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What’s most important when you choose a multicooker?
So a little time ago I wrote a post about why you should use a multicooker. And this time I will help you choose one with my checklist.
When you look up multicooker – there are so many different models that it might make your head spin. It made my head spin when looking for the first one. How do you choose a multicooker – there are hundreds of them? And it was even worse because I really didn’t know will it actually work and how. Now I will start looking at the second one and I know so much more – so I thought to share my checklist and will explain it a bit.
- Removable inner pot
- Overall size and looks
- Automatic programs
Removable inner pot
While I choose a multicooker – this is an important option I check for several reasons. First – cleaning! You need to wash it and it is so much easier to do it when you can remove it from the multicooker. Second – serving and storage. At least in my house, everyday dinners aren’t fancy and it is normal to place cookware on the table so everyone can take as much they like. And when there are leftovers – it’s easy to pop it in the freezer overnight and place it the multicooker for warming up. Also, a removable inner pot usually means you can buy an extra inner pot or a new one if needed.
Multicooker and Sizes
So this one is a bit tricky. Inner pot sizes are often given in two values – overall capacity and cooking capacity. The difference is usually 1 liter and comes from a fact that food will need room to bubble while the cooking lid is closed. So check it out from specification. The cooking capacity should be around the size of your most commonly used cookware. If you have a small family or live by yourself – 3L is more than enough. But with a bigger family, I wouldn’t recommend anything less than 5L.
Extras for multicooker
If you find a multicooker you like – check out both included extras and extras you may purchase separately – like extra inner pot. Most commonly they come with utensils for stirring and serving, steamer plate. But some also have extras for cooking cakes or making yogurt.
While you choose a multicooker – try to imagine how and when you will be using it. You have to be honest with yourself. More extras aren’t better. Especially if you most likely won’t use them and they will start collecting dust. If you don’t eat yogurt more than few times a year – you will not start to make it just because you can 🙂
I will be honest. The only extras I ever used were a steamer plate and an extra inner pot. Not even scoops because my own are more comfortable (I use plastic and wooden utensils mostly so they are safe in multicooker also). So don’t stress much about when the one you like doesn’t have much included.
The only really important is an extra inner pot. And if you like deep-fried cooking then it is a must, because deep-frying need metal rest which will damage inner pot Teflon pretty quickly. I had one pot mostly for frying and the second one for more sensitive meals (porridge with milk).
There are two important timers on multicookers. First one – will and how long multicooker keeps food warm. The second one – can you set a predefined time when the meal has to be ready. Keep warm function is a lifesaver when your arrival times may change or people in your family arrive at different times. And predefined finish time gives you the opportunity to make meals without being there. Lifesaver for working moms or even before a big holiday feast.
For example, I usually arrived home around 18-19 PM, but my better half mostly around 16-17 PM. So I programmed meals to be ready at 16 PM and when he arrived – food was ready and it was also hot and fresh when I arrived. The meals always taste differently when you reheat them. And when you keep them on a warm stove to keep warm – they tend to burn. But that’s not the case with a multicooker. Mine kept warm up to 12h after finishing and it tasted like freshly made. And holidays – my family loves slow-cooked meat and I always struggled with one oven – when to make a cake, meat, potatoes. Multicooker solved it since I popped meat in it and it cooked it for me the whole day without needing me more than to activate and serve 🙂
Overall size and looks of multicookers
If you want it to be helpful – you gonna end up having it on the counter all the time. or most of the time. So sorry, but it has to fit on your counter. With big families – don’t count your stovetop, you might need it to make extra sauce or a side dish. And who the hell wants an ugly appliance on the counter? It has to fit with your kitchen. sorry. It does. White plastic multicooker in the silver, grey, black kitchen is hideous and you will want to hide it – therefore you will not use it. If you are lucky to have a butler’s pantry, then it might not matter because others will not see it as much. But still, I am sure you want it to fit in? So while all technical and usage aspects are more important when you choose a multicooker – don’t underestimate the looks. This will be your personal sous chef make it nice.
Well, they sound important so why are they at the bottom? If you cooking different kinds of rice and pasta dishes all the time – then yeah. they will matter to you more and please check out how many of your favorite dishes can be done with automatic programs. But if you have a simple taste you probably end up using one-two automatic program and DIY programs, because they do it all. I used automatic programs for porridge, rice, and deep fry – everything else I got done with either frying or soup. I had 17 automatic programs. Yes, 17. Used 5.