Are you yearning for a good home-cooked meal but just don’t have the time to indulge yourself?
Well then, you should probably keep reading this guide and find out about the best pressure cooker for you and how it can help transform your life.
Let’s face it, gone are the days of chipper homemakers who could do wonders with a handful of ingredients and plenty of time to prepare them. We’re all constantly rushing from obligation to obligation and often find ourselves without time to eat a meal properly, let alone to prepare it that way.
Having said this, there is a way to help speed up cooking and make even elaborate meals even during the week, and it comes in form of a pressure cooker. The idea behind it is very simple – increasing the pressure water is kept under increases its boiling point, cutting the cooking time by up to three quarters.
What product to choose though?
Both TV and the internet abound with commercials of models that can promise unrealistic results. This is why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to do the legwork and test some of the more talked about devices ourselves. What you are reading now is the distilled guide that came about after a lot of strenuous testing.
In it we bring you electric pressure cooker reviews as well as those of stove top variants.
We’ve divided it into three segments.
First we talk about the more expensive models that offer various cooking options. Then we look at more affordable alternatives that still do a fine job of preparing meals quickly.
Lastly, we decided to include some general guidelines you’ll want to consider before committing to any one model. By the time you’ve read through this section you’ll have a more solid understanding of what to look out for.
Are you ready to taste some of your grandma’s cooking again?
|All-American 10-1/2-Quart||10.5 qt||13 x 14 x 14 in||14.8 lbs.||Stove top||$$$$|
|Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1||6 qt||12.6 x 13 x 12.2 in||12 lbs.||Electric||$$$|
|Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Model||7 qt||9 x 14 x 8 in||6.6 lbs.||Stove top||$$$$|
|Power Pressure Cooker XL||6 qt||14 x 12.5 x 12.5in||9 lbs.||Electric||$$|
|Kuhn Rikon 3344 Stainless Steel||7 qt||9.75 x 16.13 x 9.25in||7 lbs.||Stove top||$$$|
|Instant Pot IP-LUX60 6-in-1||6 qt||12.6 x 11.8 x 10.2 in||14.6 lbs.||Electric||$$|
|Presto 01781 23-Quart||23 qt||15.1 x 15.4 x 14.8 in||5 lbs.||Stove top||$$|
|Presto 01370 8-Quart Stainless Steel||8 qt||17.4 x 11 x 10.5 in||9.5 lbs.||Stove top||$|
|Cuisinart CPC-600 6-Quart||6 qt||12.2 x 12.2 x 13.2 in||12.6 lbs.||Electric||$$|
Premium Pressure Cooker reviews
1. All-American 10-1/2-Quart(4.9 / 5)
A top of the line cooker is a great tool when cooking a somewhat larger quantity of food as fast as possible, but why stop there?
Wouldn’t it be great if your model was on par with commercial-grade ones and could preserve goods as well as cook them? All-American know exactly what you’ve been thinking and have come up with the 10-1/2-Quart, which acts as both a cooker and a canner.
Making preserved foods under pressure is the right way to go since it is the safest and most effective way to tightly seal the preserve jars as tight as you’d come to expect from factory-made products. The 10-1/2-Quart is a great boon in that regard because its innovative sealing technology ensures that it is always tightly sealed.
Unlike other models that use a rubberized gasket to form an airtight seal, the 10-1/2-Quart has a metal to metal seal. This is achieved through a series of positive action clamping locks which align the lid with the cooker’s base, forming an airtight seal that steam can not escape through. Since there is no gasket involved, it is also easier to open.
Everything you decide to cook in the 10-1/2-Quart will be done evenly and in a short time thanks to its heavy-duty aluminum build. The aluminum causes heat from the stove to circulate evenly throughout the cooker’s base and sides, so you won’t find yourself with food that has burned edges and a raw center anymore.
The pressure settings are variable. You can adjust it to be at either 5, 10 or 15 psi depending on the type of food you’re preparing and speed with which you wish to do so.
