The best pressure cooker will give you something extra in the kitchen to help you prepare healthy meals. The ability to cook food to perfection at the right temperature is one of the most important tools for anyone that wants to make great meals. There are many different types of pressure cookers made from different materials with great range of different features to choose from. Here we will cover all different types available in the industry. You can also check out this list of stainless steel pressure cookers if you are looking for some high quality material.
The only thing common between all of the items on the list are that they have proven safety features built into the product to keep you and your family safe while using it. Considering the injury that could take place with an improperly locked pressure cooker, the industry is rock solid with safeguards in ensuring that safety is the first things on their mind when making the product and should be the last thing on yours. A new wave of electric pressure cookers have flooded the market, and it’s such an interesting hybrid that it got its own section on the list. Below are the top pressure cooker reviews, ensuring that you pick a cooker that is both stylish and strong, and has the ability to deliver high quality.
So enjoy our list of the 11 top rated pressure cookers and pick one that you find desirable today!
- 1 11 Top Rated Pressure Cookers
- 1.1 All American 921 Pressure Cooker
- 1.2 All-Clad PC8 Precision Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker Cookware
- 1.3 T-fal P45007 Clipso Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker Cookware
- 1.4 Fissler FSSFIS5854 Vitaquick FIS5854 Quattro Set
- 1.5 Kuhn Rikon Stainless-Steel Pressure Cooker
- 1.6 Elite EPC-1013 Platinum Electric Pressure Cooker
- 1.7 Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Stockpot Pressure Cooker
- 1.8 Cuisinart EPC-1200PC 6-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
- 1.9 Secura 6-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker 6qt
- 1.10 Cuisinart CPC-600AMZ 1000-Watt 6-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
- 1.11 Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker
- 2 Pressure Cooker Comparison Chart
- 3 Pressure Cooker Buying Guide
- 3.1 Do You Need a Pressure Cooker?
- 3.2 Pressure cooker will save you a lot of time
- 3.3 Eat Healthy and Delicious Food
- 3.4 Good for the Environment
- 3.5 Very Easy to Use
- 3.6 No More Mess to Clean-up
- 3.7 Safety
- 3.8 Space Safer
- 3.9 Two or more Pressure Settings
- 3.10 Spring Valve
- 3.11 Float Valve
- 3.12 NO non-stick Coatings
- 3.13 Stainless Steel
- 3.14 Well-known brand
- 3.15 Stainless Steel
- 3.16 Quick release and Accurate Pressure Indicator
- 3.17 The Ideal Size
- 3.18 Stove-Top vs. Electric Pressure Cooker
- 3.19 Electric pressure cooker
- 3.20 Stovetop Pressure Cooker
- 4 How to choose between an electric and a stove stop?
- 5 Summarize
- 6 Electric Pressure Cookers Buying Guide
- 7 Summary
11 Top Rated Pressure Cookers
- All American 921
- Quart: 21.5 qt
- Dimensions: 16 x 15 x 17 in
- Color: Silver
- Material: Aluminum
- Weight: 20 lbs
- Warranty: Manufacturers
- All-Clad PC8
- Quart: 8.4-Quart
- Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 12 in
- Color: Silver
- Material: 18-10 Steel
- Weight: 12 pounds
- Warranty: Manufacturers
- T-fal P45007 Clipso
- Quart: 6.3-Quart
- Dimensions: 14.47 x 11.35 x 8.89 in
- Color: Silver
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Weight: 7.7 lbs
- Warranty: Manufacturers
- Fissler FSSFIS5854 Vitaquick
- Quart: N/A
- Dimensions: 12 x 14 x 14 inches
- Color: Silver
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Weight: 4 pounds
- Warranty: Manufacturers
- Kuhn Rikon Duromatic
- Quart: 8.4-Qt
- Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 11 inches
- Color: Silver
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Weight: 8.6 pounds
- Warranty: Manufacturers
- Elite Platinum EPC-1013
- Quart: 10 Qt
- Dimensions: 14.2 x 14.2 x 15.3 inches
- Color: Black
- Material: Plastic
- Weight: 16.98 pounds
- Warranty: Manufacturers
All American 921 Pressure Cooker
As the first high priced item on the list, this is also the first canner compatible pressure cooker too. As with most pressure cookers the size is quite large, with this one being a nice and roomy 21.5 quarts. For those looking for other sizes that suit their needs, it is also available in 10.5, 15.5, 25, 30, and the max of 41.5 quarts.
There is no one size fits all option, so it’s nice that they included different sizes to handle on different occasions. If you opt for the listed 21 ½ quart cooker you are looking at about 19 pint jars or 7 quart jars that it can hold, which is pretty roomy for a wide variety of people. No gaskets are needed due to the proven metal to metal sealing system that holds in every bit of steam, making sure that not a single bit escapes. This works remarkably well as advertised, and would be nice to have with other models on this list. Pressure release is automatic and readings are easy to follow with the geared steam gauge, and with settings ranging from 5, 10, and 15 PSI you’ll be more than capable of meeting any standard.
This is without a doubt one of the more dependable pressure cookers on the list, made of cast aluminum and some of the strongest screws available to give you a sense of relief when you walk away from it. All American is obviously a US company that has been in the business for years, and they are one of the most respected brands on this list for a reason. Even with all of the sturdy parts it only weighs 20 pounds, so it won’t break your back when you consider how much you can put in it.
As a buyer looking for a canner that doesn’t use a gasket, this is not only the logical choice but one of the best choices available. Not only will this last for years, but it is practically as safe as any on the list. The weight is pretty heavy and may come into play for some users, but considering how industrial strength it is with the materials, they still managed to do quite well on the weight. If carrying something this heavy will be a problem then it is probably best to avoid the purchase, as this is 20 pounds without your ingredients in the pot. For all others this is an excellent purchase that will scream quality the moment you get it out of the box.
All-Clad PC8 Precision Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker Cookware
As the first high priced item on the list that also can hold less than half the size of ingredients than the previous pressure cooker, why is this All-Clad PC8 so popular? It’s because it manages to be an updated pressure cooker without all of the fancy buttons that may turn off some buyers in the market for a pressure cooker.
