How to choose a multicooker
One of the most popular kitchen appliances and the dream of any housewife is a multi-cooker that allows you to quickly and easily prepare any dish. This miracle unit has a lot of advantages compared to the stove, such as:
– Noticeable time savings: all cooking steps that usually required personal presence are now controlled by the kitchen assistant and you no longer need to wait for the boil to boil and then stir or turn it over;
– Multi-functionality: the built-in processor allows you to prepare a variety of dishes according to the specified programs;
– Preservation of useful properties of products: they are prepared in a hermetically sealed bowl in an oxygen-free environment at temperature conditions that allow you to save vitamins and other useful substances in food;
– Use fewer spices and seasonings: the food retains its own flavor and rich taste;
– No carcinogens: food is prepared without fat and oil in its own juice, which is almost not evaporated;
– Saving the desired temperature of the finished dish: the multi-cooker automatically switches to the heating mode at the end of the program;
– Autonomy or lack of control during operation and at the end of the cooking process: since it is automatically disabled, notifying this with a sound signal, it can also independently start the cooking process on a timer so that the dish is freshly prepared;
– No rich food odors, as when cooking on the stove;
– Compact and space-saving: multi-cooker does not require a lot of space and at the same time can perform the functions of other often quite expensive kitchen appliances;
– Mobility: the device weighs only a couple of kilograms and can work in any place where there is electricity;
– Safety: unlike dishes on a gas stove or oven door, the multi-cooker body does not burn outside (which is especially important for parents).
It would seem that such a miracle device with a lot of advantages should displace the stove once and for all. And indeed, some Housewives almost all the dishes are prepared in a multi-cooker and are delighted with such a useful purchase. However, there are also those who do not see anything interesting in it and even regret buying it. So which of them is right? So let’s try to understand the many existing models of these miracle pans and consider their differences from each other and the very feasibility of buying.
Types and characteristics of multicookers
According to the principle of impact on products multicookers can be divided into several types.
Standard multi cooker
The classic multi-cooker is an electric pot with a closed loop of heat circulation and program control.
Despite its apparent simplicity, it is a full-fledged kitchenette with the functions of cooking, frying, baking, stewing, languishing, cooking dessert, etc.That is, it is able to replace several kitchen appliances at once, such as a pot, pan, oven, steamer, rice cooker, yogurt maker, bread maker and some others.
The standard multi-cooker is very easy to manage and allows you to cook even for people with zero culinary experience – you only need to chop the ingredients from the recipe and turn on the program (in advanced models, you can manually adjust the time and temperature, delay timer and auto-heating). Everything!
Even the collection of recipes themselves is usually bundled with the device, thus saving the consumer time to search for the right recipes on the Internet.
In a pressure cooker, products are prepared under high pressure, which makes it possible to raise the boiling point of liquids above ~ 100 °C. This not only speeds up the cooking process, but also often unusually changes the taste of familiar dishes, including those prepared in the same device, but without pressure.
One of the many and popular features (effects) of a higher boiling point is the softening of the bones, which is very noticeable, for example, in fish. So, fish soup made from bony river fish in a pressure cooker under pressure can be eaten without removing the bones – they will be soft as in canned food.
The shelf life of ready meals inside the pressure cooker is also slightly increased. As in a conventional multi-cooker, there is also a fairly small amount of time and effort spent on the cooking process, and there is also no danger of burning the dish.
Progress is progressing and numerous kitchen operations after detailed study have finally been formalized and robotized. The result was the creation of a cooking machine that combines dozens of different kitchen appliances, appliances and utensils at the same time, such as a multi-cooker, blender, mixer, scales, steamer, bread maker, yogurt maker and many others. And the more expensive the model, the more devices it can be structurally combined.
Thus, the cooking machine can easily perform most of the cook’s actions instead of the cook, and simultaneously combining several stages of cooking and preparing several diverse dishes in one container. Recipes are often pre-stored in the memory of such a machine, and Wi-Fi support gives an endless list of possible dishes, which is also interactive (creating your own recipes, you can interact with other users and comment on their actions).
