One of the best things about summer time, is the bounty of fresh food that is just a short drive from where you live. If you live near a community garden, farmers market, or even a local farm, you have access to some amazing produce.
When I first became interested in using my slow cooker to cook for my family, I got the slow cooker I saw on TV. I thought, “Wow, this is so cool, it does everything!” I took it home and started using it. I felt like I was having my own little cooking school where I could prepare all my favorite dishes. I was doing everything right—using the right ingredients, timing, and recipes. Everything was going great!
And then I met a slow cooker owner who didn’t know what to do with hers. She was baffled by the recipes she found online, so she gave up.
She was going to try and fix her problem, but then I gave her the multi-cooker I use. I could tell she was a little bit overwhelmed and she got very quiet after a few minutes. She told me later that she thought I was trying to show off.
It was true. I was trying to show her that I knew what I was doing. And she did not.
So I thought, “Why don’t I try to make a better slow cooker? I can’t do everything that I did before, but I think I can come up with something that is better.”
What Is a Multi-Cooker?
A multi-cooker is basically a single device that can be used for different things. You can use it to cook, bake, and reheat foods. It can also cook individual ingredients in a particular temperature or keep them warm while you’re waiting for something else to cook.
What Can a Multi-Cooker Do?
You can use a multi-cooker to cook:
- Bread (yep, you can bake in one)
- Pasta (by using it as a cooktop)
- Pretty much any cooked food, such as soup, chili, casseroles, and stews
- Leftovers (I love using mine for this)
- Sides while you use your regular oven for another part of your dish
The multi-cooker I bought is pretty much just a little smaller than a regular slow cooker. It has one temperature setting, which I think is great because I don’t need to babysit it as much. It heats things up faster than a slow cooker, and I have less things to clean up.
This recipe is a great place to start if you’re new to multi-cookers. You’ll see how you like it and then you can make more complex recipes.
How to Use a Multi-Cooker
The first thing to do is to heat the food you want to make in the multi-cooker. The instructions will tell you how many hours you need to cook. For example, this recipe says it will cook for 6 hours. If you have a programmable clock, you can set it for how many hours you want to cook the food, which makes it really convenient.
After the food is cooked, the multi-cooker will almost always have some easy way to get the food out. This allows you to easily pull the food out and put it in the fridge. You can also put it on a plate or in a container to cool.
Once you’ve made the food you want to cook, you’ll want to get your ingredients ready. In the recipes, you’ll see which ingredients are used for a specific purpose, so you can keep things organized. For example, the salsa needs to be put in the pan before you put in the chicken. If you put the chicken in first, it will dry out and become rubbery.
When you’re ready to cook, you just put the ingredients in the multi-cooker, set the timer, and walk away.
Things to Consider When Buying a Multi-Cooker
You can buy a multi-cooker for a lot of different reasons. For example, you may have a whole ton of recipes that you want to cook, but not enough space for all the appliances you need. You may have different foods that you want to make at different times. You may want to make your food on a budget, and multi-cookers are super energy efficient.
One thing to think about is the amount of time you’re going to use your multi-cooker. If you want to cook something for a couple of hours, but don’t use it every day, you may not want to buy a multi-cooker.
There are many things to consider when buying a multi-cooker. Some multi-cookers may cost a lot of money. If you are going to use it a lot, it’s important to get one that’s reliable and durable, from a reputable brand like Instant Pot or Ninja.
We hope this article will help you decide which multi-cooker is right for you. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.