Last Updated on January 10, 2023
A multi cooker is a cooking appliance that can save you time and ease in the kitchen. They’re incredibly flexible, enabling you to cook a variety of meals using a range of different programs.
Often featuring over 10 modes, you can make easy, delectable dishes in a short amount of time. Continue reading this article to answer the question everyone has been asking – what can you cook in a multi cooker?
A slow cooker and multicooker are two completely different appliances, but it’s incredible that you can slow cook food in the latter. In fact, this is one of the top-selling points of a multi-cooker for many people.
This slow cooking function allows you to leave food unattended for hours with low risk. So you can go to work and your slow cooker will cook one pot of food in an extended time frame. What’s more, once it’s cooked, most multi cookers will automatically switch to the warm setting, so your food will be ready when you come home.
View this post on Instagram
Opt for the sauté setting to turn your multi cooker into an electric stovetop. The sauté setting allows you to cook cuts of meat while retaining the moisture. Hence, beef, chicken, pork, and more meats don’t become dry while keeping it tender. Alternatively, brown onions in the sauté mode to enhance the ingredients’ flavour. You’ll love this mode because you won’t have to wash another pot in the kitchen.
If you love eating meat, this is one of the best ways to cook pork, chicken, and more and create a brown layer. Place the meat into the cooker for around 30 minutes before adding the liquid to develop a layer of flavour. This technique will lock in moisture and take your chicken or cuts of meat to another level.
Another way to use your multi cooker is steaming food. This is one of the most popular functions for creating great-tasting ingredients and enhancing the food’s flavour. This method of cooking locks in vegetable’s flavour and nutrients, helping you to enjoy a more nutritious meal. Use the steaming function by adding plenty of water to the multicooker and utilising a steaming rack to cook all your favourite ingredients. Many multi cookers will come with a steaming rack included.
Once you’ve switched it on, the multicooker will turn up the heating element to a high temperature to get the water boiling quickly. You can place the lid on top to trap the moisture. Using the steam setting on a multi cooker is just the same as steaming on a hob.
Surprisingly, did you know that you can bake in an electric pressure appliance? In particular, you can bake biscuits, casseroles, cakes, pastries, and more. No matter which recipe you explore, ensure that you spray the inside of the instant pot with a cooking spray or some oil. Then, place the cake mixture inside, close the lid, and press the ‘bake’ function. You can leave it to work its magic without having to supervise the progress.
A fry setting on an instant pot enables you to cook fries, hot wings, mozzarella sticks, and a variety of other recipes. Simply add oil to the pot and place your food and spices into the multicooker. Set the appliance to ‘fry’ and it’ll get to work, creating great flavours without requiring a large amount of oil.
What You Can’t Cook in Multi Cookers
Now, let’s look at some recipes to avoid when using a multi cooker. These multi cookers can’t cook dishes in dry heat. You’ll require a lot of fluid to get your food to pressurise in the pot. Therefore, dry dishes won’t come to a pressure, so they won’t cook properly. This includes making toast, baking sweet potatoes, and more.
Furthermore, a multi-cooker can’t recreate the texture and flavours of oven-roasted vegetables or grilled chicken.
Easy Multi Cooker Favourites
What can you cook in a multi cooker? Let’s get down to unravelling some multi cooker recipes that’ll unleash delicious flavours and create dishes in a reduced time frame. Whether you are looking for a new slow cooker meal to try or cooking a classic chicken recipe, the internet is filled with inspiration for you to try. Here are some recipes we think everyone should try.
Mac and Cheese
So many people love mac and cheese for dinner, but it isn’t always an easy food to get right—especially if you’re new to pressure cooking. For these recipes, you won’t need to drain your pasta after cooking. Once you switch on the multicooker, the pasta will absorb the water during cooking and then, once your pasta is cooked, you just need to add the remaining ingredients.
For the best results, make sure that the pasta is cooked correctly and not overcooked or undercooked, and that all of the ingredients are fully combined.
This carbohydrate is a family favourite and can create versatile meals. With this recipe, you get delicious boiled potatoes that can complement a roast dinner or serve as the main ingredient to a comforting meal.
