Table of Contents
- 1 Pressure Cooker Comparison Table
- 2 Review of the Top 5 Pressure Cookers
- 3 Finding the Best Pressure Cooker for Your Needs
- 4 What is a Pressure Cooker and How Does it Work?
- 5 How to Use a Pressure Cooker
- 6 Main Features and Specifications
- 7 Pressure Cooker Types
- 8 Pressure Cooker Sizes
- 9 Other Features to Consider
You don’t have to tell anyone your culinary secret—that your mouth-watering pulled pork or flavorful beef stew was cooked in less than an hour with essentially little to no effort on your part at all. Recipes that once took hours or even overnight to cook with other appliances can be started in the evening right before dinnertime using the pressure cooker.
The modern cook is often busy and on the go, needing an easy, quick way to cook for themselves and others. Pressure cookers are amazing little appliances that can shorten your cooking time considerably compared to other conventional methods of cooking.
With a quality pressure cooker, you can cook a wide range of food including rice, beans, stews, soups, vegetables, noodles, and different types of meat. You can even choose from an electric pressure cooker to those made of aluminum and stainless steel.
Pressure Cooker Comparison Table
The comparison table of pressure cookers below is a comprehensive guide that will help you decide on the best pressure cooker for you:
|Presto 01362 Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker||Stainless steel with tri-clad base, Visual pressure indicator, Dishwasher-safe, Includes cooking rack and 64-page recipe book||4; 6||9.75"x15.5"x6.7", 5.8 lbs; 17"x10"x9", 7 lbs||12 years||$||4.6|
|All American 921 Pressure Cooker/Canner||Made with durable aluminum, Cool touch handle, Automatic overpressure release, Dishwasher-safe,||10.5; 15.5; 21.5; 25; 30; 41.5||14"x13"x14", 14.8 lbs;|
16"x15"x14", 18 lbs;
16"x15"x17", 20 lbs;
16"x15"x19", 24 lbs;
17"x17"x20", 28 lbs;
|1 year||$$$ - $$$$||4.8|
|Presto 01781 Pressure Canner and Cooker||Precision pressure gauge, Doubles as boiling-water canner, Made with aluminum||23||15.4"x15.1"x14.8",10 lbs||12 years||$$||4.7|
|Cuisinart CPC-600 1000-Watt 6-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker||Push button controls, Digital display, Precision Thermostat, cool touch handles, dishwasher-safe||6||12.2"x12.2"x13.2", 12.6 lbs||3 years||$$||4.2|
|Instant Pot IP-LUX60 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, 6.33-Quart||6-in-1 multi-functional cooker including steamer, rice and slow cooker, Stainless steel, LED display, 10 pre-programmed settings, 24 hour delay timer, Dishwasher-safe (Removable insert)||6.33||12.6"x11.8"x10.2", 14.3 lbs||1 year||$$$||4.6|
|Presto 01370 Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker||Stainless steel with tri-clad base, Quick pressure release system, Dishwasher-safe, Includes cooking rack and 64-page recipe book||8||17.4"x11"x10.5",10 lbs||12 years||$$||4.6|
|Fagor Stainless-Steel Pressure Cooker with Steamer Basket||Stainless steel, Stay-cool safety lock, Visual pressure indicator, Includes recipes, Dishwasher-safe,||4; 6; 8; 10||17.5"x9.5"x6.5", 7 lbs;|
17.5"x9.5"x9", 8 lbs;
17.2"x11"x10", 10 lbs;
17.3"x11.3"x10.7", 11 lbs
|10 years||$$ - $$$||4|
|Fagor Stainless-Steel 3-in-1 6-Quart Multi-Cooker||Multiple functions including rice cooker, pressure cooker, and slow cooker, Self-locking lid, Automatic pressure release, LED screen, Protection from overheat, Stay-cool handles, Includes recipes, Dishwasher-safe||6||12"x12"x13", 13.5 lbs||1 year||$$||4.1|