There are four cooking programs on the top of the pressure cooker that are easy to click through using the intuitive dial, and gives you excellent results each and every time. Optimization is built into the overall cooking process, using a two part cooking system to get the most out of your textures and flavors. Pressure achievement and release alerts sound off so that you don’t need to stand over the pot waiting for the various cycles to take place. Sit comfortably in another room in your house and just let the pot alert you when needed. Induction ranges are supported as well as many other heat sources, so warping will not be an issue to worry about with this model. Even if something does go wrong, users can take solace in the two year limited warranty from the company that protects against defects.
This is one of the lightest items on the list and only comes in at 11.7 pounds, so is a lot easier to handle for users that can’t take on the heavier weighted pots on the list. The smart timer on the top of the pot is detachable, and can be used for other applications in your house or outside your house if needed. There are three no brainer buttons to use that don’t even require a read through of the manual, which is one of the more appealing aspects to this rather than having the more modern digital functions.
Everything is easy to understand and you can theoretically take this out of the box and start using it right away with little to no direction. On top of the great construction of the unit they included a stainless steel steamer basket that does the entire unit proud. The recipe book is a bit of a letdown with only 20 recipes, all of them pretty standard cut and paste material if you’ve ever owned a pressure cooker. Even so this still manages to be a great alternative to the many modern pressure cooker setups that are popping up over the industry, and is more than capable of surpassing those while still being easy enough for the common consumer.
T-fal P45007 Clipso Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker Cookware
This low priced T-Fal is an interesting addition to the list, but is still a nice one to look at if you want a simpler setup. The most innovative part of the unit is the one hand system, meaning you can open, close, and operate it all with one hand. For users that handle a lot of materials at once, or even users that don’t have the use of one of their arms then this is a great buy.
A steam release valve on top ensures that you can let steam escape at variable levels without causing any harm to yourself or the appliances near it. Heat distribution is sent out evenly along the pressure cooker because of the way the stainless steel base is setup, meaning your food will cook quickly and perfectly every single time. It can handle just about all cooktops, and is induction safe so there are no worries about destroying your brand new unit. With 6.3 quarts and only weighing 7.7 pounds, there is a lot to love about the unit and very little to hate. In order to avoid a lengthy clean up the pressure cooker is dishwasher safe, so just let it cool off and throw it in your dishwasher for easy cleaning.
Included with the recipe book are the standard pressure cooker recipes, but they also go a step further and give you access to a lot of tips and tricks that may help beginner users in enjoying the pressure cooker experience more. Accessories included are a steam basket with stand, that although nothing special, is a nice addition and of decent quality. Everything about the build of this screams professional, so there is little need to worry about it breaking over the years unless it is being treated badly.
Safety is key with this design, and the unit will not open the lid when it is in use or under pressure. If buyers are looking for a tried and true design then it wouldn’t be surprising if they started here, since T-fal has been in the business since 1954 and is still going strong. Their other appliances that range from beverage makers to irons are of the same quality as this, and it’s always a safe warranty to believe in when you purchase any of their products. For bigger families, this probably wouldn’t be ideal because of the smaller size, and it isn’t available in a bigger size unfortunately. For others this is the perfect starting point to an easy and well prepared meal.
Fissler FSSFIS5854 Vitaquick FIS5854 Quattro Set
Things get really interesting with the high priced Fissler FSSFIS5854 Vitaquick FIS5854 Quattro set, a very innovative and unique take on the pressure cooker scene that may not appeal to all buyers. It comes with what looks like two regular pots, the smaller one being 4.3 quarts and the larger one being 8.5 quarts. The German made pressure cooker is an updated version of the Blue Point line and is guaranteed to surpass the original in not only expectation, but also in execution.
Unlike some of the other pressure cookers on the list, the Vitaquick is steam-free and completely silent. Part of the safety features to ensure that there is no accidents is that when you lock the lid into place you will hear a clicking sound, leaving no room for mistakes on either end. The conical shape of the cookers means they can be stacked on top of each other and in some cases even stacked with your other pots and pans. This alone puts it in its own category, but there is a lot more to this unique set than just those features. Measuring is embedded on the inside of the pots themselves, making things a lot easier for your own personal reference.
Along with the easy to read internal measuring system is the easy clean up ability, meaning you only have to run some water under the lid and do basic cleanup on the pot itself. For the less patient the unit is also dishwasher safe, so feel free to put it in there with the rest of your cookware and have no worries. When you get past the sleek design most will notice that this setup will keep the kitchen cooler and not fill it with any type of odor unlike some other pressure cookers.
Saying that it lets nothing escape is an understatement, after the oxygen is expelled the valve locks into place and you never have to be bothered from it until your food is ready to remove. Doubters of how well this works in their current setup will be happy to know that it has a lifetime warranty attached to it, a testament to just how much the company stands behind the products. Accessories included are a tripod, which is essential for some of the most advanced features built into the system. And even on the chance that you don’t like the included handle built into the lid, the screws are easily removable allowing you to have a normal pressure cooker lid. This is one of the more interesting units on the list, and worth the price tag if it is in your range.
Kuhn Rikon Stainless-Steel Pressure Cooker
Continuing with the high priced premium items is the Kuhn Rikon Stainless-Steel Pressure Cooker, an 8 quart pressure cooker that is available in other sizes like 2.5, 5, 6, and 7 quarts. The variation of sizes makes a big difference to people that decide on this model, as it gives them choices based on the size of what is most appropriate for their situation.
Heat distribution geos about evenly due to the 18/10 stainless steel body and aluminum core that is both durable and perfect for ensuring food is done properly each and every time. The lid is kept secure while cooking since the locking system is integrated into the lid itself, offering not only safety but simplicity. Simplicity is a good way to describe the setup, right down to the safety valve and visual pressure indicator pin. Everything is easy to use and requires little direction or knowledge, meaning you can get started immediately as soon as it’s out of the box. Downside to the design is that it is hand wash only, which will turn off some prospective buyers. Obeying the hand wash only rule will ensure that your included 10 year warranty stays intact and will go through without any issues.
Included in the cookbook is some of the best recipes possible for the unit, and is a step up from the standard recipe booklet included with most pressure cookers. Even the largest model in the line at 8 quarts is still pretty lightweight by pressure cooker standards, only weighing 9 pounds and easy to carry for most users. PSI is both 8 and 15 and is easy to manage during the available cooking times. It’s also virtually silent, although some guesswork will be needed to determine the best settings when matching it to your cooktop.
