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How do you choose the best multi-cooker in 2024? What properties and features should the best multi-cooker have to suit your needs? Read our guide and make an informed choice.
The multi-cooker is a kitchen appliance that helps automate the cooking process. Such an appliance can perform various operations such as boiling, baking or frying.
The main idea of a multicooker is that you choose the recipe, put the ingredients in the machine and choose the right program, and the multi-cooker will cook for you, it’s so simple!
You will find a particularly great utility in a multicooker. If you are the type of person who is always on the run and does not have the energy and time to cook a healthy meal, the multicooker helps.
Why eat unhealthy, semi-cooked or microwave-cooked foods when you can cook a copious meal in the shortest time using the multicooker.
Top 3 Recommended Multi-Cookers for Your Home
How to Choose the Best Multicooker
Each multicooker, depending on the model or manufacturer, can offer various functions and benefits.
I will try to include the most important ones so you can know how to choose the most powerful multicooker machine for you.
Size and Capacity
When it comes to multicookers, size and capacity are crucial factors to consider.
These aspects determine how much food you can prepare at once, which directly impacts the number of people you can serve.
Small Multicookers: Small multicookers typically have a capacity of around 1.4 litres. They are perfect for individuals or couples who don’t need to cook large meals. These compact devices are also great for those with limited kitchen space as they don’t take up much room on the countertop.
Medium Multicookers: Medium-sized multicookers usually have a capacity of around 4 litres. They are ideal for families of 4-5 people. These multicookers are a good balance between size and capacity, offering enough space to cook meals for several people without being too bulky.
Large Multicookers: Large multicookers have a capacity of 6-7 litres or more. They are perfect for large families, people who frequently host gatherings, or those who like to batch cook meals for the week. While these multicookers are larger and take up more space, they offer the advantage of cooking large quantities of food at once.
The wattage of a multicooker is another important factor to consider as it determines the cooking speed of the device.
Low Wattage Multicookers: Multicookers with a lower wattage (around 600-800 watts) consume less electricity and are more energy-efficient. However, they take a longer time to heat up and cook food, which might not be ideal for those who need to prepare meals quickly.
Medium Wattage Multicookers: Medium wattage multicookers (around 900-1200 watts) offer a good balance between energy efficiency and cooking speed. They heat up relatively quickly and can cook most meals in a reasonable amount of time.
High Wattage Multicookers: High wattage multicookers (1300 watts and above) heat up very quickly and cook food faster. This can be a significant advantage for busy individuals or families. However, they also consume more electricity, which could lead to higher energy bills.
Pressure settings are a key feature to consider when choosing a multicooker, especially if you plan to use the pressure cooking function frequently. Pressure cooking is a method of cooking food using water or other cooking liquid in a sealed vessel known as a pressure cooker. This method significantly reduces cooking time.
- Low Pressure: Multicookers with low-pressure settings are ideal for delicate foods that require gentle cooking. This includes foods like vegetables, fish, and certain types of seafood. Low pressure is usually around 6-8 psi (pounds per square inch).
- Medium Pressure: Medium pressure settings are suitable for most types of food, including grains, beans, and meat. This setting typically ranges from 9-11 psi and is the most commonly used pressure setting.
- High Pressure: High-pressure settings, usually around 12-15 psi, are perfect for cooking tough cuts of meat or dense foods like chickpeas and other legumes. High pressure can drastically reduce the cooking time of these foods.
Pre-programmed settings are another feature that can make cooking with a multicooker much easier and more convenient.
These settings automatically adjust the temperature and cooking time for different types of food, eliminating the need for guesswork.
- Rice Setting: This setting adjusts the multicooker to the ideal temperature and cooking time for cooking rice. It often includes variations for different types of rice, such as white, brown, or wild rice.
- Soup/Broth Setting: This setting is designed for making soups and broths. It typically involves a longer cooking time at a lower temperature to extract maximum flavour.
- Meat/Stew Setting: This setting is perfect for cooking meats or stews. It usually involves a high temperature and longer cooking time to tenderize the meat and develop flavours.
- Bean/Chili Setting: This setting is designed for cooking beans and chili. It often involves a high-pressure setting to cook the beans quickly and thoroughly.
- Poultry Setting: This setting is designed specifically for cooking chicken and other poultry. It adjusts the temperature and cooking time to ensure the poultry is cooked thoroughly without drying out.
- Multigrain Setting: This setting is designed for cooking multigrains. It typically involves a longer cooking time and higher pressure to ensure the grains are cooked thoroughly.
- Steam Setting: This setting is used for steaming vegetables, fish, and other foods. It typically involves a high temperature and short cooking time.
- Slow Cook Setting: This setting mimics a slow cooker, cooking food at a low temperature over a long period. It’s perfect for dishes like pot roasts, soups, and stews.
