There are all kinds
Instant Pots multicoge out there. Just because one of them has a Kleenex-like brand that (for some) represents the entire category, there is plenty of good competition. It’s worth shopping around to see what’s right for you.
Machines with a capacity of 6 liters are pretty standard and I really can not see the point in using anything smaller. Cutting down will not save you much money, you can make small portions or double portions in a larger pot, and who does not love to remember that they have homemade chili or soup in the freezer when making dinner just feels like too much work? If you cook a lot, consider the size of 8-quart. It’s worth the extra closet space, and the extra area at the bottom of the pan makes it easier to sauté and sear.
Not just pressure cookers, multi-cookers often advertise themselves as being 10 (or so) -in-one, with all sorts of presets like chicken, cheesecake and brown rice. Ignore the presets. The important options – or at least my favorites – are pressure cooking (duh), slow cooking and sautéing along with useful features in the second row like sous vide, yogurt and steam. For now, the 1,200-watt models are where you get the best burning.
A suggestion before you buy: See how the control panel of what you are considering makes you feel. Operating your multicooker should not give you a headache, and Instant Pot and a few other brands are notorious for making machines that have overly busy interfaces with too many options. Over time, however, some of them have become more intuitive. Our top choice – an Instant Pot model – has controls that are impressively streamlined.
No one we have tested has apps or internet connection that deserve use. If your multicooker encourages you to download a mobile app, you can safely ignore all that. Things like multicookers with airfryer lids can also be avoided for now.
While rice made in a pressure cooker is excellent, I prefer to own a separate rice cooker as there are many multicooker foods that go well with rice and rice cookers are far superior to holding rice for long periods of time.
Finally, if you are an experienced professional and you are happy with the multicooker you already own, there is no overwhelming reason to swap it for a new one. Instead, do as my father says, and “drive it until the wheels fall off,” and then take one of these. Until then, use any extra money to buy the good cookbooks that will help you get the most out of what you have. My favorite cookbooks are listed at the end of this buying guide.