Best multi-cooker 2022: reviews of the top 6

Pick up one of the best multi-cooker of 2022 with our reviews of electric pressure cookers from Ninja, Instant Pot, Tefal, Magimix, and more

The best multi-cooker may be somewhat new on the appliance scene, but they've made a big splash. Often combining pressure cooking with modes for slow cooking, baking, steaming, and even air frying, these multi-cookers really can change the way you use your kitchen.

Some of the first multi-cookers came from Instant Pot, and the Ninja Foodi range was quick to follow. Since then, everyone from Tefal to Magimix has come out with their own iterations of the best multi-cookers, and there really is a suitable choice for every kitchen.

Offering as much as 14 cooking settings in one machine, though, it's fair to say that we needed to test these multi-cookers thoroughly to put together an expert guide. That's exactly what we've done, with a panel of expert reviewers weighing in on how well these multi-cookers can replace rice cookers, the best slow cookers, and debating if they can oust the best air fryers from your kitchen.

Below are our top picks of the best multi-cookers on the market, with budget-friendly models for under £100, and options that go into the thousands...

Best multi-cooker: our top 6

Instant Pot Pro with Ideal Home approved logo

(Image credit: Instant Pot)
The best multi-cooker overall

Specifications

Capacity: 5.7 L or 8 L
Pre-sets: 28 pre-set cooking programs
Cooking functions: Pressure cook, slow cook, steam, sauté, bake, sous vide, yogurt, rice/ grain
Included: Stainless steel pot, steam rack, spare sealing ring

Reasons to buy

+
Silicone cooking pot handles
+
Safe and easy steam release
+
Free recipe app makes it easy to adapt to

Reasons to avoid

-
The pot isn't non-stick

The Instant Pot Pro has a sleek black exterior and is fully loaded with presets and cooking functions to take centre stage in your kitchen. We appreciated how compact the 5.7 litre model we tested was, but it also comes with an 8 litre pot for larger families. Something that can put people off pressure cooking is the steam vent release. This lets out high-pressure steam, which can splutter depending on the machine you're using. We had no such issues with the Instant Pot Pro though, thanks to the switch to the side of the valve which means you can keep your distance.

We made tasty brown rice in just 30 minutes, and were left with fluffy separated grains. The slow cooking mode was also impressive, but it's worth noting that with all multi-cookers they will retain liquid better than a regular slow cooker, so reduce the amount of stock you're using to get the same result you're used to with your slow cooker.

Everything, even the lid, can go straight in the dishwasher, which we were thrilled with. Especially because the pot isn't non-stick, it's nice to know there won't be any need for scrubbing.

Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Multi-Cooker

(Image credit: Ninja)
The best multi-cooker for in-built air frying

Specifications

Capacity: 6 L
Pre-sets: None
Cooking functions: Pressure, steam, slow cook, yogurt, sear/ sauté, air crisp, grill, bake/ roast, dehydrate
Included: Reversible rack, Cook & Crisp basket with detachable diffuser, cooking pot, pressure lid

Reasons to buy

+
Simple controls
+
Non-stick cooking pot
+
In-built air frying

Reasons to avoid

-
Hinged crisping lid can't be removed

A popular choice for those who want an air fryer and multi-cooker in one, the Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Multi-Cooker OP350UK is the most entry-level of Ninja's lineup of multi-cookers. It's smart though, with an uncomplicated display panel that's unlikely to scare new users away. The central dial allows you to switch between the cooking functions, and it will also allow you to increase and decrease the timings and temperatures.

The air frying lid (which is known as the tendercrisp lid) is hinged to the side of the cooker, so when you use the pressure lid you need to allow room for the crisp lid to stand upright. This can make it tricky to fit the Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Multi-Cooker OP350UK under kitchen counters. The air frying is actually really good, though. We were able to make an entire roast chicken by pressure cooking and then air frying it, and the potato wedges it made were even and crispy.

