10 Best Electric Pressure Cookers | April 2017

We spent 34 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Keep your cool in the kitchen with one of these energy-efficient electric pressure cookers that use the power of pressurized steam to simulate the effects of long simmering, braising and other slow-cook methods in a fraction of the usual time. They're ideal for preparing rice, meats, chili, vegetables, soups and more. Skip to the best electric pressure cooker on Amazon.
10 Best Electric Pressure Cookers | April 2017
Overall Rank: 4
Best Mid-Range
★★★★
Overall Rank: 2
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 9
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
The Elite Platinum, available with either a nonstick or stainless steel 6-quart cooking insert, features a 24-hour preset timer, auto-locking handles and nine built-in menu functions to make preparing meat, vegetables, grains and more practically effortless.
  • 0-99 minutes timer
  • steaming rack comes included
  • customer service is not the best
Brand Elite Platinum
Model EPC-678SS
Weight 17 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
9
The GoWise GW22620 has a dozen preset cooking cycles and a delay timer for up to 20 hours of lead time, and if the 6-quart size just isn't large enough, it also comes in 8, 12 and 14-quart options for feeding bigger crowds. A measuring cup and a steam rack are included.
  • etl certified for safety
  • digital pressure monitor is helpful
  • saute function is difficult to use
Brand GoWISE USA
Model GW22620
Weight 15.6 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0
8
The multipurpose West Bend 82011 features a 6-quart round nonstick cooking insert and seven built-in safety controls to prevent overcooking and injury. It comes with a wire cooking rack/trivet, a measuring cup, a spoon, a spoon holder and a condensation drip-catcher.
  • convenient pressure release dial
  • cover and base are heat-resistant
  • coating on insert may scratch
Brand Focus Electrics, LLC
Model 82011
Weight 15 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
7
The versatile Secura 6-in-1 can replace a variety of other cookware and turn your kitchen into a bustling hub of rapid meal preparation. Make soups and sauces without breaking a sweat, or set it and forget it for the pleasure of eating as soon as you get home.
  • cool-touch lid and handles
  • automatic keep-warm and delay timer
  • steamer and rack sold separately
Brand Secura
Model EPC-S600
Weight 16.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
6
With its push-button control functionality and easy-to-read digital display, the Cuisinart CPC-600 takes all the guesswork out of speedily preparing delicious food. Its cool-touch handles keep your skin safe even as things heat up.
  • capable of browning and simmering
  • cuts cooking time up to 70 percent
  • bpa-free with brushed steel housing
Brand Cuisinart
Model CPC-600
Weight 14.4 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
5
Made by a manufacturer known for its reasonably priced quality cookware, the 1000W T-fal CY505E has a detachable cord for safety and convenience, and a digital LED countdown timer that starts automatically once the unit is pressurized.
  • nonstick ceramic interior pot
  • up to 12-hour delayed start
  • comes with trivet and tongs
Brand T-fal
Model 7211002162
Weight 16.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
4
The Instant Pot IP-Duo Plus has a user-friendly blue LCD interface with 15 built-in programs, including egg, cake and sterilize functions, and adjustable settings for creating your own recipes from scratch. Instructions are provided in English, Spanish, Chinese and French.
  • hundreds of recipes and tips online
  • 3-ply stainless steel pot insert
  • multiple accessories available
Brand Instant Pot
Model IP-DUO Plus60
Weight 15.8 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
3
The Fagor Lux comes in a 4-, 6- and 8-quart size, and is available in silver, copper or champagne hues for a stylish look to feed large and small groups of diners. Its nonstick ceramic liner is removable, and it operates for up to 10 hours in slow-cook mode.
  • keeps food warm all day long
  • postpone start for up to 6 hours
  • pfoa-free and fda-certified as safe
Brand Fagor
Model 670041960
Weight 18.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
2
With a nontoxic removable ceramic-coated bowl, a color-changing LCD to indicate where you are in the cooking process and easy-to-use dials to adjust settings, the Breville Fast Slow Pro is just the ticket to whip up gourmet dishes on the fly without a complicated setup.
  • insert is ptfe- and pfoa-free
  • 11 preset cycles and manual program
  • dual sensors for precise pressure
Brand Breville
Model BPR700BSS
Weight 17.7 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
1
Supported by a lively and resourceful online community eager to exchange recipes and troubleshooting tips, the Bluetooth-enabled Instant Pot IP Smart offers 3 temperature settings, 14 built-in programs and smartphone integration to transform you into a culinary wizard.
  • stainless steel pot and steamer rack
  • comes with silicone mitts
  • ul certified with 10 safety features
Brand Instant Pot
Model Smart-60
Weight 16.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

The Advent Of The Pressure Cooker

Pressure cookers were first developed in the late 1600s by a French physicist named Denis Papin. He is most known for his studies on steam pressure, and is the one to have first suggested the concept of a cylinder and piston steam engine. He also created a paddle-wheel-driven steamship, but for the chefs of the world, none of his inventions are more important than the pressure cooker. In his attempts to make food cook faster, he devised a way to use steam pressure to raise the boiling point of water. He named his invention the Steam Digester.

