The 9 Best Pressure Cookers to Buy in 2018

Shop for the best pressure cookers on the market including the Instant Pot

pressure-cooker
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There’s been a resurgence in the popularity of pressure cookers lately, and for good reason. Not only do they reduce cooking time, but they also reduce the heat generated in the kitchen, particularly with electric cookers that don’t vent as much steam as stovetop models.

If you're trying to decide between an electric model and a stovetop model there are a few things to consider. Stovetop models are pretty basic, and while they get the job done they aren't as fully featured as their...MORE electric counterparts. They require more monitoring to make sure you achieve and maintain the correct pressure, but can also be used as saucepans when the lid is off or unlocked.

Electric pressure cookers today have a range of features that make them a must-have appliance. From varied pressure settings to functions that act as a slow-cooker, and timers that make it all automatic an electric cooker is a truly versatile appliance.

Today’s cookers also have multiple safety features that make accidents unlikely. Lids lock in place so they can’t be accidentally removed, and there are backup pressure release valves. Electric pressure cookers sense temperature and pressure and shut themselves off if there is a problem.

One thing to keep in mind with any pressure cooker is that the timing starts when the cooker comes to pressure. You need to watch your stovetop cooker to see when pressure is achieved, but electric cookers will track the time for you.

  • Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W

    Best Overall: Instant Pot DUO 7-in-1 Cooker

    The Instant Pot, a cult favorite, has everything you need in a pressure cooker, plus extras. The seven functions on this 3-quart model are: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté/browning, yogurt maker, steamer, and warmer. The control panel makes cooking easy, with high and low pressure, three sauté temperatures, slow cook, and warming all at the touch of a button. You almost don’t need another appliance in your kitchen.

    The cooking insert is made from stainless steel with a...MORE three-layer base for even cooking, and there is an optional nonstick cooking insert available from the manufacturer. The steam rack can be used for steaming or as a lifting rack for larger foods.

    The yogurt function starts by heating the milk to a high temperature for pasteurization, then continues at a lower temperature for fermentation. You can make a batch directly in the cooking insert or in individual glass jars.

    The Instant Pot offers plenty of timer functions to make cooking fit into your schedule. You can choose to delay the start for up to 24 hours. And the automatic keep-warm feature will hold cooked food for 10 hours, while the manual keep-warm feature can hold food for up to nearly 100 hours—more than enough for any potluck or party.

    The silicone sealing ring that comes with this model tends to pick up food odors, but replacements are available from the manufacturer or on Amazon. Some users prefer to keep one ring for savory foods and a second ring for more delicate sweet foods.

    This model is also available in 5-, 6- and 8-quart models.

  • Breville BPR700BSS The Fast Slow Pro, 6 Quart, Silver

    Best High-End Electric: Breville The Fast Slow Pro Pressure Cooker

    While most electric pressure cookers these days also have a slow-cook option, this one takes the concept further with menus that can automatically adjust the time, temperature and pressure between fast and slow cooking.

    For precise temperature control, this has sensors at both the top and bottom to monitor temperature and pressure. It also has a hands-free steam release for extra safety, and the mode used for steam release changed based on the food settings chosen.

    This has settings for 11...MORE pressure cooking functions; slow cooking at high or low for up to 12 hours; steaming, sautéing, searing, reducing, and keeping the food warm. It also has a custom setting, so you can follow recipes perfectly. When the cooking is done, it switches to the keep-warm mode. The LCD changes color to indicate the current step in the process: pressurizing, cooking, or releasing steam.

    The bowl has a ceramic coating for easy washing. This includes a rack and a steaming basket for even more versatility.

    While this has a lot of settings for different foods and functions, many people will only need high or low pressure, so it might be overkill to have more options that you’ll use.

  • Best Budget: Crock-Pot Express Crock Programmable Multi-Cooker

    From the name you've learned to slow cook with over the years comes this multi-cooker that cannot only pressure and slow cook but it also lets you brown, sauté or steam. All of these functions can be set with a delayed timer so you can ensure a freshly done meal when you get home.

    With easy setting such as meat/stew, beans/chili, rice/risotto, yogurt, poultry, dessert, soup and multigrain you can cook up a whole feast of meals. With this purchase, you'll also get a recipe book with plenty...MORE of ideas, a steaming rack and a serving spoon to help whip up dinner in a jiffy. Plus, the cooking pot is dishwasher safe so cleanup is a breeze. 

  • calaphon-pressure-cooker

    High End Stovetop Pressure Cooker: Calphalon Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

    While electric pressure cookers have become more popular, stovetop cookers are still very useful. This one is made for the serious cook, with a one-button locking system, a uniquely designed lid, and intuitive pressure controls that make it easy to understand and it use.

