If you are looking for a great, easy, and fast way to make delicious and healthy meals, a pressure cooker is a must! Regardless as to whether you’re seeking to feed the masses, or make a quality private meal, this guide is intended to walk you through everything you need to know in selecting the best pressure cooker to meet your needs. Take a look at our pressure cooker reviews and details below to help you find the best brand and model suited for your kitchen.
–> The following reviewed products are solid and certified choices ideal for some quality cooking. We’ve gone the extra mile with these reviews by basing them off of careful and precise produce comparisons and user reviews, all to provide a comprehensive guide for buying a model that fits you best. The pressure cookers on this list have all met or surpassed the standards of a user-friendly, durable, safe, multifunctional, energy-saving, and environmentally friendly product expected in quality pressure cookers.
In our search for the best pressure cookers, we’ve narrowed the list down to the following products that seem to offer pristine quality at an affordable price. Let’s take a look at the detailed reviews.
Best Pressure Cooker Reviews Comparison Table
|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|
|Fagor LUX Multi-Cooker||4.8/5||6 (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 additionally spend less time on cooking and cleaning. A pressure cooker not only cooks your food fast but it also preserves more nutrients and vitamins in your food that are typically lost in alternative cooking methods.
The magic and effectiveness of pressure cookers revolve around the simple concept 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 increase of pressure creates steam and consequently, the hot steam heats the food in the pressure cooker, thus rendering a quicker and far more efficient cooking process. In addition to this, pressure cookers tend to consume less energy than traditional methods as well. Below is a list of further benefits you can get when opting to use 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 in addition to occasional stirring. If you utilized one of the best pressure cookers, that time is reduced by around 70%, which means you save 2-3 hours! Imagine what you could do with an extra 2-3 hours! You could spend time with your family, prepare other dishes, or just relax while you’re waiting for your guests to arrive!
- Save Money: Because pressure cooker can cook in far less time, you save tons on electricity and energy bills.
- 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, and 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 while not retaining excess heat.
- Flavor of food: A pressure cooker helps you retain the nutritional value of food. In terms of the physical appeal of the meal, the food maintains its texture and color, meats retain flavor, and all other ingredients cook to their ideal consistency.
- Saves Space: Multifunction pressure cookers today double as rice cookers and slow cookers, meaning you can even cut down on your appliance count and save valuable cupboard space. (Find the best rice cooker and best slow cooker for the money right now!).
Types Of Pressure Cookers
In addition to just seeing the overall benefits of having a pressure cooker in your home, you then have to decide which type to opt for. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a detailed comparison of the stovetop pressure cookers and the electric pressure cookers. In deciding which one is more suitable for your home, this guide will pinpoint the exact features you want your pressure cooker to have. With this chart, you can also see the advantages and disadvantages of the two types of pressure cookers.
There are two types of pressure cookers: second generation and the electric pressure cookers. There are still some variations of first generation, or “old style” pressure cookers on the market today, but they’ve generally fallen out of popularity since they usually only had one pressure setting, heavy.
The more popular models of pressure cookers today are the second generation and the electric pressure cooker models. Other than their extensive safety features, these models have also added the advantage of having more than two pressure settings. This allows you to modify the pressure within the cooker to control how your food will be cooked. This feature combined with the pan heating element produces a lot of flexibility in how exactly your prepare your food.
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 to meet the needs of many different users. Many still argue that this is the best pressure cooker, but in the spirit of objectivity, here are a few pros and cons to weigh.
- 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. Additionally, 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 wise, it has a lid locking system that activates when the pot is under pressure and an additional release valve that release pressure should it build to excess.
- Can be used and stored like a normal cooking pot.
- This model usually doesn’t have 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, meaning this lack of feature can easily be minimized.
#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 often frequented by people who rely on canned or processed foods. Although it is relatively new to the world of kitchen appliances, the electric pressure cooker is quickly making waves, in part due to its ability to have food ready in mere minutes. Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of electric pressure cookers based on several electric pressure cooker reviews we’ve analyzed.
