Multicooker or convection oven: your detailed guide to choosing

There is an opinion that a multicooker and an air fryer are almost the same thing. But in practice these are two completely different devices, each with its own strengths. In order not to make a mistake and buy something that you will actually use, let's look at the bones of how multicookers differ from convection ovens. And, of course, we’ll conclude what to choose: a multicooker or an air fryer.

Multicooker - what is it?

Simply put, this is a smart pan + oven or an improved rice cooker that has received a number of additional functions. What a multicooker can do: boil, fry, including deep-frying, stew, simmer, steam, bake and reheat. In addition, this advanced saucepan has functions for preparing yoghurt, jam, soups and borscht, jellied meat, dough, pizza and much more.

The multicooker consists of:

  • a plastic or metal case, at the bottom of which there is a heating element, and on the outside on the side - a display and control buttons,
  • removable bowl with non-stick coating,
  • and lids with a hole for releasing steam.

Thanks to this device, the optimal level of temperature, humidity and pressure for cooking is maintained inside.

Multicookers can have from 5 to 70 cooking modes, but most often there are 10-20. Fully automatic ones, such as rice, do not require any additional movements. And for semi-automatic ones, for example, “baking”, you need to manually set the time.


The multicooker is very similar to the Soviet pressure cooker.
Upgraded beautiful pan, tightly packed in a metal case with a vacuum lid. Multicooker equipment:

  • metal body equipped with heating element;
  • volumetric bowl;
  • a tight lid attached to the body with a hole for steam release.
  • plastic ladle;
  • plastic spatula;
  • tray for steamed dishes;
  • recipe book with photos.

Thanks to the timer and numerous program settings displayed on the display, the multicooker is capable of performing functions such as:

  • cooking;
  • stewing;
  • frying;
  • steamed dishes (pilaf);
  • bakery;
  • yogurt

The number of functions depends on the model and, accordingly, the price of the equipment. There are up to 70 cooking options. The best inexpensive choice is to purchase equipment with a set of 8–10 functions.

Pros of a multicooker

  1. Cooking using this technique is as convenient as possible due to the control of the timer, which is set according to your preferences.
  2. You can cook dishes in several layers: the lid of the pan can be easily opened to take samples and add the desired ingredients.
  3. The non-stick coating of the bowl will not spoil the dish.
  4. You can cook a lot of healthy and tasty things by excluding oil from the recipe.
  5. Modern models are equipped with remote control via a smartphone.

Disadvantages of the device

Perhaps the main disadvantage of this kitchen miracle is that the cheapest option may turn out to be useless for you, and the most expensive one will not please you due to the uselessness of a number of purposes in everyday life.

According to housewives, it is difficult to cook good porridge in a cheap slow cooker; it works better on the stove. But in expensive devices everything is perfect, except for the control system, in which women often get confused. As a result, the purchase price is not justified, since 2-4 modes out of 30 are used.

Advantages of a multicooker

1. A variety of dishes that are easy to make using a slow cooker. With it you can easily add new recipes to your menu. For the same reason, the device is ideal for a summer house or home that does not yet have kitchen appliances.

2. Even for those who do not know how to cook, the dish in a slow cooker will turn out tasty and balanced. According to a given program, it will set the desired temperature itself, reduce or increase it when necessary, and turn off in time.

3. What’s good about a multicooker is that it cooks at a given time. You add the cereal in the evening, set the timer, and in the morning you get a ready-made breakfast. Or you put away groceries in the morning - come back for hot soup after work.

4. If there is a pressure cooker mode, it will take less time to prepare your usual dishes than if you use a regular stove. With a multicooker it is easier to organize a table for unexpected guests.

5. Milk porridge will not escape and the soup will not boil away, since the lid closes tightly and some models have a moisture collector.

6. Thanks to the non-stick coating, food will not stick to the bowl, so it is easy to clean.

7. Can be cooked without adding oil or fat, which is ideal for those on a diet or seeking a healthy diet.

8. When the dish is ready, the multicooker does not turn off completely, but slightly heats the dish so that it does not cool down. Very convenient if relatives are staying late for dinner.

9. Advanced multicookers are controlled via an app from a smartphone.

How does a multicooker work?

A multicooker is an electric saucepan with a set of functions . The device is already programmed to prepare a certain number of dishes, so the housewife does not need to calculate time and temperature, just press the desired button on the control panel.

The device also has a delayed start function, which allows you to schedule the time at which the dish will be ready.

The device consists of:

  • bowls;
  • sealed lid with valve;
  • heating element (heating element).

The microprocessor controls the operation of the device . It maintains constant pressure and temperature inside the bowl and controls the evaporation of liquid. Modern devices independently calculate the cooking time depending on how much food is placed in the bowl.

The heating element heats the bowl, and the tight lid does not let air out , removing it through a special valve. Food is prepared quickly and undergoes deep heat treatment.