This is a painless process that means monitoring it until it reaches the desired pressure. Once this is done a few times the guesswork goes out the window and you’re set to go for life, which is one of the great simplicities about this system. This is as close to the old-school units you can get without going to a pawn shop or a second hand store, and is more than acceptable by users who are used to the older systems of pressure cooking. For induction users, this is a great pot to have since it can reach pressure in about 7 minutes, one of the fastest times on the list. As one of the top items on the list, this is a very good product for any kitchen that wants simplicity and good food.
Elite EPC-1013 Platinum Electric Pressure Cooker
Continuing with the high priced trend is the first modern pressure cooker on the list in a while, and one that is a lot simpler to use than at first glance. This 10 quart pot has 8 multifunctions geared towards recipes for rice, desserts, soup/stew, beans/grains, fish/vegetables, pork, meat/chicken and potatoes and yams.
There is even a setting on the control panel that allows you to delay cooking for up to 24 hours, which is vital in more situations that can even be mentioned. This feature alone is worth the price, as the busier user can set something up to be ready by the time they come home from work. A built in browning function is essential for many recipes, and works as expected when compared to the other features. Modern doesn’t mean that it has to be décor unfriendly, as users will get an updated crockpot with a design that works well with most kitchens and has a beautiful brushed stainless steel housing. If using for a family occasion or if just needing to clean it easier, the 10 quart pot is removable from the cooking base and is easily cleaned by hand.
Digital pressure cookers are all the rage these days, but not all of them are created equally. The Elite EPC-1013 not only stands out because of the easy to use control panel and high capacity, but it cooks food evenly and retains more of the flavor that you’re used to when cooking with high quality pressure cookers. There is however some heft to this big boy, as it comes in at a whopping 17 pounds and may be difficult to handle for a consumer that isn’t used to that type of weight in a kitchen product.
There are some issues with the customer support, which is not the best if you compare it to the others on the list. If something does come up despite its great durability, then there may be some frustration on the consumers end when dealing with support. Some users have also had problems with the lid, adding that it may require a bit more pressure than normal to get down. Consider it one of those type of lids that the more you use it, the easier it gets. This is still one of the top items on the list to own, and one of the better pressure cookers in the industry. It has been popularized by HSN even, and really stands out as one to buy.
Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Stockpot Pressure Cooker
As one of the highest priced units on the list, this pressure cooker has a lot to prove that it is worth the asking price. It comes in three available sizes, with the other two being 5 and 8 quarts, so there is definitely a wide range for consumer interest. The first thing that makes it worth the asking price is that it can also be used as a canner, and comparing to the other canning capable pressure cookers on the list this is top two easy.
It can hold up to 7 pint or 5 quart jars when you decide to use the canning feature, which is a nice and even amount. Heat absorption and browning are at their peak due to the thermal aluminum sandwich bottom that heats up quickly and cools down just as fast. Safety is not a concern with this model due to over 5 different safety systems that are in place, including the automatic locking system. Up to 70% of energy that would be used for normal cooking is saved when using pressure cookers of this type, and on top of that you save just as much time.
This is a quality product from a Switzerland company that has been in the business for years, and continues to deliver when it counts. Although dishwashing the unit is possible, it is strongly recommended by the manufacturer to hand wash the unit so as to retain the same impeccable quality as when you bought the item. A stainless steel steaming plate is included along with an iron clad 10 year warranty that will leave you worry free and comfortable with your purchase.
As the largest size in this model, you can easily put a 20 pound turkey in it, set it and walk away. As thick and heavy as the construction is it still comes out pretty lightweight when compared to some of the other heavy duty yet smaller pressure cookers on the list, weighing only 13.2 pounds total. The handles on the unit are functional in that they stay cool and intuitive as a space saver when storing it with your other kitchen materials. Interior fill lines, quiet operation, a great quality quick cuisine cookbook that blows away any recipe book on the list and an accurate spring loaded valve rounds out the premium features of this great product. This is worth the asking price and more, and is a steal at the current price.
Cuisinart EPC-1200PC 6-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
The well-known Cuisinart graces a pressure cooker list again with their EPC-1200PC 6 quart, a mid-priced option for the consumer that wants a premium product without the high price tag. This is another of the digital line of pressure cookers being pushed out to the market, with easy push button controls on a clear digital display that doesn’t overwhelm users with unneeded buttons. Multiple settings are at your fingertips and don’t require a PHD to operate, like simmering, browning, warming, pressure cooking and sautéing options.
The built in timer is a blast to use since it is so straightforward, as Cuisinart really went out of their way to ensure that this simple pressure cooker didn’t turn into the starship enterprise in terms of complexity. To add to the great features it is also dishwasher safe and has cool touch handles while in operation, to prevent users from burning themselves and dropping the entire pressure cooker while moving it. As a safety precaution the lid will stay locked until the pressure is released, protecting both the pot and the user. This is just about as close as you can get to an expensive pressure cooker without spending the price, and it only gets better.
You’ll get 3 years on the warranty, so it’s a pretty solid buy all around and is intended to last for years. Some of the tastier recipes that can be prepared with this model are actually dessert dishes, which come out well and require few ingredients and little cleanup. Cheesecake and custard dishes will be the easiest when using a pressure cooker setup, and with the included manual and recipes users will be well on their way to a slice of heaven. Up to 99 minutes can be allocated to the built in timer, which will more than handle the bulk of your dishes that you throw at it.
The build is a sturdy brushed stainless steel that only weighs 12 pounds in total, and includes a dishwasher safe trivet in case you want to set the pressure cooker on it. Considering that this is 1000 watts you’ll get plenty of power, all without draining your electricity bill for the worse. Only one downside to this model is that it isn’t powerful enough to can, but even so it is still very much a great unit to own. If looking for something that will last for years and give optimal quality then you can’t go wrong with this pressure cooker.
Secura 6-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker 6qt
Second to last on the list is this mid-priced Secura 6-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker 6qt, which has the capability of replacing your rice cooker, slow cooker, food steamer, browning/sauté pan, soup maker or even an older pressure cooker. What’s so interesting about this product is that it is an all in one unit that doesn’t require the use of a stove, which is a departure from a lot of units on this list.
