Air Fryer or Multicooker: Which should you buy?

18 January 2023
air fryer or multicooker

Are you wondering whether you should invest your money in an air fryer or a multicooker? Both are great gadgets to make cooking simpler and more cost-efficient, but which one is best for you depends on a few different factors. In this blog post we will discuss the differences between an air fryer and multicooker, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each. We hope this helps you make an informed decision on which is best for you!


Let’s start by briefly explaining what air fryers and multicookers actually are and how they work.

Air fryers use circulating hot air to give the food inside an all-around cook and are great for a variety of foods, including chips, vegetables, meat and fish. Like multicookers, air fryers can also be multi-functional. For example, the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer can Air Fry, Max Crisp, Roast, Bake, Reheat & Dehydrate. One thing air fryers aren’t good for is cooking foods which are covered in sauce or glaze, such as stews or curries. This is because of the way that the heat works, and the design of the grill plate where liquid seeps through the gaps.

A multicooker is defined as an appliance which has 6 or more functions, though some multicookers have as many as 15 different functions! Just make sure that you check which functions are included before you buy, so you choose the one that is right for you. Multicookers are also good for the sauce-based dishes that aren’t suitable for air fryers, like stews. Some multicookers even have air fry functions, like the Ninja Foodi MAX 15-in-1 SmartLid Multi-Cooker.


Budget-friendly models

In the current cost of living crisis, price is the top concern for many of us. There are two factors to consider here: the upfront cost, and the running cost. The upfront costs for air fryers and multicookers don’t differ very much. For example, you can get lower end air fryer and multicooker models for around £100. And higher end models from brands such as Ninja will cost you upwards of £200. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly air fryer we recommend the TEFAL EasyFry 2-in-1 Precision EY505827 Air Fryer. This air fryer makes cooking your favourite dishes simple with 8 pre-sets. And it includes a sizzling grill plate which is perfect for cooking meat and fish. The digital touchscreen makes it easy to choose programs and change the temperature, and the 4.2L capacity is enough for cooking 6 portions.

And if you’re looking for an affordable, quality multicooker we recommend the Russell Hobbs 28270 Good-to-Go Multicooker. It features 7 different functions, giving you great flexibility whilst cooking. Sear, Roast, Sous Vide, Slow Cook, Steam, Rice and Boil with ease. Select the program of your choice, set the timer, and the cooking will take care of itself. Plus this multicooker is made of cast aluminium housing, so it’ll withstand the wear and tear of everyday use.

Higher-end models

When it comes to higher end models, we recommend the NINJA Foodi MAX 15-in-1 SmartLid OL750UK Multicooker. This highly-rated multicooker has an impressive 15 functions and 3 cooking modes: Pressure Cook, Air Fry & Combi-Steam. And there are endless cooking possibilities thanks to the array of functions: Pressure Cook, Air Fry, Grill, Bake, Dehydrate, Prove, Sear/Sauté, Steam, Slow Cook, Yoghurt, Steam Meals, Steam Air Fry, Steam Bake, Steam Bread and Steam Roast. The digital cooking probe will also help ensure that your meat and fish are cooked to perfection. Simply insert the probe and choose your desired outcome. And the large 7.5L capacity is ideal for families.

For a higher end air fryer, we recommend the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer [AF300UK]. This air fryer features 2 spacious dual drawers, allowing you to cook two types of food separately at once. You can even program the timer so that they both finish at the same time. It also has 6 useful pre-set functions giving you greater versatility when cooking. You can Air Fry, Roast, Reheat, Dehydrate, Bake and Max Crisp. Use the roast function to get the perfect potatoes, the bake function for delicious cake and the dehydrate function to make dried fruit snacks.

Running costs

When it comes to running costs, air fryers and multicookers are both energy-efficient. However, multicookers tend to have a lower wattage and better heat-retainment. So, multicookers are cheaper to run costing an average of 34p an hour, compared to an air fryer which costs 81p an hour to run (based on a large Ninja model). But it is worth remembering that both of these appliances are very efficient, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be running either of them for hours at a time.

Ease of use

air fryer or multicooker

When it comes to ease of use, air fryers have the upper-hand. This is mostly due to the fact that multicookers have a lot more different functions which can be hard to get to grips with. With air fryers, even the ones that have other pre-sets available, air frying is just as simple as using your regular oven. But if you are tech-savvy, or willing to spend time reading the user manual, you can learn how to use a multicooker. And if you enjoy cooking, then you will probably enjoy exploring the different functions that a multicooker has to offer.


If you’re concerned about space in your kitchen, then you’ll need to consider the size of the appliance. Air fryers tend to be more compact in comparison to multicookers, which have a lot of different functions to fit into one unit. If you are short on space, a great compact air fryer to consider is the TEFAL Easy Fry Compact EY301840 Air Fryer. However, it could be argued that a multicooker is a space-saving appliance thanks to the many different functions it can be used for. For example, instead of buying a separate slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer and pressure cooker you could just buy one multicooker which serves all of these functions.

The verdict

air fryer or multicooker

So, which one should you buy? The main consideration is for you to think about which functions you can actually see yourself using, and what types of foods you plan on cooking. If you mainly just want to air fry and make healthier dishes, then buying an air fryer makes the most sense. But if you see yourself using a lot of the multicooker functions then it can be a great investment. And no matter which you choose, you’re likely to save yourself a lot of time and money.

We hope that you have found this blog helpful in deciding whether you should opt for an air fryer or multicooker. Make sure you are following us over on our social medias to keep up with the latest news and product updates. Find us on LinkedInTwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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