Characteristics of multicookers
The more powerful the multi-cooker, the faster it is able to heat the ingredients when cooking. At the same time, the power must be in balance with the volume of the bowl, that is, a device with a small capacity usually has a small power, and a powerful one, respectively, a large one. For standard multicookers with heating element, this figure is usually 200 -250 Watts per liter, and for models with induction and / or 3D heating a little more.
As a rule, all multi-cookers are equipped with a display and a control panel that allows you to select the desired program, and in some models, set the desired temperature and cooking time.
In devices of the lower price range, control is often carried out by ordinary buttons, and the upper one – by a rotary joystick (wheel) or touch sensors, which, however, do not always work correctly from wet or greasy hands.
Recently, multi-cookers with control from smartphones have gained some popularity. Mass practical application of such a solution is still limited only by habits and biases, but perhaps the younger generation will eventually appreciate this innovation.
In multicooker induction heating takes place by a contactless method by the operation of the magnetic field. It is considered the most effective because it reduces the cooking time, safe because it is protected from overheating and switching on with an empty bowl, and economical because it has a very high efficiency of converting electrical energy into heat.
To get the same degree of readiness of all parts of the dish, regardless of their location in the bowl, it is necessary to evenly increase the temperature on all sides and throughout the volume. To achieve this, additional heating elements were built into the walls and cover of the multicookers. At the same time, this design solution reduces the cooking time and reduces the likelihood of food burning. The increased complexity of multi-cookers with 3D heating leads to its increased cost and higher energy consumption, which should be taken into account before purchasing.
Bowls of multicookers
At first glance, this is an ordinary accessory, a spare part that does not stand out from the other components of the device, but it is usually the one that causes the most questions and attracts increased interest, especially for those who already have experience with multicookers. The quality of the latter depends not only on the period of subsequent operation, but also the cooking process itself, as well as the usefulness of dishes.
The volume of the bowl is a fundamental parameter when choosing a multi-cooker. To determine the appropriate volume when buying, you should proceed at the rate of one and a half to two liters per adult.
– For a family of one or two people, the optimal choice is a small multi-cooker for 2.5-3
– For a family of two adults and one or two children, 4-5 liters is enough.
– For a large family or a family consisting of several generations, as well as frequent reception of guests and home preparations, a bowl with 6 or more liters is suitable.
There is a wide range of models from two 2-x to 10-and liters, but the most common, which is quite natural, five-liter multicookers.
Important: keep in mind that, as in a normal pot, the working volume of the bowl is 0.5-1 liter less than the total volume.
The bowl itself is most often made of one or more layers of aluminum or steel, although there are clay, titanium, cast iron, and even glass for the nozzle-aerogrill. The inner surface of the bowl is usually covered with a protective non-stick coating. The most common materials of such coatings:
– Teflon. Requires extremely careful handling during operation. Otherwise, it is scratched and this quickly loses its non-stick qualities, but at the same time, such containers are relatively durable and perfectly washed in dishwashers;
– Ceramics. Eco-friendly and safe, tolerates high temperatures, but at the same time it is fragile and can not be washed in the dishwasher;
– Uncoated/stainless steel. They are easy and safe to use, but keep in mind that they are extremely sensitive to acidic environments, which limits the use of some recipes, and you can only salt ingredients in them after heating, otherwise the steel bottom will be damaged (speckled with shells).
– Multi-layer non-stick coating. Durable, wear-resistant, absolutely safe, easy to clean, but usually very expensive.
The Titanic efforts of manufacturers to develop and implement new innovative types of protective coatings for multicookers do not stop for a moment, so we should expect a gradual expansion of the possible choice.
Top 5 best multicookers
COMFEE’ Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker, Steamer, Stewpot, Sauté All in One ( 12 Digital Cooking Programs) Multi Cooker with 20 cups cooked rice (5.2Qt ) Large Capacity. 24 Hours Preset & Instant Keep Warm
Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sterilizer, and Warmer, 6 Quart, 16 One-Touch Programs
Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11-in-1 Air Fryer, Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Sous Vide, Roast, Bake, Broil, and Warmer|8 Quart|11 One-Touch Programs
Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker, and Warmer, 6 Quart, 15 One-Touch Programs
Crock-pot SCCPPC800-V1 8-Quart Multi-Use XL Express Crock Programmable Slow Cooker with Manual Pressure, Boil & Simmer, 8QT, Stainless Steel
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