Back in the day, you’d need to own multiple cooking appliances like pressure cookers, slow cookers, or turbo broilers to make different dishes. Nowadays, you can streamline your kitchen with just a single device; a multicooker. Multicookers are equipped with various programs that can eliminate the need for multiple cookware.
You can cook food just by placing all the ingredients in a pot and letting it do the work for you! However, choosing a multicooker can be intimidating, especially for those who can’t bear to part with their trusted equipment. Never fear, we prepared a buying guide fact-checked by Chef Terence Fereday Jr. and a list of the 10 best multicookers to help you with your purchase.
Chef Terrence has 30 years of experience working in the professional kitchen. He graduated from the Professional Culinary Institute in California, USA, and he was a former Culinary Instructor, Corporate Chef, and Executive Chef. He also won several awards in culinary competitions and is the founder and owner of Zilla Pizza.
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It can be confusing to tell these 3 appliances apart since they have similar functions. These basic descriptions will help you decide which one matches your needs the most and how to tell each of them apart.
Pressure cookers are designed to decrease cooking time by trapping steam inside the pot. Then the pressure created in this process is either released manually through a knob or naturally by letting the steam out over time.
On the other hand, you can't do adjustments or "tweak" recipes in a pressure cooker because it's impossible to check on your food midway its cooking process. Also, some ingredients have different cooking times so you won't be able to cook them together.
Usually, after meats are tenderized 75% through pressure cooking, that's the time you add your aromatics and seasonings and continue to cook via simmering until fully tender.
Slow cookers allow you to cook dishes with minimal effort. Just toss the ingredients in the pot, set it on low heat, and your food will be ready in a couple of hours later. It will keep the food warm until you're ready to eat it.
But, one disadvantage of slow cooking is the loss of nutrients due to the extended cooking hours. Also, there is a risk of overpowering the flavor of your spices, and any mishap may potentially ruin the dish.
To avoid over/underpowering the flavor of spices, make sure to add just the right amount and add it towards the end of the cooking process. Also, after cooking is completed, it would be a smart move to quickly chill the food item to stop the cooking process and retain more nutrients. You can keep it in the fridge and just reheat it prior to eating.
A multicooker automates cooking by using an electronic timer. It has a wide range of cooking programs, giving it more practicality. You’ll be getting a pressure cooker, slow cooker, oven, stove top, and steamer rolled into one. It is also programmable, so you can adjust the temperature, timer, and pressure that’ll work best for your recipe.
Multicookers can speed up the cooking process and even reduce dirty pots and pans as you can use the same inner pot for various cooking methods. However, it may require a learning curve to maximize its potential. Its programs and different modes may also be overwhelming at first so it is best start to with simpler recipes.
Cooking can be classified as moist or dry items. You need to determine what method you are going to use depending on the item you plan to cook.
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below
Multicookers can help you prepare all kinds of dishes and desserts. But, it is also important to keep in mind the meals you like to eat. That way, you'll know which function is your top priority as some multicookers have a specialty. For instance, rice cookers are now also designed to work as multicookers, which is handy for rice dishes like porridge or sushi.
For pasta lovers, multicookers with a quick pressure release feature are recommended as it quickly ejects steam from the pot and prevents it from overcooking. In addition, multicookers have an automatic keep warm setting and a delay start feature so you can choose to pre-set the cooking process at a specific time.
Holding hot cooked food in your cooker should not be done for more than 4 hours and the internal temperature of the food should not be lower than 140°F.
A multicooker’s basic parts include the outer part or the base where its heating element and control panel are attached, and you also have the lid. Most importantly, it has an inner potーa removable bowl where you place the ingredients to be cooked. In terms of materials, there are two types of inner pots. Read about them below.
Pots with a non-stick coating such as Teflon or ceramics keep the food from burning or sticking. These provide even heating and are easy to clean. However, they also tend to wear off over time, so you may have to replace the bowl. On the other hand, stainless steel inner pots are a little tougher to clean, but these are proven to be sustainable and more durable.
