5 Best Pressure Cookers

Here are our pick of the top rated pressure cookers to make healthy meals

How Does a Pressure Cooker Work? 


Are you looking for a super fast solution that can help you to make dinner with ease? An electric pressure cooker can easily become your number one helper! Thousands of people have already purchased this kind of device and enjoy spending free time, while the machines do all the cooking job for them! If you are tired of cooking using dozens of pots, pans and plates, your pressure cooker will easily replace almost all your cookware.

Any cooker is able to cook vegetables, meat and spices and create incredibly delicious courses with no efforts. Not only the device can create really tasty meals, but it is also able to do it much quicker. The matter is that you don’t need to constantly look after your food, as well as there is no need to cook different ingredients separately. Everything you need for preparing hot meals is available with numerous modes and functions in a single machine. Just add the desirable ingredients, press a few buttons and wait until your delicious dinner is ready.

Got frozen chicken? Hold on! If you've got a stovetop pressure cooker, you can actually put that frozen meat straight into the pot and have dinner ready in 20 minutes.

Not to mention, this kind of appliances is gaining popularity among beginner cooks and those, who don’t like cooking. The process is always easy and quick. Furthermore, unlike classical cooking with dozens of adjustable options, you are likely to get the results that you’ve expected: the machines will cook your favorite dish using the same modes, functions and power. So, you’ll be able to repeat cooking your masterpieces again and again.

No worries about burned food or raw meals: the device is smart and is often equipped with special indicators if something goes wrong. Moreover, most appliances come up with culinary books that offer precise receipts exactly for the chosen machine. This way, you might start cooking as soon as you get your device!

What are the Benefits of Using a Pressure Cooker? 


1. Making food with this great device might save you plenty of time and efforts. Most devices automatically cook meals and don’t require any additional control from your side

2. Products save more their nutrients and vitamins in comparison with classical cooking.

3. You will have a clean kitchen. Roasting, frying and baking usually require extra efforts for cleaning dishes and kitchen from fat, breadcrumbs and other waste.

4. Canning foods. Yes, some of the pressure cookers can easily help you to preserve food for future needs.

Still hesitate, whether to buy the device? What are its basic functions? Can you use your pressure cooker with little to no cooking experience? Sure! Not to mention, the pressure cooker is currently hitting the topmost convenient devices for preparing tasty meals on the fly!

Early models of cookers had a limited amount of functions: the only thing they could cook was braising meat. The production of the devices revolutionized in the past few years. Now, any modern digital pressure cooker can boast an amazing variety of extended options. You can bake, fry, boil and do other cooking with an enormous amount of various modes and options.

In this article, you will find a list of electric pressure cooker reviews, the description of their basic functions and some handy tips on how to pick up the best unit. So, let’s start!

Pressure Cookers Reviews


Best Overall

Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker

Instant pot$69.95

Amazon Customer Reviews

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Pros

  • All parts can be put and cleaned either with hands or in the dishwasher
  • Eight buttons for super fast cooking and the recipe book available
  • Detachable cord
  • Delayed startup for 24 hours

Cons

  • Longer cooking in comparison to analogs
  • No glass lid
  • Only two color options


If you are going to purchase the best stainless steel pressure cooker, this one might become the greatest option for you. The device showed great results during our cooking test. It professionally coped with both beef and rice, offering meals of an excellent quality. However, the process of cooking was a little bit slowed down: the device needs more time for creating meals than its analogs (the situation appeared when cooking rice, but not beef.) So, if you are usually not limited with time, this machine might hold a place among your favorites.

The device is a middle price pressure cooker; the pot that took part in our test has a 6-quart capacity.

The machine has 8 buttons that allow you to steam, sauté and slow cook your meals. Most consumers believe this number of basic functions is really enough for creating your best courses. Not to mention, it is able to cope with the major food types. So, you can be amazingly creative, mix various ingredients and try different cooking modes with no fear of damaging the device. Furthermore, all parts of the unit are compatible with any dishwasher. That is why all your culinary experiments might be quickly finished with washing the parts of your device in any dishwasher.

As for additional kitchen appliances, the pot is ready to offer a rice spoon, steamer rack, measuring cup, ladle, manual instruction and the recipe book. The only thing you will not find in the box with your device is a special glass lid. This top rated pressure cooker has a classical one-year warranty.

Best Budget

Crock-Pot 6 Qt 8-in-1 Pressure Cooker

Crock Pot$69.95

Amazon Customer Reviews

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Pros

  • Affordable price, suitable for limited budgets
  • The top possible safety level
  • The pot can be washed in the dishwater

Cons

  • 4 hours delay only (other pressure cooker brands can automatically launch in 24 hours)
  • Hand-washed accessories


This device has the lowest price among the other cookers that took part in our test. Despite its reasonable price, Crock-Pot Express showed exceptionally good results in preparing rice and roasting beef. We are sure that the machine will easily cope with other culinary experiments due to its amazing functionality and variety of extended features. The pot is dishwasher-friendly, but you will still need to wash its accessories with your hands.

