Progress screen removes guesswork
Comes to pressure super quickly
Intuitive control panel
Extra accessories included
Glass lid not included
No “insufficient liquid” or “burn” warning
Electric pressure cookers like the Mealthy MultiPot 9-in-1 have evolved from fad to must-have, as home cooks discover how much time these appliances can save. When you can cook stew in 20 minutes instead of two hours (and simply set and walk away rather than fiddle with stove knobs), it’s hard not to fall in love.
Pressure cooking itself is nothing new, but modern pots have safety features that the stovetop versions don’t. Plus, they have multiple other functions such as slow cooking. With so many people now jumping on the pressure-cooking bandwagon, more companies are coming on the market, giving the most well-known brand, Instant Pot, a run for its money. Mealthy, a small kitchen appliance startup, is one of the newest kids on the block, and it’s going head-to-head with the big boys. We reviewed the 6-quart version of the brand’s popular programmable pressure cooker to see how it stacks up.
Performance: Solid, especially on manual mode
We’ve used an Instant Pot-brand electric pressure cooker on many occasions, and the Mealthy performed just as well. Following the recipes in our trusted pressure-cooking cookbook, the dishes made in the Mealthy turned out identical to the ones we previously cooked in an Instant Pot. In fact, it usually came to pressure about 30 seconds faster.
We cooked brown rice, steel-cut oats, hard-cooked eggs, Bolognese sauce, beef and barley soup, dried chickpea stew, chicken coconut curry, lentils and sausages, mac and cheese, bread pudding, and brownies. Each recipe turned out the same as they had in other electric pressure cookers we’ve tried. Using the slow-cooker setting, we made chili with beef chuck and dried beans, which took just four hours on high to become tender. And the yogurt setting was a breeze, turning out delicious yogurt.
The dishes cooked in the Mealthy turned out identical to the ones we previously cooked in an Instant Pot.
One thing we liked was that the temperature settings on the Mealthy made more sense, categorized as “Low,” “Medium,” and “High” instead of “Less,” “Normal,” and “More.” After all, what is “normal” anyway? That being said, we noticed that the medium sauté setting was more like medium-high, and the low was more like medium. The trick is keeping an eye on things and pulling the stainless steel insert out when things are getting too hot (one reason why the silicone grippers Mealthy includes can be quite handy).
Something to keep in mind: When cooking under pressure, there must be sufficient liquid to build enough steam to allow the contents to come to pressure. If not, it won’t work. On an Instant Pot, users will get a “burn” warning, and the machine will shut off. But in the Mealthy, it just never came to pressure, even though the countdown had started. We cooked a chicken curry recipe that didn’t have enough liquid, and when the Mealthy beeped at the end of its cycle, we opened the lid to find still-raw chicken.
Pre-Set Programs: Nice, but not necessary
We personally find the pre-set programs on multi-cookers a bit unnecessary unless you make the same thing every time. The programs are simply set times and pressure levels, which you will have to customize for your recipe anyway. It’s not really that much easier than hitting the pressure cook button instead. However, the Mealthy will remember the settings, so every time you press that program button again, those last settings will appear. If you make the same thing all the time, this could be a one-touch operation.
The yogurt setting is the one pre-programmed function that really makes sense. When using an electric pressure cooker to make yogurt, the instructions are always the same. There isn’t a need to customize the time or temperature. So being able to use one button to navigate that procedure is handy. You toggle the button to switch between the “boil” phase and the eight-hour inoculation phase.
Design: Eye-appealing and user-friendly
Most electric multi-cookers follow the leader, which, of course, is Instant Pot. No matter how many extra functions the iconic brand incorporates into its new models, the core look stays the same: stainless steel body, lid, touch pad on the front. Mealthy smartly strays from the script just enough to be different and yet still familiar. Mainly, the company has opted to make its multi-cooker shiny black. It’s a nice reprieve from the usual, and it made us realize we have a bit of stainless steel fatigue. Plus, it allows the body to blend in with its plastic black lid, offering a much cleaner, sleeker look overall.
The Mealthy has a large control pad, and the pre-programmed buttons feature bright white text against black background, making them easy to read. We didn’t feel like we were always hunting for the right buttons, especially since the most essential control buttons (cancel operation, set a timed delay, or increase or decrease the heat, time, or pressure level) are organized in an intuitive way, front and center on a gray background. A silver border around the control pad is attractive, but we found it did get scratched up rather easily.
