REVIEW – One-Pot multi-cookers are amongst the most popular kitchen gadgets right now. I’ve heard multiple friends and family members rave about how great they are, so I decided to take the plunge and try one out for myself. The unit I’ll be reviewing is the Zavor LUX LCD multi-cooker.
What is it?
The Zavor LUX LCD multi-cooker is a multi-function pressure cooker that allows you to prepare food up to 3 times faster than traditional cooking methods. It also can be used as a slow-cooker, steamer, rice cooker, yogurt maker, stockpot, egg cooker, and dessert maker.
What’s in the box?
- Zavor LUX LCD multi-cooker
- 6-quart stainless steel removable cooking pot
- Steamer basket w/trivet
- Power cord
- Users manual
Design and features
The LUX LCD multi-cooker is similar looking to most other multi-cookers you’ve probably seen with a round body a lid. It kind of looks like a crockpot on steroids.
The top of the lid has a large cool-touch handle, along with a pressure regulating knob, floating valve, and pressure safety valve.
On the underside of the lid, there’s a y-shaped gasket attachment that creates an airtight seal needed for the cooker to build up pressure. The silicone gasket can easily be removed for cleaning.
The lid has a self-locking pin that automatically locks it when it is correctly aligned and closed. It also prevents it from being opened when there’s pressure inside. There’s also a condensation reservoir for collecting excess moisture which can be removed and emptied when necessary.
Inside the unit, there’s a dishwasher safe removable 6-quart stainless steel cooking pot.
Removing the pot reveals the units heating element and temperature sensor.
To safely handle your multi-cooker, there are two cool-touch handles on either side.
On the front of the unit, there’s an LCD panel. The panel has a blue backlight that makes it easy to read. The Zavor LUX LCD has 10 main cooking functions: Pressure Cook, Slow Cook, Steam, Brown, Flex, Simmer, Yogurt, Grains, Eggs, and Dessert. In addition, each of the main functions has a selection of settings with preset cooking times and temperatures/pressure levels. There are more than 30 programmable settings.
Navigating the screen is done using the knob located just beneath the display. Turn the knob to cycle through the functions and press the knob to select.
The control panel also includes 6 buttons:
- START/STOP – Used to begin or stop cooking.
- MENU – Used to go back to the main MENU screen.
- ADJUST – Used to adjust pressure/temperature and cooking time.
- TIME DELAY – Used to delay the cooking process by up to 6 hours. You can use the delay time setting after choosing a cooking function.
- KEEP WARM – Used for keeping cooked food warm up to 12 hours or reheating it.
- PANEL LOCK – Used to disable and re-enable the buttons.
The LCD screen makes the Lux easy to use even for a first time multi-cooker user like myself.
Let’s get cooking
Since this was my first time using a multi-cooker and pressure cooker, I wanted to focus on pressure cooker recipes. And the fact that they’re much faster to make doesn’t hurt either.
For my first attempt, I used a recipe from the included cookbook. The cookbook includes over 70 recipes and really comes in handy for newbies like me.
The recipe was for Pork Chops and Potatoes. The first step was to use the cookers Browning function to brown the chops on both sides.
I used four chops and browned them 2 at a time. I then removed the chops turned off the Browning function and layered my potatoes and sliced onions.
I then placed the chops on the bottom layer and covered them with more potatoes and onions. I added my seasonings, locked on the lid, and turned the regulator knob to Pressure.
Lastly, I selected the Pressure Cook function and the Meat setting on Low and set the timer for 20 minutes. After you press the start button the cooker emits a tone, and LCD changes from blue to green indicating that the cooker has entered the pre-heat mode. There’s also a pre-heat bar showing the units preheating progress.
The cooker has to reach pressure before it starts cooking this process took approximately 10 minutes. Once pressurized there’s another tone and the LCD screen indicates that your food is cooking and the timer in the upper right-hand corner starts to countdown.
After 20 minutes the unit beeps indicating the food is done, and the cooker automatically switches to the Keep Warm function (at a temperature of 165°F) for up to 12 hours. I turned the regulator knob from Pressure to Steam to release the pressure in the unit.
I then took off the lid and looked upon my creation. It smelled very good, but how did it taste? In short, both the potatoes and pork chops were very flavorful. The potatoes and onions were perfectly cooked. The chops were slightly dryer than expected but still tasted very good. All in all, I gave the meal a thumbs up and would make it again using a better cut of pork chops.
My second meal again came from the Zavor cookbook, Spicy Chili Con Carne. I browned my onions and ground beef using the Flex function. The Flex function allows you to program your pressure level and cooking time, as well as standard temperature to use the unit as a traditional stockpot. This allowed me to set the temperature of the unit to 284º.
After browning, I stirred in my wet ingredients, peppers, and beans. I locked on the lid and set the Pressure cooker to the Chili setting for 15 minutes and let the Lux do what it does.
After the timer was done the recipe called for removing the lid and using the Simmer function for 5 minutes while stirring the chili. This is where I ran into a small problem. The Simmer function on my unit didn’t work properly. It kept shutting off before the pre-heat cycle was finished. (More on this later in the customer service section.)
Luckily it didn’t affect the meal, and after 25 minutes I was ready to enjoy my Chili Con Carne. I garnished it with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream. Man was it good, I’m a big chili fan, and this did not disappoint. Everything was cooked to perfection. The beans and peppers were tender, and the dish was full of flavor, another winner for the Zavor Lux.
I also used the LUX to hard boil some eggs. To do so, I placed 1 cup of water in the bottom of the cooking pot, placed 6 eggs into the steamer basket, and placed the basket on top of the trivet. The eggs cooked for 9 minutes using the Eggs function and Hard setting. A couple of the eggs cracked during the cooking process, but all of them were perfectly hard-boiled and tasted great. And they were easy to peel, the shells just came right off.
I mentioned earlier that I had a small issue with the cooker. I contacted customer service, and they couldn’t have been more friendly or helpful. After talking them through my issue, they determined my unit was defective and agreed to send me a replacement. They emailed me a UPS label to send back the defective unit, and I received my replacement in about a week. So Bravo to everyone in Zavor’s customer service department.
What I like
- Easy to use
- One-pot cleanup
- Makes quick flavorful meals
What I’d change
Now I know what my friends and family were raving about. Multi-cookers are everything they say they are and in the case of the Zavor LUX even more. The Zavor LUX LCD multi-cooker is a joy to cook with. It’s easy to use, the pressure cooking function produces flavorful meals quickly, and the one-pot cleanup is a breeze. The one-pot thing is a big deal for me since I’m probably the only person on the planet that doesn’t have a dishwasher. So the fewer dishes, the better. I can’t wait to try out the many different functions this multi-cooker has to offer. If you don’t have one of these in your kitchen yet, what are you waiting for?