True connoisseurs of automobiles know that there is a car – and there is a “Mercedes”. More than once I heard from multicooker connoisseurs something similar: there are “pots with heating”, and there are multicookers CUCKOO. Serious claim? Let us check on new model CUCKOO CMC-NE1055F, which will be available on American market in January-February 2013.
The test was conducted by Polina STRIZHAK
COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURER: South Korea.
POWER: heating: 135 W, cooking: 1100-1400 W. TECHNICAL PRESSURE: 88.2 KPa 0.9 kgf/cm2 .
VOLUME: 5 L.
CONSTRUCTION: 3D induction heating, processor, removable protective inner lid screen, bowl with marble coating, lid with safety lock lever, steam release valves, steam scrubber, condensate collection container.
SAFETY: voice guide to warn of user errors, overheat sensors, lighted lid closure indicator on the control panel, multi-circuit pressure control system. Braille marks on the buttons “Cook”, “Cancel” for the blind and visually impaired.
PROGRAMS: pilaf, soup, stew, vegetables, buckwheat, oatmeal, rice, sushi rice.
PROGRAMMES BY TIME AND TEMPERATURE SETTINGS: multi-boil, yogurt, steam cooker, slow cooker, roast, oven, manual mode, self-cleaning steam sterilization .
CONTROL: processor. 3D temperature control sensors, russified control panel, voice guide, backlit digital display with programs menu, clock, levels 1,2,3 and indicators ⁰C temperature, process timer, boiling, heating, warming, ready , remaining cooking time, pressure and non-pressurized cooking. Buttons: cancel, start/sturbo, heating/heating, up/down temperature level selection , left/right program selection , timer/reset. Delayed start timer with selectable end of cooking time up to 13 hours .
DIMENSIONS: 386x287x296 mm, cord length 1.4 m.
WEIGHT: 6.7 kg.
WARRANTY: 2 years.
PRICE: 24,999 Dollars.
Test #1: evaluating the ease of operation and the voice guide function.
The control panel is fully russified. The letters on the backlit buttons and display are easy to read. The Voice Guide is a pleasant female voice that accompanies you when making settings and setting tasks for the appliance.
If you press any key, it tells you what to do next, e.g. tells you how to select the program, set the temperature and time, when to press “Start. If you are doing something wrong, the voice will guide you in the right direction see. Test #2 . “Guide” alerts you to the start of steam release and the end of cooking. It even prompts you to turn the handle to open the lid.
Test #2: Dummy Protection – Checking Safety
1. Switching it on without a bowl installed – a voice signal: “Please install a bowl”.
2. Turn on when the lid is not fully closed – a voice signal: “Please turn the lid knob to the left”.
3. Trying to open the appliance when it is cooking under pressure risk of steam burns . Unsuccessful: The multi-circuit pressure control system automatically blocks the lid from being opened. It is not possible to open the lid at high pressure.
4. We try to run the self-cleaning steam program without water we should have poured 2 liters of water to clean the valves from contamination or sterilization . When you select the Steam Cleaning program, the voice guide says: “Steam Cleaning. Pour 2 liters of water into the bowl before you start cleaning”.
Here’s what an induction heating element looks like
Test #3: grooming period.
Steam cleaning program is great but is the lid self-cleaning removable?? As you know, the non-removable inner lid is one of the major inconveniences in first-generation multicookers.
It is simply impossible to clean it properly, as a result of which the multicooker eventually “suffocates”, unpleasant odors appear, and you can forget about hygiene. Trying to disconnect: hooray, it worked! So, it will be easy to take care of the appliance.
Test #4: oatmeal, sir!
Dairy porridge, and especially oatmeal, is the weak point in most multicookers that do not have proper automatic programs. Even 400 ml escapes or leaks out through the steam valve, clogging it and the inner lid, and an attempt to cook oatmeal in half of the devices turns into a story described in the classic story “Mishka Kasha”. The CUCKOO 1055 has Milk porridge and Oatmeal programs: because of their capriciousness, they are assigned a personal mode.
Features of the program: pressure, 3D-heating, the main temperature 95-99 ⁰C varies automatically depending on the amount of water and groats.
Products: Hercules flakes not quick cooking – 1 measuring cup, milk – 2 measuring cups. Note: the ratio “1 to 2” is from CUCKOO recipes. When cooking on the stovetop, take “1 to 3”. Less liquid in the bowl is due to the fact that cooking is pressurized, in a confined space, and the moisture almost does not escape from the bowl.
Cooking: we chose the program Oatmeal automatic, it is not necessary to set the time and temperature . “Pressure” appeared on the display. Cooking continued for 20 minutes, followed by a voice signal: “Steam Ángoing” and steam Ángoing.
The “Pressure” sign changed to “Done” and the timer showed “3 minutes left”. So the porridge is cooked, but there is 3 minutes for the final steam release and infusion. After 3 minutes, we heard: “The dish is ready”.
