This guide is regularly updated with new models that have been tried, tested and top-rated by BBC Good Food's reviews experts. Those featuring earned it based on their performance during rigorous, impartial product testing. Included is a selection of new releases and firm favourites that continuously hold their position against new brand models. We will only ever feature multi-cookers that prove to be good value for money.

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Multi-cookers are not a new concept but over the last two years, we’ve seen more and more innovative ways of making them more multi-functional, which has driven the calibre of new products up, and the price of them down.

Some multi-cookers offer up to 15 functions and this versatility not only saves space by reducing the need for multiple appliances, it also could save you money – a key factor we took into consideration when testing and reviewing.

The number of functions vary depending on the price but most multi-cookers combine a good mix of modern and traditional settings. If you’re after a healthier way to achieve the familiar taste and textures of traditionally fried foods, certain multi-cookers can be a good step up from the best air fryers. Others take away the anxiety of stove-top pressure cookers by automating the pressure build and release, so you still get the conveniently quick, tenderising effect on food but more so.

There are lots of multi-functional appliances for making cooking easier, but for this guide we specifically looked at those that offered slow cooking, sear/sauté and pressure cooking at its core, with rice cooking, roasting, baking, dehydrating, dough-proving and other functions as useful additions.

Whether you’re cooking on a budget, looking to streamline your energy usage or simply make some space in a busy kitchen, we’ve brought you our tried and tested picks of the best multi-cookers currently available on the market.

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Best multi-cookers at a glance

  • Best overall multi-cooker: Crockpot Turbo Express 14-in-1 pressure multi-cooker, £106
  • Best air fryer multi-cooker: Ninja 15-in-1 multi-cooker OL750UK, £299
  • Best rice cooker for top-end multi-cookers: Sage the Fast Slow Go, £169
  • Best budget multi-cooker: Instant Pot Multi-Use Pressure Cooker, £169.99
  • Best multi-cooker rice cooker: Tefal All-in-One pressure cooker review, £79.99
  • Joint best small rice cooker: Lakeland Mini Multi-Cooker 1.8L, £59.99

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Ninja multi-cooker being tested

The best multi-cookers 2022

Crockpot Turbo Express 14-in-1 pressure multi-cooker

Best overall multi-cooker

Crock Pot Turbo Express Pressure Multicooker 14-in-1

Pros:

  • Versatile with 14 functions
  • 5.6L capacity for cooking for 6+
  • Dishwasher-safe removable non-stick bowl
  • Turbo function for cooking food 40% faster

Cons:

  • Bowl spins in its base during stirring
  • Ambiguous start and stop coding for function alerts

Star rating: 5/5

Wattage: 1400W

At just over £100, this multi-cooker is good value for money for the size and versatility on offer. We were particularly struck by its user-friendly credentials. Each of its 14 modes are labelled by words and icons, and selectable by a simple push-button. It has one lid, which lifts up and off, making it reasonably easy to clean unlike hinged models. The slow-cooker function created a richly infused chicken korma with tender meat. It also handily automatically jumped to 'keep warm' mode after the cooking time had ended. Notifications to signal the cooking progress meant we were always in the know if ingredients needed a stir. Our overall favourite multi-cooker.

Ninja Foodi 15-in-1 Multi-cooker OL750UK

Best air fryer multi-cooker

Ninja 15-in-1 multicooker OL750UK

Pros:

  • Single lid for all 15 functions
  • Integrated digital cooking probe
  • Clear buttons and notifications mid cook

Cons:

  • Large countertop footprint
  • Tall
  • Expensive
  • Higher wattage than most

Star rating: 4.5/5

Wattage: 1760W

Ninja was one of the first brands to incorporate air frying functions into its multi-cookers and has been a front-runner when it comes to originality. Its newest model ditches the old two-lid design in favour of a single-lift lid with a sliding lock that doubles as a mode selector and it offered more functions than any other multi-cooker on the market at the time of testing.

