If you are looking for a great, easy, and a fast way to make delicious and healthy meals, a pressure cooker is a must! Whether you need a small or a large pressure cooker for your household, this guide will help you find the best pressure cooker that suits your particular needs. Take a look at our pressure cooker reviews and other detailed information to help you find the brand and model for your kitchen.
–> All of the reviewed products are solid choices and are certified products of good quality. This is based on a careful assessment of each pressure cooker through buyer comments and product comparison, all to provide a comprehensive guide for buying a model that fits you best. The pressure cookers on this list have certainly met or surpassed the standards of a user-friendly, durable, safe, multifunctional, energy-saving, and environmentally friendly product that the best pressure cookers should possess.
What size is best for a pressure cooker?
In your search for the best pressure cooker, you will come across a wide range of sizes. Choosing the wrong size can make using your pressure cooker frustrating. On the other hand, a size that is ideal for the number of people in your family is more likely to become a go-to piece of equipment in your kitchen. Keep in mind that the capacity listed measures how much liquid it can hold. Only one-half to two-thirds can actually be used when cooking. The additional space is needed for the steam. There are three common sizes.
- Four Quarts – Ideal for singles, couples, or creating a single side dish.
- Six Quarts – Most popular in families with more than two people. Most recipes are created for this size.
- Eight Quarts – Ideal for large families or making a stock.
There are also 16, 18, and 23-quart pressure cookers, but these are usually reserved for canning vegetables, meats, and other low-acid foods in quart or pint jars.
In our search for the best pressure cookers, the list was narrowed down to 5 products that offer true quality for their price. Let us look at the detailed reviews.
Top 6 Best Pressure Cooker Reviews
|Picture||TOP PICKS||Our Rating||Size||Price||Our reviews|
|Instant Pot IP-DUO Plus60 9-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker||5/5||6 (quarts)||Read review|
|Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker||4.9/5||5 - 6 - 8 (quarts)||Read review|
|Power Pressure Cooker XL||4.8/5||6 - 8 (quarts)||Read review|
|Instant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 Pressure Cooker||4.8/5||5 - 6 (quarts)||Read review|
|Instant Pot IP-LUX60 6-in-1 Electric Cooker||4.6/5||5 - 6 (quarts)||Read review|
|Presto 01370 Stainless Steel||4.6/5||8 (quarts)||Read review|
|Presto 01362 (Budget)||4.5/5||4 - 6 (quarts)||Read review|
The Benefits of Using a Pressure Cooker
With a pressure cooker, your meal cooking time is cut in half so that you can enjoy eating your dishes sooner and spend less time cooking and cleaning. A pressure cooker not only cooks your food fast but it also preserves more nutrients and vitamins in your ingredients, which are lost when you cook in other ways.
Pressure cookers work centered on the simple fact that, under pressure, the boiling point of any given liquid is always higher. Once the pot is sealed, the pressure in the device begins to increase. The pressure inside elevates the boiling point of water from 211 degrees to 250 degrees. The raised pressure creates steam and consequently, the hot steam heats the food in the pressure cooker, thus making cooking a quicker and more efficient process. This makes pressure cooking save more energy than conventional cooking methods. Below is a list of benefits that you can get when using a pressure cooker.
- Save Time: With a regular stove, you can cook a couple of pounds of beef by boiling it for about 3-4 hours, and you have to stir the stew from time to time. With one of the best pressure cookers, that time is reduced by around 70%, which means you save about 2-3 hours. In the 2-3 hours you have saved, you can do a lot more things like spend time with your family, prepare other dishes, or just relax while you’re waiting for your guests to arrive.
- Save Money: Because it’s faster by 70%, imagine how much electricity or gas you’ll be saving by cutting your cooking time!
- Your Safety: Modern pressure cookers are now quite safe to use. They are designed to allow excess pressure (if there is any) to vent out at any time. They have stay cool handles. Some of the models will automatically switch to the warm setting when your meal is complete, so it will stay warm until you are ready to serve.
- Flavor of food: A pressure cooker helps you retain the nutritional value of food. In terms of the physical appeal of the meal, the foods maintain their texture and color, the meats retain flavor, and all other ingredients are just right.