The device has an amazingly simple interface and main menu. If you are searching for the stovetop pressure cooker for a family with kids, this machine might become the best option. The matter is that the device is absolutely safe to use since it has a locking lid. No worries about the burned fingers or hot drops: the manufacturer is taking care of your safety. Moreover, the cooker can boast the highest steam protection level.

However, the device has a few drawbacks, too.

When it comes to the option of delayed start, you might be disappointed with an ability to set only four hours of delay period. Meanwhile most machines’ analogs are ready to offer up to 24 hours of postponed start. Although this small electric pressure cooker does not have its own recipe book, you can easily find the needed cooking tips in the special blogs and forums.

Best Pressure Cooker for Canning 

Breville BPR700BSS Multi Function Cooker

Breville Fast Slow Pro$412.52

Amazon Customer Reviews

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Pros

  • Cooks the most tender meals
  • Non-stick pot
  • Superfast

Cons

  • The price is really high
  • No accessories


This machine has the highest price in our lineup. The device cooked outstandingly flavorful meat, as well as excellent rice with soft and non-sticking grains. Moreover, this cooker was the second fastest machine, when it came to cooking rice. In case you need the best pressure cooker with super-fast cooking and a whopping number of functions, while being ready to pay a little bit extra money for the great purchase, this machine might be the best solution for you.

The cooker has a high number of settings, such as sauté, steam, cook and sear. However, the device does not come up with additional accessories, like a spoon, ladle or measuring cup.

The main feature of Breville Fast Slow Pro is an ability to adjust its current pressure. Furthermore, you can choose any from three steam release options for advanced control of cooking meals. In other words, this device might become a great option for experienced cooks and those, who want to get maximum control of making food.

On one hand, the device is incredibly easy to wash, since it is made from a stick-resistant material. On the other hand, it has a higher weight than its analogs. Overall, this machine is considered to be the best rated pressure cooker among the tested.

GoWise 4th-Generation Electric Pressure Cooker

GoWise pressure cooker$49.99

Amazon Customer Reviews

Buy now

Pros

  • The highest number of functions
  • An ability to adjust cooking time

Cons

  • No steamer rack
  • Hand-wash only


The device has the highest capacity that makes it the best electric pressure cooker for big families. Due to its high capacity, this kind of cooker is ready to cook you pounds of meals at once! Moreover, you’ll be really surprised by its rich menu and numerous advanced functions.

This unit has the widest range of options and comes with a number of basic accessories, but the steamer rack is not included in the kit. However, you are free to purchase it separately in case you need it. Classical one-year warranty is also available.

Cuisinart CPC-600 Pressure Cooker

Cuisinart CPC-600 pressure cooker$60.87

Amazon Customer Reviews

Buy now

Pros

  • A three-year warranty
  • Easy to clean up since most of the internal parts are dishwashers safe

Cons

  • The limited number of preset buttons


Cuisinart CPC-600 has an astonishing three-year warranty, which is the longest one among the other cookers. It has only five basic regimes, making the device easy-to-use. You are not likely to be confused with dozens of advanced buttons, functions and modes since the machine’s interface is completely understandable and easy.

According to our test, this unit was the fastest option for cooking rice. That is why this is surely not a slow cooker pressure cooker.

If you look at the pressure cooker reviews, you will be surprised that this machine has an additional safety option: the lid automatically seals while cooking.

9 Tips for Using a Pressure Cooker


A pressure cooker can become a real lifesaver for someone who loves both cooking and efficiency. First, the best electric pressure cookers reduce the cooking time up to twice even for dishes that would normally take you an eternity to cook. Second, these appliances are power saving. Third, they preserve many of the nutrients thus making your dishes healthier. Moreover, the way this appliance works can even make cheaper rubbery meat much tenderer in the result. If you would like to get a real feel of all of these advantages, make sure you have equipped yourself with these tips for using a pressure cooker.

1. Don't neglect the instructions

While a pressure cooker seems to be a simple appliance, the steam and pressure mechanism it uses needs to be handled with care and attention. In order to avoid any possible risk of harm to yourself or your surroundings, please read the instructions for the specific pressure cooker you have got before starting to use it.

2. Take a good look at your kit

To keep your dishes tasty and your pressure cooker safety levels high, make sure your appliance is clean and working properly. In case you notice that any of the parts need replacement, you can address the supplier of your pressure cooker. Pay special attention to the rubber gasket and the valves. For an effective and safe performance of your machine, these parts need to be well cleaned and timely replaced when worn-out.

