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Best multi cooker 2024: Top do-it-all appliances from Ninja, Instant and more

Best multi cooker - lead image

Steam, bake, air fry and pressure cook your way to perfect food with our pick of the best multi cookers

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.

READ NEXT: Best air fryer

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 cooker: At a glance

Best under £100Instant Pot 7-in-1 (~£85)Check price at Amazon
Best all-rounderNinja Foodi 11-in-1 SmartLid (~£200)Check price at Amazon
Best for most peopleNinja Speedi (~£250)Check price at Ninja
Best Instant PotInstant Duo Evo Plus (~£200)Check price at John Lewis

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: The best slow cookers you can buy

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.

How we test multi cookers

Multi cookers can be quite laborious to test due to the variation in functions between models. While most have a handful of similar basic functions, that’s not always the case. To tackle this, we start by testing each function individually, as if it were a single appliance. A good multi cooker should be able to perform the most basic functions, such as slow cooking, pressure cooking, sauteing and air frying, to a similar standard you’d expect if you were to buy the individual appliance. If it has an air fryer function or similar, we use a power metre to test the energy efficiency, especially if it claims to be more energy efficient than a standard oven. We also test noise levels in dB using a noise metre and if relevant, put this into context to determine whether it’s noisier than other multi cookers we’ve tested, as well as other appliances in the home.

READ NEXT: Best pressure cooker

The best multi cookers you can buy

1. Ninja Speedi: Best multi cooker for most people

Price when reviewed: £250 | Check price at NinjaMarrying 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.

What sets the Speedi apart from the pack, though, is its unique ‘Speedi Meals’ setting. This function allows users to create whole meals in just 15 minutes, plus some preheating and prep time. The Speedi does this by using its different functions simultaneously. You can, for example, cook perfectly al dente pasta, vegetables and marinara sauce in the bottom of the cooking pot while air frying chicken breasts on the grill plate, which sits on top in the same basket, to whip up a lightning quick dinner.

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

2. Instant Pot 7-in-1: The best multi cooker under £100

Price when reviewed: £90 | Check price at AmazonBest multi cooker - Instant Pot 7-in-1

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

3. Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 SmartLid Multi Cooker: Best all-rounder

Price when reviewed: £300 | Check price at John LewisBest multi cooker - Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 SmartLidThough 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

4. Instant Pot Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid: The best Instant Pot multi cooker

Price when reviewed: £200 | Check price at John LewisDesign improvements are the focus of this latest model of the Duo Crisp. Most notably, this iteration uses a single lid, which means that unlike previous models, you’ll no longer have to swap out lids to change cooking modes. Also improved are its general look and design, with the new unit boasting a sleek, all-black construction, as well as an update of the controls and display, which now comprise simple buttons and handy prompts via the digital screen.

For features, the Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid offers all the classics, with settings for pressure cooking, slow cooking, sautéing, steaming, air frying, baking, grilling, roasting, dehydrating, proofing and yoghurt making – while its new sous vide mode helps it stand out from the crowd. Performance wise, it produced some very impressive results with many of these settings, with the Duo Crisp’s air frying, pressure cooking and sautéing drawing particular praise. Overall, we found the Instant Pot Duo Crisp difficult to separate from the brilliant Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 SmartLid, aside from the former being a touch more affordable.

Our one gripe with the Duo Crisp is that, unlike Ninja, Instant Pot doesn’t provide in-depth instructions or detailed recipe booklets with its products, meaning you’ll have to figure things out as you go. Aside from a little trial and error though, the relative economy, range of features and top-drawer performance of the Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid all make it our overall favourite product from the brand – and one of our favourite multi cookers currently available.

Read our full Instant Pot Duo Crisp with Ultimate Lid review

Key specs – Capacity: 6.2l; Dimensions: 40.3 x 31.7 x 38.4cm (WHD); Accessories: 6.2l cooking pot, crisp basket; Dishwasher-safe pot: Yes; Guarantee: 2 years

5. Crock-Pot Multi Cooker: The best multi cooker for slow cooking

Price when reviewed: £100 | Check price at CurrysBest multi cooker - CrockPot Slow Cooker

Crock Pot is a well-known brand in America and is beginning to develop a loyal following here in the UK, too. It’s a simple multi cooker with just five preset functions, but they all work well. The Crock Pot’s slow-cooking function is its biggest strength but it also steams, bakes, roasts and sautés.

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

Check price at Currys

6. Lakeland Mini Multi Cooker: The best small multi cooker

Price when reviewed: £65 | Check price at Lakeland

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.

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