Important! Using a slow cooker, you won't be able to mix food. It cooks under pressure, so if you open the lid, the process will be interrupted. The device will not turn off, but the dish may not be as tasty. You cannot place food in the bowl all the way to the top, because during boiling, the liquid will escape through the air valve, and this is unacceptable.

Advantages and disadvantages


  • The multicooker weighs no more than 4 kg, and the bowl easily fits into the dishwasher.
  • Mobility, compactness and ease of care.
  • Possibility of long-term simmering of food, baking pies, use as a yogurt maker.
  • The device does not need to be turned off - after preparing the dish, it simply goes into heating mode, maintaining the optimal temperature.
  • Possibility of steaming food.


  • Small bowl size, which eliminates the possibility of preparing large amounts of food.
  • The multicooker cannot cook food on the grill, since the design does not allow for this.
  • In a slow cooker they fry only using oil, and this is harmful to health.

What is an air fryer

If a multicooker is a smart pan, then an air fryer is a convection oven. What an air fryer can do: fry meat, bake and smoke fish, bake flour, cook first things, make roast in a pot, drying, fried seeds, and also sterilize containers for preservation.

All the cooking magic in a convection oven happens in two main zones.

  • Glass bowl mounted on a stand. A high or low metal grate is placed in it, and the product is laid out on them. You can also place heat-resistant dishes with the ingredients of the dish in the air fryer.
  • A cover on top of which there is a control panel, and inside there is a heating element and a fan. The duct directs hot streams into a glass chamber and they circulate around the product - this is how food is cooked in an air fryer.

A special type of convection oven is a lid without a flask. This universal convection oven can be placed on a heat-resistant dish of suitable diameter or on a multicooker with a removable lid. More expensive and functional models have touch controls. The bulk of convection ovens are controlled mechanically - by rotary switches. There are usually two of them: a thermostat and a timer. Low, medium or high blowing speed can also be selected. It will be useful to know: How to choose an electric stove for your home?

Although you can cook a lot of things in this fancy oven, the air fryer works best with meat and fish. Cutlets, meatballs, grilled chicken, steaks, kebabs, whole and portioned fish, as well as side dishes from baked vegetables, that is, the grill menu - these are his trump cards. Cheesecakes and casseroles, as in the case of a slow cooker, are best left in the oven without getting the hang of it.

Cooking method

Approaches to cooking in devices vary significantly.

  1. The convection oven resembles a fan heater, in which hot air from all sides blows the food in it well. The food lies on the grill; you can also place a heat-resistant container there to cook soup or baked goods.
  2. An electric burner is hidden inside the multicooker body, the heat from which helps in preparing the dish.

In some ways, an air grill is similar to a Russian oven, in which heating is also due to the circulation of hot air. Only here hot flows will be created by simultaneously turning on the fan and heating element. But a multicooker, on the contrary, simmers the dish as a result of prolonged heat treatment. In it, the programs will operate differently depending on the programmed steam pressure.

What's good about an air fryer?

1. The oven offers a wide range of culinary delights. Thanks to the device, you can pamper yourself with barbecue and all kinds of grills, regardless of the weather, the availability of barbecue and firewood.

2. Convection preserves nutrients in products. This cooking method makes the dishes crispy on the outside, but soft and juicy in the middle.

3. An air fryer helps with preparations for the winter: with it you can do without a dryer and it’s easier to prepare jars for twisting.

4. You can cook immediately in the container in which you are going to serve it: for example, in heat-resistant pots. Apart from heat resistance, there are no requirements for it - use ceramics, metal and glass.

5. The volume of many convection ovens can be increased using special expansion rings. This comes in handy when you need to roast a whole bird.

6. Thanks to its spaciousness, several levels of grates and the ability to place dishes, you can cook several dishes at the same time. Meat and side dishes go well together in the air fryer.

7. No oil or fat is needed - the food will cook perfectly without it. This is a big plus for taking care of your health.

8. If you cook meat on the grates that come with the kit, it will turn out even more dietary, since even its own fat will drain to the bottom. At the same time, the taste will not suffer: grilled dishes turn out even tastier than other kitchen appliances.

9. Some air fryers have a self-cleaning function: just pour warm water with detergent into the flask and wait until the device cleans itself.

Multicooker and convection oven 2 in 1

In a conventional multicooker, the heating element is located at the bottom of the body. But there are models equipped with an additional heating element and a fan in the lid - multicookers with an air fryer function.

A little life hack: you can assemble a 2 in 1 device with your own hands. As already mentioned, you can purchase a compatible universal grill for a multicooker with a removable lid. If you have used an electric oven, then you know that when there is heat from both below and above, baking turns out well. Therefore, a multicooker with an air fryer function copes better with pies and casseroles than these two devices separately. And other dishes turn out special.

