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Using a multi-cooker involves the following steps – plugging the appliance in, placing ingredients inside, closing the lid, choosing the appropriate setting, and pressing start.
Multi-cookers are small kitchen appliances that can be used to boil, simmer, bake, fry, roast, and steam food. Multi-cookers have grown in popularity over the last decade due to their high level of convenience and effectiveness.
If you would like to learn more about how to work a multi-cooker, refer to our detailed multi-cooker use guide below.
1. Place Multi-Cooker In An Appropriate Spot
A Multi-cooker shouldn’t be placed just anywhere in your kitchen and an ideal spot should be chosen before the appliance is used. It’s a good idea to make sure the multi-cooker is positioned a good distance away from the wall.
If it’s placed too close to a wall, the escaping steam can cause the build-up of mold and bacteria. Similarly, it’s a good idea to make sure that all released steam stays well-away from any electrical outlets.
2. Fill Multi-Cooker With Ingredients
Once your multi-cooker has been positioned in an ideal spot, it’s time to fill the device with food. Which ingredients you use and how much will depend upon what recipe you’re using and the size of your multi-cooker. Most home multi-cookers will come with a total capacity of 6 quarts.
Remember, liquid is very important when using a multi-cooker and you should always add at least 2 -3 tablespoons of water before turning the appliance on.
3. Choose The Setting
Multi-Cookers are versatile small appliances and the average model comes with anywhere from 5 to 10 settings. The most common settings you’ll find on a multi-cooker include slow cook, saute, boil, and steam.
Which setting you choose will depend upon what dish you’re making. For example, if you plan on making a beef soup, the slow cook setting is likely the best option. Similarly, if you're planning on cooking vegetables, the steam setting may be the most suitable choice.
4. Press Start and Let The Process Finish
When all required ingredients have been added, and the appropriate setting has been chosen, it’s time to turn the multi-cooker on. Once again, how long the process takes will depend upon what you’re cooking and what setting you have chosen.
It's good to check on the progress of your meal at regular intervals, especially when the steam setting is being used. When the dish has finished cooking, most multi-cookers will switch to a ‘keep warm’ setting.
Because of how multi-cookers work, it’s common for food material to become baked onto the inner walls. To deal with this issue, we recommend filling the appliance with 1.5 cups of water, adding some lemon juice, and running the appliance on a short cooking cycle.
This mix of heat, water, and lemon will help remove all caked-on gunk and result in a clean multi-cooker. If the inner bowl is detachable, you may also decide to place it in the dishwasher. If you go this route, always ensure the bowl is 100% dishwasher-friendly.
What Should I Know Before Using A Multi-Cooker?
What is a multi-cooker? A multi-cooker is a small kitchen appliance used to slow cook, steam, roast, and fry meats, vegetables, and other food items.
The average multi-cooker stands 17 inches tall, 11 inches wide, and carries a max volume of 6 quartz. The average wattage falls between 1000 and 1500 watts, meaning the appliance is safe to use on most grounded electrical outlets.
Multi-cookers are not an ideal choice for dishes that require dry heat, like grilled chicken breast or oven-roasted vegetables. Moreover, unless the multi-cooker comes with a pressure-cooker option (which many high-end models do), multi-cookers should not be used as a replacement for pressure cookers.
Finally, as stated above, multi-cookers are designed to operate with water. Even if a particular dish doesn’t call for the addition of water, using a multi-cooker without some liquid is a bad idea and can result in extremely dry meat and vegetables.
What Are The Stages of Using A Multi-Cooker?
Using a multi-cooker can be broken down into 3 main stages:
- Placing the multi-cooker in a suitable position far enough away from any wallet or electrical outlets.
- Filling the multi-cooker with the required ingredients and picking the more suitable program to run.
- Pressing start and waiting for the process to end.
Does The Multi-Cooker Type Affect The Usage Stages?
No, the multi-cooker type doesn’t affect the usage stages. However, some of the best multi-cookers come with more advanced pre-set options, giving users more variety when it comes to what kind of dishes they can create.
