After testing several pressure cookers and taking recommendations from chefs, we have narrowed down to the best pressure cookers for 2016!
Best Electric Pressure Cookers 2016
- Instant Pot IP-DUO60 – This is most loved electric pressure cooker. It banks on its versatility and convenient performance. You get excellent performance at an affordable price.
- Cuisinart CPC-600AMZ – Another convenient cooker which simplifies the cooking process. If you only want a pressure cooker with simple controls, this can be a great choice.
Best Stovetop Pressure Cookers 2016
- Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Cooker – A large cooker with the right amount of pressure at a great price. With a near perfect ratings on Amazon, it is one of the best pressure cookers available in the market.
- Presto 01362 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker – A smaller and conventional pressure cooker. It is a simple pressure cooker which can cook almost anything, and you get all this at a very affordable prize.
The fuss about pressure cookers can be a bit confusing especially when you have no idea where to start. You may remember the olden days when your grandmother used a stove top pressure cooker that would whistle and blow out steam. Most pressure cookers seem outdated and old fashioned. However, they are making a comeback and rightly so. Before we get into the full reviews of the pressure cookers we tried, there is some information we would like to share with you about pressure cookers.
WHY GET A PRESSURE COOKER?
Pressure cookers are a blessing in a household, like Al Pacino in Hollywood or say Eminem in the Rap world, may be not that
efficient, but you get the point. Pressure cookers have come a long way since their invention in 1679, and they are a must for anybody who consumes food and relies on it for their existence. On a serious note, have a look at points below, and you’ll know exactly why you need a Pressure cooker.
Before you buy a pressure cooker, it is important to know what kind of pressure cooker suits your needs. This can be in terms of your cooking and lifestyle. It is also paramount to understand the basics of a pressure cooker. How it works, its benefits and why it is considered more effective. A great starting point is to understand what a pressure cooker is; then decide on the type of pressure cooker you need. The next step to take is to ascertain the functions each model offers and how they match with your cooking style.
Understanding the basics can help you to narrow down to specific models and brands that suit your needs. Additionally, you can also check the latest customer reviews for the pressure cooker you are interested in buying. To make things nice and simple, lets start by understanding the advantages of a pressure cooker. Read on!
- Time efficient- Pressure Cookers save a lot of time by cooking more nutritious food in just ¼ of the time (Study). For instance, a roast that ordinarily takes 2-3 hours, needs just 20-40 minutes in a pressure cooker while soaked chickpeas take 13 minutes and so on!
- Healthier Lifestyle- Contrary to the destructive effect of boiling that washes out the flavor of the food, Pressure cookers do not let any of the steam escape while cooking. They infuse the flavor in the food (which is why they are also referred to as Infuse Cookers) and add to the nutritional value of the food making them a step towards a healthier lifestyle.
- Less Energy- Pressure cookers save about 70% of the energy normally used in cooking (Study), do not create a humid atmosphere in your kitchen and help in the electricity bills significantly.
- Safe and Dependable- The Pressure Cookers used by our mothers and Grandmothers had a whistle on top which would keep the pressure in check and overheating could cause the pressure cooker to explode, so we can easily categorize them as not-so-safe Pressure Cookers but today’s Pressure cookers are nothing like those and are loaded with safety features, very easy to use and don’t make a mess in your kitchen. With valves and one touch pressure control, todays pressure cookers do not need babysitting like the old ones.
- Saves Space & Other Cookware- Regardless of the size or the number of utensils in your kitchen, Your Pressure Cooker comes in very handy for simmering, braising, steaming, baking, boiling, poaching, sautéing, frying, canning, and warming. Whether its cooking meats, vegetables, chicken, meat, soups and casseroles or making a hot drink and even some desserts, your pressure cooker can do it all.
- Recreational use- RV travelers, campers and vacationers are going to love the multi-purpose pressure cooker. Whether it is high altitude or a night in the forest camp, pressure cookers are very quick and efficient with the meal. Also, pressure cookers are very light, so a must-have in the gear section.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
A pressure cooker is a cooking pot with a semi-sealed lockable lid and a valve that can control the pressure inside. When food is added to the pressure cooker along with water and heated, the heat provided to the pressure cooker causes the water to boil and creates steam. Pressure cookers being closed with a locked lid trap the steam and this in turn raises the pressure along with the maximum temperature that the liquid (water) can reach.
This increase in temperature significantly speeds up the cooking process. Once the pressure cooker reaches a minimum of 8 psi, it literally forces the heat into the food thereby not just cooking it but also making it tasty and nutritious. Pressure-cooking can cook food 10 times faster than an ordinary cooking pot. On the other hand, the food tastes considerably better compared to a microwave or any other form of cookware.
