Suggestions on Multi-Cookers
Hello folks. I'm new to the Chowhound boards, so please be kind. :)
Today i ran across a whole new class of kitchen appliance that I didn't know existed: multi-cookers! I am excited! I am especially excited about the pressure cooker / slow cooker combos (such as this Fagor: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI...)
Only one thing is holding me back: the non-stick coating on the cooking pot. One of my favorite uses for a slow cooker is making mulled wine. In my old slow cooker (sadly deceased), I used to leave wine and spices warming all afternoon. However I'm not comfortable about leaving something highly acidic (like wine - or even tomato sauce for that matter) simmering in a non-stick pan.
What do you folks think? Am I being overly paranoid? Is anyone aware of a similar model with a stainless steel or ceramic pot?
I have the Fagor 3-in-1, and cook acidic things (tomato-based soups and stews, braises with lots of wine) in it all the time. No problems.
Why the concern about acidic items and nonstick?
From the WIki article on PTFE:
"PTFE's high corrosion resistance makes it ideal for laboratory environments as containers, magnetic stirrers and tubing for highly corrosive chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid, which will dissolve glass containers."
"An early advanced use was in the Manhattan Project as a material to coat valves and seals in the pipes holding highly reactive uranium hexafluoride in the vast uranium enrichment plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, when it was known as K-25."
I realize that reports of detrimental health effects of non-stick coatings are controversial. However, I personally believe that there is enough evidence to justify avoiding it. I guess my concern regarding acidic food is irrelevant - in general I'd prefer a multi-cooker without the non-stick coating.
I haven't used my Fagor multi-cooker for mulled wine but I have used it for several other things and there hasn't been a problem with corrosion of the non-stick interior. I think you'll be fine using one for wine or tomato-based sauces and you'll find it immensely useful for all sorts of cooking.
I haven't paid much attention to multicookers, except to wonder at the $200 pressure rice cookers that wealthy Koreans are using along side their $1000 Kimchi refrigerators (browse you neighborhood HMart). I do use pressure cookers, including a new stainless steel Fagor, but quite using slow cookers when the wedding gifts conked out.
Anyways, I looked at the Amazon Fagor link, and then looked at the panel of similar items. It didn't take long to click on this Manttra, which appears to be uncoated stainless steel.