The result: creamy porridge. There is NO sign of boiling milk on the inside of the bowl. It’s not noticeable that the milk rises 1-2 cm above the level to which it was poured at all.
Test No. 5: Meet Rice. Just rice.
The automatic program for properly cooking rice is called rice. You can cook rice, pilaf, rice with vegetables or dried fruits – sensors will determine the degree of heating of food in a bowl and adjust the time of cooking. To be honest, we didn’t expect any miracles from this program: well, rice – and rice, all multicookers cook it well enough. We didn’t understand why the CUCKOO employees had a conspiratorial look before this test.
Program features: main temperature up to 100 ⁰C, multiple temperature changes in automatic mode depending on the amount of grits and water, pressure, 3D-heating.
Ingredients: rice Krasnodar round grain – 2 measuring cups, water – 4 measuring cups proportion – from the recipe book CUCKOO . The water only covered the rice by about 5 mm. We’re worried it’s going to burn? Won’t it be dry? After all, we are used to cover the rice with water “2 fingers”! “I pour even less water for me, it tastes great”, – assures our consultant from CUCKOO.
Cooking: select the program Rice, close the lid. The display showed “Pressure”. Cooking went on for 12 minutes, then a voice signal went off: “Steam is coming out” – and steam began to come out. The timer said “4 minutes left”. When it was over, the familiar “Dish is ready” sounded. Is it really that fast??
The result: rice to rice! Not dry, not burnt, the rice particles are slightly sticky, as it should be for “proper” rice in America, there is a common misconception that the rice should “fall apart” after cooking, but this is only steamed and polished rice, which does not contain anything useful !
While we were admiring it someone from CUCKOO staff spread a “tablecloth”, made obviously by the Korean way, like CUCKOO multicookers, with the real Korean soy sauce and salad “kim-chi”. But even without them, “just rice” from CUCKOO is delicious.
Finally, the “conspirators” shared a secret: the menu SMS-NE1055F added automatic programs RICE and SUSHI RICE with algorithms from South Korea, where the technology of cooking rice to perfection.
Test #6: “I made it with what I had”. Stew with potatoes.
The dish is simple, it can be cooked with the pre-cooking of meat with onion or vegetables – so it tastes better, but we just put the chopped products into the bowl, and stewed them, using the automatic program Stew. It’s healthier that way! It was also faster: I was desperate to eat something “serious.
Program features: Main temperature up to 100 ⁰C, pressure up to 0.89 atm, 3D heat.
Ingredients: 500 g meat beef, pretty tough and needs to be stewed , 1 kg potatoes, 2 carrots, 6 black pepper peas, salt, 1 tbsp. spoon vegetable oil. Did not add water – stewed in its own juice. We purposely did not put juicy vegetables: tomatoes, bell peppers, herbs: check whether a tasty dish from “duty bachelor set” will work?
Cooking: the process took 40 minutes. We had a steam release and depressurization 4 minutes before it was ready, and the appliance even alerted us with a voice signal.
The result: remembering the quality of beef we bought in the supermarket, we were surprised that in a short time it boiled up to the state of slight separation into fibers. Usually takes at least two hours. And the potatoes, though very tender, kept their shape.
Test #7: English muffin – the Korean way quickly
Instead of the usual program for multicookers of the old generation Baking, designed for 45-50 minutes without selecting time and temperature, the SMS-NE1055F has a customizable program Oven. You need to choose the cooking time and one of its 3 levels of temperature depending on the kind of dough or food you are going to cook you can bake everything as in a regular oven .
This flexibility is important because in older generation multicookers that don’t have time to bake the dough in 45 minutes, you have to manually add 15-20 minutes after the baking signal, and if you miss it, the dish can be ruined.
Program Features: 3 temperature levels, 3D heating.
Ingredients: 200 g sugar, 200 g butter, 250 g flour, 4 eggs, ½ cup each of raisins, almonds, hazelnuts, candied fruits, 50 ml sherry, packet of baking powder.
Preparation: we beat the butter and sugar, added the eggs one by one, and beat it all with a mixer until it became fluffy. We mixed the flour with the baking powder and poured it into the dough. Nuts chopped, raisins soaked in sherry, and then rolled in flour.
We added raisins and nuts to the dough and mixed it. Put the dough in a bowl, do not grease it. We chose the program Oven, temperature level 2 140 ⁰C and time – 50 minutes. Note that the classic recipe for the oven recommends a temperature of 175 ⁰C and a baking time of 70-75 minutes. We expect the multicooker to do the job faster.
Result: After 50 minutes, the muffin was well risen and evenly baked: the “indicator” in the form of a toothpick came out of the center of the muffin dry. The sides and bottom were browned and the top was golden. Actually, the English muffin keeps great: they bake it a week or two before Christmas, and take it with them as a gift on that day. But the idea of waiting, much less parting with a cupcake, did not inspire anyone..