what is a multi cooker

A multi-cooker is an all-in-one appliance that can replace several kitchen appliances used to prepare various meals. These appliances include the pressure cooker, rice cooker, electric pot, slow cooker, conventional oven, yoghurt maker, and steamer.

Multi-cookers come with various functions that are pre-programmed. These functions can be used to prepare multiple dishes. All you need to do is prepare your ingredients and place them in the removable instant pot as per the recipe dictates. Choose the correct function and let your multi-cooker cook delicious meals.

What Can a Multi-Cooker Do?

Multi-cookers‘ versatility allows them to cook food using different cooking methods. Some of these include slow cooking, pressure cooking and air frying.

With many multi cookers, you will be notified when your food is ready, and they also have an auto keep-warm function if you’re not around to switch it off. Remember that the auto keep-warm mode can stay on for up to 12 hours, depending on the type of multi-cooker you own.

Additionally, once you get the hang of the preset recipe combinations, you can start programming your preferred recipes using this appliance. Hence, you can cook anything you like at the touch of a button.

Let’s take a look at some of these functions in detail.

Method 1: Using a Multi-Cooker to Pressure Cook

cooking beef stew

Yes, a multi-cooker can pressure cook various meals. They come with an inbuilt pressure-cooking setting that can replace the duties of your manual or electric pressure cookers.

When using the pressure cook function on your multi-cooker, the cooking pot must be sealed tightly to work. Pressure cooking increases the temperature rapidly using steam and pressure, allowing food to be cooked faster.

Additionally, this cooking method not only makes foods such as meat tender but also keeps them moist. Multi-cookers and electric pressure cookers have built-in safety seals to prevent pressure from being released accidentally.

So, when using the pressure cook feature on your cooker, ensure you always release the steam using the steam valve or vent on your appliance before opening it. Furthermore, use heat-resistant gloves when opening your appliance, as this prevents you from getting any burns.

Method 2: Using a Multi-Cooker to Slow Cook

Slow-cooked meals can be prepared using a multi cooker thanks to its slow cooking setting. This function allows you to prepare your healthy meals with just the press of a button. This cooking preset can be used to prepare soups, briskets or any recipe of your choice.

When using this setting on your multi-cooker, always make certain that you add a sufficient amount of liquid. This will enhance your food’s flavour and prevent the result from being dry and rough.

In addition, when using the slow cook preset, it’s advisable to have a glass lid at hand. A transparent lid will be useful when you want to add any extra ingredients, plus it will help you monitor the cooking progress of your meals.

Yoghurt Making

Yes, you can make yoghurt using a multi-cooker. The ability of a multi cooker to cook with remarkably low heat and temperature for several hours makes it a convenient yoghurt maker. When making yoghurt using an instant pot, ensure that you follow the recipe, as the correct temperature is vital.

Air Frying

If you’re looking for a function that can help you create healthy meals, the air fry function is an excellent pick. It makes fried food at a fraction of the calories and adds a crisp texture to your meals.

The air fryer function can be used to prepare a whole chicken, french fries and other meals of your choice. Not all multi-cookers will have this function, so be sure to check if this is something that you think you will use regularly.

Auto Keep Warm

chicken stew

Keeping food warm is another useful feature of a multi-cooker. The keep-warm function always ensures that food is served at its best temperature, so you don’t have to worry about heating your food before eating or getting cold before dinner.

Also, it’s important to mention that the duration of the auto warm function may vary depending on the type of multi-cooker you own.

Why Should You Use a Multi-Cooker?

Its versatility and convenience make it an indispensable kitchen appliance. What’s more, multi-cookers come with extra accessories such as a measuring cup, rice spoon, spatula, instruction manual, steam insert and a removable inner pot.

Bear in mind that most of these accessories are easy to use, and cleaning them is a breeze since most of them are both hand and dishwasher friendly.

Tips for Using Multi-Cookers

Here are a few handy tips when using a multi cooker:

Add Liquid

Liquids are one of the most important ingredients when using a pressure cooker. Not only will the liquid prevent the base of your instant pot and cooker from burning out, but it will also help keep your food moist. By liquids, we mean either sauce, stock, water or any broth of your choice.

It is also noteworthy to mention that your food will be dry and rough if you will not be generous with the sauce.

Never Overfill

Regardless of the recipe, you are preparing, never overfill your instant pot. Whether you are using the pressure cooking function for cooking beans or pulled pork, always make certain that you follow the water level indicator on the inner cooking pot.

It’s always advisable to fill the pot with at least two-thirds of the liquid as it normally gives the best outcome in multiple recipes. On the flip side, if you are unsure about the liquid level of your appliance, you can consult the manual. And keep in mind that an underfill is safer when compared to an overfill.

Use a Separate Lid for Slow Cooking

If you love using the slow cook function with your multi-cooker, it’s worth investing in a separate glass lid. The glass lid will not only allow you to observe the cooking progress, but it will also be easier to remove when you want to stir in new ingredients.

Use the Keep Warm Function

Last but not least, utilise the keep warm setting on your multi-cooker. This function allows you to enjoy your meal at its best temperature. Additionally, keep in mind that instant pots can keep food warm for over 20 minutes.

How to Clean a Multi-Cooker

Cleaning a multi-cooker is not an easy task. However, you should clean it with care to avoid damaging its electrical component.

Step 1: Determine the Dishwasher-Friendly Parts

Before you start cleaning your cooker, check which parts are dishwasher safe. On the other hand, if your multi-cooker doesn’t have dishwasher safe parts, you can always wash them by hand.

Most parts will be non-stick to make it easier. Bear in mind that proper cleaning and maintenance will give your kitchen appliances a long life span, so you can use them for years to come.

Step 2: Wipe the Exterior

Clean the outside housing of your appliance using a clean damp cloth unless stated otherwise on the user manual.

Step 3: Cleaning of Accessories

Once you are done cleaning the multi-cookers accessories, allow them to air dry completely before placing them back.

Multi-Cooker FAQs

If you are new to multi-cookers or considering buying one, the following information may help you decide if it’s the right kitchen appliance for your needs.

What can’t you cook in a multi-cooker?

Multi-cookers are loved for their ability to cook multiple dishes. However, some meals don’t sit well with this type of electric pot. Foods that can’t be cooked under high pressure or that are too dry should not be cooked in a multi-cooker. Such foods include baked sweet potatoes or roasted meat.

If you are in doubt, check your manual and recipes online.

What are the advantages of multi-cookers?

  • They are versatile, with plenty of cooking settings.
  • These electric pots will keep meals warm for long periods.
  • Multi-cookers can be used to cook food quickly.
  • Have excellent energy efficiency
  • They are not limited to one function.

What are the cons of multi-cookers?

  • Some people may find their slow cooking results unsatisfactory compared to that of an actual slow cooker.
  • Cleaning and maintaining these appliances might be challenging for some.
  • Some users may find pressure cooked food to be less tasty.
  • Various cooking functions may require some supervision.

Is It For You?

From making delicious meals to decluttering your kitchen, multi-cookers are undoubtedly indispensable. Well, that’s it on what is a multi cooker.

Please keep in mind that a multi-cooker combines the functionality of multiple appliances in one pot to give you a convenient and versatile benchtop appliance.

What do you cook in your multi-cooker?

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