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 from 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’re 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. If you already have an idea of what you want, scroll down and discover the best multi cookers around.
How to choose the best multi cooker for you
What features should I look out for?
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 (i.e 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 £80-£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.
The best multi cookers to buy from £35
1. Wilko 5L Multi Cooker: Best budget multi cooker
Price: £35 | Buy now from Wilko
This cheap-as-chips cooker is big and ugly but is ideal for soups, slow cooking and rice. The 12 preset functions give you more than enough flexibility to create amazing one-pot dishes with minimal hassle. There are even functions for risotto and pasta dishes, which means no more sweating over the stove for hours on end – just chuck it all in, then sit back and relax.
Not only are there plenty of functions for cooking, but this spacious multi cooker also has a 24-hour delay and keep-warm function, and comes with a measuring cup, rice paddle and steam pot. Wilko’s budget offering isn’t as polished as some of the others on this list but for the price you’ll struggle to find anything better.
Key specs – Capacity: 5l; Dimensions (WDH): 29.6 x 31.5 x 26cm; Accessories: Measuring cup, plastic spatula, steaming basket; Dishwasher safe bowl: No; Guarantee: Two years
2. Ninja Foodi: Best all-round multi cooker
Price: £200 | Buy now from Amazon
The Foodi labels itself as a pressure cooker and air fryer but it obviously does much more than that. It’s a multi-skilled cooker that also steams, slow cooks, sautés, grills and roasts and generally, does a pretty decent job of any task it’s given. It’s not the best at everything, but it’s a dab hand at most and has a range of special functions that its rivals lack.
Combining those functions allows for some nifty tricks. For example, you can pressure cook things such as chicken and then finish off the cooking by air frying to achieve the perfect crispiness to tenderness ratio. Even if crispy chicken and chips isn’t your thing, there’s still a lot to get excited about.
Key specs – Capacity: 6l; Dimensions (WDH): 36 x 32 x 43cm; Accessories: Pressure lid, crisp basket, reversible rack; Dishwasher safe bowl: Yes; Guarantee: Two years
£179.00 Buy now
3. Instant Pot 7-in-1: Best multi cooker for pressure cooking
Price: £80 | Buy now from Amazon