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Love to cook but want to save time, money, and space? There's an easy solution! Multi-cookers, or instant pots (not to be confused with the name brand), are a great solution for those looking for a do-it-all device to make cooking more convenient and enjoyable. There are a lot of instant pots on the market today. All of them have their benefits, but what's the best one for you?
Don't worry; we at Top10.today can help you out in your search for the ultimate appliance.
We're reviewing some top products so you can easily find the best of the best. If you want even more information, hop on down to our buying guide below. Finding the best multi-cooker for your kitchen has never been easier!
The Mealthy Multi-pot tops our list of the best multi-pots. This 6-quart cooker can just about do it all. Need a hearty egg breakfast? Got it. Want to warm up some leftovers from last night? Done. Want to splurge with a cake? Say no more. This programmable cooker can do all of that and more. As if that wasn't impressive enough, you can also cook two dishes at once with this device, saving you even more time. A delay start and progress meter also help you start dishes when you want for maximum convenience. It's easy to monitor how everything is going with these features on the large blue LCD screen.
Not sure where to start with this 14-program, 9-in-1 multi-cooker? No need to worry; Mealthy has an app that can give you plenty of ideas so you can get going as soon as your model arrives. This item goes for $99.95 on Amazon, which includes a 1-year warranty. Besides price, the only other potential drawback is that this device is a little heavier, weighing almost 15 pounds. With everything Mealthy offers, though, we can't help but give this multi-pot a 9.9 rating.
If you're looking for a device with plenty of functions, look no further than the Mueller 10-in-1 Pot. This 10-in-1 multi-cooker has 19 programs! Its 10 functions are:
That's a lot of kitchen space saved right there. Plus, clean-up is easy, too, as this German-designed device features a non-stick inner pot and plenty of dishwasher-safe parts. Its smart design also maximizes flavors with quality sealing technology. Plus, this device is light, so it is easy to move around the kitchen. A new one currently sells for $89.99 on Amazon. All in all? We give this device a 9.5 rating, putting it at #2 on our top 10 list.
Looking for the best bang for you buck? The best-priced item on our top 10 list is the Instant Pot 6-in-1 Programmable Multi-Cooker, going for $79.99 on Amazon. There's a reason this brand has become synonymous with the general multi-cooker. This high-quality device includes 10 safety features and guided cooking from Amazon's own Alexa. Those who are in a hurry can up the pressure on this device, cutting cooking time by as much as 70%!
Instant Pot doesn't disappoint here, which is why this pot comes in at #4 on our list with a respectable 9.4 rating.
Now that you've seen our top picks, are you ready to learn more about multi-cookers in general? If so, take a peek at our in-depth buying guide below so you can pick out the best device for your needs.
(To avoid confusion, for the purposes of this guide, "instant pot" refers to multi-cookers in general – not the Canadian name-brand Instant Pot – unless otherwise specified.)
Those who love to cook probably have numerous kitchen appliances. On any given day, putting together a complex dish can involve busting out the rice cooker, steaming vegetables, and sautéing something on the stove. While the final meal might be incredible, the amount of counter space everything takes up is not. And the large clean-up? Definitely not enjoyable.
Enter the instant pot, or multi-cooker. This little machine might just be the perfect countertop-sized miracle foodies have been waiting for! With it, you'll have a steamer, rice cooker, food warmer, and more in just one convenient place.
You can't understate how popular this kitchen appliance is. The versatility of this machine is what helps make it so popular. It can help you whip up a variety of dishes for any taste or lifestyle. Vegan, gluten-free, and keto dishes are all easily prepared in a multi-cooker, for example. Of course, this is all but a taste (pun intended) of what this countertop mini-kitchen can make. If you're thinking about investing in an instant pot, here is what you need to know before you buy one.
Multi-cookers are machines that serve various functions, combining the abilities of several cooking appliances into one. Instant Pot is the Canadian brand that is practically synonymous with multi-cooker. However, there are plenty of other reputable companies that also make multi-cookers, like Cuisinart, Greville, and Gourmia.
