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Multicooker buying guide
Find the best all-in-one appliance for your kitchen.
By combining the functionality of a pressure cooker, a slow cooker and a number of other appliances, multicookers can be used to prepare a wide range of meals while taking up minimal space. When choosing a multicooker, consider what types of cooking you generally do, how many people you’ll be cooking for and your budget.
Compare some of the best multicookers
|Name||Average price||Capacity (quarts)||Preset temperatures||Dimensions (inches)||Purchase|
|Instant Pot Ultra||$128||6||21||12.9 x 12.5 x 12.5||Buy now|
|Mealthy MultiPot 9-in-1||$139||8||14||14.8 x 14.2 x 13.3||Buy now|
|De’Longhi CKM1641D Livenza||$170||6||5||12.4 x 18.11 x 10.83||Buy now|
|Instant Pot DUO60||$80||6||14||14.17 x 14.84 x 13.31||Buy now|
|Ninja Foodi Multi Pressure Cooker, Steamer & Air Fryer||$207||6.5||5||14.25 x 16.75 x 13.1||Buy now|
|Breville BPR700BSS Fast Slow Pro||$200||6||11||12.5 x 13.5 x 14||Buy now|
What is a multicooker?
A multicooker is an appliance designed to replace several other kitchen appliances. While functionality varies from one multicooker to the next, these handy all-in-one appliances can perform a wide range of cooking tasks, including:
- Slow cooking
- Pressure cooking
- Cooking rice
- Making yogurt
All you have to do is place your ingredients in the bowl, select your desired cooking setting and let the multicooker take care of the rest. If you want to use multiple functions, like sautéing meat and then adding vegetables to make a stir-fry, you may have to manually change the settings once the first cooking function has finished.
Pros and cons
There are a few key reasons why a multicooker could be a useful addition to your kitchen:
- All-in-one practicality. Multicookers can take some of the stress and hassle out of cooking. They take care of multiple tasks, allowing you to free up your hands and keep the washing to a minimum.
- Save on space. If you don’t have a lot of space to work with in your kitchen, a multicooker can help you get rid of multiple appliances you no longer need and clear up some extra room in your cupboards.
- Healthy cooking. Many cooking functions on a multicooker don’t require you to add any oil, allowing you to prepare healthy and nutritious dishes for the whole family.
- Fast meal preparation. Multicookers can help you save time in the kitchen and prepare meals much more quickly than traditional cooking methods.
There are also a few reasons why you might decide that a multicooker isn’t worth the investment:
- Limited flexibility. If you love taking a hands-on approach in the kitchen and tinkering with your dishes as they cook, the automation a multicooker provides may not suit your tastes.
- Cost. Most multicookers are priced between $60 and $500, with the more-expensive models having a host of advanced features and attachments.
How to compare multicookers
To find the multicooker that’s right for your needs, consider the type of cooking you want to do, how easy the machine is to use and how much money you want to spend. Factors you’ll need to take into account when comparing multicookers include:
- Cooking mode. Check what cooking functions a multicooker supports and the range of dishes you’ll be able to prepare. Versatility is important, but be wary of paying extra for functions you’re unlikely to ever need.
- Size. Most multicookers have a capacity of between two and eight quarts. Six quarts is a common capacity and should be more than enough for a family of four. Make sure you also check the dimensions of any multicooker you’re considering buying to figure out if it will fit on your countertop or in your cupboards.
- Ease of use. Are the buttons and dials easy to understand and access? Is there a display screen that shows cooking settings and other information? Is there a countdown timer so you know how long until dinner is ready, and a delay-start feature so your meal is cooked as soon as you get home from work?
- Cleanability. Check that the bowl is removable and dishwasher safe. Make sure the buttons and the exterior of the machine are also simple to wipe down and keep clean, with minimal gaps where food and other gunk might get caught. The lid and pressure valve will also require careful cleaning to ensure that they function properly.
- Recipes. Most multicookers will come with a recipe book to help you start using your machine. Others come with a range of preprogrammed settings that walk you through the recipes for popular dishes such as curries, soups or roast dinners.
- Appearance. If the multicooker is going to be on display on your kitchen counter, consider its aesthetic appeal and how it will fit in with the rest of your kitchen. While brushed stainless steel is the most common look, some brands offer cookers in bright colors.
- Warranty. Check the length of the manufacturer’s warranty and what it covers. Most models come with a warranty that lasts one or two years.
- Sterilizing. Some multicookers come with a setting for sterilizing baby bottles and kitchen utensils.
- Accessories. Check the fine print to find out whether the cooker comes with any accessories, like steaming baskets, measuring cups, mixing attachments and serving spoons.
Multicookers can be a handy addition to your kitchen, especially if you have limited time to meal prep. Get started by comparing a few of the most popular options today!
How did we choose these products?
To choose our list of the best multicookers, we conducted online research to determine some of the most popular cookers currently available. We compared features such as the size, settings and extra features.
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