Introducing the Ninja Speedi 10-in-1 Rapid Cooker and Air Fryer
- 10 Cooking Functions incl Air Fry
- 5.7L Capacity
- Perfect meals. One pot. 15 minutes.
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You shouldn’t be using your Instant Pot, air fryer and pressure cooker the same way.
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
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If you own an , you know how convenient it is when it comes to cutting down the time it takes to cook food, all through the magic of heat and steam. But while Instant Pot has kitchen prowess, it can’t cook everything safely. And for some foods, you may find the results inferior to more traditional cooking methods like using a stovetop or air fryer.
Some multi-cookers offer up to 15 functions and this versatility not only saves on workspace by reducing the need for multiple appliances, it also could save you money – a key factor that we considered when testing and reviewing.
While the number of functions vary and is often reflected in the price, most multi-cookers combine a good mix of modern and traditional settings.
If you’re looking for a healthier way to achieve the familiar taste and textures of traditionally fried foods, certain multi-cookers can be a step up from the best air fryers. Others take away the anxiety of stove-top pressure cookers by automating the pressure build and release, so you still get the conveniently quick, food tenderising effect but even more so.
There are lots of ways that multi-functional cooking appliances make cooking easier, but we specifically looked at those that offer slow cooking, sear/sauté and pressure cooking at their core, with rice cooking, roasting, baking, dehydrating, dough-proving and other functions as useful additions.
Whether you’re cooking on a budget, looking to streamline your energy usage or simply want to create some space in a busy kitchen, we’ve brought you our tried and tested picks of the best multi-cookers currently available on the market.
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Not long ago, Instant Pot was the only name in the multi-cooker game. But competition has been heating up. We now test 18 brands, ranging in price from $70 to more than $600.
Does spending top dollar for one of these multitasking countertop appliances get you a better braise? The answer used to be yes—to a degree. One of our top-rated multi-cookers, the Breville Fast Slow Pro, costs about $275. But that’s roughly $100 more than the highly rated Chef iQ Multi-Functional Smart Pressure Cooker.
More recently, we tested the Wolf Gourmet Multi-Cooker, a hefty high-end model with a price to match. It can go for up to $650 (the most expensive model we’ve ever tested) and is one of the worst performers in our tests. On the flip side, the best in our tests today comes in well under $200.
You can find it in our multi-cooker ratings, which cover two categories: models that pressure-cook and those that don’t.
“Pressure-cook models are ideal for quickly cooking tough cuts of meat, or beans, but you won’t save a lot of time with other foods, like steamed rice,” says Ginny Lui, CR’s test engineer for countertop cooking appliances.
We test pressure-cook mode on the models that have it by cooking pork ribs and beef-and-bean chili. Then we test other dedicated functions, including slow-cooking chili and beef stew, steaming rice and vegetables, sautéing onions, and keeping food warm. Some models even have functions for baking, air-frying, crisping, dehydrating, and sous vide.
For each test, CR staffers sample the dish and judge the food’s taste and tenderness. Testers also evaluate convenience factors, such as the clarity of the touch controls and how easy it is to program each multi-cooker, and they assess the durability of the coating on the interior pots.
Read on for reviews of seven of the best multi-cookers from our tests, listed in alphabetical order. CR members can also dig into our complete multi-cooker ratings.
The best multi cookers give you the freedom to cook a vast variety of meals all from the same pot. They’re incredibly easy to use and, if you have to work in a small kitchen, give you the freedom to experiment without requiring multiple appliances. With prices starting from as little as £35, they’re a brilliantly affordable addition to any chef’s toolset.
Multi cookers are often seen as a jack-of-all-trades appliance. While that’s still true to some extent, nowadays many of the best multi cookers are highly capable in their own right. Some even specialise in certain cooking methods, which is great if you have a preference towards one type of meal.
If you already have an idea of what you want, our at a glance list below will take you straight to retailers for our favourites. Alternatively, you can scroll down to find mini reviews of all the multi cookers we’ve tested. New to the world of multi cooking? We’ve put together a handy guide below to talk you through some of things you should consider before buying.
Best multi cookers
All of the best multi cookers will have preset functions for slow cooking, baking and either rice or steaming. Some multi cookers, such as the Instant Pot and Tefal All-In-One, can also pressure cook. These are a good option if you cook a lot of meat joints and want to achieve slow cooker-style tenderness, but don’t have time to wait around.
READ NEXT: Our pick of the best slow cookers
If healthy cooking is on your list of must-haves, a multi cooker with an air frying function may come in handy. The Ninja Foodi does just that, as well as all of the usual functions, so you can make stews, soups, pressure-cooked meats and crispy chips all with the same appliance. The only issue is that this versatility comes at a price: at around £200, you could potentially buy a cheaper multi cooker and separate air fryer for less.
What size multi cooker should I buy?
This depends entirely on the size of your household. If you’re cooking for one to two people, then anything from 1.4l upwards should be just fine. For families of four to five, we’d suggest nothing smaller than 4l. If you cook for a crowd regularly or are seriously into batch cooking, then we’d suggest a 6-7l multi cooker.
How much should I spend?
When it comes to multi cookers, pricier certainly doesn’t always equal better. Though many of them have the same basic functions, these appliances can be quite varied at times, so we’d suggest deciding what you need the most (slow cooking, air frying, pressure cooking) and choosing a model that excels in that area.
If you want something that simply slow cooks and makes rice, then a budget cooker around the £30-£40 mark is probably more than enough for what you need. However, if you can take advantage of the extra functions, we’d always suggest spending as much as you can.
Anywhere between £60-£100 will get you something decent and probably have enough variety. If you really want to experiment, then it may be worth spending even more on a model with specialist functions and more adjustability.
