First came slow cookers, then rice cookers. Now it’s all about multicookers, which perform several functions in one handy pot. They slow cook, pressure cook, steam, cook rice, sauté, bake—the list goes on. Here, a shopper’s guide.
The Krups 4-in-1 ten-cup rice cooker is a great basic option. It features four cooking modes: rice, steaming, slow cooking, and oatmeal. It has a cool-touch locking lid and comes with a steamer basket, rice paddle, and measuring cup ($120 at krupsonlinestore.com; 800-387-3995).
The Deni 8.5-quart (34-cup) oval pressure cooker browns and steams, offers three pressure cooking settings (high, medium, and low), and also slow cooks (with a 9-1/2-hour timer). The time delay function lets you begin cooking up to 8 hours after you set the timer ($260 at deni.com; 800-336-4822).
Cook in Clay
The VitaClay Smart multicooker’s interior liner is made from natural, unglazed Chinese Zisha clay, which needs very little (if any) oil for cooking and seals in the food’s nutrients and natural juices. It’s dishwasher and microwave safe, too. This 3.2-quart (13-cup) model can slow cook, make three kinds of rice, and keep food warm for up to 12 hours ($150 at vitaclaychef.com; 877-877-9121).
Cuisinart’s new 3.2-quart (13-cup) Rice Plus multicooker boasts “fuzzy logic” technology, which uses sensors to automatically adjust the heat and timing depending on the food being cooked. There are settings for three kinds of rice, risotto, oatmeal, soup, slow cooking, steaming (tray insert is included), quick cooking, and reheating. You can also sauté in the nonstick aluminum pot ($149 at cuisinartwebstore.com).
This Sanyo microcomputerized rice cooker not only cooks rice but also bakes cakes. Its 10-cup capacity and programmable functions add to its versatility: It can make three kinds of rice, quick cook, steam, and slow cook. You can set it up to 15 hours ahead ($80 at sanyostore.com; 800-421-5013).