- Everything is controlled: Both the temperature and pressure can be controlled by electric pressure cookers. You are saved from the hassle of trying to manually control the flame as well as being limited to the pressure control capabilities of manual pressure cookers.
- Many models have numerous pressure settings, often with preset labels to further simplify cooking. Examples of these labels are “meat”, “high pressure”, “low pressure”, and even “rice”!
- 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 digitization of these units has allowed for more precise heat and pressure monitoring, meaning if pressure build in excess it safely diffuses the pressure to eliminate risk. In addition to this, it also features 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’d rather save 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 pristine appearance and function for much longer. Stainless steel doesn’t react negatively to 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 often cheaper and a better conductor of heat than stainless steel. However, aluminum is also a softer metal and thus prone to dents and scratches that could mar its looks. Furthermore, aluminum may react negatively with certain acidic foods.
Basically, the choice between the two metals boils down to two important factors: price and durability. Models made from aluminum are very affordable, better conductors of heat, but often come at the expense of design and quality. While stainless steel cookers are expensive, they’re often more durable and these days are often accompanied by 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, in a worst-case scenario, an intense amount of steam and pressure could, in theory, cause a destructive blast in the kitchen. You’ll do well 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
Regardless of which regulator you use, look for one with 15 maximum pounds per square inch. 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 removed for cleaning, and always make sure it is not blocked before each use. The pressure is regulated by a rocking movement exhibited by the regulator. When it starts to rock, that means cooking is in progress, and it should rock with 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 and maintain 15 pounds of pressure per square inch (PSI). They are modestly priced, though slightly more expensive than the weighted valve. Exercise caution with this device as its not always easy to tell when pressure is being released, and it should also be noted that cooking with lower temperature usually means an easier release of pressure.
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 between 10 or 15 PSI. It doesn’t make noise, so you’ll have to watch it closely to see if pressure is being released or not. The stove top temperature is used to adjust the pressure level, and 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, should you ever need to by replacement parts, you’ll want a company that’s still in business, and pressure cooker parts cannot be intermixed between manufacturers.
Only buy pressure cookers from reputable retailers as well. Check to see if they sell the replacement parts, which will mean less of a headache if you ever need to acquire some. 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 and safety.
#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, and unlocks once the pressure is safely lowered. It also won’t allow the pressure to build until the cover is in place properly. This is a sure fix to many of the uncertainties and risks many fear when it comes to using 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 it’s likely that, at some point, you will need to carry a pot filled with food. Handles need to be secure and comfortable to your grip. Practice holding the pressure cooker before purchasing it to make sure it is a good fit for your hands, and also note that they must be relatively heat resistant as they will be in contact with intense heat while the pressure cooker is in use.
#6 Releasing Pressure.
There are two types of pressure release methods utilized in recipes, often noted by the following phrases:
- “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, noted by a spray of steam being let out.
If a recipe calls for 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 optimum results as you can cook separate foods without allowing them to influence each other.
#8 Interior Materials.
The interior and exterior material of the pressure cooker is usually the same. However, some models have non-stick interiors which can sometimes be beneficial in terms of clean up; however, 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 are found in various models, and they usually include a layer of aluminum that minimizes scorching and cooks evenly by allowing the heat to be evenly distributed throughout the pot.
#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 cookers 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 you started. It should ideally be written clearly and simply enough that a new pressure cooker operator and cook will be able to whip those recipes up in no time and with minimal confusion.
Prices fluctuate tremendously among pressure cooker models and manufacturers. Extras and upgrades of the basic features often are what run up the cost. However, 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. In addition to this, safety should come first, closely followed by ease of use.
#13 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, should you choose a size optimum for the number of your family and guests, you’ll quickly find yourself using your cooker often. 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.
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, leaving you more proud of your cooking and your life generally less cluttered and pressed for time.
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 pressure cooker for your needs. When considering price, avoid lower quality bargain cookers that may come at the sacrifice of safety or longevity of use.
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. Afterwards, 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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