READ NEXT: Best pressure cookers for super-speedy meals
With one of the best multi-cookers, you’ll have access to an array of cooking functions right at your fingertips. These cookers are incredible value for money, with up to 14 cooking settings available in one unit, and offer versatility for those who need space-saving appliance solutions.
Often combining pressure cooking with modes for slow cooking, baking, steaming, and even air frying, these multi-cookers really can change the way you use your kitchen. If you’re a keen chef, you’ll be sure to take advantage of all of the ability they have to offer.
That’s exactly what we’ve done, with a panel of expert reviewers weighing in on how well these multi-cookers can replace rice cookers, the best slow cookers, and debating if they can oust the best air fryers from your kitchen.
Below are our top picks of the best multi-cookers on the market, with budget-friendly models for under £100 alongside more expensive options, if you’re looking to invest a little more.
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(Image credit: Instant Pot)
The best multi-cooker overall
5.7 L or 8 L
28 pre-set cooking programs
Pressure cook, slow cook, steam, sauté, bake, sous vide, yogurt, rice/ grain
Stainless steel pot, steam rack, spare sealing ring
Reasons to buy
Silicone cooking pot handles
Safe and easy steam release
Free recipe app makes it easy to adapt to
Reasons to avoid
The pot isn’t non-stick
The Instant Pot Pro has a sleek black exterior and is fully loaded with presets and cooking functions to take centre stage in your kitchen. We appreciated how compact the 5.7 litre model we tested was, but it also comes with an 8 litre pot for larger families. Something that can put people off pressure cooking is the steam vent release. This lets out high-pressure steam, which can splutter depending on the machine you’re using. We had no such issues with the Instant Pot Pro though, thanks to the switch to the side of the valve which means you can keep your distance.
We made tasty brown rice in just 30 minutes, and were left with fluffy separated grains. The slow cooking mode was also impressive, but it’s worth noting that with all multi-cookers they will retain liquid better than a regular slow cooker, so reduce the amount of stock you’re using to get the same result you’re used to with your slow cooker.
Everything, even the lid, can go straight in the dishwasher, which we were thrilled with. Especially because the pot isn’t non-stick, it’s nice to know there won’t be any need for scrubbing.
Read our full Instant Pot Pro review.
(Image credit: Ninja)
The best multi-cooker for in-built air frying
Pressure, steam, slow cook, yogurt, sear/ sauté, air crisp, grill, bake/ roast, dehydrate
Non-stick cooking pot
Hinged crisping lid can’t be removed
The air frying lid (which is known as the tendercrisp lid) is hinged to the side of the cooker, so when you use the pressure lid you need to allow room for the crisp lid to stand upright. This can make it tricky to fit the Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Multi-Cooker OP350UK under kitchen counters. The air frying is actually really good, though. We were able to make an entire roast chicken by pressure cooking and then air frying it, and the potato wedges it made were even and crispy.
We enjoyed the non-stick cooking pot, but it can swivel around slightly when stirring because the pot isn’t held into place with handles like the Instant Pot Pro. The bottom of the pot is also slightly curved, which made it tricky to add oil to the pot without it gathering at the sides. Cleaning is a breeze, and the handles on the side make this a storage-friendly multi-cooker.
Read our full Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 review.
(Image credit: Sage)
The best multi-cooker for easy presets
Pressure cook, slow cook, steam, sauté/ sear, sous vide, reduce
Stainless steel cooking bowl, stainless steel trivet
Pre-sets work on pressure or slow cook
Handles make it very portable
Cooking bowl can’t go in dishwasher
Sage’s latest multi cooker, the Sage Fast Slow Go, is a great alternative to the fascia of many multi-cookers. The images make it more attractive, but also easier to get to grips with. You can choose between pressure and slow cooking for many of the presets, and it can also be used to steam, sous vide, and reduce.
The hinged lid is unusual, and not our favourite. It can be removed, but the process is quite fiddly. We do like that the pressure cook mode releases the valve hands-free, which means you won’t need to worry about any splattering hot water.
We made a very delicious risotto in just 18 minutes using the Sage Fast Slow Go, and it required no stirring. Another dish we tried was a chickpea curry using dried chickpeas on the legume setting. This was a big win, and while we’re not usually fans of using dried chickpeas, this machine may have converted us for how easy the process was.
Buy Sage The Fast Slow Go, £169.95, at sageappliances.com (opens in new tab)
Read our full Sage The Fast Slow Go review.
(Image credit: Magimix )
The best multi-cooker for premium design
3.5 L metal bowl, 3.6 L food processor bowl
13 automatic programmes + 1 expert manual programme
Steam, soup, blend, chop, bread, and more
Universal blade, Steamer basket & tray, Whisk, Heat-resistant spatula, three-layer food processor, 2 slicing discs, 2 grading discs
Easy to clean
Food processor and cooking attachment
Completely hands-free cooking
It’s a very expensive choice
The Magimix Cook Expert brings an alternative take on multi-cooking, with an attachment to put even the best food processor out of a job, and a cooking bowl with blades attached at the bottom which can whiz through soup or stews with ease. You can use the presets for soup (chunky or smooth), blending, frozen desserts, and even kneading dough, or even freestyle on the manual cooking mode to make your own recipes.
We really enjoyed how immersive the Magimix Cook Expert experience is. You can join online groups to get tips on new recipes to try, and it’s amazing to see how many different things people make in their Cook Expert. This includes mulled wine, porridge, even custard. The blades at the bottom can be removed, but it’s best not to do this when you’ve just finished cooking and they’re hot, so the grooved spatula is needed to get ingredients out of the bottom of the cooking pot. It’s a bit fiddly when cooking dishes like porridge or mashed potato.