We enjoyed the non-stick cooking pot, but it can swivel around slightly when stirring because the pot isn't held into place with handles like the Instant Pot Pro. The bottom of the pot is also slightly curved, which made it tricky to add oil to the pot without it gathering at the sides. Cleaning is a breeze, and the handles on the side make this a storage-friendly multi-cooker.

Sage The Fast Slow Go multi cooker with Ideal Home Approved logo

(Image credit: Sage)
The best multi-cooker for easy presets

Specifications

Capacity: 6 L
Pre-sets: 8
Cooking functions: Pressure cook, slow cook, steam, sauté/ sear, sous vide, reduce
Included: Stainless steel cooking bowl, stainless steel trivet

Reasons to buy

+
Attractive controls
+
Pre-sets work on pressure or slow cook
+
Handles make it very portable

Reasons to avoid

-
Cooking bowl can't go in dishwasher

Sage's latest multi cooker, the Sage Fast Slow Go, is a great alternative to the fascia of many multi-cookers. The images make it more attractive, but also easier to get to grips with. You can choose between pressure and slow cooking for many of the presets, and it can also be used to steam, sous vide, and reduce.

The hinged lid is unusual, and not our favourite. It can be removed, but the process is quite fiddly. We do like that the pressure cook mode releases the valve hands-free, which means you won't need to worry about any splattering hot water.

We made a very delicious risotto in just 18 minutes using the Sage Fast Slow Go, and it required no stirring. Another dish we tried was a chickpea curry using dried chickpeas on the legume setting. This was a big win, and while we're not usually fans of using dried chickpeas, this machine may have converted us for how easy the process was.

Buy Sage The Fast Slow Go, £169.95, at sageappliances.com (opens in new tab)

Magimix Cook Expert with Ideal Home approved

(Image credit: Magimix )
The best multi-cooker for premium design

Specifications

Capacity: 3.5 L metal bowl, 3.6 L food processor bowl
Pre-sets: 13 automatic programmes + 1 expert manual programme
Cooking functions: Steam, soup, blend, chop, bread, and more
Included: Universal blade, Steamer basket & tray, Whisk, Heat-resistant spatula, three-layer food processor, 2 slicing discs, 2 grading discs

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to clean
+
Food processor and cooking attachment
+
Completely hands-free cooking

Reasons to avoid

-
It's a very expensive choice

The Magimix Cook Expert brings an alternative take on multi-cooking, with an attachment to put even the best food processor out of a job, and a cooking bowl with blades attached at the bottom which can whiz through soup or stews with ease. You can use the presets for soup (chunky or smooth), blending, frozen desserts, and even kneading dough, or even freestyle on the manual cooking mode to make your own recipes.

We really enjoyed how immersive the Magimix Cook Expert experience is. You can join online groups to get tips on new recipes to try, and it's amazing to see how many different things people make in their Cook Expert. This includes mulled wine, porridge, even custard. The blades at the bottom can be removed, but it's best not to do this when you've just finished cooking and they're hot, so the grooved spatula is needed to get ingredients out of the bottom of the cooking pot. It's a bit fiddly when cooking dishes like porridge or mashed potato.

None of the other multi-cookers we tried had blades attached, so while you can use the steam insert or use the Magimix Cook Expert as one of the best soup makers, you will also enjoy being able to set the blades on a slow mode to use them to stir rice or veggies while they cook from the bottom of the cooking pot. Cleaning is very easy, because everything is dishwasher-safe.

Tefal silver rice cooker with digital display and black lid. Ideal Home approved badge.

(Image credit: Tefal)
The best multi-cooker for under £100

Specifications

Capacity: 6 L
Pre-sets: 11
Cooking functions: Pressure, steam, slow cook, simmer, brown, bake, baby food, oatmeal, rice
Included: Measuring cup, spatula, steam basket, trivet, recipe booklet

Reasons to buy

+
24-hour keep warm function
+
Recipe book included
+
Great for rice

Reasons to avoid

-
No obvious start button

If you want the best multi-cooker for under £100, the Tefal CY505E40 is a great choice. We really loved the control panel, which made it easy to pick the right mode for you, and there's a lot this multi-cooker can do. It made delicious, fluffy rice, the likes of which we'd expect from one of the best rice cookers. We also really enjoyed the recipe book included, which made it easier to get used to using the Tefal CY505E40.