Safety is of paramount importance of course, and the 10-1/2-Quart takes care of that with 2 different automatic safety features – a safety control valve and an overpressure plug that do not allow excessive steam build-up past the specified settings.
You can always tell how much pressure is being applied thanks to a pressure gauge on its lid. Also featured is a solid bakelite handle that won’t get hot during operation and you can use it to safely open the cooker up.
This is a great canner if you don’t have a whole lot of canning to do but still want a model which isn’t too small. It can hold up to seven pint jars or four quart jars, so if you have a smaller garden and want to make sauces or preserves from your own vegetables the 10-1/2-Quart will help you get done in just a few batches.
This was hands down the best pressure cooker we’ve worked with. What impressed us the most was its innovative approach to providing an airtight environment that makes cooking / canning easier and actually opening the thing up afterwards less of a hassle.
If you enjoy the benefits of pressure cooking and do some canning on the side now and again, this is the model you’ve been looking for.
2. Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1(4.9 / 5)
Having a heavy-duty cooker is great, but buying one just for the odd time you plan on taking advantage of its capabilities seems like a waste.
Especially if you live in a smaller apartment you need all the space you can squeeze out of it, and what better way is there to accomplish this than to make use of appliances that have more than one function.
Enter the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1, a jack of all trades that surprisingly does an excellent job in almost all of them.
The manufacturer definitely wasn’t pulling our leg with false advertisement – this pot really has seven different functions which are all worth mentioning.
Apart from acting as a pressure cooker, it can function as a slow cooker, a yogurt maker, warmer, steamer, rice cooker and sauté pan all in one. That list alone sounds pretty impressive, and one can honestly get a little bit overwhelmed when first encountering the Instant Pot. If you get the optional cake pan, you can even bake a cake with this thing!
The manufacturers are well aware of this, so they’ve included a somewhat basic yet sufficient manual that explains all of its features and how to use them. You’ll even get a recipe booklet containing a handful of dishes as well as useful info on different things to look to for like optimal water to ingredient ratios etc.
Since this is an electric model after all, expect its performance to be a bit lower than that of a stove top model. Since it can’t reach the 15 psi pressure most recipes are written for, you’d best adjust the cooking time by adding a few minutes to the given recommendation.
The pot is made out of stainless steel which is durable and resists scratching. A handy measuring line has been etched inside so you can always tell the quantity of ingredients currently in there.
There are 14 different programs you can choose from and 7 different cooking methods. We especially enjoyed the Instant Pot’s warming function that lets you keep what you’ve cooked warm until dinner time, or up to 99 hours.
Another fantastic and convenient setting allows you to delay cooking. Just set it up to 24 hours in advance and the pot will begin cooking when you want it to.
You’ll also never have to fuss over it while it’s making that yoghurt or cooking rice since it has 10 different built-in safety features that allow you to set everything up and forget you’re actually cooking until the time comes to shut the pot off.
We must admit that this is the absolute best electric pressure cooker in terms of versatility we’ve seen so far.
Sure, since it is an electric model it might not be up to the standards of some kitchen aficionados that expect nothing but the very best, but given its multitude of diverse capabilities and the fact that it essentially replaces seven different gadgets makes the Instant Pot a wonderful purchase for college students, small apartment dwellers and anyone else that wants to save space while getting so much from just one product.
3. Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Model(4.7 / 5)
OK, maybe our last entry was a bit outlandish in terms of what it can accomplish, so for now we’ll be returning to good ol’ single function cookers. Speaking of outlandishness, here’s a model by renowned Swiss pot & pan makers Kuhn Rikon that looks like it came from a high-tech, stylish future.
The Duromatic Top Model is aesthetically peculiar, yet quite pleasing. Its dome-shaped lid is minimalistic and smooth save for a few concentric circles in the middle that break up the monotony. Sharp, more angular handles are in stark contrast to the lid and pot, forming an elegant dichotomy.