None of the other multi-cookers we tried had blades attached, so while you can use the steam insert or use the Magimix Cook Expert as one of the best soup makers, you will also enjoy being able to set the blades on a slow mode to use them to stir rice or veggies while they cook from the bottom of the cooking pot. Cleaning is very easy, because everything is dishwasher-safe.
Read our full Magimix Cook Expert review.
(Image credit: Tefal)
The best multi-cooker for under £100
Pressure, steam, slow cook, simmer, brown, bake, baby food, oatmeal, rice
Measuring cup, spatula, steam basket, trivet, recipe booklet
24-hour keep warm function
Recipe book included
Great for rice
No obvious start button
If you want the best multi-cooker for under £100, the Tefal CY505E40 is a great choice. We really loved the control panel, which made it easy to pick the right mode for you, and there’s a lot this multi-cooker can do. It made delicious, fluffy rice, the likes of which we’d expect from one of the best rice cookers. We also really enjoyed the recipe book included, which made it easier to get used to using the Tefal CY505E40.
The compact design of the Tefal CY505E40 will be a winner in smaller kitchens, but again, the lid is hinged. Using the browning program before switching on the pressure cooking mode was useful for getting the most flavour out of a delicious beef stew, and the whole process was pretty low-effort.
One issue we had was the lack of an obvious start button. Instead there’s an icon, which you’ll need to find in the control manual, but it does make getting started a little trickier. Cleaning was easy. The non-stick coating of the cooking pot was appreciated, especially from Tefal, who makes some of the best non-stick frying pans. It can’t go in the dishwasher though.
Read our full Tefal CY505E40 review.
(Image credit: Crockpot )
The best multi-cooker for cooking meat
Pressure, steam, slow cook, brown, bake, rice, yoghurt
Stirring spoon, steaming rack and sous vide rack
Makes 6+ functions
Makes great stew
Separate pressure release dial
Not great for steaming veggies
The Crockpot Turbo Express Electric Pressure Cooker made delicious stews. We were able to brown the meat first before switching over to slow cook or pressure cooking mode and leaving it to cook. The turbo settings There are presets for rice, beans, stew, meat, and ever desserts, as well as manual settings to let you get stuck in.
Steaming was a little tricky, as was cooking rice, but this is a multi-cooker that you’ll enjoy after an initial adjustment period. It’s also well-priced, and great for generous portions. The steam vent is once again distinguished from the pressure switch, so you won’t have to worry about splatters with this multi-cooker. It’s got a non-stick pot, but it’s not dishwasher-safe.
Read our full Crockpot Turbo Express Electric Pressure Cooker review.
How to choose the best multi-cooker
- Size: If you’re cooking for a crowd, you’ll find the bigger the better, but there are mini ones for smaller households, too. Some models can stand quite tall if they have hinged lids, which is something to take into consideration if you have low kitchen cupboards.
- Functionality: There’s little point paying for functions that you’re unlikely to use but do consider those that excite you. Multi-cookers are excellent gadgets for introducing new ways of cooking to your everyday meals and completely mitigate the need to buy and store multiple appliances. They can also be one of the more efficient ways to save rather than buying two or more large and expensive appliances.
- Extra attachments: Look out for additional perks such as dishwasher-safe inner bowls and accessories. Models such as the Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 multi-cooker offer a separate lid for pressure cooking, which would require additional storage when using other functions. With its newer 15-in-1 model (featured above), Ninja is leading the way with its combination steam and convection cooking modes, designed to lock in ingredients’ moisture and flavour while still crisping the outside.
WHICH IS THE BEST NINJA FOODI MULTI-COOKER FOR ME?
Ninja Foodi SmartLid Multi-Cookers
The next generation of Foodi multi-cookers offers even more exciting ways to cook your favourite meals. Choose from 11, 14 or 15 cooking functions under one SmartLid, including innovative Combi-Steam Mode for juicy, speedy, crispy results! In a range of sizes to suit every household, it’s also available with Ninja’s Smart Cook System for perfectly cooked meat and fish, without the guesswork!
Ninja Foodi Multi-Cookers
Discover our original game-changing Ninja Foodi Multi-Cooker. Pressure cook to lock in juices, up to 70% faster than traditional cooking methods*, then switch to the Crisping Lid for the perfect finish. Choose from 6 or 9 cooking functions in a range of sizes.
Ninja Speedi Rapid Cooker
Perfect meals, one pot, 15 minutes.**** The Ninja Speedi’s Rapid Cooking System combines steam with air frying to quickly cook multi-textured one pot meals that rival your favourite takeaway.
Steam quickly infuses food with moisture while convection air crisps and caramelises.
What is a Multi-Cooker?
Multi-Cookers offer multiple cooking functions and settings in one appliance, so you can Pressure Cook, Air Fry, Slow Cook, Roast and more – all in one unit.
What can you make in a Multi-Cooker?
Multi-Cookers are perfect for a wide variety of recipes, from air-fried wedges or a whole roast chicken to one-pot meals, layering mains and sides to cook a complete meal at once. You can find lots of meal inspiration on the Cooking Circle website and in the Chef-created recipe guide that comes in the box.
How do you clean a Multi-Cooker?
Ninja’s ceramic-coated cooking pot and removable parts are non-stick and dishwasher-safe, making cleaning up easy.
Can you cook from frozen in a Ninja Multi-Cooker?
Yes – add frozen food directly into the cooking pot, without the need for defrosting.
How does a pressure cooker work?
Pressure cookers quickly cook food by building pressure inside the unit, creating pressurised steam which infuses moisture into your food and quickly cooks from the inside out. When pressure cooking, the Ninja Multi-Cooker lid will lock for safety and will not unlock until pressure is released after cooking.
