Choosing Your Multicooker
The newest craze sweeping the kitchen is multicookers. This handy little gadget is guaranteed to make your life easier and cut down drastically on the time it takes to prepare a meal. Just about every company has jumped on this sensational new device; it’s difficult to know which ones are worth your money and which ones are destined for your trashcan.
What is an Instant Pot?
Instant Pots or multicookers are basically glorified pressure cookers. A pressure cooker uses high pressure to heat water to the boiling point. As the water’s pressure builds, the cooker and its contents maintain a higher temperature, 230+ degrees Fahrenheit, food cooks faster. You can see how handy this can be for cooking fresh ingredients quickly.
The added bonus with Instant Pots, etc. is that they’re multifunctional. You can use them in many ways, not just as a pressure cooker. Many offer ways for you to cook rice, steam vegetables, and if you’re ambitious, make your own yogurt. They’re exceptionally good at making stew and soups too. Some are even wi-fi compatible, so you can turn it on at work and come home to a steaming hot meal. How convenient is that!
Much like crock pots, multicookers come in all sizes ranging from:
3 quarts – which is a great size for rice, small meals or taking with you to a hotel or while traveling in an RV.
6 quarts – Makes enough for a family of four and can accommodate an entire chicken.
8 quarts – Good for a family of 6, but does take longer to cook compared to the 6-quart model.
is considered a Canadian brand, but it’s manufactured by a company in China, Midea Group, who is known for manufacturing a variety of small kitchen gadgets. The Instant Pot line has made a name for itself as the go-to multicooker and by far is the most popular. They offer unique features on their devices such as wifi, as mentioned before. They offer sizes 3, 6 and 8 quarts and nearly all of them had received at least a 4 star rating on Amazon.
Mueller is another well-know German manufacture that produces quality multicookers. They stand behind their products 100% (so they claim). The nice thing about their multicookers is their lids have a window into the pot so you can see how well your meal is turning out.
Of course, Ninja has to get in on this act. Well known for their highly acclaimed and stylish blender, their multicooker is no different. The Ninja multicooker is not only stylish, but it also is an air fryer. Talk about multitasking. Okay, maybe not all at the same time, but this little machine packs quite a punch!
WHAT CAN YOU MAKE IN AN INSTANT POT?
Here are a few of my favorite recipes to use in your multicooker that saves a ton of time.6 Minutes Instant Pot Mash Potatoes RecipePREP TIME 6 minutes
COOK TIME 6 minutes
TOTAL TIME 12 minutes
• 1 pound of potatoes, peeled and cut in halves.
o I’ve used Russet, Yukon Gold, but my favorite is Red
• 1/3 cup of milk or half and half
• 4 tablespoon of butter
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 1/2 cups of water for the pressure cooker
o You could also use chicken stock for more flavor
1. With your potatoes peeled, cut lengthwise in half and set aside
2. If the potatoes are extra large, first cut them in half and then the halves in half again. They’re best if they’re about an inch by an inch.
3. Pour water into the multicooker’s inner liner. Add potatoes.
4. Put the lid on and turn the Steam Release valve to seal.
5. Press the “MANUAL” button and +/- to 6 minutes.
6. Once the Instant Pot pressure cooker is finished, vent it by pushing the Quick Release. These potatoes will be hot, so carefully remove the water from the potatoes inside the inner liner.
7. Leave the “Keep warm” setting on.
8. Add butter to the potatoes and mash them with a potato masher.
9. Once mashed, add milk, salt, and pepper and continue getting your frustrations out… I mean mashing until desired texture.
10. Serve hot with your favorite meal and maybe a little gravy Here are some more great websites featuring some terrific recipes for your multicooker:
Basically, what it comes down to, is what you personally want in a multi-cooker. If you’re looking something basic and budget-friendly, then Instant Pot has many budget-friendly models. If money isn’t a concern, there are many types that have tons of options to choose from. Just decide what you want to use it for the most and you can narrow down the best option for you.