Last summer I tried some carrot soup that tasted like buttered toffee. It had been made in a pressure cooker, which heats water vapor above boiling temperature, greatly reducing normal cooking times. I told my parents I was going to get a pressure cooker, and they recommended the $90 Fagor multicooker, because unlike most pressure cookers it has an electric browning feature, which lets you brown beef, fish, or chicken right in the pot before you pressure cook it, greatly improving the flavor.
The Fagor is also a slow cooker and a rice cooker. Because it is so versatile, I use it almost every day. The throw-everything-in-the-pot-and-push-a-button approach has broadened my cooking horizons. I’ve made rib roast in the slow cooker that had my in-laws coming back for thirds. I’ve made mouth-watering chicken stuffed with sun-dried tomato pesto, basil and goat cheese in a matter of minutes. I’ve made salmon with spinach and lemon sauce, fennel and Italian sausage, creamy risotto, and spicy Bolognese sauce. Thanks to an online army of pressure-cooker devotees, I’ll never run out of recipes.
The only negative thing about the Fagor is that the user interface doesn’t make it clear when it is cooking. A couple of times I’ve set the timer and forgotten to press the start button, only to find out twenty minutes later that it never started. I’ve learned not to do that. -- Mark
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