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When was the last time you visited your grandparents or an older person in your life? One of the best parts of those visits are the moments connected to cooking and eating good food. And, if you’re lucky, you have a grandparent who loves to cook and would be willing to teach you how to cook too. Whenever I visit my grandma I’m in awe of all of the tools that she uses to create the incredible recipes that remind me of my childhood. These are the best multi cookers available!
See also: Need some utensils to go with your shiny new multi-cooker? Check out these sets to find the perfect match!
The Rise of Multi Cookers
When I began learning how to cook I was shocked by all of the appliances that I ended up buying. First, I purchased a slow cooker and I will be honest and say that it’s one of the best kitchen appliances of all time. But, slow cookers can take up a lot of space and I don’t always want to cook a meal for 8 hours.
Then, I purchased a bamboo food steamer. This was a wonderful purchase until the bamboo accidentally warped and eventually broke. It took several years for that to happen but I did have a three tiered bamboo food steamer for years.
Finally, I became intrigued by the idea of making homemade yogurt and picked up a yogurt maker. The yogurt maker was a lot of fun to use but I wasn’t using it daily and eventually it began to collect dust in my pantry.
I imagine that the person who designed the first multi cooker struggled with the same concerns that a lot of home cooks do. There are so many tools one could use to cook a delicious meal but was there a way to create one appliance that could handle more than one cooking process?
Happily, the multi cooker is that appliance.
See also: If you’re still not sure how to get the most out of a new kitchen appliance, check out this useful guide to instant pots vs rice cookers!
Save Cabinet Space with Multi Cookers
Multi Cookers are the home cook’s best friend. Most machines are able to replicate the following cooking styles:
- Yogurt making
- Rice cooking
- Baking (depending on the model)
- Pressure Cooking
- Slow cook
- Fry (depending on the model)
In addition to having all of these cooking functions, the best part about having a multi cooker is creating efficiency in the kitchen and saving space. Home cooks can donate, sell, or giveaway all of their old appliances and make room for their new multi cooker.
If you’re now thinking about purchasing a multi cooker and are sure where to start, one of the following 5 models may be a great addition to your kitchen.
Instant Pot Duo EVO Plus 9-in-1
This multi cooker model has almost 4,000 ratings with a majority being 5 stars. It comes in multiple sizes starting at a 3 quart model and ending with a 10 quart model ideal for larger families. It’s an affordable price and comes in a standard stainless steel design with a black lid and handles.
- Users reported that they really enjoyed the speed of use when cooking their recipes.
- The recipe range is vast and home cooks were able to recreate many of their favorite meals ranging from cakes to baked chicken.
- Customizable presets for your favorite recipes.
- Intuitive pressure release for those of us who get nervous when pressure cooking.
- Users noted that the Duo EVO Plus is heavy
- The instruction booklet didn’t have enough information on how to best use the machine causing users frustration.
- It doesn’t crisp. I’m thinking that the person who shared this concern was cooking the wrong type of recipe for this appliance.
Overall, this is a great appliance that will get most of your meals cooked and on your dinner table fast.
Ninja FD401 Foodie
The Ninja Foodie is available in the standard stainless steel and black lid design that seems to be the staple for most multi cookers. The Ninja is a little more expensive than the Instant Pot Duo but has a sleeker design. This multi cooker comes in a range between 5-8 quarts. There’s also a dehydrator.
- Almost 6700 five star reviews on Amazon
- Easy to use
- Does everything
- Users reported that the Ninja is noisy
- The Foodie is heavy
- The learning curve is a bit steep
- Takes up a lot of counter space
If you’re willing to spend the cash, this multi cooker could be considered a long-term food appliance investment.
Hamilton Beach Multi Cooker
The great thing about the Hamilton Beach Multi Cooker is that it’s an affordable way to introduce yourself to the multi cooker world. While this cooker only comes in the 4.5 quart option it’s small but mighty. Cooks are able to make rice, steam vegetables, saute veggies or meat, and more.
- It’s an incredibly affordable price.
- Most users were primarily reporting using it as a rice cooker.
- The controls aren’t intuitive.
- There are limits to what you can do which may be why most users only use it for a couple of cooking styles.
If you’re not planning on cooking a number of different recipes that depend on multi methods of cooking, then the Hamilton Beach Multi Cooker may be a great way to gain an initial experience with one of these gadgets.
This gorgeous multi cooker is the gold standard in multi cookers. Six quarts of capacity, the ability to pressure cook, slow cook, steam, and sear your favorite meat.
- The key pad is easy to use.
- Dishwasher safe
- The pressure valve is a hands free release.
- This appliance is priced a bit higher than some of the other models mentioned.
- The silicon ring in the lid may retain some cooking odors.
The Breville BPR700BSS is a beautiful piece of workmanship and is a welcome addition to any countertop.
Pioneer Woman LUX60
One of my favorite chefs is Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, who became famous through the amazing recipes that she shared with her community via her blog.
- Ok, don’t laugh, but this is the most beautiful multi cooker on the market.
- It’s incredibly affordable
- Created by an everyday home cook.
- This is a big one, the settings on this multi cooker don’t match up with the settings in many of the instant pot recipes.
It’s unfortunate that there’s some confusion with the cooking settings not matching with some of the Instant Pot communitie’s recipes. It may be a good idea to see if there is a Facebook group created for Instant Pot recipes made by the Pioneer Woman and her community.
This T-Fal multi cooker is refreshing because it comes in a different color, it’s white. This appliance comes with recipes for the new user to try out. Make sweet or savory meals with your T-Fal today.
- The machine is mid-range in price
- It offers 10 automatic functions
- Slightly smaller digital screen
- Settings were said to be a bit confusing
Regardless of the model that you finally decide on, your new multi cooker gives you an opportunity to Marie Kondo your kitchen and get rid of all of the appliances that are taking up way too much space but that you would like to use from time to time.
It’s crazy to think that one gadget is now able to help home cooks create delicious meals with a quick push of a button.
Some Final Considerations
Before making your final decision don’t forget to ask the following questions.
- What cooking techniques do I use most often? In my case, I love to steam, saute, sear, and boil. I very rarely fry my food so I would need something with a deep frying function. However, I would love an appliance that has frying capabilities just in case there is a recipe that calls for a crispier texture.
- How much space do you have? If you have a small kitchen, you may want to check and see how much space will be freed up once you remove your excess appliances.
- How heavy is the machine? These machines may be a bit heavier than you expect. Check to see what the weight is prior to purchase.
- Does the machine come with an appliance manual and is it easy to connect with customer service in the event that you have a question. As excited as I am about multi cookers, I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling a bit intimidated by the learning curve. It’s important to me to make sure that I easily ask questions in the event that I have a technical or recipe related issue. In fact, Butterball Turkey has the Turkey Hotline that helps people cook their Thanksgiving turkeys. I would like a similar service with my multi cooker.
- How easy is it to replace the different components of the machine? Components would include:
- The silicon ring that helps seal the machine when closed.
- The pressure valve
- If your machine breaks, is it easy to fix and where do you go to get the job done?
- Does your new multi cooker come with a recipe book? And, how many recipes are in it?
Now that you’ve done your research it’s time to pick your new multi cooker and begin wowing your family and friends with your cooking skills!
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