So how does it stack up against the competition, especially as a lesser known brand? For quality sake, they didn’t skimp on the materials with a stainless steel dishwasher safe pot and stainless steel lid. Both the handles and lid are cool touch so you won’t burn yourself during or after cooking. As this is an all in one unit with a computer chip built in to gauge temperatures, it’s actually more energy efficient than any other item on this list. The tradeoff is a rather weak 10 PSI, but that can be overcome with a variety of methods. The control panel is easy to use but has some drawbacks when choosing certain functions, most notably when trying to brown.
For fans of the 24 hour delay system it returns with this item, which is a much loved but not yet integrated feature in enough pressure cookers. Accessories include a rice spoon, measuring cup, standard recipe book and user’s manual. It is recommended to read the user’s manual from the first page to the back in order to understand the many features of this unit. As a hybrid, there are a lot of quirks that may require some easily missed tips if you don’t educate yourself on the use of the product. If buyers like the original purchase they can shell out a little extra for optional accessories like the steam rack, non-stick cooking pot and stainless steel steam basket.
With all of the items that this one pressure cooker can replace then it would be a no brainer to collect the compatible accessories. Not just purists have problems with electric pressure cookers, some every consumers have noticed some things that they may not agree with as far as comparing taste and ease of use. This is an incredible product to own if you take the time to fully master all of the available functions. But if you are just in the market for a premium pressure cooker alone, then it is best to stay away from this item and go for the real thing.
Cuisinart CPC-600AMZ 1000-Watt 6-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
Last on the list is another medium priced Cuisinart electric pressure cooker, that’s about 6 quarts in size and comes in new and improved packaging. If you’re shipping to a faraway place then this little tidbit of package information may matter to you, as it was built to better protect the contents in the box. The digital design of this unit is another one made from the ground up for ease of use, allowing users to do push button meals.
Along with the accurate digital thermostat, all that is required for the bulk of the dishes is a button press and walking away. There are separate settings for sautéing, browning, cooking, warming and simmering. Besides being dishwasher safe the included trivet is as well, and with cool touch handles that is one less thing for you to worry about when transporting your food from one part of the kitchen to another. One of the big advantages of using a digital setup is when setting the timer, which gains a lot more use than the other functions and has a low learning curve. As great as the push button cook functions are, more experienced cooks will appreciate the manual option not only being available but being a joy to use.
Some of the more straightforward features like the browning, low pressure and high pressure lights on the front are very well done. Some of the more aggravating features like the lid locking can be a bit of a hassle the first few times until you get used to it. To avoid gasket wear and tear never keep the lid tight while storing, as this can also void your warranty. There are helpful tips and a cooking guide included that will not only get users started with the included recipes, but serve as a way to convert your recipes for use with this pressure cooker.
It’s a very useful guide and it is highly recommended to check it out before trying your own recipes, as you may find a lot of useful information inside to keep you from ruining a meal. Even though the automatic keep warm feature last an incredible 12 hours, care should be taken so that food isn’t dried out or scorched on the bottom of the pot in the process of a long wait. The hefty 16.6 pounds won’t make it a lot of friends, but this is one of the few good and reliable electric pressure cookers on the market. It’s a nice buy that will look well and perform well in any kitchen it is put in.
Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker
First on the list is this mid-priced instant pot that is a jack of all trades and a master of none. Available uses and workable functions include a slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté/browner, yogurt maker, steamer/warmer and of course pressure cooker. The front of the control panel built into the pot looks like spaceship controls but gets a little easier after first use due to the 14 built in programs.
There is also a dual pressure feature so that you get the most evenly cooked food possible, and with automatic keep warm you can use a preset function from a button and just walk away while it does the dirty work. If you’re the type of buyer that spends a lot of time with the sauté and slow cook functions then you’ll be pleased to know that there are 3 temperatures for that function alone, allowing you to cook your food the way that you feel best. Ten safety mechanisms means that there are no accidents in the kitchen concerning the use of this appliance, and it is UL and ULC certified while using as little energy as possible even at its highest peaks.
With the included recipe book you’ll be ready to go right out of the box, with recipes in Spanish, Chinese, French and even English. Accessories are bare but include stainless steel steam rack with handle that is thankfully the same quality of the pressure cooker it came with. Overfilling the pot past the max line can be troublesome to the life of the pressure cooker, as the outer rim is not coated with the heat resistant paint. This restriction doesn’t apply to food, and in the case of food in this 6 quart rated pot you can go over the max line.
It’s a decent sized pressure cooker that only weighs 15 pounds total, and the design can be considered universal so it will go with most kitchen decors. Up to 70% less energy will be used in cooking your food compared to traditional methods, which is one of the main reasons to consider a pressure cooker in the first place. This is enhanced with this model and its quick preset functions, as you’ll not only save energy but time as well. With all of the safety and modern features necessary to make this tops on the list, it should be no surprise that it is easily in the top 5. Well worth the asking price and it won’t even break the bank.
Pressure Cooker Comparison Chart
|Duo 60||Instant Pot||Stainless Steel||12 pounds|
|921||All American||Aluminum||20 pounds|
|PC8||All-Clad||18-10 Steel||10 pounds|
|P45007||T-fal||Stainless Steel||7.7 pounds|
|FSSFIS5854||Fissler||Stainless Steel||4 pounds|
|3044||Kuhn Rikon||Stainless Steel||9 pounds|
|30333||Kuhn Rikon||Stainless Steel||13.2 pounds|
|EPC-1200PC 6-Quart||Cuisinart||Stainless Steel||12 pounds|
|EPC-S600||Secura||18/10 Steel||12 pounds|
Pressure Cooker Buying Guide
With regards to pressure cookers and all cookware, superior quality and heavy-duty construction is something that you should be on the lookout for. It really doesn’t matter what type of bells and whistles your pressure cooker includes, it will be worthless if it’s not made of high quality elements. The good thing is that all of the major manufacturers always use top-rated materials as a standard production procedure. Therefore, you should be able to take it for granted that your pressure cooker is constructed from top-rated quality. However, that’s only IF you buy it from a reputable brand.
