It clear from all other reviews that there seems to be general confusion how this cooker operates.
There are 3 (three) cooking modes: Cook-by-Power, Cook-by-Temperature and Cook-by-Program.
"Cook-By-Power" applies constant power (at the desired level from Keep Warm to Max) regardless of the actual temperature of the cooking vessel. This mode should be used for boiling, steaming, simmering, etc., where there is plenty of liquid (water/stock/juice) in the vessel. If you try to use Cook-By-Power for frying, the pan will get too hot and the pan overheat protection will shut the cooker down as a precaution after a few minutes - you must use Cook-By-Temperature for frying)
"Cook-By-Temperature" uses a sensor to determine the temperature of the cooking vessel and cycles the power on and off to maintain the temperature (from Keep Warm to 410ºF) within 6% to 15% of the desired temperature. This mode should be used for pan frying, deep frying, stir-frying, and griddle-type operations, where the the pan will be dry or contain oil.
"Cook-By-Program" uses either Power or Temperature or Both according to a predetermined function profile. For example: the Rice setting boils the water at MED POWER then switches to a simmer on MIN POWER all the while measuring the temperature of the cooking vessel. When all the moisture is absorbed the pan will start to heat up. The induction cooker will sense this and then switch to the Keep Warm TEMPERATURE (just like a dedicated rice cooker). The Boil Water setting starts on MAX POWER and when the temperature reaches 212ºF the cooker shuts off. The water will bubble long before 212ºF is reached.
Each of the 8 buttons on the cooker is assigned one of the above 3 cooking modes:
Cook-by-Power: –Hotpot (when you adjust levels, you are adjusting POWER from 300W to 1300W and the cooker stays on continuously until you shut it off, or the pan overheats) Hotpot is the default mode when the cooker is turned on.
Cook-by-Temperature: –Stir-Fry, –Braise, –Roast (when you adjust levels, you are adjusting TEMPERATURE and the cooker will cycle on and off to maintain the set temperature) Note: the primary difference between these three buttons seems to be the initial tempature which can easily be adjusted up or down for each one.
Cook-by-Program: –Rice, –Boil Water, –Soup (MIN to MED POWER for a set time) , and –Stew (MED to MAX POWER for a set time) . Soup and Stew are kind of like Slow Cooker Low and High settings. You cannot adjust either power or temperature for the Cook-By-Program buttons -- they just do their thang.
Timer Operation: Cooking Time can be set for Hot Pot, Stir-Fry, Roast and Braise buttons. When using the Cook-By-Program buttons (Rice, Boil Water, etc.) the timer functions as a delayed start timer instead.
Hope this helps!
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