Technology has improved so many areas of modern life, and cooking is no exception. The multi cooker is a kitchen appliance which usually runs off of one electric supply, like something as simple as a kettle or toaster, but a multi cooker has the capacity to cook and prepare food in a huge variety of styles.
Multi cookers have such a huge range of functionality. Though this varies from model to model, most of the products on the market feature everything from a pressure cooker setting to quickly prepare food, to rice and pasta settings, reheat settings and more. Different styles of cuisine require different cooking methods, and in the modern age not all of us have a huge amount of time to devote to cooking. Being able to ‘set and forget’ a multi cooker is a dream for many.
Due to the fact that multi cookers are an electronic product, they can be totally programmable too. If you know you are arriving home from work at a certain time, you can set your food to heat up and be ready when you are walking in the door.
How To Choose the Best Multi Cooker
There are numerous features to look out for when choosing a multi cooker. These can be the difference between a product which never gets used and one you use every day, so ending up with the right features to suit you is vital.
Pressure Cooking Setting
The pressure cooker within a multi cooker is one of its most vital components. The vast majority have the capacity to pressure cook, meaning they can prepare food very quickly. If multi cookers were not able to do this, they could well fall into the category of being a slow cooker, so the ability to quickly heat, reheat and prepare is vital.
The main advantage of pressure cookers is their capacity to cook quickly. Many of these types of cooker let you choose the pressure. The higher pressure, the quicker it is able to prepare meals, but some argue this is not great for flavor. Being able to select the amount of pressure means you can make this choice based on personal preference and how much time is available to you. Pressure cooking is also wonderful for keeping nutrients and vitamins in the food you prepare.
This is what a multi cooker is all about. The amount of settings means the amount of different types of cooking it is capable of. Some of these products have the ability to do everything from cook rice to sauteing, to pressure cooking, and to change between these settings with ease.
Generally speaking, the more options you have, the better. You never know when a certain setting is going to come in handy, and it expands the amount of meals you can prepare. By incorporating a lot of different cook settings, your multi cooker can also reduce the need for separate appliances such as owning a rice cooker, a slow cooker or a pressure cooker.
This is pretty self-explanatory, but absolutely vital, especially if you are ordering online and can’t get an exact feel for the size of a product. If you are living alone and just need a product to assist with feeding you in the evenings then a smaller model may be enough. If you’re looking to feed a family, you need to pay close attention to the capacity to know that it can cook enough when called upon.
A large capacity also opens up the option of cooking on bulk before freezing or saving for later. For instance, making a large batch of soup before refrigerating, ready for the rest of the week.
Most multi cookers have around 3-4 litres of capacity, but many of the best options have up to 6L capacity.
“Keep Warm” and Timer Capabilities
These are quite self-explanatory features. A keep warm function will allow you to keep the food at a good temperature for serving, often for a couple of hours after cooking is complete. A timer feature means you can set up long in advance and set your food to be ready when you walk in the door after work, for instance.
These two features are pretty common, as they are some of the most useful things you can do with a multi cooker.
A multi cooker is not a high-risk product, as such. However, any product dealing with high levels of heat does carry some risk. Pressure cookers and multi cookers should have been tested rigorously and have features to avoid any hazards. For instance, many of the cookers listed have alarms for if the lid is not properly sealed, or an overheating protector which shuts it down if it reaches a dangerous temperature. Safety in the kitchen should always be considered.
To really get the most out of your cooker, some accessories are likely to be needed. This can be a rice cup and spoon to turn it into a rice cooker, a steaming basket, a non-stick bowl or any number of other accessories. These further add to the flexibility of the cooker, so looking at what is included is worth doing. Some products also ship with recipe books to give you some ideas of what is possible and get you used to using your multi cooker.
Best Multi Cookers
Our reviews have taken into account the above features as well as looking at other criteria, such as the reliability of the products and also the consumer reviews from those who are using the products day to day.
Morphy Richards 560005 MyPot Pressure Cooker
Morphy Richards is a prolific brand in the world of kitchen appliances, and the 560005 MyPot is marketed as a pressure cooker, but in truth has an incredible 15 different settings, including 10 presets, to ensure you can cook using the exact method you need. Sear, slow-cook, boil, steam. You name it, the MyPot is capable of it.