Pressure cook, air fry, grill, bake, dehydrate, prove, sear/sauté, steam, slow cook and yogurt functions are all selectable, along with five combi steam-meal options. The large 7.5L capacity makes it ideal for cooking a generous six portions at one time. When prepping our beef stew, the sear/sauté function was the most effective at softening and caramelising the ingredients out of all the models we tested, rendering all fat down and giving a good colour. The hinged lid proved tricky to clean totally free of aromas after cooking strongly fragrant dishes but there is guidance in the manual for a cleaning function.

Sage the Fast Slow Go

Best rice cooker for top-end multi-cookers

Sage the Fast Slow Go

Pros:

  • Stylish
  • Large digital touchscreen
  • Versatile 14 functions

Cons:

  • Small indicator lights on interface

Star rating: 5/5

Wattage: 1100W

If you’re after a generous-ability multi-cooker to keep out on the countertop, this is the one for you. The stylish brushed stainless-steel design gives this model a contemporary feel that's forgiving to greasy fingermarks. This cooker focusses on slow and pressure cooking functions, and is equipped with a pressure release safety valve and locking lid.

Its ability to cook grains like risotto from the preset function produced very creamy results without all the effort of standing and stirring. Stocks, stews, sous vide, yogurt and more are part of its push-button interface, clearly labelled with writing and icons. Read our full Sage the Fast Slow Go review.

Instant Pot Pro Multi-Use pressure cooker

Best budget multi-cooker

Instant Pot Pro multicooker

Pros:

  • 10 functions
  • Customisable settings
  • Vocal notifications
  • Silicone-coated handle for safely removing pot

Cons:

  • Progress indicator a little unclear
  • Instructions a little sparse

Star rating: 4/5

Wattage: 1200W

Instant Pot is synonymous with multi-cookers. This model comes equipped with 10 settings, including five customisable ‘favourites’ you can set, gearing it nicely towards adventurous cooks or those looking for an upgrade. The instruction manual emphasises the pressure cooking function, which is helpful if you're a first-timer.

One nifty feature we particularly loved was the heatproof handles for holding the bowl steady while stirring and safely lifting it up and out. Read our full Instant Pot Pro Multi-Use pressure cooker review.

Tefal all-in-one pressure cooker

Best multi-cooker rice cooker

Tefal all in one multi-cooker

Pros:

  • Condensation collector built in
  • 6L capacity cooks up to 12 cups of rice
  • Delayed start ability

Cons:

  • Limited advice on rice cooking

Wattage: 1600W

The size and variety offered by this Tefal multi-cooker makes it a great option for families. The baby food preset is something we’ve not seen on any other models tested before or since, alongside rice and porridge recipe functions. The useful staples of 'delayed start' and 'keep warm' functions were also on offer. The specific setting for boiling rice produced fluffy grains without the usual sogginess that comes from trapped condensation, thanks to the clever drip collector.

The digital control panel proved simple to use with cooking time and temperature adjustable to your preferences if you want to go beyond the presets. A recipe booklet is included along with a measuring cup, spatula, steam basket and trivet. Read our full Tefal all-in-one pressure cooker review.

Lakeland Mini multi-cooker 1.8L

Joint best small rice cooker

Lakeland mini multicooker

Pros:

  • Three rice cooking programs
  • Small footprint
  • Simple to use
  • Low wattage

Cons:

  • Unclear guidance on water to rice ratio

Wattage: 400W

With a 28cm x 23cm footprint, Lakeland’s mini multi-cooker is a good option for small kitchens or for cooking for up to two at a time. Three rice cooker functions - brown, white and quick-cook - are among its programs that also include slow cooking, baking, porridge and quinoa.

There’s no delayed-start function and the removable non-stick pot isn’t dishwasher-safe, but this will prolong the life of its non-stick coating. A handy rice spatula and measuring cup are included.

Other multi-cookers we’ve reviewed and rate highly:
Instant Pot Duo review

Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Multi-cooker OP350UK review

Crockpot Express 12-in-1 multi-cooker review

Line up of multi-cookers on a kitchen countertop

How to choose the best multi-cooker

Multi-cookers vary widely in capacity and versatility. If you’re cooking for a crowd, you'll find the bigger the better, but there are mini ones for smaller households, too. Some models can stand quite tall if they have hinged lids, which is something to take into consideration if you have low kitchen cupboards.