All of this would be beside the point if the attractive design didn’t house impressive technological advancements that make this model one of the safest and most effective ones we’ve tested.
It has a metal on metal seal similar to the All-American model reviewed above, but this is kept in place by a silicone gasket that expands as the contents of the cooker heat up, providing a tightly sealed environment you can cook meals in 2-5 times faster than with a regular pot.
Safety is the Duromatic’s top priority and is reinforced by a number of systems and redundancies. First there’s the primary over-pressure release valve that activates if the cooker reaches pressures exceeding 17 psi.
If that is clogged pr fails for some reason, a secondary valve’s silicone stopper pops out and releases excess pressure until it normalizes. The Duromatic’s lid has a small nub that makes sure it is placed correctly. If it isn’t the nub prevents pressure build-up.
As far as actually knowing what the pressure is and being able to maintain it, the Swiss have come up with an elegant yet very durable solution. The pressure indicator is unconventional, but does a great job.
It takes form of a screw at the cooker’s lid. Once pressure starts building, it rises slowly until it reaches a red line, indicating a low setting that you can already cook with.
If you keep applying the heat it will reach a 2nd red bar which means maximum pressure has been reached. This method is surprisingly intuitive as it lets you quickly adjust the flames when needed in order to keep the pressure just right.
After you’re done using it, the cooker should be washed by hand. Since it is made from durable stainless steel this shouldn’t pose much of a problem, even if you end up burning your food due to a too high setting or not enough liquid.
We were thoroughly satisfied with the Duromatic’s performance and rank it among the best pressure cookers without hesitation. Its durable build and impressive safety features will keep you cooking with confidence, and its unique yet stylish appearance will certainly turn a few heads next time you have friends over.
It is a bit on the expensive side, but the quality you get when purchasing it makes the price well justified.
4. Power Pressure Cooker XL(4.2 / 5)
You’ve probably seen the commercials for this cooker already. In them the manufacturers claim that you’ll be able to cook foods up to 75 percent faster with the push of just one button. Does this sound too good to be true, or is it a worthwhile product?
Well, the answer depends on who you ask really. But before we get to that, let’s take a look at the cooker itself. It certainly does claim a lot. For example, you can throw your ingredients into it with minimal prep time.
Even foods that are frozen solid can be cooked right out of the freezer, which saves time and effort. Operation is straightforward too. You just press a button, choose one of the predefined settings and wait for the food to be done. You can use it to cook soups and stews, for sautéing, cooking rice and canning as well.
Once the food is prepared, the cooker automatically goes into the “Keep Warm” mode where it keeps the food warm until you’re ready to eat.
There’s also a delay timer like we’ve seen with Instant Pot’s model where you just pop all the ingredients in, set it to a time in the near future and come home to an already cooked meal.
One difference we can definitely get behind that sets this model apart from previously reviewed ones is the fact that you can remove its stainless-steel inner pot and safely clean it in a dishwasher, reducing maintenance time and getting it operational again faster.
Some customers have voiced concerns over the company’s practices however. Many of them have more to do with technical details such as delivery and honoring the 60 day warranty, but some customers also claim that it doesn’t quite live up to the hype, losing pressure and coming with vague directions.
On our end, we couldn’t find any major faults with its operation. Sure, it might not be the best Pressure cooker we’ve tested, but nothing indicates that this is an overall bad product. If the commercials appeal to you, we recommend you try it out and if it fails to meet your expectations you can always return it.
5. Kuhn Rikon 3344 Stainless Steel(4.1 / 5)
Another pointy model from Kuhn Rikon, the 3344 Stainless Steel comes with most of the features we’ve seen in the other model, and is a bit cheaper.
There isn’t much to distinguish the two models apart from different dimensions and the fact that this model is a little bigger. The design is basically the same with a signature domed pointed lid and the metal pressure indicator we’ve talked about as well.
You can use this model for canning, but given its size you’ll have to be content in using only quart jars to store your preserves in. If you don’t have that many jams or sauces to make each year, then this will be sufficient.