|Nesco PC6-25P 6-Quart Electric Programmable Pressure Cooker, Stainless Steel||LED display, Touch buttons, Programmable with presets, Automatically locking lid, Cool-touch lid and handles, Dishwasher-safe||6||12.6"x12.6"x18.2", 13.5 lbs||1 year||$$||3.8|
|Futura by Hawkins Hard Anodized Pressure Cooker from Hawkins||Durable gasket, Hard anodized surface (non-corroding material), Pressure locked safety lid, Stay-cool handle||2.1; 3.2; 4.2; 5.3; 6.4; 7.4; 9.5||12"x8"x8", 5.3 lbs;|
13"x9"x8", 6.2 lbs;
16"x10"x8", 7.6 lbs;
16"x10"x8", 8.7 lbs;
16"x10"x9", 8.9 lbs;
16"x10"x10", 9.3 lbs;
18"x11"x10", 10 lbs;
18"x11"x11", 11.5 lbs
|5 years||$ - $$||4.1|
|Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker||Stainless steel with aluminum core in base, Spring-loaded precision valve; Integrated lid locking; 5 safety releases, Dishwasher-safe||3.7; 7.4; 8||13"x8"x5", 6.5 lbs;|
11"x11"x6.5", 11 lbs
|10 years||$$$ - $$$$||4.6|
|Mirro 92122A Polished Aluminum Dishwasher Safe Pressure Cooker Canner||Rustproof aluminum, 3 cooking pressure options, Overpressure release valve, Gasket pressure release , Sure-locking lid system, Dishwasher-safe||4; 6; 8; 16; 22||16"x10"x10", 5 lbs;|
18"x12"x10", 7 lbs;
18"x13"x11", 7.4 lbs;
19"x14"x12", 9 lbs;
17"x14"x17", 14 lbs
|1 year||$ - $$||4|
|Fagor Splendid Pressure Cooker/Canner||Aluminum base, Visual pressure indicator, Automatic pressure release system, 10-Quart size can be used as a canner as well, Includes recipe book||4; 6; 10||16"x10"x7", 5 lbs;|
16"x10.5"x9", 7.5 lbs;
17"x11.5"x11", 11 lbs
|Prestige Popular Aluminium Pressure Cooker||Aluminum, Gasket release system, Metallic safety plug||2.1; 3.2; 4.2; 5.3; 6.4; 8; 10.6; 12.7; 17; 21.2||12"x9"x5", 3 lbs;|
12"x9"x7", 4 lbs;
14"x9"x6", 4 lbs;
14"x9"x8", 5 lbs;
14"x9"x10", 5 lbs;
16"x8"x8", 7 lbs;
14"x10"x10", 7 lbs;
16"x12"x12", 8 lbs;
14"x13"x13", 15 lbs
|5 years||$ - $$$||3.6|
- Pressure cooker pictures
- Pressure cooker brand and name/model – (click to view more details or to purchase)
- Features: Special functions, settings, and features
- Capacity: Quarts
- Dimensions: Inches
- Weight: Pounds
- Warranty: Details on product warranty
- Price: These are approximate prices pulled from Amazon.com. These prices may change frequently based on availability, special deals, and more. But generally speaking, the pressure cookers are priced as following: $ = under $50, $$ = $50 to $100, $$$ = $100 to $200, $$$$ = $200+
- Rating: The average user rating on Amazon.com. This rating can be helpful in getting an idea of what others thought of the product and the level of satisfaction of their purchase.
The top rated pressure cookers included on the table above include just a small portion of these available appliances. Since there is a vast number of different models and manufacturers of this product, we included the best pressure cookers at every price range from a wide range of quality brands and makers.
Review of the Top 5 Pressure Cookers
Most of the pressure cookers included in the table above are excellent options. However, there are a few that we have selected as our top rated based on extensive research and reviews. Below, we have listed our top 5 picks for overall best pressure cooker along with a detailed description of each product.
Presto 01362 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
Pressure Cooker Rating:Based on overall rating, quality, size, and price, the Presto 01362 is one of the best pressure cookers that anyone could own.