There's little point paying for functions that you’re unlikely to use but do consider those that excite you. Multi-cookers are excellent gadgets for introducing new ways of cooking to your everyday meals and completely mitigate the need to buy and store multiple appliances.

You’ll often see the name 'pressure multi-cooker' and this is simply the brand’s way of highlighting a now automated way of cooking that traditionally required a separate stove-top pan process. This, along with slow cooker and air frying functions, are some of the most efficient ways to save rather than buying three rather large and expensive appliances.

Look out for the difference in recipe presets and cooking modes along with dishwasher-safe inner bowls and additional accessories. Models such as the Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 multi cooker offer a separate lid for pressure cooking, which would require additional storage when using other functions. With its newer 15-in-1 model (featured above), Ninja is leading the way with its combination steam and convection cooking modes, designed to lock in ingredients' moisture and flavour while still crisping the outside.

How we tested multi-cookers

The more functions an appliance has, the more testing that’s warranted to ensure everything works the way it should. We tested the functions we deemed essential for everyday cooking and most useful to have under one lid: pressure cook, air fry/crisp, slow cook, rice, bake, grill, roast, sear and sauté functions, along with combi steam-air fry and combi-air fry options, if available.

To test pressure cooking, we adapted BBC Good Food's beef and vegetable casserole recipe, reducing liquid quantities by half and adding flour for thickening towards the end of cooking. Slow cooker chicken korma is an excellent indicator of flavour infusion and highlights a model's ability to tenderise but not overcook meat. The aromas also linger, which makes a good test of how easy it is to clean each multi-cooker. For baking functions, we used a gluten-free lemon drizzle cake to indicate an evenly baked cake without burning across the top, sides or bottom.

Scores out of five against the following core criteria determined the overall star rating.

  • Quality of food

We looked for flavour-packed casseroles and kormas with tender meat and no bitterness from hot spots or burnt bits on the bottom. We also expected the grilled aubergine to be juicy and tender, the halloumi to show defined grill lines without being burnt, the air-fried chips to be fluffy on the inside with a crisp outer and combi-cooked salmon to be tender and juicy.

  • Ease of use

Were the functions easy to find and select? Does the multi-cooker update you on the cooking progress of its ingredients? Are manual elements like pressure release valves safe and easy to open?

  • Value for money

The price of the multi-cooker had to feel right for the versatility of its functions and quality of food it produced.

  • Ease of cleaning

Does the lid hold onto strong aromas? Can sealing rims be removed for easy cleaning? How easy it is to clean the inner bowls can depend on whether they offer a non-stick coating.

  • Quality of materials

No one wants to buy a pricey new appliance only for it to break six months down the line. Multi-cookers usually consist of one large inner bowl that sits inside an outer with a lid – we looked for a good fit. Accompanying accessories such as rice stirrers, grill racks and crisper baskets also had to be robust enough to stand the test of time.

  • Sustainability

Is the multi-cooker covered by a fair warranty and is there guidance on how to recycle it at the end of its life? Is the packaging excessive or recyclable? Where was the multi-cooker made? Is it economical to use?

Are multi-cookers energy efficient?

Multi-cookers vary in their energy efficiency depending on their size and the function selected. But it is possible to calculate how much energy it will use, which in turn will help you cost up the impact it'll have on your bills. Here's how:

Take the appliance's wattage and multiply it by the gadget's hours of use per day, then divide the total by 1000. The result will be the appliance's daily kilowatt-hour (kWh).

The cost per kilowatt-hour will vary depending on your energy tariff and area. If you have a smart meter installed at home, you'll be able to see the cost per use during cooking without having to calculate it.

Multi-cooker recipes and reviews

Instant Pot Duo review
Our best ever slow cooker recipes
Slow cooker Christmas recipes
Slow cooker mince recipes
Kids’ slow cooker recipes
Vegan slow cooker recipes
Slow cooker curry recipes
Slow cooker chicken recipes
Cheap cuts of meat: how to get the most out of them
Lemony prawn and pea pressure cooker risotto
Chicken and mushrooms
Beef and vegetable casserole
Slow cooker bolognese

Related reviews

Best slow cookers
Best pressure cookers
Best rice cookers
Best food processors
Best non-stick frying pans
Best casserole dishes
Best saucepans

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