The pot itself is handily marked with actual volume measurements, not just a mark for the maximum fill line, like some other brands we’ve tried. However, we noticed when making yogurt that the cup measurements are off. We added a full half-gallon of milk, which hit around the 2-liter line, but the corresponding cup line was 6 cups. It should’ve been closer to 8 cups.
In terms of size, the 6-quart model was plenty big enough for the recipes we made to feed four to six people. Larger families that typically need to double recipes, or users who want to make large batches of stock, might want to opt for the 8-quart size.
Ease of Use: Intuitive thanks to smart design elements
The display itself is a soothing blue LCD screen, instead of the bright-red kind you might find on an old-school digital clock. It very clearly shows the cook time, pressure, temperature settings, and, most importantly, the progress. It was easy for us to tell when the pot was still preheating and, once it got cooking, where it was in the cooking process. Sure, we could just look at the numbers on the countdown display, but the visual graphic was nice to have.
Another great visual: the pressure float valve is an eye-catching red and will push up above the lid when the pot comes to pressure. When a dish was done, we could see from across the room if the pressure had come down enough to remove the lid.
Slits in the handles of the pot are designed to fit the side handles of the lid. Just insert the lid’s side handle into the slit, and it’ll hold it up for you. We found this was great for those times when we needed to stir the pot, but there wasn’t room on the kitchen counter to set the lid.
Features: Pre-programmed settings and delayed start
Aside from the basic pressure cook, sauté, and slow cook buttons, there are preset programs for poultry, meat/stew, beans/chili, soup/broth, rice, multi-grain, porridge, eggs, yogurt, steam, and cake. We tried a few of these preset programs with mixed results. A chart in the user guide aims to give you some guidance as to how to customize the setting, but it’s actually not helpful.
For example, if we want “Steel-cut oats cooked to perfection!” the chart recommends cooking the oats with the porridge button on “Normal” mode, which equates to 20 minutes at high pressure. But the steel-cut oats recipe in the recipe booklet specifies 12 minutes on high using the manual pressure cook button. Does the porridge program do something special so that 20 minutes at high pressure works better than 12 minutes? Maybe it includes a pre-soak stage? We had our doubts but forged ahead with the chart’s recommendation. Instead of “perfection,” what we got was soup.
However, when we stuck with the basic functions—sautéing, slow cooking, and pressure cooking—everything worked like a charm. Most recipes for electric pressure cookers we’ve come across are written for manual programming anyway. In other words, you just press pressure cook, select the heat level, and set the time.
When we stuck with the basic functions—sautéing, slow cooking, and pressure cooking — everything worked like a charm.
One useful feature the Mealthy offers is a delayed start. You can add ingredients to the pot and get it all set up to start cooking, but delay it by up to 24 hours and in 10-minute increments. This is very handy if you want your oatmeal ready when you wake up in the morning, but if there were perishable ingredients in the pot, we wouldn’t want to delay the start by more than two hours due to food safety concerns.
Some electric pressure cookers now come with smart features, like the ability to connect to Wi-Fi so you can monitor and control the pot from a different part of the house. We can see this being very useful, but the Mealthy doesn’t have this capability.
Another thing we didn’t love was all the incessant beeping. It’s loud, and it’s overkill. You’ll get a reasonable three beeps to alert you when the cooking process has started, but when it’s done, be prepared for 10 loud beeps that seem to never end. Thankfully, though, we could shut the sound off by pressing the “-” button for four seconds, and turn it back on by pressing the “+” for four seconds. And we did appreciate how it plays a musical sound to let us know we got the lid on right.
Resources: App, recipe book, and customer service
In addition to the included full-color manual and recipe book, Mealthy offers an app with meal plans and recipes, although the company makes several cooking appliances, so not all are created with the MultiPot in mind. We had to select “my appliances” and “Mealthy MultiPot” to get the recipes that would work with it. As a nice touch, though, the app doesn’t require you to sign up for an account (likely resulting in a flood of emails) in order to use it. We appreciated this respect for our privacy and our inbox.
Keep in mind, any recipe collection from a manufacturer can be a mixed bag in terms of deliciousness. We did not enjoy the booklet’s brownie recipe (dense, eggy, and bland), but that’s the recipe’s fault, not the pot. For every other dish we made, we followed the recipes in an electric pressure-cooking cookbook from a trusted, nationally acclaimed author. All dishes turned out fantastic.
Mealthy prides itself on customer service, and we actually got a chance to test it. While taking the Mealthy on the road, we had a major mishap with the lid. (It was sitting on the induction range and someone turned the wrong burner on. Cue molten plastic.) We couldn’t find a way to order a new one online, so we emailed customer service. Within minutes, someone wrote back, allowing us to order a new lid for a $19, including shipping. It arrived within two business days.
