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What is a Multi-Cooker?

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If there’s one appliance that can do almost everything in terms of cooking, it’s a multi-cooker. You’ve most likely heard of Instant Pot, which is a popular multi-cooker model. Maybe you have come across this gadget in a friend’s kitchen or in a cooking show and are curious about how it’s different from your usual crock pot or slow cookers. So, what is a multi-cooker and how is it different from other kitchen appliances?

A multi-cooker lets you effortlessly execute a number of culinary methods and lets you cook most of your favorite recipes. They have grown in popularity as a result of their ease of use and ability to make cooking simple, safe, and quick.

How Does a Multi-Cooker Work?

A multi-cooker’s technology is based on an induction plate located at the base. The induction plate provides an extremely accurate temperature that consistently heats the inner cooking pot of the multi-cooker, and the temperature adjusts according to the cooking method you need, from a well-controlled low heat needed for slow cooking, to high, pressurized heat needed for pressure cooking and baking. This technology allows it to work as a low-heat yogurt maker as well as a high-heat pressure cooker.

A multi-cooker cooks automatically and has built-in computerized functions such as pressure cook function, slow cook function, bake function, and many more.

Advantages of a Multi-Cooker

Multi-cookers are one of the most versatile appliances you can use to cook and prepare delicious dishes. Users purchase multi-cooker brands due to their:

Safe Use

Electric multi-cookers, like Instant Pot, are safe and simple to operate, and they don’t need to be supervised while they cook. They include vents that let built-up steam escape and multiple safety features that prevent unnecessary cooking accidents. Its controls are straightforward to use and the lids are designed to lock to keep food inside and avoid spillage.

Convenience

Multi-cookers make cooking almost foolproof. To use a multi-cooker, insert your ingredients, press a button on the control panel, and you’re free to leave the unit to cook on its own.

Multi cookers are programmable and capable of performing a broad range of functions. You can cook certain foods like veggies and meat dishes in a variety of ways, including simmering, boiling, steaming, baking, roasting, grilling, frying, and sautéing. You can even use it in keeping your food warm or as a replacement for your crock pots.

Most high-end electric models have a time delay mode that allows you to manually set your own cooking time and temperature, however the large number of preset programs included makes using these gadgets almost hands-off.

Versatility

There are other appliances that offer versatility when it comes to cooking, like rice cookers, but multi-cookers are built to be multi-functional. You can make mouthwatering meat or dried beans recipes using the pressure cook feature or make yogurts using the yogurt-making feature. You can make steamed vegetables and sear foods; it even cooks rice! There’s plenty of dishes you can prepare with this gadget, and the only limit you have is your unit’s capacity.

Quick and Quality Cooking

The secure lid of the multi-cooker retains the flavors in the pot rather than allowing them to escape into the kitchen air. The pressure infuses flavor into your food and produces high-quality results in less or the same time as cooking on a stove or dutch oven.

How to Use a Multi Cooker: Features and Functions You Can Use

If you’ve just bought an Instant Pot for the first time, you’re undoubtedly looking forward to trying out all of the new recipes. You can make the ideal dinner in one cooker and save time because of its flexibility. In short, you can use it as an all-around electric pot. Some of the cooking methods you can use include:

Steaming

From fish to vegetables, this feature is one of the easiest ways you can eat healthily. To steam using this gadget, simply fill the device with water, set a rack, place your selected meal inside, and turn it on. Set the menu function to ‘steaming’ to quickly bring the liquid to a boil.

Frying

Although frying is a delicious way to prepare food, it contains a lot of calories and isn’t appropriate for all recipes. If you’re health-conscious, you can use a multi-cooker instead.

Boiling

You can prepare a variety of foods using this function, including potatoes, oats, soup, and more. This method may also be used to prepare boiled eggs.

Food Warmer

Need help keeping food warm throughout the day? You can use the keep warm function of the multi-cooker. You can even use the slow cooker/ slow cook feature if you’re making a slow cooker recipe and keep the unit on instead of turning it off when the food is done cooking.

Rice Cooker

If your rice cooker breaks or you’re up for a tasty rice recipe, you can use your multi-cooker to make the grain. Just follow the package instructions and use the rice menu function.

Yoghurt Maker

One of the amazing features of a multi-cooker is its ability to provide a low temperature that is well regulated. This innovative technology makes yogurt cooking less of a guesswork. 

What Is The Best Multi-Cooker?: Things to Consider

There are plenty of different multi-cooker models available in the market, and plenty of brands to choose from. To determine which one is best for you, you need to take some factors into consideration, such as your budget, the feature you want most in a cooker, and capacity.

Do you prefer a healthy lifestyle? A multi-cooker with an air fryer function might be for you. If you prefer cooking meat, then a model that has a reliable slow cooker function is ideal. It’s important to research a bit regarding the model you want to ensure it has the features you’re looking for. For example, some units might have a slow cooker function, but they may not produce the same slow-cooked meal as slow cookers.

Carefully go through reviews and guides to see which model is right for your household.

Final Word: What is a Multi-Cooker?

Multi-cookers are able to replace a variety of kitchen appliances, like a slow cooker or a stovetop pressure cooker. While they aren’t small in terms of size, this appliance takes up considerably less space in your cupboard or on your counter than two or three gadgets.

With this all-in-one gadget in your kitchen, you’ll be able to test your culinary expertise to your heart’s content.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What’s the difference between a pressure cooker and a multicooker?

A pressure cooker functions in a steam pressure environment. A sealed pot with steam inside generates high pressure, which speeds up the cooking process. The excess steam is vented through a steam valve, which prevents the pressure cooker from exploding due to the extreme pressure. Electric pressure cookers and stovetop pressure cookers are the two major types of pressure cookers.

An electric pressure cooker or multi-cooker, unlike its stovetop counterpart, has automated controls. Instead of needing to manually adjust the pressure, the machine automatically does it for you. Once the pressure cooker is done cooking, you have the option to use a quick pressure release or allow the pressure to naturally release. When the timer runs out, it begins to release pressure naturally before switching to its “Keep Warm” function.

The difference between the two devices is that the pressure cooker can only be used for pressure cooking, whilst the multi-cooker has several functions, one of which is pressure cooking.

Is a multi-cooker the same as an air fryer?

A multi-cooker warms and cooks a broad variety of foods in a sealed environment, much like an air fryer. However, the two are vastly different. The heating source of a multi-cooker consistently heats the inner pot in an enclosed area, making the cooking process more comparable to that of a stove.

An air fryer, on the other hand, works like an oven. They cook food by rapidly circulating hot air with a mechanical fan. Food is completely sealed inside and hot air circulates through the chamber, sealing in flavors. With a little coating of frying oil, you may get a lovely, crispy, golden-brown coating, similar to what you’d get from pan frying or deep frying. Many air fryers offer time and temperature controls, as well as pre-programmed settings.

Some multi-cooker models have air-fry features, so while you can’t use an air fryer as a multi-cooker, you can use a multi-cooker to air fry your food.

Can you use a multi-cooker for pressure cooking and slow cooking?

As mentioned above, a multi-cooker can be used to cook food in a variety of ways, slow cooking and pressure cooking included. However, it’s important to note that this appliance might not achieve the exact same result you’d get from using either a slow cooker or a pressure cooker. Pressure or slow-cooked food using the gadgets meant to cook them will almost always deliver the best results.

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Hui Yin

Hui Yin moved from Hong Kong 🇭🇰 to the USA 🇺🇸 when she was just 8 years old. Now in her late 20's she enjoys writing and taking long walks in the park to burn off the copious amounts of rice she eats for dinner.

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