If you’ve bought a multi-cooker for the first time, you’re probably excited to try various recipes. But whether you’re experienced in cooking or a newbie, there are several things you need to know before you start cooking any meal with a multi cooker.
This versatile and convenient kitchen appliance comes with different preset modes that allow you to prepare foods like vegetables, rice, stew, beans, and meat. In addition, you can bake pastries, sear foods or even make yoghurt with it. And in this article, we are going to explore all the details on how to use a multi cooker. So, read on!
Cooking Healthy Meals
A healthy diet should always be a top priority for everyone. But, at times, we often become so glued to various cooking ingredients that we forget the importance of healthy meals. However, with multi-cookers, your meals will be healthier and have low calories while still retaining their optimum nutritional value.
Additionally, with this kitchen appliance, you can opt to use the steaming function that allows you to lock in the minerals and vitamins. This function cooks ingredients efficiently and quickly while still retaining 90% of vitamins.
Alternatively, you can opt for the boiling function, as it allows the vitamins to dissolve inside the food when you cook. Also, the boiling function requires only a small amount of oil to cook meat and any other food as it retains most of its nutritional value.
Can a Multi-Cooker Be Used as a Pressure Cooker?
Yes, this convenient kitchen appliance can cook food faster than an electric stovetop. And it doesn’t require a lot of space, setup time, and knowledge. Besides, once you get familiar with all the settings on your instant pot, you will be able to prepare multiple dishes at home.
How Do You Use the Pressure-Cooking Setting on Your Multi-Cooker?
Place all the ingredients in the multi-cooker. Make sure you have enough liquid there, or your food will burn. Select the pressure cooking function on your electric pot and secure the lid.
This function will build pressure and cook your food evenly in a fraction of the time. Also, it will allow you to prepare your food without using multiple cooking appliances separately. As a result, you can simultaneously prepare potatoes, chicken, and veggies using one pot.
So, whenever you’re in a rush, you can always use the pressure cooking function. Since it not only cooks foods quickly but it’s also energy saving. On the flip side, if you prefer stand-alone pressure cookers, it’s best to invest in one.
Can a Multi-Cooker Be Used as a Slow Cooker?
Yes, a multi-cooker can double as a slow cooker allowing you to enjoy the benefits of slow cooking. If you’re looking forward to using your multi-cooker to slow cook, then here is what you should do.
Prepare all your ingredients and place them into the pot. The slow cooking function also requires liquid but don’t overfill it. Use the slow cook function on the multi-cooker and set the right cooking temperature and time. Furthermore, less supervision is required while using the slow cooking function on your instant pot.
Once the food is evenly cooked, you can use the keep warm function to keep your food warm until you’re ready to serve. Also, if the food hasn’t been cooked to your desired results, you can adjust the cooking time and temperature. Continue to slow cook until your desired results are achieved.
Using a Multi-Cooker to Bake
Instant pots are not only versatile, but they are also easy to use. However, did you know that multi-cookers can perform other tasks like baking? Yes, multi cookers can be used to bake brownies, biscuits, cakes and other pastries.
When using a multi cooker for baking, it is always advisable to apply oil or a non-stick coating on the base of the pot. Place your mixture inside the pot and cover it using a lid. Use the baking setting and set the required cooking time and temperature for the item you’re baking and leave your kitchen workhorse to do the rest.
Are Multi-Cookers Safe?
Despite their versatility and convenience, are electric multi-cookers safe to use? Yes, these kitchen appliances are safe to use and are also easy to work with. Plus, they don’t require constant and strict supervision while in use. They come with safety features that include a heat resistant lid that is cool to touch on the exterior.
Additionally, plenty of multi-cookers begin to cook once the lid has been securely locked on the pot. This feature helps reduce risks such as burns from hot steam or food. It also comes in handy when using the pressure cooker function.
Since pressure cooking uses high pressure, which can be dangerous if the lid is not secured properly or removed too soon, you must use it with care. Strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using different multi-cooker functions.
Different Functions of a Multi-Cooker
Whether you’re looking to prepare beans, rice, yoghurt, chicken, stew, potatoes, or other different recipes, always ensure that you use your multi-cooker to its full potential because different models have different functions. All of which can be used to prepare new and exciting meals at home. Here are the various functions of a multi-cooker
Making yoghurt requires a low and consistent temperature over a long period. You will have to make your yoghurt mixture beforehand, place it in glass jars, and then fill your multi-cooker with water. The water should sit just below the tops of the jars, so it does not flow into them.