The compact design of the Tefal CY505E40 will be a winner in smaller kitchens, but again, the lid is hinged. Using the browning program before switching on the pressure cooking mode was useful for getting the most flavour out of a delicious beef stew, and the whole process was pretty low-effort.

One issue we had was the lack of an obvious start button. Instead there's an icon, which you'll need to find in the control manual, but it does make getting started a little trickier. Cleaning was easy. The non-stick coating of the cooking pot was appreciated, especially from Tefal, who makes some of the best non-stick frying pans. It can't go in the dishwasher though.

Crockpot Turbo Express Electric Pressure Cooker

(Image credit: Crockpot )
The best multi-cooker for cooking meat

Specifications

Capacity: 5.6 L
Pre-sets: 14
Cooking functions: Pressure, steam, slow cook, brown, bake, rice, yoghurt
Included: Stirring spoon, steaming rack and sous vide rack

Reasons to buy

+
Makes 6+ functions
+
Makes great stew
+
Separate pressure release dial

Reasons to avoid

-
Not great for steaming veggies

The Crockpot Turbo Express Electric Pressure Cooker made delicious stews. We were able to brown the meat first before switching over to slow cook or pressure cooking mode and leaving it to cook. The turbo settings  There are presets for rice, beans, stew, meat, and ever desserts, as well as manual settings to let you get stuck in.

Steaming was a little tricky, as was cooking rice, but this is a multi-cooker that you'll enjoy after an initial adjustment period. It's also well-priced, and great for generous portions. The steam vent is once again distinguished from the pressure switch, so you won't have to worry about splatters with this multi-cooker. It's got a non-stick pot, but it's not dishwasher-safe.

How to choose the best multi-cooker

Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Multi-Cooker on marble counter tops behind multi-coloured dinner bowls

(Image credit: TBC)

If you're looking for the best multi-cooker to make stews and speed up cooking times, you'll be safe with an entry-level model. Most multi-cookers can pressure cook, so you'll be able to enjoy cooking all types of meat and pulses with a range of functions to brown and then cook your dish. However, not all multi-cookers come with an air fryer in-built. Adding an air fryer into the equation will let you switch from pressure cooking to air frying, which will crisp up the skin of your chicken or make your roasties in minutes.

Pre-set modes

Although they often come with around 10 cooking modes, not all multi-cookers have pre-set modes. Whether you need pre-sets is really up to you. Some enjoy using them to follow specific recipes, but others will find that they are dependent on what you're cooking. For example, a rice preset is designed to cook a specific amount of rice, and a stew preset is designed to cook a specific type of meat. The amount of time this needs will vary depending on what you're cooking, so you can't depend on pre-set modes alone.

How did we review the best multi-cookers?

Stew made in the Instant Pot Pro

(Image credit: Future PLC)

We reviewed each and every one of the best multi-cookers in this guide hands-on. There are a lot of modes on offer, so we made sure that every cooker was put to the test for more than just stews or curries. We made rice, used legume presets, and even cooked cakes when putting the best multi-cookers to the test.

As more multi-cookers continue to hit the market, we'll be reviewing to continuously update this guide with the top options on the market.

Millie Fender
Millie Fender

Millie Fender is the Small Appliance and Cookware Editor. She joined Ideal Home as an Ecommerce Editor in 2021, covering all of the site's small appliance and cookware shopping content. Millie formerly worked at Top Ten Reviews, another Future site, where she produced review and buying guides across a range of home products, from fridges to blenders. As an e-commerce editor, her job is to test all the wackiest product launches, whether they're air fryers, bread makers, or juicers, and give you her honest experience.