Love it! I'm a bloke who has never made Risotto in his life... now I can it's so easy!
We have a pretty normal family of five and with daily routine of work, school and driving the kids around the Tefal Multicook has been a real handy addition to our cookware. We ahev made risotto, soups and stir fries... we chop ingredients, throw into the machine... then set and forget... and within an hour you have a meal! We've never made risotto before and is is so easy with this machine. It's great. The Tefal does everything automatically. I don't know what more expensive devices are like, such as a Thermomix, but for the price I can highly recommend the Tefal Multicook.
Purchased in April 2019.
It’s a versatile cooking appliance & I love it.
I’ve been cooking with the Tefal MultiCook & Stir, daily for a few weeks, testing the many features & trying out a lot of my various recipes to rate the MultiCook & Stir performance, ease of use, reliability & quality.
Below are the key points about the product & features that I feel will be helpful for people who are considering purchasing the MultiCook & Stir.
What’s in the box:
* Tefal MultiCook & Stir appliance.
* Ceramic non stick cooking pot with a 10 cup measurement indicator on the inner side of the bowl.
* Steamer basket.
* Instruction booklet.
* Recipe booklet.
* Smart Stir Paddle.
* Auto rinse paddle attachment.
* Measuring cup.
* Rice Spatula.
* Soup Ladle.
* Detachable power cord.
Tefal’s product dispatch & shipping was prompt via Australia Post & the box arrived undamaged, with a required signature upon delivery.
When first opening the box, everything is packaged very well. The appliance was also wrapped with an additional soft protective layer plus the plastic.
The ceramic bowl & stir paddle was wrapped & fitted inside of the MultiCook & Stir. Accessories wrapped & inside of the box, along with the instructions booklet & cook book.
Size Of The MultiCook & Stir:
The width & depth is what I would consider the equivalent of a bread machine but is quite less in height. It’s basically the standard size for a multi cooker.
I have a fairly small L-shaped kitchen & have the MultiCook & Stir sitting on my kitchen bench since I’m cooking with the Tefal MultiCook & Stir daily.
There’s still sufficient space to make cups of coffees, teas & plate up meals from the cooker.
The MultiCook & Stir is light in weight & easy to lift & carry thanks to the carry handle.
Smart Stir Paddle:
Tefal have added a silicone scraper blade on to the base of the stir paddle. So I don’t think that this will cause any scratches or wear to the ceramic bowl.
The stir paddle is very easy to clean after use.
Ceramic Spherical Bowl:
Very well made quality.
The ceramic non stick surface appears to be of very good quality.
Has a measurement indicator on the inside side of the bowl.
Very easy to clean after use.
No visible signs of markings, scratches or wear, after daily use with the self stir paddle.
Detachable Inner Lid
& Steam Valve:
Inner lid is stainless steel with a strong durable plastic edging with two clips on the top left & right to click down for removal.
Replacing is done by clicking back into place.
The steam valve is lifted up for removal & pressed back down to secure.
Easy removal of each for cleaning.
No screws to have to undo.
Hard durable plastic soup ladle & rice spatula plus a clear plastic measuring cup with a measuring limit of 160ml.
Steaming basket seems very sturdy & durable. This should last a long time with regular use. Would be difficult to break.
Auto rinse attachment, connects to the self stir paddle, which is used when operating the auto rinse setting of the MultiCook & Stir appliance.
Advisable that you read this thoroughly before first time use of the MultiCook & Stir.
Especially take note of page 28 of the instructions booklet under the Cleaning & Maintanance section.
It also mentions; to avoid corrosion, do not pour vinegar into the bowl.
Generally a good starting point which will give people an idea of the different variety of foods & styles of cooking that are possible.
Easy to understand steps to each recipe.
There’s a handy reference guide on the reverse side of the front cover of the cook book which is helpful when adapting your own recipes to use with the MultiCook & Stir.
Quality Of The MultiCook & Stir:
The appliance is good quality.
The touch pads/keys operate perfectly & are instantly responsive when pressing to select the menu options.
The LED display screen is a good size, bright & easy to read.
The detachable cord is a good idea when you’re wanting to store the appliance in a kitchen cupboard.
Sits firmly on the kitchen bench without moving.
Quiet during operation.
The outside of the appliance does not become hot.
The short beeping sound is loud enough to hear without being too loud.
Everything has been functioning correctly throughout the time that I have been using this appliance.
First Time Cooking:
Suggest that you keep the instructions booklet & recipe book handy for the first couple of cooking sessions to help you navigate through the correct menu options & settings.
I did this for the first couple of uses until I was familiar with what settings & options to use & found it very helpful.
I’ve found that cooking rice with the MultiCook & Stir has given me good results.
No sticking to the bowl.
Never over cooked or undercooked.
Hint: If I’m cooking for example; a curry with rice, I cook the rice first in the MultiCook & Stir & once cooked, I put it aside in the fridge. Give the ceramic bowl a good rinse & dry with a paper towel & begin cooking the curry.
Afterwards just microwave the rice to serve with the curry.
So far I’ve found it great for steaming vegetables, whole jacket potatoes, hot dogs, cocktail frankfurts, gyoza , fish, baked cheesecake, warming up Greek yiros pita bread to keep it soft for wraps instead of it drying out & breaking apart from heating on a hot plate or under the grill.
I also wanted to test whole eggs & poached, & both cooked well.
I’ve found this great for recipes where I need to sauté etc, sweat tomato paste, curry pastes.
Does not burn anything.
The smart stirring option has been used with the crust/fry.
I’ve also used this option to make beautiful omelettes & frittata with great results, as well as tuna mornay & the smart stirring was helpful to make the roux & bechamel sauce for the tuna mornay which was smooth & lump free.
Slow Cook Option:
I have used this option to cook korma, curries, stews, chili con carne, cannelloni & a slow cooked roast lamb. The meats are cooked perfectly, juicy & pull apart with a fork beautifully.
Perfect results each & every time.
Potatoes & vegetables etc in stews retain their texture without breaking up, also retain their flavour.
I’m also going to try cooking moussaka & cabbage rolls with this option soon because I think they will turn out great.
Bread Rising Option:
Great results. Better than I expected. I used the 30C option for the temperature & this works perfectly. Rising time 1 hour.
After the bread rising cycle is complete you can then select from the Bake option to cook the bread.
So far I’ve baked Bread Dinner Rolls, Scones, Potato Bake & Pull Apart Bread.
The results were perfect with all three. Very happy.
For the rolls, scones & pull apart bread, I simply arranged each of the dough portions on the bottom of the bowl. I lightly oiled the bowl with a paper towel & a vegetable oil.
You will need to turn these upside down to brown the tops. I use the steaming basket to flip them over as it fits into the bowl & is easier than using a plate.
There’s details for this in the instructions booklet.
I’ve not used this option to roast as yet.
Makes creamy porridge with a good consistency. Not clumpy. Good results.
I’ve been happy with the results.
With the benefit of not having to stand there stirring is just great.
Have cooked Cheese Risotto, Pumpkin Risotto & a Vanilla Bean Risotto dessert on a couple of occasions.
I’ve not made any Pilaf.
Made a Vegetable Minestrone.
Lots of flavours & cooked nicely.
Reheated meals with the expected good results. Nice & hot.
I’ve used this option a couple of times. This took me a while to properly figure out.
Other Menu Options:
I haven’t yet used the pasta, jam, yoghurt, dessert, cheese or defrost menu options.
So I can not comment on these.
I tested this option on the first day I cooked in the MultiCook & Stir & it makes washing up that much easier. The auto rinse attachment connects with the stir paddle.
Very easy to clean the inside & outer appliance. After wiping over with a wet cloth. I use a soft dry cloth to dry & remove any water marks on the shiny surface.
Ceramic bowl cleans very easily.
Hint: If there’s some slight food odour remaining after usual washing & rinse; I wipe inside the bowl with a few of drops of pure vanilla essence (not artificial) on a clean damp cloth & allow to sit, then rinse, air dry.
This removes any remaining food odour.
I’ve only noticed a slight cooking odour remaining when I’ve cooked a curry, but the vanilla essence works at removing this.
Using Own Recipes:
Once familiar with how the appliance works with the various options & settings, cooking with your own recipes is easy.
I’ve been using my own recipes from first use of the MultiCook & Stir. The first couple of times I just used the reference guide to help me with this.
Depending on your recipe, some recipes which usually require a certain amount of liquids such as a stock in a stew, curry etc will most likely require less liquid when using the MultiCook & Stir compared to cooking in a pot on a stove.
Overall Benefits & Opinion:
I’m really happy with the MultiCook & Stir.
It offers a lot of benefits with the added convenience of the smart stirring function & I think that it’s fantastic!