I always go for durability rather than convenience when choosing the cookware. It is better to buy a good item for a bit more than buy a cheaper item over and over again.
PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid) is a chemical previously used in producing non-stick cookware. It has been linked to health conditions, such as chronic kidney disease, thyroid disorders, liver disease, and testicular cancer, as well as infertility and low birth weight. So, when choosing an inner pot, check to see if the inner pot is PFOA-free.
Use cookware items that are NSA approved for safety.
Measure your available counter or cabinet space first, then, choose a unit that can fit in nicely in your kitchen. Also, keep in mind that the inner pot determines how much food can be cooked inside the multicooker, which is usually measured in liters or quarts. For instance, 1-2 liters can feed 2-4 persons while 4 liters and above are good for 5-10 persons.
In terms of wattage, remember the higher it is, the quicker it can cook food. But, this means the multicooker also consumes more power, which can lead to a higher electricity bill. That said, medium-powered devices with around 800-1000 watts is suitable for most Filipino households as it can efficiently cook food without consuming too much electricity.
It is better to cook in batches rather than overfill your cooker's capacity. Planning ahead is essential as well, and getting the prep work done prior to cooking will make the task easier.
To make the most out of your multicooker, it is best to look for one that comes with different accessories. For instance, some units include a steamer basket and rice paddle, so you don’t have to break out your steamer and rice cooker. Others even include a deep frying basket, particularly for multicookers that double as deep fryers. That way, you can truly capitalize on its purpose as a multipurpose kitchen appliance.
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Duo 7-in-1 Multifunctional Smart Pressure Cooker
The Best Multicooker for Meat Dishes
Digital Multi Cooker
The Multicooker For Beginners
Home Chef Smart Electric Pressure Cooker
The Best Option for Making Home-Cooked Meals
Viva Collection All-in-One Cooker
Has a Large Capacity For Hosting Dinners and Parties
10 in 1 Multifunctional Smart Pressure Cooker
Your Companion in Making One-Pot Dishes
A Budget-Friendly Option for Those Who Live Alone
6-in-1 Multi Cooker
The Practical Choice for a Growing Family
Has a Unique, Concave Design to Keep Your Food Moist and Flavorful
Multi-Cooker Starch Reducer
Features a Starch Reducer for the Health Concious
The Multicooker That Doubles as a Deep Fryer
Instant Pot is one of the pioneers for multicookers and has become synonymous with the name, so it is no surprise they are first on this list. It boasts multiple functions that can replace 7 appliances, ideal for fans of multifunctional kitchen appliances. It can also speed up your cooking process by 70%, making it energy efficient.
Aside from its 14 one-touch smart programs, it even remembers your last customized settings. But, its most prominent feature is its pressure cooker mode. It automatically calculates the time it needs to cook food based on the ingredients’ weight, making it suitable for meat dishes. Now, you can prepare kaldereta, mechado, and even bulalo like it’s nothing.
Renters or first-time homeowners who are hesitant to invest in more complicated appliances will appreciate Midea’s multicooker. This device is fairly straightforward; it has 6 cooking functions, most of which involve simple, rice-based dishes and soups. That way, users can get acquainted with basic dishes before moving on to more elaborate ones.
It uses a Smart Fuzzy Logic Technology that automatically adjusts the optimum temperature and time at each stage of cooking, ensuring foolproof meals every time. This product also has a multi-safety system against dry boiling and overheating, so first-time home chefs have one less thing to worry about in the kitchen!
If you often find yourself resorting to quick fix meals like fast food or processed meats, Tefal’s multicooker might be the solution. It features an Opti-Taste technology that produces a “massaging” effect on the ingredients to enhance its natural flavor, so there’s no need for you to use MSG.
Moreover, it has 3 special functions that let you adjust its settings to your preferred time, pressure, and temperature. It also cooks 80% faster than a regular pressure cooker and gas stove. That way, you can make tasty, lutong bahay ulam like kare-kare, and goto in a short period of time, perfect for those who want to eat healthier and cut back on processed food.