Secure the lid, and then follow your yoghurt recipe for how long to let them sit in the pot and at which temperature.
Frying is another alternative way of cooking food. However, this cooking method can contain a high number of calories. But, if you use a multi-cooker for frying, the results will be the same, but in return, the number of calories will be less in your meals.
Bear in mind that the frying process may require quite some time. So, if you are using your multi-cooker for frying, start by placing meat, cheese, vegetables and other ingredients of your choice in the multi-cookers pot and then place the lid on.
Using the control panel on your cooker, set the temperature to around 200 degrees and use the fry function for cooking your dishes. Once evenly cooked, the appliance will alert you and automatically switch to the keep warm mode. You may need to stir your ingredients frequently when frying your food.
The steaming function on your multi-cooker can be used to cook various dishes such as white rice, brown rice, oatmeal, potatoes and many more. So, if you are looking to prepare your meals through boiling, here is a simple way to make potatoes.
Start by peeling your potatoes and chop them into your preferred sizes. Place them in the pot insert, and add your preferred herbs and spices. Place the lid back and ensure it’s locked securely.
On your multi-cooker, select the steam function. Using high pressure, set it to cook for three minutes. Please keep in mind that your cooker may take approximately 10 minutes to reach pressure.
Once the process is done, release the pressure trapped through the pressure vent.
Keep Food Warm
Multi-cookers come with different functions, but the keep warm is a basic feature that can be found in almost every electric multi cooker. This function saves you time when it comes to reheating food and is also energy-saving since you will not be using your microwave or your electric oven.
When using the keep-warm function on your electric multi-cooker, ensure that there is ample liquid in your cooked food. It will keep your food from being dry and tasteless. However, if the dish prepared doesn’t have any liquid, you can add a couple of tablespoons of sauce or water.
On the contrary, when reheating single dishes, it’s advisable to use the pot insert for your chosen meal. Alternatively, use stacking containers or a hard item that can separate them while preventing them from falling on each other.
Please note that keep warm and slow cooking are two very different functions. Slow cooking is used for cooking food at a very low temperature, while the keep-warm function ensures that your meal doesn’t get cold before dinner!
How to Clean a Multi-Cooker for the First Time
First things first, you should clean your multi-cooker before using it. But how do you clean a multicooker for the first time?
Step 1: Get Rid of the Labels
Start by removing all the labels, apart from those with the housing labels. Use clean, warm water and a soft cloth.
Step 2: Wipe the Exterior
Damp the cloth with warm water and wipe the exterior carefully. See that you don’t get any of the electric components wet.
Step 3: Cleaning the Insert
Remove the multi cooker insert, rinse it using lukewarm water, and dry it with a paper towel. It’s advisable not to scrub your new electric all-in-one cooker when trying to remove any residue or plastic scent since the scrubbing may damage the non-stick coating.
Step 4: How to Remove the Lingering Plastic Scent
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a solution to remove any unwanted scents before you begin to cook, then consider using a lemon. Cut your lemon into two and place them inside the electric pot. Add one litre of water, replace the lid, and ensure that the inner sealing is properly locked. Next, select the high steaming function on your multi-cooker.
Let the water produce steam for a few minutes, then turn off the cooker and allow it to rest before opening. Open your multi-cooker carefully, take out the pot insert, and pour the lemon water.
Rinse the pot insert using fresh, clean water. On the flip side, if your desired results are not achieved, repeat the same process until the plastic scent is gone.
Where Should I Place My Multi-Cooker?
It’s advisable to place your multi cooker strategically in your kitchen. Put it in a spot where the heat and steam can escape freely. Not only will this prevent mould build-up but also neither the steam nor the heat will come into contact with your other electrical components.
It’s noteworthy to mention that after the pressure cooking is complete, always allow your cooker to rest for approximately 15 minutes before opening the steam valve on the pressure cooker. This prevents you from getting burnt with steam.
Time to Put Your Cooker to the Test
That is it on how to use a multi cooker. We hope that we have answered your question on how multi-cookers can be used as a slow cooker, yoghurt maker, pressure cooker, or rice cooker. However, keep in mind that different multi-cookers have different preset modes. Your multi-cooker model will determine the kind of cooking techniques you can use.
So, whether you are looking forward to cooking dried beans, vegetables, rice, meat, baking or even yoghurt making, remember to share your recipes and tricks with us in the comments.