The JML GoChef 8-in-1 Non-stick Multi Functional Cooker is a large counter-top cooker that promises a wide range of functions. Everything from steamed veg to deep-fried chips, from stew to roast potatoes.
But at the end of the day, it's little more than a heated saucepan. We're not convinced that you need this bulky cooker unless you live in a bedsit with no kitchen.
The JML is huge – it takes up a large (33x37cm) square of worktop space. And it's bright red, so it's not exactly subtle.
It promises to cook pretty much anything and everything, with eight different cooking modes: roast, bake, sauté, boil, fry, fondue, slow cook and steam. But the reality is that it's quite a simple appliance.
It's basically a large metal pan with an electric element in the base, a lid on top to keep in the heat, and simple controls that let you set the temperature and cooking time. So it's essentially a saucepan with built-in heater.
To offer the range of cooking modes then, it comes with two wire racks and a fryer basket. For example, if you want to cook jacket potatoes you put them on the low rack, put a little water in the bottom of the pan, turn the JML to 220°C and put the lid on, basically using it like an oven.
Related: Best Slow Cookers You Can Buy
If you want to cook scrambled eggs, you use it as you would a saucepan, on the 160°C setting. If you want to steam fish or veg, put them on the high rack, put water in the bottom and turn it on to 140°C.
You can set the temperature for anything from 80 to 240°C. The only other feature it offers that a saucepan on a hob doesn't do just as well is the countdown timer: you can choose the cooking time safe in the knowledge that it will turn off automatically when it's done. A safer option if you want to pop out and leave the cooker running.
It uses 1500W power, around half that of an electric oven. So if you're cooking, say, a couple of jacket potatoes it's a more energy efficient option. But a microwave would be more efficient still.
We looked through the JML's booklet of 30 recipes and decided to test it by making triple-cooked chips as this uses the boil and fry functions.
First you add water up to the fill line, put the lid on, turn it on to 220°C and wait… It took an incredible 11 minutes to come to the boil.
After 5 minutes simmering at 120°C you then drain the chips, clean the pan and fill with nearly 3 litres of oil, then turn the heat back on. The chips are fried at 140°C, cooled in the fridge for half an hour, then fried at 180°C.
This was never going to be a quick recipe. Triple-cooked chips are slow, as fast food goes. But we found it shocking how long the JML took to heat up each time. And the cooking times were slower than expected, with the final fry taking 19 minutes for golden chips.
What's more, the thermostat seemed poorly set up. The idea is that the green light goes on when it's heating up and turns off when it's up to temperature. With most appliances, you'd expect this light to go on and off every couple of minutes. The JML's light went on and off every 15 seconds, leaving you feeling disconcerted: was the pan up to temperature or not?
The clockwork timer, while handy for longer cooking times, wasn't much help for the chips. You can time up to 120 minutes with it, but anything less than 10 minutes is hard to judge accurately. It's easier to use a separate kitchen timer.
When the ticking timer hits zero it makes a 'ding' and the cooker switches off. The JML can also be switched on without using the timer – ideal for slow-cooked dishes such as pulled pork belly and lamb shanks, both from the recipe book.
After cooking the appliance took a long time to cool down and then all the oil needed decanting. Which means it's not very practical for use as a deep-fat fryer and highlights one of the product's pitfalls: it's versatile but you can only cook one dish at a time. Stew or rice, chicken or chips.
The non-stick pan was easy to clean, although the rubber seal around the glass lid came off too easily. All the accessories fit inside the pan when not in use.
No. Admittedly it does much more than your average slow cooker, but it's little more than a heated saucepan. We're not convinced that you need this bulky cooker unless you live in a bedsit with no kitchen. It is versatile… but so is a saucepan. It's slow. And you can only cook one dish at a time.
If you’re looking for a versatile cooker, consider the Tefal RK302E15 8 in 1 Multi Cooker or Sage Risotto Plus. Or if money's no object and you lack confidence as a cook then consider the pricey but quick Tefal Cook4Me.
A huge multi cooker that is versatile... but it's slow and is basically a glorified saucepan.