Multi Cookers

Bing Lee's Multi Cooker Buying Guide

No more apologies for ruining dinner! This brilliant invention will have dinner sorted whether it's a hearty, slow cooked Sunday stew or a fast and fresh, steamed mid-week meal. This appliance fully substitutes a kitchen stove and oven.

You need not have cooking experience to master this machine. You do the minimal preparation and the Multi Cooker will do the rest with a timer allowing you to manage meal time down to the minute. Better still, when it seems like there are just not enough minutes to cook a delicious meal, the pressure cooker function will have your lean cuts tenderised in no time. So you can have your curry and eat it too!

Functions of a Multi Cooker

Pressure Cooker

Whether for the busy individual, couple or family, the pressure cooker setting allows you to cook a dish faster than it takes on stove or oven, with less effort. And having the option to brown your food in the cooker before pressure cooking, you'll have less to wash up afterwards. The low-pressure setting is suited to vegetable dishes. The high-pressure setting is great for cooking meat. Usually it would a long time to make lean meat tender but in this method of cooking, the pressure tenderises it much faster. So you can cook a curry or stew in a fraction of the time it would normally take, making this function ideal for weeknights when time is limited.

Slow Cooker

This function allows you to press a button and walk away as your meat and vegetables to simmer slowly in their juices while you get on with other afternoon activities. Slow cooking is ideal for weekends or when you have a spare few hours at home and you can hover around the kitchen to occasionally check in on your stew. Imagine a crisp Autumn evening, when the sun is setting and your appetite is calling for comfort food, you open the lid of the slow cooker to find a melt-in-your-mouth beef stroganoff ready to eat.

Steamer

Steaming is a relatively fast method of cooking and has it health benefits. Unlike boiling, steaming allows more nutrients to be retained. Use this setting to prepare healthier dishes while cooking rice or other elements of the meal at the same time. Steam can be dangerous when cooking, so some steamer functions also have a steam extractor - a type of vacuum that sucks in the steam, making it safer for you to open the lid.

Rice cooker

Some multi cookers have this function, as well as other functions for you to use simultaneously. This saves you time and energy as you can cook rice and one or two dishes at the same time with the one appliance. Having this function, you probably won't need a separate rice cooker and cooking rice in the microwave could be a thing of the past.

Sauté

This is yet another convenient feature of a multi cooker. Often recipes call for searing or browning meat before stewing it in a slow cooker or pressure cooker function. With the sauté function that step is done for you. It saves you time and energy, cutting out the use of another saucepan. This means less washing up so essentially it's a 'one pot' dish.

Roast

Yes, roast! The deluxe Multi Cookers can roast any meat that will fit in the pan. You can even collect the juices left at the bottom to make gravy. Then steam your peas, carrots and potatoes for mash, and voila! A complete roast dinner with minimal washing up.

Deep fryer

Hot chips, spring rolls, felafel or donuts. This function is there for those family favourites. Just add oil and your cooker turns into a deep fryer. This may not be a function you use too often, but it's precisely why having it as an option is better than having a deep fryer as a separate appliance. It takes up less room to have one machine that cook in multiple ways.

Heat/reheat

This is a handy function that allows you to keep your food warm after it has finished cooking, without drying out your food. So when having dinner parties, or if serving needs to be delayed, you don't have to worry about your food going cold. It also lets you reheat food, like the leftover stews, soups and casseroles you made with your multi cooker.

Baking

It's not the conventional way of baking, but have you ever tried baking banana bread in a slow cooker? You could be saving on energy bills. If you have an electric stove, you will approximately halve the electricity consumption by using the Multi Cooker. And in Summer, using this machine instead of your oven will greatly reduce the heat in the kitchen, if you can't stand it.

Combinations you can buy

There is a wide variety of function combinations in Multi Cookers. Many have two functions, such as sauté and pressure cook or sear and slow cook. With these machines you simply add the ingredients, without the liquids, and it sautés (browning the meat or veg for a richer flavour). Then once the liquid is added it commences the slow or pressure cook function. Then there are the ones that can do it all - sear, steam, fry, deep fry, roast slow cook, pressure cook, bake and, wait for it...make yoghurt!

What doesn't it do?

Ok, so the multi cooker sorts out cooking dinner for you, but it has limitations. It won't do absolutely everything but it come pretty close. The versatility of this kitchen tool could really be valuable to you, as long as you optimise the way you use it. As with most appliances, it is designed to make cooking - and life - much easier. Read the instructions that come with it and find some great recipes to get the best out of the machine and to get your money's worth.

Still Need Help?

Still have questions? If you are still unsure about what you need, call our friendly customer service on 1300 980 399, or to find the closest Bing Lee to you, visit our Store Locator

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