Begin by pouring water into your instant pot and place the potatoes in the basket, then lower into the pot. Make sure the lid is securely attached to seal in any moisture and flavours. Select the ‘steam’ setting and cook for three minutes at a high pressure. Note: it could take around 10 minutes for your pressure cooker to reach a high pressure.
Once the program has finished, move the pressure vent to its vented position to release steam so the food doesn’t become moist and soggy. Once all of the pressure and steam has released from the multi cooker, open the pot using heat-resistant mitts. You can eat them straight away, keep on the warm setting or store in the fridge to later enjoy as part of meals for the week.
With this recipe, you won’t have to buy store-bought yoghurt again. Begin by pouring the milk (this could be a vegan alternative) into the instant pot. Cover with the lid and select the ‘yoghurt’ function on your multicooker. After around one hour, remove the lid and stir in the yoghurt starter. Place the lid back on and leave the ingredients for around seven hours to ferment.
After this timeframe, remove the pot from the pressure cooker and pour the ingredients into an airtight container. Leave to refrigerate for at least four hours to completely chill. This recipe will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
If you’ve never made tender beef in your multi cooker, now’s the time to learn this one-pot recipe. Begin by removing the beef from the refrigerator for at least one hour before you want to start cooking your meal. Place in a cool place where it isn’t exposed to heat. This early-stage process will create tender meat you’ll love for dinner.
Next, cut up potatoes, and toss them with oil, salt, pepper, and garlic cloves. Then, place the ingredients in your multi cooker with the beef on top to create a crispy layer.
Select ‘bake’ or ‘roast’ on your multicooker and choose a temperature that matches how you like your meat cooked. If you like your meat very rare – cook at 220c for 30–45 mins; for medium-rare – cook at 220c for 30 mins and then 200c for 15–30 mins; for medium – cook at 220c for 30 mins, then 200c for 30–40 mins; and for well-done – cook at 220c for 30 mins, then 200c for 45 mins. Bear in mind that if you’ll be cooking the meat for more than one hour, you will need to place the potatoes in 15 mins after you’ve put the meat into the multi cooker.
Making white rice or brown rice is an excellent side dish for a variety of meals. Not to mention that your rice version will probably be healthier than packet options because it won’t contain preservatives.
To start, pour the rice into a sieve and rinse under a cold tap for at least a minute or until the water runs clear. Drain the rice and add to the pressure cooker along with water and a pinch of salt. Close the lid and place the valve to the sealed position, then select the ‘rice’ function on your appliance. Set the timer for six minutes on low pressure and begin the process. Once the pressure cooking time has finished, stir and serve the rice immediately. Avoid storing rice, as it can attract bacteria.
Soup is one of the best ways to add more vitamins and nutrients to your daily intake. It’s easy to make in a short amount of time, too. There are numerous multi cooker recipes for soup which are all pretty straightforward and follow the same basic methods.
Start by sauteing your base ingredients, these are usually foods such as onions, celery and garlic. You can do this using melted butter or a small amount of oil. Next, add the stock and your main ingredients. For example, if you are making a pea soup, this is where you will add your peas, and for a tomato option, your tomatoes. Cook on high pressure for around 10 minutes and then, when pressure cooking, it is important to wait another 10 minutes for your pot to release any excess steam built up.
If necessary, puree your mixture until smooth, and add any extra water to get your perfect consistency. Depending on your recipe, you can add any final ingredients at this stage too, and then leave to simmer. It’s a great idea to use the keep warm function with soups so they stay at the perfect temperature for when you are ready to eat.
If you’re never made vegetables in a pressure cooker, this recipe doesn’t take a lot of time and creates great results.
Begin by heating oil on the ‘sauté’ function and add the onion, stirring until it’s softened and cooked. Next, add the garlic and your preferred seasoning. Stir and cook for around one minute to heat up the ingredients and release the garlic flavour. Now, add your chosen broth (meaty flavour or vegetarian option) to the pan. Throw in your chosen vegetables: green beans, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, and any additional vegetables.
Place the lid on top and select the ‘manual’ setting. Leave to mix for around two minutes. But bear in mind it’ll take approximately 15 minutes for your pressure cooker to reach its maximum pressure. After this time, release the pressure for up to 10 minutes and remove the lid. Finally, adjust the seasonings to your taste and serve instantly or store it in the fridge for up to four days. This works great as a side dish or an easy base for curries or casseroles.