I have ongoing back problems due to Scoliosis & sciatica, which at times is quite debating, so I’ve found that having the MultiCook & Stir has made a significant difference in allowing me to cook recipes that usually require standing for any length of time.
It’s a versatile cooking appliance & I love it.
I definitely recommend.
I have included here:
Unboxing YouTube video + some examples of some of the foods that I have cooked with the MultiCook & Stir.
Purchased in April 2019.
Really complicate your cooking with a Tefal Multicook and Stir RFK901
This machine is the size of a small oval microwave oven. It sits on the kitchen bench. It is best placed near a source of steam venting, so I placed mine next to the induction stove with vent fan on high. This works, but it does mean clearing my favourite work bench area every time.
I found the instruction book particularly frustrating. The translation into English is okay. Some of the safety instructions are in a decent sized font; everything else is too small. One diagram is so small I need a magnifying glass to read it faster. 'Just the right size print for mice to read', I thought. The diagram is a bit larger in the recipe book, but is white print on grey or bright green; almost as bad.
The worst diagram is 16, and is of the most important control panel. It is labelled: a, b, c, etc, and one has to keep flipping the page back and forth to translate this alphabet. There are two alphabets on the second page to add to the confusion. With the multiple button pressing required, it is almost impossible to manage. I cut out the inside of a Weetbix box, and redrew a large diagram 16 on that, complete with the proper use names on the buttons. Now I could start to use the machine.
Recipes are suitable for two or more people. I live on my own so usually cook for two and put aside half for the next day, or freeze it. It is useful to use Tefal recipes to explore the range of cooking options. The minimum rice cooking is for 3 - 4 people, so I did not use this.
Yoghurt. (in manual, not recipe book). I bought a fresh shop yoghurt as the ferment. I added one UHT whole milk. Process takes 8 hours on default setting. It works. The result was very sour; nowhere near as nice as the original. I will use my yoghurt on the garden, and stick with shop-bought.
Lasagna: Page 24. I used the exact recipe. Lots of steps. Lots of pressing buttons. One needs to use a separate pan to make the Béchamel sauce. Pasta sheets do not fit the round bowl, so I had to break them into pieces. I used Coles lasagna sheets of which there are the required nine. (Coles' back-of- box recipe uses dry sheets). The stirring function did not mix the added meat in properly. The mixture ended up all on one side, and there were several large pure meat ball lumps in the mix. (I normally use stock in my own recipe). I used the default baking function. Half of the pasta wasn't cooked at all, and the base sheets were badly scorched and had to be thrown out. Very disappointing. This may be real lasagna, but it tasted bland and greasy.
Lemon and Honey Glazed Chicken Wings: page 17. I spent ages trying to get the right button settings. This probably gets easier with time, so long as one keeps using the machine. I could not see any advantage over my usual stirring the ingredients in a bowl, and then cooking in a normal oven.
Cottage Cheese Pudding: Page 28. Curiously, this is to be totally mixed in a separate cake bowl. I wondered why the 'Stir' function wasn't incorporated in this recipe. I am still fiddling around with the button settings. It turned out well. Tastes fine, but not something I would cook again. Again, I saw no advantage over using an ordinary oven.
Lastly I tried Beef Stroganoff with Mushrooms: Page 13. I left out minor ingredients I did not like such as flour and commercial sauce. It turned out well, but I needed an extra 10 minutes cooking the now toughened fillet meat. Again the ingredients were piled up on one side. The Stir function is like Schrödinger's cat - you cannot see the stirring in action with the lid down. Is it really happening? Does it jamb? Again I kept muddling the button sequence. I think the machine responds slower than the speed at which I can jab buttons. I had to cook rice, and vegetables, separately. Even if one used the rice cooking function, one would have to keep the rice warm elsewhere whilst cooking the Stroganoff.
Overall I found the Tefal 'Multicook and Stir' tiresome to use. It just makes cooking far more complicated for me. I found no advantages. It takes up valuable bench space. I dread having to use it, so it will be put away and never used again. I still can't use it without having the recipe book, manual, and Weetbix box drawing on hand every time. I am not an enthusiastic cook, and I prefer much simpler food.
Purchased in April 2019.
Useful cooker with a few faults but many advantages too.
The Tefal “Multicook & Stir” is a combination of a heat controllable cooker with a stirring paddle that can operate during the cooking process. It can operate like a deep frypan, wok, slow cooker, rice cooker, or a steamer.
It arrived well packaged, with a couple of extra implements; spoons and a plastic steamer tray. Two booklets came with with it as well, the operating instructions and a glossy set of recipes for using the device.
Unfortunately the operating instruction booklet left a lot to be desired. The instructions were provided in a small booklet, printed in tiny script on newsprint-type paper, which soaks up any water on the benchtop, and which has to be held at about nose distance away to be readable (at least if you’re my age). And the instructions were not well written. I had trouble understanding them. The control panel is not particularly intuitive – some of the symbols on the buttons are baffling. Buttons, which appear to be seldom used, are given prominent positions on the control panel, yet the important buttons are mixed willy-nilly among the clutter. The cooking programs are given English names (like “Baking / soup / steam /… function”) yet the controls are not labelled apart from the baffling symbols. (However, the instruction booklet shows images of the buttons with English labels, but my model device only has symbols, so this might be different with other versions of the device?)
So when learning to use the device, a lot of time was spent (or wasted), squinting at the instruction booklet trying to find out which button to press, or how to get the correct function to be selected. There is a prominent button, which operates as “auto-rinse” which I could not discover what on earth it did, despite a section in the instruction booklet, that basically says it will carry out a prewash of the bowl? WTH?
Anyway, the device is not the space-shuttle. It’s a cooker, so after a bit of baffled experimentation, I worked out how to use the basic functions. Using it to cook stuff is the main purpose, after all.
It is ideal for making risotto, which is a favourite dish of mine, since it has a stirrer that will operate continuously during the cooking cycle. Plus, the (more helpful) recipe booklet gives you some practical instructions on how to operate the machine to make a risotto. Which I did. The results, when compared to doing it manually in a saucepan, were so-so, although repeating the process again, once I understood the machine’s quirks gave better results.
It also operates as a rice-cooker, which is something else I do a lot. I have to admit, it did this superbly. Really fluffy and properly cooked rice. But there is a downside to this; the machine takes a long, long time to produce the cooked rice. Now, a Japanese friend on mine, who is a rice connoisseur, tells me that his rice cooker in Japan takes over an hour to produce the rice. This machine operates on the same principal, I expect. This if fine, but the fault is that the machine does not give you any idea when the rice will be ready. The time for the rice cooking cycle (which does not use the stirrer), is automatically calculated by the machine, based on the quantity of rice and water used. During the cooking, the display shows a red circle rotating around. It would have been useful to show some kind of count down graphic, or the actual number of minutes still to go, but no, you have to wait for the surprise, the beep to indicate the cycle is complete. Needless to say, the rest of the meal had been ready much earlier, when the long awaited beep happened. I know you would get to learn how long the normal quantity of rice takes to cook, but it would be easy, I imagine, to provide some indication of this during the cooking.
Another function I would use frequently is to make yoghurt. You add starter culture to the bowl along with milk (or water with the cultures that include milk powder). I tried it out, and great natural yoghurt was produced, after it fermented at the correct temperature for 8 hours. So arranging it to start at the right time is important; the device has a ‘delayed start’ function, which you can set to begin at midnight, so the yoghurt is ready at breakfast time! I also used it to make kefir from the freeze dried culture, as well, using the yoghurt function, which also resulted in perfect kefir after 8 hours; better than my normal approach of letting it sit at room temperature on the benchtop overnight.
And it stirfries, as well. The paddle operates to keep the ingredients mixed. This again worked quite well, though broccoli disintegrated on my first attempt, as I added it too early. I would still be tempted to stirfry using the stove top and a trusty frypan, but when I was hospitalised, and returned home, I found that the automated process using this device, had its advantages. I still think doing it manually gets a better result, but the device’s approach was easier, and I think would win people over, who are otherwise busy, or who don’t want to spend time in the kitchen cooking.
The machine has a carry handle, which is a nice touch. But it also lacks any water drainage system, so that when the lid is opened, all the condensed water runs down the inner side of the lid, and pools in a shallow gutter that runs along the top, or else drips down the inside of the device. The seal on the lid collects water too. Wiping and soaking up the water is a chore that you need to remember to do. Other similar devices have a drainage cup to collect this water, and it is puzzling why this machine is lacking that useful improvement. On the plus side, it has easily visible markings inside the bowl, for rice cooking – add the desired cups of rice, and fill the water up to the indicated level.