- Saves Space: There are also electric pressure cookers on the market today that have multi-functions, like a slow cooker or rice cooker (Find the best rice cooker and best slow cooker for the money right now!). Three appliances in one, great space saver!
- Easy and Convenient: They cook faster and more efficiently while making cooking easy and less troublesome. The digital controls allow the cook to effortlessly preset and monitor the cooking time. Many of the pressure cookers on the market today have non-stick pots, making clean up a breeze. They are dishwasher safe, so cleaning up is just as easy as preparing your meal.
Here is an infographic from Hip Pressure Cooking about the benefits of a pressure cooker.
Types Of Pressure Cookers
So have you figured out what kind of pressure cooker you want to have in your home? To help you decide, here’s a detailed comparison of the stovetop pressure cooker and the electric pressure cooker. In deciding which one is more suitable for your home, you can pinpoint the exact features you want your pressure cooker to have. With this chart, you can also see the advantages and disadvantages of these two types of pressure cookers.
There are two types of pressure cookers: the second generation and the electric pressure cookers. The first generation of pressure cookers is also referred to as the “old type” pressure cooker and are no longer a popular choice. This is because it only has one pressure level, and it’s very heavy. There are some variations of this pressure cooker still marketed today, but they come with new safety features for safer use.
The more popular models of pressure cookers today are the second generation and the electric pressure cookers. Other than their safety features, these models also have the added advantage of having more than two pressure settings. This allows you to modify the pressure within the cooker in order to control how your food will be cooked. Add this to the heat of the pan and you can have an almost infinite combination of pressure cooking techniques to get the perfect tenderness in your dish.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker
Electric Pressure Cooker
|May have two or more pressure settings that you can modify||May have two or more pressure settings|
|There are many different types of stovetop pressure cookers, depending on the material they are made of (either almuminum or stainless steel)||Stainless-Steel|
|Has its own heat source, so there’s no need for a stove|
|The electric heat source is responsible for regulating the operating pressure|
|Only releases steam when opened, but the dial may be used to reduce the steam beforehand||Has a spring-loaded valve for releasing steam|
|Insulated exterior to reduce the chance of burn accidents|
|Cheaper, and may also be used as a regular pot|
How Do I Choose Between an Electric and a Stovetop Pressure Cooker?
#1 Stovetop Pressure Cooker
Before the invention of the electric pressure cooker, the stove top version was the only one in the market. Its design has been modified over the years in order to meet the needs of many different users. Some may argue that this is the best pressure cooker, but here is a more objective view based on numerous other pressure cooker reviews.
- It usually takes about 11 minutes for enough pressure to build up, which is quicker than the electric pressure cooker’s 14 minutes.
- You can use the cold water quick-release method to release pressure, which takes up about 30 seconds. However, it can be opened using the normal release method, which takes about 2 minutes, or the natural release method, which takes about 10 minutes.
- Safety is also a consideration for stove top pressure cookers. It has a lid-locking system while the cooker contains pressure and the primary over-pressure release valve for releasing excess pressure.
- It can be used and stored like a normal cooking pot.
- It can be used in conjunction with any heat source even bonfires and barbecues!
- This model usually doesn’t have an integrated timer or scheduling features.
- Aluminum pressure cookers are not very durable, but stainless steel models are very durable.
Stainless steel stove top pressure cookers are among the best-rated pressure cookers in the market today. With their practicality and versatility, you can have an almost unlimited array of dishes that can be cooked with these pressure cookers. Although lacking the self-scheduling feature, a diligent cook can still set the time manually, so this lacking feature isn’t such a big deal.
#2 Electric Pressure Cooker
With the best electric pressure cooker, you have the capability to program and adjust multiple settings depending on your needs. For the electric pressure cooker, you can change the temperature and pressure levels with a click of a button. There are also small displays that will give you the current temperature as well as pressure levels in your cooker.
Electric pressure cookers are very convenient for people who love canned or preserved food. It’s also a convenient appliance to have if you want your food to be ready in a matter of minutes. Though a relatively new addition in the world of modern kitchen equipment, this appliance has made a huge impact on optimizing cooking with pressure! Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of electric pressure cookers based on several electric pressure cooker reviews.