Its stainless steel pot includes a tri-clad base for fast cooking, providing an even distribution of heat. The pressure regulator of the cooker maintains the pressure automatically so you can turn it on and forget about it while it goes to work. It comes in two sizes:
- 6-quart with dimensions of 19 x 9.9 x 9.8 inches
- 4-quart with dimensions of 9.75 x 15.5 x 6.33 inches
The item also comes with a cooking rack, 64-page recipe book, and an extended 12-year limited warranty, so expect quality and durability. With an average of a 4.6 star rating on Amazon from over 1,200 pressure cooker reviews, and an affordable price tag of only $40-$46 (depending on size), this product is hard to beat.
Not only that, Presto is a reputable company dating all the way back to 1905 and is known for their exceptional household appliances.
All American 921 21-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner
Pressure Cooker Rating:The USDA recommends that the only way to can meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables is with a pressure canner. The All American Pressure Cooker provides a safe way of doing so.
It is made of extra heavy-duty, durable, hand-cast aluminum that makes it professional quality. It boasts a “Metal-to-Metal” sealing system that allows the cover to be easily opened and closed, which can be handled by the stay-cool top handle. It also has 6 sizes ranging from 10.5-quart to 41.5-quart, fitting the needs of any size families. Despite its more expensive price tag, the 1,000+ buyers reviewing this product on Amazon have given it a whopping 4.8 star rating.
This top rated pressure cooker has an automatic over pressure release, as well as 3 different psi settings (5, 10, and 15) for all your cooking needs. It’s also dishwasher-safe which will make it much easier to clean. Not to mention it has been manufactured in the USA since 1930 by Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry.
Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
Pressure Cooker Rating:The Presto 01781 is a safe and reliable pressure cooker that can be used as a canner as well. As a canner, it is versatile as it can also be used as a water bath canner.
When used as a canner, you can use it to preserve and can various types of food including meat, beans, fruits, jams, jellies, and vegetables. It comes in one size, 23 quarts, and therefore its capacity is able to hold large amounts of food at one time.
The Presto 01781 is made of aluminum with stay-cool handles and durable locking lid. Its fast, even heating is coupled with precise measurement by its pressure dial gauge registers. It also includes a cooking/canning rack and 76-page recipe book. This cooker/canner comes with an 12-year warranty. It is also manufactured by National Presto, a reputable maker of housewares and cooking products.
The price for this cooker/canner generally ranges from $68 – $70 on Amazon, so it is on the more affordable end of the price ranges for pressure cookers. With a rating of 4.7 stars on Amazon and 800+ reviews, this pressure cooker is ideal for its price, quality, and cooking capacity.
Cuisinart CPC-600 1000-Watt 6-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
Pressure Cooker Rating:If you’re looking for an electric cooker to cook up quick meals, the Cuisinart 1000-Watt pressure cooker is just for you.
The cooker’s push-button controls, LED digital display, timer, automatic locking, and digital thermostat make it easy to use and handle. Programmed settings include pressure cooking, warming browning, simmering, and sauteing.
Features also include cool-touch handles and non-stick pot material that is easy to clean and dishwasher-safe. This cooker comes in one size, 6-Quarts, and has a 3 year limited warranty. This cooker has an average of 4.2 star rating on Amazon from 650 pressure cooker reviews and a price tag of about $99.
The Cuisinart brand date back to 1971 and has made a long-standing history for producing culinary and specialty products. For its quality, efficiency, and easy handling, this pressure cooker is worth the investment for your everyday kitchen needs.
Instant Pot IP-LUX60 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker
Pressure Cooker Rating:The Instant Pot IP-LUX60 is a 6-in-1 multi-functional cooking unit, able to serve as the following functions: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, warmer, and sauté/browning.
It comes in one size (6.33 quarts) and as a programmable cooker, it is easy to use the various features including the 10 program settings, automatic warmer, and 3 temperature settings for sauté/browning and slow cooking. This cooker has a manual cook time setting for up to 120 minutes and can delay cooking time for up to 24 hours.
This stainless steel pressure cooker also includes a steam rack, rice paddle, soup spoon, measuring cup, cooking time guide tables, and recipes. Though the Instant Pot is priced at slightly more than other pressure cookers (average price on Amazon is $119), it boasts a high rating of 4.6 stars on Amazon with almost 600 customer reviews.
