Multicookers, especially those made by Instant Pot, have become major fixtures in our kitchens in the last several years. Also known as electric pressure cookers, they took their move from the stovetop to the countertop as an excuse for an image makeover.
No longer perceived as the rattling explosion hazards our grandmothers placed over their gas burners, the new versions are quiet and easy to use, with the ability to ratchet down the start-to-finish time enough to make a complex weekend-style meal possible on a school night. They make comfort food—stew, chili, mac and cheese, beans, risotto—and transform tough cuts of meat into deep-flavored, silky-textured marvels.
Yet it’s important to note that multicookers and slow cookers are kissing cousins, doing the same work on different schedules. For some, it might be easier to put together a meal in the slow cooker in the morning before work and return to lovely aromas at the end of the day. Others can turn on the pressure and jam out an Instant Pot dinner in one go shortly after walking in the door.
Multicookers’ enduring popularity has led to a spate of books that help the home cook get the most out of their device. These are my favorites, thanks to their well-tested recipes, packed with flavor.