Thermal cookers, in my opinion, are very underrated pieces of kitchen equipment. Once you go ahead and try one, you will not want to live without one ever again.
With a thermal cooker, waking up to ready breakfasts and coming back home to a hearty, hot meal will become a reality. Nothing else quite hits the spot, does it?
Still not convinced if they are for you? Once you read up more on these wonderful gadgets in this article of the best thermal cooker reviews, buying guide, and additional information, you will see why I highly recommend them.
So, without further ado, let’s get right into it!
Top 5 Best Thermal Cooker – Comparison Table:
What Is a Thermal Cooker?
Before we get to the thermal cooker reviews, let’s quickly learn what it is first. A thermal cooker, also known as a vacuum flask cooker, is a piece of cooking equipment that utilizes thermal insulation as the source of heat to cook & retain heat. It does not require fuel, electricity, or any other heat sources.
A thermal cooker is cordless, which makes it portable. Essentially, they are a portable version of the more popular crockpots, which you may have heard of. A thermal cooker is made up of a stainless-steel pot. This pot goes inside another outer pot, which is thermal.
What to Look for Before Buying Thermal Cooker
To figure out what is the best thermal cooker for you specifically, it is best to know about some of the things you should be on the lookout for when shopping. They are:
Having bigger pots help, because you can cook for more people when extended family comes into consideration. But, bigger does not always mean better. Thermal cooking depends a lot on the retained heat inside the pot, and with not much heat to retain, the cooking will not be as good.
Generally, the fuller the inner pot is with liquids and food, the more heat is available inside, which the outer thermal pot traps and uses to cook. It is said that the inner pot should be at least 80% full for the best results.
So, choose a pot size that is suitable for your family.
- Insulation Method
You may find two insulation methods for thermal magic cookers – vacuum and foam insulation. By comparison, vacuum insulation is the better method. The foam insulation method, on average, loses the initial heat by 6-8 degrees each hour.
On the other hand, vacuum insulation loses much less, only 3-4 degrees each hour. Also, vacuum insulation is safer for your food, as it stays completely sealed. This protects the insides from potential bacteria, molds, and fungus.
- Number of Pots Inside
Generally, thermal cookers come with one outer pot and one inner pot. This means that you can cook only one dish at a time with them. But, if you prefer to cook two dishes at a time, getting a thermal pot with two inner pans would come in handy. When the second one is not in use, simply fill it with hot water.
This will aid you by trapping even more heat inside the cooker. So, it is also a hack.
Top 9 Best Thermal Cooker Reviews
Now, we have come to the main event. In this section, I have reviewed thermal cookers that I have found to be the best ones among the vast options in the market. Let’s dig in!
1. Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
We are starting with the best rated thermal cooker on this list. It is this little beast from Instant Pot that comes packed with many features to make your life easier.
First off, this is a thermal cooker made smart with today’s technology. It is built using the company’s latest 3rd generation tech. This cooker is equipped with a microprocessor that does a lot of work. It monitors temperature and pressure to ensure that your food is well-cooked.
Also, it keeps time and adjusts the heat & duration of cooking to ensure that the food inside is safe & delicious to eat. This device is also very versatile. It can be used as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, food warmer, steamer, and more.
If you are confused about what to cook, just download the Instant Pot app to find recipes and inspirations. You will also get guidance from other users there.
- Equipped with a microprocessor that monitors the temperature, pressure, time, etc.
- Cooks up to 70 percent faster than other cookers
- Smart built-in programs to cook different dishes on autopilot
- Free app with loads of recipes to try
- Built-in safety features for the safest food
- All the options can get confusing
2. Tiger NFI-A600 Vacuum Insulated Non-Electric Thermal Cooker
If you have read our reading section, you already know that vacuum insulated thermal cookers are the best options. And if you want a reliable one that will last for a considerable amount of time, then check out this thermal cooker Tiger is offering!
This thermal cooker is a basic one with all the functions you would expect. It is quite large, with a capacity of 6 liters or 6.34 quarts. So, you can make big batches of food inside it with no problem. I have found it to work particularly well for stews and soups.
The build of this item could not be any better. Both the inner and outer pots are made of stainless steel, with a tempered glass lid. The glass is a good addition, as you can have a look at the food inside without needing to open the lid.
This cooker is extremely durable and will last for years with no damage. One user reported that they had one of these for 10 years, and it was still in perfect condition.
- Giant 6.0-liter size can accommodate larger batches
- Extremely durable and long-lasting
- Comes with a very handy cookbook
- Best for making soups and stews
- The cover may be problematic
3. Instant Pot Aura Pro Multi-Use Programmable Slow Cooker
We are back again with another product by Instant Pot. The reason why they are so popular is that they make really great thermal cookers at the best value.
People use cookers such as thermal cookers, slow cookers, crockpots, etc., frequently for cooking certain food items.
