Multi-Cookers

This page contains all the resources I have on multicookers: can an instant pot really replace eight kitchen appliances and be your most-used device, how is a multi-cooker different from a rice cooker, and how to choose one.

People Ask

What is an instant pot?
Instant Pot is a brand of multifunctional electric pressure cooker that can prepare various meals replacing a number of kitchen appliances and saving time. It uses preprogrammed cooking instructions featuring different settings and cooking program options. The device comes with self-regulating features for temperature and the amount of pressure.
How does an instant pot work?
Instant Pot consists of three basic parts: the inner pot, the cooker base, and the lid. Turning on the machine a signal is sent to turn on the heat. The air heats up fast and expands. The liquid inside the inner pot turns into steam and, having no way out, creates pressure. The lid locks the food creating an air-tight seal on the inner pot.
What is the difference between instant pot, slow cooker, rice cooker and crock pot?
Instant Pot combines a pressure cooker, rice cooker, and slow cooker all in one.
A slow cooker uses a lower cooking temperature and does not build up pressure inside like an Instant Pot. It allows air to get out which extends cooking time.
A rice cooker acts as a steamer and offers fewer functions that only include rice cooking, unlike the multifunctional Instant Pot.
Crock-Pot is a brand of slow cookers which is why it is often mistakenly used as a slow cooker synonym. Crock-Pot is used only as a slow cooker, while Instant Pot is a brand of multifunctional cookers.
What size instant pot do I need?
When choosing the best size of an Instant Pot, you should consider the size of your family and the types of food you plan to prepare using this appliance. They come in a variety of sizes, measured by their capacity in quarts – 3, 6, 8, or 10.
  • 3 Quart:
    • Ideal for cooking for 1-2 people.
    • Recommended for making side dishes.
  • 6 Quart:
    • Bestseller.
    • Big enough to prepare meals for up to 6 people.
  • 8 Quart: Good choice for families/gatherings with up to 8 members.
  • 10 Quart: Suitable for cooking large batches and big groups.
How to use an instant pot?
  1. Place inner pot inside.
  2. Add ingredients.
  3. Secure lid in place.
  4. Depending on the cooking program, turn the handle on top to SEALING or VENTING.
  5. Select a cooking program.
  6. Choose ADJUST to alternate temperature or – / + to modify cooking time.
  7. When Instant Pot is at pressure, the button will pop up and lock the lid.
  8. When cooking is done, KEEP WARM mode will start.
  9. To open the lid choose:
    1. Quick Release – release pressure by turning the handle to VENTING.
    2. Wait for Natural Release.
  10. When pressure is released, you can open the lid.
What is a rice cooker?
A rice cooker is an electric appliance for boiling or steaming rice. Once the rice reaches proper temperature, the device will automatically be turned off, so you can be sure that rice won’t be overcooked or burned. This is prevented by an overcooking protection and a non-sticking coating. Cooked or boiled rice will be kept warm in a cooking bowl until you are ready to serve it. It is ideal for preparing large amount of rice without much effort. You can also use a rice cooker to prepare other meals like steamed vegetables, oatmeal or even perfectly boiled eggs.
How does a rice cooker work?
Rice cooker consists of an electric heating element, main body, a cooking bowl, and a thermostat that controls the heat. When water and rice are poured into a cooking bowl, the heater starts heating the bowl and at 100ºC (212ºF) brings water to a boil. The heat is carried in the steam that rises up so the temperature maintains the same. When rice absorbs all the water, cooking is finished and, since there is no more water to boil and remove the heat, the temperature starts rising. The Rice cooker mechanism senses this and, in order not to overcook the rice, it starts “keep warm” mode or just turns off.
How do you use a rice cooker?
  1. Measure the rice and rinse under water if needed.
  2. Place the rice in the rice cooker.
  3. Measure the water and add it to the rice.
  4. Add seasonings or oil if preferred.
  5. Close the lid.
  6. Plug in the rice cooker and turn it on.
  7. Wait for the rice to be cooked.
  8. After your cooker made a sound, changed the light or automatically switched to WARM more, cooking is finished.
  9. Leave it to rest for about 15 minutes.
  10. Remove the lid.
  11. Stir and serve.
How long does a rice cooker take to cook?
It takes 20 minutes to one hour for most rice cookers to finish cooking. Cooking or boiling time can vary based on the amount of rice – the more rice, the longer it takes for it to cook. It also depends on the type of rice used – white, brown, basmati, arborio, black rice, etc – each type needs different amount of time and water to be cooked. The average time for cooking a cup of short-grain rice is 15 minutes, for whole-grain rice is 40 minutes and for the brown rice the longest – 50 minutes.
Luckily, using a rice cooker you don’t have to measure the cooking time and worry about overcooking the rice – the device will do that for you and let you know once everything is done!
How much water does a rice cooker use?
Most rice cookers use a ratio of water to the rice of 1:1. This means that 1 cup of rice needs 1 cup of water to be cooked. Considering the fact that different rice types require a little more or less water to be perfectly cooked, you can follow the rules below:
  1. Long grain white rice – 1 ¾ cups
  2. Medium grain white rice – 1 ½ cups
  3. Short grain white rice – 1 ½ cups
  4. Basmati or Jasmine rice – 1 ½ cups
  5. Brown rice – 2 ¼ cups.

Keep in mind that adding too much water will make the rice overcooked and gooey.

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Best Multi-Cookers

The best multi-cooker you can get on the market today is the Instant Pot. Check my Instant Pot buying guide!

Multi-Cookers 2

Other Choices

Check out my buying guides:

Or see the current deals on Amazon.