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Pressure Cooker Reviews

By: Kelly Burgess on April 24, 2017

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 a higher-end electric pressure cooker, we recommend a terrific one, along with a variety of stovetop models, too.

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 $99.00
Fagor Duo 8-Quart Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity - 8 quarts Cookpot material - Stainless steel Steamer - Basket included

Best stovetop pressure cooker

The solidly built Fagor Duo 8-Quart Stainless-Steel Pressure Cooker earns high marks for its cooking performance. Owners appreciate its useful design features, including an easy-to-attach lid and steamer basket, as well as a yellow pressure indicator and automatic pressure-release system. It has two pressure settings, high and low, to cook tough to delicate foods. The wide stainless-steel base is ideal for browning, say reviewers. It's also available in 4, 6 and 10 quart sizes, and all are covered by a 10-year warranty. See our full review »

Buy for $349.87
Presto 01362 Review
Runners Up
Specs that Matter Capacity - 6 quarts Cookpot material - Stainless steel Steamer - No

Cheap stovetop pressure cooker

It's smaller than our Best Reviewed stovetop pressure cooker, the Fagor Duo 8-Quart Stainless-Steel Pressure Cooker (Est. $100), and has only one pressure setting, but it also sells for half the price and the Presto 01362 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker gets raves from thousands of owners. They 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 $45.32
All American 921 21-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity - 21.5 quarts Cookpot material - Stainless steel Canning rack - Not included

Best pressure canner

For the avid canner, the All American Pressure Canner 921 is an obvious choice. Professional reviewers as well as owners say the volume is ideal for canning, and it's supremely safe. Owners say the quality of this canner is immediately apparent and it stands the test of time. Quite a few reviewers say they've been using it for years and many say they plan to hand it down to their children someday. Reviewers also like that the All American Pressure Canner is made in America. See our full review »

Buy for $279.99
Presto 01781 Review
Runners Up
Specs that Matter Capacity - 23 quarts Cookpot material - Stainless steel Canning rack - Included

Cheap pressure canner

At less than half the price of the All American 921 (Est. $210), the Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker is nearly as well-reviewed by thousands of owners, who say it's easy to use and very durable. Many beginning canners who were nervous to dive into the process say that this Presto makes canning a no-brainer. Its large capacity holds 24 half pints, 20 pints or seven quarts. However, it's too big to be practical for everyday use, so many opt for the similar but smaller, Presto 1755 16-quart Pressure Canner (Est. $80)

Buy for $70.38

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. One issue with electric pressure cookers: they will turn off or switch to their "keep warm" mode if there is not enough liquid in the pot, which is a common problem when cooking large cuts of meat. Be sure to use at least 2 cups of liquid to prevent that from happening.

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 it 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 Cooker Canners

These are used to preserve fresh foods like fruits, vegetables and more. You don't have to have a dedicated canner; the high-pressure environment of a stovetop pressure cooker is ideal for canning and the terms "pressure cooker" and "pressure canner" are often used interchangeably. However, avid canners who put up a lot of food usually like a setup specifically for canning. These cookers are typically larger than the pressure cookers used for everyday cooking and often include accessories to make canning a bit easier. However, pressure canners are often very large and heavy, making them impractical for everyday use. Electric pressure cookers are not suitable for canning.

Pressure cookers can save you time and money

Pressure cookers have been around for a couple of hundred years, 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. 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
"The Best Pressure Cooker"
"The Best Pressure Cookers and Multi-Cookers"
"Multi-Cooker Reviews"

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.

TheSweethome.com and Good Housekeeping.com were particularly helpful in narrowing down our picks this year, because they test some very popular electric and stovetop pressure cookers. SeriousEats.com also took a serious look at both types of pressure cookers, offering a thorough overview of their testing. Cook's Illustrated's tests are older, but have been recently updated to reflect discontinued products. HipPressureCooking.com is a website devoted to reviewing pressure cookers and it is chock-full of helpful hints, recipes and recommendations.

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.com, Macys.com 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.

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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