I have a confession to make: I am a lazy cook!
I go through stages of trying to be more adventurous, cooking everything from scratch and making it all look beautiful but often get disheartened because the kids don’t like it or it just takes too long.
As a busy Mum with 4 children at home and looking after more as a childminder, I struggle to find the time to cook healthy, nutritious meals every night. It doesn’t help that I need to cook again for when Hubby comes home anytime between 6.30 – 9.30pm at night.
That is where the Tefal Cook4Me Intelligent Multi Cooker comes in. With more than 50 pre programmed recipes, this clever kitchen appliance literally guides you step by step through each recipe, from the list of ingredients through to the method, cooking and finishing the selected meal, allowing you to cook a family meal for up to 6 adults in next to no time.
I was pleasantly surprised by the list of meals the menu has, with some of our favourites including sausage casserole, chilli con carne, fajita’s, beef Bolognese sauce and even a whole chicken!
The multi cooker comes with:
- a steamer basket (ideal for cooking the rice and vegetables in)
- self release safety valve
- progression Indicator which lets you know how long until your meal is ready
- auto keep warm function
- delayed start of up to 15 hours so you can set it to start cooking when you are at work
- a removable non-stick bowl with cool touch handles
One of the kids favourites is sausage casserole which normally takes me around an hour to prepare, including preparation and cooking time. In the Cook4Me it takes just 18 minutes – 8 minutes preparation time and browning plus 10 minutes to cook (for a family of 6) which is less than time and far more nutritious than chucking a ready meal in the oven as you use all fresh ingredients.
The machine is so simple to use that even a child could follow the instructions and I have let the teen loose with it to create some meals of his own.
We have attempted our favourite sausage Jambalaya in the machine using Heck Sausages and the sausage stew settings and did find that it requires more liquid to cook the dish than I would have added normally and we had to add more water and start the cooking function again to make it work. 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.
I have also used a combination of fresh and frozen ingredients and have found that it does not affect the cooking time at all.
One thing I was concerned about was cleaning it, as my slow cooker is a pain in the bottom to get clean after every use. The Cook4Me is a breeze in comparison as the bowl itself is non-stick and any other parts that may get splashed are easy to remove, rinse and re-attach.
We have had the Cook4Me around a month now and have use it 3 or 4 times a week with our Tefal Opti Grill in use on the other days. My next challenge is to make the whole chicken in cider sauce which apparently only take 45 minutes – my roasts normally take 2 hours!
The only downside with the Tefal Cook4Me is the price as it has an RRP of £249.99, however it is currently on offer in Amazon and other good retailers and having used it I would certainly save up and buy it as it is going to be the most used item in our kitchen for a long time!