Believe it or not, the size of the pressure cooker actually reflects on your relationship status.
Pressure cookers come in a range of sizes but the standard sizes are 4 quart, 6 quart and 8 quart. In case you are looking for professional pressure cookers, the options go up to 23 quarts. It’s prudent to consider different sizes because there is no need to buy a larger cooker than you need. Its wise also to consider factors such as cost and storage space.
So, if you are single or living together, then you need a small and portable quart size pressure cooker. 3-4 quart size is the one you are looking for.
If you have a family, then you need the 6 quarts pressure cooker. It is the most popular size and does very well for 5 members.
In case you have a large family, then you will find the 8-10 quarts size pressure cooker very suitable. And if you have like 5 children and are wondering as to how large is “large” then you should have probably thought of that a while ago when you were supposed to do some “family-planning”.
Note: Most chefs however recommend slightly larger sized pressure cookers because you can cook less food in large cooker but this doesn’t work the other way around. It is also a lot easier to cook in wider and large sized cookers as the food doesn’t get too crowded.
(Aluminium Cookers vs. Stainless Steel Cookers)
This is one of the most debated issue among chefs across the world. Both kinds of cookers have both pros and cons and depending on your needs, we will help you figure out what’s best for you.
Aluminium cookers – are a lot sturdier, provide exceptional performance and uniform heating as they are better conductor of heat than stainless steel, light weighted, solid built, prone to denting, scratching and not so good looking. They are not so durable. The metal can react with certain acidic foods, which can alter the taste.
Stainless cookers, don’t react with any kind of food. They are bigger and heavier, look really good on a counter or shelf. They are durable. Warp Resistant. Not so good conductor of heat as compared to aluminium.
Again, there is no clear winner, and this is a decision you would have to make. However, your decision should take into account the food you eat, how well you take care of your utensils and your budget.
Pressure cookers, in a layman’s term can be defined as a pot with a removable lid. There are 3 parts in a pressure cooker;
1) Valves- These are further classified into two;
- a) Pressure Regulating Valve- These regulate and maintain the pressure inside the pressure cooker. There are two ranges of pressure for a pressure cooker. i) Low- Varies from 6psi to 8 psi.ii) High- Varies from 13-15psi. Some pressure cookers have only high pressure settings because most recipes require cooking at high pressure. As for the great debate on 13psi V/s 15psi, the only difference is that the Max Operating Pressure in the UK is 13 psi and in the US is 15 psi. Other than that there is hardly any difference and as long as you just follow the cookbook, you’ll be just fine.
- b) Security Valve- These come in handy in situations of too much boil or too much pressure, these valves just pop and let the excess steam escape.
In old stovetop pressure cookers, you may recall there was a whistle which popped and let the excess steam escape, but none of the models of todays pressure cookers are equipped with it.
2) Rubber ring- This is what keeps the steam from escaping and traps it in the pressure cooker.
3) Pot- A regular pot which can be multi-purpose when used without the lid.
4) Control Panel- The electric pressure cookers have a panel which regulates everything including the timer, pressure and security valve regulation with settings for both high and low pressure.
First up there are two different kinds of pressure cookers:
- Electric Pressure Cookers – Such pressure cookers are gaining popularity among home cooks. They are a lot convenient, and you don’t have to keep a close watch while your food is cooking. On the downside, they don’t generate as much pressure as the traditional cookers.
- Stovetop/Passive/Conventional Pressure Cookers – Traditional cookers, are loved by chefs. This is because the right amount of pressure is generated in comparatively less time. You still would have to stand and watch over the cooker.
Overall if you have less time in your hand and you want hassle free cooking you should go for electric pressure cookers. However, if you want complete control over your food and have the luxury of time then go for the Stovetop pressure cookers.
ELECTRIC V/S STOVETOP PRESSURE COOKER
Stovetop- suitable for camping and other recreational activities. Can’t be left unattended. Manually need to regulate the temperature and pressure, certain recipes require you to maintain the pressure at high or low, which can be quite a task if you do not know what you are doing, electric on the other hand, can do that with a button. Not so safe and secure. You can perform cold water release method on these. Overheating could cause them to go BOOM.
Electric- Self regulating pressure and temperature, no babysitting, generate heat by electricity, have a multi-purpose non-stick pan inside, need electricity, very secure and safe (At worse, it would turn off while if the stovetop was left unattended, it could go BOOM), Do NOT go for the cold water release method with these because they are electric, and electricity and water do not have a very good relationship. After cooking, automatically switches to “keep it warm” mode, so if you are changing a diaper or using the bathroom, you don’t need to worry.