How do you use a pressure cooker?
Ninja Multi-Cookers are easy to use with a digital display screen and an instruction booklet included in the box. To use the Pressure Cook function, simply add your ingredients to the cooking pot, make sure the Pressure Release valve is in the SEAL position and select Pressure Cook. The lid will create a complete seal, allowing pressure to build up inside and cook your food to perfection.
Are Multi-Cookers energy efficient?
Cooking with a Ninja Multi-Cooker costs up to 65% less than an oven**, costing as little as 11p for 15 minutes***
*Compared with slow-cooking, simmering or braising.**testing and calculations based on recommended cook time for sausages, using air fry function versus conventional ovens***based on Ofgem Oct’22 price cap.****Excludes pre-heat time.
In general, seafood such as fish, oysters, shrimp, muscles and clams are just too delicate for pressure cooking and slow cooking modes. They are foods that are meant to be cooked quickly at just the right temperature, which is hard to do with an Instant Pot. A few seconds too long or at the wrong temperature and you can end up with mush or rubbery lumps.
Besides, fish, shellfish and crustaceans are easily cooked with other methods, so breaking out the Instant Pot for them won’t guarantee better results as it can for tougher meats.
The only exception is octopus and squid. Pressure cooking these tough creatures can make them tender while keeping the meat juicy. Just be sure to find a recipe that is specifically for the Instant Pot.
While you technically can cook pasta in an Instant Pot, it may come out gummy or unevenly cooked. Honestly, unless you don’t have the option, boiling the pasta in a pot on a stovetop is just as fast and easy and will yield consistently better cooked pasta.
How we selected the best Instant Pot
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Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, helping you choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
How we tested the best Instant Pot
We’ve personally examined all the Instant Pots in our guide. We put them through their paces on each of their functions, roasting, sautéeing, pressure cooking, air frying, baking, sous-viding and yoghurting a host of different recipes to see if each multi-cooker is up to the task. We tested these multicookers in our own homes, using them exactly as you would to make sure they stand up in domestic settings. In every small appliance test, we check ease of use, performance, functionality, taste test, and also assess value for money.
How to choose the best Instant Pot
The best Instant Pots now do so much more than pressure cook. The latest models on the market can air fry, steam bake, prove bread, and even dehydrate. In short, it would be easier to list the things you can’t cook in one of these kitchen sidekicks.
In fact, the best multicooker can replace appliances like rice cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, and even air fryers so you only need one appliance that can do it all.
Look out for a capacity that suits your family size best, and you should also get serious about budget. Instant Pots can get pretty expensive, but the entry level models can typically be found for well under $100, so there’s a lot of room to find the right one for you.
Instant Pot FAQs
Yes, all the parts of an Instant Pot can go in the dishwasher, but remove the rubber sealing ring from the lid. This is so that the lid can be thoroughly cleaned, and it prevents the sealing ring from losing its shape
Can you use an Instant Pot for canning?
Yes, but we don’t recommend it. In her review of the Instant Pot Pro Plus, our tester Sharon Franke notes that while the Pro Plus has a canning mode, the USDA has no definite answer on whether or not canning should be done in pressure cookers. It’s best to stay on the safe side. Sharon advises that ‘If you are interested in canning, we suggest that you purchase a device intended exclusively for that purpose’.
Best multi-cookers at a glance
- Best overall multi-cooker: Crockpot Turbo Express 14-in-1 pressure multi-cooker, £125.99
- Best rice cooker for top-end multi-cookers: Sage the Fast Slow Go multi-cooker, £144
- Best value multi-cooker: Pressure King Pro 5.7L 12-in-1 Digital pressure cooker, £89.99
- Best large multi-cooker: Instant Pot Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid, £200
- Best multi-cooker for pressure cooking: Tefal Turbo Cuisine Multi pressure cooker, £129
- Best air fryer multi-cooker: Ninja Foodi MAX 15-in-1 SmartLid 7.5L multi-cooker, £319.99
- Best multi-cooker for intuitive controls: Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus multi-cooker, £99.99
- Best multi-cooker for versatility: Amazon Basics 23-in-1 Multi Purpose, £80.78
- Best budget multi-cooker: Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1 Multi-Use pressure cooker, £168.29
- Best multi-cooker rice cooker: Tefal All-in-One pressure cooker, £119
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Crockpot Turbo Express 14-in-1 pressure multi-cooker
Best overall multi-cooker
- Versatile with 14 functions
- 5.6L capacity for cooking for 6 or more
- Dishwasher-safe removable non-stick bowl
- Turbo function for cooking food 40% faster
- Bowl spins in its base during stirring
- Ambiguous start and stop coding for function alerts
Cost during test: n/a
The slow-cooker function created a richly-infused chicken korma with tender meat. It automatically jumped to ‘keep warm’ mode after the cooking time had ended – very handy. Notifications signalling the cooking progress meant we were always in the know if ingredients needed a stir. Our overall favourite multi-cooker.
Sage the Fast Slow Go multi-cooker
Best rice cooker for top-end multi-cookers
- Large digital touchscreen
- Versatile 14 functions
If you’re looking for a do-it-all multi-cooker to keep out on the countertop, this is the one for you. The stylish brushed stainless-steel design gives this model a contemporary feel that forgives greasy fingermarks. This cooker focuses on slow and pressure cooking functions, and is equipped with a pressure release safety valve and locking lid.
Its ability to cook grains, such as risotto, from the preset function produced very creamy results without all the usual effort of standing and stirring. Stocks, stews, yogurt and more are part of its push-button interface, clearly labelled with words and icons. Sous vide cooking is also possible with this model, allowing you to achieve consistent, quality results. Read our full Sage the Fast Slow Go review.