Accessories: Lots of extras
The first time you cook with an electric pressure cooker, you’ll realize you need more than one rubber gasket. They’re just really good at soaking up savory flavors and smelling gross, which is decidedly not good when you want to cook dessert. Mealthy saves you the trouble of having to remember to order one and simply includes an extra gasket in the box. It’s even a different color—red—so you can easily tell it apart from the one you use for dinner.
Mealthy saves you the trouble of having to remember to order an extra gasket and simply includes it in the box.
The Mealthy also comes with a pair of red silicone grippers, making it easier to pull the hot stainless steel pot out of the multicooker. We didn’t think we’d use these much, but we found ourselves turning to them over and over again. Since they’re thinner than bulky oven mitts, they’re far easier to use.
We found the included steamer basket useful when steaming eggs for deviled egg sandwiches. We even lined it with foil and used it to make brownies. The handle made it easy to lift and lower it into the pot.
Like every other multi-cooker brand, Mealthy includes a small plastic rice paddle and ladle, which we never used, a rice cup (again, didn’t use), a condensation catcher, and a wire trivet, which we loved. Most other brands have trivets with short legs, so the item you’re cooking on it is barely raised above the bottom of the pot. The Mealthy’s trivet has 4-centimeter (about 1.5-inch legs). One recipe we made required whole sausages, browned with the sauté function, to finish cooking on a rack above lentils. The longer legs of the trivet kept the sausages out of the soupy lentils.
We wish the Mealthy included a glass lid, which is handy when slow cooking. The regular lid works as long as the vent is open, but you can’t peek in at the progress. At least it’s available for purchase online.
We wish the Mealthy included a glass lid, which is handy when slow cooking.
Cleaning: A breeze
All of the accessories—including the lid—are dishwasher-safe, which means cleanup is super easy. The only thing you can’t pop in the dishwasher is the base since it has all the electrical components.
Price: Included accessories make it a good deal
At $99.95, Mealthy retails for the same list price as the 6-quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker, which we also reviewed. However, Instant Pot, the leader in electric multi-cookers, often sells its appliances at discounts of $20 to $30 (or more), especially at certain times of the year like Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday. In that case, Mealthy seems overpriced. However, add in the extra gasket, steamer basket, silicone grips, and two extra pre-programmed functions, and the Mealthy suddenly becomes a good deal.
This is even more apparent when you compare it to the 6-quart Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1. It has the same capacity, same functions, and a similar LED control panel, but it retails for about $130. Even if you can snag this model discounted enough to match the Mealthy price, it still doesn’t include the extra accessories.
Competition: The MultiPot gives the InstantPot a run for its money
Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1: It’s hard to compete with a brand that’s become synonymous with the category. After all, Instant Pot is now just shorthand for “electric pressure cooker.” But against the Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1, we think Mealthy actually comes out on top. Both of these models have the same capacity, the same features, and a blue LCD display that shows the cooking progress. But Mealthy costs $30 less and comes with valuable extra accessories.
Yedi Houseware 9-in-1 Pressure Cooker: The Mealthy and the Yedi have the same price, capacity, pre-programmed functions, and features, right down to the blue LCD display. And both include extra accessories that make them a great deal. The Yedi goes a step further by adding a glass lid, which is useful when slow cooking, and an extra trivet that allows users to stack the two for increased steaming capacity. It even has little holes in which eggs can rest. It really gives the Mealthy some stiff competition in the value department, although it only comes in stainless steel, not sleek black. And the cooking progress on its LCD display is not as easy to read as Mealthy’s.
A great pot and a great deal!
The Mealthy MultiPot 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker has all the same user-friendly features as a comparable model of Instant Pot, but it costs $30 less and comes with more useful accessories. It performs the same as the big brand, and any recipes developed for the Instant Pot will work seamlessly with the Mealthy.
- Product Name MultiPot 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker
- Product Brand Mealthy
- Price $94.95
- Weight 14.5 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 13 x 12.25 x 12.5 in.
- Power Supply 120V - 60Hz
- Volume 6 qt.
- Rated Power 1,000 watts
- Warranty 1 year, limited
- Certifications BPA-free, ETL-certified
- What’s Included MultiPot, extra gasket, steam basket, 4-cm. raised trivet, 2 silicone mitts, ladle, rice paddle, rice measuring cup, and recipe book