    The unique locking rim secures the lid to the pot in any position, so there’s no need to thread or align the lid with the pot for a proper seal. Once in place, it locks with the touch of a button and the pressure indicator pin...MORE pops up with pressure is reached, so you can easily monitor the cooking time. The pressure release valve lets you set high or low pressure, and safely releases pressure when cooking is done.

    Because stovetop cookers can operate at higher pressure than electric models, they cook even faster, and this one can reduce cooking times by 50 percent or more. This is made from stainless steel with stay-cool silicone-wrapped handles. It can be used on any cooktop, including induction, and is dishwasher safe. With the lid off, it can be used as a standard stockpot.

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  • Best Small Electric: Mealthy MultiPot 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker

    If you like the idea of an electric pressure cooker, but you’re cooking for just a few people and don’t have extra space to spare, this 6-quart pressure cooker has all the features of larger units with a smaller footprint and a smaller cooking capacity.

    The Mealthy MultiPot features nine cooking options: pressure cook, slow cook, make rice, sauté, steam and more. The main cooking pot is made of sturdy stainless steel that's perfect for making anything from chili to yogurt to even cakes. The...MORE device also comes with a stainless steel steaming tray that you can use to steam vegetable at the same time as you prepare whatever is in the main chamber of the pressure cooker. This Amazon Choice product is perfect for smaller kitchens and comes with recipes and a helpful app, too.

  • GoWISE USA GW22637 4th-Generation Electric Pressure Cooker with steam rack, steam basket, rice scooper, and measuring cup, 14 QT

    Best Large Electric: GoWISE Electric Pressure Cooker

    If you regularly cook for a crowd, this 14-quart electric pressure cooker has the capacity to cook large batches of food every day. For convenience, it has 12 cooking presets that set pressure and time for the best results, including rice, multigrain, porridge, steam, soup, meat/stew, bean/chili, sauté, poultry, yogurt, slow cook, and eggs.

    The LED displays show cooking time, temperature, and pressure. There is a delay timer so you can start the cooking time later. Both the cooking time and the...MORE pressure are adjustable, so you’ll always get the results you want. For easy cleaning, the cooking pot has a ceramic coating.

    This is a large cooker, so it will take more counter space that an average-sized cooker, and it’s also much heavier, weighing in at 18 pound before food is added. It includes a steam rack, steam basket, rice scooper, and measuring cup.

  • Presto 01362 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

    Best Budget Stovetop: Presto 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

    If you don’t need all the extras, but you want to try pressure cooking, this budget cooker is just what you need. The pressure regulator maintains an even cooking pressure, and the cover lock keeps the lid closed and indicates that pressure remains in the pot.

    Unlike some of the cheaper pots, this one is made from stainless steel rather than aluminum, so it’s fine for cooking acidic foods, and it’s dishwasher-safe. It includes a rack for keeping food lifted off the bottom of the pot.

    This pot does...MORE not have adjustable pressure. It also comes in a 4-quart size.

  • Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker

    Best Pressure Canner: Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker

    This pressure cooker comes with a dial gauge for precisely monitoring internal pressure, which is important when pressure canning, and even more important if you’re canning at high altitude. If you want to use your pressure cooker for canning, you'll need to look for one that's approved by the USDA for pressure canning to be on the safe side.

    This canner is made from aluminum for even heating, and can also be used as a boiling-water canner. It can also be used as a large-capacity pressure...MORE cooker, but since it’s made from aluminum, it shouldn’t be used for acidic foods like tomatoes.

    This includes a rack and holds up to 7 quart jars, or two layers of 9 pint jars.

    The pressure cooker lid should not be immersed in water for cleaning, and the dial gauge is somewhat delicate. Before using for canning, the gauge should be tested to make sure it’s accurate.

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  • Best Small: PressurePro 4 Qt Pressure Cooker

    Great for small families and singles, or for folks who want a second pressure cooker for side dishes and appetizers, this 4-quart pressure cooker is also the perfect fit for small kitchens.

    While the size is small, the features are large, with one-touch preprogrammed buttons that adjust the temperature and pressure for a variety of foods. The inner cooking pot has a nonstick surface, but it can be washed in the dishwasher, saving you cleanup time.

    The digital display makes ​is easy to check the...MORE cooking progress, and the keep-warm mode lets you hold food at a safe temperature while you wrangle the family to the table. A delay timer lets you set up the cooker in advance, so it finishes at your desired time, so your food will be ready and waiting for you at exactly the right time.

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