If you’re like most people, you’re a sucker for kitchen gadgets. Whether it’s a uni-tasker that promises pretty, even slices of devilled eggs or an as-seen-on-TV marvel that makes outrageous claims and promises to replace and outshine all your other small appliances.
That’s why when a new kitchen trend takes over Pinterest, you’re understandably skeptical, and there’s another small appliance getting raves among both home chefs and busy parents. Multi-cookers are a natural evolution that happened when slow cookers, pressure cookers, and portable roasters got put together into a single appliance.
So how good are they really?
We love them. The trick is finding the one that best meets your family’s needs and budget. There are different sizes, different functions, and a full range of features. The functions are familiar, some more like slow cookers and some more like pressure cookers. We’ve gathered the best of the best together for you. We’ve broken them down, taking into account cost, value, features, and more so that you have a one page comparison to make your choice from.
The Gourmia GMC780 Multi-cooker is our best-value pick. It’s an affordable model with a long list of functions. It won’t take up much counter space, but it’s large and powerful enough for a small family. It has 18 functions, a treat for big cooks with small kitchens. It also comes with bonus accessories so you can make the most out of the functionality. Bonus accessories include a steaming rack, fry basket, fondue forks, low racks, and side racks.
Functions include fry, cake, snacks, defrost, chocolate, keep warm, pizza, soup, toast, vegetable, yogurt, deep fry, hot cereal, stir-fry, hot pot, steam, meat, and grill.
The controls are digital, and it has a glass lid so you don’t have to remove the lid to check on your cooking. What it comes down to is a 5 quart cooker that allows you to do most types of everyday cooking and a few specialty things, all in one compact package.
GeekChef Multi-functional Pressure Cooker
The GeekChef Multi-functional pressure cooker is a good model for a home chef with professional dreams and a regular kitchen. It offers more gourmet options than some of the other models, but it would not be a pick for a family. This is good for an individual or a couple who like to experiment with fancy or heirloom cooking techniques.
Functions include pressure cooker, sous vide, rice cooker, slow cooker, soup cooker, saute, yogurt maker, pressure canner, steamer, simmer, and insulation warmer.
The sous vide function is uniquely valuable with a 120F-175F adjustable temperature range. This means you can sous vide fish, make your own organic yogurt, can your own preserves, and do it all in small, unique batches.
Black+Decker MC1100S Multi Cooker
Black and Decker is known for being an all-purpose brand, making items from power tools to kitchen appliances. In the standard of simplicity and reliability, you have the Black+Decker MC1100S Multi Cooker. We like this one for those with basic cooking needs and people who want their cooking to be portable to share with friends and family.
This multi cooker has the ability to cook at high temperatures to sear, braise, or grill. You can then drop it down to saute vegetables or lower for soups and stews.
The pot is removable and the steel handles make it easy to transport. It’s functionality makes it perfect for potluck events and parties. Make steaks, casseroles, vegetable dishes, or a big pot of chili all in one pot.
Next is the Gourmia GMC650R 11 in 1 Sous Vide & Multi Cooker. We showed you a smaller Gourmia model earlier with its own benefits. This one is a little bigger and more of a work horse model. It has fewer functions but is better all-around for families and big meals.
It’s 11 settings include sous vide, saute, roast, rice maker, slow cooker, bake, yogurt maker, keep warm, steam, and porridge. There is even a manual mode that allows for custom settings. All the settings perform magically in the non-stick interior pot.
This model comes with a free cook-book to get started as well as a stainless steel sous vide rack, a dual use roasting rack, and more!
KitchenAid KMC4241SS Multi-Cooker
Up next is the KitchenAid KMC4241SS Multi-Cooker. This small but powerful model is a great little powerhouse. It's got a great mix of size, form, and function.
- Over 10 cooking methods, with 4 step-by-step modes
- Even heat technology
- 4-Quart cooking pot with coating and pour spout
- Dual purpose steam basket and roasting rack
Even beginner cooks can take advantage of the versatility available in this multi cooker. Four of the modes are guided, step-by-step modes. The instructions are clear too. This all comes together for consistent results.
The display guides you along, and when you're done, the keep warm setting works for up to 24 hours.
Cuisinart MSC-600 Multi-Cooker
Next is the Cuisinart MSC-600 Multi-Cooker. This multi cooker offers all the high end features you'd expect from a Cuisinart appliance. Functions are easy to use and simple.
- Switch modes with one touch when doing combination cooking
- Extra-large blue backlit LCD display – easy to read numbers
- 6-quart nonstick teflon cooking pot is removeable for easy cleaning
- Glass lid with cool-touch handle lets you see your cooking
- Parts are dishwasher safe
- Limited 3-year warranty
Instant Pot IP-DUO60
It functions as a 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker–Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Steamer & Warmer.
It has a large, easy to use control panel with 14 Micro-Processor controlled programs, meaning that it operates using automatic cooking programs. Programs include: Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté, Steam, Rice, Porridge, Multigrain, Slow Cook, Keep-Warm, Yogurt, Pasteurize and Fermented Rice (Jiu Niang)
It has 10 proven safety mechanisms and is highly energy efficient. The cooking pot and rack are stainless steel, rather than aluminum and they're dishwasher safe.
Midea MY-SS6062 Multi Cooker
Next is the Midea MY-SS6062 Multi Cooker, which can be used in two modes: with the lid firmly closed or with the lid open: it can be used as the hot pot or you can choose “saute” menu to brown or fry food.
24-hour Delay Timer is included, which means you can set things up ahead of going to work, so it'll be programmed to start at the right time during the day. For example, if you go to work at 8am and come home at 5, you can set it to turn on during the day so it'll be ready at exactly 5.
It has a unique function – a “texture” button. Choose between rare (light), medium (standard) and well done (strong).
The inner parts and cooking pot are made of 304 stainless steel, passing UL and ULC certification. The multi cooker also includes a cooking spoon, measuring cup, steamer rack.
Redmond Multi Cooker 5.25-Quart
Next is the Redmond Multi Cooker 5.25-Quart Multi Cooker, which is probably the best looking machine on this list. It's not just a pretty face, it has plenty of function too, plus it comes with a recipe book with 100's of recipes. It even has a sterilization mode!!
It has plenty of programs and a time delay.
Boil/Steam (fish, meat, and vegetable settings)
Saute (fish, meat, and vegetable settings)
Multi cook (fish, meat, and vegetable settings)
KitchenAid KMC4244CA Multi-Cooker with Stir Tower
The KitchenAid KMC4244CA Multi-Cooker with Stir Tower is the cherry on top of this great list. It's the same KitchenAid multi cooker we had earlier, but this version comes with the stir tower. It's our favorite kitchen accessory, and it feels so professional to use.
If you've ever had soup bits stick to the pot, had your gravy clump up, or avoided any recipe because it said “stir constantly for 30 minutes”, this is your machine.
The stir tower has speed settings and start/stop settings for recipes that say to stir frequently or occasionally. Never have something stick to the pan or clump up again!