Safety plays an important role in the production of the 3344, and the silicone gasket as well as the multiple safety valves and pressure release systems are in place to make cooling with it a pleasant and safe experience.
In a nutshell, the 3344 Stainless Steel is a solid product that scores high when it comes to pressure cooker ratings.
Its superior Swiss make and abundant safety features mean that it is ideal for everyday use and for more complicated cooking exploits alike, so you can’t go wrong whether you’re just in it for a meal that is cooked faster or an enthusiast that wants to experiment in their own kitchen.
More Affordable Pressure Cookers
1. Instant Pot IP-LUX60 6-in-1(4.7 / 5)
If the IP-DUO60 is just a tad too rich for your blood, but you still want a great electric model, then this is what you’ve been waiting for.
Sure, it doesn’t have the yoghurt-making option, but something tells us you’ll live through it. Other than that, the six other uses are still there and working as intended.
You’ll even get some additional utensils with this model – a soup spoon, a rice paddle and a measuring cup, which is considerate and will help you keep true to recipes you’ve wanted to try out. Speaking of which, you’ll also get a practical booklet with some recipes to get you started.
These have been tailor-made for use for pressure cooking, so you can get a feel what it is to work with one if this is your first model.
There are three different temperature settings, each appropriate for different cooking methods. The warming feature and delayed cooking timer make a return as well, allowing you to make some oatmeal before you get up in the morning or keep dinner warm while waiting for your roommate.
You can accomplish this via an intuitive control panel that is clearly visible and easy to use.
All in all, we are thoroughly satisfied with the IP-LUX60 6-in-1 and award it the title of best electric pressure cooker in the affordable category. It basically covers all of the important selling points of its more expensive counterpart, and at this price really demonstrates top value for the money.
2. Presto 01781 23-Quart(4.7 / 5)
So far our best pressure cooker reviews have concentrated on models that are great for cooking a family meal and for a few canning jobs per year, but we know that that sometimes isn’t enough.
Whether you’re going to a chilli cook-off or in the habit of preparing enough preserves to get a small town through the winter, this 23-quart model from Presto is exactly what you need.
At a whopping 23 quarts, this model is large enough to accommodate 6 large mason jars at once. One would expect it to weigh a ton, but it is made out of aluminum which keeps it light but firm enough to resist deformation.
Presto didn’t leave anything up to chance when it comes to safety though – the 01781 has a steel lid that features an air vent / cover lock that prevents it from opening until the proper pressure has been reached.
It is kept tightly closed off with an inner seal, and an overpressure plug helps prevent burning yourself while you handle it. To be sure that it is operating at the right pressure setting, you can always take a look at the large pressure gauge on the lid.
What can we say, the 01781 23-Quart certainly is humongous, and that alone should be enough to secure it a place in the guide as a best rated pressure cooker.
If you add t that its solid safety features and really low price, you end up with a great choice for all your large-scale cooking and canning needs.
3. Presto 01370 8-Quart Stainless Steel(4.5 / 5)
Given how we liked their 23-quart behemoth, we’re pleased to say that presto offer normal-sized cookers as well, our favorite being the 01370.
It is another one of those versatile models that satisfy many preferences. Need a meal for two or a banquet for 8? It has the capacity to take it. Want to can as well as cook? Check. Want all of that done safely? You bet!
Unlike the bigger model, this one is wholly made from a three layer construction that has stainless steel on the outside and aluminum in the middle. This type of build is optimal for spreading the heat evenly throughout the whole cooker and can be used either on gas or electric stoves.
A cool accessory you get with the 01370 is a stainless steel steaming basket you can place inside the cooker and prepare two meals at the same time, making it even quicker than the competition.
Presto have topped all of this off with a generous 12-year limited warranty, ensuring that you’ll be cooking with glee for a very long time.
Ultimately, we recommend the 01370 as a solid cooker that has all most of the hallmarks you’d expect from more expensive alternatives. It is roomy, has a quality build and won’t break the bank. What else could you want?
