- Tip 1. Starting with the basics
- Tip 2. Pressure is everything
- Tip 3. Freezing your meals
- Tip 4. Pay attention to the water line
- Tip 5. Cleaning your multicooker
- Tip 6. Fixing your under-cooked meals
- Tip 7. Keeping meat hot and juicy
- Tip 8. Keep these products away from your multicooker
- Tip 9. Turn your multicooker into a popcorn machine
- Tip 10. You will need more sealing rings
Do you own a multicooker? Use these proven tips to make your cooking process easier and more rewarding.
The multicooker is the next best thing since sliced bread. It can reduce cooking time and make your food healthier. If you have a multicooker, you don’t need hundreds of pots and pans to prepare different meals. And the best thing? Cooking is almost effortless! There is also less heat in the kitchen. The food is juicier, more colorful, and has a stronger flavor. No wonder the multicooker users have created their own subculture.
Follow these 10 easy tips if it is your first time using a multicooker.
Tip 1. Starting with the basics
Before we plug it in, let’s examine how this nice little countertop appliance works. The multicooker has a large base made of plastic or metal which hosts an inner pot that resides atop a heating element. Similar to stove-top pressure cookers, most multicookers have the pressure cooking function. Don’t forget to seal your appliance before using this option. Increased pressure raises the boiling point, making the food cook much faster.
Things you need to know:
- Always close the steam release valve when you are cooking under pressure.
- Open the valve if you are slow cooking.
- The floating valve releases excess steam automatically.
- Align the silicone gasket correctly to create an airtight seal under the locked lid.
- You can’t open the lid when you are pressure cooking.
- The multicooker’s heating element will regulate the temperature automatically, depending on the cooking function you chose.
- Always cook your food in the removable pot.
- The control panel is pretty intuitive to use. It allows you to select a cooking function and set up the timer.
IMPORTANT: Unlike stove-top pressure cookers, multicookers are safe from exploding. If you failed to seal it properly, it simply won’t start pressure cooking.
Tip 2. Pressure is everything
Most multicookers come with several pressure settings. If you want to prepare a 10-minute chili recipe, set the cooker to the highest setting. However, if you want a tastier, gently-cooked meal, choose low pressure. If you want to cook restaurant-worthy food, including desserts (yes, you can bake a cake in that thing), stick with the low pressure setting.
Tip 3. Freezing your meals
One of the best things about pressure cookers is that you don’t need to thaw your products before cooking them. If you are a busy person or following a diet, prepare a meal plan for an entire week. Use round containers to freeze products according to pre-planned precipices. When it’s time for making dinner, simply put your frozen food into the removable pot. You can use your favorite Tupperware containers or even Ziploc bags to store the ingredients.
Tip 4. Pay attention to the water line
The inside of your removable cooking pot has a water line. Pay attention to it. Depending on the meal you cook, you might need less or more water. If you are cooking expanding products like pasta, use less water than you would when cooking it the traditional way. Most recipes for multicookers contain the exact amount of water you need. Vegetables that shrink during cooking require very little additional liquids. However, it’s safe to err on the wet side. If you used too much liquid, open the lid or use the valve to let the excess steam out.
Tip 5. Cleaning your multicooker
Some people are afraid to buy multicookers because they think that they are a pain to clean. The good news is that most multicookers are dishwasher-safe. It means that except for the base, all parts can be washed in the dishwashing machine. You have to wash the lid by hand, though. If you have old gunk building up on the surface, gently remove it with hot water mixed with a little vinegar or lemon juice.
IMPORTANT: Always clean the removable pot and the multicooker’s lid thoroughly. If you have some food stuck on it, it may interfere with cooking.
Tip 6. Fixing your under-cooked meals
If you are using a multicooker to prepare a meal, it’s better to err on the side of caution. Most recipes follow this principle and you might find your meals a little underdone. No worries! Just put your food back in and turn your multicooker to the highest browning setting for a few minutes. Don’t forget to add a little water.
Tip 7. Keeping meat hot and juicy
Most multicookers come with two options of releasing the pressure after the cooking program has finished. The quick release allows the heat to escape fast. The natural release will keep the food cooking slowly even after the multicooker has turned off. Use the natural release when cooking meat, if you want it to melt in your mouth. The quick release option may cause the meat to toughen. 15-20 minutes of natural release is enough even for a large pork loin or a beef stew.
IMPORTANT: Using the quick release option when preparing meat can cause the cooking liquid to spew through the pressure valve. You might have to steam-clean your kitchen.
Tip 8. Keep these products away from your multicooker
Multicookers are versatile and can be used to cook everything from soups to desserts. Burritos, lasagna — you name it! Products like dried beans, different kinds of meat, grain dishes, vegetables are a match made in heaven for your multicooker. But certain products are better kept away from this appliance.
- Fresh milk and cream will curdle under pressure.
- Oats will blow up in the multicooker.
- Fresh herbs will lose their structure and taste.
- Delicate seafood doesn’t handle pressure cooking well.
Tip 9. Turn your multicooker into a popcorn machine
Everybody loves microwave popcorn. But multicooker popcorn is even better! You can use your universal appliance to cook some delicious popcorn, free of dangerous inflammatory oils. Just pour in the corn kernels, set your appliance to slow cooking. Check it from time to time to make sure you haven’t burned your snack.
Tip 10. You will need more sealing rings
Always buy spare silicon sealing rings. Multicookers don’t require much maintenance. However, sealing rings tend to pick up the smell which won’t go away no matter how often you wash it. If you don’t want your desserts to smell like beef and beans, just put in a new sealing ring and enjoy your cooking.
Multicookers are the ultimate option for “lazy” cooks, health-conscious eaters, people on a diet, and even snack lovers. Your multicooker can be anything you want. If you have ought this wonderful appliance, start with one or two multicooker recipe books and you will become an experienced cook in no time. Use our tips to make your cooking journey easier and more rewarding.