Pressure King Pro 5. 7L 12-in-1 Digital pressure cooker
Best value multi-cooker
Created with GIMP
- Attractive design
- Good value for under £100
- Lightweight for the size
- Automatic keep-warm function
- Intuitive controls
- Has a handle for easy lifting
- Unable to adjust time and temperature for sautéing
- Steam valve is close to pressure release switch
Cost during test: 3.97p
This Drew & Cole multi-cooker impressed us from the off – it has a polished steel exterior, lightweight ceramic pot, robust plastic lid and a detachable power cord. Among its 12 functions are traditional settings including steam, sauté, and stew, plus extra presets for dishes such as soup, chilli and curry. There’s also a steamer basket that slots neatly inside, elevated from the base of the pot so you can steam veggies as you cook other dishes underneath.
Navigating the control panel is a breeze and we were also impressed by how easy it is to pick up and move the cooker around, made even simpler by the handle on the lid. This cooker performed well in testing too, producing tender, flavoursome meat in our beef stew and a thick, creamy chicken korma. Read our full Pressure King Pro Multi Pressure Cooker review.
Instant Pot Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid
Best large multi-cooker
- Clear LCD display
- Impressive safety features
- Easy-to-use temperature dial
- Reliable lock function for pressure cooking
- Large capacity
- Lid works for all cooking programmes
- More expensive to run
- Mostly non-recyclable packaging
- Couldn’t access the instruction manual
- Sauce caught on the base of the pot
Cost during test: 5.05p
Instant Pot is synonymous with multi-cookers, but this sizeable model extends its usefulness with an additional air fryer function, ideal for making crispy chips using little to no oil.
Best for large households or batch cooking, it’s equipped with a large 6.2-litre pot and a single lid that’s suitable for all 13 functions, which include grill, roast, pressure cook, slow cook, and dehydrate. There’s also a sous-vide preset, designed for cooking juicy, tender meat dishes in just 30 minutes.
Preheating took an unusually long time when pressure-cooking our beef stew – an issue we didn’t have using the slow cooker setting. This Instant Pot was also the most expensive to run in the most recent tests. The results were promising though, and even though the meat was overdone by around five minutes, the vegetables had the soft but slight bite we were looking for. Read our full Instant Pot Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid review.
Tefal Turbo Cuisine multi pressure cooker
Best multi-cooker for pressure cooking
- Large central button for pressure release
- Sleek design
- Bright, clear display
- Easy to clean
- Long warranty
- A lot of non-recyclable packaging
- Took a long time to preheat on slow-cook setting
- Difficult to identify some icons without the manual
Cost during test: 4.38p
Sporting a brushed plastic finish and sleek rounded edges, this Tefal model is an excellent choice for medium-sized households. It’s a weighty piece of kit but has two wide handles for easy lifting, plus silicone feet that keep it steady on the worktop.
A simple turn of the dial allows you to switch between presets including stew, soup, sauté, steam, bake, slow cook, rice, yogurt, bread rise and porridge. Sous vide is also an option, and you can find tips to help you achieve perfect results in the instruction manual.
Releasing pressure is an uncomplicated affair thanks to the large, central release button. The slow cook function was somewhat successful too – it was stuck on preheat for almost an hour before kicking into cook mode, but eventually produced a fragrant chicken korma with a thick, creamy sauce. Read our full Tefal Turbo Cuisine multi-cooker review.
Ninja Foodi MAX 15-in-1 SmartLid 7. 5L multi cooker
Best air fryer multi-cooker
- Single lid for all 15 functions
- Integrated digital cooking probe
- Clear buttons and notifications mid cook
- Large countertop footprint
- Higher wattage than most
Ninja was one of the first brands to incorporate air frying functions into its multi-cookers and has been a front-runner when it comes to originality. Its newest model ditches the old two-lid design in favour of a single-lift lid with a sliding lock that doubles as a mode selector. It also offers more functions than any other multi-cooker on the market at the time of testing.
Pressure cook, air fry, grill, bake, dehydrate, prove, sear/sauté, steam, slow cook and yogurt functions are all selectable, along with five combi steam-meal options. The large 7.5L capacity makes it ideal for cooking a generous six portions at one time.
When prepping our beef stew, the sear/sauté function was the most effective at softening and caramelising the ingredients of all the models we tested, rendering all the fat and giving a good colour.
The hinged lid proved tricky to clean free of aromas after cooking strongly fragrant dishes, but there is guidance in the manual for a cleaning function.
Instant Pot Duo Evo 10-in-1 pressure cooker
Best multi-cooker for intuitive controls
- Wide silicone handles around the pot
- Bright, clear display
- Extra seal ring for sweet dishes
- Automatic seal lock when you put on the lid
- Adjustable temperature for sautéing
- Takes a long time to preheat
- Pot rotates when stirring
- A lot of non-recyclable packaging
Cost during test: 3.91p
What immediately sets the Duo Evo multi-cooker apart from other Instant Pot models is its impressively large screen, which is bright and simple to master. Functions span from traditional presets such as pressure cook, slow cook, steam and sauté, to extras including bake, rice/grain, and yogurt. The sous vide setting allows you to precisely control the water temperature.
Inside the box is a 5.7L stainless steel pot with easy-to-grip handles, a steam rack, condensation collector, and two seal rings: one for savoury dishes and the other for sweet ones. Times and temperatures can be controlled using the dial, and the lid automatically locks into the seal position when you fix it into place, which saves time and hassle. Read our full Instant Pot Evo Plus 10-in-1 Pressure Cooker review.
