Pressure Multi Cooker Combos – Which are Worth The Money?
You’ve already bought a panini press but it’s not enough, you want to keep increasing your cooking repertoire. There was a recipe for a sausage casserole which piqued your interest the other day but it required a slow cooker which you don’t have yet. You’ve also heard good things about pressure cookers, but your spouse is starting to get angry at the increasing size of your kitchen gadget collection, the new food is nice and all but you’re starting to run out of space to eat it. The electric pressure-multi cooker combo is a one-stop-shop of cooking goodness that combines a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer and pan for a simplified cooking experience. You can even set one to cook in the morning, so your food is done by the time you get home.
Benefits of an electric pressure-multi cooker combo?
By combining so many different cooking items, you can be excused for worrying that these machines are the jack of all trades but master of none. This couldn’t be further from the truth, kitchen technology has improved massively over the years and so electric pressure-multi cooker combos (or multifunction pressure cookers) truly are a kitchen appliance that can do it all and do it all just as well as the separate appliances. If you don’t believe me, here is a list of some of the many benefits of the machines:
- Clears up space – This is an obvious one, since you’re replacing so many different appliances, you save space in your kitchen by consolidating them all into one. With a cooker combo, your cupboards will never be emptier, and you’ll be happier for it.
- Faster cooking – Cooking time can be massively reduced using a cooker, being anything up to ten times faster than using traditional cooking methods. This is because your hands are free while the food cooks, no stirring, no adjusting temperatures and no worrying as you cook meals back to back. Since they are electric, you can even use one while you cook other items on the hobs. If there’s a free power socket and a bit of space on your worktop you’re all set.
- Less cleaning up – Cleaning time is massively reduced. Rather than packing the sink with a pile of pans to sauté, pots to boil veg and a separate one for the rice (not to mention any lids), there is only one bowl to worry about. Just pop it out and you’re done in no time, some are even non-stick, and most are dishwasher safe.
- No more waiting – Although you still need to prepare the ingredients, the benefit of these appliances is that with one press of a button you can create delicious meals every time. This makes cooking easier for beginners and busy people alike who want to eat fresh and healthy food but can’t cook it the traditional way. Since cooking can be set to start at any time and the food can be kept warm, the food can be cooked overnight or during the day so it is always ready when you are ready.
So how do they work?
Now you know the benefits, time to learn how these appliances work. To understand this. it’s important to know how a pressure cooker and a multi cooker work:
A pressure cooker is a pot which is built to retain steam and withstand high pressures in order to cook food faster. To achieve this, they are sealed airtight and contain a valve to periodically allow steam to escape once the desired pressure is reached.
A multi-cooker is an appliance which helps you prepare food in a variety of ways. They contain a heating element in their base alongside an inner bowl and insulated outer housing. Temperature sensors provide information about the temperature of the food and a control panel allows control of different programs to cook the food.
As you would expect, an electric pressure-multi cooker combo is a device that runs on electricity and combines both these properties. Rather than having one function/running off the hob like most pressure cookers and not being able to regulate pressure like normal multi cookers, pressure-multi cooker combos can do both. They are a convenient way to cook food by monitoring and regulating heat and pressure to cook food, often with the aid of handy pre-configured presets.
To learn a bit more about this, click here.
What capacity do I need?
The capacity of a multi cooker is an important consideration before purchase. When buying online, it’s hard to know how big a pot is and how many portions they can cook which is why we have added this section to tell you. The size you buy completely depends on your intended usage but if you intend to cook a lot in batches or are cooking for a family we suggest getting one with at least a capacity of 5-6L (which manufacturers state are suitable for 5-7 people). If you prefer to cook more personal meals, there are options of 3-4L available.
Are they healthy?
By keeping all the ingredients in the same pot, nutrients are better retained by cooking in a multi cooker. Less liquid is required for use in the pressure-cooking mode especially, which means that nutrients stay inside the food during the cooking process. Multi cookers are also healthy in that they allow you to use fresh ingredients without sacrificing convenience, meaning less processed foods which even has the benefits of being tastier too.
Can they save me money?
We’ve already told you how a combo cooker can save you time and we all know that time is money, but this isn’t the only way in which purchasing one can help you save. They tend to be energy efficient and cook food faster meaning you can lower your bills and due to the way they cook, you can also use cheaper cuts of meat. Combo cookers make it easier to make any kind of meat tender and flavours are more likely to be locked in and retained. It’s also easier to cook in batches when all the cooking is in one pot, allowing you to make use of bulk discounts on ingredients and freeze food for later.
Meet the Rolls Royce of Pressure-Multi Cookers
Sage Fast Slow Pro
Well designed, feature-packed, what’s not to like?