- Sauté Setting: This setting allows you to sauté ingredients directly in the multicooker before adding other ingredients. It’s a handy feature that saves you from having to use a separate pan.
In conclusion, the pressure settings and pre-programmed settings on a multicooker can greatly enhance your cooking experience, providing versatility and convenience. When choosing a multicooker, consider what types of food you cook most often and look for a model with the appropriate settings.
User-friendly controls are a significant aspect of a multicooker that can greatly enhance your cooking experience. These controls should be intuitive and easy to use, even for those who are not tech-savvy.
- Digital Display: A clear, easy-to-read digital display is a must. It should show important information like cooking time, pressure level, and selected cooking program. Some multicookers even have displays that change colour to indicate different stages of the cooking process.
- Buttons and Dials: The buttons and dials on the multicooker should be clearly labelled and easy to operate. Some multicookers have one-touch buttons for different cooking programs, which can be very convenient.
- Indicator Lights: Indicator lights can be very helpful in showing the status of the multicooker. For example, a light might indicate when the multicooker has reached the desired pressure or when the cooking process is complete.
- Instruction Manual: A comprehensive instruction manual can make a big difference in how easy it is to use the multicooker. It should clearly explain how to use each function and provide troubleshooting tips.
Safety should always be a top priority when using kitchen appliances, and multicookers are no exception.
Here are some safety features to look for:
- Locking Lid: A locking lid is a crucial safety feature for a multicooker. It prevents the lid from being opened while the cooker is under pressure, which could lead to dangerous situations.
- Pressure Release Valve: A pressure release valve is another important safety feature. It allows you to manually release pressure from the multicooker before opening the lid. Some multicookers have automatic pressure release mechanisms for added convenience and safety.
- Overpressure Protection: Overpressure protection features help prevent the pressure inside the multicooker from getting too high. This can include a safety vent that releases pressure if it exceeds a certain level and a locking mechanism that prevents the lid from being opened when there’s too much pressure inside.
- Cool-Touch Handles: Cool-touch handles allow you to open the lid and move the multicooker safely, even when it’s still hot.
- Auto Shut-Off: An auto shut-off feature automatically turns off the multicooker after a certain period of inactivity. This can prevent food from overcooking and reduce the risk of fire.
One of the main advantages of using a multicooker is the convenience it offers, and this includes easy cleanup. Here are some features that can make cleaning your multicooker a breeze:
Non-Stick Interior: A non-stick interior is one of the most important features for easy cleanup. Food doesn’t stick to the surface, making it much easier to clean after cooking. Some multicookers even have ceramic-coated interiors, which are not only non-stick but also more durable and heat-resistant.
Removable Parts: Look for a multicooker with removable parts, such as the inner pot and the steam rack. This allows you to clean each part thoroughly. Some multicookers also have removable lids, which can be very helpful for cleaning.
Dishwasher-Safe Parts: If you have a dishwasher, consider a multicooker with dishwasher-safe parts. This can save you a lot of time and effort. However, always check the manufacturer’s instructions before putting any parts in the dishwasher.
Easy-to-Clean Exterior: The exterior of the multicooker should also be easy to clean. A multicooker with a stainless steel exterior, for example, can be wiped clean easily.
Warranty and Manufacturers
When investing in a multicooker, it’s important to consider the warranty and the reputation of the manufacturer.
Warranty: A warranty protects you against defects in materials or workmanship. The length and terms of the warranty can vary, so it’s important to read the fine print. A longer warranty period is usually a sign of the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s quality and durability.
Manufacturer Reputation: The reputation of the manufacturer can give you an idea of the quality of the multicooker. Look for manufacturers that are known for their high-quality kitchen appliances. You can find this information through online reviews and ratings.
Customer Service: Good customer service is another important factor. If you have any issues with your multicooker, you’ll want to be able to reach out to the manufacturer for assistance. Check if the manufacturer has a customer service hotline or email, and consider their responsiveness and helpfulness.
Spare Parts Availability: Over time, you may need to replace certain parts of your multicooker, such as the sealing ring or the inner pot. Check if the manufacturer sells spare parts for your model. This can extend the lifespan of your multicooker and save you from having to buy a new one if a part wears out.
Choosing the best multicooker is a decision that requires careful consideration of various factors. From understanding the importance of size, capacity, and wattage, to recognising the value of user-friendly controls, safety features, and easy cleanup, each aspect plays a crucial role in determining the right multicooker for your needs.
Moreover, the reputation of the manufacturer and the warranty offered are equally important to ensure you receive a reliable and durable product. By taking the time to consider these factors, you can confidently navigate the market and select a multicooker that will not only meet your culinary needs but also provide convenience and efficiency in your cooking journey.
