The 10 Best Pressure Cookers

Updated May 15, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

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We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Pressure cookers not only work faster than many other cooking methods, but they can help save energy, too. Use one of these as your secret weapon for traditionally slow-cooked recipes like stews, braised meats, and other kitchen staples, including rice. Our selection includes both electric models and stovetop options to meet a wide range of needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best pressure cooker on Amazon.

10. Elite Platinum

The Elite Platinum features a very convenient browning function, which is perfect for searing meats prior to cooking in its removable pot. It also has a 24-hour delay timer that allows you to prepare your meals far in advance and come home to a finished dish.
  • whisper-quiet operation
  • cooking times up to 99 minutes long
  • not the highest quality construction
Brand Elite Platinum
Model EPC-808
Weight 17.8 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Magefesa Practika Plus

You can keep it simple and affordable with the stainless steel Magefesa Practika Plus, which will work on any range. Its small size is great for saving kitchen space, but also helps build pressure up faster, further speeding up the cooking process.
  • easy-to-clean regulator valve
  • no cheap rubber gaskets
  • has been known to leak
Brand Magefesa
Model 01OPPRAPL06
Weight 7.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Instant Pot Smart 60

The Instant Pot Smart 60 can be controlled via a mobile app and includes many temperature and timing settings, so it can also function as a slow cooker, making it great for thick sauces and more. It also won't make your kitchen overly hot as it works.
  • numerous preprogrammed functions
  • handy steaming rack
  • app is a bit buggy and hard to use
Brand Instant Pot
Model Smart 60
Weight 16 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Culina One-Touch

The Culina One-Touch is, as its name suggests, simple to operate thanks to the responsive open and close buttons on the lid and its fully adjustable seal knob. It even features measurements on the inside in both cups and quarts, and wide handles make it easy to transport.
  • includes a glass lid
  • safe for use on all stovetops
  • silicone gasket is not built to last
Brand Culina
Model SYNCHKG053630
Weight 10.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Breville Fast Slow Pro

The Breville Fast Slow Pro is beautifully designed to complement modern kitchens, and is built with top-notch components and a focus on safety. The large LED display and clean buttons resemble the controls used in luxury vehicles, making this unit very fun to use.
  • automatic pressure release valve
  • works at fairly high altitudes
  • teflon coating may flake over time
Brand Breville
Model BPR700BSS
Weight 18.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Cuisinart CPC-600

The Cuisinart CPC-600 has an easy-to-read thermostat with an LED countdown display so you know when your food will be ready. The dishwasher-safe pot is large enough to hold an entire roast, so it's ideal for large families and holiday meals.
  • handles stay cool to the touch
  • comes with a recipe book
  • can have trouble sealing
Brand Cuisinart
Model CPC-600
Weight 14.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Presto 01781

The lightweight, aluminum Presto 01781 is a dial-gauge canner as well as a cooker, and works well on most ranges, but not on induction burners. It creates a tight seal, and the accuracy of the pressure gauge is very precise, which is critical for use at high altitudes.
  • fast and even heating
  • backed by a 12-year warranty
  • great value for the price
Brand Presto
Model 01781
Weight 12.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. T-fal P25107

Suitable for use with many different heat sources, including induction stovetops, the T-fal P25107 is an excellent option for smaller homes and apartments. It has a multi-layered base to prevent warping, so it will last for years to come.
  • built-in safety valve
  • choice of 10 or 15 psi settings
  • pot is dishwasher safe
Brand T-fal
Model 7114000441
Weight 8.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

2. Instant Pot Duo Mini

The Instant Pot Duo Mini has a 3-quart capacity, making it a great choice for smaller families, couples, and individuals who want to up their kitchen game. There is a helpful maximum fill line inside the pot, and the control panel is very intuitive.
  • works well as a rice cooker too
  • can also be used to make yogurt
  • delivers highly consistent results
Brand Instant Pot
Model DUO Mini
Weight 12.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. All American

Available in a wide range of sizes all the way up to a massive 41.5 quarts, the All American is for serious home cooks and canners. It features a metal-to-metal, gasket-free seal and an automatic overpressure release for safety, and makes you feel like a kitchen scientist.
  • highly accurate steam gauge
  • thick and tough handle
  • made in the usa
Brand All American
Model 921
Weight 23.8 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

High Pressure With Less Stress

Most people who enjoy cooking have an arsenal of utensils at their disposal to get the job done. Both home and professional chefs have a passion for creating delicious meals for themselves, their families, their guests, and friends. While there's nothing wrong with using an oven or soup pot on top of a burner to make a hot meal, those aren't the only ways to cook these days. Perhaps you'd like the benefit of rapidly cooking a wide variety of foods in other ways besides using a conventional burner or the heat of an oven. The pressure cooker can be quite a useful alternative for this purpose.

