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How to buy a multi-cooker

Find the right one for your kitchen needs.

slow cooked beef

If you need a cooker that can either perform under pressure for a last-minute-meal or take its time for a pre-planned, hearty dinner, then look no further than a multi-cooker. A multi-function cooker that can both slow cook and pressure cook will save you time and give you versatile cooking options.


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In 2017,  Aldi sold a faulty pressure cooker which exploded, causing at least six people to sustain second- and third-degree burns. To ensure your multi-cooker is safe during pressure cooking mode, it's important to look for a locking lid that has more than one locking mechanism. It's much safer than one that just simply twists on to the top of the cooker.

What else should I look for in a multi-cooker?


All the models we've tested have a claimed capacity of 6L. So you'll be able to cook for more than two.

Steam release valve

When using the pressure cooker setting, it's important that the model has a steam release valve you can manually turn to release the steam at the end of cooking.

Pressure settings

Different pressure settings allow you to adjust the amount of time it takes to cook different dishes. The higher the pressure, the quicker the cooking time. But don't forget the longer the cooking time, the better the flavour.

Cooking times

Pre-programmed cooking times make for simpler use. Some models even have pre-programmed settings for food types, for example, pot roast, curry, rice, etc.


Look for bright indicator lights and a control switch that's easy to access and is clearly labelled.


There should be few or no cracks or crevices where food can get trapped.


Each part should be easy to disassemble and clean, then reassemble. All pressure cooker lids need extra effort to clean after each use, to ensure optimal and safe use. Also, keep in mind that stainless steel exteriors are generally more time-consuming to clean.


A timer is handy as it counts down the time on your cooker and then alerts you when cooking is finished.

Automatic setting

This is useful as it starts the process on high to bring the food up to a higher temperature and then switches to low temperature for the remaining cooking time.

Steaming and warming feature

Models with extra features like steaming and warming have added versatility.

Maximum fill line indicators

Multi-cookers generally come with indicators to show you how much to fill the cooker. Follow these indicators and don't overfill.

 Pressure cooker quick tips

  • Regularly check the pressure valve to make sure it's free from food residue.
  • Remove and clean the silicon rubber seal regularly – soak the seal in bi-carb soda and water to eliminate odours.
  • Leave the lid upturned for storage – otherwise the gasket will deform and shorten its life.
  • Use a tea towel to open the pressure release valve to protect your hands.

 Slow cooker quick tips

  • To convert a traditional recipe for a slow cooker, halve the amount of liquid and increase the cooking time. 
  • One hour in the oven is equal to about six to eight hours on low in a slow cooker.
  • Don't reheat leftovers in a slow cooker – use a microwavecooktop or oven instead.
  • Buying cheaper cuts of meat that require longer cooking times will give better flavour and a tender result. 

Take a look at our 

slow-cooked corned beef recipe

 that's used in our slow cooker test.

Most of our slow cooker tips can also be applied to multi-cookers in slow cooking mode.


Multi cookers in our test cost from $149 to $400.