The first US patent for a pressure cooker was issued in 1902, with the first models being huge industrial-sized versions. At the time they were called canner retorts. In 1915, the term pressure cooker made its first appearance in print, and in 1917, the United States Department of Agriculture decided that they were the only safe method for preserving low acid foods and meats.

Alfred Vischer started selling the Flex-Seal Speed Cooker in 1938, which he actually patented in 1919. It was the first pressure cooker ever developed for home use and its success led to intense competition from other manufacturers, most notably National Presto Industries. They produced their own pressure cooker and displayed it at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. They called it the Presto because of its ability to cook food so much quicker than traditional methods.

The Science Behind Pressure Cookers

If you have done much cooking, especially at different elevations, you may have noticed that sometimes cooking times are different at high elevations than when compared to sea level. Most of us know that water boils at 212°F, but this is an estimate and only applies to water being boiled at sea level. At 4,000 feet up, water boils at 204.3°F, and at 8,000 feet up it boils at just 196.9°F. This is due to the lower pressure at higher elevations, which allows water molecules to escape the surface more easily.

If you were to try and apply more heat to water boiling at 212°F when it is at sea level, it won't increase the temperature of the water, it only increases the rate at which it escapes the surface. Nothing can make the water hotter than 212°F, at normal atmospheric pressure as once it surpasses that, it evaporates into steam.

Now if you were to take that same water and bring it to a location where there is a higher atmospheric pressure, like the inside of a pressure cooker, it would be able to get hotter before boiling. This is the principal pressure cookers work on and because the water is hotter, they are able to cook food faster.

As heat is applied to the closed container of a pressure cooker, the water begins to boil and releases steam into the air. This, in conjunction with the external heat source, cause the molecules in the air to vibrate more rapidly, which causes more pressure on the surface of the liquid. The average pressure cooker increases the atmospheric pressure inside the container by 15 pounds over normal sea level pressure. This pressure difference makes it so that the boiling point of water increases from 212°F to 250°F.

Benefits Of Using A Pressure Cooker

The benefit of a pressure cooker comes down to one thing; speed. Considering that time is one of our most precious resources, this is invaluable. For most of us who barely get home from work in time to cook a healthy meal for ourselves or our family, the idea of cooking a pork belly, a brisket, or any other cut of meat on a weeknight is out of the question. By using a pressure cooker, one can cook a beautiful and perfectly tender pork belly in just 40 minutes, as opposed to three hours or more in the traditional method.

Being able to cook cuts of meat that we would not normally have time to is also a big money saver. Consider the average prices for different cuts of meat. If you wanted a nice, tender steak for dinner, you would most likely choose a tenderloin or a rib-eye. In bulk shopping store like Sam's Club, tenderloin steaks run about $14 a pound, and rib-eyes run $9 a pound. It's not uncommon to see double that at your standard neighborhood grocery store. In a pressure cooker, you can make a chuck steak that comes out just as tender as a tenderloin, but it will only cost you $5.50 a pound at Sam's Club as opposed to spending $14 for the tenderloin or $9 for the rib-eye. This makes feeding a family much more affordable. In addition to saving money on the cuts of meat you are buying, you will also use 50% to 75% less energy to cook your meal because of the shorter cooking times.

Electric pressure cookers are ideal as many of them allow for the user to adjust the pressure. This makes them better at cooking delicate foods like puddings or risottos than a traditional pressure cooker. They can also be used to quick soak beans at lower pressures, before increasing the pressure for cooking.



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Last updated on April 18 2017 by Lydia Chipman

An itinerant wordsmith with an alphabet-soup of credentials to her name, Lydia has turned iconoclasm into a livelihood of sorts, throwing herself into a broad constellation of interests. From antithetical cultural analysis to interdisciplinary combat training, she bears the scars and stripes of an uncommon diversity of experience. Reading, biking and exploring are favorite pastimes, but – with the notable exceptions of joining a religious order (not on speaking terms with a higher power) and becoming an artist (can’t even draw a respectable stick-figure) – she’d try almost anything once.