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---Why I Buy This---
I am not a very adventurous cook but I wanted a basic type of steamer which would cook vegetables easily. I began with a steamer instead of a pressure cooker as I would put potatoes on to cook while I went and collected son from school - and the steamer ensured we had hot food waiting for us when we got back home - and it was safe as it would switch itself off when cooking was completed.
Tefal is a French cookware and small appliance manufacturer owned by Groupe SEB. Its name is a portmanteau of the words TEFlon and ALuminium. Tefal is known for creating the non-stick cookware. (Wikipedia.)
Over the years I have had a few of these machines - all of which varied slightly - although none of mine had stackable baskets. The Tefal Steam Cuisine food steamer is 3 tiered and has three baskets. (I have had a few baskets with fixed bases but most come with removable green plastic bases which also have indentations to take eggs.) There is a white rice bowl. Green plastic lid. White base with turn knob, power light and timer plus window to view water level. A round funnel to fit in the base and funnel steam upwards. A white drip tray to collect the water than falls back from the food. Some have a plastic divider to separate food in the baskets. Some have a little clip on handle. Dimensions for use (hxwxd) -38x32x25cms.
Using a steamer could not be easier. * You put boiling water into the base unit up to the fill line. * Insert the round funnel type piece of plastic which directs the steam up the centre of the steamer. * Insert the drip tray on top. * Place food in the baskets - not too full - and place on top of drip tray. * Place on lid. * Plug in and switch on. * Turn timer to required time. * Check that there is sufficient water in the steamer during cooking - if the level gets too low add more via the hole by the handles.
I have had a few of these Tefal 1000 Turbo Steamers over the years. I did once find them unobtainable and bought one from Argos - a big mistake - it ruined our Christmas dinner by failing to cook the potatoes - so it ended up in the bin - as son said - it was not even worth giving to a charity shop. So left with no steamer - well I had the base but the baskets were broken - I found I could pick up spares from Ebay - and this is what I have been doing for the last few years. The bases always function perfectly - and the whole unit cooks food really well - but as others have mentioned the removable bases have a really bad problem - the clips on the bases snap off and you end up with baskets but no bases - so they are effectively useless. We have even had one snap in half through wear. I only use my steamer for vegetables and it will cook potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and swede in about 30-35 minutes. i always spread the vegetables throughout a few baskets and that way they cook better. The removable bases are supposed to ensure you can cook a chicken - which I have never wanted to do anyway. I have also never cooked eggs or rice in it so cannot comment. I do know though that the Tefal steamers do cook food reliably - so I stick to the brand and make I know and put up with the troublesome basket bases. I have a bit of a stockpile of parts now so they should last me a few years. I do not fancy buying another steamer that fails us (like the Argos one) and do not have a lot of money to buy a top of the range model - so for now I will stick with my Tefal Steam Quisine 1000. I'm just sorry that I now have to track them down on Ebay.
---Would I Recommend?---
Yes definitely - for the steamer capabilities - I have removed one star for the very poor design of the basket bases.
This model now only seems available on the second hand market (Ebay etc) but Tefal still do a good range of more modern steamers which are probably equally as good and reliable - but more pricey.
Summary: Good simple steamer that works really well.