Amazon Basics 23-in-1 multi-cooker
Best multi-cooker for versatility
- Huge range of functions
- Clear control panel
- Cheaper to run
- Large, deep cooking pot
- Excessive plastic packaging
- Can’t adjust times or temperatures for presets
- Have to lean across cooker to release pressure
It runs quietly, and while you can’t adjust the times or temperatures on the presets, using the manual setting is a simple task. Releasing the pressure can feel a little risky as you have to lean across the appliance to flip the switch – we used a wooden spoon to maintain a safer distance.
Keeping it clean is easy though, and you can even pop the cooking pot in the dishwasher. Read our full Amazon Basics 23-in-1 multi-cooker review.
Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1 Multi-Use pressure cooker
Best budget multi-cooker
- 10 functions
- Customisable settings
- Vocal notifications
- Silicone-coated handle for safely removing pot
- Progress indicator a little unclear
- Instructions a little sparse
This model comes equipped with 10 settings, including five customisable ‘favourites’, gearing it nicely towards adventurous cooks or those looking for an upgrade. The instruction manual emphasises the pressure cooking function, which is helpful if you’re a first-timer.
One nifty feature we particularly loved was the heatproof handles for holding the bowl steady while stirring and safely lifting it up and out. Read our full Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1 Multi-Use pressure cooker review.
Tefal All-in-One pressure cooker
Best multi-cooker rice cooker
- Condensation collector built in
- 6L capacity cooks up to 12 cups of rice
- Delayed start ability
The size and variety offered by this Tefal multi-cooker makes it a great option for families. The baby food preset is something we’ve not seen on any other models tested before or since, alongside rice and porridge recipe functions. The useful staples of ‘delayed start’ and ‘keep warm’ functions are also on offer.
The specific setting for boiling rice produced fluffy grains without the usual sogginess that comes from trapped condensation, thanks to the clever drip collector.
The digital control panel proved simple to use with cooking time and temperature adjustable to your preferences. A recipe booklet is included along with a measuring cup, spatula, steam basket and trivet. Read our full Tefal All-in-One pressure cooker review.
Other multi-cookers we’ve reviewed and rate highly:
- Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 review, £80.96
- Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Multi-cooker OP350UK review, £229.99
- Crockpot Express 12-in-1 multi-cooker review, £99
How we tested multi-cookers
The more functions an appliance has, the more testing that’s warranted to ensure everything works the way it should. We tested the functions we deemed essential for everyday cooking and most useful to have under one lid: pressure cook, air fry/crisp, slow cook, rice, bake, grill, roast, sear and sauté functions, along with combi steam-air fry and combi-air fry options, if available.
To test pressure cooking, we adapted BBC Good Food’s beef and vegetable casserole recipe, reducing liquid quantities by half and adding flour for thickening towards the end of cooking. Slow cooker chicken korma is an excellent indicator of flavour infusion and highlights a model’s ability to tenderise but not overcook meat. The aromas also linger, which makes a good test of how easy it is to clean each multi-cooker. For baking functions, we used a gluten-free lemon drizzle cake to indicate an evenly baked cake without burning across the top, sides or bottom.
We looked for flavour-packed casseroles and kormas with tender meat and no bitterness from hot spots or burnt bits on the bottom. We also expected grilled aubergine to be juicy and tender; halloumi to show defined grill lines without being burnt; air-fried chips to be fluffy on the inside with a crisp outer; and combi-cooked salmon to be tender and juicy.
Were the functions easy to find and select? Does the multi-cooker update you on the cooking progress of its ingredients? Are manual elements, such as pressure release valves, safe and easy to open?
The price of the multi-cooker had to feel right for the versatility of its functions and quality of food it produced.
Does the lid hold onto strong aromas? Can sealing rims be removed for easy cleaning? How easy it is to clean the inner bowls can depend on whether they offer a non-stick coating.
No one wants to buy a pricey new appliance only for it to break six months down the line. Multi-cookers usually consist of one large inner bowl that sits inside an outer with a lid – we looked for a good fit. Accompanying accessories, such as rice stirrers, grill racks and crisper baskets also had to be robust enough to stand the test of time.
Is the multi-cooker covered by a fair warranty and is there guidance on how to recycle it at the end of its life? Is the packaging excessive or recyclable? Where was the multi-cooker made? Is it economical to use?
Crunchy, crispy food
Unless you’ve purchased a specialty model, your Instant Pot is not a pressure fryer and isn’t designed for the higher temperatures needed to heat cooking oil for something like crispy fried chicken. Of course, an Instant Pot is perfect for a dish like carnitas, but to get the final crisp on the meat, after you remove the meat from the Instant Pot, transfer to a skillet and brown for a few minutes or on a baking sheet to crisp up in a hot oven. (However, if you’re looking for an air fryer that will get your food nice and crispy, you can check out our tested picks for the best air fryers of 2023).
You aren’t really baking a cake in an Instant Pot, you’re steaming it. The cake will be moist — which works for something like bread pudding — but you won’t get a nice crust on the cake or the chewy edges that everyone fights over with baked brownies. However, if you do need to throw something together for a potluck or quick family dessert, you can get a moist sponge in half an hour or so, excluding prep time.
New! Ninja Foodi SmartLid Multi-Cookers
Save up to 65% on your energy bill with Ninja Multi-Cookers**
- 11 Cooking Functions
- 6L Capacity
- incl. Air Fry AND Pressure Cook modes
- incl. Air Fry AND Pressure Cook modes
- 7.5L Capacity
- 6 Cooking Functions
- 4.7L Capacity
- incl. Air Fry AND Pressure Cook modes
- 9 Cooking Functions
- 6L Capacity
- incl. Air Fry AND Pressure Cook modes
- 9 Cooking Functions
- 7.5L Capacity
- incl. Air Fry AND Pressure Cook modes
Two recipes at once
Cooking a roast with potatoes and carrots is a time-honored recipe, right? Not in this case. Don’t try to cook a main dish with a side dish in your Instant Pot. They may fit in the pot together, but each food will need its own cooking time. Cooking items together will inevitably result in a dry or mushy mess.
