How to choose a multi-cooker

How to Choose a Multi-Cooker

Originally, the multi-cooker was a modernized version of the rice cooker. In the latter, you could cook crumbly rice and keep it hot given time. Later, the functionality of the device expanded to other grains. From this moment, the success story of the device, known to millions of hostesses as a multi-cooker, began.

Versatility and compactness – so in a nutshell, you can characterize the merits of multi-cooker. However, behind this laconic characteristic are dozens of manufacturers and hundreds of models. In addition, not all features are equally in demand by different categories of users. So which multi-cooker is right for you?

 

What the best multi-cookers are capable of: from rice cooker to multi-cooker

Modern multi-cooker helps cook from any products and in different ways: stew, fry, cook, bake, steam, and sous-view. It is equipped with software control, which allows you to cook in automatic and semi-automatic modes. The multi-cooker, in which food is prepared at increased pressure, successfully replaces the traditional cooker.

Perhaps the only thing that can be inconvenient to cook in a multi-cooker is pancakes and other dishes requiring a quick flip with a spatula: the high sides of the bowl are not adapted for this. However, REDMOND upgraded the classic multi-cooker and brought to the market a new device – a multi-jacket. This device implements the patented technology of lifting the lower heating element, which can be installed pan (included in most multi-kitchens) [1] or other suitable dishes – ladle, pot, kettle.

 

What to consider when choosing a multi-cooker

What to consider when choosing a multi-cooker

Any multi-cooker consists of a case with an electric heater, a lid with a steam valve, a work bowl, an electronic control system. Each of these elements can have its own features.

The volume and coating of the bowl

The volume of the bowl in modern multi-cooks varies from 2 to 7 liters. For daily family use, usually choose a capacity of 4-5 liters. Such multi-cookers allow you to cook enough food and do not take up much space. In addition, the larger the capacity of the bowl, the more electricity will be used by the appliance. Multi-cookers for 2-3 liters are suitable for cooking for one or two people, baby food.

If you have the task to automate food preparation for a large family, it makes sense to take a closer look at the model with two bowls. The useful volume of each bowl at such a multi-cooker will be 3 liters, but it will allow preparing two dishes at once: soup and the second porridge for children and stew for adults.

Multi-cook bowls are usually made of aluminum or steel with non-stick coating or ceramic spraying. The non-stick coating is cheaper but requires wooden, plastic, or silicone spoons and shoulder blades. You can wash such a bowl only with soft sponges. Ceramic – stronger, easier to wash, retains the natural taste and aroma of products, and costs more. Whatever the coating of the bowl, it can be damaged by a sharp temperature difference, so do not put a hot bowl in the refrigerator or cold water [2].

By the way!

Experienced housewives advise buying one or two spare bowls for multi-cooker at once. This will reduce the cooking time of dinner from several dishes – there will be no need for each next dish to release and wash the bowl, take another. And here is another trick: the second dish with a side dish can be quickly prepared, using a container for steaming. For example, in a bowl, rice is cooked, and in a container installed on top – fish, meat, or meatballs.

 

Heating option

In inexpensive multi-cookers, at the bottom of the case is a tubular electric heater. Such multi-cookers consume more electricity and heat more slowly, and dishes in them are prepared “layers” – first heated products at the bottom of the bowl and only than those that are higher. To make the stew or soups warmed evenly throughout the bowl’s volume, they will have to be stirred from time to time and baking – to turn, which will reduce the convenience of using a multi-cooker with a lower tan.

More modern is the induction heating of the bowl all over its surface. It gives a quick and even warm-up when saving electricity – the induction multi-cooker goes to the working temperature almost instantly. However, the induction heater is more complicated than the CHP. Besides, such a multi-cooker will be able to work only with a special bowl. Because of this, the cost of an induction multi-cooker can be significantly higher than that of a conventional device.

With 3D heating, three heating elements serve heat to the bowl simultaneously from the bottom, from the sides, and from above (to evaporate the condensate from the device’s lid). If you plan to use a multi-cooker often to make pies and biscuits, the choice should be stopped on a device with three-dimensional heating. Electricity consumption compared to induction multi-cookers in devices with 3D heating is higher [3], but they are the ones who do well with baking and baked dishes.

 

Number of programs

A large set of programs in a particular device does not always indicate the high quality of the product. Choosing a multi-cooker, it is worth thinking about such a non-obvious at first glance parameter, as the breadth of the range of multi-cookers at the manufacturer, on the products of which you want to stop. The fact that the multi-cooker is not only and not so much the body of the device. Like any other electronic device, the most valuable thing is the “brains” of multi-cookers, i.e., software. It ultimately determines the cost of the device – the more personal settings are introduced into the multi-cooker software, the more expensive it is. Unlike multi-machine cases, which different manufacturers can order in the same factories, the software is developed and tested for each brand and device separately.

The longer the brand produces multi-cookers and the more features it puts into the software of its devices, the more reliable the device will be in operation – before the introduction of any option into the functionality of the device, manufacturers necessarily test its work. Additional confidence in the device can give the presence of a book with recipes for a particular model – again; it indicates that the manufacturer carefully “rolled” the device before releasing it on sale.

