Best forSmaller families looking for a multi-cooker that doesn’t have a pressure-cooking function
Top Benefits11 cooking functions (including manual), easy to operate, narrower width compared to other multicookers, dishwasher-safe insert and accessories
ConsiderationsDoes not include pressure-cooking function, rice cooking function could be better
Bottom lineThe Philips Avance Collection Multicooker features 11 cooking functions, making it easy to prep a wide variety of meals without a whole lot of fuss. Plus, the dishwasher-safe insert and accessories make clean-up a breeze.
Possibly the handiest appliance to grace our kitchen counters since the microwave, a multicooker gives you a bunch of cooking options in one unit. The Philips Avance Collection Multicooker HD3095/87 has 11 impressive cooking modes including slow-cook, stew, steam, sauté, bake, boil, and yogurt. The one thing it can't do? Pressure cook. Nonetheless, its 16-cup (4 L) capacity provides enough room for a dinner, while the non-stick ceramic inner pot makes cleaning a breeze. You can pre-program your start time up to 24 hours in advance, and when you’re running late, the Keep Warm function will kick in for you. Also, if you opt to use the manual cooking function, you can adjust the cooking temperature and time. When you any of the other preset cooking function, the multi-cooker controls the time and temp.
Convenience can't come at the price of great-tasting food, so to level the playing field, our editors made the same five dishes—chili, beef stew, chicken cacciatore, steamed carrots, and rice—in each of the multi-cookers we tested. The results in the Philips Avance were impressive. Meats were tender, beans were soft but not mushy, and the texture of most veggies—including the steamed carrots—was good. Parents who tested the Philips Avance Collection Multicooker at home were similarly pleased with both the texture and overall flavour of the meals they made, and they were especially impressed with how well it browned meat and sautéed. For one family, the cake function took the proverbial cake.
One area where this multicooker stumbled was cooking rice. When we cooked this staple according to the multicooker's instructions, it was mushy and clumped together, so we re-tested the rice function twice more, adjusting the water to rice rations and the cooking time. Each time, we achieved similar results. Parent's didn't fare much better: the rice setting was the least liked of all, and one parent noted that the rice was overcooked.
Multicookers are designed to make it easier to get a meal on the table, so they shouldn't be overly complicated to operate. Our editors found the control panel on the Philips Avance Collection Multicooker quite intuitive, with cook settings very easy to find and choose with a single menu button that lets you cycle through the options. This does mean you have to press through each setting to land on the one you want, but the majority of parent testers said this was easy to do. However, if you accidentally cycle past the function you’re looking for, you’ll have to cycle through the options again (in other words, you can cycle backward if you go too far)—not a deal breaker, but possibly a source of frustration for a tired parent who's running behind schedule.
While this multicooker doesn't offer pressure-cooking (meaning you don't need to worry about a hot rush of steam), opening the lid of any multicooker that's been cooking for hours is going to release some steam. But the engineers at Philips have you covered: they placed a push-open bar below the clamshell-style lid, keeping hands and forearms out of the way as the lid lifts gently. For those who like to take their multicooker to pot lucks, you'll want a lid that locks securely, and this one does, plus you'll appreciate the carrying handle. And thanks to the push-open bar, no one's going to be struggling to figure out how to get the lid open when it's time to eat.
Our editors take low-maintenance cleanup seriously, and the Philips Avance scored well in our lab with its non-stick inner pot and accessories that are all dishwasher safe. The majority of parent testers also said this model was easy to clean, both inside and out. A quick swipe with a damp cloth easily removes spills and splatters from the exterior of this multicooker.
With counter space at a premium in most kitchens, an appliance that can do a lot is a real bonus—but you still want it to have as small of a footprint as possible. The Philips Avance Collection Multicooker is oval-shaped, taking up more counter depth than width (it's 10.5 inches wide by 16 inches deep), and it's shorter compared to the other multicookers we tested, making it more compact overall. The majority of parent testers said it fit well on their counters and could be easily stored away, too.
As with any small appliance, we highly recommend reading the manual before you start using it. Editors and most parent testers found the instructions easy to understand and they were able to find specific information they were looking for. The fold-out user manual is rather large when opened up, but once you’ve set up the multicooker, the recipe book includes a quick start guide for an overview of each cooking program, so you won’t need to continually reference the user manual.
Parents really liked the how quickly meals came together with the help of the Philips Avance Collection Multicooker, while our editors gave top marks to its user-friendly control panel, easy-to-clean cooking insert and ability to turnout consistently tender meat. All our parent testers gave this multicooker very good or good ratings for ease of use and quality, and while the majority said it offered average value, they unanimously agreed it could replace other kitchen appliances and would recommend it to other families.
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