To save your time and make things easier for you, this thermal cooker comes with smart programs such as sous vide, stew, roast, rice, yogurt, slow cook, base, steam, sear, multigrain, and keep warm.
You can just choose one of these programs, and they will take care of your food for you; no additional customization is needed. How convenient is that? Also, this pot is available in two sizes – 6 quarts and 8 quarts. So, you can choose the size you would need according to the amount of food you want to make.
The ‘delay start’ mechanism is also something I appreciate. It lets you preplan your meals. You can choose when your food starts cooking without even being in your home!
- Comes in two available size options
- 11 built-in smart programs to make cooking faster and easier
- ‘Delay Start’ mechanism to control cooking time
- Automatic ‘keep warm’ function keeps meals nice and hot till serving
- Dishwasher-safe lid, pot, and steaming/roasting rack
- Does not show the exact cooking temperature
- Vague temperature terms
4. Thermos Brand Thermal Cooker
At our 4th position, we have a product from the best thermal cooker brand, Thermos. This name does not need any introduction, as it is world-famous and renowned. Everyone knows or has heard about Thermos and their thermal flasks.
This thermal cooker by them is the best compact thermal cooker you will stumble across in the market.
Generally, thermal cookers come in a very large size, around 5-6 quarts. While this size is good because you can control the amount of food cooking, it is unnecessary if you cook for just one or two persons. You would want the cooker to be 80 percent full, anyway.
So, this 1.5-liter capacity could be just what you need.
Because of its size, it is easily portable, too. In fact, I would recommend it for people who prefer to have homemade hot meals during lunchtime. Just prep your food in the morning, and take the cooker with you to your office. By lunchtime, you will have a hot homemade meal waiting for you.
- Compact and portable, 1.5-liter capacity
- Vacuum insulated, so it keeps food safe
- Suitable to take away by students, office workers, and seniors
- Inner stainless-steel pot is safe for dishwasher
- Comes with recipes and instructions in English
- May spill if kept in cars
5. Sunpentown Thermal Cooker
For this segment, we’ll talk about this amazing product offered by Sunpentown. The unit is non-electric, so it saves your utility bill by a great margin. But that does not mean it falls short compared to its electrical counterparts.
The model has a good capacity of 6 liters that will do more than just fulfilling your cooking needs. With a convenient dimension of 24x13x22 inches, this one is surely a great catch. For the price, post-purchase expenses, and convenience received, this one is a bargain.
This unit has an excellent function period as well. It will keep your food warm or cold for up to 8 hours, which is massive. This feature makes this utensil a multipurpose one because you can use it to store and cook food. Also, this cooker is able to cook for 10-30 minutes after you’re done with the heating.
The build material is exquisite since the device sports a stainless-steel outer body, which makes it durable and rust-resistant. Further, it comes with an aesthetically pleasing silver finish.
- Stainless steel body
- Can preserve the temperature of the food for a long time
- Large capacity of 6 liters
- Non-electric; saves up utility bill
- Easy to use and clean
- The hinges are a bit flimsy
- Build quality is questionable
6. TIGER NFH-G450 Non-Electric Thermal Slow Cooker
A tiger thermal cooker will always catch cutlery-enthusiasts’ attention for the product’s contemporary popularity among users. As far as a thermal slow cooker goes, this one will surely not disappoint you. Let’s find out why.
To start off, let’s talk about the device’s capacity. The inner pot can hold a good 4.5 liters of food. So, the unit is not too large like the 6-liter ones neither too small like the Thermos one.
Now, let’s look at some of the brilliant inventions Tiger integrated into this cooker. Although the food might be smoking hot, you can handle the pot with bare hands effortlessly.
This is because while the inner side of the pot is lined with stainless steel, the outer container is stainless steel vacuum insulated, allowing the outer body to stay cool.
It is an amazing feature as the food inside is cooked thoroughly for a long time. The cooker can also work as a thermal container, as it is able to keep the food hot for around 6 hours. Problems like overcooking and burning foods won’t be an issue anymore.
- Easy to handle even when the food’s hot
- Able to keep the food hot for a long time
- Time and cost-efficient
- Decent capacity
- Compact dimensions contribute to portability
- A bit on the expensive side
7. Thermos CC-4500P Thermal Cookware and Carry
We are back again with another product from our favorite brand. If Thermos’s previous thermal cooker was a bit too small for you, then check this one out!
Did you know that all stainless steels are not the same? That’s right, there are many variations of stainless steel out there, and some are better than others as building materials. Thermos has utilized 18/8 stainless steel to make this item, which is one of the best kinds.
With this construction, it will reliably serve you for decades without catching any rust, getting damaged, or eroding. As a bonus, it is also very easy to clean both the inner and outer pots of this item.
The 4.75-quarts size is neither too big nor too small. If you ask me, it is the perfect size to take to outdoor activities such as camping, picnics, and overland expeditions.
