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How to Enjoy Cooking with Multi Cookers

Multi Cookers have taken the at-home cooking scene to a new level. These power houses are able to perform seven functions (and sometimes more!) in a single appliance.

You can use it as a slow cooker, rice cooker, electric pressure cooker, steamer, sauté/browning pan, yogurt maker, and a pot to keep food warm. Some models even boast capabilities to bake, air fry, and dehydrate. You can make any food in a healthier way for a better health.

Imagine getting rid of seven appliances to make space for one small machine that can do it all! Your countertops will thank you.


What are the best multi cookers? 

With so many different options, it can be intimidating trying to find the right one for your needs. To start, ask yourself a few questions:


What do you want to do with your multi cooker?

Multi Cookers come with a variety of functions. Pressure cooking is one of the options that can be left out of a multi cooker.

If you want to use your multi cooker for more slow-cooker-like recipes, you don’t really need the pressure-cooking option.

However, if you want pulled pork in 30 minutes instead of 6 hours, pressure cooking is a must-have function. 

It’s great for cooking meat fast, using basic principles of physics to allow the liquids to cook your food at a higher temperature without burning it. This doubles to push moisture into the food, leaving meats tender and packed with flavor.

Similarly, functions such as frying, baking and dehydrating can be toggled off between multicookers. Make sure you know what you want to use it for. This will help eliminate some of the choices, making the decision more approachable.


How big should your multi cooker be?

The size of multi cookers varies widely. From a tiny 1.5-quart personal mini cooker to the potluck 14-quart monstrosity cooker. This all depends on how many mouths you have to feed. In general, a 4-quart will serve 2 people, a 6-quart will serve 4, and an 8-quart will serve 6.

It never hurts to get a little bigger size than you need. This will help if you have guests over, need to put a potluck together, or need to make a large amount of food with limited time.

Some would say the most important question is:


How much should you spend on your multi cooker?

Prices can be misleading. It used to be the higher the price, the better the product. Nowadays we can’t always live by that rule. So, what should you pay for a multicooker?

Some things to keep in mind are: prices will increase with size, number of functions, and convenience. You can easily find a small multicooker for less than forty dollars. But will it have the functions you need? Will it be big enough to prepare food for your family? All good questions. 

I still haven’t answered the question, have I?

To really delve into the answer, let’s get into the different multicookers out there and discuss the prices: what you’re getting for your dollar, how reliable is the product, and is it worth the money?

Instant Pot

It’s hard to read any article about pressure cooking that doesn’t involve the Instant Pot brand. But even if you narrow it down to Instant Pot, there are still plenty of options!

Instant Pot Duo (7 in 1)

Functions:

  • Pressure cooker
  • Slow cooker
  • Rice cooker
  • Steamer
  • Sauté pan
  • Yogurt maker
  • Warmer

Sizes and Price:

  • 3-quart $59.99
  • 6-quart $79.00
  • 8-quart $99.00
  • 10-quart $149.99 (Duo Nova Version Only)

Convenience and Safety:

  • Fingerprint-resistant stainless-steel lid. 
  • Components and accessories are dishwasher safe.
  • Free Instant Pot app comes with hundreds of recipes
  • Overheat protection
  • Safety Lock

Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer (11 in 1)

Functions:

  • Pressure cooker
  • Saute pan
  • Steamer
  • Slow cooker
  • Sous vides
  • Warmer
  • Air fryer
  • Roaster
  • Bakes
  • Broils
  • Dehydrates

Sizes and Price:

  • 8-quart $179.95
  • 26-liter (about 27.5 quarts) $199.95

Convenience and Safety:

  • Innovative EvenCrisp technology
  • Instant Pot app
  • Comes with air fryer basket and dehydrating/boiling tray
  • Dishwasher safe stainless-steel cookware
  • Automatic pressure and temperature control
  • Overheat protection
  • EasySeal lid automatically seals for pressure cooking

Instant Pot Aura (10 in 1) (No pressure-cooking functionality)

Functions:

  • Roaster
  • Stew
  • Bake
  • Steamer
  • Slow cooker
  • Saute pan
  • Rice cooker
  • Yogurt maker
  • Ferment
  • Warmer

Sizes and price:

  • 6-quart $129.95

Convenience and Safety:

  • Dishwasher safe cooking pot, steam/roasing rack, and lid
  • Instant Pot app

As you can see, there are a variety of differences in just these three Instant Pot brands. The difference in pricing depends largely on the size: the bigger the size, the more expensive. The Duo may seem like the most reasonably priced, but it also has the lowest number of functions. It all depends on what you intend to use your multicooker for.

Convenience and safety are another concern when purchasing a multi cooker. You don’t want to spend hours doing dishes after preparing and cooking a big meal. Components that are dishwasher safe or non-stick tend to be easier to clean up. 

Having a lid that seals during pressure cooking is an important function for safety. It ensures that pressure will not build up beneath the lid of your multi cooker.

There are many cool things that you can cook using the Instant Pot. Check out more than 1001 Instant Pot recipes at Corrie Cooks.

Let’s look at some other brands and see how they compare:

Ninja FD401 Foodi (9 in 1)

Functions:

  • Pressure cooker
  • Slow cooker
  • Steamer
  • Yogurt maker
  • Sear/Saute pan
  • Bake/Roast
  • Air fryer
  • Broil
  • Dehydrate

Sizes and Price:

  • 5-quart $159.99
  • 8-quart $199.99

Convenience and Safety:

  • TenderCrisp Technology
  • 14 safety features
  • Components are dishwasher safe

A little pricier, the Ninja FD401 Foodi offers many of the same functions as the Instant Pot. However, it boasts capabilities to hold up to a 7 lb. chicken and has a crisping lid that gives your food a golden, crispy finish, similar to the Instant Pot Duo air fryer.

Zavor LUX LCD (11 in 1)

Functions:

  • Pressure cooker
  • Slow cooker
  • Steamer
  • Saute pan
  • Sous vide
  • Simmer
  • Yogurt maker
  • Grains
  • Eggs
  • Dessert
  • Warmer

Sizes and Price:

  • 6-quart $159.95
  • 8-quart $179.95

Convenience and Safety:

  • Safety lid that will not open if there is pressure inside.
  • Mute feature available to turn off all unit sounds
  • Custom setting allows programmable settings that you can save
  • LCD lid icon alerts user if lid is not properly shut
  • Panel lock available to avoid unwanted adjustments

The Zavor multi cooker has a lot of convenience settings including the ability to save favorite settings to use for later, instead of re-programming the multi cooker each time. It also has a panel lock that will keep any accidental bumps from ruining a well-prepared dinner.

There you have it, all the information you need to make the right choice for your next multi cooker!

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