BEST PRESSURE COOKER
Now that you know all you need to know about pressure cookers, lets have a look at our top recommendations along with insider information, available discounts and much more. You can read it here.
INSTANT POT IP-DUO60 – #1 RECOMMENDATION
INSTANT POT IP-DUO60 – #1 RECOMMENDATION
46 used from $91.89
- 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker--Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Steamer & Warmer
- Large, easy to use control panel with 14 built-in Smart Programs, Dual pressure, Automatic keep-warm and 3 temperatures for saute and slow cook
- UL and ULC certified with 10 proven safety mechanisms; Highly energy efficient and kitchen friendly
- Include 3-ply bottom stainless steel cooking pot, stainless steel steam rack with handle & manual and recipes in English, Spanish, Chinese and French
- 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker.
- #1 Best Seller in Pressure Cookers.
- Safer than conventional pressure cookers.
- Easy to Use; Easy to clean.
- Not recommended for Pressure Canning.
If you are looking for an affordable option and you don’t like to spend a lot of time on cooking then this will be the best choice. It is a cheap electric pressure cooker which makes a cooking a lot simpler.
Versatility is what this instant pot pressure cooker is all about. You get 7 different cooking options including rice cooker, slow cooker, yoghurt maker, sauté, steamer and warmer. And all of this is combined with 14 in built programs to cook anything from soup to porridge. This makes the whole cooking process a lot convenient. You simply have to push the button and forget about it.
You can also choose different pressure settings. So this pressure cooker gives you the flexibility to exercise complete control over the food or to allow the in-built settings to do everything for you.
The design of this pressure cooker is eye catching. Looks are not something a lot of people consider, but this thing will look pretty sitting in your kitchen. It is made of brushed stainless steel which is resistant of any finger prints. This cooker has enough space to cook everything you desire.
There is no problem with security and locks and the Instant Pot complies with the recommended standards of safety. The handle and the lid are carefully attached and the lid closes down complete avoiding any unwanted heat.
One of the most versatile pressure cooker available is loved by customers also and it has received over 3000 positive reviews on Amazon.
ALL-AMERICAN PRESSURE COOKER/CANNER – #2 RECOMMENDATION
- 21-1/2-quart pressure cooker/canner holds 19 pint jars or 7 quart jars
- Made of durable, hand-cast aluminum with attractive satin finish
- Exclusive "metal-to-metal" sealing system for a steam-tight seal; no gaskets
- Geared steam gauge, automatic overpressure release; settings of 5 psi, 10 psi, and 15 psi
- 15-3/8 inches high with 12-1/4-inch inside diameter; made in USA
- Pressure cooker & Pressure Canner.
- Solid Built makes up for the price difference.
- No Gaskets involved.
- Made in USA.
- Heavy and Unwieldy.
- Top handle is made of plastic.
The most powerful pressure cooker available which also doubles up as a canner. This pressure cooker is loved by chefs and they term ‘Industrial Grade Pressure Cooker’
This pressure cooker comes in two sizes, one the 10.5 quarts and the other much larger 21.5 quart variant. We tried the smaller version, but there is absolutely no difference between the two variants other than the size. So how does large size help? You can cook large quantity of food at the same time. Foods gets cooked quickly and nicely. You can sear the meat easily and the food doesn’t get too crowded. It can hold 4 quart jars which is enough for most families. Large size also allows more pressure. With the help of three stage regulator you can change the pressure between 5 to 15 pounds.
Durability & Security
Its durability matches industry grade. Made with hand-cast aluminium, this is one of the toughest pressure cookers in the market. The handle attached in the centre is firm and prevents any burns, ensuring safe removal.
It uses metal to metal sealing system which makes this cooker gasket less. So you won’t experience any hassles which are associated with rubber gaskets.
So many features come at price. It is by no means a cheap pressure cooker, but you can’t complain much as everything you get is top of the line.
CUISINART CPC-600AMZ – #3 RECOMMENDATION
2 used from $80.00
- New and improved packaging from the manufacturer to eliminate damage
- 6-quart electric pressure cooker reduces cooking times by 70 percent
- Push-button controls; easy-to-read digital display; precision thermostat
- Settings for pressure cooking, browning, simmering, sauteing and warming
- Timer; cool-touch handles; nonstick dishwasher-safe cooking pot and trivet
- Push-button controls; easy-to-read digital display.
- Settings for pressure cooking, browning, simmering, sauteing and warming.