- The moderate size of 4.75 quarts is perfect for picnics and camping
- Great insulation can keep food heated for 8 hours straight
- Built with amazing quality stainless steel
- Quick and easy to clean both inner and outer pots
- The outer chamber hinge is rather flimsy
- A small bit of heat leakage on the lid is present
8. Narita 7.5Q Thermal Cooker
If a small thermal cooker is not your style, then check this giant 7.5-quarts thermal cooker out made by Narita.
This one has a huge inner pot of 7-liter capacity, which is made of premium grade 18/8 stainless steel. This steel is energy efficient, so it will work to keep your food hotter for longer.
With room for so much food, this thermal cooker is perfect for house parties and taking out on big picnics. There will be enough food for 10-12 people. However, being bigger in size does make it a bit bulky, so carrying it around is not the easiest task.
What I liked the most about this thermal cooker is that it comes with a second inner pot with a capacity of 1.5 liters. Inside this second pot, you can make a side dish to accompany your food. So, you can cook two food at the same time. For example, you can make stew for everyone and rice to have on the side.
- A large capacity of 7 liters or 7.5 quarts
- Perfect for home parties and big picnics
- Inner smaller 1.5-liter pot lets you cook a second meal
- Can keep food warm for up to 6 hours
- No cookbooks or instructions provided
- Might be too large to take to places
9. Tayama Therma TXM-70XL Energy-Saving Thermal Cooker
We are finishing our reviews with another giant beast from Tayama. This one gets extra brownie points from me due to its good looks. Also, it is seriously affordable for the size and functions it has to offer.
By now, it is a known fact that thermal cookers save electricity and gas by using residual heat for cooking food. But how much do they save? Well, this one saves up to 80 percent of energy, which is massive.
I really like its sleek design. Many thermal cookers tend to look the same because manufacturers do not put much effort into their looks. This one is very aesthetically pleasing. It will look great with the interior design of any kitchen.
If you are on a budget and want something that can feed a lot of mouths, your search ends here. This item is very inexpensive in its category.
- Economical, saves up to 80 percent gas or electricity
- Suitable for dinner parties, holidays, picnics, and family gatherings
- Food stays warm for over 6 hours
- Very affordable for the functions provided
- Sleek aesthetics add to the kitchen’s beauty
- The pots are thin, so heat retention capability is questionable
Also check: Top Egg Shakers Reviews
How Does a Thermal Cooker Work?
For the cooking process, a thermal cooker comes with two pots. Both of them have separate roles in cooking, and they depend on each other. The way a thermal cooker works is by trapping heat inside it, so food continues to cook.
Firstly, you have to keep the inner pot on the stove and put everything you want to be cooked inside. Let the mixture boil for 10-15 minutes. The inner pot is made of stainless steel or similar metals, so it will get very hot. Then, you will need to put the inner pot within the outer pot. After that, place the lid on top of it.
The outer pot is made of thermal materials, so it will trap the heat of the food and the inner pot itself. The trapped heat would then continue cooking the food slowly. Once it is cooked, the food will continue being warm, thanks to the trapped heat.
There are no chances of the food overheating or burning because no additional heat can get in. Also, you will not require checking and stirring the food from time to time since there is no risk of overheating. And, the food will not overcook.
Because of the same philosophy, if you put cold food inside, any outside heat will not be allowed in, which will keep the food frozen.
Benefits of Thermal Cooker
The benefits of thermal cookers are many. Some of them are described in this section:
i. Nutritious and Flavored Meal
Longer cook time will produce a tender, highly flavored meal that is also nutritious.
ii. Great for Picnics
You can go to picnics or camping with one loaded with food. In such places, electricity and often fire is not available, and a big pot of hot home-cooked food might be just what you need.
iii. Saves Electricity and Gas
The great reduction of electricity and fuel usage will help the environment as well as lessen your utility bills by a great deal.
iv. Ideal for Busy Individuals
Great for busy people, as not much prep is needed, and the food will be ready overnight or during the day when they are away at work.
The cooked food will keep staying warm, so gone will be the days of eating cold or barely warm food. You will have the convenience of eating them whenever you prefer.
v. Great for Events
Perfect for big events, such as outdoor parties, holiday family dinners, kid’s tournaments, etc.
The food will retain its structural integrity, no matter how long it’s been cooked for. It will become nice and tender but will not fall apart.
vi. Helps You with Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
You can have highly nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Cook the breakfast overnight. Take a smaller pot with you to work for lunch. It will be better than any cafeteria food or takeaway. For dinner, you can come home to a cooker full of another cooked dish, ready to be served.
The best thermal cooker will save electricity and fuel, provide you & your family with hearty meals, and add a lot of convenience to your busy life. By now, you should be excited to add one to your kitchen. So, best of luck and happy cooking!