly (33 in less than 15 mins supposedly) and everything has tasted really nice. We were getting a bit bored with eating the same things each week, so the additional meals we have through the Tefal Cook4Me have definitely helped reinvigorate our cooking in the kitchen.
The Tefal Cook4Me usually retails at £249.99, but is often on sale for considerably less than the RRP from stores such as Argos, Currys and Amazon.
There’s no getting around the fact that this is an expensive bit of kit, particularly if it ends up being relegated to the back of the cupboard like so many other kitchen gadgets. Would I spend £250 on it? No. Would I spend £180 on it? Probably.
The reason for my hesitance isn’t because I don’t like the product – I actually really like it. It’s more that we already eat pretty well and prepare everything from scratch, so it hasn’t revolutionised how we eat. However, if I think of somebody like my brother who just buys ready meals or eats out, I could totally see the Tefal Cook4Me transforming how he eats – freshly prepared meals, in less than half an hour, with little hassle.
We’ve really enjoyed using the Tefal Cook4Me over the last month and will definitely continue to use it, particularly as we’ve not tried anywhere near all of the pre-programmed recipes yet. The Cook4Me hasn’t replaced our frying pan or slow cooker, but it gives us an additional option when making meals – for instance, we’d never made risotto before but now can, and we’ve found that the curries are tastier than the ones we used to make.
I have very few negative remarks about the Cook4Me. If you can see through the large expense to purchase it, everything else is very minor, such as the unit is a little big, you can’t cook two things at once (e.g. curry and rice) and some of the pre-programmed recipes use jars rather than raw ingredients.
Other than that, I only have positive things to say about the multicooker. It looks nice, it is intuitive to use, the step-by-step instructions mean that it is idiot-proof and the food we have prepared has been very tasty. For someone who is short on time or doesn’t really know how to make quick, home-made meals, then I could see the Tefal Cook4Me really revolutionising how someone eats at mealtime. A fab bit of kit and one I’d have no issues in recommending to others.
The DADventurer Star Rating
4.5 out of 5 Stars
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N.B. This review was written by me (Dave) and represents my honest opinion of the product. The Cook4Me was sent to me by Tefal with the purpose of writing an honest product review in exchange for the product.
N.B. This post includes an affiliate link(s). For more info, read my Disclosure policy.
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