Choosing small appliances when living in a “normal” Manhattan apartment (meaning one without a multi-million-dollar price tag) can be a daunting task, given that storage is at a premium and counter space is a precious commodity—whatever does make the cut needs to be both a proven success and space efficient, with an added bonus for multiple functions. We had been very happy with our slow cooker, but it produced just enough for the family (and no leftovers) and increasingly busy schedules were making it less functional for us and the search for a new solution began. We may have found just the device for our NYC kitchen: the award-winning LUX LCD Multi-Cooker (Amazon Affiliate link) from Zavor—especially incredible because the extra-large 8-quart size can make large enough meals to feed our family of five (including three very hungry kids between the ages of 10 and 14) plus a few guests.
Similar to other multi-cookers (like Instant Pot and many others), the compact 13-inch diameter footprint of the 8-quart LUX LCD hits the aforementioned trifecta of small kitchen appliances, and then goes even further by offering ten preset cooking functions: Pressure Cook, Slow Cook, Steam, Brown, Flex, Simmer, Yogurt, Grains, Eggs, and Dessert. Additional Keep Warm and Time Delay programs move from preparation to cooking to serving without the chef having to make any adjustments (leaving them to set out the fine china for the dinner party, of course).
We were sent a review unit of the LUX LCD Multi-Cooker for the purpose of this post and have been incredibly pleased; all opinions are our own based on our experiences. Beginning with an easy introduction into pressure cooking, we started with a beef chili recipe that only required 15 minutes of cooking time (preparation time of chopping onions and browning meat took longer than the actual cooking). We used the flex setting on the multi-cooker to cook the vegetables and brown the meat, then seamlessly moved to the pressure cooking by adding the beans, tomatoes, and other ingredients, sealing the lid, and dialing in the correct setting.
Since then we have tried several other recipes, our favorite being a “pressure prepared” dinner of shrimp scampi and cinnamon-coconut rice pudding (which was seriously delicious)—linguini and roasted brussels sprouts were cooked the old-fashioned way.
An interesting fact for fans of multi-cookers, the Zavor product line is a reincarnation of the well-respected Fagor America brand that shut down operations after the closure of its Spanish parent company. The team behind Fagor brought the best parts of their products to the new line and created the new company.
If you’re a fan of multi-cookers and have a favorite recipe or resource, please leave a comment—I have a feeling that my family is going to be putting more pressure on this chef (pun fully intended).