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Chefman 9-in-1 Programmable Review

A good all-around device, but it is outperformed by other products that cost the same or less
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Price:   $100 List | $74 at Amazon
Pros:  Good cooking performance, easy to clean
Cons:  Meat slightly less tender
Manufacturer:   Chefman
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Oct 17, 2018
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 7
  • User Friendliness - 35% 8
  • Cooking Performance - 30% 7
  • Ease of Cleaning - 25% 7
  • Cooking Features - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The Chefman 9-in-1 Programmable provides pretty much everything you'd want from a pressure cooker: it is adept at preparing a variety of meals, is relatively simple to use, is quite easy to clean, and sells for a reasonable $100. However, we think the Instant Pot DUO60 is a better choice for most people. It cooks everything just as well as the Chefman and actually is a little better at cooking meat, has an interface that we find to be slightly more intuitive, and also sells for $100. That's not to say the Chefman is a bad product, we love it, we just think your money stretches a little bit farther with the Instant Pot DUO60.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Editors' Choice Award  
Price $100 List
$74.00 at Amazon
$250 List
$244.00 at Amazon
$130 List
$129.95 at Amazon
$100 List
$89.95 at Amazon
$80 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Good cooking performance, easy to cleanUser friendly, automatic steam release, great meatUser friendly, easy to clean, large LCD screenUser friendly, easy to clean, reasonably pricedRelatively inexpensive, good cooking performance, easyt o use and clean
Cons Meat slightly less tenderVery expensiveMore expensive than its equally capable siblingMarginally less tender meat than the BrevilleMeat lacks a bit of tenderness
Bottom Line A good all-around device, but it is outperformed by other products that cost the same or lessThe best product around, but costs quite a bitA great machine, but most will probably be better off with the lower-priced versionA great balance of performance, functionality, convenience, and priceOne of the best models we tested, but can't keep meat quite as tender as other products
Rating Categories 9-in-1 Programmable Fast Slow Pro DUO Plus 9-in-1 Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 8-in-1
User Friendliness (35%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
Cooking Performance (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Ease Of Cleaning (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
Cooking Features (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
Specs 9-in-1 Programmable Fast Slow Pro DUO Plus 9-in-1 Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 8-in-1
Pot Material Nonstick Nonstick Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Nonstick
Saute Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Capacity 6 quart 6 quart 6 quart 6 quart 6 quart

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Chefman 9-in-1 Programmable is a good overall pressure cooker, but it wasn't quite good enough in our testing to unseat the Instant Pot as our top recommendation. If you find the Chefman on sale it is certainly a worthwhile purchase, but if you're paying full price we would suggest getting the Instant Pot instead.


Performance Comparison


The Chefman was quite impressive in our testing, ending up amongst the top scorers on our overall scoreboard.

User Friendliness


The Chefman just missed out on a top score in our user friendliness testing, earning an 8 out of 10.


For the most part, we found the Chefman about as intuitive and easy to use as the Instant Pot and Breville models we tested. It notably has a lid storage solution similar to that of the Instant Pot where you can store the lid on either side of the pot, allowing for hands-free, unencumbered serving and stirring whether you're right or left handed. This may seem like a small detail, but not having to hold a lid that is dripping in condensation in one hand while you ladle food with the other is quite nice. The Chefman also has a fairly intuitive control panel with a different button for each cooking mode, and plus/minus buttons for adjusting temperature and time.

The Chefman's interface is fairly easy to use  but the cryptic messages that pop up while selecting settings can be confusing.
The Chefman's interface is fairly easy to use, but the cryptic messages that pop up while selecting settings can be confusing.

So if the Chefman shares so much in common with the top scorers in this metric, why didn't it earn a top score? This is mostly because it tends to display odd codes on the digital display as settings are being entered. For example, when selecting the pressure cooking setting the screen reads "PC93", and when selecting delayed start it displays "dr05". While these seemingly cryptic messages don't really get in the way of selecting the settings you want, it may lead you to pause in confusion for a second the first few times around (we were certainly scratching our heads). So while this is a minor complaint, it was enough to bump the Chefman out of the top slot.

Cooking Performance


If you're a vegetarian, you'll probably love the Chefman's cooking abilities. If you're a meat eater, you'll probably still really enjoy food made in the Chefman, but there are other models that can cook meat a bit better.


Pressure cooking requires creating a controlled cooking environment, which pretty much every pressure cooker is able to do. Thus they all produce a very similar quality of food, with meat being one of the very few things that differentiate models. We found that the Chefman can cook very moist, tender meat, but that both the Instant Pot and the Breville Fast Slow Pro do just a slightly better job. This is most apparent in things like ribs, where the Instant Pot and Breville produce meat that readily falls off the bone, while the Chefman's ribs are a little less succulent. We still enjoyed all the meat we made with the Chefman, it just wasn't the best we tasted.

Ease of Cleaning


The Chefman was one of the top scorers in our ease of cleaning tests, with all of its annoyances being ones that are shared amongst all pressure cookers.


We found it quite easy to remove the gasket from the Chefman's lid, and to clean both it and the lid. It is also easy to dry the entirety of the lid with a rag if you want to put the cooker away in a cupboard right after you're finished cleaning it. Many of the other models we tested, like the Tayama and the Cuisinart, have nooks in the lid that are hard to get dry, and thus require sitting in a drying rack for a few hours before being put away. The nonstick pot also sheds food quite effectively, making hand cleaning the pot quick and painless. We do have a slight preference for stainless pots simply because they can be thrown in a dishwasher without worry, but if you don't mind doing the dishes by hand then nonstick is a great option.

The Chefman's lid is easy to clean and can be stored on either of the handles.
The Chefman's lid is easy to clean and can be stored on either of the handles.

Cooking Features


The Chefman has a lot, but not the most cooking presets. It does have a saute function, which we think is the most important cooking function you can look for in a pressure cooker (besides the titular pressure cooking).


A Full List of The Chefman 9-in-1 Programmable's Cooking Functions


High Pressure, Low Pressure, Rice, Chili/Beans, Soup/Stew, Beef/Poultry, Slow Cook, Steam, Saute

Value


The Chefman is a convenient and well-performing pressure cooker, and the $100 list price feels fair all things considered. However, the Instant Pot DUO60 also sells for $100, and performs slightly better overall. So while the Chefman certainly isn't a poor value, it isn't the best way to spend your money either.

Conclusion


The Chefman 9-in-1 Programmable is a good pressure cooker, but it still can't quite match neither the performance or value of the Instant Pot DUO60.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata