Multi-cookers have been in existence since the 1920s but those rudimentary machines were nothing like the slick, sophisticated pieces of kit we have today.
Modern multi-cookers can be used to create almost any meal with ease, often up to 70% faster than using traditional cooking methods. Simply throw in your ingredients, select the correct program and leave the cooker to work its magic.
This article will review the best multi-cooker brands in the UK and what to consider when buying a multi-cooker.
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Best Overall – Ninja Foodi Electric Multi-Cooker
With so much competition, we expected it to be hard to pin down the best multi-cooker on the market. However, the Ninja Foodi stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Coming in a variety of sizes, the Ninja Foodi is designed to suit every household and chef. The 4.7-litre option is perfect for small families while the whopping 7.5-litre version is large enough to cook almost any meal for a large group.
What sets the Ninja Foodi apart from other multi-cookers is the inbuilt functionality. Using the pressure cooking lid, you can easily cook complicated meals in a fraction of the usual cooking time. Before serving, remove the pressure lid and secure the crisping lid into place. This allows the TenderCrisp technology to give your meal the perfect finish!
- 9 different cooking functions.
- 7-7.5 litre capacity depending on which model you choose.
- Comes with a recipe book, separate pressure cooking lid, main cooking pot, 3.6-litre cook and crisp basket, reversible rack, pressure lid and crisping lid.
- TenderCrisp Technology.
- As the Ninja Foodi is so popular, there are plenty of specialised cookbooks available.
- Swap between pressure lid and crisping lid for the perfect meal.
- Easy to clean.
- Takes up a lot of room. At 11kg it’s a bit too bulky to be dragging in and out of cupboards when not in use.
Best Runner Up – Crock-Pot Express Pressure Cooker CSC051
It may not be the most attractive multi-cooker on our list but the Crock-Pot Express excels where it matters – cooking great food in far less time than traditional cooking methods.
The Crock-Pot allows you to roast a whole chicken in half an hour, create a hearty chilli con carne in 10 minutes or prepare a gooey risotto in even less time, making it the perfect multi-cooker for busy individuals.
The ability to pressure cook, steam, sauté and slow cook, combined with the 8 built-in, one-touch programs, makes even complicated meals a breeze. If needed, the Crock-Pot can keep your food warm for hours with its auto keep warm feature
The 5.6-litre cook pot is large enough to feed the whole family and is super easy to clean after use. If you don’t have the space to leave a multi-cooker out all the time, the Crock-Pot is manoeuvrable enough to get in and out of cupboards and can even be transported with food still inside thanks to its secure lid and sturdy carry handles.
- 4 different cooking functions.
- 6-litre capacity.
- Comes with a recipe book, steam rack, stirring spoon.
- Simple digital controls and 8 one-touch programs.
- One-touch controls make cooking really straightforward.
- Keep warm setting prevents meals from getting cold even after they’ve finished cooking.
- It can be hard to create the perfect crisp finish to meals created in the Crock-Pot Express.
Best Budget – Wahl James Martin Multicooker
Not only is the Wahl James Martin Multi-Cooker friendly on the wallet but this small, lightweight device is perfect for small homes and busy families. The 6 built-in cooking functions mean a variety of meal options are at your fingertips, while the delayed start and keep warm settings add even greater flexibility.
With its intuitive button layout, easy to read LED screen and dishwasher safe cooking pot, this multi-cooker from Wahl is a great budget-friendly choice.
- 6 cooking functions.
- 4-litre capacity.
- Comes with James Martin recipe book, a non-stick easy clean inner bowl, a measuring cup and a steaming tray.
- Easy to clean.
- Small and lightweight.
- Cook times are longer than with other multi-cookers.
- Cleaning around the seal and lid can be a little fiddly.
Great Value – Drew&Cole Clever Chef
With its sleek design, intuitive controls and multiple functions, the Clever Chef by Drew&Cole seamlessly integrates into your lifestyle.
Whether you want to bake bread, roast meat, steam fish or slow cook a stew, one of the Clever Chef’s 17 pre-programmed settings is ready to go at the touch of a button. The 5-litre capacity is more than enough to roast an entire chicken or batch cook meals to be frozen.
Unique Flavour Lock Technology ensures food doesn’t dry out while still maintaining its natural aromas and flavours. This is especially evident when baking a cake in the Clever Chef. Baked goods come out moist and tasty. You may even find baking with the Clever Chef produces better results than using an oven!
- 6 cooking functions.
- 17 pre-programmed cook settings.
