The ultimate kitchen companion? Tefal’s Cook4Me+
A smart pressure cooker that takes the pressure off you
Pressure cooking has moved from a dangerous and slightly terrifying undertaking that gave the world mushy veg, bland, watery sauces and stringy meat, to an amazing cooking method everyone wants to try. People are now obsessed with multi cookers, instant pots and modern-day pressure cookers. But you still have to be a pretty keen cook to try out all the complicated and crazy recipes doing the rounds. Not to mention, have some time spare.
Sometimes, however, you don’t have that time, sometimes you don’t have the energy, and sometimes you don’t want to scour all your recipe books (or FoodTribe!) for a dish that will end up taking ages to make. You just want someone, or something, to do the work for you.
That’s where the Tefal Cook4Me+ comes in. It might be a bit weird to think about a pressure cooker having its rightful place in a modern day kitchen, but the Cook4Me+ is way more than a pressure cooker.
It’s the ultimate kitchen companion.
'Why', I hear you cry? Let me give you the rundown
Pressure cooker credentials
Hand over the technical bits of sorting out your pressure cooker timing and all that jazz to a computer that knows what it’s doing, and you’re going to end up with something way more tasty than the aforementioned pressure cooker disasters of years gone by. Water boils at a higher temperature when it’s under pressure. That means your food can cook much faster. Pulled pork in less than 60 minutes? Melty, soft meat in 10 minutes? Cooked chicken in THREE MINUTES? Yup.
Back to the whole ‘saving time’ thing. The Cook4Me+ has a six-litre capacity as well, so whether you’re cooking for a really large family, you just really like vast quantities of soup, or you want to get your meal prep sorted for the week, it’s got you covered.
What’s it got over all the other multi cookers out there?
Be the Salt Bae you've always wanted to be...
Tefal’s Cook4Me+ basically says, ‘put up your feet. I’ve got this’. Ok, so of course it would be really helpful if it could pop to the shops for you, do the chopping, measure out some bits... but we’re not quite at that level of robotics yet. Give it time. It is still super smart though.
The cooker is your personal kitchen pal. It has 100 recipes stored in it, more than half of which can be done in 15 minutes or less (and that’s a real 15 minutes, not a certain very famous someone’s idea of 15 minutes... ahem), complete with ingredients and step-by-step method. The recipes are split into sections: Starters/Sides, Main Dishes, and Desserts, so whatever you’re in the mood for, from Asian pork meatballs to white chocolate cream – preferably not at the same time, you are sorted. The machine will then walk you through making the dish for however many people you need to cook for.
I love a curry on a Friday night, but thanks to a complicated and convoluted story involving lockdown, buying a house, not having the time to do-up said house, not currently living at said house, and a few other random things, I’m currently living far away from any Indian takeaways. So instead, last weekend, I made a chicken tikka masala in five minutes. From scratch. For four people (yay leftovers). Using the Tefal Cook4Me+.
Smart cookie, smart cooking
Take the pressure off...
To go hand-in-hand, or machine-in-machine with the Tefal Cook4Me+, there’s a companion app available on iOS and Android. The app mirrors the instructions you get on the screen of your Cook4Me+, and it also connects to it via Bluetooth. That means it can heat it up to the right temperature as you go, and you’ll always have the recipe and quantity of ingredients with you. It also gives you an alert when your cooking time’s up, although you’ll likely notice as you spot the exciting rush of steam coming out the top of it.
Along with acting as another handy cooking helper, the app offers plenty of foodie inspiration. You can upload new recipes (more than 200 additional ones) to your Cook4Me+ if you make it through all 100 and want MORE, along with finding recipes using ingredients in your fridge from agar agar to Yakitori sauce. This is so helpful if you’re having a foodie brain-fart kinda day. Thanks to 2020, I’ve had plenty of those. You can also save and bookmark your favourite recipes, as well as browsing the recipe sections (Christmas collection, healthy options, trip to the Mediterranean coasts – yes please, etc.).
So much more than soups and stews
I thought I’d mostly use the Tefal Cook4Me+ for speedy soups and stews, but I’ve been using it for all sorts from risotto to poached pears in red wine. You can use it to brown food, simmer, boil, pressure cook, reheat, slow cook, and keep things warm for up to 90 minutes. It’s also got the ability to delay the start of your cooking for up to 15 hours later, so it’ll always be ready when you are.
If you’ve got any worries about the safety of cooking under pressure, the Cook4Me+ won’t start working until the hefty lid is properly closed, and it won’t open until the pressure has been released at the end.
Naturally, a lot of FoodTribers might want to use the versatility of the Cook4Me+ – having the recipes stored for ‘those nights’, but also going rogue and trying out other recipes. As well as the stored recipes, there’s a huge list of stored individual ingredients, so you can either let it work out the timings, or follow the instructions for similar dishes.
There’s also no harm in mixing things up a bit, adding or removing ingredients, swapping things out, or generally doing the things us foodies do. Naturally I added a few bits to my chicken tikka masala the other week. The manual mode lets you have total control over things, whichever function you want to use, from pressure cooking, to steam cooking, gentle cooking, simmering, browning, keeping things warm, or the delayed start.
Easy to clean
Chicken balti in less than 15 minutes? That's even quicker than a takeaway
Ok, I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I really dislike washing up. The rule in our house of, ‘if you cook, you don’t have to wash up’ usually helps me out, but fortunately, cleaning up the Cook4Me+ is super easy. You can pop the metal cooking pot and steaming basket straight into the dishwasher. And as it cooks everything at the right temperature, you don’t get any burnt bits stuck on that you have to then scrub off.
🎶Under pressure? No-no-no-nonono-no🎶
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Just after Christmas, I’m going to be without a proper kitchen for a few months (remember I incoherently mentioned my slightly odd living situation earlier on) and I already know the Cook4Me+ is going to be a bit of a lifesaver, especially over the winter months. Being able to do everything in the one pot, easily, quickly and with no fuss, while I’m stressing about many, many other things and can’t wrap my head around preparing a fancy, complicated dinner, will be incredibly helpful. And yes, maybe at some point, I will also personally want to consume six litres of soup in one sitting, too...