Dinner ideas

Why the multi cooker is the game-changing appliance of meal prep

A look at the most versatile kitchen appliance on the block.
Crock Pot via The Good Guys

While the slow cooker, pressure cooker and rice cooker all boast their own slew of merits, the multi cooker is a disruptor to the kitchen appliance game realm that can do it all – and more.

This versatile kitchen appliance combines the functionalities of multiple appliances into one compact unit, streamlining your cooking process and saving valuable counter space. From sautéing and steaming to baking and slow cooking, the multi cooker handles a wide array of culinary tasks with ease.

Its ability to switch seamlessly between different cooking modes not only simplifies meal preparation but also enhances the flavours and textures of your dishes. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice home cook, the multi cooker is bound to revolutionise your cooking, offering convenience, efficiency and endless culinary possibilities.

6 best multi cookers to invest in this winter

To make mealtime all the more streamlined, we’ve researched and rounded up some of the best multi cookers currently on the Australian market. Read on for our top picks.

Tefal Cook4Me multicooker 6L

01

Tefal Home Chef smart multi cooker 6L

$149 at The Good Guys

The Tefal Home Chef Smart multi cooker simplifies home cooking with one-pot perfection. This sleek 6L cooker boasts pre-set programs for slow cooking, baking, steaming and more, guaranteeing delicious results every time.

“Great product and great functionality,” wrote one five-star reviewer. “Made cooking a breeze without food smells in the kitchen.” Another added: “After due diligence doing research this product was the overall winner with many features including delayed start which was the overall decider.”

Material: aluminium inner pot, non stick inner pot coating

Key features:

  • One-touch safety pressure release button
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Fast pressure cooking
  • Automatic keep-warm function + pre-set timer
  • DIY mode with adjustable cooking time and temperature
  • Designed for easy repair

Also available at:

Philips Viva Collection all-in-one multicooker

02

Philips Viva Collection all-in-one multi cooker 6L

$195.55 (usually $249) at Amazon

Featuring upgraded power efficiency and ProCeramic+ coating, this Philips multi cooker is sure to stand the test of time. Keep food warm for up to 12 hours before enjoying quality dishes with melt-in-mouth tenderness.

Reviewers say they like the value, quality and speed of this pressure cooker. They are also satisfied with its features, ease of cleaning and warmth, with one five-star reviewer writing: “I’m very impressed with the amazing meals I’m making in a short time – beef ragu, and ham and pea soup. Outcome is very tender meat falling apart, yet the whole process took under an hour.”

Material: metal

Key features:

  • Faster cooking for easy meal prep
  • Enjoy slow cooking, pressure cooking, sautéing and more
  • Nine safety protection systems
  • The ProCeramic+ pot is five times more durable than conventional ones, with an anti-scratch surface
  • Easy-to-clean detachable inner lid design

Also available at:

Crock Pot Crock-Pot Express multicooker

03

Crock Pot Crock-Pot Express multi cooker 5.7L

$179 at The Good Guys

With pressure cooking, slow cooking, frypan, steam and rice cooking functions, this Crock Pot multi cooker is ideal for households of four to six. Featuring pre-set menu options for dishes such as risotto and yoghurt, this trusty appliance takes the guesswork out of cooking.

“It is awesome,” said a five-star reviewer. “So quick and hassle free cooking. Very easy to clean up after use too. The accompanying recipes are easy to follow and instructions on using the Crockpot are really simple. All in all, a versatile and multi functional cooker. I recommend this product very highly.”

Material: stainless steel

Key features:

  • Aluminium bowl with non-stick coating (dishwasher safe)
  • Lid locks until pressure released
  • Pre-set meal options including: risotto, dessert and yoghurt
  • Cooking modes: pressure cooker, slow cooker, frypan, steamer and rice cooker
  • Serves four to six people

Also available at:

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 multicooker

04

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 multi cooker 5.7L

$154.95 at Amazon

With 13 one-touch smart programs from the likes of broth, slow cook and sauté to porridge, poultry and yoghurt, this advanced multi cooker from Instant Pot is a handy model to have in your appliance arsenal come weekend meal prepping.

Material: stainless steel

Key features:

  • Spacious 5.7L capacity is perfect for cooking up to six servings
  • Adjusts pressure, temperature, time and heat to cook food up to 70 per cent faster than other methods
  • Remembers the way you cook and which smart programs used most often
  • 13 one-touch smart programs: soup/broth, meat/stew, bean/chili, slow cook, sauté, rice, porridge, steam, yogurt, multigrain, poultry, keep warm and pressure cook
  • Release steam with a quick turn of the steam release handle with minimal mess and easy clean up

Also available at:

GreenPan Omni cooker

05

GreenPan Omni cooker 5.6L

$223.30 (usually $319) at Greenpan

Heating up with haste on 10 easy pre-sets, the Omnicooker automatically adjusts the temperature and cooking time for your dish – to take the guesswork out of dinnertime. A great alternative to classic cooking, you can make your whole meal in the same pot, which features a non-stick surface, to make clean-up a breeze.

“This cooker is nice to use, the cooking surface is a good size, and very easy to clean,” wrote a reviewer who left five stars. “It heats up very quickly which is good for stir fries etc. I am still discovering the different functions of this cooker and believe it is a great product.”

Colours: blue haze, cloud cream, black and stainless steel

Key features:

  • Removable 5.6L pot designed for maximum versatility
  • 10 easy one-touch presets make finding the right setting simple
  • Tempered glass lid to keep an eye on your meal
  • Easy-to-read backlit LCD display
  • Heat-resistant base
  • Dishwasher safe inner pot

Also available at:

Breville The Fast Slow Pro multicooker 6L

06

Breville The Fast Slow Pro multi cooker 6L

$369 at The Good Guys

With slow cook, pressure cook and searing functions, the Fast Slow Pro from Breville is true to its name. Sporting a stainless steel finish, it’s also a sleek addition upon any benchtop.

“I cannot fault the Breville pressure cooker,” wrote a five-star reviewer. “We have been using every second night. Perfect for Indian curries in 30 minutes as it’s equivalent to six hours in a slow cooker. We also make our rice in it as it has so many different auto cooking options. The auto pressure release is the best. If you are considering buying one, do yourself a favour and do it! You won’t regret it.”

Material: stainless steel

Key features:

  • Triple safe lid
  • Six smart settings: pressure cook, slow cook, reduce, sear, sauté and steam
  • Eight pressure levels
  • LCD display
  • Hands-free steam release: quick, pulse and natural

Also available at:

What are the benefits of a multifunction cooker?

An adaptable and versatile appliance for your countertop, a multi cooker (or multifunction cooker) holds an impressive suite of benefits to shake up mealtime prep, including:

  • Convenience: Simply dump in all of your ingredients, set the timer and function, and walk away; the multi cooker will do the rest. (Remember to check back on the pot every so often.)
  • Versatility: From soups and stews to rice and beans to whole chickens, porridge and even yogurt – the multi cooker can do it all. This makes it a great option for home cooks who want to be able to cook a variety of dishes without having to own multiple different appliances.
  • Speed: Multi cookers can cook food quickly; this is especially true for pressure cooker recipes that often involve tough cuts of meat.
  • Affordability: Relatively affordable, you can find a quality multi cooker around the $100 mark – making it a solid investment for budgeting households.

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