A vast range of step-by-step recipe ideas built into this 6-liter Tefal pressure cooker makes it a great go-to for family meals and batch cooking, though better alternatives exist.
Inspirational recipes included
Useful built-in step-by-step guides
No slow cook function
Steam releases during cooking
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If you’re stuck for meal inspiration, the Tefal Cook4Me+ CY851840 One-Pot Digital Pressure Cooker provides a fun and convenient solution. It comes with a host of recipe ideas to give you inspiration on what to cook for a mid-week speedy supper or lazy weekend meal, and recipes are accessible on both the built-in digital display and accompanying Cook4Me app – simply pop ingredients in and follow the step-by-step guides.
Just like some of the best Instant Pots, its fast pressure-cooking functionality, you can conjure up impressive main courses and restaurant-worthy starters in half the time it would take you to traditionally cook – you’ll find 50 on-board recipe ideas that can be cooked in less than 15 minutes, in fact.
Tefal Cook4Me+ CY851840 One-Pot Digital Pressure Cooker price and availability
Described by Tefal as ‘the Daddy of electric pressure cookers’, the Tefal Cook4Me+ CY851840 One-Pot Digital Pressure is currently on sale down from £269.99 ($351 / AU$487) to £199.99 ($260 / AU$360) over on the Tefal website. You can currently find it priced at £169 ($220 / AU$304) on Amazon.
For a Tefal model with specific slow cook setting however, consider the Tefal All-in-One CY505E40 electric pressure cooker, which costs £99.99 ($130 / AU$180).
At 38cm high, the black and chrome body of the Cook4Me+ is relatively compact compared to other competing multi-cooker designs and at 1450W it is also rather powerful. It comes with a stainless-steel steaming basket, which is very useful for cooking fruit and vegetables.
On board it has a digital menu with settings for programmed recipes that you can follow step by step in real time. There are also manual settings for classic cooking (for tasks such as melting butter, simmering and browning) as well as pressure-cooking, steaming, reheating and keeping warm. The latter feature comes in handy when you’re dealing with two supper ‘sittings’ – giving the kids a meal at 5pm, and then eating with your partner once they are (fingers crossed) in bed at 7.30pm, for example.
Should you wish to prep in advance, there is also a delayed start button – up to 15 hours in fact for those who are super keen. It isn’t recommended that you use this for fresh foods such as meat, milk, and eggs however, but it can be useful when cooking pasta and rice or steaming vegetables.
The Cook4Me+’s colorful LCD screen can be easily navigated using the single dial, and you can scroll through the 100 built-in recipes, for dishes such as Green Thai Chicken Curry and Sweet Chill Salmon. For more recipes you can download the Cook4Me app and search for a recipe with a particular ingredient through the 200-plus ideas. In the ‘In my fridge’ section, you can add the ingredients that are in your fridge and the app will suggest a suitable recipe – just for fun we typed in ‘red wine’ and it came up with nine recipe ideas including ‘Bolognese Chef Style’ and ‘Pears in Red Wine’ – you can then automatically add the ingredients to a handy shopping list on the app, for reference when you’re in the supermarket.
To find out how useful the Tefal Cook4Me+ is in terms of functionality, ergonomics and efficiency, we used it to make a delicious Lamb Rogan Josh Curry with rice. We searched the app for this lamb recipe, which features canned tomatoes, onions, rogan josh paste, and a diced leg of lamb diced.
The rice took an impressive nine minutes after we popped it into the bowl and followed the simple instructions to cover with water (although it didn’t say how much) and press start. The result was light and fluffy rice. Job done.
One thing to remember is that the pressure valve will release steam at random intervals, so you need to make sure there are no restrictions such as a kitchen cabinet above the pot so there is plenty of room for the steam to escape.
We found that, as expected in a pressure cooker, quite a bit of water runs off the lid when you open it after the cooking cycle. On this design however, the dew runs neatly around the rim of the bowl so it doesn’t leak onto the worktop. At the end of the cycle the Cook4Me+ told us to empty the dew collector. The two cool-touch handles are also well thought out as they make it easy to remove the pan from the cooker to serve.
To make the Lamb Rogan Josh Curry the digital display walked us through the initial browning of the onions and meat – conveniently inside the pan – and then we closed the lid and left the pressure cooker work its magic. In just 35 minutes we could enjoy a curry dish with surprisingly tender meat.
Buy it if…
You have a large family to cook for
Its 6-liter capacity and intuitive design provides an easy way to make family meals for up to six people in one go. Choose from starters such as soup, hummus and dips, to main dishes such as paella, curry, and risotto, and desserts.
You are keen to cook healthy meals
Provided you don’t use it to make jam sponge puddings every day of the week, the Tefal Cook4Me+ CY851840 One-Pot Digital Pressure Cooker can be a healthy option as pressure cooking is designed to naturally retain more minerals and nutrients compared to traditional cooking.
Don’t buy it if…
You enjoy slow-cooked food
While pressure cooking has its pros, saving you time and effort, if you prefer the taste of slow-cooked food, you may want to opt for a one-pot solution that offers the option to slow cook as well as pressure cook.
You are limited on space
In a small kitchen where worktop space is tight, stand-alone electric appliances can take up a lot of room. Many of the dishes in the Tefal Cook4Me+ CY851840 can be cooked on the hob and in the oven, so unless you are in desperate need of a quick-fix solution for your meals or if you have a deep cupboard in which to house it when not in use, you probably don’t need to invest in this piece of kit, however clever it may be.
Emily is a lifestyle journalist who writes for a range of publications including TechRadar, Livingetc, Wired, Ideal Home and GQ. She writes about interior design and smart home, gardens, wellbeing, food and fitness and has tested everything from food processors to paddleboards, and bee hives to the best beds. When she’s not typing away at her computer, she can be found tending to her Dorset-garden, trying the latest water sport at the beach or acting as chauffeur to her two young kids.