The first time I saw Zojirushi’s new slow cooker, I thought “Damn, that’s weird-looking.” In a category famous for being Crock-Pot quaint or borderline ugly, this unit stood out like a UFO. In fact, it looked a bit like someone squashed an Instant Pot, stretched it wide, then clamped it shut with a fat-handled porthole.
The six-quart, 1,350-watt Zojirushi Multicooker EL-CAC60XZ feels like it was designed by someone well-versed in slow-cooker recipes and theory who’d somehow never seen a slow cooker and started from scratch. Bucking current trends, that same someone wanted a high-end multicooker that wasn’t a pressure cooker.
It might just be easiest to say what the machine does. Where most slow cookers only have high and low settings, Zojirushi’s slow cooker comes with four impressive to-the-degree temperature presets. It also makes yogurt, it steams, it makes rice, it has two simmer settings, and it keeps food warm. Unlike most electric pressure cookers—also confusingly known as “multicookers”—and almost all dedicated slow cookers, this one can sear well. Not perfectly, but well. With searing options of 350 degrees Fahrenheit or a no-slouch 410, it’s a nice development, considering how important a good sear often is to slow-cooker fare.