If you have limited space and want a single appliance for all your cooking needs, the Sage Fast Slow Pro is an incredible option. That name might not be for everyone but whatever you want to call it, the cooker is high on pre-set functions with a clear LCD screen to control them. The cooker may be larger and pricier than many alternatives, but we still think that it is reasonable for the features on offer. This truly is the king of electric pressure-multi cookers being stylish, well thought out and able do anything you’d want it to. Important features are:
- Automatic steam release – You can release the steam from the machine with the press of a button, allowing for a truly hands-off experience. Steam is always released in the fastest and safest way, removing the pressure from pressure cooking.
- Pressure control – There is a comprehensive pressure control system with eight pressure levels available, monitored by two sensors at the top and bottom of the appliance. The pressures available range from 10kpa to 80kpa allowing for anything from delicate to extra fast cooking.
- Easy cleaning – The lightweight 6L bowl is ceramic coated for protection from scratches and easy cleaning. It is dishwasher safe, as is the removable safety locking lid. A wrap-around moat catches condensation so water does not drip onto the worktop
- Multi-Function cooking – A colour changing LCD lets you always know the status of the cooker and 11 pressure cook/slow cook settings are available, alongside a custom setting so you can save your favourite recipe. The (up to) 12-hour keep-warm function can be set to come on automatically or activated manually so your food is always warm when you need it.
- Bundled accessories – Included with the cooker are a stainless-steel steamer basket, a rack to lift food out of the cooking liquid and support the steamer basket as well as a recipe book with 41 recipes.
- Packed with useful cooking options
- Easy to clean
- Automatic steam release
- Eight pressure levels
- Dishwasher safe lid and pot
- Robust build with stylish looks
- Larger and heavier than the competition
- High price tag
The Original Best Value Electric Pressure-Multi Cooker Combo
Instant Pot Duo V2
Flexible and affordable cooker with useful built-in options
The Instant Pot Duo is a cooker with several modes available for all your cooking needs. The manufacturer touts 10 safety features so you can rest assured that your food (and kitchen) are in safe hands once you start it, always a worry with pressure cookers! If you are after a versatile machine and reliable machine, this is a good way to make your cooking life a whole lot simpler. Key features of the product are:
- 7-in-1 – The Instant Pot Duo is highly multifunctional and can act as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yoghurt maker, steamer, sauté pan and warmer. These functions can be controlled with a digital timer integrated into the device, allowing you to delay cooking by up to 24 hours so you can have food ready for exactly when you want it.
- Dual pressure – There are two supported pressure modes available on this cooker, providing greater control of cooking. These pressures are measured and maintained by the onboard microprocessor, the low pressure is 5.8-7.2PSI, high is 10.2-11.6psi.
- Built-in programs – 14 programs are integrated into the device, allowing the cooker to be a one press solution. These are: yoghurt, rice, steam, meat, bean, pasteurise, fermenting, keep warm, slow cook, soup, poultry, porridge, sauté and multigrain. There is also a 10-hour keep-warm function keeping your food ready when you are.
- Stainless steel cooking pot – The pot is a 3-ply 304-grade stainless steel, making it durable and suitable for use on (non-induction) hobs. This means you don’t have to worry about non-stick coatings and allows the pot to be dishwasher safe. Also included are a steam rack, rice paddle, measuring cup, soup spoon, recipe book and cooking tables.
- Slow cooking options – There are three settings available for slow cooking and for sautéing, meaning food is always cooked at the correct temperature and you can brown your food beforehand inside the pot. Slow cooking can be active for up to 24 hours.
- Almost silent
- Sturdy, stainless steel pot
- The lid can be clipped on the side for easy storage
- A plethora of safety features
- Addons available from the manufacturer (for a price)
- Different sizes available
- Slow to reach pressure
- Pot can be hard to clean
Pressure-Multi Cooker that Does What it Says on the Tin
Low cost option if you don’t need all the frills
This is a cheap option for those who just want the basics. I say basics but although this is the cheapest option in our roundup, it is also the only one which advertises Amazon’s Alexa, making this a potential addition to your smart device collection… or at least that would be the case if it weren’t for the fact that the cooker’s only relation to Alexa is that you could plan your meal with their skill on another device, then cook it using this one. The cooker has a manual dial to control each setting and works as you’d expect, with features befitting the low price. Some points to take away from the product are:
- Multi-function – Aside from pressure cooking, the device can act as a rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan and stew pot. There is a measuring cup, rice spoon and a steaming rack included to expand your cooking options.
- Large Capacity – The non-stick pot inside the cooker can hold 5 litres, meaning it is suitable for use by families or those cooking meals in bulk.
- Keep warm function – A timer allows food to be kept warm for up to 24 hours, making the product perfect for busy parents or professionals. Additionally, the cooking time can also be delayed for 90 minutes.
- Safety features – There are eight safety measures on this device, providing peace of mind for users when they run the machine.
- 24 hour keep warm duration
- 3 Year Guarantee
- Fairly light
- Supplied with a few cooking implements
- Quiet in operation
- Simple to use
- No display
- Somewhat misleading Alexa advertising
- Some reports of lower than expected quality of build and instruction manual