Differences between a multicooker and an air fryer

Difference Multicooker Air fryer
Location of the heating element and principle of operation The heating element is located under the pan. The heating element is located above the flask, hot air is blown by a fan and circulates around the products.
Best of all Cook crumbly porridge, make pilaf, stew meat and vegetables. Bake and fry meat and fish juicy on the inside and golden brown on the outside.
Shish kebab and smoking No Eat
Drying fruits and frying seeds No Eat
Bowl material Metal with non-stick coating. Heat-resistant glass; additionally, metal grids and heat-resistant dishes are used.
Bowl volume Up to 7 liters Up to 15 liters
Dimensions Compact equipment about 30 cm wide and 5 kg in weight. With a bowl - a more bulky technique with a width of over 30 cm and a weight of more than 5 kg (often 7-8 kg). Without a bowl - more compact than a multicooker.
Care The Teflon-coated cauldron is easy to clean; in some models the lid or its inner part can be removed for washing. There is self-cleaning, but the lid cannot be washed - only wipe with a damp cloth.

Price comparison

How much a multicooker costs depends on the set of functions and programs. The price of this smart pan ranges from 600 to 6600 hryvnia.

  • The cheapest model - DELFA DMC-310 for 619 hryvnia - is equipped with a 3-liter bowl, has a power of 500 W and a set of 14 programs, including steamer, pasta, deep frying and dessert.
  • The golden mean is models costing 1000-2000 hryvnia: for example, ROTEX REPC57-B for 1399 hryvnia, DEX DMC 70 for 1749 hryvnia or REDMOND RMC-02 for 2031 hryvnia.
  • A multi-cooker with an air fryer function DELONGHI FH1394.BK will cost 5999 hryvnia. For this money they offer a circular heating system, convection, stirring function, 5 l, 1400 W and 7 main modes. An air fryer or multi-oven like the Gorenje AF 1500 B will cost half as much.
  • The most expensive multicooker is REDMOND RMC-IH300 for 6091 hryvnia - an induction multicooker with 3D heating, has a volume of 4 liters, a power of 1250 W and 24 automatic programs.

Now about how much a good air fryer costs. The cheapest are universal convection ovens, that is, lids without a flask: Redmond RAG-241 - 1199 hryvnia, Redmond RAG-240 - 1200 hryvnia. The device in a flask will cost up to 1500-2000 hryvnia. For more functional sensor grills or air fryers, you will have to cook 3000-4000 hryvnia. But there’s probably no point in spending more than 2,000 hryvnia on this item. Where you can find a multicooker at these prices, and where to buy an air fryer, you can follow the links to the indicated products.

Models of multicookers with air fryer

Get ready to bake and cook healthy meals with state-of-the-art equipment!

Depending on your budget, you can buy a multicooker with an air fryer from an unknown manufacturer or take advantage of offers from well-known brands.

The most popular models are produced by Delonghi and Redmond.

DeLonghi FH 1394 (17,000 - 20,000 rubles)

A double heater and high-quality convection are responsible for organizing temperature conditions that are most suitable when operating 7 programs.

This is a multicooker, deep fryer, air fryer, oven and frying pan combined.

With the Surround Heating system, food is heated evenly from all sides, and the stirring function creates new horizons for your culinary talents.

To control the process, you can use the multi-kitchen digital panel or use remote control.

Redmond RMK-4523

An inexpensive solution for the modern housewife contains a full range of devices that may be needed in the kitchen.

Using a universal grill allows you to cook any dish for a holiday or for every day. This includes delicious chicken with a baked crust, aromatic pastries, soups, side dishes, cheesecakes, yogurts and much more.

The Redmond rag 241 air fryer included in the kit is removable and will fit perfectly into any other heat-resistant container, including most Redmond multicookers.

So what should you choose: a slow cooker or an air fryer?

A slow cooker is an option if you like boiled and stewed dishes. This technique will save those who don’t really know how to cook or don’t have the time to do it. It will also be useful for mothers who often have to prepare porridge and soups. An air grill is suitable if you are a fan of fried and baked meat, fish, and vegetables. The device will not gather dust on the shelf of a family that regularly gathers friends for a barbecue. The 2 in 1 multicooker and convection oven can be recommended to those who want the most versatile oven possible to cook everything. In particular, those who do not have an oven, but who would like to bake muffins and pies. Whatever you choose, you will remain in the black, since the devices cook tasty and healthy. To better visualize the difference, look at how chicken drumsticks are made in a slow cooker versus in an air fryer:

What is the difference between food cooked in a slow cooker and food in an air fryer?

If the slow cooker has an advantage in terms of a healthy way of cooking, it is not as significant as most people think. Cooking meat is only one mode of the air fryer, which also occurs without the use of oil.


Food from a multicooker can turn out tastier due to the ability of the technique to combine different methods of processing products during cooking, which not every convection oven can do.

An air grill can offer meat dishes, vegetables and other dishes suitable for stewing and frying, almost perfectly simulating a real grill.

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