Overall, I am not sure whether to give this 3 or 4 stars. It has some deficiencies, but it does produce excellent cooking, if you use it the way it is designed for. It has a lot of cooking programs to choose from, which perform useful functions. The yoghurt making function will save lots of money, for example. The faults were mostly to do with learning to use it, so once this is handled the device comes into its own. It’s for cooking with, after all, so that has to get the main focus; so 4 stars.
Purchased in April 2019.
I like it
I bought this from tvsn a month ago..I have read all the other reviews and haven’t had any of the bad experiences. I have no stovetop so own several multicookers instead of burners. Therefor I am not limited to only one pot meals. This Tefal MultiCook and stir performs well. The presets in all my cookers need slight tweaks...but the tefal is less likely to burn stuff because it stirs. Someone mentioned everything turns out mushy but that hasn’t happened to me yet. It does take a little learning curve to master the controls but once familiar with it , it’s really easy. I couldn’t see much difficulty there.the menu button cycles through the presets and the arrow buttons adjust time and temp. I don’t find it excessively bulky..three multicookers live on my bench..taking less space than a cooktop would..and the Tefal is no bigger than the others. The non stick coating is ceramic and super easy to clean...it self cleans if you need to..it has a cleaning paddle but so far I have only had to wipe it out. The paddle is removable...so if u want to cook large cuts of meat or not stir at all just leave it out. I have yet to bake a cake in it, so I can’t comment on that, but have made amazing soups and stews as well as rice and risotto. Just check frequently when u are learning to use the cooker so u don’t overcook things..so finally don’t give up if you have had a bad experience. In my case a little tweak here and there soon fixes things....
Good for risotto lovers with bench space
I was sent the Tefal Cook & Stir as part of the Ambassador program. I do like the brand as I have a few different Tefal products in my kitchen.
First thing I noticed when I received the box was the size of the unit. This thing is HUGE. I had a breadmaker a few years back that was nearly as big. As I wasn't making bread all the time, my wife made me get rid of it due to the space it took up in the cupboard or on the bench.
The included recipe book contained about 25 recipes, most of which didn't look very appetising. My wife is also a vegetarian and there were very few that didn't contain meat so I guessed I'd be eating leftovers for lunch the next day. I had a look online for more recipes but there were none to be found on the Tefal site and nothing on YouTube. Guess I'd be sticking to the book.
The instruction manual is confusing and filled with typo's and unclear instructions. Again I went to the Tefal site to see if they had instructional video's but the site only contained a couple of vague promo videos. In this day and age a company like Tefal should consider upping their media on their website to include this. Thousands of YouTubers make good content every day with just a simple camera and mic at next to no cost and they aren't trying to sell products.
Once you work out how to use the machine it is relatively easy to use.
I cooked the Chicken risotto, the Green curry chicken pilaf, a stir fry and also plain rice.
What can I say about the food? It tasted good but no different than using another method. The rice took longer than my rice cooker with the same results. It really just replaces the need to stand and stir the dishes that require you to.. well.. stand and stir.
* Cooks dishes that need constant stirring with ease
* Pot is easy to clean
* Easy to add ingredients and leave to cook
* Takes up a lot of bench/storage space
* Very limited recipe book and confusing instructions
* If you're not using the stir feature or leaving on "warm" it tends to crust in the bowl (but not burn)
* Cooking anything with electricity is more expensive than a gas stove
If you are a regular stir-fry/risotto eater and have enough room for this unit then it may be perfect for you. It's easy to use once you decipher the instruction manual. A cheap rice cooker will do rice in half the time and a saucepan with a steamer will do twice as many vegetables. People spend $2000 + on those Thermomix things so I guess there may be a market for this machine.
Purchased in April 2019.
Lots of potential
You? Are you sure? That was the reaction when I presented the rest of the family (wife plus daughters aged 12, 14 and 17) with the fact that I had been asked to review the Tefal Multicook and Stir. Admittedly, I had been so excited about being asked to become a Productreview "ambassador" that I said yes to this task first and then started thinking about whether I was actually going to be able to be of any value. That I am most definitely not part of the target audience for this product only dawned on me when the family watched me unpack this "smart cooker" and the comments of questionable support just kept coming. A month later I am happy to say that I have managed to engage (almost) all of them in the project and that they all had their input into this review.
And engage is a key word with the Tefal Multicook and Stir. More than other products that enter the kitchen and that one knows how to use from the get-go (like a the new retro-style fashion statement of a toaster, a sandwich press or whatever), this one just stands there in its shiny new black outfit, sporting a few extra bits and pieces, lots of buttons and a power plug. Well, I knew where the power plug went, but after that, there is nothing I could to with it without delving into the manual. My first thought was that this is a (rather late) attempt at jumping on the Thermomix bandwagon (or is the better word craze?) at a fraction of the price.
First things first, read the manual. Yes, usually that is reserved for absolute emergencies, but in this case, there was truly no other way to get started. No quick start guide, no link to an introduction video, just a little pamphlet mimicking something called a manual. I immediately made a note for my future review – that manual is pathetic. Black and white, tiny font, terrible graphics and, one thing that always amazes me, in part appalling English. Don’t get me wrong, my mother tongue is not English either, so I know how to make mistakes in English, believe me, but please Tefal, before a manual goes to print, send a draft version to your Australian HQ and ask someone to proof read it. Oddly enough, most of the manual’s grammar is fine, but some parts seem to have been added at a later stage hastily. Mind you, the grammar is not what makes the manual useless, it what it says.
Here is what I mean. I quote: ‘In DIY function (only first setting) allow user to activate or stop stir function at any time by press the stir button, with the light of “stir” on and off to show the stirring status. […] After select the DIY to cancel, if user press “<” and “>” keys together, the setting go to default settings (first setting) for the selected DIY.’ I think you know what I mean now.
Inside the box was also a little cook book. In the absence of any other documentation that cook book became the go-to document and it helped us getting to know this device. There are a few recipes in there, covering entrees, mains, deserts and they all are quite easy to follow and produce really good results. The high gloss production helps keep the damage spills do to the booklet to a minimum and very soon we started to long for more of those recipes. We assumed (hoped) that there is an online area that allowed users to find more info, read tips and download and share recipes or interact with others. But boy, none of that.
I guess it’s a bit of a chicken and egg scenario, very few people using this device means very few people contributing, means very few people starting to love the product which then leads to fewer sales of the product and back to the beginning. Someone (and I am looking at Tefal and its marketing department here) needs to put together some videos introducing this product. Show what this thing can do, show what is really easy to make, show how to cook your existing recipes in it. Create an online community and allow people to share rate and comment on recipes. That would make this device a certain winner.
Without that we are left with a device that is in danger of ultimately not being used. Yes, we love the ease in which it makes risottos (or anything else that requires constant stirring, it is set and forget). And yes, we love the timer function that allows us to have porridge ready in the morning when we get up. Yes, we most certainly love the browning function (take that Thermomix!) and the ability to slow cook for may hours (and again, take that Thermomix!). Its good at making fluffy rice, even if it takes much longer than if you use the microwave or a pot, but it keeps the microwave or stove free to do other things.
But without some outside help, it takes a lot of commitment to learn how this cooker can become a great assistant. I am sure it can, but I am not so sure anyone on the family will have that drive to learn and get into it, trialling (and erroring) new things and then pass the info on. Time will tell.
So here are the key points:
- Its great for things that usually need constant stirring and attention. Risottos, milk rice, curries and some stews are really easy to set and forget (and then eat);
- Rice takes long (about 45minutes) but it comes out really well done and fluffy;
- The browning function;
- The pot things get cooked in looks quite nice and can be brought to the table for everybody to self-serve. And it is really non-stick;
- The keep warm function kicks in automatically when finished in most programs and works great;
- The price;
- Has the potential to be a great appliance if you are willing to spend the time to get to know it.
- It has quite a large footprint. Real-estate in our kitchen comes at a premium;
- The hinge of the lid is of questionable quality and looks like a break waiting to happen;
- Same with the plastic stir paddle and ring;
- When hot, the pot is really difficult to get out of the appliance. A handle please!
- Maybe it’s just me, but I would love to be able to see what is going on inside without having to open the lit. A little window would be great (one that somehow does not steam up – go for it, engineers);
- Who in the world came up with the idea to provide a cup as an accessory, call it a cup in the recipes but its actual volume is ¾ of the cup everybody else uses when cooking? If that little plastic “cup” gets lost, then what? And while I am at it, the inside of the pot also shows “cup” marks and they are quite crucial with some recipes. I wonder how long those white marks will remain in that pot (a hot environment that gets touched with every turn of the stir paddle.
