Useful ideas

Multivark selection guide


The slow cooker is a sort of “smart pot” with a heating element, a microprocessor and a temperature sensor. In this article we will talk about how to choose a multicooker for the house, what details you need to pay attention to when buying, present useful video plots and give some useful links to comparative reviews.

Why do I need a slow cooker if I have a stove?

It is clear that, say, in the kitchen of a student dormitory or cottage, the slow cooker is an excellent substitute for a stove, microwave and oven. And what if you have all the kitchen appliances, do you need a slow cooker in this case?

  • Indeed, the slow cooker is not the first thing in a full kitchen. The food in it is cooked more slowly, and some dishes are cooked in it almost as much as on the stove / oven: with frequent control, stirring, changing temperatures, adding water / oil. To taste, many dishes from the multicooker are the same as those prepared in the usual way, and only a few recipes succeed significantly better (omelets, stews, fish, cereals, cereals). Moreover, despite the advertised “simplicity of cooking”, at first it will be difficult to learn how to improvise and adapt programs for yourself.

There are several reasons to buy a slow cooker:

  • First, it allows you to cook most dishes without your control. All you have to do is cut the products, put them together and select the desired program. For example, you can stew stew and go for a walk with the children without fear that the vegetables will burn. Moreover, even if you linger on a walk, the stew will remain hot and fresh thanks to the auto heating function.
  • Secondly, the delayed start function, which most models have, will allow you not to waste time on preparing breakfast in the morning. All you need is to fill and start the cup in the evening.
  • Thirdly, if you adhere to proper nutrition, then the slow cooker will be able to diversify your menu with dishes cooked in steam or in its own juice without a drop of fat.
  • Attention! Choosing a multicooker, you need to focus on the working, and not the total volume of the bowl, which is often indicated on the box.

Tip 4. Do not overpay for an abundance of unnecessary programs. The main thing is that the multicooker has manual modes

Most multivarks can have from 6 to 18 programs, but there are also those that have up to 100 modes. The more programs the multicooker has, the more expensive it is. Before you buy, think about which programs you need and which ones will be rarely used. Here is a list of 7 most needed, in our opinion, basic programs:

  • Cooking porridge - it is better to change the settings of this mode for yourself, so that the porridge will turn out the way you like, for example, viscous or crumbly.
  • Cooking rice, buckwheat and other cereals.
  • Quenching is the most popular and versatile program that cooks like a stove at a low temperature. Due to this, in the "stewing" mode you can cook porridges, and soups, and stews, and aspic, and meat and vegetables.
  • Baking is a useful mode that allows you not only to bake, but also to fry (with the lid open).
  • Frying - the "frying" mode with the lid open is needed for many recipes, however, the Baking program with the lid open can replace it.

  • "Pilaf" - pilaf can be cooked in the "Rice" program if you pre-fry the zirvac yourself. However, the program "Pilaf" is good because it provides not only cooking, but also automated roasting at the last stage of cooking. With this program, you can cook not only pilaf, but also many other dishes where you need both cooking and frying, for example, pasta in a naval manner or fried dumplings.
  • Multi-pair is a user mode that allows you to independently set the temperature and cooking time. Using a multicooker, cooking according to recipes found on the Internet and improvising with such an option becomes noticeably easier. Some multicookers can remember several of your settings at once.

The smaller the temperature and time steps of the Multipovar mode settings and the larger the range of temperature and cooking time, the more culinary opportunities you will have.

Also for many Russian users there will be useful programs: "Soup", "Jam", "Steamer", "Bread Maker" (complete with a multivarker-bread machine two bowls), "Yogurt".

  • And here is a list of additional programs that are not needed every day and not to everyone: Fondue, Smoking, Pasta, Fryer, Cottage Cheese, Game, Baby Food, Pizza, Popcorn "," Risotto "," Sote "," Halva ".

Tip 5. The bowl should have handles

So that you can easily get a hot bowl from the multicooker, it is necessary that, firstly, the cover of the multicooker should open at least 90 degrees. Secondly, that the bowl had convenient heat-resistant handles.

Polaris PMC 0516ADG multicooker bowl has handles, but too small

  • Many multicookers have bowls without handles. You can get it only with special metal tongs (supplied or purchased separately) or silicone tacks, which will have to be kept at hand. In addition, pulling the bowl with tongs / tacks is less convenient, and therefore not safe, than simply lifting it by the handles like a saucepan.

Tip 6. Ceramic coating bowl safer than Teflon

The bowls of most multicookers are made of aluminum and coated with a non-stick coating:

  • Teflon;
  • Ceramic.

In fact, it is impossible to call a non-stick coating material an important criterion for choosing a multicooker, since the bowl is a consumable element of the device and, moreover, both types of coating are approximately equally short-lived.

  • Teflon coating is easy to clean and has excellent non-stick properties. However, it is quickly scratched, and as soon as scratches appear on the coating, it becomes toxic. Even with very careful handling teflon bowl is no more than 2-3 years. By the way, the plastic spatula, with which most multivarks are completed, is not suitable for Teflon coating. It is best to use silicone spatulas and spoons.

  • Ceramic coating is good because it is less afraid of scratches and washing with a brush, but it also wears out quickly. In addition, the ceramic bowl is afraid of falls from a height, it can not be washed in the dishwasher and, of course, it increases the cost of the slow cooker. But, even when ceramics deteriorates, only its non-stick properties deteriorate, but it does not bring any harm.

