The Fagor Electric Multi-Cooker is a handy multitasker in the kitchen, ideal for kitchens with limited storage space. But it's important to know that each of the appliance's functions doesn't necessarily have all the bells, whistles and features that a single-use appliance would have.
The Fagor Electric Multi-Cooker is under $100, a reasonable price to pay for a kitchen appliance that has so many functions. If you plan to use this primarily as a basic slow cooker and a pressure cooker, you're likely to be satisfied with this appliance.
It's a Slow Cooker
The slow cooker feature worked just great, cooking Black Bean Soup with Sausage and Chard with steady, evenly low heat all day long. And while many home cooks lament that most slow cookers don't have delay start timers, this one does have one that can be programmed for up to 8 hours (As the manual cautions, don't use the delay start timer for foods that might spoil if they're left out at room temperature). The Multi Cooker only has one temperature setting (low, which the manual says is around 180 degrees F) and the 9.5-hour timer can be set at 30-minute intervals; it beeps and switches to the warm setting when the timer runs out.
It's a Pressure Cooker
The pressure cooker function has low and high settings, but the high setting cooks at only about 9 psi (pounds of pressure per square inch), while the standard "high" setting is 15 psi for most standard pressure cookers and pressure cooker recipe books. The Multi Cooker's low pressure is about 5 psi. This means that food might take longer to cook than in a regular pressure cooker. However, I loved how easy the pressure cooker was to use – just set the timer and let it do all the work – no waiting by the stove for the pressure to build, and wondering if you've properly adjusted your stove temperature to maintain the right level of pressure. The machine senses when the cooker is at full pressure and begins timing from there. You can release pressure either by turning the pressure release valve or just by letting the pressure drop naturally without touching the machine (the cold-water release method is not possible with this Multi Cooker). I used it to make cream of asparagus soup and found it an easy, one-pot dish, particularly because I could brown the shallots right in the multi-cooker.
It's a Rice Cooker
The rice cooker setting on the Multi Cooker is a little misleading; it is basically a 6-minute timer for the pressure cooker. In my testing, 6 minutes wasn't long enough to cook normal white rice, so I had to cook it for an additional few minutes. The rice came out a little soupy and porridge-like, rather than fluffy. For some recipes, this might not be a problem, but if you're looking for fluffy, distinct kernels of rice, you won't get it with the rice cooker function. The manual suggests that if you prefer steamed rice, which would have a fluffier consistency, you can put it in a steamer basket (not included). The rice cooker setting can also be used to cook polenta, risotto, and other grain-based dishes.
The Bottom Line
- Has a delay start timer, even for the slow cooker feature
- Small footprint
- Convenient "brown" setting lets you saute food right in the cooker
- Easy to use, particularly the pressure cooker function
- Only one temperature setting for slow cooker
- Rice cooker timer can be inaccurate
- The removable nonstick cooking vessel holds 6 quarts (although you shouldn't fill the slow cooker more than 2/3 full for the pressure cooker function)
- Has "brown" and "keep warm" settings
- Manual contains recommended pressure cooking times
- Manual contains recipes for all three functions