- The manual is useless (I think I mentioned that…);
- No assistance to help get started, no online community. Once the few recipes are done, you are on your own to explore.
Purchased in March 2019.
Load it up, set it and forget it
We really liked the Tefal MultiCook & Stir. We think of this device as a slow cooker that cooks much faster due to its stirring action. As such, it is ideal for 'wet dishes' like stews, casseroles and curries. My wife did all the dinner cooking with it over the last few weeks and she loves it! She's put aside her Ninja slow cooker for this Tefal multicooker, but is hanging onto the much bigger Ninja for occasions when she might need to cook bigger batches of food, like for dinner parties. There is an initial learning curve – not too demanding, but care is needed to read the set-up and operating instructions. Setting-up the device required carefully working through the small instruction booklet, referencing a list of drawings to work out what needed to be done, including removing the inner lid and pressure valve to give them and the bowl a wash in soapy water before reassembly and cooking. It’s only weird the first time and once done, one reflects on how simple it actually is. The appliance beeps and lights-up its red LED display panel upon power-up. With its gloss black body and red display, wife said the appliance reminded her of K.I.T.T. – the car in the Knight Rider TV show, ha! It took her a couple of goes tapping the function buttons to get the multicooker working the first time. Again, now that she’s past the first encounter, and knows what to do, she says it’s “awesome” and easy to program. Once running, it only takes half an hour or so to cook up a meal, and with the device taking care of the cooking and stirring, one is free to attend to other matters or relax and enjoy the tantalising aroma wafting from the cooker.
Unlike the gourmet foodies posting reviews here, we're an old-school family, cooking simple, filling and tasty dishes without any fanfare or fuss – and wife appreciates anything she can 'set and forget' for dinner-making. Stroganoff, spaghetti Bolognese, yellow curry, goulash, red wine beef stew: hearty, satisfying and flavoursome meals that are also nutritious, easy to make and fill the family on the cheap. To get the most out of this device will require experimentation as the recipe book is limited not just in terms of the number recipes but also in the 300 gram batch sizes: wife is inclined to cook 500—1000 gram batches, making enough food for two meals in one go. She had to guesstimate the right ingredient proportions and device settings accordingly. Also, getting the right consistency required a little practice as the stews tended to be a touch runny at first.
Her first outing with the Tefal multicooker was the Beef Teriyaki from the recipe book, but getting away from the printed recipe, she set the meat to marinade ahead of her siesta. When cooked, marinading left the meat a little over-sour to taste and a tad dry, and wife over-compensated sweetening the dish in general: all part of the recipe 'tweaking' that she does. Much later, she rather ambitiously attempted to cook a stir-fry in the multicooker but it was too soft and stewy – this isn't a device for that kind of fast, high-heat cooking. On the other hand, experimenting with her own recipes – based on wife's experience with slow cooking – delivered great results, with only a little fine-tuning required to get it just right. her own beef Stroganoff recipe came out better than ever! and she didn't have to drudgingly stand over a pan to stir it. Very happy with that one. Her Melakan chicken curry worked really well too. This is where we think the Tefal MultiCook & Stir excels: making wet dish recipes that one might otherwise cook in a slow cooker, only it does the job much faster because of the stirrer: we think of it as a slow cooker on steroids.
The Tefal MultiCook & Stir cleans up easily with just the wipe of a soapy dishcloth. We have found Tefal's non-stick coating – as applied to the removable cooking bowl – highly durable; probably the market leader in this regard and certainly way ahead of the cheap non-stick surfaces abounding in variety stores that peel within a few months of use. Based on our experience with Tefal's coatings, If one takes a little care to avoid scratching the non-stick coating (particularly by avoiding the use of sharp, metal utensils) one can expect years of trouble-free use. Yes, the bowl is much smaller than our Ninja but it proved to be sufficient for our family of four, even for two meals if sufficient sides were added. That was typically rice, cooked separately in our rice cooker, but that appliance is also a 'set and forget' proposition so it works well with the Tefal multicooker. The power cord attached to the machine on the correct side in our kitchen for convenience and we thought it was actually longer than cords we've seen on other, similar devices such as the Ninja for example. And on that point, the Ninja's cord is permanently attached whereas the Tefal multicooker uses a computer-type power cord that can easily be swapped out for a longer item if required.
We're giving the Tefal MultiCook & Stir 4 out 5. We really like it and think it's an excellent slow cooker-type device that speeds up slow cooking with its stirring action. It's not for gourmets or foodies who require hands-on accuracy and precision in their cooking, and we haven't yet explored its full functionality (apparently it can steam and sauté, as well as cook rice) but our usage revealed that the Tefal MultiCook & Stir will do a great job at cooking set-and-forget, croc-pot style dishes for busy singles, couples and small families who will appreciate its time- and money-saving advantages and it can even stretch to next-day leftovers if you combine it with a rice cooker.
Purchased in April 2019.
Tefal multicooker and stirrer innovation to the next level and a time saver
We have been using this Tefal cook and stir the last 4 weeks as the ambassador. Here is my honest opinion upon using this product.
Product comes in a big box that is very well packaged. Inside the box includes the Tefal multicooker itself with the stirring attachment, pot/bowl, a recipe book loaded with heaps of recipes (deserts, mains, vegetables, vegetarian, sweets, cake etc...), and manual.
From first look, the design is very sleek, so much functions, big, has a bit of weight which adds to its sturdiness, and got to love the modern structure of it all. It takes up quite a bit of space in the kitchen so it is something to take into consideration. The unit itself is similar to a rice cooker which opens up at the top and inside has a removable cooking pot/bowl and a removable stirrer attachment that fits nicely inside. Thick and very good quality, not flimsy or cheap feel. At the front of the unit has all the buttons and functions of cooking. The cord is a good length and long enough to reach a nearby powerpoint.
This multicooker stands out from the others as it has the added function to cook and STIR at the same time. An amazing and useful feature when cooking food. Just add all the ingredients in and the machine does all the cooking and stirring while you can have the time to do other things. Talking about multitasking at its finest :)
As a first time user of a multi cooker unit, the recipe booklet that came with this came in extremely handy. It gave me ideas of what to cook and how to perfect the meal. Recipes are simple, easy to follow as well as the instructions on how to operate the cooker was clear. A decent meal can be achieved within a a short or long time depending on what you have decided to cook. Food can be kept warm once cooked. I love how we only need to prep and add spices while the Tefal does the cooking and stirring, the meal comes out very tasty, it retains the flavours quite well, well cooked and cooked perfectly everytime.
We can slow cook, fry, bake, steam, saute all sorts of food desired in this unit you name it. So far we have only tried making the food written in the recipe book until we can confidently or figure out all the functions and timing of this unit to venture out with a different recipe. Thus it is why the unit came with a recipe book that's plenty to try and cook. The unit and recipe book came hand in hand, as without it, I'm not sure how long to cook and what functions to use. I guess that is a small downside to this unit, however there are plenty of yummy recipes to try out in the meantime. I love the idea which made cooking easier and more enjoyable, otherwise it would be a struggle for any first time users like myself.
While cooking, the unit itself does not get overheat or too hot when touched on the outside which is a great feature especially for using the slow cooking feature. Washing is a dream as the only thing need to wash is mainly the pot and the stirrer ( if in use ). I usually wash straight away after cooking with a soft sponge and detergent, and everything just came right off.
Overall, we are very happy with this Tefal multicooker and stir. Meals comes out perfect every time and it is a time saver with its inventive self stirring function. We absolutely love it. We do hope that Tefal comes out with more recipes for us all to explore. Thank you Tefal for the innovation that is making cooking more enjoyable.
Purchased in April 2019.
Self stirring cooking is very handy!
I had never used a multicooker and let alone one that stirs itself, but wow the stirring function transforms this cooker from a normal cooker into a great time saver.
The cooker is rather intimidating at first use, as I did not think the menu system is very intuitive, but after a few uses and getting used to the unit, it was pretty straightforward - I found that I cooked most things on the fry function and definitely with stirring (and timer)!
So I’ve tried a bunch of meals including stews, pasta sauce, stir frys, risotto & plain rice – the takeaway, this self stirring cooker is king of stews, casseroles & risotto! The non-sitck bowl heats up very fast and I normally added in aromatics such as garlic, shallots, onions, herbs etc and then any meat to do the initial seal, then gradually put in the rest of my ingredients to cook.
The stirrer is slow and steady and really helps as a time saver – with 3 children, being able to walk away from the pot and know it is being stirred while cooking, lets you use your valuable time elsewhere. Very handy.