In the following section, we have chosen for you, using the criteria described above, some products that offer excellent quality / price ratio.
- MULTI-FUNCTION ELECTRIC PAN – This Electric Multi Cooker Pan allows you to cook all different kinds of meals! You can use the pan to fry, sauté, simmer and brown all sorts of different foods, whether they’re meals for one or meals for larger groups.
- ADJUSTABLE THERMOSTATIC CONTROL – The pan offers full control over the cooking temperature, with a temperature range between 100°C and 240°C to ensure a perfect finish. The cool touch handle allows you to safely move the pan afterwards regardless of temperature, and the detachable power cable enables you to move the pan to a table for serving.
- STRONG GLASS LID – A toughened glass lid is included with the pan, safely keeping any food inside while allowing you to easily view the contents of the pan. The lid also features steam vents, helping to prevent any safety risks when removing the lid from the pan.
- Save time: All-in-One whips up pressure-cooked dishes faster than conventional methods, while locking in all the nutrients and natural flavours, for healthy and delicious meals in minutes.
- Simplify meals: With 25 one-touch programs (more than any other pressure cooker) All-in-One slow cooks, steams, browns and more, allowing you to prepare a range of dishes with minimal effort.
- Set and forget: A 24-hour delay timer means you can choose when cooking starts. Add your ingredients, set the timer, and All-in-One will do the rest. It even keeps food warm once cooked.
- LARGE 6L CAPACITY: Feed family and friends with your VonShef multi cooker, featuring a 42cm diameter and 5cm deep design so you can cook up a storm sure to impress your dinner party guests.
- VERSATILE USES: Featuring 5 adjustable temperature settings from 140-220°C, use your 1500W multicooker for a range of dishes, from frying up your full English to steaming or boiling veggies, and everything in between!
- NON-STICK: Ideal for not only low fat, low faff meals, the electric frying pan’s 2 layer non-stick aluminium build allows for an easy cleaning process once you’ve enjoyed your feast, no elbow grease required!
- BBC Good Food Recommend: Tested and recommended by professional organizations --"This model from Cosori is a great example of an appliance which performs a wide range of functions to a high standard"
- QUICK MEALS: Pressure cook meals up to 70% faster than traditional cooking methods or use as a slow cooker for stews and soups
- 9 Machines in 1: Pressure Cook, Rice, Steam, Oatmeal/Porridge, Stew/Broth, Bean/Grain, Meat/Poultry, Yoghurt, Cake, Slow Cook, Sauté, Sous Vide, Keep Warm
- Family-size capacity
- The pressure cooker that crisps – TenderCrisp Technology
- Multiple Cooking Functions: Pressure Cook, Air Crisp, Slow Cook, Steam, Sear/Saute, Bake/Roast, Grill, Yoghurt and Dehydrate
- QUICK & EASY TO USE: Fantastic for small families, couples or individuals. With a pre-set feature your pressure cooker allows you to cook all of your favourite meals at the click of a button up to 90% faster than traditional cooking methods. This easy to use machine makes cooking delicious dishes simple.
- ENERGY EFFICIENT: Because PKP cooks super-fast with pressurised steam, it saves money on your energy bills! In fact, it uses at least 66% less energy than the average oven (approx. 2100W).
- SIMPLY SET AND FORGET: The Pressure King Pro creates the same slow-cooked tenderness and taste that you want but in a much shorter time with a lot less effort! Why wouldn't you choose this product?! Simply turn it on in the morning and your food will be done by the evening ready for you to enjoy!
- Cook beautifully: Create tasty dishes every time, thanks to a spherical cooking bowl for 360° heat circulation, and clever sensor technology that adjusts cooking time and temperature automatically
- Make anything: 16 menus let you brown, roast, make rice, desserts and more. Each menu has a choice of recipes – from brown rice to white, custard to cheesecake – giving you 37 cooking functions in total.
- Say when: Thanks to its automatic ‘Keep Warm’ mode, as well as ‘Reheat’ and ‘Delayed Start’ functions, Tefal SpheriCook will ensure your meal is beautifully cooked and ready when you are.
- HEALTHY COOKING WITH CONSISTENT RESULTS: The classic Instant Pot Duo adjusts pressure, temperature, time, and heat to cook food up to 70% faster than other methods and deliver consistent, delicious results every time
- CONVENIENT AND CUSTOMISABLE: The Instant Pot Duo can remember the way you like to cook, and which smart programs you use most often. ‘Set it and forget it’ freeing you to do other things while your dinner cooks safely and quickly
- 13 ONE-TOUCH SMART PROGRAMS: Revolutionize the way you cook with one touch programs: Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Slow Cook, Sauté, Rice, Porridge, Steam, Yogurt, Multigrain and Poultry. Keep Warm, and Pressure Cook
Last update on 2024-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API