What these multi-cookers can do depends on the specific model and brand you choose. Most have the following functions:
Specific brands and models can also have other fun functions, like serving as a homemade yogurt maker, warmer for leftovers, sterilizer, egg maker, and more. Aside from the basic machine, you can also invest in accessories for your instant pot so it can perform other tasks, such as baking cupcakes.
As with any all-in-one cooking device, chances are good that you will wind up cooking some dishes more often than others. In that respect, you might not change your eating habits too much. However, there are several factors that help make multi-cookers superior to other appliances. Some benefits to owning instant pots include:
Because these devices do cook so many different kinds of foods, you might not even need many of your other specialty cooking appliances. After all, a rice cooker and a vegetable steamer and a pressure cooker and a slow cooker takes up more room on your counters than one instant pot will. This space-saving feature is perhaps the best reason to own one.
The instant pot's all-in-one feature truly sets it apart from single-purpose cookers. It's hard to compete with a device capable of yogurt making and bottle sterilizing (and more!)
Using an instant pot is also pretty easy. Having lots of controls and timers means – at least a lot of the time – you can set up the meal in the machine and then complete another task while the pot works its magic.
Instant pots are great because they can often help you save time when you cook. However, just be aware that multi-cookers don't actually cook things instantly. As with most other appliances, they still take time to heat up or build pressure. Once the preparation part is complete, though, they are capable of cooking certain dishes at a faster pace than more traditional methods.
Here is an example of how this works out with a common recipe, cooked beans. A basic baked beans recipe will transform dried beans into fully cooked beans in about an hour in an instant pot, excluding the time the machine needs to prep. While that isn't exactly instant, it is certainly faster than the normal method of preparing dried beans. That process entails letting beans soak overnight before you even bring them to the stove. Once on the stove, you might be there hours and hours. A day versus an hour? We'll let you decide which is better.
Multi-pots also make up time up for human blunders. For example, if you forgot to thaw a steak the night before, you'd be out of luck the next day if you didn't have an instant pot. Many multi-cookers can work with frozen meat; however, the cooking time will vary, depending on the model and brand.
Most instant pots come with sensors that will keep track of temperature, pressure, and other cooking elements. This means that keeping track of your dishes can be far less labor intensive than using more traditional methods. Using the previous bean example, cooking beans traditionally requires you to constantly check on your dish to ensure the beans don't burn. This isn't necessarily the case with an instant pot (although many people advise keeping a close watch on your timer so as to not let your veggies overcook.)
Love your Smart Kitchen? Many a multi-cooker have Smart Home connectivity and Bluetooth capabilities. You access these features via a phone or other smart device. (Note that not all multi-cookers come with these capabilities.)
Some brands have plenty of cool accessories for you to buy so you can expand the use and functionality of your multi-cooker. For example, many sell add-on steaming racks that allow you to cook more than one meal at a time in the device. This rack could let you cook some meat at the bottom while steaming your vegetables in a basket above.
You can prepare many of your favorite dishes in a multi-cooker because of its versatility. It's easy to prepare a big pot of chicken noodle soup, creamy homemade macaroni and cheese, chili, or shrimp Alfredo. (Note, however, that you may need to alter cook times a bit.) Anyone who's used one can tell you: it's easy to discover plenty of new dishes to fall in love with! You can find any number of instant pot recipes online or in cookbooks that will help you make plenty of new dishes to try.
The specific model of instant pot and the type of accessories that you have often dictates the types of food you can make. Some of the more popular accessories you'll find (and the dishes they can make) include:
One of the more popular accessories you'll find is the steamer basket. This add-on allows you to steam foods like vegetables. A word of caution here: many multi-cookers are powerful. They will overcook vegetables if you're not careful.
Other popular accessories are the egg steamer and the bite-sized egg mold. Both allow you to cook eggs easily.
The egg steamer is a little rack that has a number of round slots on it. You place whole eggs onto the steamer rack, add some water to the machine, and steam the eggs for a couple of minutes. (It is important to note that not all steam racks come with individual slots for the eggs.)
With the egg-bites mold, you can make eggs that have vegetables, meats, and cheese in them (essentially, mini-omelets). This mold looks a bit like a round cupcake pan with round-bottomed cups. Look for ones made of silicon or other non-stick materials, as they will make clean-ups much easier.