I normally cook casseroles in a pressure cooker or a heavy base pot or pan but the round shape and size of the bowl is really handy – after cooking, there is a keep warm function which also included a clock function, so you know how long its stopped cooking and how long it has been ‘keeping warm’ – when you have 3 children and dinner time is always is always busy, this is handy to know so you don’t over cook/heat something and also there is a nice warm meal sitting there after putting the kids to bed.
We do have a dedicated rice cooker, but also tried cooking plain rice in the mutlicooker – the rice cooked very well, but took about 3-4 times longer than our rice cooker.
Risotto on the other hand was the winner with the stirrer – we made a seafood risotto which worked out really well, the main thing getting used to timing when to put the seafood in, so it is not overcooked.
Normally we cut/prepare our meats to be bitesize (suitable for young kids) so this worked well with the stirring functionality in mind so as to not to slow down the stirrer – so far no problems at all here. I was apprehensive about how much food the stirrer would push, but it works perfectly.
Extra note to Tefal – the included recipe booklet was less than perfect – whoever was responsible for this recipe booklet made a good effort but there should really be more recipes with more enthusiasm and more detail. Compared to any recipe / cook book , the included recipe booklet was really a let down to help to market this handy appliance. I am quite sure I could do a bunch of different casserole recipes and better photography than what was included in this booklet.
So the best part of this cooker is the stirrer combined with the nonstick pot and timed cooking. The thickness and quality of the cooking bowl, nonstick surface and lid cooked food very well - I would compare it favourable to the results I get in my very good heavy base pots that most would use to do a casserole in. There is a steam vent for when the lid is closed which does a very good job. You can cook in this cooker with the lid open and of course, it only stirs when the lid is closed. Wash up with the non-stick pot surface is very easy and a wipe over the rest of the pot is all that’s needed to keep it clean. Very handy time saver.
Purchased in April 2019.
Trial and error - not for time poor home chefs
I’m a fan of Tefal products, we have been using a few of their non-stick pans and cookery for years, so I was excited to try this new cooker. One of its unique features is the internal stirrer, which basically stirs your food while it cooks. So you could just put all the ingredients in and leave it to cook - in concept perfect for time-poor family like us.
Having a 4L capacity, it has cooked for our family of 4, cooking 6 servings of food with no problems.
The first thing we tried was cooking rice. Comparing with our pressure cooker we use for rice cooking, the Tefal cooker failed to impress the family. My dad thought the rice quality was similar to the $20 rice cooker he bought from Aldi. And the Tefal cooker takes 45 mins to cook rice, whereas our pressure cooker takes 25 mins.
When I tried their green curry chicken recipe, I found the chicken cooking step a bit of a let down, as I don't think the chopped pieces of chicken were stirred properly (when I opened the cooker up, the chicken pieces were clumped to the one side). Since you had to put the rice and the liquids in after the chicken is cooked, the rice turned out to be a quite soggy, so you might have to experiment with their suggested ingredient proportions.
We also tried the stew/slow cook function to make beef briskets using online recipes. The process is a bit of trial and error, but luckily the result was delicious!
There are a limited of cooking recipes in their guide, so I wished they have spent more time developing the recipe book. Also their recipe photos doesn’t look very appetising, so it didn’t motivate us to try all the different recipes. My husband also found a couple of typos in their manuals.
A missing feature of the cooker is a condensation water collecting tray (i.e. those small plastic trays that hang on the side of the cooker) as the condensated water has no where to go after you open the lid after cooking.
The cooker is sleek and modern but it takes up quite a bit of room on the bench top. And since I’ve already got a pressure cooker and toaster, it becomes a pain point.
In the end, I'm not convinced the stirrer is such a selling point for the time-poor home chefs. Perhaps they should spend more time developing better recipes, so it actually save us time making delicious home cooked meals.
Purchased in April 2019.
Pride of place in the kitchen
It bakes, makes soups, steams, stir fry browning and makes stews. Yes, nearly all that is required for a regular and varied standard family meal. At the start, you have to use the RK901 as if you are a novice and follow the recommended quantities to get a feel of its capabilities. The instruction manual is fairly basic and the recipe book takes a little figuring out what to do but it gets you started. The beauty of this unit is in the 4 or 5 simple steps.
Straight out of the Box
The Tefal Multicook & Stir RK901 comes with an inner pot (or cauldron as I call it), stirring paddle, rinsing tool, steaming basket, rice spoon, soup spoon, measuring cup, a recipe book (if you can it that!) and an instruction manual. It is about the size of a large rice pot (10 cups) and sits nicely on the kitchen bench top. Light enough to be handled by my petite wife and teenage children.
Ease of Use
Read the instruction manual first! It takes a while to get your head round what the instruction manual is telling you but if you can operate a modern day TV remote, then this is a walk in the park. The icons would need a little improvement as it is not intuitive so fallback to the instruction manual. You will get the hang of it and the ease of navigating the menu functions after preparing a few meals.
Disclaimer: I am a good cook so naturally I approached this with some apprehension but what this product offers is it doing the menial tasks of stirring and slow cooking. I found this useful as I was then freed up to do other things around the house without worry of my food being burnt. My first attempt was soup and stews as that was easiest.
As alluded to earlier, the beauty of this is the 4 or 5 easy steps.
Step 1 - Food prep (cut & chop etc.)
Step 2 - Throw them into the pot/cauldron, add oil, set the unit for 10 minutes in the vegetable function to brown the garlic, onions, etc.,
Step 3 - Throw in the rest of the ingredients and setting the cooking time.
Step 4 - Ready to eat meal in about 90 minutes.
Of course, you only have one multicooker so you will soon realise that you can only do one dish at a time.
This product is perfect for singles, young couples or those with young children as you spend very little time in food prep. You can start in the morning by setting your cooking program with a delayed start and let the multi-cooker do its thing and come home after school/work to be greeted by a nice warm meal. That's why this has got a place on my kitchen bench.
Purchased in March 2019.
Versatile no-fail cooking, quick easy clean-up
I received the Tefal Multicook and Stir RK901 as part of the Product Review Ambassador program, and couldn't wait to not only use it but also to provide my honest, objective opinion about it. When the product arrived it came in a huge box so I was initially worried that it would be heavy and huge on the kitchen bench. As you would expect, it is indeed a larger appliance but it really isn't overly bulky, rather it is actually pretty sleek and impressive-looking with its brushed chrome barrel and black lid with myriad buttons. It was also much lighter than expected, equipped also with a handy carry handle making it easily portable. I have family that lives closeby so I can see that it will be handy to be able to pop in with soups or stews – just make, pick up and go!
Similar to other reviewers I found the recipe book that was included rather uninspiring so I decided to give this thing a good run by winging it with a few dishes of my own. I have made sweet and sour chicken in both 'fry/crust' mode and 'slow cook' mode; pumpkin mushroom risotto; Thai green chicken curry and lastnight's meal was a whole roast chicken. I have also made rice in it, and even made a loaf of bread! While it was a bit daunting cooking blindly, and again, similar to other reviewers, I was unable to find any other recipes or instruction online, I took a little guidance from the recipe book (e.g. if I was cooking chicken drumsticks, I used the mode suggested in the recipe book for similar cuts of meat).
I have been impressed with the quality and consistency of each meal. I might have been winging it but this thing seems to be pretty intuitive and cooks food well and evenly, and the functions are largely self-explanatory (e.g. rice function cooks rice, pasta function cooks pasta, risotto function cooks risotto etc...). And if all else fails, you can always pop open the lid (it's not locked down) and take a peek to ensure everything is cooking as you expect.
Like any other cooking method, there is still food prep to factor in, and clean-up afterwards but clean-up in particular is MUCH easier than it would be making the meals any other way. Roast chicken, for example, would mean oven clean up and mess while cooking a chicken in the Tefal multicooker meant a cleanout of the bowl and wash of the top inner lid. So easy! I am a working mother of two so this is a blessing particularly on a school night when I want to cook something quick, healthy and delicious and not have to worry too much about having to deal with mess afterwards.
The slow cooker function is particularly useful as you use it to do everything! You can brown onion, garlic, meat etc first with the lid either open or closed, whichever you prefer, and then add the rest of the ingredients, close the lid and switch to ‘slow cook’ mode. Where I would previously have used a frypan to brown meats, and then add everything to my slow cooker separately, I can now do this all in one in the multicooker which saves so much time, hassle and clean up! I have my traditional chilli con carne recipe slow cooking today as I write this review, and it was so much easier to make in the multicooker.
As for the rice function, my family eats a lot of rice and while the multicooker cooks rice well enough, it seems to take a bit longer than it does in our rice cooker so I will probably stick with using my rice cooker to cook rice, which is fine really, because if your using the multicooker for your main meal then you won't be able to use it for rice, unless you cook the rice afterwards.
