What is a Multi-Cooker?
A Multi-Cooker (also spelled multicooker or multi cooker), commonly known as smart-cooker, electric pressure cooker* or even robot chef. It is a multi-use programmable cooker able to function as a stand-alone kitch appliance, replacing several other kitchen gadgets and, therefore, making cooking faster and easier. Most common multicookers are able to boil, simmer, bake, fry, deep fry grill roast, stew, steam and brown food. More recent smart-cookers are able to do much more, even as making yogurth and alcoholic drinks.
Multi-cookers date back from 1961 in Germany. Known back then (and still today) has “Thermomix” (originally VKM5), it’s an invention of the german company Vorwerk Thermomix who started to develop it in 1960. The “Thermomix” comes from the combination of “thermo” (heating) and “mix” (mixing). The first model (VKM5) was only used for stirring, kneading, chopping, grating, mixing, milling and juicing. However, the director manager of Vorwerk France had the idea to introduce an heating element in order to make the gadget popular in France and hence the further development of Thermomix.
Throughout the years, new brands have started to develop their own all-in-one kitchen appliances, some with great success. Nowadays, most high-cost multicookers can do pratically anything, thus being the most sought kitchen gadgets in world.
*Clarification: Some multi-cookers do not have pressure valves and do not function as pressure cookers. Same way some electric pressure cookers do not have other cooking functions. Therefore, there is still a slight difference between one and the other.