Baking dishes like cakes, cheesecake, or tiramisu is also a possibility if you get a spring pan that fits inside the machine.
The price of an instant pot will vary, depending on the specific model and brand. Many complex models can cost $100 to $200 dollars. Others will be a bit more expensive than that. In general, the higher-priced models either do more or are made with higher-quality materials. Size also plays a factor in pricing. An 8-quart model will cost more than a 3-quart model of similar quality, for example.
If you can't quite see yourself spending $100.00 on a machine, you can often secure a smaller one for less. Cheaper, smaller products will cost about $80.00. These machines have fewer functions, but will likely cook most dishes that you like. A mini brand-name Instant Pot can be even cheaper, running around $55.00 with tax.
Accessories for these machines are often sold separately. A set of accessories can run anywhere from $10.00 to $50.00, depending upon how many accessories come with the package.
Because there are so many price points, chefs of all specialties and skill levels should be able to find a multi-cooker at a size and a price that works for them.
When talking about instant pot models, quart size is another factor you will have to take into consideration. The most common quart sizes for a basic instant pot are 3, 6, and 8 quarts. What size instant pot you get should depend on how much food you'd like to prepare. A 6- to 8-quart instant pot is generally for large families or large meals, while a mini 3-quart model is for a small group or individual. Some benefits to each of these multi-pot models include:
Many of the best instant pots will come with plenty of added features, like different types of built-in programs. These features are great for some people, but might not be best for everyone. It all depends on what you want to do with your multi-pot. Do you want to do only the most basic of cooking tasks? Or do you want something that will do it all, with the device being able to make yogurt, cook many meals at once, warm up dinner from last night, and sterilize baby bottles? Plenty of models of instant pot comes with these features, although they do generally cost more money than a simpler model. Fortunately, however, even appliances with many of these settings are easy to use. Often times, a simple press of a button on the control panel is all it will take to activate a function.
If you're looking for even more bells and whistles, consider an instant pot with Smart WiFi connectivity. In other words, choose an instant pot model that can easily connect to Bluetooth or your Smart Home. These devices can let you more easily customize them, start them from a distance, and access several smart programs, among many other convenient applications.
Not all multi-cookers can reach the temperatures you might need to cook your favorite food. Always check to see what the maximum temperature a model can reach before you buy it. It's also important to check that your model can fit your pressure-cooking needs. Most instant pot pressure cookers will come with different pot pressure settings, often being able to switch between high-pressure and low-pressure cooking options. As such, it's a good idea to review several products and compare their features so you can truly find one that meets your needs best.
Like many electronic pressure cookers, many multi-pots also come with a quick-release option. If you truly want a multi-functional device, look for one with this feature. Devices that have a quick pressure release will not only allow you to more easily make certain dishes, but they can also cut down on overall cook time (as compared to the longer wait time on natural steam release).
If you're looking for an instant pot to buy, you have plenty of options from which to choose. Online retailers are good options because they allow for easy comparison between models, can offer some great deals, and don't require you to leave your home. Manufacturers and retailers like Amazon have many instant pot deals available.
Safety should always be a priority. Fortunately, many instant pot models are designed with safety in mind. The best instant pots will list what safety features they have and how they can better protect you and your kitchen.
In recent years, the popularity of multi-cookers – also often called simply instant pots (not to be confused with the brand name) – has exploded. This surge in popularity can be attributed to a number of factors.
For one, the instant pot cooks hundreds of kinds of foods. Multi-pot owners are not just limited to making roast and potatoes or stew. These all-in-one cookers can make steamed vegetables, rice, and eggs. Some can also make yogurt and cheesecake!
As such, these machines can replace many cooking appliances, like the rice steamer, the slow cooker, and the pressure cooker, as well as the stovetop and the oven. They prepare even the most difficult-to-cook foods, like frozen meat or dried beans, in a shorter amount of time than other cooking methods do. Accessories made for many instant pots increase the number of dishes you can make in your own specific machine.
With all of the benefits to a multi-cooker, it's easy to see why many people enjoy having them in their homes! Fortunately, it's easier than ever to buy one in 2019 with so many available on the market.