- Everything is controlled: Both the temperature and pressure can be controlled in electric pressure cookers. You are saved from the hassle of manually controlling the flame as well as being limited to the pressure control capabilities of manual pressure cookers.
- Many models have numerous pressure settings. Some models also label their settings very simply so that almost anyone can use it. Examples of these labels are “meat”, “high pressure”, “low pressure”, and so on. It can even have a rice setting!
- Heat regulation is completely automated. Just select the pressure and cooking time, and you’re ready to start cooking!
- These models have integrated timers to keep track of your cooking time. Gone are the days when you had to watch over your pot for fear that it might burn!
- Some models even allow you to delay the start of cooking for up to 11 hours! This allows you to choose your desired settings before heading out, and then your meal will already be cooked by the time you’re home! This is possibly the best electric pressure cooker feature available.
- The computer chip in these models helps prevent excessive pressure buildup, and this helps prevent accidents.
It has its own integrated electric coil as a heat source.
- It doesn’t have the cold water quick-release feature for releasing pressure in the pot.
- It’s a bit larger than stove top pressure cookers
- Some newer models may be used as a regular electric pot. But generally, electric pressure cookers can’t be used unless you’re pressure cooking.
The electric pressure cooker is indeed a modern marvel. With so many automated functions, it may often feel like meals are cooking themselves! If you’ve got enough counter or storage space to support your other pursuits like finding the best panini press, then an electric pressure cooker is the ideal choice!
How to Choose The Best Pressure Cooker?
Aluminum or Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker?
Cookers made from stainless steel can better resist corrosion, scratches, and warping. That means it retains its appearance for much longer. Stainless steel doesn’t react with food products and is longer lasting. A stainless steel cooker has a stylish, sleek look and is more expensive than the ones made from aluminum.
Aluminum cookers, on the other hand, are cheaper, and aluminum is a better conductor of heat than stainless steel. But, aluminum is a softer metal and thus prone to dents and scratches that could mar its looks. Further, aluminum may react with certain acidic foods.
Basically, the choice between the two metals boils down to two important features, that’s price and durability. Models made from aluminum are very affordable, better conductors of heat, but their design and quality are not as good. While stainless steel cookers are expensive but more durable. These days they are designed to have an aluminum bottom for better absorption of heat. If your budget is rather limited, you’ll do well with an aluminum cooker, but if quality and durability are a priority, having a stainless steel cooker will be a better option in the long run.
The features to consider when searching for the best pressure cooker.
Safety features are especially vital when dealing with electric pressure cookers. This is due to the fact that pressure cookers work under the principle of built-up pressure and an intense amount of steam and pressure can cause a destructive blast in the kitchen. You need to get yourself a device that comes with pressure indicators, secure lid locks, and effective release valves.
There are three types of regulators to choose from.
- Weighted Valve Pressure Regulators
- Modified Weighted Valve Pressure Regulators
- Spring Valve Pressure Regulator
Look for one with maximum pounds per square inch of 15. This is considered standard, and all recipes are designed for this amount of pressure. Anything lower will slow down the cooking time.
The weighted valve pressure regulator is also referred to as a jiggle top. It is modestly priced and is used on top of the vent pipe where excess steam escapes. It needs to be removable for cleaning. Always make sure it is not blocked before each use. The pressure is regulated with a rocking movement. Cooking begins when it starts to rock. It should rock to a gentle rhythm, letting you know everything is okay. Check immediately if this stops and becomes quiet.
Modified Weighted Valve Pressure Regulators are attached to the pressure cooker and release steam in small bursts to reach 15 pounds of pressure per square inch (PSI). They are modestly priced, but they are slightly more than the weighted valve. Be careful with this design as it is hard to tell when the steam will begin to escape. Using a lower temperature will help the steam to be released slowly.
Spring Valve Pressure Regulators use a pop up one-inch valve to indicate the cooker’s pressure. They are more expensive, and most allow you to choose either a 10 or 15 PSI. It doesn’t make noise, so you’ll have to watch it closely. The stove top temperature is used to adjust the pressure level. Fewer liquids are sometimes needed with this version.
#3 Choosing a Brand.
