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Best MultiCooker

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  • Old Glory
    Club Member
    • Feb 2018
    • 890
    • Northshore MA
    • Weber Summit Charcoal Grill
      XL BGE
      DCS Gasser
      Humphrey's Cabinet Smoker
      Weber Performer

      Slow & Sear
      Vortex
      Ceramic Grill Store Reducer Ring
      Woo Rig;
      Adjustable Rig
      BGE Pizza Stone
      FireBoard
      Pit Bull Fan
      Griddle Store Griddle

    Best MultiCooker

    Hi my Wife has been hinting she wants a multicooker. I really don't know much about them. Both Cooks Illustrated and Consumer Reports rated the Zavor as the best. I will probably go with that unless the knowledgeable people here on this site have other suggestions or opinions.

    My second choice would be an Instant Pot Wifi or Breville

    Thanks!
  • Huskee
    Pit Boss
    • May 2014
    • 14988
    • central MI, USA
    • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

      Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

      Smokers / Grills
      • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
      • PBC
      • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
      • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
      • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
      • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
      • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
      • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
      • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
      • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

      Thermometers
      • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
      • (7) Maverick ET-732s
      • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
      • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
      • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
      • Thermapen MkII, orange
      • ThermoPop, yellow
      • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
      • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
      • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
      • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

      Accessories
      • Instant Pot 6qt
      • Anova Bluetooth SV
      • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
      • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
      • BBQ Dragon
      • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
      • Weber grill topper
      • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
      • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
      • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

      Beverages
      • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
      • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
      • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
      • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
      • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
      • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
      • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

      About me
      Real name: Aaron
      Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

      Occupation:
      • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

    #2
    Don't know anything about the Zavor or other brands, but I suppose all those are relatively the same, like a microwave, with various perks from one brand to another. One thing I know, the IP-style cooker is a great tool for sure. For a while I thought those gadgets were a fad, a gimmick, but I have been proven wrong they're the real deal. My wife loves our Instant Pot.

    Comment

    • Jim White
      Club Member
      • Sep 2019
      • 527
      • Gainesville, FL

      #3
      When my old crock pot gave up the ghost, I got a standard Instant Pot. I used it for a few things. Several turned out well.One thing that worked well a time or two was making biryani. I also had a couple of failed biryani runs. The problem may have been that I worked from three or four different recipes and only a few magic combinations work, but I've drifted away from using it.

      I will use it this evening, but only as a warmer. I'm making a pot of soup for a church dinner. Will cook the soup in my stock pot and then transfer to the Instant Pot for keeping it warm while serving.

      I guess I'm just old fashioned and have the time to cook things the conventional way, so these devices just don't pull me in much. For folks with long work days away from the homefront, I see the appeal.

      Comment


      • Old Glory
        Old Glory commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes exactly. We work all day and having the convenience of the Instant Pot would be nice.
    • Murdy
      Club Member
      • May 2018
      • 464
      • North-Central Illinois

      #4
      I have a Magic Chef Multi. It's ok, but, Instant Pot is the most widely available one, so you will find more recipes written with it in mind, they work, but don't translate directly as the controls are a little different. Maybe if I was more experienced, I would not have any difficulties translating. I don't know if the same is true of the Zavor.
      Last edited by Murdy; November 14, 2019, 09:31 AM.

      Comment

      • parkerj2
        Former Member
        • Aug 2016
        • 115

        #5
        we've had an instant pot for 3 years or so. since before the craze started, really. It is very useful. I still prefer to braise things the old fashioned way, but sometimes when you want dinner in an hour, its amazing.

        The BEST thing I've used it for is making stock. makes GREAT stock in about an hour or so. Not "traditional," but for cooking at home, its rich, gelatinous, and flavorful. makes a major difference in braises/soups/sauces. If mine broke, id buy a new IP just for making stock.