- nonstick dishwasher-safe cooking pot and trivet.
- Loved By Professional Chefs for its “Set it and Forget it” Operation.
- Lid is not dishwasher friendly.
- No Timer for Pressure Release process.
Another solid electric pressure cooker that cooks food quickly.
Like most good electric pressure cookers this model also comes with multiple settings. First up you can choose between low pressure and high pressure which comes in handy while cooking beans and lentils. If you are cooking meat then this pressure cooker has options for browning, sauté and simmering. You can also choose the time of your cook. All this can be done by simply pushing few buttons.
Intelligent Pressure Control Mechanism
You can choose the way you want to release the pressure. If you wish to do it yourself, you can simple move the pressure valve. The natural way is when the pressure valve moves automatically to release the pressure. You can remove the lid only when complete pressure is released.
This is also a 6 quart cooker with removable pot, which makes it a lot easier to clean. The construction is sturdy & the cool touch handles are nicely designed.
One recommendation from our side would be to not follow the recipe manual which comes along with this, instead look for more trusted recipes online.
1 used from $67.93
- The only method recommended safe by the US Department of Agriculture for canning vegetables, meats, poultry, and seafood
- Doubles as a boiling-water canner for preserving fruits, jams, jellies, pickles, and salsa; Handy as a large capacity pressure cooker
- Constructed of warp-resistant heavy-gauge aluminum for fast, even heating; Works on regular and smooth-top ranges; Extended 12-year limited warranty
- Pressure cooker & Pressure Canner.
- #1 Best Seller in Canning Kits.
- Extra-large size is great for big canning jobs.
- Massive in size.
- Aluminum built.
A large stovetop pressure cooker which can also be used as a canner. One of the most durable cookers available, this model is highly recommended.
Large Size and Low Price
Even though its size is 23 quarts, it costs around 90$, which is a steal. This narrow pressure cooker is a great choice for large families where you have to cook for 4-5 people simultaneously.
The large size allows you to use this as a canner too. So it can serve two purposes at the price of one. With it large size it also provides excellent pressure control. The pressure gauge helps you to monitor everything and thus control the whole cooking process.
This cooker is made up of solid aluminium and comes with a limited guarantee of 12 years. This shows the companies faith in the product. In our tests it did quite well. It is scratch resistant and is easy to clean. The lid can be removed easily and then handles are firm and sturdy.
It also uses government regulated safety measures and the pressure valve releases the pressure timely and quickly. The whole action is smooth.
It is a great choice if you want complete control over your food.
8 used from $26.19
- Chicken, fish, meat, and vegetables cook to perfection fast; Helps tenderize economical cuts of meat
- Pressure regulator maintains the proper cooking pressure automatically; Complete 64-page instruction/recipe book included
- Ideal for use on regular, smooth-top and induction ranges; Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
- Cover lock indicator shows when there is pressure inside the cooker and prevents the cover from being opened until pressure is safely reduced
- Extremely Affordable.
- Stainless Steel Built.
- Dishwasher friendly.
- Conventional cooker with no sensors or timers.
- Takes longer to heat, due to large size.
- Requires attention.
A traditional pressure cooker which comes at a very low price and can be used for everyday cooking.
Small and Hassle Free
By small we mean the whole package looks a lot compact. There are two choices available i.e. 4quarts and 6 quarts. From our experience it would be better if you go for the 6 quart version as the other one is way too small.
You simply need to put everything in the cooker and close the lid. You can follow the amazing recipe book which comes free with this cooker.
The pressure valve is efficient and you cannot open the lid until complete pressure is released.
Easy to clean
This pressure cooker is dishwasher friendly. So you can clean it easily. We recommend cleaning the lid by hand.
This cooker also comes with a 12 year limited warranty, and the stainless steel provides durability.
This cooker has received mostly positive reviews from customers.
- Read your Manual.
- Do not fill over 2/3rd of the pressure cooker because that would not leave enough space for the steam.
- Nothing should be blocking the escape route of the steam. If it is, get off the cooking and cool it down.
- Do NOT buy a second-hand pressure cooker. If there was even a slight problem that you can’t see, say the pressure cooker was corroded or dented and you try cooking on it, it could go really really bad. So don’t mind spending a bit more and buy a new one because pressure cookers usually last at least 6-8 years.
- Get a good pressure cooker cookbook.
- Pressure Cooker and Pressure Canner are two different things. The Pressure cooker is meant for cooking food while the pressure canner is meant for preserving food. Not all cookers can be canners and vice versa, so make sure to check for this while buying.