Instant Pot

3. Brown for extra taste

For a richer taste, some dishes might require you to brown the ingredients a bit before starting the actual steam pressure cooking process. This is especially the case with meat, garlic, and onions, as well as some spices. The real pleasure is that this pre-cooking stage is optional and can be skipped if you need your food to be cooked quickly.

4. Keep in mind the minimum level of liquid

The basic operating principle of any digital pressure cooker requires liquid. The steam that creates pressure inside the cooker. Never use your pressure cooker without adding any liquid. To achieve the best results, look up the instructions to find out the minimum amount of liquid required using the device. In some cases, you can decrease the amount of liquid in the recipe (for instance, when using a standard recipe that implicates some liquid evaporating from the ingredients in the process of cooking). In any way, do not cross the minimum amount of the recommended liquid by your pressure cooker manufacturer.

5. Do not exceed the maximum level of liquid

Pressure cookers have both the minimum and maximum amounts of liquid recommended for use. You can even find the min and max marks right inside the pot for more convenience. A general rule allows filling not more than 2/3rds of a pot (considers this) when choosing the best model for your purposes). When cooking liquids, the maximum amount drops to 1/2nd of the pot. Please follow these recommendations carefully in order to avoid an explosion of your kitchen appliance, which is not catastrophic but very messy and quite dangerous still.

Guide:

Liquid dished (soup and casserole included) — not more than 1/2nd of the pot (including liquid).

Meat and vegetables — not more than 2/3rds of the pot (including liquid).

Expanding foods (pulses, cereals, rice, pasta, etc.) — not more than 1/3rd of the pot (including liquid).

6. Take control over the cooking times

While the cooking time for a pressure cooker is considerably reduced in comparison with conventional cooking processes, it still varies depending on the products and their size. Large or rubbery pieces of meat will take longer to cook. Whole and raw products (like brown rice or whole pulses) will take longer than their purified or chopped versions (like white rice or split peas). Fish and vegetable will take very little time in comparison. These comparative cooking times reflect the conventional cooking processes. Except for the pressure-cooking is still quicker.

If you want to ensure even cooking of all the ingredients, cut them in pieces of one size. If some ingredients require more time to cook than the others (for instance, meat and vegetables), put the long-simmered ingredients first and add the quick-to-cook ingredients later on.

If you are still hesitant about the perfect cooking time for your dish, we recommend undercooking it a bit. This allows getting it under pressure again if needed thus having more control over the final stages of the cooking. This is much better than overcooking your dish, for there is practically no way you can save your overcooked food.

7. Learn how to release pressure

If you need to release the pressure in your cooker, you can use one of the three following ways. First, you can simply take the pressure cooker off the heat and wait until the device releases the pressure on its own. This method is perfect for dishes that have long cooking times. The second method includes using the pressure release valve to release the steam. This one is a quick solution for dishes that are not too delicate. However, be sure to wear gloves and be very careful when turning the valve. The third pressure releasing method is about running your machine under cold tap water. This method is quick and gentle enough, which makes it great for avoiding overcooking fish and vegetables.

The most eco-friendly and gentle way of releasing the pressure at the end of your cooking session is the first one. You can think ahead and turn the heat off before the expected end of the cooking time thus letting the food to continue softly simmering in the slowly dropping heat. This approach will also protect you from trying to open the lid by force in the dying seconds. Actually, modern stovetop pressure cookers have a safety mechanism that will not allow you forcing the lid open and, in such a way, protecting you from being burnt. For emergency pressure release, use our #3 method of running the cooker under cold water.

8. Get these tricks to thicken the sauces

Cooking thick sauces in a pressure cooker is a bit tricky since the device does not release the extra liquid and thus does not allow the sauce to thicken. You can finish this process by keeping the sauce in your pressure cooker on heat for some time after removing the lid. One more trick is to add a mixture of water and corn flour to the slowly simmering sauce.

9. Take cleaning and storage seriously

First, take the food you have cooked in your best pressure cooker and store it in another container. The materials most often used in pressure cookers do not allow storing the food in the pot. Doing otherwise might negatively influence the quality of both the food and the cooker.

To clean your appliance efficiently, consult the instructions that come with the device. Some of the pots are dishwasher-safe while others are not. The lids need to be thoroughly washed under running water with a dishwashing liquid, never left soaking in water let alone in a dishwasher. Other parts would typically need to be taken apart and washed only in case they are clogged.

Last but not the least, proper drying of all the parts will add to the lifespan of your handy appliance. Let the cleaned parts of the device stay on a dishcloth and dry on their own. When storing the pressure cooker, avoid putting the lid on the pot and leave it lying upside down instead.

 

Read more: 5 Best Bread Makers

Brenda Barnett

Brenda studied art at the University of Vermont, but while doing her art she started a cheesecake company as a way to earn extra money. Then her passion for baking was born. Now she has more than 20 years of experience of cooking and testing kitchen products.

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