Of course, buying does not necessarily give preference to the device with the maximum number of programs. To calculate the optimal set of possibilities, focus on 6-8 programs for the main types of cooking: for example, frying, cooking vegetables, soups, cereals or milk porridge, baking, steaming, stewing. Add to them the cooking programs of your favorite dishes, such as deep-fried potatoes, pilaf, or yogurt. This way, you get an idea of how many programs you’re actually going to use.

It is also desirable that the multi-cooker was equipped with the ability to install the parameters of cooking manually: it can be useful not only for complex author’s dishes, culinary experiments, or sea-view (unless, of course, for dishes in a vacuum will not provide a separate program) but also for modification of the mode of auto-cooking in the simplest programs.

The modern multi-cooker can also be supplemented with the Masterchef function, i.e., adjusting temperature and time during the running program. This is convenient in cases where the dish is not as you like or like in automatic mode. For example, when you’re doing stew on the Stew program, you notice that you don’t have enough liquid to make it out of the bowl. In this case, “Masterchef” will allow at the right time to increase (or reduce) the cooking temperature and make the dish exactly as you want. The use of “Masterchef” can be compared with the adjustment of the burning intensity of the burner at the gas stove – one press of a button, and the multi-cooker is no longer extinguished and fried.

 

Additional functionality

Multi-cookers are usually equipped with heating and auto-disconnection functions inherited from rice cookers. A popular deferred inclusion feature, it is especially convenient for starting breakfast preparation, such as porridge. The multi-computer user can take full advantage of automatic cooking (clearly set program time, keeping the heat), but at the same time choose the dishes. The lifting TEN multi-book provides this. Most of the multi-kitchens include a frying pan, and you can also use other dishes of the right size – a pot, a pot. You can even automatically brew coffee in Turk or heat with a Multicam kettle.

Some multi-pieces and multi-cookers are also equipped with a radio and can memorize and play up to 10 radio stations.

 

Management

The simplest type of control is mechanical, with the help of levers and buttons. However, this way can only regulate the temperature and cooking time. It is used in the simplest multi-cookers of the lower price category. Older people prefer mechanical management, it seems to them more reliable, and such multi-cookers usually become a good gift to grandparents.

Electronic control is done using buttons (including touch) and display. This is the most common option for mid-range multi-cookies.

Those who actively use gadgets and are inspired by the “smart home” ideas have already developed multi-cookers with remote control through the smartphone and remote (from the office or during a walk) start cooking dishes in one click. This option belongs to the middle and highest price category.

It’s important!

The steam valve on the lid of the multi-cooker allows the release of excess steam and prevents the abundant condensate formation, which, getting into the bowl, can spoil some dishes. But you need to monitor the health and purity of the valve – it ensures the correct and safe operation of the multi-cooker in steaming mode. If you use the baking mode, the valve is recommended to be removed to open the technological hole for the steam exit completely.

 

Power and power consumption

The power of multi-cooker varies in the range of 350-1950 W. The higher the power, the faster the cooking (relates to multi-cookers) or the larger the volume of the multi-cooker bowl. However, along with the power, electricity consumption and the cost of multi-cooker are increasing. The most popular models are 700-800 W.

 

Design, body material, and additional accessories

Design, body material, and additional accessories

The body of the multi-cooker can be plastic or metal. The plastic body is less heated, can be performed in different colors. The metal body is stronger than the plastic body. Pay attention to the set-up: spoons, shovels, measuring containers, cups for cooking yogurt, deep-fried mesh – all these little things facilitate the cooking process. Often the set includes a collection of recipes – it will facilitate familiarity with the device’s capabilities. The largest manufacturers of multi-cookers also produce mobile applications with recipes for their technology.

Pay attention to details such as the length of the power cord and the presence of rubberized non-slip legs. The moisture collector allows the condensate, which is formed during the multi-cooker, not to get back into the dish. The lid of the multi-cooker should be equipped with sealing gum.

 

price

Cheap multi-cookers cost 1500-5000 rubles. The average price category occupies a niche of 5000-15,000 rubles. Premium classes include multi-cookers of more than 15,000 rubles. Some models can cost 40,000 and 60,000 rubles.

By the way!

Small-cookers with a bowl volume of 1.5-2 liters are small in size and consume a minimum of electricity. They are often bought to prepare food for children or one or two adults. Weight 3-4 kg makes it easy to transport a kitchen appliance, for example, to the cottage, to use during repair or moving, when the kitchen is not yet equipped.

 

Important nuances

The right multi-cooker is not an assistant for the whole family for one year. So before you buy, read the latest reviews. Multi-cooker ratings are compiled annually, as manufacturers constantly improve their products and make them more affordable. Focus on the latest data on the ratio of price and quality. When buying, check the health and completeness of the equipment, specify the possibility of buying spare parts and additional accessories, the address of the service point, the availability, and duration of the warranty. Notice the integrity of the sealing pad under the lid.

For the multi-cooker to last longer, follow the rules of operation and safety technique. Always use bowls designed for your multi-cooker model. Before the first application of the multi-cooker, it is recommended to boil water in it for 30 minutes. It will help to remove foreign odors [4].

The rhythm of our lives is constantly accelerating, and the more valuable it becomes, the ability to automatically prepare delicious and healthy home cooking dishes for the whole family. Perhaps this is the secret of the continued popularity of multi-bookmakers.

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