The MyPot has a design which certainly doesn’t look out of place in any kitchen, but design is secondary to features and capacity, which comes in at an impressive four liters for this product, more than enough for even a large family. Other great features of the MyPot 560005 include:
- A delay timer and a ‘keep warm’ feature which mean you can set you cooker well in advance and have food ready exactly when you want it.
- 10 impressive pre-set options which allow you to just select which cooking method you need and let the cooker do its thing. No hassle whatsoever, and many of these settings can prepare food in under 10 minutes.
- Utilises pressurised steam, which is said to help the food to keep more of its important nutrients and vitamin content which can get lost if you cook in another way, such as in the oven.
- Comes with a variety of accessories which are designed to suit the methods of cooking. For instance, there is a rice cup and spoon for rice cooking, a steaming basket and more.
- Easy-to-use button interface for controlling the various modes.
This is a popular model of multi cooker and it is easy to see why. Some people have claimed that this product is too big for their needs, and the hefty capacity is great for large families though could be overkill if you are just cooking for a couple of people. The MyPot is 29cm x 29cm x 29cm in size, which is a good size for most kitchens, unless you are in the market for a super small multi cooker.
Aobosi Electric Multi-Cooker, 6L, 8-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
Aobosi may not be a brand you’ve heard of, they’re not as well known as a Morphy Richards or Tefal. However, their 8-in-1 multi cooker with a huge capacity has plenty of wonderful features. This has led to the product receiving some incredible reviews from customers, who praise its flexibility, build quality and ease-of-use.
Features of the Aobosi include:
- Eight different modes and 12 different presets including rice cook, pressure, slow cook, steam, warm and saute.
- Six different pressure settings, you can choose how much pressure you require which will impact the tenderness of the food you are cooking. This extra bit of control means you can tweak the cook settings to your own preference.
- Huge 6 litre capacity. This is a very big multi purpose cooker, and can feed a lot of people in one go, great for hosting dinner parties or batch cooking.
- Simple visual control interface with clearly marked buttons and an LCD display.
- 24 hour keep-warm function as well as delay to allow you to prepare in advance and have your food cooked ready for you. You can even prepare the previous day, just so long as your ingredients are safe to sit out for a period of time.
- 10 different safety functions and features to ensure the chances of any malfunction are next to none. Overheat protection reduces any fire risk.
- A two year warranty so you are protected if anything goes wrong with your multi cooker.
Though not made by the biggest kitchen brand, the amazing amount of good reviews shows that this multi cooker is a really viable option, especially if you’re looking for a large capacity.
Bella 6 Litre 12-in-1 Multi-Function Digital Electric Pressure Cooker
The pressure cooker setting is fast and impressive as you might expect, but 11 other features complete a well-rounded electric cooker which has the capacity to feed large amounts of people and prepare lots of different meals including soups, meat and fish, rice, saute and slow cook. Thousands of combinations of meal possibilities can be prepared in bulk due to the large capacity.
Other great features include:
- Pressure cooker which can cook meat and other food 70% quicker than most other cooking methods while retaining more nutrients than other methods too.
- Non-stick cooking pot included to keep food moving and avoid burning during the cooking process.
- Numerous safety features including an alarm when the lid is not properly closed to alert of this hazard and ensure the food isn’t affected by this.
- A steam valve allows you to control the pressure within, very helpful when using the pressure cooker mode.
The Bella digital electric pressure cooker does have a delay timer, but only for two hours, which is less than many competitors. This may not be an issue if you intend to oversee the cooking process at all times, but many people like to have a 12 or 24 hour delay time giving them more of a chance to prepare iadvance.
That said, the Bella cooker has plenty of features and is not found lacking when it comes to preparing your food in whichever way you need. The price is incredible when you consider the size and features, meaning a lot of people are drawn to the Bella digital when looking for the best cheap multi cooker.
REDMOND RMC-M90E Multi Cooker
This is a product with a real claim to being the best multi cooker currently on the market. It has an incredible amount of features, and though it is on the more expensive side of the market, when you consider everything it can do the value for money is still impressive.
