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Multi Cooker Buying Guide

Published by: Chef Matty Riedel • Updated: January 12, 2024

Are you tired of juggling multiple appliances in your kitchen? Multi-cookers are here to save the day! These versatile appliances offer a variety of cooking functions in a single unit, simplifying your cooking tasks and saving you time and effort. In this “multi-cooker buying guide”, I will explain the ins and outs of multi-cookers and help you decide when to purchase the ideal model for your needs.

Key Features To Consider

Before you begin exploring the world of multi-cookers, familiarize yourself with the following key features to look for when buying one.

a female hand opening the lid of a multi cooker

1. Capacity

Selecting a multi cooker with a suitable capacity is key to achieving the best cooking results. The number of individuals to be served should be considered when deciding on the size of a multi-cooker. Here are some recommendations:

  • For 1-2 people, a 1.4L multi cooker is sufficient.
  • For families of 4-5, a 4L multi cooker is recommended.
  • For batch cooking or cooking for a crowd, a 6-7L multi-cooker is suggested.

Some examples of multi-cookers with different capacities are:

  • Ninja Speedi multi cooker with a 5.7L capacity
  • Tefal CY505E40 All-in-One multi cooker with a 6L capacity
  • Lakeland Mini Multi Cooker with a 1.4L capacity.

2. Cooking Functions And Versatility

The many cooking functions and multi-cookers versatility make them useful, allowing users to concoct various dishes with a single appliance. The diverse cooking functions available in multicookers include the slow cooker function as well as:

  • Slow cooking
  • Sauté
  • Pressure cooking
  • Rice cooking
  • Roasting
  • Baking
  • Dehydrating
  • Dough-proving
  • Other functions as beneficial additions

Versatility is also advantageous as it facilitates users to save time and money by avoiding the need to purchase multiple appliances for different cooking functions.

3. Ease Of Use

When choosing a multi-cooker, ensure it has the following features:

  • User-friendly controls and intuitive interfaces
  • Easy-to-use experience
  • Quick and effortless temperature and cook time settings
  • Access to a comprehensive list of recipes with detailed instructions

These features will make your cooking experience with the multi-cooker more enjoyable and convenient.

Some multi-cookers, like the Instant Pot Duo and the Instant Pot Pro Plus Multi-Cooker, even offer wireless control from your phone using an app.

4. Temperature And Pressure Settings

Adjusting temperature and pressure settings is necessary for precise cooking results in a multi-cooker. Low-pressure settings for multi-cookers range from 4 to 7 psi, while high-pressure settings can reach up to 15 psi. For accurate temperature and pressure settings for your multi cooker, it is recommended to refer to the specific manual or instructions provided by the manufacturer.

5. Build Quality And Durability

The performance and lifespan of a multi cooker are significantly influenced by its build quality and durability. A high-quality multi cooker:

  • It is constructed with superior materials and solid construction
  • Provides better heat distribution and retention
  • Results in more dependable and efficient cooking
  • It is more durable and less vulnerable to damage or malfunction

Conversely, a multi-cooker built with inferior quality may have uneven heat distribution, resulting in unevenly cooked food, and may be more susceptible to deterioration or operational issues over time. Thus, investing in a multi-cooker with excellent build quality is essential for optimal performance and durability.

6. Safety Features

Safety should always be the top priority when operating a multi-cooker, especially when using the pressure cook function of a pressure cooker. Essential safety features include a secure lid that locks into the seal position, an automatic pressure release valve, and a visible display. Manual components, including pressure release valves, should be tested to ensure they are safe and easy to open when using pressure cookers.

Choosing a multi-cooker with these safety features gives you peace of mind while cooking your favourite meals.

7. Cleaning And Maintenance

multi cooker with the pot removed

Regular cleaning and maintenance are key to maintaining the longevity and performance of your multi-cooker. Multi-cooker components, such as the stainless steel inner pot and lid, are usually dishwasher-safe. However, it is important to check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific details as some models may have detachable lids that are dishwasher safe, while hand washing is recommended for others.

When cleaning a multi-cooker, avoid using abrasive cleaners and metal utensils.

8. Accessories

The accessories can broaden the array of cooking options, enriching your cooking experience and making it more versatile. Common accessories may include:

  • Rice paddle or spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Steam basket
  • Recipe book

Steamer baskets, roasting racks, air fryer attachments, and sous vide attachments can expand your cooking capabilities, making the process more efficient and convenient and helping you save time and effort in the kitchen.

9. Brand And Warranty

For quality assurance and protection, choosing a well-known brand and understanding the warranty coverage for your multi-cooker is important. Typically, multi-cooker warranties cover defects in materials or workmanship and may provide repairs or replacements for a given period from the date of purchase. However, it is important to note that normal wear and tear and accessories may not be covered, so it is advisable to review the specific terms and conditions of the warranty provided by the manufacturer.

10. Price

The cost of multi-cookers may vary depending on the brand, features, and capacity, with prices ranging from approximately £50 to £200 or higher. When determining an appropriate budget for a multi-cooker, consider the primary functions you require (e.g., slow cooking, air frying, pressure cooking) and select a superior performance model.

11. Reviews And Recommendations

User reviews and expert recommendations can be instrumental in making an informed decision when purchasing a multi-cooker. Reading user reviews can help you better understand the cooker’s performance, durability, and ease of use. At the same time, expert recommendations can provide insights into the best models available based on rigorous testing and evaluation. It is important to consider the overall sentiment and credibility of the reviews before making a purchase.

12. Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is important when purchasing a multi-cooker, as it can decrease energy utilization and expenditure. Multi cookers provide an energy-efficient method of preparing meals, so investing in a model with high energy efficiency can save you money on your energy bills while also benefiting the environment.


Multi-Cooker Buying Guide: Summing Up

In conclusion, multi-cookers are versatile and efficient appliances that simplify your cooking tasks and save time and effort. By considering factors such as capacity, cooking functions, ease of use, build quality, and safety features, you can make an informed decision and choose the perfect multi-cooker for your needs. Remember to consult user reviews and expert recommendations to ensure you invest in a quality product that will provide excellent performance and reliability. Happy cooking!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What To Look For When Buying A Multi-Cooker?

When buying a multi-cooker, look for one with multiple locking mechanisms, a steam release valve for pressure cooking, various size and material options, and ease of cleaning.

What Size Multi-Cooker Do I Need?

For a family of four, a 4-6 quart capacity multi-cooker is the best option as it heats up food quickly.

Is It Worth Getting A Multi-Cooker?

Multi-cookers are a great way to save money and energy while still enjoying delicious meals. They provide the convenience of combining multiple kitchen appliances into one machine, making them a cost-effective choice.

What Is A Good Multicooker?

The Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer and the Crockpot Turbo Express 14-in-1 pressure multi-cooker are great multicooker options, offering high functionality and fast cooking results. The Sage Fast Slow Go multi-cooker is also an excellent choice if you’re looking for top-end features.

What Are The Primary Functions Of A Multi-Cooker?

Multi-cookers are versatile kitchen appliances offering a variety of functions like slow cooking, sautéing, pressure cooking, roasting, baking and more, making them an ideal addition to any home chef’s kitchen.

Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel
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