Having said that, it is always better to investigate what materials are used in the pressure cooker because we are dealing with equipment that will be responsible for your health and food. Shopping for a pressure cooker happens to be an investment both in time and money that will instantly be returned in overall health and financial savings. The fact is that pressure cookers have changed dramatically in design and safety over the last years and there are so many different cookers with different features out there to choose from. I hope that after reading my buying guide that you will be able to choose the ideal pressure cooker that will perfectly fit your cooking needs.
Do You Need a Pressure Cooker?
Now is the perfect time to upgrade to a pressure cooker to make the cooking process easier and more joyful. Back in time, the pressure cookers where basically a ticking time-bomb and you might have some memories from the old days featuring kitchen explosions. However, present-day’s pressure cookers are basically technological wonders that will make you safe in the kitchen and they are way more advanced than they used to be. Pressure cookers will enable you to cook quick, delicious and healthy meals in just a matter of minutes.
Below you can find out the practical benefits of using a pressure cooker:
Pressure cooker will save you a lot of time
One of the most important benefits of using a pressure cooker would be the fact that it considerably cuts down the time of cooking by more than 1/3. As a matter of fact, it is the quickest way of cooking healthy, balanced and delicious dishes. Have you thought about how long it will take you too cook, for example, 2kg of chicken in a pressure cooker? It will take you around 15 minutes!
But, the question is how is that even possible? The thing is, inside the pot, a pressure builds up from steam and the food will be cooked over the boiling temperature. That way, by using steam and pressure, the food can be cooked 70% faster than by cooking with any other method. Moreover, you will not only cook faster but also spend less energy. You can expect to save around 45-50% of electricity and gas and up to 70% using a traditional oven. With less energy used, you will cut down on your energy bill and save money but not only that, by using a pressure cooker you are able to buy cheap meat cuts and turn them into a delicious tasty dish. On top of that, you are able to prepare dry beans instead of buy them canned from the store.
Eat Healthy and Delicious Food
Cooking with a pressure cooker will retain 50% more nutrients. Studies confirm that a pressure cooking method will retain more nutritional supplements than steaming with no pressure level. One of the benefits of pressure cooking is that it involves less water as compared to other traditional cooking methods. The food won’t get exposed to oxygen/air so pressure cooking will eliminate oxidization of the nutritional elements in the food. This basically means that your body will get more vitamins and minerals from a pressure cooked meal.
The secret to delicious meals using a pressure cooker is based solely on the sealed environment of the inner pot. Both the flavor and the moisture won’t evaporate so your food will not only retain all the nutriments, but also it will retain its delicious natural flavor. For that reason, the food won’t dry out and the moisture will be maintained, which results in more juicy and tender outcomes. Just try a simple recipe with potatoes and you will be stunned with the results as the pressurized cooked potato will retain its natural and earthly flavor. The bottom line is that a pressure cooker is a superb complement towards your healthier cooking efforts in your kitchen that will benefit your whole family
Good for the Environment
Go green! As I did mention here above, pressure cooking will use up to 70% less electricity, gas and water so it is evident that pressure cookers are far more efficient at getting the most out of the energy than any other cooking method. This energy efficiency resembles the power benefits of using energy-saving light bulbs instead of the old light bulbs that used to skyrocket your electricity bill. Therefore, if you have already changed the light bulbs in your own home to avoid wasting energy, it is now the perfect time to upgrade your kitchenware as well.
Very Easy to Use
All you have to do is to add water and monitor the cooking until it reaches pressurized level. Using a pressure cooker is kind of like traditional cooking apart from the fact that you need to use a little bit more of water and much less time. The moment you understand how your pressure cooker works, you’ll hardly need to monitor the pressuring process on stove-top cookers and with electric cookers, there is no monitoring required whatsoever.
No More Mess to Clean-up
Clean environment is one of the benefits of cooking in a sealed/closed vessel. You don’t need to think about cleaning cooking spots from the stove-top or the area around the kitchen. Furthermore, the majority of pressure cooker pots are safe to wash in the dishwasher. Therefore, having the benefit of cooking with a pressure cooker ensures that heat remains sealed inside the pot and that way, the kitchen will remain fresh and cool. At the same time, the sealed lid helps to prevent mess in your kitchen, and saves you a lot of trouble cleaning up after cooking.
Today’s cutting-edge pressure cookers provide numerous precautionary features that pressure cookers back in the days did not have. Majority of pressure cookers have many built-in safety mechanisms like when the pressurized level is reached, there is a safety vent to release steam through a safety valve. In the event if pressure would carry on and rise further to a dangerous level, the sealing gasket will push out through a safety regulator in the lid that will securely release pressure. Modern-day’s pressure cookers are designed with several fool-proof safety functions that include several back-up features as well if needed. Also, your food will be safe/healthy too because the heat inside the pressure cooker will eliminate almost all bacteria and viruses.
At last, you are probably wondering if you really need yet just another kitchen appliance that will take up more space and sit on your counter top. However, the reality is that a pressure cooker is actually a versatile kitchen item and an important one. Pressure cooker will replace many of your other cookware and therefor save space. Some of the cookers out there can replace up to 7 different cooking appliances, providing you with one compact unit that is able to operate 7 different cooking features. Because of the time you save cooking, healthy food you get and the financial benefits, a pressure cooker will be a great investment decision for your kitchen.
Points to consider when selecting a pressure cooker
Two or more Pressure Settings
The best option you can have is investing in a pressure cooker that includes a minimum of two pressure settings. That includes High-Pressure for everything that needs longer time to cook and a Low-Pressure for other light types of food, like fish, vegetables and eggs to name a few. Many pressure cookers feature a simple button where you’ll be able to select your preferred pressure level with just a push of a button. Other cookers will include a HIGH/LOW switch that you can turn and select High or Low. Moreover, there are other cookers out there that have over 10 pressure settings and it is important to understand that it doesn’t have to mean they are over complicated to use because modern pressure cookers are getting extremely easy to use for anyone, regardless of their cooking experience.
If you have a stove-top pressure cooker then you need a spring valve. This type of valve include the most recent pressure level regulating innovation available today and the good thing is that they will not overwhelm your kitchen with annoying noises of steam pouring out of the lid or the noise of even more annoying metal wiggling up and down rapidly. Therefore, if your pressure cooker has a spring-valve then you can rest assured that it will hardly make any sound at all.