Onto bread! There is no included recipe for bread so I used a Jamie Oliver basic bread recipe and made a white loaf. It cooked well and tasted good, and I have to say that the bread rising function was fabulous! One of the painful things about cooking bread is having to prove it and on a cold day it can take longer than ever. The 'bread rising' function applies warmth and keeps the dough obviously in a draught-free place so that it can prove quickly. If you're a bread maker, you will likely appreciate this function.
After using the bread rising function, I then used the baking function to cook the bread. When it had finished and I checked the top, it still felt a little soft and doughy but when I tipped it out, the underside of the bread had a lovely brown crust, and it was cooked all the way through, and while the spherical shape made it look a little odd, it kinda looked like a cob. While it came out well, I'm not sure I would continue to bake bread in the cooker but I will definitely use the 'bread rising' function.
To complement this review and provide a visual on what a finished meal in the multicooker might look like, I have uploaded photos of the sweet and sour chicken; pumpkin and mushroom risotto; roast chicken; chilli con carne, as well as the loaf of bread I made in it.
Overall, I have been impressed with this multicooker. While it’s not super-cheap retailing at $249, it’s not super-expensive either for an appliance that does so much. It would be a reasonable investment for time-poor people, busy families, or those that don’t really enjoy or excel at cooking but would like to be able to make tasty, healthy and easy meals. I have given it a run for its money trialling several different foods and functions and it hasn't failed to produce a decently and evenly cooked meal with minimal intervention from me. I haven't yet used the 'delayed start' program but no doubt will when school goes back as we have extra-curricular activities three times a week or more and it will be a huge time-saver to come home to a cooked meal so I'm looking forward to giving that a go. I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.
Purchased in April 2019.
Great if it works!
I was sent this cooker as part of the Product Review Ambassador Program, so received it as a complimentary item to try out.
Whilst this particular Tefal model is not the largest available, with a total capacity of 5 litres and a rated capacity of 10 cups or 1.8 litres it nevertheless does what it is says well and in the price range performs as expected. Whilst there are bigger capacity multicookers on the market, this one is an ideal size for caravanners, 2-4 person families or those with smaller kitchens who require 1 appliance to do a multitude of things. If you prefer to cook fresh and not have left overs, this is probably the right size multi-cooker for you. It also has a handle and is relatively light, so it can be picked up easily and stored away.
It has a total of 18 different functions and apart from the normal ones you would expect with a multicooker, it has a few features of its own, including keep warm (both automatic and manual), delayed start and an auto-rinse function. It will do a myriad of things in the kitchen and could easily replace a number of other appliances, such as the bread maker – but you do need to knead the dough manually - slow cooker, yoghurt maker and rice cooker. Whilst it doesn’t include a deep fryer function, it is even possible to deep fry in this appliance, albeit not in large quantities or at very high temperatures. It does appear as if the maximum operating temperature is 160°C so this may not be high enough to do French fries! If you like making your own doughnuts there is even a recipe for this in the recipe book provided, together with details on how to use the fry function on the cooker.
The cooker comes supplied with a recipe book, measuring cup, steamer basket (plastic), and a pair of plastic spoons/ladles. One of its features is the stirring paddle which is integral to its operation. It is designed to ensure that braises, stews, rice dishes etc. are regularly stirred during the cooking process and ensures that food doesn't stick/burn and that no heat is lost as there is no need to open the lid during cooking.
One concern is that the stirring paddle may eventually remove the coating on the bowl, but only time will tell. I have had previous Tefal cookware and so far have not had a problem with their coated cookware.
Now for the problems. I used this appliance once and the cooker failed about 3/4 time into the first recipe. (Pumpkin soup, prepared in accordance with the recipe book supplied). Tripped our safety switch and the cooker was inoperable. I was able to finish the soup (delicious by the way, so the recipe book can’t be faulted), then contacted Tefal who advised I take it to their authorised repairer. As I had received the cooker to test it, it came without an invoice/receipt of any kind. I contacted Tefal 4 times (twice by phone, twice via their online contact form) to be met with resounding silence after the first phone call where I was told I needed a receipt. No response to my online enquiry. A typical catch 22 situation, no receipt because it was a test cooker, therefore they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) authorise a repair! According to their authorised repairer (who was very helpful but their hands were tied as well) the printed circuit board had failed and according to them “it was just one those things that occasionally happens”. Not necessarily a design fault, but the way the request for repair/replacement was dealt with by Tefal was far from satisfactory.
My conclusions? A great concept which at least for the one recipe I was able to test achieved a very tasty result and was very easy to use. I would have loved to test out the other recipes, including their donut holes (which would have tested out the deep fry capabilities of the unit), but sadly, was unable to do so.
Cons – Lots of plastic, although the bowl and stirring paddle are metal. Some functions may require a bit of trial and error to get the best result. Only a 1 year warranty. No online warranty registration available on the Tefal website, so hang onto your purchase receipt.
Pros – Can replace a variety of other kitchen appliances. Stir function reduces heat loss and ensures you don’t have to constantly watch your cooking. Fry function works well, so no need to watch and stir what you’re cooking. Recipes can be easily adapted and the cooker would handle meals for up to 6 people, judging by the one recipe I was able to cook. Auto-rinse is a handy feature. Plenty of functions available including timer. Great to use for set and forget cooking/recipes, such as casseroles. If you’re looking for a single appliance to handle lots of different cooking functions, this could be the cooker for you, but hang onto your receipt!
Update: Have received a brand new cooker from Tefal through the persistence of the authorised repairers (Statewide Appliances) and it does work well. It took time and an invoice/receipt was included with the cooker so if future repairs are required there shouldn't be a problem.
Purchased in April 2019.
Is this going to end up another gadget behind cupboard doors?
So I was sent this for an honest review as part of the ambassador program which I was thrilled about. At a quarter of the price could this be another version of a very expensive cooker out there starting with T and ending in X???
Taking it out of the box it was surprisingly light, I was expecting heavier but it is an attractive enough unit to have sitting on your bench so that was a tick. A negative was the cord, it is on the side and very short. I found I had to cook in a weird spot in my kitchen because of this.
Then the recipe book haha. Well, can I just say Tefal you need to up your photography as there was not one recipe that actually appealed to me as the photos were like something from the 70s. Because of this, I searched Google for some “Tefal cook and Stir” recipes, and also scoured the Tefal website for some appealing dinners. What did I find? …….barely nothing. Actually I did find a celebrity chef Justine Schofield cooking risotto in it that’s it, seriously there are two risotto recipes in the included recipe book, if you paid her all this money to promote your product you could have made her cook something not in the recipe book!
Anyway I decided for my first attempt I would do veggie soup first from the included book as I had all the ingredients at the time and it’s hard to stuff up veggie soup. The instructions are confusing and obviously translated by Chinese as I had a bit of a giggle at some of the wording. When referring to the recipe book and the manual at the same time, I found they contradicted each other at times, the recipe book really needs to be revised and worded correctly and in Layman’s terms please.
The controls are a bit confusing as during programming and I press the stir button it stays red so I was unsure if this was actually on or not. When you go through the instructions and start the cooker it is so quiet (another tick) so you don’t actually even know if it is on or not until the steam starts flowing out escape hatch. I just find with this I am constantly bumbling my way through and hoping anything I cook turns out edible. The soup, actually turned out great, it was piping hot and delicious so that was great. But I just can’t understand how it saves me time when you still have to chop up your veggies and put them in this to cook, how is that different from putting everything in a pot and simmering away? I know it has the stir function, so I know Tefal is focusing on marketing this with the “risotto” but many of the other recipes you can do easily in a saucepan with no trouble.
I also made garlic honey chicken wings from the recipe book, they turned out nice which is great but I could have easily chucked them on a baking tray and into the oven and set the timer and forgotten about them and who would tuck into a plate of wings alone? You still have to cook the rice or veggies separately on your stove so again this is why I just don’t see the point of this gadget. Did the wings turn out nice, yes but again it would have been just as easy to bung them in the oven.
So the other foods I made over a few weeks were from the recipe book as I couldn’t just wing it in this, I needed guidance with this machine. The weird shaped lasagne (needed longer than the specified time), the beef stir fry (actually delicious and tender meat), risotto (the stir function is actually handy but you wouldn’t buy this machine solely for risotto), pumpkin soup, porridge a few times. All was edible and tasty, you just don’t get that nice caramelised flavour you need for depth of flavour with some dishes like the pumpkin soup. I also like to “see” my food being cooked. With this I was opening the hatch and hoping I didn’t get a surprise when I had opened it.
So what is this good for and what did I like?
