As the name suggests, multi cookers are designed to allow you cook several different things with one device. Buying a multi cooker is cheaper and more space-efficient than buying a separate rice cooker, steamer and soup maker.
What Is a Multi Cooker?
Multi cookers usually have several pre-set options for cooking things such as rice, porridge and soup, so you don’t need to worry too much about choosing the right settings yourself. Lots of slow cooker recipes can be cooked in a multi cooker using a low heat setting.
Some of the things you can use a multi cooker for include the following:
- Cooking rice
- Preparing porridge
- Making soup
- Making yoghurt
What’s the Difference Between a Multi Cooker, Slow Cooker and Pressure Cooker?
There is some overlap between these three products, so it can be confusing to know exactly what the difference is. Below is an overview of the differences.
|Device||Cooking methods||Ideal for|
|Multi-cooker||Usually about 10 different cooking settings, often including steaming.||Rice, soup|
|Slow cooker||Just one cooking method. Cooks food slowly (4-10 hours) with different heat settings available.||Soups and stews|
|Pressure cooker||Just one cooking method. Cooks food quickly using pressure.||Rice and beans|
One thing that these three devices all have in common is that the food you cook in them will retain more nutrients compared to other cooking methods such as boiling.
Best Multi Cookers in the UK
We’ve researched the market and picked out 5 of the best multi cookers available in the UK today.
1. Tefal RK302E15 8-in-1 Multi Cooker
The Tefal RK302E15 is one of the most popular multi cookers in the UK. It has a 2.2-litre capacity and offers 8 cooking settings: white rice, quick rice, brown rice, grains, oatmeal porridge, slow cooking, steaming and dessert.
This versatile gadget is excellent for cooking lots of different things, in particular rice. It’s easy to clean and the delay timer is very handy. However, several buyers have found that their multi cooker stopped working properly after a year or so.
2. Drew&Cole CleverChef 14-in-1 Intelligent Digital Multi Cooker
The CleverChef is a one stop solution with up to 14 different cooking functions packed in! Using built in flavour-lock technology, it maintains the optimum level of moisture to capture the sensational tastes of your meal.
No matter what kind of meal you fancy, the cooker offers a function to set and forget whilst you focus on the important areas of your work or family life. Whether you’re batch cooking food for the week, preparing the family dinner, or even baking a small cake, this multi-cooker is the ideal solution!
If you’re stuck for meal ideas, don’t worry! The CleverChef even comes with a bonus recipe book with over 40 easy to follow recipes.
3. AmazonBasics 23 in 1 Multi-Purpose Electric Steamer
This 23 in 1 pressure cooker is the perfect solution for large, nutritious meals. With a massive 5.5 litre capacity you can cook anything from a whole chicken to a small side of vegetables.
The device offers excellent value for money by packing in 15 different menu settings such as sauteing and steaming, to ensure you aren’t limited to the same old dishes.
Prepare your meals the night before with the 24-hour delayed start mode, and utilise the automatic keep warm function so that your food ready as soon as you get home.
As an added bonus you even get a downloadable PDF cookbook for some tasty pressure cooker recipe ideas!
4. Drew & Cole Pressure King Pro 20-in-1 Multi Cooker
The Pressure King Pro from Drew & Cole is the best electric cooker for family dinners, or large batch made meals. Not only is it suitable for slow cooked dishes, but it also works up to 90% faster than traditional cooking equipment, to save you time and energy.
Using one of the 12 built-in programmes, you can focus on other things whilst your meal prepares itself.
The patented locking lid only opens when pressure is released to allow for maximum safety. Thankfully, there’s no scrubbing involved when cleaning like other slow cookers! The non-stick inner pot easily wipes clean, and it’s dishwasher safe too.
5. Tefal RK812142 MultiCook Advanced 45-in-1 Multicooker
This multi cooker from Tefal has a huge number of functions—45 to be precise. It’s more than a rice cooker; you can use the Tefal RK812142 to make yoghurt, prove bread dough.
If you want as many options and programmes as possible, this multi cooker is the one for you. However, the choice of programmes makes it quite complicated for beginners.
How to Use a Multi-Cooker
A multi cooker does exactly what its name suggests, it is one cooker that replaces loads of kitchen appliances. All you have to do to with a multi cooker is add your ingredients and select the corresponding setting, it is really that easy! Although all multi cookers are a little different, you can expect the following settings:
- Cook – The cook setting can be used to make soups or rice or anything in between. This mode maintains a specific boiling temperature for a pre-set time.
- Bake – The bake setting on a multi-cooker allows you to make cakes, biscuits, casseroles and pastries.
- Fry – From chips to hot wings, a multi-cooker can fry them all.
- Pasta – This mode is similar to the cook mode above—it maintains a boiling temperature for a certain amount of time. However, this mode can be paused when it’s time to add any other ingredients.
- Rice and grains – This setting heats to boil and then maintains this heat until all liquid is gone.
- Stew – This setting is great for steamed veg, stew, meat and seafood. This one brings the multi cooker up to the boil and then cooks at a slightly lower temperature for a pre-set time.
- Steam – Great for fish and veg as it locks in all the flavour and nutrients
- Pilaf – This setting brings a broth to the boil, then raises the temperature and bakes for a few minutes.
Premium multi cookers can also include other modes like bread baking, yoghurt making and pressure cooking settings too. You may think that a multi cooker is very difficult to use with all these settings, but they are actually designed to be simple.
As we said above, just place all your ingredients inside, select the right setting, and leave the multi cooker to do its thing. Depending on the setting, you typically don’t have to do anything else until the programme has finished.
So, multi cookers provide a very quick and easy way of making whole meals or a portion of a meal. They allow you to throw everything in at the beginning, including all your spices and seasoning, push a button and go have a seat down. They make cooking lovely meals for any size family very simple, and that is why every household should have one!
Multi Cooker Recipes
The uses of multi cookers seem to multiply every time you look at recipes that can be achieved just be using a multi cooker. It is truly remarkable what you can make in a multi cooker and how little effort you have to put in to make very tasty food.
Scrambled Egg with Smoked Salmon Multi Cooker Recipe
To demonstrate how versatile multi cookers are, here is a scrambled egg with smoked salmon recipe. For this recipe, you’ll need:
- 2 ounces of smoked salmon, flaked
- 4 eggs
- 1 ounce of cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons of sliced spring onions
- 2 teaspoons of butter
- A quarter teaspoon of black pepper and the same of salt
To start, whisk the eggs, salt and pepper together in a medium-sized bowl.
Preheat your multi cooker on the simmer setting.
Add the butter and mix with a spatula to melt it.
Add the egg mixture to your multi cooker and cook for 4 minutes. You’ll need to stir this occasionally to ensure the egg doesn’t stick to the bottom of the multi cooker.
Now, gently fold in the spring onions, cream cheese and salmon.
Cook and stir for a further 2 to 3 minutes or until the eggs are cooked, but slightly moist.
And that is it, you now have a wonderful breakfast. Serve these scrambled eggs and salmon on toast to guests and they will think they are staying at an upmarket hotel and it only took you about 10 minutes from start to finish.
This is why multi cookers are excellent for everyone’s kitchen. They are so simple to use that you can get brilliant results from them without needing a degree in cooking or engineering! Kitchen Aid has a bunch of great recipes here that only use a multi cooker. They’re really easy, cheap and produce some fantastic food for any size family.