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A multi-cooker is an electric kitchen appliance used to cook foods. Multi-cookers serve many purposes, including boiling, simmering, frying, and grilling ingredients.
The most common type of a multi-cooker is a stainless steel multi-cooker. Multi-cookers come in other materials, like ceramic or copper. The material often determines the longevity and price of the multi-cooker. Stainless steel multi-cookers last longer than ceramic or copper multi-cookers because they’re more durable.
A multi-cooker is a round appliance with a lid and controls. When using a multi-cooker, you place the ingredients inside the compartment, place the lid over the top of it, and then use the controls to set your cooking type and time. Stainless steel multi-cookers cost more than other types of multi-cookers, like ceramic or plastic multi-cookers.
The history of multi-cookers dates back to the 1920s. The first multi-cooker was a small, electric rice cooker invented in the United Kingdom. Since then, companies have developed the design further, marketing it as a multi-use appliance that can replace other cooking appliances, like steamers or bread makes.
What is the ideal material for a multi-cooker?
The ideal material for a multi-cooker is stainless steel. Stainless steel multi-cookers are preferred because they’re durable and hold up to frequent use better than other materials.
Stainless steel multi-cookers cost more than other types of multi-cookers, like ceramic, but also last longer. The cheapest type of a multi-cooker is made with plastic materials but is more prone to dents or chips. Plastic multi-cookers don’t heat ingredients as consistently as stainless steel or ceramic multi-cookers.
People who are concerned about environmental health may want to choose stainless steel or ceramic multi-cookers. There have been reports that plastic multicookers can be dangerous if the materials chip or peel and flake into your food.
What are the types of a multi-cooker?
The types of a multi-cooker are as follows:
- Portable multi-cooker: A portable multi-cooker is a smaller, rice multi-cooker. Rice cookers hold fewer ingredients, which is why this type of mini-cooker is reserved for cooking rice.
- Pressure cooker: A pressure cooker is an airtight multi-cooker, often made with stainless steel or ceramic materials, that cooks ingredients using electric pressure.
- Multi-use cooker: A multi-use multi-cooker serves many purposes, including slow cooking, steaming, pressure cooking, or broiling.
- Slow multi-cooker: A slow multi-cooker works similar to a slow cooker and is an appliance that slowly cooks ingredients using steam and heat.
What is the ideal size of a multi-cooker?
The ideal size of a multi-cooker depends on the size of your household and the type and quantity of dishes that you make. Multi-cookers come in all different sizes, and households with fewer people may find a smaller multi-cooker suitable. Larger households, or those who entertain a lot, may want a larger multi-cooker.
What size multi-cooker do I need? That depends on the number of people in your household and the types of dishes you make. The standard size of a multi-cooker is 6-quarts. If you have 1-2 people in your household and cook one or two dishes using a multi-cooker, a 2.5-3.0-quart multi-cooker may be sufficient. If you have 4-6 people in your household or cook a lot of dishes using the multi-cooker, you may want to choose one between 6.0-8.0-quarts in size.
What are the use cases of a multi-cooker?
A use case of a multi-cooker can be defined as a specific way in which you cook ingredients using the appliance. A few use cases of multi-cookers include:
- Cook rice
- Heat soups
- Slow cook chicken
- Steam vegetables, like carrots or celery
- Saute onions
- Warm previously cooked dishes
- Roast meats, like beef
- Fry vegetables
- Make yogurt
- Proof bread
Once you learn how to use a multi-cooker, you’ll find that it has many use cases. Multi-cookers serve many purposes and can prepare a lot of different types of ingredients.
Can you use a multi-cooker as an air fryer?
Yes, you can use a multi-cooker as an air fryer. Multi-cookers have the ability to deep fry meats and vegetables. A multi-cooker may not produce the same crispy texture that an air fryer does, but with add-on accessories, like a crisp lid or air fryer lid, you can make your favorite air fryer dishes using a multi-cooker.
Can you use a multi-cooker as a crockpot?
