TUCSON, Ariz. - This summer, let a pressure cooker save you time, and keep the kitchen cool! Pressure cooking ribs will help to tenderize, then pop them on the grill to sear and smoke. Need devilled eggs for a crowd? No problem because pressure cooked eggs are simple to peel. But which device can tackle your whole summer barbecue?
“First there was Instant Pot, and then along came all these other multi-cookers, which can cost like from $70-250 a pop," says Consumer Reports Home Editor, Perry Santanachote. "So that's why we set out to learn how they perform.”
Consumer Reports tested multi-cookers, checking out features like steaming, sauteing, slow-cooking and pressure cooking, by making pork ribs, chili with dried beans, lots of vegetables, and white rice. Five models got excellent ratings for pressure cooking, and a few had some special talents.
The Breville Fast Slow Pro stood out for slow-cooking, so it would be perfect for making tender baked beans. It also got high marks for steaming - every BBQ needs something a little healthy! The Breville’s lid doesn’t lock in "steam mode", so you can peek in and avoid mushy veggies.
The six-quart Instant Pot Max has a sous vide feature, that will turn out moist meats and fish. It did a very good job making rice.
The Ninja Foodi OP302 has a crisping lid. After pressure cooking a chicken, testers browned it nicely. It also works as an air fryer. You can even roast corn on the cob in it!
As for dessert? A multi-cooker can even finish your summer BBQ with a cheesecake, all without turning on your oven!
Consumer Reports has this tip: The silicone ring that seals the lid on multi-cookers can retain the odors of whatever you cook. So to keep the scent of curry away from your cheesecake, consider keeping a second ring, just for sweets, on hand. It’s also a good idea to dry the lid ring-side-up.