Slow Cooker vs. Multi-Cooker – which countertop appliance is right for you and your family? This guide will help you decide!

Slow Cooker vs. Multi-Cooker - which one is right for you and your family? Find out on
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I swear, there is a new kitchen gadget popping up every day. They’re all shiny, they all serve a purpose, and they’re all very tempting. If only I had a 1,000 square foot kitchen, all my dreams would come true. Or at least my kitchen dreams. I was recently sent a KitchenAid Multi-Cooker for the purpose of a review, and I have already gotten so much use out of it. Since many people aren’t familiar with the Multi-Cooker, I wanted to compare it to a similar (yet very different) small appliance, the slow cooker.

Note: This exact Multi-Cooker is no longer available, but there are similar appliances available online.

What’s the difference?

There are a lot of differences between these two countertop appliances. Most people are already familiar with the functions of a slow cooker – it’s a great hands-off way to get your dinner (or breakfast!) on the table with very little effort.  The one thing that sets the KitchenAid slow cooker apart from the crowd is its handy “medium” setting – something that gives you much more control over your slow cooking.

kitchenaid slow cooker

What you might not be familiar with is the Multi-Cooker — a jack of many trades (and a master of all of them!). It comes with a steamer basket that converts to a roasting rack.

Product parts of a multi-cooker.

And it can be used as a kitchen timer when it’s not cooking something. That function, along with its pretty appearance makes this a front-runner for being left out on the counter!

I made a handy chart to further compare the two products so you can decide which is best for you. (Hint: buy both.)

Slow cooker vs. multicooker comparison chart.

What I like about each

Slow Cooker: The benefit of the slow cooker is its larger capacity. It’s perfect for groups and large batches of recipes. The KitchenAid slow cooker is great because of the availability of the “medium” setting and also because it automatically goes to the keep warm setting after cooking is done.

Close up of slow cooker controls.

Multi-Cooker: I’m smitten with this thing. I love that I can sear, saute, and simmer all in one appliance. And it makes the most perfect rice (I can never get rice right on the stovetop). The icing on the cake is the nonstick coating on the pot and the appearance of the multi-cooker. It looks great in my kitchen.

Rice in small purple dish.

What I’ve made in each

Slow Cooker: Oh goodness, I have so many slow cooker recipes on my site (you can also check out my slow cooker archives). Since I’ve had this KitchenAid slow cooker, I’ve made:

  • Some yummy cheesy potatoes that will be making their appearance soon.

Multi-Cooker: I’ve been trying to use as many functions as possible. So far I’ve:

Final Verdict

Obviously, if you have the space and the budget, I’d recommend both of them. They serve very different functions and I am getting tons of use out of both countertop appliances. If you HAVE to choose just one, this is what I’d recommend:

  • If you have a small family (4 or less), I’d recommend the multi-cooker. It does SO much and you’ll find yourself constantly using it. Or if you already have a slow cooker, I’d recommend picking up the multi-cooker to add to your collection. You’ll love it!
  • If you cook for a larger group or attend a lot of potlucks, I’d recommend the slow cooker for its larger capacity.


Disclaimer: I received free products from KitchenAid for the purpose of this review. I was not compensated monetarily and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are always my own.

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  1. Rachel says:

    Hi Rachel, thanks very much for writing this article and the advice you give. I have a multicooker that has “Long cooking” and “Fast cooking” options, amongst many others. Do you know if the “long cooking” would correspond to slow cooking? The manual is very basic and doesn’t say much about the different options, and I looked online for more instructions on the manufacturer’s website but not much either. I’ve only ever used it to sear, sauté, and pressure cook. Because every multicooker is different, I can’t find instructions for mine in particular and I’m not sure how I can use it to its best capacity. Thanks in advancevance for your time.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Interesting! Yes, I would guess long cooking would correspond to slow cooking. That would be my best guess!

  2. Marlene Gold says:

    Can you make stews, soups and the “traditional” foods make in a slow cooker but in the multi cooker? What about roasting a chicken in the multi cooker? Please advise as I will only buy one of these products. Leaning toward the multi cooker, as it seems to do the same but more! Thank you!!!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Yes, you can! It’s a bit smaller than the traditional slow cooker, but it does have slow cooker settings. If you were only buying one, I think the multi-cooker would be a great choice!

  3. Eduard says:

    Thanks a lot for your nice explanation about this two kitchen appliances, It was really helpful. Thanks a lot!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I’m so happy to hear that it was helpful! Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

  4. Rida says:

    Great review but what i wanted to ask you was that can i use slow cooker recipes in a multi cooker? Will the result bw the same?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Absolutely! There is a slow cooking function on the multi-cooker. Thanks for the question!

  5. Bri says:

    Best I have ever used is the Karmin professional rice cooker =)

  6. Laura says:

    My Favorite is Karmin professional rice cooker ;-)