Multicookers make cooking meals easier than it’s ever been before. These pots can handle a variety of tasks, including sautéing, pressure cooking, slow cooking and much more. Besides being a whole oven in a portable device, they also come with a lot of great tech to make meals smarter, safer and healthier.
But if you want to get on the multicooker train, where should you begin? We can help out: Here are several top models to compare.
Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi Version ($136)
Often credited with starting the current multicooker craze, the Instant Pot can do a little of everything. In addition to cooking, pressure cooking and slow cooking, this Pot has settings for porridge, yogurt, rice, and other commonly cooked foods that take a lot of the guesswork out of preparing dishes you may not have tried before (with plenty of safety features so you don’t mess up). This particular 6-quart model gets an extra boost of interesting with its Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows you to receive updates on your meal and make sure you haven’t forgotten the Pot while out of the kitchen doing other tasks. It’s an ideal cooker, whether it’s your very first one or you’re looking for a high-tech upgrade.
Ninja Auto-iQ Multi Cooker ($129)
Ninja has an excellent line of multicookers of its own, but this 6-quart Auto-IQ version is particularly handy. It can slow cook, sear and saute, steam, or bake as needed—and comes with more than 80 recipes built into the cooker so you get guided instructions on what to add next while the pot takes care of all the settings for you. Multi-side heating also ensures that the Ninja cooker will heat up very quickly and handle big baking projects with ease. Smart temperature senses also help avoid any accidental burning mishaps.
Breville Fast Slow Pro ($243)
Breville has won recognition for its high-tech, high-quality kitchen devices, and this 6-quart multicooker is no exception. It sports a large LCD with plentiful information and pressure and slow cook settings to deal with everything from dessert to bone-in meat dishes. If the Instant Pot doesn’t quite feel right to you, this is an alternative that will still give you many different cooking options and useful modern safety features.
Mealthy MultiPot ($100)
Mealthy (think like “healthy”) is an affordable 6-quart multicooker that’s specifically designed to make cooking dishes easier. Functionally it’s incredibly similar to the Instant Pot, but there are a few differences worth nothing. The Mealthy pot comes with a steamer basket so you can cook a dish while also steaming another ingredient at the same time. Along with Mealthy’s extra-simple charts, you also have access to the videos and thousands of recipes on the Mealthy website and app. That makes this a great starter model for those who may not have much experience in cooking.
Instant Pot Duo ($100)
If you don’t care about Wi-Fi, check out this popular Instant Pot model. It’s more affordable than the Wi-Fi version, but with all the same great cooking benefits and powerful settings. Also note the flexible buying options for this model: You can choose a smaller 3-quart version if you mostly just cook for one or two people, there’s a 6-quart version, or you can choose a larger 9-quart version if you have a bigger family and regularly make large meals.
De’Longhi FH1363 MultiFry Extra ($230)
De’Longhi has an innovative approach to the multicooker world. This pot can handle pies, potatoes, fish, meat and other dishes that can be cooked, baked or broiled….but its real specialty is low-oil frying. If you’ve always wanted a frying device for your kitchen but couldn’t justify the expense, this model will let you get away with it by doing everything else, too (well, except for pressure cooking). It also has an internal (and removable) paddle for automatic stirring in dishes where ingredients need to be mixed.
Gourmia GCR1700 ($172+)
All right, you may not fry many foods, but maybe you’d like a cooker that can do a little bit of everything—preferably while you can still see inside. This Gourmia model meets your needs with options to grill, bake, steam, sauté, pan fry, strew, stir fry, slow cook and roast. There’s no pressure cooking, but that also means you can watch your food cook with the transparent lid. An auto stirrer can keep things moving for you when you’re not around, and there are pre-programmed controls, but not as much hand-holding as other models.