This is the Spring-Valve version, but for electric pressure cookers and it’s just as silent and energy conserving as the spring-valve. However, on the electric pressure cookers, the float-valve doesn’t control the pressure level inside the pot because there is no need for it as all electric cookers have automatic heat regulator that adjusts the heat accordingly.
NO non-stick Coatings
This is a feature that you should try to avoid because non-stick coatings will scratch quite easily and with time won’t serve its purpose and will basically become dangerous if the scratched aluminum gets into direct contact with your food.
Your pressure cooker should be well-constructed from stainless steel material due to the fact cheapest aluminum cookers aren’t just smooth but also they will influence flavor change, so basically all the acidic ingredients will not taste like they should taste.
Although pressure cookers are designed to last, you will reach a point where you will need to replace parts that have worn out. As an example, silicone ring in the lid is designed to last around 24 months or so. The safety valves have their time also and need to be replaced after certain time period. With that being said, you need to invest in a pressure cooker that is manufactured by an established company that has excellent reputation and leading customer support that will sort out any issues that you might encounter. Also, you need to select a well-known brand that will have all the replacement items available when you need.
As I did mention here above, the best option for you is to choose a pressure cooker that has high quality stainless steel coating. Stainless steel pressure cooker will last you for many years come, they are durable, distribute heat evenly and are very easy to clean. The fact is that stainless steel is not just stainless steel because there are different variants of stainless steel available. You need to check the information label at the bottom of the cooker and make sure that it says 18/10 stainless steel.
If your desired pressure cooker is labeled 18/10, it means that it is a mixture of 18% chromium and 10% nickel. By having chromium and nickel constructed coating will give the benefit of having stain and corrosion resistance. To be considered stainless, the unit has to have minimum of 10.5% chromium and therefore for more durability, manufacturers apply more quantity. To make the coating shiny and enhance the protecting covering even more, nickel is added to the construction process.
Quick release and Accurate Pressure Indicator
The standard pressure cooker can reach around 15psi and that is basically all that you need to cook any recipes that are intended for a pressure cooker. There are some models out there that are not capable of reaching this pressure level so it is not something that you can take for granted. However, majority of the big brands will be able to handle 15psi or more. Be on the lookout for accurate indicator in your research and make sure that the indicator will clearly demonstrate whenever this level is reached. There are various types of indicators, some might have pop-up indicator, and others might be colored marker.
Whatever brand you are looking into, if it has an accurate pressure indicator, it will be very clear how to read from it. Another feature to be on the lookout for is a quick release option that you can expect to be built-in the pressure regulator. This will eliminate any guesswork and is important safety feature as this will automatically, at a fast rate, lower the inside pressure with-out losing any of the heat which is an awesome mechanism to enable you to add more ingredients when the pressure is evenly distributed inside the pot. Once you are done adding your ingredients, then just switch back to full pressure and carry on with the cooking process.
The Ideal Size
This is probably the hardest decision to make. You’ll probably be scratching your head and wondering if you should go for the 4 quart, 6 quart, 8 quart or even 12 quart pressure cooker. All this depends on your cooking needs. Thinking about size, it is always better to go for a bigger pressure cooker rather than having a small unit and wishing you had bigger one. You can always make a small meal in a big pot, but you can’t make big meal in a small pot so this is something that you need to carefully think about. There are several points you need to consider, for how many do you cook daily? How much storage do you have? What is your budget?
The absolute minimum size you should consider is 6 quarts, if you are able to invest in 6 or 8 quarts that’s perfect, and if you are able to take the 12 quart step, by all means go ahead! The size is important factor because you have to have in mind that your pressure cooker should only be filled 2-thirds at most and only half-way if you are cooking foamy food. As you can see by now, my suggestion about why “bigger, the better” is more convenient than having to cook big in small pot is becoming evident.
As you have noticed by now, it can be very challenging to determine what size to go for. The size is not indication of how much food you can cook. As I did point out here above, it has to be filled 2-thirds and half way through when cooking foamy food like grains and beans. Then there is another problem, those pressure cookers that are made for European and Asian standards will be sized in liters and therefore their size is rounded down to the nearest quart so the buyer can have an idea about the capacity. Although they are rounded down, they are in fact bigger than US standard manufactured units.
To determine the perfect size, there is one rule of thumb that you can follow. You can expect 1 quart (or liter) to be sufficient for one person. Therefore, if you go for 4 quarts, expect to be able to feed 4 people, 6 quarts will feed 6 family members etc. Of course they can feed fewer but remember, for mid-sized family you should go for 6 or 8 quarts.
I have been mentioning family sizes and household members from 5-6. I’m perfectly aware that you might be living alone, renting with your best friend or just couples living together. If you are single or live with your couple, you obviously don’t need 8 quart pressure cooker. But just have in mind how would you cook if your friends’ family would come for dinner, or your parents? To minimize the need for cooking in many batches, the absolute minimum sized pressure cooker that you should go for is 6 quarts. Pressure cookers today are extremely compact and even though you live alone, a 6 quart cooker will not take much space in your kitchen.
I also recommend 6 quarts because that is the absolute minimum for the millions of pressure cooker recipes that you will find online. Additionally, if you are able, go for 2 sized set (if you are planning on buying a stove-top cooker) that can share one lid. If you do so, you can use the smaller base to make smaller amounts of food.
It all boils down to how many people you need to cook for and how often you need to cook. Just have in mind the rule of thumb and choose your pressure cooker accordingly:
- 4 quarts is ideal for singles and couples.
- 6 quarts is ideal for small-medium sized family.
- 8 quarts is perfect for big families of 6 or more people.
- 10+ quarts is perfect for 10 people or more and if you want to freeze or can food.
Stove-Top vs. Electric Pressure Cooker
Considering that you might have made up your mind to purchase a pressure cooker, there are two options to take off from here, are you going for a stove-top or electric pressure cooker? The fact is, they will both work flawlessly and they will both prepare food very quickly. However, they do have their own differences.
With an electric cooker, you will be able to provide meals very quickly with ease and convenience and have at your finger-tips numerous automated features that will take out any guess work. On the other hand, the stove-top unit will provide precision by manually regulate the heat. Although they need more attention and manual operation, they tend to last much longer and will pay for themself over the long-term.
