If quarantine taught us anything, it was that the value of being able to cook at home. As it turns out, living off cereal and anything from the freezer section of Trader Joe’s is not exactly sustainable. Meet the CHEF iQ smart cooker: a pressure cooker that not only provides a wide range of cooking options within a single machine, but also a library of recipes with visual directions.
This baby promises a 70 percent faster method of pressure cooking, searing, sautéing, steaming and even slow-cooking. It seems that CHEF iQ understands that when you’re hungry, you want to eat now—not in two hours. To that end, the more than 100 preset cooking functions can help you get dinner (or breakfast or lunch) on the table in as little time as possible.
The key to this smart pressure cooker is an integrated cooking scale, which means that you'll no longer have to measure out ingredients. For example, if you’re looking to cook non-presoaked beans and aren’t entirely sure how best to measure the liquid-to-dry ingredient ratio, all you need to do is zero the scale with the removable inner pot in place, add your dry beans and tell your Smart Cooker what you’re trying to make. A plan will then appear on the built-in 2.83-inch LCD display with instructions for how much liquid to add, the cook time you should set it for and an automatic pressure valve release. In effect, this cooker does all the hard work for you. If, for some reason, you don’t trust the built-in smarts of the device (which I sometimes don’t), you can use the knob beneath the display to make some manual adjustments— this can be useful if you’re trying to make your pasta or grains more al dente than usual.
Because the device is Wi-Fi-connected, it pairs directly with the CHEF iQ app, which sends cooking data straight from your smartphone to the cooker for a seamless experience. That said, the app doesn’t have the most robust library of recipes, but you can always input your own preferred cooking literature. I personally am most impressed by CHEF iQ’s ability to release its pressure based on the recipe you’ve selected at the necessary pace and time, which has led to some of the most tender pot roast I’ve ever had.