Yes, you can use a multi-cooker as a crockpot. One of the primary uses of a multi-cooker is to cook in a similar method as a crockpot. Multi-cookers come with built-in settings that allow you to slow cook or simmer ingredients for a set period of time. Similar to a crockpot, it also allows you to set the number of cooking hours.
Can you use a multi-cooker for grilling steak?
Yes, you can use a multi-cooker to grille steak. Some multi-cookers come with a special fry setting which can help when grilling steaks.
Do multi-cookers affect the flavor of food?
A multi-cooker shouldn’t affect the flavor outcome of the food. The available features of the multi-cooker can affect how the food tastes. Some multi-cookers can air fry, steam, broil, or grille ingredients, which can affect how your dishes turn out. Higher-quality multi-cookers also do a better job at evenly heating the ingredients, which may affect how the food tastes.
What are the best multi-cooker brands?
The best multi-cooker brands right now are the following:
- Best overall multi-cooker: Cuisinart
- Best budget multi-cooker: Instant Pot
- Best experienced multi-cooker: Chef iQ
- Best smart multi-cooker: Breville
What is the lifespan of a multi-cooker?
The typical lifespan of a multi-cooker is between 2-3 years. The frequency of use and maintenance of the multi-cooker affects how long it lasts. Keeping up with preventative maintenance and making repairs when needed can help your multi-cooker last longer. The factors that affect the lifespan of a multi-cooker include:
- Frequency of use: How often you use your multi-cooker affects how long it lasts. If you use your multi-cooker daily, you can expect it to wear out faster than if you use it only occasionally.
- Maintenance: The maintenance and upkeep of your multi-cooker affect how long it lasts. Cleaning your multi-cooker between uses and storing it in a safe place can help it last longer.
- Initial quality: The initial quality of your multi-cooker makes a difference in how long it lasts. Stainless steel multi-cookers last longer than plastic multi-cookers.
- Multi-cooker use: The type of dishes you make with your multi-cooker can also affect its longevity. Steaming stews occasionally puts less wear and team on your multi-cooker than grilling meats.
The cost of a multi-cooker ranges from $40-$400. Smaller 2.0-quart multi-cookers are on the lower end of the price range and larger, 6.0-quart multi-cookers, may cost even more.
How does culture affect the usage of a multi-cooker?
The multi-cooker was first invented in the United Kingdon, where it was commonly used to steam rice. Japan soon followed with its own version of the multi-cooker. Today, many countries use multi-cookers, but there are differences in the types of dishes cooked in them. The names of multi-cookers may also be different between cultures. For example, Australia has the Instant Pot.
What are the relevant kitchen tools to a multi-cooker?
The most relevant kitchen tools connected to a multi-cooker include:
- Blender: A blender is similar to a multi-cooker in that both are kitchen appliances that can blend ingredients together. A blender is different from a multi-cooker in that a blender is primarily used for blending liquid ingredients, whereas a multi-cooker blends, cooks and heats ingredients.
- Crock-pot: A crock-pot is similar to a multi-cooker because that they both have similar functions that are used to cook dishes. A traditional crock-pot may sometimes also be referred to as a crock-pot in addition to a multi-cooker, especially if it has multiple built-in cooking functions.
- Processor: A food processor is similar to a multi-cooker in that both are kitchen appliances meant to combine and cook ingredients. A food processor is different than a multi-cooker because it has numerous functions to help with preparing ingredients, whereas a multi-cooker only heat or cooks multiple ingredients.
- Air fryer: An air fryer is similar to a multi-cooker because both appliances can be used to fry foods. An air fryer is different from a multi-cooker because its primary purpose is to fry foods using hot air, whereas frying may be just one of the primary purposes when using multi-cookers.
What is the primary difference between a multi-cooker and a pressure cooker?
The primary difference between a multi-cooker vs a pressure cooker is the use of each type of appliance. A multi-cooker serves many different cooking uses, including the ability to boil, simmer, bake, and pressure cook. A pressure cooker is only capable of one cooking method, pressure cooking.