I happened to take this away with me on Easter holiday break. It was very handy to have as it was like I had an extra oven where I was staying and I could cook a few things as the oven in the house is very small and I was cooking at times for up to 8 children and adults. Using both I could produce a couple of lunches and dinners on the table in one sitting so this was a plus for me. Was great to whip up a quick soup and not worry if it was going to boil over because I was outside.
Clean up is quick due to the non-stick bowl which is also great. So if you have a holiday house or caravan this would be a handy addition. In saying that you could even use this outside in summer as it would not heat up the house.
Apart from this though I was disappointed it was nothing like the T ending in X, but for the price I was probably expecting too much. They could have incorporated a steaming basket where the steam escapes from the unit to steam vegetables which would have been a handy addition and made it a bit more usable.
In summary I would probably not have purchased this as most things you can do easily yourself on a cooktop or an oven. It does not cook enough food for my two teens, two adults and a 7 year old. but taking it away with me was the best decision I made as it was very handy to have. It could have been designed a bit better with a steaming food function to use the steam vent at the back.
Nice looking machine
Handy if you have a caravan/holiday house, easily portable.
Meat is tender.
Meals are quite delicious
Food stays hot for a long time when cooking has finished.
Prevents food boiling over or burning.
Clean up is really easy
Perfect size for couples or small familes.
I am still using the manual after approximately 12 meals as I find I forget steps.
Recipe book needs a major overhaul.
No help on Tefal website/Google for new recipes (is this going to happen in the future?)
Manual is confusing especially when cross referencing with the recipe book
Does not cook a huge amount of food. Probably 3-4 servings if you bulk up with other food cooked separately. Not for big families.
Needs more one pot meals. Chicken wings alone is not good.
Could have been designed a bit better with an incorporated steamer for vegetables to make use of the escaping steam.
Purchased in March 2019.
Not really required but it's ok!
So where do I start with this multi-cooker? I guess it's a multi-cooker because you can keep multiple things in it but then again I've seen people cook multiple things in a rice cooker. It stirs stuff so there's this Tara side of things but to me, I honestly see this as a rice cooker that has inbuilt time is and programs and stirring paddle.
I have cooked a few things in the multi-cooker and I just want to quickly touch on the fact that this unit is not there to replace a chef, it does not take work out of the kitchen, it does not add ingredients at other times by itself automatically. So I noticed someone was bagging the unit out saying everything comes out looking like slop and well yeah it does pretty much but what do you expect? Do you expect it to make something that you would find at an expensive Italian restaurant or a roast because, well, no it's not designed for that! However, the things that I did cook in this unit were actually quite good. I made the vegetable stew and it came out tasting pretty good, I will say that I didn't follow the half-written recipe to the-t because I added some of my own stuff, extras of others and I'm not so much of other things because when I realised how much 50g of mixed herbs was it would have equated to at least 4 jars of mixed herbs! Obviously, this was a typo As there are many typos, missing steps, missing phrases in the recipe book that comes with the unit. The recipes are pretty easy to make you just have to use some common sense when reading and deciphering through the poorly written text but I mean they're pretty basic recipes and what is missing is pretty self-explanatory anyway.
One thing I'll say about this unit is it feels high-quality. The non-stick bowl that comes with the unit which you cook the food in, is quite thick in the right places to make sure the heat is evenly distributed. it a ladle and a Steaming tray attachment however, the steaming tray attachment does feel kind of cheap but I'm sure it will be fine.
I just want to touch on the fact as well that if you are expecting to feed a Large family that this unit will be good if you're making say for example beef stroganoff in the unit and then having that with rice which you would you know use to bulk the meal up or have as a base rather it then would be ok however if you are going to use it for example when I made the beef stew I don't think it would have sufficed for myself, my cousin and our to Foster kids if our Foster kids were of teenage years which they're not they're quite young so and it only just managed to feed us up and that's saying something as I can't eat much because I have had a gastric bypass.
The units pretty easy to use I don't have any issues with the use or trying to program out I think it's quite easy it's not difficult at all once you know what band does what and this is explained in extreme and length in the actual user manual. I do hate how I could not adjust the time for exactly what I wanted it but I do understand it would have made the process a lot longer if the timer worked in minute intervals instead of blocks of five or ten etc.
Overall this unit would be good for a family who has a busy lifestyle they get home late and they just want to put everything in the unit turn it ongoing chase after the kids go wash uniforms vacuum the couch look after the dog whatever you gotta do and then once dinner is done the unit beeps ready to go it's more of a time-saving unit than what it is anything else it is not a chef replacement it is not a kitchen robot but for what it is and it's price point it's not too bad
Purchased in April 2019.
It's a Rice Cooker
If you have no time or don't really enjoy cooking then this thing might be for you.
- It's a good rice cooker/slow cooker (3 stars for this)
- Very easy to clean and store
- It's a really expensive rice cooker
- It is not intuitive to use, you will need to read the manual
- The recipe book is useless and there are no other recipes out there
- Most of the functions are a total waste of time
The appliance comes in a large box with a lot of styrofoam and plastic wrapping, which is a shame these days since that's terrible for the environment and there are much better solutions to this out there.
I got the multi-cooker as part of the ProductReview Ambassador program. For that reason I have spent a lot more time over the past 2-3 weeks trying to use this machine than I otherwise would have. I have kept it out on the counter and tried to use it in some capacity most days of the week. I have tried some of the recipes along with making some of my own.
Overall I have to say that this is just a glorified rice cooker, I haven't been able to find a recipe where I felt that the stir function really made a difference apart from my attempt at Risotto. Allowing for the fact that it was a new machine and I could have just screwed up the recipe (your milage may vary) I would stick to the good old fashion pot and stir yourself approach for good risotto.
I think that the ultimate trouble with this product is that, anything you cook that needs to be stirred constantly, also needs to be watched quite carefully.
It's a nice sounding idea that I think will draw in people who don't like or having time to cook and are looking for a one stop shop to do everything for them. To this end the Multicook & Stir will probably accomplish this goal but won't produce meals that you can be very proud of.
Most of the reviews I have read on this appliance are written by people who actually enjoy and are quite competent at cooking. I would put myself in this category as well.
SO, if you like cooking, go cook with the traditional tools (pots, pans, wooden spoon), if you don't like cooking, well you might be just as well to buy a cheap rice cooker from K-mart. For my money this isn't worth it.
Purchased in April 2019 at Ambassador Program.
A great idea that just misses the mark.
My wife and I used the Tefal Multicook and stir several times over a two-week period. Initially it was quite daunting going through the instructions and working out how to use such a different style of cooker, but after one or two goes, we became confidant with it and got used to all the bells and whistles.
The first thing we noticed about it, was its appearance. It is quite large but very attractive with its glossy black and grey finish. In a smaller kitchen it could be difficult to house as it would take up a considerable amount of cupboard space if not on display and a very large percentage of bench space if left out. Sadly, our kitchen is on the small side, so we were forced to leave it out when not in use and lost half a bench consequently. On the plus side it is a very attractive unit, so isn’t in any way an eyesore.
In the box is a colour brochure showing a list of detailed menus, including 2 breakfast, 3 soups, 19 main meals including vegetarian options and 3 desserts. The menu for each was easy to follow and, in each case, the meal that resulted was superb. The cooking time was considerably shorter than using pots and pans on the stove and the clean up after was a dream.
However, and it is a HUGE however, there is a limitation to the use of the appliance in as much as we could not work out how to make anything that WASN’T in the recipe brochure and it is hard to justify the Multicook and Stir if it can only make 27 dishes in total!
The process required for most of the dishes required more than one step of chucking everything in together, setting a simple timer and waiting for it to go ‘ding’. And to set the cooking time means setting more than a simple timer. For example, to make a (DELICIOUS) Beef Stroganoff, you start with some of the ingredients and you need to set the cooking function first, then the food type, then the cooking time (5 minutes) and THEN the stir function.
Once that is finished, you AGAIN set the food function, the food type, set the time for 15 minutes, set the stir function, add the rest of the ingredients and off you go again.
I have NO problem with the process, or as stated the time, but HOW anyone can guess the cook function, food type (with meat in the strog the food type was vegetables – how do you guess that when doing other menus?) or time of the cook?
An issue we also had was that having made the stroganoff, we STILL had to cook rice and vegetables separately, so still had a clean up to do after the meal. It is of course possible that we COULD have cooked the rice and vegies with the strog, but how would we have known what extra time it would take or when to add them and on what settings?
And perhaps worst of all, the recipes are for a stated number of people – again using the stroganoff as the example it was for four, but that would be too few if we were entertaining and yet again there is no way of knowing if we can load more of each ingredient into the cooker or how much longer it would take.