As an Instant Pot product, the Canadian company has been making state-of-the-art cooking appliances since 2009. This latest 3rd generation cooker has been praised by-product owners as a safe, convenient way to cook quick, healthy meals.
Finding the Best Pressure Cooker for Your Needs
Now that you’ve reviewed our top choices and seen the various options for the best pressure cooker out there on the market, it’s up to you to pick which one meets your cooking needs, is affordable to you, and will help you overall in your cooking endeavors. Since new products are always being created and put out in the market, we will continue to update the comparison chart with the latest pressure cookers available.
What is a Pressure Cooker and How Does it Work?
A pressure cooker is a tightly sealed pot that cooks food, using water or other liquid, by not allowing air or liquids to escape the pot below a pre-set pressure. The cooker will have a cover, typically very sturdy and heavy-duty that locks down during the cooking process as it heats up. An inner sealing ring helps keep the steam in.
Once the pre-set pressure is reached, it cooks with the heat turned down on low. An alternative to the stove top version is the electric pressure cooker. Depending on what you’re making, an electric pressure cooker might serve you better.
For example, if you’re making something that might take several hours, you won’t be stuck at home making sure your house doesn’t burn down. It will be programmable and you might have different settings such as soup, poultry, multigrain, chili beans, meat/stew, sauté/browning, slow cook, rice cooker, steamer, warmer, and a timer.
One of the most highly reviewed electric pressure cooker brand on Amazon is Cuisinart, which some models include up to 6 different settings. Pressure cookers are often favored over other methods of conventional cooking because it is an easy, cost-effective way to cook food quicker and also saves energy and time as well.
The wonderful thing about the pressure cooker is that almost any food that can be cooked in steam, water, or other liquid can be cooked in a pressure cooker as well.
How to Use a Pressure Cooker
Most of the top rated pressure cookers you find on sites like Amazon are made for your average consumer and will be fairly straight forward to use. All you need to do is add all of the necessary ingredients, close the lid, and slow cook your food to perfection. The built-in pressure regulator will maintain the needed pressure for proper cooking and the cover lock indicator will let you know when it is safe to open the lid.
- Never overfill the pressure cooker
- Always add cooking liquid
- Always check the vent pipe to make sure it is clear
- Always close the pressure cooker fully
- Never open the cooker when there is still pressure
- Replace the over pressure plug and sealing ring if it becomes hard, deformed, cracked, worn, or pitted
- Always follow any special procedures when using a pressure cooker for rice, grains, dry beans and peas
- Never pressure cook applesauce, cranberries, pastas, cereals, rhubarb, dried soup mixes, or dry beans and peas – it expands so much due to foaming and frothing
For more detailed instructions, please check your product manual as each cooker may work differently. For electric pressure cookers, just add your ingredients, plug it in, and set it to the setting of your choice. It’s as simple as that. This is why some people may opt for the electronic version.
When cleaning your pressure cooker, be sure to read the product manual. Make sure to use nonabrasive cleaners to prevent damaging the inside of the pot. On occasion, a fine metal polish can be used for the outside of the cooker to keep it looking new. The vent pipe can be easily cleaned with a brush or pipe cleaner, and are normally removable. Stove top versions are usually fully immersible, while electric pressure cookers will have a pot that can be removed for cleaning.
Main Features and Specifications
Whether you are a first time buyer or just wanting to upgrade, you’ll be faced with some tough decisions on the variety of top pressure cookers when beginning your search. There are many features to consider, including the size of the pressure cooker, the type, special features, and settings for use. With this guide, you will be able to determine the model and type that best fits your needs.
Pressure Cooker Types
There are three types of pressure cookers to choose from: electric, aluminum, and stainless steel.
Electric pressure cookers:
- Pros: There are usually several different settings that can be used for different types of cooking along with a digital timer. The pot is also removable and can easily be cleaned.
- Cons: Because it is electric, these pressure cookers tend to be more on the expensive side.
Aluminum pressure cookers:
- Pros: These pressure cookers are often lightweight and low in cost. They are able to cook with high, consistent heat due to the conductive capabilities of the aluminum material.