4. Cuisinart CPC-600 6-Quart(4.4 / 5)
We’ll finish off our best pressure cooker reviews off with a model from Cuisinart. Best known for their high-quality pot and pan lines, Cuisinart have taken a foray into electric cooker territory as well, and the CPC-600 is an interesting final result.
Right off the bat, it doesn’t boast as many different cooking capabilities as the models from Instant Pot. You can use it to either brown, simmer or sauté your food, which is perfectly fine if you only need your basics covered.
Apart from that, it has a warming function and a delayed cooking timer, which is always a nice feature that puts electric cookers ahead of stove top variants.
Its inner pot can be easily taken out and is dishwasher-safe. It also has a non-stick coating that prevents food from clinging to it and makes cleanup easier.
To increase safety, the CPC-600 comes with handles that are cool to the touch, so you can leave your oven mits behind when opening it up. You’ll also get a handy trivet you can place it on, keeping your surfaces from warping or discoloration due to the heat.
All in all, the CPC-600 is a fine electric cooker that has been made with a specific set of tasks in mind. If this is enough for you, you’ll find that it functions quite well and has the potential to serve you faithfully for a good long while.
Add to that its reasonable price and host of satisfied customers online, and the CPC-600 becomes a product worthy of your attention and hard earned cash.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Making a Purchase
Reading through all of these stove top and electric pressure cooker reviews has certainly given you a lot to mull over, hasn’t it?
To make sure you get a model you’ll be satisfied with, here are some other factors you should keep in mind:
Electric vs. stove top – We’ve seen top pressure cookers of both varieties, but what exactly sets them apart?
Stove top models can be bulkier and generally have more safety features in place to prevent mishaps, which makes sense since they’re dependent on your input and care. They are great for canning though as the space the biggest ones provide is ample enough to seal many jars at once.
Electric variants on the other hand tend not to reach as high a pressure as stove top ones, but they do make up for that with handy features such as warming your food or having timers that let you set them for later use.
Not to mention these are rarely used solely for one task. In the end it comes down to your particular needs, so choose a type that can satisfy them the best.
Safety is key – it almost goes without saying, but a key point to look out for when choosing your next cooker is the number and quality of safety features it has.
Since water boiled in this way can reach temperatures of almost 250 degrees Fahrenheit, not to mention the fact that a model with poor safety can be a ticking time bomb with all that pressure build-up, it is in everyone’s best interest if you invest a little bit more into a model that has ample backup valves or other safety systems that make sure it is always operating as intended and will cause minimal problems even if it exceeds its recommended pressure point.
Materials matter as well – The best safety system won’t matter that much if the food you are preparing gets burned due to a poorly constructed cooking surface.
We find that the best combination is a tri-ply sandwiched approach where aluminum is encased inside two layers of stainless steel, similarly to high-quality regular pots and pans.
The aluminum ensures heat is spread out evenly while the steel outer and inner layers deal with scratching and eliminate corrosion. Avoid models that come with non stick coatings though since these can easily be damaged.
So, what is the best pressure cooker? As you’ve seen by now, we do have our favorites, but that doesn’t mean that other products we’ve reviewed are any less viable. In fact, it largely boils down to your lifestyle and the changes you want to make to it.
Not everyone has a state-of-the-art kitchen where a new device will just fill up one niche spot and be used for its one specific purpose. Sometimes you have to get the most out of a given situation and then a more versatile model is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Regardless of which model you end up buying, we’re sure that now you’ll be able to go about it with more clarity and purpose. We’re sure you’re already picturing some of the old favorites you’re dying to recreate, but why stop there?
Most models come with their own basic recipe books you can adopt and expand on. You might even try a whole different cuisine now that you’ll have more time for it. A healthier lifestyle becomes a great choice as well.
In the end, the sky’s the limit. All you need to do is pick out the ingredients and have your new cooker do the rest.