The RMC-M90E has more of what you might consider to be traditional ‘oven’ controls and features including temperature controls, for instance. An unbelievable 28 different pre-programmed functions make this unbelievably flexible. It even has a pizza setting, whereas most of its competitors are only able to cook foods like soups, stews, curries, rice and pasta dishes.
Other features include:
- A huge amount of control over the cooker. 35 to 170 degree control, to be precise. You can set the temperature between these numbers with five different incremental steps. The cooker can also be set to times between five minutes to 12 hours of cooking, meaning you can do everything from a quick reheat to a full, slow-cooked stew.
- Keep warm and start delay functions that give options up to 24 hours. You can prep your meals a whole day in advance and get this cooker to turn itself on when you need it to.
- Comes with a recipe book as well as accessories. Steaming basket, rice cup and spoon are all included to allow for numerous different types of cooking.
- LED display and touch controls make it easy to set up exactly how you want to. The intuitive control panel is super simple.
We’ve already mentioned it, but it is worth emphasising. 28 pre-programmed functions to allow you to cook in a variety of ways is fantastic. The controls it has are also extremely customisable, meaning you can alter the temperature or time within these presets too.
Though you pay a little extra for the huge amount of features, the Redmond RMC-M90E has plenty to justify this. If you’re all about getting an elite product with as much functionality as possible, this is worth a second look.
Tefal CY701840 Cook4Me Intelligent Multi Cooker
This is a new approach to cooking. The Cook4Me has a companion app which can be purchased on the app store and on the google play store, so it works on Apple and Android. This has 100 built in recipes, with the option of expanding with over 200 more. Simply load a recipe, put your ingredients in and set it to cook. You can also set it to cook individual ingredients, for instance rice or pasta. The app links to your multi cooker via bluetooth.
If you wish to go into a manual mode you can do so, which means not everything has to be cooked from a specific recipe.
This huge amount of compatibility and functionality is impressive, but perhaps even more impressive is the amount of different types of cooking it is capable of. People are even sharing images of cakes they have baked using the multi cooker, something the vast majority of models aren’t capable of doing.
Other great features of the Tefal CY701840 include:
- Comes with a cooking bowl and steam basket and has a non-stick surface which reduces the risk of anything going wrong, and makes cleaning far easier.
- Has a generous 6 litre capacity.
- Interactive and simple to use LCD screen offering a variety of options, so you don’t have to just control via the app.
- Over 50 recipes available or downloadable which cook in 15 minutes or less.
- A keep warm function for up to 90 minutes after cooking is completed.
The amalgamation of smart technology and the multi cooker is still relatively new, but as this Tefal Cook4Me review shows, it is already impressive, giving more and more flexibility. The fact that this can cook everything from rice to stews to cakes is amazing, and gives a genuine alternative to an oven.
It is a bit on the bulky side, and you wouldn’t describe it as a cheap multi cooker, but the features are wonderful and being able to control from your phone is a huge bonus, plus something to show off to your friends when they come for dinner parties! The perfect multi cooker for all the tech and gadget lovers out there.
The options for multi cookers are surprisingly varied, as you can see. One commonality all of the products on our list of best multi cookers has is reliability. These are all, sturdy and well reviewed products with all the safety features you would expect. The differences between them, however, will make some more suitable for your needs than others. If you have a big family you may opt for the 6L options, if you want to use it for baking you may well opt for the Tefal Cook4Me. It all depends on your individual preference.
If you want something basic, offering a dozen or so cooking functions, then you can opt for something like the Morphy Richards MyPot. This model has a good level of simplicity but also reliability.
If you’re looking for something packed with features and cooking settings then the Redmond RMC-M90E Multi Cooker gives a huge amount of options. There isn’t much it can’t cook, which is why it is our number two product.
The Cook4Me is the top recommendation though. The expandable nature of the cooker with new recipes to add, combined with the fact you can switch to a manual mode if you want, make this an incredibly impressive option. Not everyone wants a companion app, but it certainly adds another dimension and can make cooking incredibly easy. With many of the recipes, the Cook4Me does most of the hard work for you.
Spending some time reading through our reviews and giving a little thought to the features you will find most useful will ensure you get the right choice for you. Happy cooking!