- Cons: Due to the relative weak material, aluminum pressure cookers are unable to cook at very high pressures compared to its stainless steel counterpart, and do not last very long. The metal blemishes, becomes warped, and can stain easily.
Stainless steel pressure cookers:
- Pros: Stainless steel pressure cookers are often slightly heavier in weight and more durable than the aluminum ones. These pressure cookers can cook at very high pressure and therefore can cook at a shorter period of time compared to the aluminum pressure cooker. The stainless steel ones usual last longer in years due to its durable material.
- Cons: Due to its material, the stainless steel pressure cooker is often pricier and its heat conduction is usually weaker than the aluminum type.
Pressure Cooker Sizes
Pressure cooker sizes vary, based on the total liquid capacity of the pot itself. One thing to keep in mind is that the actual usable capacity is normally about half or two-thirds of the pot’s size, depending on what you cook.
The following are the most popular sizes: 4-quart: Ideal when cooking for 1-2 people or making one course. 6-quart: Most popular size for the average family; ideal to cook various types of meals and recipes. 8-quart: Larger size cooker, ideal when cooking for more people and/or large families.
Other Features to Consider
Pressure Regulator: The purpose of the pressure regulator is to control the cooking pressure and indicate the level of pressure needed inside the pot. This is important to ensure proper cooking. The three main types of pressure regulators include weighted valve, modified weighted valve, and spring valve. The standard pressure for cooking is 15 PSI, which is usually the maximum setting and required pressure for most recipes.
Weighted Valve: This is the valve that sits at the top of the vent pipe and controls the pressure. It is often referred to as the jiggle-top regulator, due to the rocking motion that helps release excess pressure. It allows excess steam to be released during the cooking process, which helps maintain the desired pressure.
Modified Weighted Valve: This valve is attached do the pressure cooker lid directly, and releases steam in steady short bursts. This version may be more troublesome compared to its counterparts (weighted and spring valves) since you will need to tend to the cooker carefully to adjust the heat to maintain a slow release of steam.
Spring Valve: This is the pop-up pressure indicator that safely shows you what the pressure is inside the cooker. It is also the most expensive option compared to the weighted and modified weighted valves. As pressure builds up from inside the pot, the indicator will slowly rise and let you know when your desired psi has been reached, typically at the 10 and 15 psi marks. At this point, you may need to adjust your heat to maintain the desired psi.
Cover Interlock Mechanism: The best pressure cookers will not begin pressurizing until the covers are completely locked in place. Similarly, the cover will not unlock for removal until the pressure drops to a safe level.
Cooking Rack: For many buyers, the best pressure cooker will have the convenience of a cooking rack. This is placed at the bottom of the pot and allows your food cook above the liquid. Also, it allows for food separation in case you’re cooking more than one recipe.
Pressure Release: Most pressure cookers today, especially top rated ones, have a quick pressure release knob. Once you remove the cooker from the heat, the quick pressure release is activated and hot steam gets released. Alternatively, another method of releasing pressure simply involves removing the pressure cooker from the heat and letting it cool down naturally.
Handles: With most cookers today, the handle is ergonomic and feels very secure and comfortable to grip. Larger pressure cookers should have handles on both sides.
Base Material: If you’re purchasing a stainless steel cooker, to find ones with aluminum-clad bases. This ensures a strong and durable cooker that will last you much longer.
Interior Material: While some pressure cookers are non-stick, it does not do well under high pressure. It also limits what utensils you can use to make sure you do not damage the interior. It is best to stick with the traditional interiors.
Instruction/Recipe Book: Some pressure cookers will include some kind of a recipe book that will give you a chance to try recipes that have been used before. It’s a great way to start using your cooker until you become more comfortable with trying your own recipes.
Warranty: We want you to buy quality pressure cookers that will last a long time. Of the ones we have reviewed, the limited manufacturer warranty ranges from 1 year to 12 years. This will protect you from buying defective or damaged cookers.
Cost: As you see in our pressure cooker comparison chart above, there is a wide range of prices. Depending on what your intended uses, budget and so forth are, this is important to consider.