MultiCooker Guide

MultiCooker Guide

Vanette Mendoza

The multi-cooker is a versatile piece of kitchen equipment hailed by many as the ultimate kitchen accessory. There's no fixed definition for what a multi cooker can do. It can cook your food in multiple ways, which is pretty handy considering one appliance can do the job of many, saving you valuable countertop space in the kitchen.

What is a multicooker?

The best multi-cooker grills meat, fish or veg well. Many pressure cookers now come with slow cooker functions (they used to separate). Slow cookers can make stews; soups simmered dishes like chilli con Carne.

The best ones feature digital controls that let you choose how long you want your dish to cook for, then switch into "keep warm" mode once it's done so it doesn't overcook.

Some models even have a buzzer that goes off when time is up, and some that turn themselves off after a while, which is helpful if you're going out or taking a long time to get home.


Why use a multicooker?

A multicooker is an essential kitchen accessory for saving time and making things more convenient. They have a sensor on the bowl, so when the inner portion gets too hot from all the steam, they either switch themselves off entirely or turn down the heat slightly to keep it at a reasonable temperature without overcooking.

It also lets you cook food like soups, stews and casseroles without another appliance. The best ones come with many different programs for cooking various foods and making great starters or desserts like chocolate fondants.




What to look out for in a multicooker?

 Safe lock lid

The best models have a locking mechanism safety feature making it impossible to open them with just one hand, which helps keep your kitchen safe since kids will be less likely to use them if they're not easy enough to figure out.


Temperature control

If you're planning on slow cooking or want something delicious right from your multi-cooker, this feature lets you adjust the heat setting to high or low so your food can cook faster without compromising quality. You'll also need this function big time if you plan on doing any Sous Vide style cooking.


Dishwasher safe

By far, the best way to keep your multi cooker looking like new is by putting it in a dishwasher, but on models where some parts aren't safe for that, it's just as good if the remaining bits are at least easy enough to wipe over with a damp cloth, sponge or kitchen towel.


Digital display panel

This lets you set the desired cooking time, switch to warming and see when the food is ready. It's beneficial for people who have busy lifestyles or children, stopping them from being in the kitchen all day so they can monitor how long their dinners will take without having to hover or worry.




What multi-cookers cook?











Multi-cookers: the pros

1. Save time

Prepare the ingredients and throw in into the multicooker and let the magic happen. Just put the food into the multicooker and let it do all the work.

2. Save money

A multicooker can help change boring cheap cuts of meats into tasty meals. An advantage is less energy used in cooking by saving time.

3. Fewer appliances more worktop space

Remove the need to have five appliances cluttering your worktop and have one multicooker that handles it all.


Multi-cookers: the cons

1. Struggles to replace a slow cooker

When looking to get the most flavour out of a dish many people prefer slow cookers for better appearance and taste.

2. Can be difficult to cleanIt takes time and effort to fully clean a multicooker especially if cooking with dark, stubborn sauces. You'll need to take the multicooker apart to fully clean it, also you'll need to maintain the seals and valves as they can get blocked, causing problems when cooking.

3. Faster cooking can equal less flavour

The speed that multicookers cook can mean they lack flavour compared to other methods. This can be counteracted by using extra seating plus searing meats along with some veg too.

4. They need supervision

You can't multicookers unattended for extended periods of time like other appliances but the time saved is well worth it.




Multicookers have multiple functions that help to replace other appliances. Some multicookers offer over ten functions to help you whip up delicious meals night after night.



Using the multi cooker means you're saving space in your kitchen, saving time with cooking, and it conserves energy since they are designed to use less power. Cleaning is fast, too, since most of them are dishwasher safe or have non-stick pots which can be cleaned quickly under running water. Time saved on washing up equals more time for yourself, family and friends!


Healthy cooking

Multi-cookers let you steam vegetables without adding extra calories by using oil or butter, grill meat gently so it stays tender inside but crispy outside, or poach fish. You can prepare healthy, delicious food in just minutes when combined with wholesome ingredients – hence their popularity among health-conscious consumers who want to eat well but don't have the time to spend hours in the kitchen.


What are some things NOT to expect from a multicooker?
They don't make gourmet food automatically! – It's not the only cooking appliance you'll need. It won't make your food taste like it was made in a restaurant kitchen.

