Testing the 3 Squares Tim3 Machin3 multicooker: Back in the kitchen to test the Tim3 Machin3

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EDITOR’S NOTE, 11/7/2016, 11:15 am: 3 Squares has issued a recall for Tim3 Machin3 models with non-detachable power cables due to a potential electrical hazard. For more information, Click here.

Granted, I felt some skepticism when I first heard about the Tim3 Machin3 multicooker from 3 Squares. While built like an everyday rice cooker, the Tim3 Machin3 promises to do a lot more, with additional presets for quinoa, oatmeal, and yogurt, plus three dedicated slow cook settings. . It also claims that it will automatically detect how long your food needs to cook – just press start, and the Tim3 Machin3 will do much of the rest.

Skepticism aside, the Tim3 Machin3 performed pretty well when I tested the thing. While some recipes performed better than others, none of the presets managed to produce decent food – better than I expected. The problem, of course, is that the Tim3 Machin3 costs $ 70. (That’s a few pounds under £ 50, or around AU $ 90, converted roughly. While not currently available in the UK or Australia, 3 Squares tells me they are considering possible international expansion. in the near future.)

Seventy bucks isn’t that bad for a counter talent, and if that’s what you’re in the market for, then I think the Tim3 Machin3 is worth considering. Still, shop around and you’ll find dozens of well-rated rice cookers that cost a lot less, including those with sensors and slow cook settings. Unless you regularly cook rice or are particularly excited about these dedicated quinoa and yogurt presets, the Tim3 Machin3 might not bring enough to the table to justify the splurge.

Design and functionality

3 Squares didn’t reinvent the wheel here – the Tim3 Machin3 looks a lot like the rice makers it competes with. There’s a small degree of flair to the thing, mostly thanks to the futuristic font on the buttons, but the font alone doesn’t make a time machine. Considering the name of the high concept and the fact that its price is an upgrade, I wish the construction of Tim3 Machin3 was at least a little more unique.

Look at the screen of the Tim3 Machin3 and you will quickly get an idea of ​​its versatility. In addition to the dedicated presets for white and brown rice, you’ll find a “Quick Rice” preset that promises to cut cooking time by several minutes. Beyond rice, there are presets for oatmeal, quinoa, yogurt, and steaming, as well as three separate slow cook settings and a timer mode that will let you fill the pan with. your ingredients in the morning, then come home to a freshly prepared dinner in the evening.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

The Tim3 Machin3 comes with a silicone rice paddle and a plastic steamer tray insert that sits on the pan to cook foods like meat and vegetables. You can use the steamer tray on top of the liquid or on top of a batch of rice.

You also get a small measuring cup and 3 Squares recommends using it following the recipes in the manual. A “cup” actually measures just over half a cup, so when the manual tells you that the Tim3 Machin3 can hold up to 10 “cups” of uncooked rice, that really means 5 or 6. It’s is still pretty good, in terms of capacity, but it can get a little confusing.

The “Fuzzy Logic” sensor in the center of the heating element is the same one you’ll find in high-end rice machines that sell for well over $ 100.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Inside the Tim3 Machin3 you will find a 1.21 gigawatt 900 watt heating element with a pressure sensitive “Fuzzy Logic” sensor in the middle. This sensor monitors the weight of everything in the pot, as well as the temperature. That, combined with the ingredient-specific presets of the Tim3 Machin3, is how the cooker knows how long to run each cook cycle.

You’ll also find the Fuzzy Logic sensor in high-end rice machines which sell for almost twice as much as the Tim3 Machin3. particularly interested in what 3 Squares offers here.

The Tim3 Machin3 will turn on its lights during the cooking time. Once it detects that the rice is almost ready, it will start counting down from 10 minutes.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Performance and user-friendliness

Using the Tim3 Machin3 is a snap. With rice, you just need to add your ingredients, press start, and wait twenty or thirty minutes. This is much more convenient than getting things ready on the stovetop, where you’ll need to keep an eye on the pan and be careful not to overcook your batch. The same goes for the oatmeal and quinoa settings.

Once the cooking cycle is complete, the Tim3 Machin3 will automatically switch to “Keep Warm” mode and start counting the minutes so you know how much time has passed since your food has finished cooking. 3 Squares claims you can keep rice warm in the pot for up to twelve hours after cooking – we tested it for 90 minutes, and while the batch definitely dried out a bit, it was still perfectly edible.

Using the “Quick Rice” setting, we made a batch in just over 20 minutes.

Ry Crist / CNET

Overall, I was left impressed with the rice making performance of the Tim3 Machin3. Throughout my testing it never produced a bad batch of product and also kept its promise of not scorching the bottom or creating that unappetizing yellow film around the edges that you will see with some rice machines.

I was also happy with the “Quick Rice” preset, which turns up the heat to cook the rice a bit faster. In my tests, a standard batch of rice would take about thirty minutes to cook from when I pressed start until the cycle was over. The Quick Rice feature reduced that to twenty-two minutes, without noticeable compromise on flavor or texture. You can also use the Quick Rice feature to speed up the brown rice, although you will need to add a little extra water.

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