Our Place’s Innovative New Multicooker Makes My Meal Prep Speedier and More Streamlined — and It’s on Sale for Black Friday
When I was growing up, I didn’t know any families who owned a slow cooker or a Crock-Pot. Everyone just used whatever pans they had on hand to meal prep, and microwave ovens were the only things used to speed up cooking time. So I never understood when, many years later, Instant Pots became such a big deal. I felt no need to hop onto the trend because I had all the cookware and small appliances I needed, and I didn’t want anything else taking up space in my tiny kitchen. But when Always Pan creator Our Place (currently running an epic Black Friday sale, FYI) recently launched their Dream Cooker, I was intrigued. Mainly because I was all about its appearance and thought it would be a showstopper displayed on my counter (alongside their new Wonder Oven). But then I went deeper, and after reading about the Dream Cooker’s innovative features and everything it can do, I decided to take it for a test drive. And to the legions of multicooker fans out there, I can now honestly say, I get it!
A Quick Look at the Our Place Dream Cooker
- 15.2-inch height; 12.4-inch diameter; 13.3-in depth
- Modes and time ranges: Pressure Cook (00:01–02:00), Slow Cook (00:30–12:00), Sauté/Sear (00:01–01:00), Keep Warm (00:30–12:00)
- Plastic base and plastic locking lid with stainless steel underside
- 6-quart aluminum inner cooking pot coated with toxin-free, ceramic nonstick coating
- Hands-free steam release
- Condensation collector
- Nine safety features
- Can save up to 80% of cooking time
- Available in 4 colors: Blue Salt, Char, Steam, Spice
Design Features That Stand Out
Our Place’s Dream Cooker is more flexible and versatile than traditional multicookers because its presets have been streamlined to just four cooking modes: Pressure Cook, Slow Cook, Sauté/Sear, and Keep Warm. You can customize each mode to your needs by adjusting the time setting as well as the temperature (low to high). The time can be tweaked with the press of a button if you need food to cook faster or slower, and you can also mix and match modes if using more than one cooking technique. Lastly, there’s the hands-free steam release, which takes the pressure off of you when pressure cooking.
How It Performed
Since this was my first time at the multicooker rodeo, I tried to make a range of fast-and-easy recipes to see if this beauty deserved a spot on my countertop. First, I did my own take on The Kitchn’s Instant Pot Spaghetti, substituting ground turkey for ground beef and rotini for spaghetti. I loved the simplicity of the recipe and that the pasta is cooked right in the sauce, which means one less pot to wash. But what was even more impressive was how quickly it all came together: Using the Sauté function, I browned the meat with some seasonings for about 5 minutes. Next, I turned off the heat, added water, tomato sauce, and pasta, then put the lid on the Dream Cooker, locked it shut, and set it to Pressure Cook on high for 8 minutes. Honestly, this recipe seemed almost too easy and yet the results were delicious.
I also made The Kitchn’s Instant Pot Turkey Chili. I had never made chili before, mainly because it always seemed a bit time-consuming to me, considering all of the ingredients that go into it plus the time spent simmering on the stove. But by mixing-and-matching the Dream Cooker’s Sauté and Pressure Cook functions, I was able to whip up a rich, hearty, flavor-packed batch of chili in about 20 minutes. This is definitely a recipe I’ll continue to make throughout the winter.
Since I have a sweet tooth, I wanted to try a dessert recipe in the Dream Cooker. Enter: these ridiculously simple Funfetti Rice Krispies Treats that were a huge hit when I brought them into the office. Using the Sauté function, I melted butter and mini marshmallows in the Dream Cooker pot for about 5 minutes, removed it from the heat and stirred in Rice Krispies and a container of Funfetti frosting with sprinkles, then poured the mixture into a pan to cool. Done! While this is not a complicated recipe to begin with, it was still fast and easy and proved that the Dream Cooker is great for more than just meat-based dishes.
What I Loved About the Our Place Dream Cooker
- It simplifies cooking: After trying out several recipes in the Dream Cooker, I came to love how much it streamlined the entire cooking process. I often used fewer pots and pans to meal prep, and I didn’t have to stand over a stove, constantly stirring and keeping a watchful eye on things. I just put a lid on it, went off in another room, and when the timer was up, returned to the kitchen to find a perfectly cooked meal.
- It’s a cinch to clean: I also really appreciated that the pan was so easy to clean because nothing sticks to it. Even melted marshmallow was no match for that nonstick coating!
- It’s gorgeous: When all is said and done, I must again confess that one of my favorite features of the Dream Cooker is its appearance. The design is so stylish and it comes in such gorgeous colors that it pretty much doubles as decor that you actually want to show off.
Good to Know
If, like me, you’re new to the world of multicookers, do yourself a favor and read the instruction manual thoroughly and carefully. I was initially a little confused by the control panel’s timer and thought the minutes counter was counting seconds. In other words, don’t set the timer to 01:00 if you want it to cook for one minute; set it to 00:01. Also, make sure you familiarize yourself with the steam valves and how they play into pressure release. When I realized I was accidentally cooking a dish for one hour, I tried to stop the machine and remove the lid but it wouldn’t unlock because the steam hadn’t been released yet. I pressed a few different buttons on the lid to manually release the steam, and it seemed to be working, yet the lid still didn’t budge. So I pressed a pretty little silver button. Do not do that unless you are looking to get a nasty steam burn (thankfully, I had used a thick kitchen towel to press it, so my fingers didn’t get the worst of the steam blast).
Should You Buy Our Place’s Dream Cooker?
- Those looking to streamline and speed up their cooking experience.
- Those who want to be able to step away from the kitchen while cooking.
- Those who love to experiment with recipes but also appreciate one-pot meals.
- Those who want a good deal. Right now, the Dream Cooker is $25 off for Black Friday. You can also try it risk-free for up to 100 days, and if not satisfied, return it with free shipping.
Where to Buy Our Place’s Dream Cooker
Why You Should Trust Us
The Commerce Team at The Kitchn has one mission: to help you make smart and informed purchases. We know how hard online shopping can be — it’s literally our job! From trying to decipher confusing marketing lingo to sorting through scores of fake paid reviews in search of some truth, online shopping can be overwhelming. We’re dedicated to doing the hard work for you by reviewing these products firsthand and delivering all the information you need, both good and bad.
Our team is made up of a group of writers and editors who have years of experience in the home, kitchen, and parenting consumer product space, and who put hundreds of items to the test every year to determine which ones get our stamp of approval. We bring these products into our personal spaces, testing them for weeks and even months at a time to see how well they live up to their claims and if they are really worth your time and money. At the end of the day, we’re consumers too, so we’ll always provide you with all the information we’d want — and then some.