Don’t try this trendy method of cooking with most Instant Pots models. The Instant Pot Max is an exception because it gives you the ability to accurately control the cooking temperature. If you don’t own an Instant Pot that has that level of control, you are better off using an Instant Pot attachment to do your sous-vide cooking, if you are really set on using your pressure cooker this way.
(Image credit: TBC)
If you’re looking for the best multi-cooker to make stews and speed up cooking times, you’ll be safe with an entry-level model. Most multi-cookers can pressure cook, so you’ll be able to enjoy cooking all types of meat and pulses with a range of functions to brown and then cook your dish. However, not all multi-cookers come with an air fryer in-built. Adding an air fryer into the equation will let you switch from pressure cooking to air frying, which will crisp up the skin of your chicken or make your roasties in minutes.
Rare or medium-rare meats
A pressure cooker is not a barbecue. An Instant Pot does great with tougher cuts of meat — which the pressure cooker can easily break down — but not so good with ones that are best eaten medium-rare, like a steak. Save those for .
Yellow and red lentils
We love lentils, but not all of them can be cooked in an Instant Pot. Brown and green lentils can hold up to pressure cooking, but the more delicate yellow and red versions turn to mush because they cook so quickly. Unless you’re purposely making lentil soup or dhal, stick to cooking red and yellow lentils on the stove to preserve their texture and shape.
Foods for canning
Canning, the art of cooking and sealing foods in jars, is often done in a pressure cooker. So, it may seem like a good idea to make a batch of jams, pickles or jellies in your Instant Pot. Don’t do it.
With an Instant Pot, you’re not able to monitor the temperature of what you’re canning as you would with a regular pressure cooker. With canning, cooking and sealing the food correctly is key. Improper cooking and sealing can lead to bacteria growth that can cause food poisoning.
While you want to avoid canning with an Instant Pot, some of the newer models (like the ) do have a sterilize setting that lets you clean baby bottles and kitchen items like jars and utensils.
The best multi cookers to buy
With similar styling to the Instant Pot, Tefal’s impressively affordable all-in-one cooker excels in a lot of areas. We’re particularly fond of its pressure cook and steaming functions, but it also does a whole host of other things including slow cooking, rice steaming, baking and browning. Rather unusually, this multi cooker also has its own one-touch function for warming and preparing baby food, which is very neat.
If you’re looking for an Instant Pot clone that’s a bit more affordable, this is a good option. The 6l capacity is enough to accommodate a small family whether you’re cooking rice, curry, soups or stews. Better still, the inner bowl is dishwasher safe, making it relatively easy to clean.
Key specs – Capacity: 6l; Dimensions: 28 x 30 x 30cm (WDH); Accessories: Steam basket, trivet, measuring cup, spatula; Dishwasher safe bowl: Yes; Guarantee: 2 years
The best multi cooker for pressure cooking
This cult classic is loved by many home cooks due to its versatility. We really like it as a pressure cooker and it makes exceptional rice, too. Other functions include steaming, sautéing, warming, slow cooking and yoghurt making. Capacity-wise, it’s about the same size as the Ninja Foodi, but it’s far more affordable.
The Instant Pot has more than enough functions for the everyday home cook and does all of them pretty well for the price. There are cheaper options on this list but they don’t deliver such consistent results, so if you can stretch to it, this offers an almost perfect balance between performance and price.
Key specs – Capacity: 5.7l; Dimensions: 31 x 34 x 31.7cm (WDH); Accessories: None; Dishwasher safe bowl: Yes; Guarantee: Not specified
Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 SmartLid Multi Cooker
Though it isn’t Ninja’s most expensive model (that honour goes to the Ninja Foodi MAX 15-in-1), the Foodi 11-in-1 does come at a premium price. However, if you’re willing to spend that little bit extra, you’ll get your hands on a high-quality, versatile multi-cooker.
While it might be on the large side, the Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 is aesthetically pleasing and well designed, with a clear and readable digital display and easy to use controls. You can switch between three modes – pressure cooking, air frying and steaming – as well as 11 different cooking functions. These include classic functions such as slow cooking, air frying, and roasting, as well as two new “combi-steam” functions, which combine steaming with baking or air frying for fluffier bakes and juicier, more tender meats.
In testing, it performed admirably in a number of areas but was particularly impressive when pressure cooking and steaming. It’s also much simpler to use than previous models, as the newly designed MultiLid doesn’t need to be changed out when switching between its three main modes. This cleverly designed lid, combined with impressive functionality make the Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 one of the simplest, yet most feature-packed multi cookers available.
Read our full Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 SmartLid Multi Cooker review.
Key specs – Capacity: 6l; Dimensions: 41cm x 39cm x 40cm (HWD); Accessories: 6L cooking pot, crisp basket, reversible rack; Dishwasher safe pot: Yes; Guarantee: 1 year
Best multi cooker for fast meals
Marrying style, versatility and convenience, the Ninja Speedi is the first real game changer we’ve seen in the rapid cooking space in some time. Underneath its aesthetically pleasing powder-blue finish and bevelled edges the Speedi houses a versatile multi cooker with air frying, slow cooking, grilling, sauteing, baking, roasting, dehydrating, steaming and combi-steam abilities.