Also, to replace any parts or to repair a stove-top cooker tends to be easier than with electric units because if an electric cooker fails and the warranty is expired, it might not be worth it or even impossible to find spare parts.
Many of today’s modern electric cookers available are designed to sustain a lot of kitchen abuse, using heat and steam. Most of them are being manufactured using stainless steel coating which is the number one coating for durability. Also with an electric unit, it will feature the integrated heating technology while the stovetop device will need a separate heating source. The benefit of having an electric pressure cooker is the fact that it is basically a stand-alone product because it features its own built-in heating system. Moreover, with an electric one, there is the handy computerized timing innovation which means that you are able to prepare meals without having to monitor the whole cooking procedure. Lastly, by using an electric pressure cooker, it will enable you to automatically regulate the heat and the pressure to eliminate any guess work that the stove-top units bring up.
All in all, the true fact is that they all serve their purpose, they pressure cook! It doesn’t matter how old the cooker is, or if it’s electric or stove, they will all do what they are supposed to do. However, their differences lie in the time that they take to cook your food. No matter how slow a pressure cooker is to cook, it will always prepare food quicker than traditional cooking. Stovetop and electric pressure cookers have their differences and the electric ones might be less powerful and less durable and stove-tops might be more durable and faster, but to help you to decide which one is for you, have a look at the differences below:
Electric pressure cooker
Here’s an option for those who might feel unsecure about having to manually switch and set the heat level. With an electric unit, you just set-it-and-forget-it, everything is automated and no guess-work involved. Another major benefit of an electric pressure cooker is its ability to replace your other kitchen gadgets, such as the rice cooker, yogurt maker and your slow cooker. Since everything is automated, this option is perfect for those who prefer pre-set timers where they can just program the cooking method, hit play, and return to the kitchen when cooking is finished. You are able to program the cooking to fit your needs and schedule and the best part is, you don’t even have to monitor the whole process.
For those of you who are single out there and couples, this will be ideal choice for those with limited space in the kitchen. You will get more complete multi-task unit that is able to replace most of your current kitchen tools. With electric pressure cooker you are able to get sometimes up to 7 different functions in just one compact unit. So you can basically have up to 7 appliances in just one unit. Those features include the ability to brown, steam, keep food warm, pressure cook and more. The chefs at the big restaurants are more and more going electric because of versatility, and sometimes they are using more than one unit at the same time. That said, an electrical pressure cooker will be a fantastic extension to your kitchen regardless of your cooking experience.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker
Now, let’s look at the stovetop pressure cookers. There are many benefits of owning a stove-top unit and one of the reasons is the manual input to regulate the heat. Being able to manually regulate the heat is extremely important in browning, where you can simply sauté the food, then seal the pot and continue to cook with pressure. It is more difficult to sear using an electric pressure cooker because you have to find the perfect sauté temperature and maintain it before you cancel the feature and reset the process to complete the food preparation.
Also, another advantage of cooking with stove-top cooker is the fact that it will reach maximum pressure much quicker than an electric model. Moreover, a stovetop unit will allow you to quickly release steam to instantly stop the pressure to build-up and this function is awesome when you want to steam fish and vegetables for example.
On top of that, stovetops ideal operation range is between 9-15PSI, and 15psi is the standard for most pressure cooking recipes out there. Electric cookers, however, will be around the 10-12psi range. Being able to reach higher psi means that the cooking will be done faster. Regarding space and storage, a stovetop unit is more ideal because the electric ones tend to be built more bulky and heavier and therefore they need more storage space. Also, with a stovetop pressure cooker, you can use it as a regular pot or even saucepan if you prefer so. Stove-top pressure cookers are also designed with premium stainless steel coating that will last for many years to come and it is usually a lot easier to replace parts that have worn out than with an electric model.
To summarize, if you plan on investing in stove top pressure cooker you will have speed and power at your fingertips because stovetops will achieve higher temperature and more pressure than electric cookers. Durability is something that is a standard with stove-top devices. They will last a lot longer, not only decades but in some cases generations. If you are on the lookout for sophisticated cooking practices and want to experiment, you will need higher pressure and that’s where you want to have the stovetops. If you are one of those that just wants to monitor, and get top-rated results, you will be happy to see that pressure is released a lot faster than with electric units. Bottom line is, regardless of your choice of pressure cooker, you will be pleasantly happy using both electric and stove-top unit. The choice however lies within you cooking needs and for how many people you need to cook for on daily basis.
How to choose between an electric and a stove stop?
Putting it simple, your preference will depend on your necessities. It is undoubtedly far more convenient to utilize an electric pressure cooker because they are more plug-and-play units where you just have to start the process with just a press-of-a-button. It’s going to operate on complete automation, it will switch-off by itself, it will keep the food warm automatically so in other words, it is a device that you can set-and-forget. These are the main points about the electric equipment that is so appealing.
However, the stove top option is also fantastic decision as it t will allow you to regulate the heat manually to get the desired top-rated results. There are also more sizes available in stovetops brands so you will have more diversified options to choose from. Once again, you won’t have to worry using these two options because, in the end, the decision is to be made if your desired pressure cooker is the one that will fit your cooking needs the best. Always have your needs in mind and ask yourself constantly, what do I need in a pressure cooker?
You should treat your pressure cooker purchase as an investment, actually a long term investment rather than just a kitchen tool upgrade. There are so many different manufacturers out there and the prices are just as different as the companies. There will be something out there for any budged. Like with everything you buy, you get what you pay for. Have in mind to invest a little bit more than your desired pressure cooker, it will pay off eventually. As I have been pointing out in this buying guide over and over again, it is better to go a little bigger than smaller. Pressure cookers are getting so compact these days that sometimes it’s just more worth it to upgrade to the next size above. Simple, easy to use and cheap pressure cooker might be the perfect choice for you or sophisticated, durable and expensive quality cooker might be your ideal choice. Whatever you end up paying, make sure you will find one that fits your budget and your cooking needs. Check out our list of pressure cookers under 100$ if you want some cheap options.
