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Pressure Cooker Reviews

By: Kelly Burgess on March 02, 2018

Editor's note:
We adore our Instant Pot, and we think you'll love having one too. Experts agree: It's versatile, easy to use and gets dinner on the table in a flash. However, if you prefer to do your pressure cooking on a stovetop, we have some great recommendations from Fissler, Presto and more.

Instant Pot IP-DUO60 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity - 6 quarts Cookpot material - Stainless steel Steamer - Rack included

Best electric pressure cooker

The Instant Pot IP-DUO60 electric pressure cooker is a truly versatile appliance, replacing your pressure cooker, rice cooker and slow cooker. It also steams, sautés, browns and warms, and can even make yogurt. Experts and owners love it, saying the Instant Pot will significantly cut the time you have to spend cooking, and that foods cooked in it turn out perfectly. Its most popular feature is the stainless steel, rather than nonstick, cooking pot; something those who are wary of chemicals in cookware appreciate. See our full review »

Buy for $79.96
Fissler Vitaquick Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity - 8.5 quarts Cookpot material - Stainless steel Steamer - Basket included

Best stovetop pressure cooker

Yes, the Fissler Vitaquick is pricier than most pressure cookers, but expert testers across the board say it's worth every penny. From quickly cooking meats and stews to gently prepping fish in a hurry, this pressure cooker is a superior performer. It also earns the highest ease-of-use and assembly scores due to its high-end construction. The 8.5 quart version is roomy enough for any family, but it also comes in a number of other sizes, both smaller and larger.

Buy for $219.95
Presto 01362 Review
Also Consider
Specs that Matter Capacity - 6 quarts Cookpot material - Stainless steel Steamer - No

Cheap stovetop pressure cooker

If you want to try your hand at stovetop pressure cooking, the Presto 01362 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker is a great place to start. It gets raves from thousands of owners, who say it's very easy to use and quickly cooks even the toughest cuts of meat to tender perfection. It's a great choice for small families -- it makes about four servings, users say -- and it also comes in a 4-quart size that is perfect for singles and couples.

Buy for $42.99

Types of Pressure Cookers

Electric Pressure Cookers

Also called multi-cookers or countertop pressure cookers, electric pressure cookers have become wildly popular in recent years because they're safe, versatile and easy to use. Cooks love them for their "set-and-forget" convenience -- a plus if you have other things to do while dinner is cooking or if you often have every burner on the stove occupied. Many electric pressure cookers can also multitask -- serving as rice cookers, steamers or slow cookers as well. Most have a delay-start feature so you can prepare the food in advance, and have it start cooking several hours later. Electric pressure cookers are bulkier in general than stovetop pressure cookers, and they don't reach as high of pressure as stovetop models do; however, that's easily remedied -- just add a few minutes to the cooking time.

Stovetop Pressure Cookers

This is the traditional type of pressure cooker and they're still very popular kitchen items. Stovetop pressure cookers look like a standard pot, and they can be used on any type of stove (although heavier models should not be used on glass or ceramic cooktops), including propane-powered stoves. Unlike electric models, stovetop pressure cookers have to be monitored and the pressure manually released after a set period of time, depending upon the recipe. However, they heat more quickly and come to a higher pressure than electric models, so they will cook faster than electric.

Pressure cookers can save you time and money

Pressure cookers have been around since the 1800s, but they are more popular than ever in today's kitchen. A pressure cooker can turn the toughest cut of meat into a tender, flavorful dish; cook bean soups and chilis (from dry beans) in less than an hour; make creamy risottos; and produce healthy, nutritious broths and stock. Pressure cookers are particularly popular with those who follow the Paleo way of eating and like to nosh on bone broths and savory meat and veggie dishes (see our report on weight loss programs for more about Paleo). Having a pressure cooker in your kitchen means you can have a healthy, balanced meal on the table in a fraction of the time it takes using a stove or oven.

Pressure cookers work by creating an airtight seal within the pot. Under such high pressure, the boiling point of water increases, meaning the cooker and its contents maintain a higher temperature -- usually from 230 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit compared to water's normal boiling point of 212 degrees -- so food cooks faster. The high pressure can pose some safety concerns, however, and some may remember the threatening cookers of decades past. But modern pressure cookers offer safety features that automatically release pressure before it poses any danger, or won't work at all unless its seals are properly engaged, so don't let a childhood fear of pressure cookers keep you from trying out this versatile cooking tool.

Finding The Best Pressure Cookers
Our Sources
"Multicookers (Electric Pressure Cookers) "
"The Best Pressure Cooker"
"Should You Buy a Stovetop or Electric Pressure Cooker?"

This year there are quite a few professional tests of pressure cookers. Most are in response to the surge in popularity of electric pressure cookers, although most sites test both electric and stovetop models. Cook's Illustrated, Wirecutter and Good Housekeeping were particularly helpful in narrowing down our picks this year, because they test some very popular electric and stovetop pressure cookers. Serious Eats also takes a serious look at both types of pressure cookers, and offers a thorough overview of their testing.

After considering expert input, we then match that with the experiences of consumers who use their pressure cookers day after day in real-world cooking situations. We analyzed hundreds, sometimes thousands, of user reviews at retail sites such as Amazon, Macys and elsewhere. The result of that research is our recommendations for electric and stovetop pressure cookers and canners that offer the best combination of performance, durability, safety and ease of use.

Elsewhere In This Report
Recently Updated
Pressure Cookers buying guide

What every best Pressure Cookers has:

  • A high level of safety.
  • Reliable performance:
  • Simple-to-use controls.

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