Is Using A Multi-Cooker For Pizza Dough Better Than Using A Pressure Cooker?
Yes, using a multi-cooker for pizza dough is better than using a pressure cooker. While multi-cookers use electricity to generate heat, pressure cookers use pressure. Because of this, pressure cookers can reach high temperatures much faster than multi-cookers, which helps lock in flavors.
However, when it comes to cooking pizza dough, the multi-cooker better recreates an oven environment, which most people would agree is the ideal way to cook pizza dough.
Although both appliances can be used, when it comes to the question of multi-cooker vs pressure cooker for making pizza dough, the multi-cooker is the close winner.
Is Using A Multi-Cooker For Steak Better Than Using A Pressure Cooker?
No, using a multi-cooker for steak is not better than a pressure cooker. As most steak-enthusiasts will agree, a quality steak tastes the best the less it’s cooked. Similarly, proteins, in general, lose flavor the longer you cook them.
Because pressure cookers reach high temperatures much faster than multi-cookers, they are the preferable choice when it comes to cooking steaks. That being said, some types of multi-cookers do come with a built-in pressure cooking setting, meaning they can be used to quickly and effectively cook steaks.
Is A Portable Multi-Cooker Better Than A Slow Multi-Cooker For Rice?
Yes, a portable multi-cooker is better than a slow multi-cooker for rice. Although both devices work perfectly fine for making rice, the portable multi-cooker will get the job done much faster.
That said, a slow multi-cooker may be more applicable for dishes like Jambalaya, rice pudding, and tikka masala.
When making rice in a multi-cooker, always check to see if the model has a rice/risotto setting. Using this setting will simplify the process and reduce the chances of you overcooking the rice.
How to Use A Multi-Cooker For Other Uses Besides Cooking Food
Multi-cookers are extremely versatile small appliances that can be used for a great number of different applications. To learn more about the different uses of multi-cooker, refer to the sections below.
How To Use A Multi-Cooker As A Slow Cooker
To use a multi-cooker as a slow cooker, fill the small appliance with the appropriate ingredients and use the ‘slow cook’ setting.
All multi-cooker models come with the ‘slow cook’ pre-set, meaning no matter what brand or make you have, it’s easy to use a multi-cooker as a slow cooker.
How To Use A Multi-Cooker As A Rice Cooker
To use a multi-cooker as a rice cooker, start by measuring out the amount of rice you wish to cook and rinsing said rice using a sieve or strainer. If you don’t rinse the rice before cooking, the small amounts of surface starch stuck to the rice grains can cause a bitter taste and affect the texture.
Once rinsed, place the rice into the multi-cooker and add water. The amount of water you add will depend upon how many cups of rice you plan on cooking. Most long grain rice will require a ratio of 2:1 (two cups of water for each cup of rice). This ratio lowers to 1.5:1 when medium-grain white rice is being cooked.
Now that the required amount of water has been added, cover the multi-cooker with the lid and choose the rice setting. Once the rice has finished cooking, most multi-cookers will automatically switch to the ‘keep warm’ function.
How To Use A Multi-Cooker As A Flan Maker
To use a multi-cooker to make flan, start by mixing 2 cups of whole milk and 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla extract. Next, whisk 4 eggs with ⅔ cups of sugar until the mixture is of a decent consistency. At this point, you can get the multi-cooker ready by filling the bowl with 2 cups of water and selecting the ‘steam’ setting.
Combine the mixture of milk and vanilla extract with the freshly whisked eggs and pour the mixture into flan llanera containers. Next, place a steaming rack on top of the multi-cooker and position the now full llaneras on top. Some people choose to cover the llaneras with aluminum foil, while some do not.
While the custard mix is steaming, create a caramel mixture by heating sugar in a saute pan on medium heat. This process should take around 5 minutes to complete.
After around 20 minutes, the custard mixture should now be firm and the newly prepared caramel sauce can be poured on top.