        Comment

        • mgaretz
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 830
          • San Ramon, CA
          • Mark Garetz
            Rec Tec pellet grill
            Weber Genesis Gasser
            Maverick ET-732 and Thermapen and others

          #6
          Here are my thoughts, and I owned a Cuisinart version for years before switching to the InstantPot brand. (I own a 3 qt and an 8 qt)

          First, don't worry about the recipes written for the InstantPot and not the others. 99.9% of the recipes just use the high or low pressure manual setting which they all can do the same.

          Second, for me it was all about leveraging the brand name. By owning the main unit brand name (IP), you can get a ton of aftermarket accessories that are made to fit it - baskets etc. fit about everything, but having extra (and replacement) gaskets is much easier and less costly than the off brands.

          Last, I found the actual InstantPot to be much better constructed than my Cuisinart though it never gave me any problems.

          Comment


          • Old Glory
            Old Glory commented
            Editing a comment
            That was my thought as well. More support with the IP over other less popular brands.
        • Sam6687
          Club Member
          • Mar 2019
          • 112
          • West Virginia
          • From the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia
            i have done brisket, ribs, pulled pork, cheese, pastrami, turkey and chicken. my goal this spring and summer is trout (if i can catch a few) and salmon.

          #7
          I love my Instant Pot, I haven't tried any of the other brands so I can speak to a true comparison but i think that most of them are probably about equal. I know there are diehard instant pot fanatics that cook absolutely everything in them. Even normal quick cooking things like pasta etc. I avoid those types of food in mine, it just doesn't seem to be worth the fuss to do it in the pot when the traditional method is just as fast and doesn't
          lead to potential errors (lumpy stuck together pasta for example). I focus on the types of things that would take all day int he crockpot like soups etc that i can make in an hour after work for example. It just gives me a lot more flexibility with dinner options after a long day at work. on average i would say mine gets used 2-3 times a week, not always dinner but occasional desserts too. I highly recommend it for cheesecakes.

          Comment


          • parkerj2
            parkerj2 commented
            Editing a comment
            2nd on this. why cook pasta or rice in it, when my pasta or rice is already DONE by the time the IP gets to pressure.
        • Dewesq55
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 1853
          • The Poconos, NEPA
          • Smoker:
            Landmann Smoke Master Series Heavy Duty Barrel Smoker (COS)
            Masterbuilt 40.2" 1200W Electric Smoker
            Masterbuilt ThermoTemp XL 40" Vertical Propane Smoker

            Gas Grill:
            BBQPro (cheap big box store model) Stainless steel 4 burners with aftermarket rotisserie.

            Thermometer:​​​​​​
            Fireboard with Drive cable and 20 CFM fan
            ThermoWorks Mini Instant Read
            Lavaworks Thermowand Instant Read
            2 Maverick 733
            ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S Industrial Infrared Thermometer
            ThermoWorks ThermaPen Mk4 x 2
            Govee Bluetooth Thermometer

            Miscellaneous:
            Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator - 1st generation
            Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator - wifi/bluetooth connected

            Favorite Beer:
            Anything to the dark side and malty rather than hoppy. Currently liking Yuengling Porter and Newcastle Brown Ale. In a bar or pub I will often default to Guiness

            Favorite Spirit:
            Bourbon - Eagle Rare for "every day"; Angel's Envy for special occasions, Basil Hayden's, Larceny

            Favorite Wine:
            Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Super Tuscan Sangiovese (Including Chianti Classico Riserva) Brunello di Montalcino

            Favorite Meat(s):
            Pork - especially the darker meat. I love spare ribs and anything made from shoulder/butt meat
            Chicken - Mainly the dark meat and wings
            Beef Ribeye steak

            Favorite Cuisine to Cook:
            Can't list just one: Indian, Chinese, Thai, West Indian/Carribean, Hispanic/Latin American, Ethiopian, Italian, BBQ

            Favorite Cuisine to Eat:
            Indian, followed closely by BBQ.

            Disqus ID:
            David E. Waterbury

          #8
          Look around and read reviews. Serious Eats had a good comparative survey from a couple of years ago. Most of the bells and whistles are not all that useful. You mostly just use the Pressure Cook setting, and usually high pressure. For that reason, you might want to find the one that reached the highest maximum pressure and get that. Most electric pressure cooker (which a multicooker is) cont reach the pressure you can get from a manual cooker, but the enhanced safety and convenience are generally a good trade-off.