Several manufacturers make pressure cookers. Pick one who’s been in business for many years with a good financial background. This is especially important because over time you may need to replace parts on the pressure cooker. The company needs to still be operating so you can purchase replacement pieces. These parts cannot be intermixed with parts from other manufacturers.
Buy pressure cookers from reputable retailers as well. Check to see if they sell the replacement parts, making it easier for you to acquire them. Choose a pressure cooker that is approved by UL, the Underwriters Laboratories, or another qualified testing organization. This lets you know it meets a set standard of quality.
#4 Cover Interlock Mechanisms.
Always buy a pressure cooker with a cover interlock system. It is an essential safety feature that will automatically lock the cover while the pressure inside is high. It unlocks once the pressure is safely lowered. It also won’t allow the pressure to build until the cover is in place properly. This can eliminate many accidents that may come from improper use of a pressure cooker.
Some pressure cookers also have a visual pressure indicator for safety. It lets you know if the pressure inside is high. When cooking with pressure you can never have too many safety features. Look for models offering a secondary pressure relief mechanism that will release the pressure if the vent pipe were to become blocked.
Handles, though they may seem like a small consideration, must also be inspected for durability as you would need to carry a pot filled with food. Handles need to be secure and comfortable to you. Practice holding the pressure cooker before purchasing it to make sure it is a good fit in your hands. They must be relatively heat resistant as they will be exposed to intense heat while the pressure cooker is in use.
#6 Releasing Pressure.
Two types of pressure release methods are found in recipes. These will be phrased in the following manner, or something quite similar.
- “Cool Cooker At Once”
- “Natural Pressure Drop”
Always follow the recipe as to which one to use. To cool a cooker at once, put the pressure cooker in a pan of cold water or under running cold water to quickly release the pressure. A pressure cooker with a quick pressure release knob can be removed from the heat and then use this feature to release the pressure quickly with a spray of steam being let out. For a natural pressure drop, remove the pressure cooker from the heat source, and allow it to cool down on its own.
#7 Cooking Baskets and Racks.
Racks and baskets allow you to separate different types of food within the pressure cooker. This often produces better results so all the items within the pressure cooker aren’t all mixed together.
#8 Interior Materials.
The interior and exterior material of the pressure cooker is usually the same. However, some models have non-stick interiors. But according to many pressure cooker reviews, this feature isn’t very important as non-stick materials don’t hold up well under intense pressure.
#9 Base Materials.
For easy cleaning, no scorching, and perfect heat conduction, buy a pressure cooker with either a tri-metal or bi-metal base. Bi-metal and tri-metal bases may be found in various models. They usually include a layer of aluminum to minimize scorching by allowing the heat to be evenly distributed throughout the pot so that everything is cooked evenly.
#10 Compatible Cooktops.
Some pressure cookers cannot be used on ceramic cooktops, so it’s best to check for compatibility when looking for a pressure cooker. However, most pressure cookers are compatible with all cooktops. This consideration isn’t necessary if you’re looking for an electric pressure cooker as these models have their own heat source.
#11 Recipe and Instructional Booklet.
The best pressure cooker will come with a recipe and instruction book. It should give the owner clear directions on how to safely operate the pressure cooker and some basic recipes to get one started. It should be written in plain words that even a cook new to pressure cooking can easily understand.
Prices fluctuate tremendously among pressure cooker models and manufacturers. Extras and upgrades of the basic features will run up the cost. Don’t think a low price is automatically a good deal. The better deal may be a pricier option that will satisfy more of your cooking needs. Safety should come first, closely followed by ease of use.
Why not invest in a healthier meal. For only about a hundred dollars, the best pressure cooker will give you great tasting meals in a very short period of time. Your family will be amazed by the results. You will be proud.
Keep in mind that your newly purchased pressure cooker is a long term investment that can serve you and your family for years to come. It is thus important to take time and find the best pot for your needs. When considering price, avoid lower quality bargain cookers that may impact your experience or have you looking for a quick replacement.
For ease and convenience of cooking, pressure cookers are an essential small appliance in the kitchen. Remember to read the instructions and safety precautions before cooking the first time. Then it is time to enjoy your new pressure cooker that will give you more time for the important things in life. Hopefully, this guide has helped you decide on the best pressure cooker for you!
For more information on pressure cooker history: wiki
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