Enhance the flavour of beans using pressure cooking in an instant pot. Begin by setting aside your choice of dry beans and rinse them thoroughly. Leave them in hot water to soak and consider using some salt to form a brine solution. Boil for three minutes and soak for up to four hours.
Then, drain the beans and rinse thoroughly using lots of water. Then, place them into the multicooker and add plenty of water, making sure that it covers them by around two inches. Season well with salt, using a stirrer for an even mix. Finally, press ‘manual’ and cook the beans for varying times, depending on the type you’re making:
- Black: 30 mins
- Pink: 20 mins
- Navy: 35 mins
- Kidney: 40 mins
Beans can often take hours to cook using traditional methods so pressure cooking is a great way to save time, especially if you plan ahead and soak your beans overnight.
View this post on Instagram
Who doesn’t like pizza? Thanks to multi cookers, you don’t need to fork out on an expensive takeaway and can use slow cooking to make a great pizza everyone will like. You don’t need any new ingredients and it’ll even keep warm so you don’t have to worry about eating it straight away.
Begin by adding oil to the multi cooker, making sure that you’ve covered the base well to prevent any sticking. Next, roll out the dough to the size of your instant pot, and place it into the appliance—making sure that it fits in well without having to squash it to the sides. Then, poke some holes in the centre of the dough to prevent it from bubbling while cooking.
Next, get some passata or your chosen pizza sauce, and spread it over the dough. Top with your favourite cheese and add the toppings of your choice. Place some kitchen roll under the lid to prevent any condensation and cook on a low temperature for several hours.
If you have an instant pot with a transparent lid, you can check when it’s done if the crust begins to brown and bubble.
Tips for Using Multi Cookers
If you’ve never used multi cookers before, they can make your kitchen time easier and create some of the best meals you’ve ever tasted. Below are some tips to experience great-tasting food so you can make the most of its functions.
Always Add Liquid to the Instant Pot
Unlike other cookers on the market, you need to add liquid to pressure cookers – especially if you’ll be slow cooking food. Liquids can prevent the pot and base of the cooker from burning out. In fact, add some sauce to the pot to inject some flavour and improve the cooking process. What’s more, not using enough sauce will mean your meal will be dry and rough.
Don’t Overfill the Instant Pot
No matter what meal you’re making, whether you are using the slow cooker function to cook pulled pork or pressure cooking some veggies, never overfill the instant pot. For the best outcomes on all of your favourite recipes, fill in around two-thirds. There are usually markings made in the appliance for quick guidance. But if you are unsure, consult the manual and remember it is probably safer to underfill than overfill it.
Consider a Separate Lid for Slow Cooking
If you plan to use your multicooker for slow cooking, it could be worth investing in a separate glass lid. This allows you to observe the food you cook without having to remove a heavy, chunky lid. It will also be easier to remove the lid to stir in new ingredients throughout the cooking process.
Keep Food Warm
Finally, instant pots can keep food warm for over 20 minutes, which is extremely useful if you often mess up with cooking times. In particular, the ‘keep warm’ setting enables food to taste at its best while you don’t have to endure your favourite dishes at a cold temperature.
The Wonders of Your Multi Cooker
A multi-cooker is a great kitchen gadget that reduces cooking times, locks in flavours, and prevents you from having to wash up multiple dishes after making a meal. So, what can you cook in a multi cooker? – virtually anything, except for a few that we’ve mentioned above. Plus, you don’t have to own and use multiple kitchen gadgets just to create these sumptuous dishes. From using it as a pressure cooker to speed up your casseroles to baking mac and cheese or a cake, the possibilities are endless!
With so many recipes to try out, it’ll be great to hear if you have any go-to meals to use with your instant pot. Share your recommendations and tips in the comments.
Amy is a U.K.-based writer and editor with a penchant for helping consumers find the best home products for their needs, as well as providing easily digestible guides for living better at home. Her dedication to her work means she can usually be found elbow-deep in research or hunting down samples of the latest and greatest on behalf of her readers.
An avid DIYer herself, Amy’s passion lies in teaching others how they too can achieve their dream homes by tackling some of those pesky projects themselves! Whether it’s building furniture from scratch or turning an old dresser into a coffee table, Amy is always happy to share what she knows about making your house feel like home without spending a fortune.