Ceramic Bowl Multivarki

If you try, you can find a slow cooker with a bowl of durable stainless steel. For example, the German manufacturer Steba (pictured) offers two bowls at once - coated with teflon and stainless steel.

Tip 7. It is desirable that automatic temperature maintenance can be turned off.

Almost all modern multicookers have the function of keeping food hot, which turns on automatically as soon as food is cooked. However, not every model allows you to cancel this option without pulling the cord out of the socket.

  • Imagine that you want to make stewed compote in the morning to come and refresh yourself with a cool drink in the evening. If no one is at home, and no one turns off the appliance when the compote is cooked, it will remain hot by the time you come. Therefore, it is worthwhile to give preference to the multi-cooker, which allows you to turn off the automatic heating before cooking.

Tip 8. The lid is an important part of the multicooker that needs to be examined with addiction.

First, make sure that the inner cover is removable so that you can easily remove it and wash it off from accumulated grease and dirt. Most modern multicookers provide such an opportunity, but, nevertheless, models without removable covers are still found. It is good if the multicooker lid is removed completely.

Secondly, before purchasing, make sure that the cover has no gaps, and the sealing gum fits snugly, lies flat and has no defects.

Thirdly, look at the place of attachment of the cover to the case. The plastic of the part holding the hinge axis must be thick and strong.

Fourth, pay attention to how the lid closes. It is better if it is locked with a locking method, and not with a key (in the photo), which rests only on a pair of pins. Unfortunately, such pins eventually pop out of the holes due to plastic deformation from constant contact with steam or just break. For many models of Redmond, Polaris, Ourson and Moulinex multi-cookers, such a breakdown often occurs, but not all service centers regard it as a warranty case.

Multivena Mulineks with a broken closing key

Below is a video of how to fix a broken cover retainer on the example of the Redmond multicooker.

Mechanical locks like, for example, this classic Panasonic SR-TMH18 multicooker easily gets dirty, but they are much more durable

Mechanical locks like, for example, this classic Panasonic SR-TMH18 multicooker easily gets dirty, but they are much more durable

Fifth, as already noted, the lid should be tilted by 90 degrees, and preferably more.

Tip 9. Want to save? Purchase a multicooker with a plastic case

The case of the multicooker can be made of plastic or stainless steel. The case material does not affect the quality of dishes and the functionality of the equipment, so if you want to save money, feel free to take a plastic slow cooker. True plastic plastic discord and if we buy a model of this material, then quality.

  • White plastic will turn yellow over time;
  • Quality plastic should not smell;
  • Choosing a multicooker with a plastic case, try to shake the cover and the body itself back and forth. A good plastic multicooker does not squeak or crack under such movements.

Stainless steel is stronger, less prone to scratches, looks beautiful, but noticeably weights and increases the cost of the device.

Tip 10. Multivarki must have a water trap.

Not every multicooker has a condensate collector, although it is really necessary. Thanks to such a simple detail, during cooking, the outer walls of the housing and the rim of the cover are not covered with moisture.

Collection of condensate multicooker Mulineks

Tip 11. Rubber feet - another mandatory requirement for the device

Rubber feet or small pads are the simplest details that allow the slow cooker to stand firmly on the tabletop and not slip. Unfortunately, some models have plastic legs as in the photo below.

Unfortunately, some models of multicookers, for example, REDMOND RMC-4503, do not have rubber feet

Tip 12. The display and control panel should be very convenient.

Whatever the form of the multicooker, it is desirable that the display and control panel be placed on top or on a slope, so that you do not have to bend down to start the program.

This Moulinex model (model CE 503132) has a convenient and compact rectangular shape; however, to see the display and buttons, you have to bend or sit down

  • The display should be contrast and preferably with a backlight so that the device can be started in the dark.
  • Be sure to try clicking on the buttons of vending models in the store. They should be sensitive and pleasant to work.

Well, when the display shows such useful information as:

  • Assigned time and / or cooking temperature;
  • Running program;
  • Auto Heater on;
  • The time remaining before cooking (often shown only towards the end of the appliance).
  • Duration of cooking;
  • The time remaining before the start when you delay the launch.

A timer showing how much time is left before cooking for many even expensive models is turned on only shortly before the end of work. So, for example, the Panasonic SR-MHS181WTQ multivarker timer switches on just 5 minutes before the end, which is very inconvenient

A timer showing how much time is left before cooking for many even expensive models is turned on only shortly before the end of work. So, for example, the Panasonic SR-MHS181WTQ multivarker timer switches on just 5 minutes before the end, which is very inconvenient

And a couple more words about advanced features.

  • If you have children, it is not superfluous to purchase a device with an inclusion lock when the bowl is empty.
  • Want to save on electricity and quickly heat up the bowl? Choose a model with induction heating, which consumes 2 times less energy. However, induction multicookers are much more expensive (about 20 tr).
  • Some multicookers are equipped with a 3D heating function, due to which products in the bowl heat up evenly from three sides (bottom, sides and top) and faster (about 30%), but energy consumption does not increase. Particularly relevant 3-D heating for baking mode. Keep in mind that the presence of this option increases the cost of the device for 1500-2000 rubles.

Modern models of multicookers have the ability to control via Wifi.

And finally, we offer to watch the video plot “Test purchase” on how to choose a multicooker for the house.