- 5-litre capacity.
- Comes with an inner cook pot and steaming tray.
- Flavour Lock Technology.
- 17 preset modes to save time.
- Available in a range of colours.
- Pot sensor fault has been known to happen after a few months of use.
Highly Recommended – Tefal Multi-Cook Advanced
Although it looks like it’s fallen out of the 1980s, the Tefal Multi-Cook Advanced comes highly recommended as the appliance that does it all. With 45 different settings, the Multi-Cook can do everything from baking bread to making soup and everything in between.
The Multi-Cook includes Tefal’s patented, multi-layer spherical pot which is ultra-durable and helps provide consistent results across a manner of meals.
At 5kg, this 5-litre multi-cooker is not the lightest we’ve discussed but the grab handle allows it to be moved around the kitchen with ease and the fully dishwasher safe design makes cleaning as easy as cooking.
The Tefal Multi-Cook delivers step by step recipes on the small LED screen so even a novice chef can throw together a great meal.
- 9 different cooking functions with 45 pre-programmed cook settings.
- 5-litre capacity.
- Comes with a steam basket, rice spoon, soup spoon, spoon rack and measuring cup.
- Patented spherical bowl for improved heat circulation and consistent cooking.
- Step by step recipes displayed on the multi-cooker.
- Easy to clean.
- Looks a little dated.
Highly Recommended – VonChef Square Multi Cooker
The Square Multi-Cooker from VonChef is a little different from the other multi-cookers on this list and offers less versatility than the competitors. However, for the right household, this multi-cooker cannot be beaten.
Rather than being a multi-cooker with all the bells and whistles, the VonChef multi-cooker is actually an electric frying pan with lid. This means it doesn’t act as a slow or pressure cooker but can still effectively simmer meals as well as fry, braise, brown and sauté food with ease.
The temperature is simple to adjust, using the thermostat dial and the whole device is much easier to move around than the larger multi-cookers.
Weighing just 3kg and being only slightly larger than an actual frying pan, the main advantage of this device is how easy it is to store.
It doesn’t need its own designated spot on the worktop or even it’s own cupboard for storage – it’ll fit in with the other pots and pans!
- 5 different cooking functions.
- 5-litre capacity.
- Comes with pan and glass lid.
- More suitable for one person than other options.
- Easy to store.
- Not as versatile as other products on this list.
- No pre-set programs.
Considerations When Buying a Multi-Cooker
The popularity of multi-cookers has grown exponentially in the last decade, with people wanting to spend less time in the kitchen. When choosing the ideal multi-cooker for you, there are a few things to keep an eye out for.
Multi-cookers come with a range of functions. Some will simply allow you to cook great one-pot meals, others are capable of creating an entire roast dinner. The minimum functions a multi-cooker should have include:
Many multi-cookers on the market also offer the ability to bake and steam food too.
The best multi-cookers stand out because they can also be used as pressure or slow cookers which means they can fit in with any lifestyle.
If you’re already a blinding chef then you may well not need nor want any inbuilt programs with your multi-cooker. However, for the rest of us mere mortals, having pre-programmed settings can save a lot of trial and error. Simply follow the instructions and press go. The cooker will do the rest.
Most multi-cookers come with a range of pre-set programs but some are more complicated than others. Look out for cookers which have an array of one-touch options to reduce your time spent in the kitchen.
In this instance, size does matter. What’s the point in having a multi-cooker if it can’t provide food for your entire family? Most of the time, a 4-litre capacity will be enough to prepare a 2kg chicken or over 1kg of French fries.
It’s possible to buy even larger models, so make sure the one you’re looking at is sufficient for the task at hand.
Ease of cleaning
No one likes washing up, so thankfully multi-cookers generally come with dishwasher safe components and are easy to clean. Make sure you’ve checked the instructions before throwing everything into the dishwasher though as sometimes this can damage the non-stick elements in your multi-cooker.
With so many multi-cookers on the market, there’s a perfect choice for everyone. All the options in this list have rave reviews and come highly recommended.
The budget-conscious would be hard-pressed to find a better choice than the Wahl James Martin Multi-Cooker while those with a lot of space won’t find a better option than the Ninja Foodi.
The Crock-Pot Express is a great compromise on size and functionality while the VonChef Square Multi-Cooker is perfect if you don’t require the pressure or slow cooker settings.
Choosing the right multi-cooker depends on how much room you have, the amount of food you want to create and your budget. Some are more versatile than others but all of those included in this list have passed the consumer test and are deeply cherished by their owners.