Can This Top Selling Multi-Cooker Replace Your Kitchen?
No kidding - with a wide variety of cooking modes and quick, efficient heating, the top-selling Philips HD2139 All-in-One cooker might just replace your kitchen stove when it comes to everyday cooking.
What we love:
- Heats up quickly, but not overly hot that it risks burning.
- Dry pressure cooking retains moisture well, delivering crisp ends with tender insides.
- Wet pressure cooking creates concentrated, well seasoned dishes on the quick.
- Wide variety of cooking modes make it a hardworking kitchen staple.
- Thoughtful safety features, such as the twist-lock detachable handle and built-in safety mechanisms.
What we didn't:
- Bake function is more wet than dry and toasty like conventional ovens. Cakes can come off slightly too moist.
- Food smells may linger on non-stick inner pot.
- Might require some trial and error when it comes to figuring out the best pressure time for closed-lid pressure cooking.
Busy housewives and professionals, avid cooks who enjoy cooking a wide spectrum of dishes.
Making home-cooked food fast and effortless.
Sad, but true - home cooked meals are a rarity these days. Thanks to our busy lifestyles and lack of cooking knowledge (Maggi noodles, anyone?), family dinners have slowly been replaced by quick takeaway options. But things are about to change! Promising speedy, effective cooking, multi-cookers are increasingly popular today for executing a wide variety of cooking techniques (think steaming, sautéing or risotto-making) with just a button.
And consistently hitting the top-selling lists on Qoo10 and Lazada is Philips’ HD2139 All-in-One pressure cooker. With good reason - having cooked several different types of dishes on the unit, we love that the HD2139 manages to pull off a comprehensive range of cooking techniques easily and quickly - without compromising on flavour and texture.
Opening the Box
First things first - with it being an electric pressure cooker, the 6-litre HD2139 is no tiny lightweight. So, once again - if you’re doing a cash-and-carry, consider yourselves warned!
The contents in the box includes the following:
- 6L multi-cooker unit with detachable non-stick bowl
- Rice paddle and ladle
- Measuring cup
- Instruction manual
Unlike other models with precise knobs or toggles, the HD2139 features simple presets instead that make it easy to pick up for general users. Likewise, easy cleaning is taken into consideration, with a stainless steel shell/heating unit, detachable top lid and removable non-stick bowl inside. However, the latter does have a tendency to retain food smells - an issue that we stumbled across after cooking so many dishes.
Because pressurized steam isn’t something to scoff at, we loved that it came with a range of safety mechanisms. For instance, the lid comes with a twist-lock mechanism that secures the appliance during cooking, and there’s an auto pressure release function that activates when it detects abnormally high pressure.
Using the Philips HD2139
Putting ourselves up to the challenge, we decided to use the All-in-One pressure cooker to prepare our meals over the weekend. Here's the menu:
- Mushroom miso risotto
- Boston clam chowder
- Plain white rice
- Steamed whole chicken
- Seared salmon steak with salsa dressing
- Chocolate cake
Do note that as pressure cooking time is usually shorter (and different) from conventional cooking, we worked with recipes made for pressure cooking on the HD2139 to keep things as accurately executed as possible.
As mentioned, the multi-cooker comes with presets for cooking specific ‘types’ of food. This can be confusing at first, as some ingredients are not within the menu, like pork. For those, the cooker’s general ‘Bake’ preset can be used. The same goes for cooking methods that are unavailable on the menu, like sautéing or searing.
All in all - there are three main ways to go about using the pressure cooker:
1. Wet pressure cooking (Soups, steaming, risotto, stews): Preset mode/Bake, requires lid to be closed, releases steam.
2. Dry Pressure Cooking (Searing, baking): Preset mode/Bake, requires lid to be closed, does not release steam (as there’s no water)
3. Sautéing: Set to Bake, cook with lid off.
Upon pressing the desired cooking mode, users can toggle the pressure time accordingly. These steps are relatively consistent - and we quickly got the hang of things after testing out one or two dishes. However, there was one area which was slightly troublesome; we weren't able to set a pressure time lesser than 15 minutes, which means if you’re looking to do some quick heating, the HD2139's pressure cycle has to be stopped prematurely.
Overall, the Philips HD2139 exceeded all expectations, producing flavourful, tender dishes at relatively quick time.
It does superbly well when we used it to sauté mushrooms and bacon for the risotto and clam chowder respectively. The pot heats up quickly, but not too hot that it burns the ingredients or causes oil to pop and splatter. Instead, we got evenly browned bits.
However, wet pressure cooking is where the HD2139 really shines. What would have taken an hour of simmering for the risotto was reduced to a mere 5 to 10 minutes of pressure time. Yet, the end result was a dense, aromatic dish that retained much of the mushroom’s full flavours.
Similarly, the multi-cooker was able to produce a thick and creamy clam chowder with perfectly softened potato bits within 15 minutes.
It also steamed our white rice and whole chicken well - but not as fast as we’d expected. Both took about the same time as using a conventional rice cooker or a steamer. But we did notice that with the pressure cooker, the steamed chicken released more fat and oil - a healthier option, perhaps?
There isn’t much to complain about the Philips HD2139, but it does take longer than usual to sear. Though our salmon steak (which was deliciously tender and juicy) required about 8 minutes pressure time on paper, it actually took twice as long for it to be fully cooked through.
Likewise, the cake baking function took longer than expected. Instead of the recommended 30 minutes pressure time, we decided to bake it for another 15 minutes as it seemed a little too ‘moist’. Even then, the cake remained dense and sticky on the inside - not the spongy, toasty cake we’d imagined.
So, is it worth the buy?
Definitely. This hardworking appliance eradicates most of the barriers people have about cooking at home; the hassle of using multiple kitchen tools, physical effort and clean-up. It’s wide range of cooking modes covers most aspects of home cooking and does it well - delivering delicious, flavour-rich dishes without the fuss. And with its price, it’s a worthwhile bargain that will see itself being frequently relied on.
Only major downside? We wish it came with more pots to cook more dishes in.
Hey there - just so you know, all products listed in this article are independently curated by us. By clicking and purchasing from our Qoo10 links, you will help to support our research and work by allowing us to earn a share of sales - here's a big thank you in advance! Do note that prices listed are accurate as of 2 May 2018.