I went to the trouble of looking online for more recipes for the Multicook and Stir, with no success. I then wrote to the Tefal customer service department asking if they had more recipes. Sadly, whilst I received an automated reply telling me they had received my query, days later that was ALL I had received.
Because I LIKED the Multicook and Stir and wanted it to work for me, I then rang Tefal to try to get a reply. From there it all went downhill! It took a LOT of time on hold before someone came onto the phone and spoke… and at THAT point the call dropped off! I rang back and finally got through and explained my enquiry and explained I had already written asking them. He found the email query and said he would now upgrade it and send it to their internal department to action.
He also said he would send me an email confirming that (which he did) and that if I hadn’t heard back in three days to call again.
FOUR days later I emailed back to say I hadn’t heard and asking for an update and received NO reply.
Another day later I rang them only to be put on hold for over half an hour! At that point I gave up.
The sad thing is the Tefal Multicook and Stir is a GREAT idea, but due to a poor level of customer service at Tefal and a distinct lack of thought regarding its use, its limitations make it almost useless.
Of the 27 menus in the book (which I must now assume are the only recipes it can be used for) we weren’t interested in the two breakfast dishes, nor the desserts. We wouldn’t use it to make a soup and of the main dishes there were 10 that we were interested in and two of those we didn’t like the choice of one of the ingredients, but couldnt change them because we didn’t know what effect that would have on cooking function or cooking times.
So, to sum up, the Multicook and Stir is a wonderful idea that appears not to have been thought through. Either it was only ever intended for a limited number of dishes when it COULD have been used for hundreds, or it WAS designed for hundreds and someone forgot to ensure some explanation of how to use it for other recipes was readily available. Either way it is a shame.
As for Tefal, their customer service was a bad let down which only made the experience of using the Multicook and Stir worse.
Could I recommend the product? No. Well not unless you are after a fixed range of 27 menus with detailed cooking instructions.
Purchased in April 2019.
Three stars because non stick is my no-no
I was sent this item for review.
Four stars if it's a useful size for you, and you don't care that it's non-stick. Two stars for our house, because we don't want non stick, and it's just way too small! Average : 3 stars
I really love that this unit stirs, stirs from the top, for ease of cleaning, and has manual controls for time and temp, if you don't fancy the presets.
I used the stew preset for a curry, and found I had to put it on for longer. I did a good Bolognese sauce, and the rice came out fine when I tried that. There is a bit of a learning curve - the afternoon I received it, I was simply too tired to go through all the instructions. You really need to do that, as it's not particularly intuitive... However it's not bad, either - just time consuming! The recipe book is laughable; I don't know any place where veg stuffed pasta shells count as a main meal, except for toddlers, and it's a whole lot of stuffing around. And written in swingaleseish, and some recipes have steps left out... The usual useless nonsense. What it does do, is give you a clue as to what settings to use.
Once you figure it out, it's a breeze.
If you are in a dorm, small bedsit, in a caravan park cabin, or any situation like that, this thing will be great for you, you'll love it. I wouldn't use this for yoghurt, for instance, but if you have no space and want to do it, then you'll love it. The only caveat is the question of how you feel about non-stick, ceramic or otherwise...
I will absolutely use this unit when making jams and preserved from our produce, because it stirs. Maybe an issue with the non stick down the track, we'll see how long it takes to show signs of wear.
I did a pilaf and risotto - it worked well, but as we eat those maybe once in five years, it's not a feature for me.
For soup, again, wonderful result as the unit stirs, however I'm feeling reluctance due to the non stick.
I did a damper in it, and it came out pretty good, however we rarely eat that, too.
It steams well, however it's too small. I have a giant, Asian style stainless steel stovetop steamer, with removable layers, that I would use on my induction cooker over this, simply due to concerns over fitting the amount of food I want to cook. I can't steam 20 Asian red-bean buns in the tefal!
Things I don't like:
*Not happy that the seal doesn't detach for thorough cleaning... Hmmmm.
*Non stick bowl - I prefer stainless steel. I don't want bits of N-S lining in the food, no matter how microscopic they are, or how 'safe' they tell me it is. The DDT people said that was safe, too, remember?
*The bowl is too small. I wanted to use my other electric multi cooker, as the bowl is twice as big, and it's stainless. My rice cooker is also much larger, and has a stainless steel bowl. We cook large amounts and portion it up for the freezer and some for the fridge in the week. This didn't really cut it. We hate cooking and want to do big batches, instead of cooking a small amount every day, with the attendant prep and clean up.
*The stir function struggled with larger vegetable pieces in a curry until it cooked down somewhat. I want to eat food, not pap, so I'd have to cut veg considerably smaller than we like.
*The footprint on the bench. I prefer my other multi cooker as it goes up, not out.
* I wouldn't use this for proving bread dough, as my oven does that, and I can then bake from a cold oven without moving the dough. Also size and shape, it wouldn't make enough for me to bother and the shape is not useful to us.
*As with every appliance, I have a beef with the cord length, and this is no exception. The price they are, you could go for another 30cm of cord. People in the real world don't live in companies' test kitchens. Doesn't bother me, but I could see how this would have been a big issue in some of my previous kitchens.
Not sure I would ever use it for a stir fry... I doubt it would get hot enough, but good enough if you're not fussed about how it turns out.
Overall I like it, but wouldn't have bought it for myself due to the non-stick bowl, and the size of the bowl. I would have adored it in my late teens when I was living in a hotel room for a couple of years! The shared kitchen was icky, and this would have been a godsend. Would never have used it for pasta, though! uuuuurrrgghhhh!
Purchased in April 2019.
I was sent this gadget because I'm a member of the Product Review Ambassador Program. They send me things and I review them. This is a long review because I tried very hard to give it a fair trial. So let me work through the positives of this machine.
It's funny. There's a laugh-a-minute in the instructions for its incredible – yes, really not credible – array of “functions”.
The recipe book that comes with it is the absolute gold standard by which you should never write a recipe book. Incomprehensible instructions, missing ingredients and/or steps, accompanied by truly awful photographs that splendidly reflect the insipid slop that is produced if you follow the recipe. Or not.
It takes up a huge amount of bench space and is really really shiny flimsy plastic.
My two year-old twin mates loved the cardboard box and the thing itself (if you squint hard) looks like Daft Punk's headgear.
Apart from these positives I have a real problem with this execrable gadget. It does nothing well and if you can cook even vaguely – like boil water competently – this machine is not for you.
In effect you chop up the ingredients, put them into the Daft Punk helmet, press numerous buttons numerous times and press 'start'.
Here's where I have a problem with this machine. It removes the contact between cook and food, there is no finesse whatsoever. It somehow cons the purchaser into believing that the puddle of alleged food at the end tastes good and it saves time. Neither, of course, is true.
Disclosure here – I am a very competent cook. I tried this device our with two friends who are expert, really talented amateur cooks and another couple who are caterers and restaurateurs (and parents of the twin boys) over the last ten days. We all had the same opinion. Don't buy one of these. Spend the money on learning the basics of cooking. Please don't pull the 'time poor' rubbish; using this bucket of bolts takes more time than just having a go at cooking something. This advice comes from the parents of infant twins. When you cook something for real, it's a learning experience. If a gadget “cooks' for you, you are none the wiser. Might as well live on takeaways.
It has myriad functions and does none of them (yes, not one) well. Let me go through some of them, with an alternative that doesn't cost:
baking function > any competent oven – it comes with your house, usually
soup function > a good quality pot with a clear lid on a stove that usually comes with your house
steam function > a good quality pot with a clear lid on a stove and a steamer
stew/slow cook function > a good quality pot with a lid on a stove
crust fry function > a good quality pot with a lid on a stove – or a skillet. Gosh!
jam function > a good quality pot with a lid on a stove
porridge function > a good quality pot with a lid on a stove
yoghurt function > a good quality pot with a lid on a stove and a thermos (boil the milk, skim it, when it gets to about 35 degrees C add some live natural yoghurt, pour it into the thermos, leave overnight, voila. Yoghurt. And no power used.)
There are more – you get the idea. Same answer.
I live on a sustainable property with off-grid power. That this thing sucks battery life for no good reason galls me. It's the epitome of consumer junk. The sales pitch is that it saves time for busy people. Utter nonsense. Try as we might, we could not find one reason for anyone to actually buy this. It's a con, an absolute con. Buy the Tefal Ingenico pots (see review elsewhere on Product Review) for about the same amount of money. They're very good.
Someone invented the culinary equivalent of a machine that goes 'ping' and marketed it. This is it.
Mine is destined to be donated to the local op shop because our local palliative care centre might as well get $20 for it.
Public apologies to friend and house guest Simon who was the long suffering guinea pig. This is the first cooking device ever that has led me to waste food.
Purchased in April 2019.
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