At one time, multi-appliances (and tools) did save money, but they lacked appeal because the performance was good mainly for one or two functions, while the rest were lackluster. With today's technological advancements, the opposite now seems the norm.
Meaning that with some exceptions, of course, most of the functions on an electric cooker are likely to be good performers. And a multi-appliance can reduce counter clutter and precious storage space. That's why I now embrace electric cookers which are do-it-all cooking vessels with essential convenience features.
Out of the box, this T-fal electric rice cooker is absolutely charming (for lack of a better term). You can't help but fall for its sleek lines, convenient carry handle, lightweight design, easy-to-use control panel and the easy-clean nonstick pan. Here are a few details followed by my overall evaluation.
- 10 cooking programs for an overall of 12 functions: rice/cereal, risotto, reheat, baby food, stew, steam/soup, yogurt, baking/dessert, crust/fry, keep warm, plus adjustable cooking time and delayed start.
- 10-cup capacity
- Fuzzy logic technology: automatically adjusts for best cooking performance
- The Inner pot is 2.0 mm thick with a ceramic nonstick coating and diamond-shape pattern on the bottom for good cooking performance.
- Accessories: steam basket, rice spoon, soup spoon, measuring cup, spoon support and recipe book
- Adjustable cooking time preset for up to 24 hours
- Keep Warm is automatic
- 750 watts
- Carrying handle (for empty cooker)
- UL rated for the U.S. and Canada
- Available in black or white finish
How the Rice & Multi-Cooker Performed
The Fuzzy Logic feature was best demonstrated when I made rice with this cooker. I had forgotten to rinse the raw rice first, before cooking. Lately, it seems that I just cannot make rice (in a pot on the stove) without it being sticky or starchy, even when I rinse one or two times. After assuming it was my choice of rice (switched more than once), my expectations were running low to start this test. I was wrong.
When the rest of the dinner was ready, I opened the cooker and scooped perfect rice, done the way it should be. I often make four (cooked) cups of rice, which is too little for many rice cookers. No problem here; it can cook that amount. That was my first stab at this cooker and it paved the way to a great relationship.
When cooking rice, the measurements on the inside of the ceramic nonstick liner are for the water. Use the plastic rice cup (included) to measure the right amount of raw rice. You might need to adjust the water depending on the type of rice you're cooking. See the product manual for rice cooking charts.
Do not exceed the highest mark inside the pot. After cooking, this appliance goes to Keep Warm automatically (displays a 'b'). If you want to turn that off, click the off button twice. Though the control panel is user-friendly, the manual is an important read.
I've also used it to make soups and stews, sauteing veggies first (browning), then changing to the Slow cook or Soup function. Very good results. And I like being able to adjust time up or down as needed. The default setting for Slow Cook is 4 hours but can be adjusted up to 9 hours.
Not being locked into typical slow cooking defaults of a half or full day as with a standard slow cooker is the beauty of multi-cookers like this. You can adjust the time at will to speed it up, give an up-start or slow it down to maximize flavor. This cooker also has a Yogurt setting, something I haven't tried yet, plus a Delay Start (up to 24 hours) which can be very convenient for some.
This multi-cooker has several everyday cooking functions making it extremely versatile for the home cook, plus some interesting settings for the creative chef. Being able to make soups, stews, rice, steam veggies, or cook one-dish meals covers a lot of what I do most in the kitchen and being able to brown the meat first in the same pot, also saves on clean-up.
This cooker might replace two or more of your appliances, depending on the quantities you usually cook. And cooking in an appliance, verses on the stovetop, means you are not tied to the stove but can multi-task during that time. And if you have problem hands, you'll love the lightweight handling of the nonstick liner.
I consider this capacity mid-range: You can make a family meal in it, but also cook on the small scale--something that isn't always convenient in a five or six-quart unit. I love the ceramic nonstick coating and I'd recommend washing it by hand. For two people, this is the ideal size, but a larger household would also find it very practical too.