Master Your Multicooker

This machine can pressure-cook, slow-cook, sear, and sauté.

I’ve been cooped at home for a few weeks now. In these uncertain times, spending time in the kitchen cooking for my loved ones has brought me joy. It’s forced me to slow down, shake up my routine, and try new recipes and equipment. I recently hauled out something that I always think about using but rarely cook with: my multicooker. Now I’m singing its praises. Our winning multicooker is great on its own, but I’ve found that a few key accessories make the most of this machine. Our favorite silicone spatula, mini prep bowls, and flexible cutting mats all come in handy. And don’t miss one of the most important accessories of all, our cookbook Multicooker Perfection. It contains 75 foolproof recipes that work with any multicooker—not just our winner from Zavor and the internet-favorite Instant Pot. Here’s hoping you also find some happiness in the kitchen this week. —Carolyn Grillo, Associate Editor, Tastings & Testings

This model made great food and had a clear LCD interface that was easy to use and always told us exactly what it was doing, whether it was preheating, pressure-cooking, slow-cooking, or keeping warm. We also appreciated the sensor that alerts you when the lid isn’t properly sealed and the brace that prevents the gasket from drooping. You can also lock the control panel, so no one can bump it and accidentally cancel or adjust the settings.  More on this test

Coming in a variety of useful sizes that nest for compact storage, our winning set performed ably on almost every test. Its wide, shallow bowls were easy to hold, fill, empty, and clean. They can be used in the microwave and the oven. While the bowls in this set were the only ones to break when dropped, the heaviness of the glass with which they’re made makes it unlikely that they’ll easily fly off the counter.  More on this test

Everything we did with this ladle felt easy and controlled, from scooping chunky stew out of a small saucepan to reaching into a tall stockpot to collect broth. The 45-degree angle of the offset handle put our arms and wrists at a natural angle, giving us full control. The slightly shallow bowl worked well for scraping the bottom of a pot, though it was less convenient for collecting and retaining springy noodles than a deeper bowl would be.  More on this test

The scalloped, uncoated pincers on our longtime favorite tongs felt very precise. This model was also comfortable to use, not only because of the silicone-padded handle but also because the tension didn’t strain our hands or wrists. These tongs struggled a bit when transferring ramekins, as the uncoated pincers didn’t securely grip the ceramic, but this is a less common use, and the tongs excelled at every other task. This pair felt like a natural extension of our hands.  More on this test

“Feels fantastic when you pick it up: comfortable, light, ready.” “A dream” for cutting up chicken and dicing onion, with its “very slim, sharp tip” and an acutely tapered blade that made it feel especially light as well as slightly flexible. With a blade more curved than most of the Japanese knives, it assisted a rocking motion that effortlessly “pulverized parsley into dust.”   More on this test