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November 16, 2022  |  Kitchen

10 versatile slow cookers with more than one use

If you're thinking about buying a slow cooker, you're on your way to making life in the kitchen much easier for yourself. Slow cookers are excellent for cooking all kinds of foods and easy to use, making them great for beginners.

A slow cooker is a fantastic appliance, but it's even better if you get one that offers multiple cooking functions. Slow cookers with several cooking modes can be more expensive, but they're worth it if you want to make various dishes using just one appliance.

In this article: Zavor Lux Electric Multicooker, Instant Pot Pro Electric Multicooker and Cuisinart 3-in-1 Cook Central 6-quart Multicooker.

What makes a slow cooker versatile?

A dedicated slow cooker is designed to extract maximum flavor from the ingredients you use, and although they're great for some dishes, you'll need to use different cooking methods to make others. The cooking modes offered by a versatile slow cooker vary by model, but these are the most popular ones:

  • Slow cooking.
  • Pressure cooking.
  • Rice cooking.
  • Yogurt maker.
  • Air frying.
  • Roasting.
  • Baking.
  • Dehydrating.
  • Steaming.
  • Sauteing.

What to consider when buying a versatile slow cooker

Size

If you're only cooking for yourself or two to three other people, you can get by with a slow cooker with a pot with a 4-quart capacity. However, for larger families, 6 quarts or more is more suitable. You should also consider the size of your kitchen and your available countertop space. Larger cookers take up more space and are clunkier.

Safety lid

Pressure cooking requires the lid to stay in place for the entire duration. For that reason, many slow cookers with a pressure cooking function come with a safety lock lid. Slow cookers without a pressure cooking function usually have a see-through glass lid so you can keep an eye on the cooking.

Delayed start

Unlike traditional stovetop pots and pans, slow cookers are safe even when you're not around. The best cookers have a delayed start function where you can program it to start at any time you'd like. That way, your food is hot and ready when you're ready to enjoy it. For example, if you don't have time to make breakfast in the morning, you can set a slow cooker to start cooking three hours before you head off to work, and your food will be ready by the time you wake up.

Pot

The best slow cookers have removable inner pots with a nonstick ceramic coating that makes them easy to clean. Additionally, some cookers have pots you can directly place in the oven or microwave if you want to reheat food.

Timer

Multicookers usually have preset cooking modes where all you need to do is press one button for it to start cooking. However, if you want to set your food to cook for a specific time without staying nearby to turn off the cooker, some cookers have a manual timer you can program.

Best versatile slow cookers

Premium cookers for $150-$300

Zavor Lux Electric Multicooker

This slow cooker has an 8-quart capacity and several featured functions, including pressure cooking, steaming and sauteing. It has over 33 programmable settings, such as hard-boiled eggs, beans soup and a white rice cooker that lets it work like a traditional rice cooker.

Sold by Amazon

Instant Pot Pro Electric Multicooker

This high-end slow cooker has 11 functions, including air frying, rice cooking, using it as a mini oven and dehydrating. It comes with two removable lids, a multiuse steam rack, a nonstick air fryer basket and a heat-resistant protective pad. Plus, the lids have a safety lock.

Sold by Amazon

Cuisinart 3-in-1 Cook Central 6-quart Multicooker

If you love cooking roasts and whole chickens, you'll love this oval-shaped slow cooker. It has a one-touch switch modes function, a glass lid, a backlit LCD with easy-to-read temperature and time settings and a removable 6-quart pot.

Sold by Amazon

Ninja Speedi Rapid Cooker and Air Fryer

This cooker is excellent for households of four people or more, and with a 6-quart capacity, it can fit four chicken breasts and one pound of pasta. It has 12-in-1 functionality, including air frying, roasting, broiling, dehydrating, sauteing and slow cooking.

Sold by Amazon

KitchenAid Multicooker

Unevenly cooked food is unpleasant, but you won't have to worry about that with this innovative multifunction cooker. It has a 4-quart cooking pot, a dual-purpose steam rack and a lid with a soft grip handle. Plus, it offers over 10 cooking methods.

Sold by Amazon

Slow cookers under $150

T-Fal 10-in-1 Multicooker

This compact slow cooker is suitable for kitchens with limited countertop space and offers 10 cooking functions, including rice cooking, steaming, browning and more. It has an adjustable 24-hour delay start and a removable inner pot with a ceramic coating.

Sold by Amazon

Crock-Pot 10-quart Express Crock Multicooker

This slow cooker is perfect for larger families and offers several cooking modes, such as pressure cooking, simmering and steaming. It has a modern stainless steel design, a progress bar that indicates the pressurization cycle status and an easy-release steam dial.

Sold by Amazon

Ninja Foodi 8.5-quart PossibleCooker Pro

This cooker has a large 8.5-quart capacity, and you can ditch the stovetop by searing proteins and sauteing vegetables in the pot. The removable pot can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees, and the Triple Heat Fusion technology works up to 30% faster than traditional oven cooking.

Sold by Kohl's

Hamilton Beach 1.5-quart Multicooker

This affordable miniature cooker can hold up to 6 cups of cooked rice and has multiple functions for cooking foods such as eggs, meats and vegetables. It comes with a steaming tray, a rice paddle and a measuring cup.

Sold by Kohl's

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

For those who want an affordable slow cooker with multiple functions, the Instant Pot 7-in-1 pressure cooker is a must-buy. It offers 13 customizable smart programs and over 10 safety features, including a safe-locking lid and overheating protection.

Sold by Amazon

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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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