As its name implies, a pressure cooker is a semi-sealed cooking pot that operates through the buildup of internal steam pressure to prepare foods faster than they would ordinarily be prepared from inside an oven or on a stovetop. The majority of pressure cookers are ideal for preparing meals with liquids such as water, wine, broth, or stock. The act of sealing these liquids inside the pot traps the vapor they release as the internal temperature of the vessel rises.

This rise in temperature also increases the degree of internal pressure that is infused into whatever food is being prepared while the maximum possible temperature is also increased, thereby cooking a meal faster than more conventional methods. This may explain why that delicious beef stew you've prepared is so flavorful, moist, and ready to serve ahead of schedule. The amount of internal pressure inside the vessel is inversely proportional to the amount of time it takes to prepare a meal. The higher the pressure, the less time it takes to get dinner on the table.

Pressure cookers are usually constructed from either aluminum or stainless steel. Stainless steel cookers are typically more durable and less reactive to acidic foods than aluminum cookers. These vessels have several parts and accessories, including a steamer basket for holding food, a trivet for keeping the steamer basket above the liquid inside, a spring-loaded valve for controlling the release of excess steam and regulating pressure, and a sealing ring (or rubber gasket) for retaining heat. The lid on a pressure cooker locks into place against the side of the pot, while its handle also locks to prevent the lid from opening when food is under pressure. The vessel has a standard operating pressure up to fifteen pounds per square inch (PSI). Under this level of pressure, water boils at two hundred fifty degrees Fahrenheit.

So what types of things can actually go into a pressure cooker? The short answer is a lot. For example, rice and beans can be quickly prepared, meats can be tenderized, and the infusion of both heat and moisture makes the flavors of one's food more intense. Foods prepared in this fashion also retain a greater percentage of their nutrients and vitamins than they would when boiled or commercially processed, adding an important health benefit to the pot. Finally, the vessel has an impressive degree of versatility. It can be used as a dutch oven, steamer, sauce pan, and even a baking pan.

Get Cooking

Some of the best pressure cookers available feature automatic pressure release functionality, which makes preparing meals easier and safer than ever before. If you're a busy parent, finding a vessel with the most cutting-edge technology and a large capacity for liquids and food are both important considerations.

The ability to monitor and adjust the pot's settings is also beneficial. For that reason, pots with programmable and intuitive push-button displays will come in quite handy. One must also be sure that the pot's sealing system is durable and reliable as well.

Consider the size of your kitchen and other appliances you have available to you when making your decision, as some pots are even compatible with induction cooktops.

If cooking quickly isn't your only source of motivation for investing in a pressure cooker, then you can also find available models with multiple operating modes for slow cooking and making thick sauces.

Finally, one must be sure that the handles make the vessel comfortable and easy to carry without any chance of overheating.

A Brief History Of Pressure Cookers

The earliest known attempt at pressure cooking was made by French physicist Denis Papin who was most well known for his work on steam engines. Papin invented what he referred to as a steam digester in 1679. This airtight cooking device used steam pressure to increase the boiling point of water. In 1809, French confectioner Nicolas Appert invented a canning process for packing food in clean jars with a cork and cooking them in boiling water for food preservation. Although not an actual pressure cooker, Appert's preservation method helped to develop the overall science of pressure cooking itself.

By 1864, pressure cookers made from tin cast iron were manufactured by Georg Gutbrod of Stuttgart. In 1917, the United States Department of Agriculture determined that pressure canning was the only safe method of preserving low-acid foods without causing food poisoning. With this information, homeowners began to recognize the benefits of using their pressure canners to cook foods more quickly.

By 1918, Jose Alix Martínez was granted a patent for the pressure cooker, which he named olla exprés, meaning express cooking pot. Martínez later published the very first pressure cooking pot recipe book in 1924 that included 360 unique ideas for preparing food in the vessel.

In 1938, Alfred Vischler introduced the first saucepan-style pressure cooker for home use in New York City, which he called the Flex-Seal Speed Cooker. Popularity of the vessel took off with even greater success in 1939 when National Presto Industries released its first pressure cooker at the New York World's Fair. By 1941, eleven companies were manufacturing pressure cookers for the home consumer market.

Following World War Two, stamped aluminum cookers became more common for those on tight budgets during the 1950s. Both contemporary styling and the addition of extra safety features were introduced in the 1970s, such as an interlocking cover that prevented the user from opening the vessel without first reducing the amount of pressure inside it. Today, the United States standard for pressure cookers continues to be the type equipped with a weighted valve regulator.

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Last updated on May 15, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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