While very impressive, the Speedi isn’t quite perfect: the rapid cooker’s saute setting didn’t quite match the fierce heat of our hob and sadly, this model lacks any pressure cooking functionality. If the latter happens to be a dealbreaker for you, then you may be better off opting for something like the Ninja Foodi 11-in-1. Otherwise, the Ninja Speedi is a multi-cooking option whose convenience and versatility are hard to match.
Read our full Ninja Speedi review
Key specs – Capacity: 5.7L; Dimensions: 31cm x 33cm x 35cm (HWD); Accessories: Adjustable grill plate, cooking pot; Dishwasher safe parts: Yes; Guarantee: 1 year
The best multi cooker for slow cooking
We love the temperature and timer controls: the digital display allows you to quickly and easily set your preferred temperature and cook time, something most of the cheaper options on this list are missing. It’s disappointing that there’s no set function for rice, though.
Key specs – Capacity: 5.6l; Dimensions: 46 x 34 x 28.2cm (WDH); Accessories: Roasting rack, measuring cup; Dishwasher safe bowl: Yes; Guarantee: Not specified
Lakeland Mini Multi Cooker
Whether you’re a student or you’ve just got a tiny kitchen, this multi cooker ticks all the right boxes. Much like the Instant Pot, this dinky cooker excels at making rice, but we also got great results when baking a cake and slow-cooking a stew for two in it. The delay start time and keep warm functions are also a godsend.
Alongside multiple rice options, cake baking and slow cooking, you can also make oatmeal, quinoa and yoghurt in it. Due to its size and price there isn’t a steamer basket or option to adjust temperature settings. That’s frustrating, but we didn’t find the latter affected the quality of our stew at all.
Key specs – Capacity: 1.4l; Dimensions (WDH): 23.5 x 28 x 20cm; Accessories: Measuring cup, plastic spatula; Dishwasher safe bowl: No; Guarantee: 3 years, if bought via Lakeland.
How did we review the best multi-cookers?
(Image credit: Future PLC)
As more multi-cookers continue to hit the market, we’ll be reviewing to continuously update this guide with the top options on the market, in line with our commitment to how we test products at Ideal Home.
Millie is the Head of Reviews for Ideal Home, working to ensure that the products we feature have been thoroughly tested before we recommend them to you. Previously Small Appliance and Cookware Editor, she remains our go-to expert for all things related to kitchen appliances.
She’s constantly reviewing the latest and greatest releases and has tested an array of multi-cookers on the market in order to tell you exactly what you need to know about them.
From this list, she’s had hands-on experience with the Magimix Cook Expert
Freelance Writer & Home Economist
Helen is a regular contributor to Ideal Home, reviewing appliances to let us know what they’re worth. She lives in a village in Buckinghamshire and reviewed the Instant Pot Pro, the Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 and the Sage the Fast Go Slow from this list from our own kitchen, which is in a 17th century cottage with unnervingly low beams that make her glad to be short. She tested them by using them to cook all sorts of everyday foods for herself and her husband and was allowed to keep them after the review, to see how they fare in the long run.
Air fryers vs multi-cookers
There’s a lot of crossover in functionality between air fryers and multi-cookers, but there are some differences that set them apart. Some multi-cookers can offer air frying within their roster of functions, but additional settings, such as pressure cooking and sous vide, extend their usefulness even further.
While air fryers are generally versatile gadgets with cooking presets that go beyond basic functionality, they tend to be more limited to convention-cooking technology. We’ve included a handful of air fryer multi-cookers above to help you explore the best options out there.
Multi-cooker recipes and reviews
Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 reviewOur best ever slow cooker recipesSlow cooker Christmas recipesSlow cooker mince recipesKids’ slow cooker recipesVegan slow cooker recipesSlow cooker curry recipesSlow cooker chicken recipesCheap cuts of meat: how to get the most out of themLemony prawn and pea pressure cooker risottoChicken and mushroomsBeef and vegetable casseroleSlow cooker bolognese
Best slow cookersBest pressure cookersBest rice cookersBest food processorsBest non-stick frying pansBest casserole dishesBest saucepans
Exclusive Ninja Foodi Bundle
Which was the most energy-efficient multi-cooker we tested?
Of the models tested, we found the Amazon Basics 23-in-1 multi-cooker and the Instant Pot Duo Evo 10-in-1 multi-cooker to be the most energy efficient. It cost 3.91p to run both multi-cookers on a high pressure-cook setting for 30 minutes, using a tariff of 31.8p/kWh.
Drew & Cole’s Pressure King Pro 5.7L 12-in-1 came a close second, costing 3.97p to pressure cook on high for 30 minutes (based on 31.8p/kWh).
Multi-cookers vary in their energy efficiency depending on their size and the function selected. But it is possible to calculate how much energy it will use, which in turn will help you work out the cost and impact it’ll have on your bills.
Take the appliance’s wattage and multiply it by the gadget’s hours of use per day, then divide the total by 1000. The result will be the appliance’s daily kilowatt-hour (kWh).
The cost per kilowatt-hour will vary depending on your energy tariff and area. If you have a smart meter installed at home, you’ll be able to see the cost per use during cooking without having to calculate it.
Multi-cookers with air fry technology
With Ninja Foodi Multi-Cookers, one pot really does do the lot. Whether you want to slow cook a vegetarian curry or beef ragu, pressure cook and crisp a whole chicken or layer mains and sides to create a one-pot meal, simply add your ingredients, select a customisable cooking program and wait for the timer to count down – it’s that easy!
Saving you time and space, these versatile kitchen appliances give you more cooking capacity and endless possibilities.
Just like in a slow cooker, most dairy products such as cheese, milk and sour cream will curdle in an Instant Pot, no matter if you use the pressure cooking setting or the slow cooking setting. Add these ingredients after the dish cooks or avoid making the recipe in the Instant Pot altogether.