Philips’ multicooker has a large capacity of 6 liters, great for home cooks who like to host dinner parties or Sunday lunches. It even includes a recipe booklet to give you a wide range of ideas for your party. Meanwhile, its 12-hour keep warm and reheat function can ensure stress-free hosting duties.
True to its name, this product can certainly provide an all-in-one cooking function. From sautéing and searing to cooking soup and pressure cooking, this has got you covered. It can even perform slow cooker functions on high and low temperatures for up to 12 hours. Now you can easily cook multiple dishes with this by your side!
Love cooking but dread cleaning up afterward? Hanabishi’s multicooker ought to do the trick. It consists of 10 functions, so you aren’t just limited to tenderizing tough cuts of meat or cooking rice. This lets you sauté, boil, slow cook, and even sear food. Now you can make one-pot dishes effortlessly.
One of its notable features is its manual mode, which allows you to use it like a normal pan for sautéing or searing meat, and it also lets you set your preferred duration for pressure cooking. Whether you want to make tender beef pares or casserole dishes, this has got you covered.
Looking for a multicooker that won’t break the bank? Try this one from XTREME. Its price point makes it the most affordable option on this list, making it ideal for those who want to purchase a multicooker that fits into their budget. Its 1-liter capacity also makes it suitable for those who live alone.
More than just cooking rice, this multicooker is also handy for cooking soup or sabaw dishes like sopas and congee. Best of all, it includes a 24-hour preset timer that you can program the night before if you want to wake up to a hot meal in the morning.
Cooking can be quite challenging for working parents, especially if they still have little ones that need to be taken care of. Dowell’s multicooker might just be what they need as it can perform the roles of 6 other kitchen appliances, making it suitable for a growing family. That way, parents can make the everyday chore of cooking so much easier.
It has 12 cooking functionsーrice, soup, porridge, seafood, sauté, steam, poultry, slow cook, yogurt, meat or stew, multigrain, and a keep-warm mode. Your family will be all set for their breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus dessert. It even has a 7-stage safety lock system that will make you feel at ease even if your little ones are around.
Kyowa’s 8-in-1 multicooker has rotary temperature control that’s ideal for roasting meat. It can also boil, steam, cook rice, deep fry, keep warm, sauté, slow cook, and stew. You can do all these functions while keeping healthy cooking in mind since its non-stick coating requires little to no oil.
In addition, its inner pot has a concave design that keeps the food moist as it traps nutrients and juices so you can say goodbye to dry ulam and eat delicious, juicy meals instead. This is recommended to apartments and condo-dwellers where there is limited to no space at all for grilling and roasting meat.
Multicookers cook rice much like a regular rice cooker, especially since almost all of them have a rice function. However, Imarflex’s product is unique as it lowers the glucose level in the rice and reduces up to 35% of starch content. The secret lies in its dual inner pot, which physically extracts the rice water (starch) from the rice grains.
This makes it suitable for those watching their rice intake. Aside from its low sugar mode, it also has the following preset functionsーnormal, steam, multigrain, porridge, soup, and keep warm. It also has a twin sensor feature for precise cooking temperature. For additional convenience, it has a one-press, removable inner lid and a safety carry handle.
Aside from basic functions like steaming, roasting, and slow cooking, what makes Tough Mama’s multicooker unique is that you can use it for deep frying. It even has a fry basket so you can easily cook chicken nuggets, fries, and turon. Perfect for merienda and fans of prito dishes.
Users also praise the inner pot, which prevents oil from splashing when they are deep frying. They also love how the this product does not take up much space, making it ideal for those with small kitchens. Best of all, it uses 50% less energy than an induction cooker.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by professional chef Terence Fereday.
Aside from multicookers, more kitchen appliances can help you prepare the best homemade recipes. Click the article links below to see our recommended kitchen gadgets for your dream kitchen.
Author: Ayeza E. Mangulabnan
Re-editor: J. Cuizon
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
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