Most people know the Xiaomi brand as a smartphone brand. However, not everyone knows that Xiaomi produces a really huge line of smart home devices and appliances. This line of product has everything from home appliances to smart bulbs to kitchen appliances. Included in the latter category are a couple of elegant looking induction cookers that wouldn’t look out of place in a modern kitchen counter top. These are the Xiaomi Mijia (or Mi Home) Smart Induction Cooker and its lower end version, the Youth Induction Cooker.
I consider myself quite an active home cook. I cook on an almost daily basis and I cook a variety of styles ranging from Italian to Indian to Japanese to Chinese. I cook on both a gas stove as well as on induction cookers. I like the latter because it is convenient, easy to clean up and efficient. Over the years, I have used over half a dozen different kitchen top induction cookers from several top brands. I have always been quite a big fan of the Xiaomi brand and when my then existing induction cooker broke down, I did not hesitate to replace it with the higher end smart version of the Mijia Induction Cooker. A few months later, I purchased the lower end Youth version as well as I needed to working stoves at the same time. Thus I am able to make an in-depth comparison between the two but lets start with the smart cooker first.
Xiaomi Smart Mijia Induction Cooker (Smart version)
Design wise, I must say that the Mijia smart cooker does look a lot more stylish than my previous induction cookers. For starters, it was round instead of a boring rectangle. And instead of a number of usually confusing and usually useless buttons and dials, this cooker only had a single big dial knob on the front plus a touch sensitive button on both sides of the dial. The dial acts as a power toggle (just push in and hold to turn on or off) and to set the power level by turning the knob. The power level goes all the way from 0 to 99 in increments of +/- 1. In addition, a set of 9 LED lights above the knob indicates the power level as well.
The left touch button lets you set a timer while the right button lets you select from several different cooking modes. The dial has a built-in OLED display that shows the cooking mode, power level and the timer if it has been turned on. There are a few built-in modes like boil, stir fry and deep fry but personally I don’t really find the different modes really useful. I just adjust the power level to whatever heat level I want. Crank the level all the way to the 90s when I want really high heat for stir frying or turn it way down to the 20s when I want to simmer.
The cooker has a black glass top with a spring loaded temperature sensor that pops up slightly in the center. This allows the sensor to come in proper contact with the bottom of the cooking pan or pot and get a more accurate temperature reading. The cooker has a diameter of 265 mm (or just over 10 inches) and should fit most flat bottomed induction pots and pans. The edge of the cooking surface is surrounded by a removable rubber gasket that helps prevent the pot from slipping over the edge as well as prevent spillages from flowing over the edge.
And yes, this smart cooker has built-in WiFi. However, this is another feature that I don’t find very useful because it is mainly used for adding additional cooking modes via the Mi Home app. You can customize modes that sets the power level and the cooking duration. You can start any of the modes remotely via the app and you’ll receive a notification once the cooking is done but that is about all you can do using the app. Nice to have but not really essential in my opinion.
Last but not least, lets take a look at the power. The cooker is rated at 2100W which is quite high. At max setting, a liter or water takes slightly over 2 minutes to boil. While you can set the power level from 0 to 99, I would say you can only really see the difference in the power every 10 ticks. That means I can’t see any difference between 40 and 45 for example but I can visibly see the difference between 40 and 50. Fortunately, turning the knob faster does make the level increase in multiples of 10.
Overall, I am very happy with the performance of the Xiaomi Mijia Smart Induction Cooker. It looks good and the controls are simple and easy to understand. Its compact size takes up less counter space than my previous cookers. The high power ratings means that heating up takes up less time and I can use it for high temperature cooking like Chinese stir frying.
Things that I didn’t like are the 0 to 99 settings which I think is unnecessary. A simple 0-10 or 0-20 would have been more than sufficient. The timer only goes up to 1 hour. Since slow cooking is a thing, a timer that goes way beyond that is preferable.
I find myself not really using the app or any of the smart features of the cooker. If you do a lot of unattended cooking, having the ability to set different power levels and durations may be a useful feature for you so your mileage may vary. Which brings us to the lower spec Youth version of the cooker.
Xiaomi Mijia Youth Induction Cooker
Since I did not find myself using the smart features of the Mijia smart cooker, I decided to buy the Youth version of the cooker as my second cooker to accompany my first one. I believe the Youth moniker refers to the fact that this simpler version is targeted at students or single users who don’t do as much cooking. It does not have WiFi and is lacking a few other features.
Looks wise, at a glance it looks almost identical to the smart version. It has the same design and size. However, a closer inspection will show that it is missing the 2 touch buttons on the sides of the knob. This means there is no timer or mode selection on this model. Also, the OLED display on the dial is missing but the 9 LED lights above the knob are still there.
The Youth cooker has the same 2100 W power rating so no compromises on what you can cook. The temperature sensor is also internal instead of the contact sensor but I don’t really feel there is much difference during actual usage.
The user interface is actually even simpler on the Youth cooker. Just press and hold the knob to turn on the cooker. Turn the dial to set power between 1 to 9 as indicated by the LED lights. It might look like you are losing some fine tuning but as I mentioned earlier, this is not really the case.
Smart or Youth
I don’t really miss the extra features on the smart version such as the modes and remote control via the app. However, I do miss the timer function as this is a basic function that is present on all the other cookers I have previously used.
If you don’t think you have much use for the smart features, you can save a little by going for the Youth version. It lacks the bells and whistles but cooking wise you won’t find it lacking in any way.
Buy from Amazon