Warranty and Replacement Parts
Most likely you will end up with a pressure cooker that will last you for many years to come and if you are an intelligent buyer, you will take into account every detail before you buy, such as the company’s reputation, quality of their products and of course maybe the most important factor, their customer support service. All the major brands out there stand by their product and will offer you generous warranty that stretches from 3 years up to lifetime guarantee. Regarding replacements parts, such as gaskets, many companies do not cover them with warranty so it is best for you to choose a reputable company that will warranty the pressure cooker parts and make sure that they are available to buy, in the unlikely event you run into any trouble along the way.
Below you will find a brief summarize and some additional tips on what you should be on the lookout for when you are making up your mind to buy a pressure cooker:
- Make sure that your pressure cooker is able to reach minimum of 15PSI level because almost all of the recipes that you will find online are for that pressure level. If your desired cooker is not able to reach the 15psi, you should add 15-20% more cooking time for units that are in the 9-13psi range.
- Your pressure cooker will follow you for many years to come so you really should do a thorough research on the production company and take a look at their warranty. Make sure their customer service is first-class and that they will always have parts available in storage.
- Remember to lookout for the 18/10 mark at the bottom label or in description of the cooker as it means the highest quality for stainless steel coating. 18/10 means 18 percent chromium mixed with 10 percent nickel. This formula will guarantee durability, rusting resistance and lastly shiny, easy to clean product.
- There are so many cooking recipes out there that require additional accessories like a steamer basket or cooking rack. Maybe that’s an additional luxury for some of you but it might come in handy and add extra value to your unit to have a pressure cooker that includes both basket and cooking rack.
- Here is a point that I have not mentioned before but in case you go for a large pot, make sure that it has handles on both sides of the pot. There is nothing more annoying than having a heavy pot full of food and you just have one handle to carry the pot around. Some of the cookers will include folding handles and that is perfect storage saver.
I hope that this buying guide answers most, if not all your questions that you need to find your perfect pressure cooker. There are just so many great benefits of being able to pressurize food. It will save you a lot of time, your food will have delicious taste and it will cut your energy bill significantly. After all, we just want to cook and eat delicious food and we want to cook it quickly without losing the nutritional values. A pressure cooker will help us to reach perfection in cooking and now there is a way to cook awesome food in an easy way and quickly!
Electric Pressure Cookers Buying Guide
The influx of electric pressure cookers in the market has complicated things for beginners that are looking for pressure cookers in a way that no other kitchen appliance has. Electric pressure cookers are basically crockpots with pressure cooker functionality. At the time of this post there are no reliable electric pressure cookers that have a canning function. Now there are electric pressure cookers with a canning function, like a specific Fagor model that has been marketed as such, but it is highly unreliable.
Technically speaking an electric pressure cooker doesn’t have the capacity or power to can correctly, and it will be a long time before they ever do. The electric version of pressure cookers lack so much power and other technical aspects that make pressure cooking such a great system, to the point that an electric pressure cooker should correctly be called an advanced crockpot. Electric pressure cookers also come with digital and push button setups that can sometimes be jarring to an older pressure cooker user if they are not more up to date with technology. But all of this isn’t to say that pressure cookers are bad, they are actually quite good for what you get.
Rather than having to rely on a stovetop, you keep that area free and can use the same set it and forget it options that a crockpot has. This is beneficial for beginners that are afraid of how actual pressure cookers work, and may have a phobia to using traditional pressure cookers that work over the stove or induction top. They do require a little more babysitting than the electric option, but as it stands you won’t get the same perfect results that are available for the more powerful pressure cooking methods. Electric pressure cookers also don’t have the durable parts that make pressure cookers last for years, which is why you typically won’t find warranties on the electric models that are either lifetime or 10 years.
Since the parts are electric, they are guaranteed to break down sooner rather than later, which is why it would be absurd for a company to offer such an iron clad warranty on a product that is guaranteed to break down. Traditional pressure cookers are built to last, with higher quality materials that are not only future proof but can withstand a beating and years of abuse. Now whichever one you decide on is up to you, but keep in mind that an electric pressure cooker can’t touch a traditional over the cooktop pressure cooker in terms of reliability, durability, and prepping food as close to perfection as possible.
Are Expensive Pressure Cookers Better?
If you want certain features then they are very much worth the money. Right now the sweet spot is right in the middle when it comes to price, as the lower priced pressure cookers lack a lot of the features that the mid-tier ones have, but the high priced pressure cookers have a lot less extra features than the mid-tier models. This is an interesting twist in the usual dynamics of appliances as the best isn’t necessarily going to the most expensive on the market, but the most full featured for your needs.
A good example of this is that is the 24 hour cooking delay that is available mostly on mid and high tier models, a killer feature that you would be hard pressed to find on any pressure cooker below the 100 dollar mark. How about 8-12 hours automatic warming after it is finished cooking? The more reliable warming that goes on for that long is another mid-tier to high priced feature that is going to be an exclusive one, well that is if you want it to work correctly. There are a lot of other features that you will miss with a low tier model, but that you won’t miss with the higher tiers.
Most users should also take into consideration that the most of the electric pressure cookers will be lower in price than their regular pressure cooker counterparts. This of course speaks to the higher level of quality and durability found in traditional pressure cookers compared to their electric counterparts. The drop off in price can be stunning sometimes, and a lot of users will feel as though the pricing is incorrect when comparing electric pressure cookers to traditional models.
But to stick to just what it means to traditional pressure cookers, the price only comes into play when you’re considering a low priced model. There is still nothing wrong with choosing a model in the low tier as long as it fits all of the needs for the household, but bear in mind that the lower price is going to come with a degradation in quality and overall features. So technically the more expensive pressure cookers are better, if you want to look at it with these facts in mind. Now whether they will fit the needs of your household is another story, and is ultimately up to you.
That was a lot of information to cover, but some very important points that may make a difference in how you decide to spend your money on the best pressure cooker. The tempting option could possibly be the cheaper and easier to use electric pressure cookers, and although there is nothing wrong with that choice, it goes without saying that you haven’t lived until you’ve tried a real pressure cooker in its truest form.
Pressure cooking takes the stress out of preparing meals, and however you decide to take the stress out of cooking is completely up to you, as long as it works. The top rated pressure cookers are available on this list and give you a good range of choices that will make the process a lot easier once you go through it once and to narrow now your options you can read our pressure cooker reviews to find in depth details on each one. After a detailed once over buyers will not only be able to purchase the best pressure cooker, they will own an appliance that will basically run their kitchen.