You still need other appliances to make other meals or to help prepare meals in a multicooker

There are one or two multicookers that try to be the only piece of equipment you'll ever need, but these are extremely expensive, usually marketed as "as seen on TV".


Different types of multi-cooker 

Pressure Cooker

A pressure cooker helps create nutritious and delicious meals. Pressure cooking is great for cooking stews, soups, casseroles or other dishes that require steam pressure in an airtight container. Pressure cooking requires liquid added. It's also good to use for infusing flavour into low-fat cuts of meat since they're cooked in their juices, which keeps them tender.


Steam Oven

This function heats the water inside the pot, so food steams gently and evenly on a metal rack inside the appliance. It also means you can use less oil than if you cooked with a frying or roasting method, so they're suitable for low-fat cooking and keeping the meat moist and tender.



Some multi cooker models have a grilling function that uses a raised metal rack where you lay slices of meat, fish or veg over them, so they grill from top and bottom at the same time while circulating heat. Multi-cookers with this feature are suitable for people who don't like barbecuing (or can't do it because of the weather) since they're much easier to use.



Remove the need for a deep fat fryer, many multicookers can do both, frying and deep-fat frying. It's usually cleaner too and less smell than a deep fryer.



Make roast chicken simply and easily in a multicooker. You'll need a larger capacity to fit a full chicken.



Perfect for creating smaller cakes, cupcakes and more, a multicooker can help you create tasty treats on a small scale.






Different multi cooker features:

Automatic keep warm

This function keeps your cooked food at a safe temperature until everything is done and ready to eat without overcooking.

If you want something quick but delicious, wait for it to beep that everything's cooked and then take it out, but if you're going to go further with your cooking before you eat, leave it in there until the food is at the required temperature.


Pressure Valve

Sometimes called jiggle valves, these are tubes connected to rubber rings that let out steam if your cooker starts getting too hot and needs releasing (before the safety valves open). They're suitable for removing excess air pressure before you take off the lid or unlock it so food doesn't spill all over your kitchen.


Removable inner bowl

Very common in most models of our top picks, the inner bowl is removable, so you can put it in the dishwasher to clean or wash by hand.

The very best multi cookers have ones made from stainless steel bowls, aluminium pots and even those with ceramic coating, which doesn't scratch or chip as easily as enamel basins and stays looking shiny and new for longer too.


Steam release valve

This button on some models lets out steam when it builds up inside the appliance, which is inevitable whenever food gets cooked. It's usually located on the lid or just under it, next to the pressure release valve.



Non-stick coating

The best non-stick interiors use copper between stainless steel/aluminium layers because it conducts heat well without warping as other metals can sometimes do.



This function tells you how long is left in any program, so if there are two of you eating at different times, you can set it to switch itself off when your food is ready without worrying about anything getting burned or ruined.


Cord storage

If your kitchen counter has limited space, then cord storage models will save you from running out of room fast when they're not being used. They keep the power lead neatly tucked away inside so it can be suitably stored in a cup.



Master heat settings

Most top multi-cookers picks come with a master heat setting which means if you're going back later on, you won't need to add any more time – it'll be perfect no matter what kind of food you choose to cook in it.


One-touch preset buttons

This function is ideal if you want to set the multi-cooker to switch on at a specific time. You can't cook your food using just the timer, but it's still handy for cooking different foods and knowing the exact time it takes to make.



This function cooks food gently then keeps it warm for some time, so you don't have to reheat it later. Some models switch themselves off automatically after a certain amount of time, while others go into "keep warm" mode until you turn them off yourself.



Who should buy one?

Anyone who wants total control over what they're eating and how it's cooked, busy families who want to save time and money on groceries and anyone looking for all-around convenience!


Stainless steel housing

The better models usually come with stainless steel housing which doesn't get hot like a plastic can and helps insulate your food more efficiently.

It also means you'll never need to worry about the build-up of bacteria or mould that lesser steam release valves and jiggle valves can allow if not appropriately washed after each use.



What else do I need to know about multi-cookers?

They can be small or large, and many have a timer so you can set them before going out, and they'll switch off automatically when your dish is cooked.

You can even use them for storing food or cooking soup overnight, porridge in the morning and dessert after dinner!