          Comment

          • Bkhuna
            Club Member
            • Apr 2019
            • 487
            • Merritt Island Florida

            #9
            I have a 6 and an 8 qt. InstantPot. I use them a couple of times a week.

            The IP is a bust as a slow cooker. It can't take the place of a good crock pot. Neither can a stove top pressure cooker. I have been happy overall using the IP. I only use the high pressure setting and manual timing. All the other stuff is piffle.

            Saute function you ask? Yes, you can saute and then pressure cook, but the bottom of the pot is slightly domed and that keeps requisite oil from staying in most of the bottom. Sticking is an issue. Additionally, the surface area at the bottom of the IP is relatively small. I prefer to use a real saute pan and transfer the browned ingredients into the IP. Seriously, how long does it take to was an extra saute pan.

            If I had to do it all over again I'd buy the IP.
            Last edited by Bkhuna; November 14, 2019, 01:43 PM.

            Comment

            • klflowers
              Club Member
              • Sep 2015
              • 3216
              • Tennessee

              #10
              Instant pot Duo 6 quart here. It is pretty handy. Made some pretty good red beans and rice a few weeks ago, it is a beast on boiled eggs, made a butt in it last week. I haven't tried any of the competitors, but as mentioned earlier in the thread, there are a bunch of aftermarket accessories made for the IP that puts it over the top IMO.

              Comment

              • Mosca
                Charter Member
                • Oct 2014
                • 3358
                • PA
                • Large Big Green Egg, Weber Performer Deluxe, Weber Smokey Joe Silver, Maverick 732, DigiQ, and too much other stuff to mention.

                #11
                I read the Cook’s Illustrated review. That Zavor sounds like a nice unit.

                I use my Instant Pot for the best braised short ribs I’ve ever had. I don’t think I’ve ever made anything else in it. It sits in the corner of the counter taking up space.

                Comment

                • JGrana
                  Club Member
                  • Aug 2016
                  • 284

                  #12
                  I got an InstantPot last Christmas. Thought it would be "ok" but after doing various soups, eggs and stews - it is great.

                  Lately I have been doing Pho - both beef (Pho bo) and chicken (Pho ga) come out incredible. Perfect for those cold Northeast evenings.

                  As other have said, it can saute - it does get very hot, but the surface area is not as good as a nice skillet. But, for browning stew mean, chicken etc. before turning into soups and stews - works great - one pot.

                  Last, as a "small batch" canner, it can't be beat. I have done numerous cans of dill pickles, pickled beets, pickled carrots using the IP. You can first sterilize 3-5 small jars, fill with what you are canning and use the Steam function to "boil" the cans. Works great.

                  NOTE - I have not done pressure canning with the IP. I suspect it will work fine, but is not yet "certified" for this type of canning. You stick to the boil type canning.

                  Comment


                  • parkerj2
                    parkerj2 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Mind sharing your Pho recipes?
                • Attjack
                  Club Member
                  • Aug 2017
                  • 3963
                  • Primo XL
                    Weber 26"
                    Weber 22"
                    Weber 22"
                    Weber 18"
                    Weber Jumbo Joe
                    Weber Green Smokey Joe (Thanks, Mr. Bones!)
                    Weber Smokey Joe
                    Orion Smoker

                    DigiQ DX2
                    Slow 'N Sear XL
                    Arteflame 26.75" Insert

                    Blaze BLZ-4-NG 32-Inch 4-Burner Built-In
                    - With Rear Infrared Burner
                    - With Infrared Sear Burner
                    - With Rotisserie
                    Empava 2 Burner Gas Cooktop
                    Weber Spirit 210
                    - With Grillgrates
                    ​​​​​​​ - With Rotisserie
                    Weber Q2200

                    Blackstone Pizza Oven

                    Portable propane burners (3)
                    Propane turkey Fryer

                    Fire pit grill

                  #13
                  The one Kenji uses looks cool. No idea which brand it is.

                  Comment

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