Another difference between a multi-cooker and a pressure cooker is the features available with each type of appliance. A multi-cooker has numerous features, including the ability to set different cooking and temperature controls. A pressure cooker has the sole feature allowing you to adjust pressuring cooking.
What are the features of the best multi-cooker?
Here are 8 features of the best multi-cooker:
- Size: You want to choose a multi-cooker that is large enough to cook the dishes or ingredients you most often make.
- Heat settings: Multi-cookers come in different heat settings. The more heat settings that a multi-cooker has, the more control you have over cooking.
- Programmable features: Multi-cookers come with different programmable features. You may want to choose a multi-cooker that allows you to choose cooking style and type.
- Timer: A built-in timer on your multi-cooker can prevent you from burning your foods, while also notifying you when it’s done.
- Exterior design: Multi-cookers come in all different styles and designs. You may want to choose a multi-cooker that fits your kitchen style.
- Remote capabilities: Some multi-cookers today can be controlled with your smartphone, allowing you to view time left or adjust the settings via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
- Ease of cleaning: Choosing a multi-cooker with easy-to-remove parts can help you maintain its quality with cleaning.
- Safety: A multi-cooker that comes with an auto shut-off feature can make it a safer choice.
What are the parts of a multi-cooker?
The parts of a multi-cooker include the following:
- Lid: The lid seals the heat in the multi-cooker, which helps with steaming or frying foods.
- Base: The base is heat-resistant and holds the inner pot with ingredients.
- Inner pot: The inner pot of the multi-cooker is where you place the ingredients to heat.
- Controls: The controls of the multi-cooker are where you set your preferred temperature or the cooking time.
- Heating element: The heating element supplies heat to the multi-cooker for cooking.
What are the repair options for a multi-cooker?
If your multi-cooker stops working, you may be able to repair or replace certain parts, rather than replacing the whole unit:
- Inner pot: If your multi-cooker’s inner pot chips or becomes dull over time, you may be able to replace it with a new one.
- Sealant ring: If the multi-cooker’s sealant ring wears down, the lid won’t seal closed as tightly. You can easily replace the sealant ring.
- Lid: If the lid of your multi-cooker breaks, you may be able to replace it with a new one made for your appliance.
- Steamer basket: If your multi-cooker came with a steamer basket and it becomes dull over time, you may be able to replace it with a new basket.
What is the difference between a multi-cooker and an oven?
The primary difference between a multi-cooker vs an oven is the cooking method of each type of appliance. A multi-cooker is a compact kitchen appliance that performs various cooking tasks, like frying, steaming or grilling. An oven is usually a built-in appliance attached to a range that is capable of baking foods.
Another difference between a multi-cooker and an oven is the size and durability of each type of cooking appliance. Multi-cookers can be more efficient and take up less space as they’re easy to store. Multi-cookers may also be a safer choice because many come with auto shut-off features, whereas an oven may not.
How did multi-cooker get its name?
Multi-cooker gets its name from its ability to cook multiple foods using different methods.
You can spell multi-cooker as: M-u-l-t-i c-o-o-k-e-r.
You can pronounce multi-cooker as: Mul-ti cook-er
What is another word for a multi-cooker?
A multi-cooker may also be referred to as a multi-function cooker. Some people may also refer to multi-cookers as one of their sole uses, like rice cooker, pressure cooker, or crockpot.
What is the history of a multi-cooker?
The first multi-cooker was invented in the 1920s in the United Kingdom. This antique multi-cooker quickly took off because it was advertised as a more efficient product that reduced gas costs.
The rice cooker, similar to a multi-cooker, was then invented in Japan in the 1950s. Product designers took the rice cooker and improved upon its design to offer more purposes. They then marketed the multi-cooker to be useful as an electric kettle, pressure cooker, toaster, steamer, microwave oven, and bread maker, telling consumers that they no longer had to buy separate appliances for each of these tasks. The popularity of multi-cookers took off shortly after that, with many households all over the world owning them.