The 8 Best Pressure Cookers of 2020

Shop for the Best Pressure Cookers on the Market Including the Instant Pot

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Our Top Picks

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

"A cult favorite has everything you need in a pressure cooker, plus extras."

Best Budget: Crock-Pot Programmable Multi-Cooker at Walmart

"This versatile cooker also lets you brown, sauté, or steam."

Best Small Electric: Mealthy MultiPot Pressure Cooker at Amazon

"Has all the features of larger units but with a smaller footprint."

Best High-End Stovetop: Calphalon Pressure Cooker at Amazon

"Can reduce cooking times by 50 percent or more."

Best Large Electric: GoWISE Electric Pressure Cooker at Amazon

"Allows you to cook large batches of food every day."

Best Budget Stovetop: Presto Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker at Walmart

"If you don’t need all the extras, this budget cooker is just what you need."

Best Pressure Canner: Presto Pressure Cooker at Amazon

"Comes with a dial gauge for precisely monitoring internal pressure."

Best Small: PressurePro 4 Qt Pressure Cooker at Amazon

"One-touch pre-programmed buttons adjust the temperature and pressure."

  • 01 of 08

    Best Overall: Instant Pot DUO 60 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker

    Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.
    Excellent
    What We Like
    • Remembers previous settings

    • Three temperature levels

    • Precise temperature control

    What We Don't Like
    • Comes with minimal accessories

    • Difficult to see the pressure valve

    The Instant Pot, a cult favorite, has everything you need in a pressure cooker, plus extras. The seven functions on this 6-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. Our tester found that all of the temperature and pressure sensors delivered "precise results" no matter what she was cooking.

    The cooking insert is made from stainless steel with a 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 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. This model is also available in 3-, 5-, and 8-quart models.

    "You can’t go wrong with this model, which combines the proven performance of the iconic Instant Pot brand with an affordable price tag." — Danielle Centoni, Product Tester

  • 02 of 08

    Best Budget: Crock-Pot 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cooker

    crock-pot
    Courtesy of Walmart.
    Excellent
    What We Like
    • Inexpensive

    • Nonstick cook pot

    • Easy-to-read control panel

    What We Don't Like
    • No manual pressure button

    • Difficult to see the pressure valve

    • No medium temperature setting

    From the name you've learned to slow cook with over the years comes this multi-cooker that can not only pressure and slow cook but 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 of ideas, a steaming rack, and a serving spoon to help whip up dinner in a jiffy. Our tester did wish for a few more features—like a medium temperature setting—but overall said that those extra features "don’t make a big difference in cooking performance."

    "In terms of its straight-up ability to successfully pressure cook or slow cook a wide variety of foods, the Express Crock performs just as reliably as other electric multi-cookers we’ve tried."Danielle Centoni, Product Tester

  • 03 of 08

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

    Excellent
    What We Like
    • Progress screen removes guesswork

    • Comes to pressure super quickly

    • Intuitive control panel

    What We Don't Like
    • Glass lid not included

    • No “insufficient liquid” or “burn” warning

    • Not Wi-Fi-enabled

    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. Our reviewer put it to the test—making everything from dried chickpea stew, chicken coconut curry, and lentils and sausages to yogurt, brownies, and steel-cut oats—and found each recipe turned out just as delicious as in other electric pressure cookers she had tried.

    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 device also comes with a stainless steel steaming tray that you can use to steam vegetables at the same time as you prepare whatever is in the main chamber of the pressure cooker. Our tester found this Mealthy model to be ideal for feeding four to six people.

    "The dishes made in the Mealthy turned out identical to the ones we previously cooked in an Instant Pot."Danielle Centoni, Product Tester

  • 04 of 08

    Best High-End Stovetop: Calphalon Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

    What We Like
    • Durable, high-quality materials

    • Super quick cook times

    • Easy-to-use controls

    What We Don't Like
    • No insert basket for steaming

    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 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 pops up when 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.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best Large Electric: GoWISE Electric Pressure Cooker

    GoWISE USA GW22637 4th-Generation Electric Pressure Cooker with steam rack, steam basket, rice scooper, and measuring cup, 14 QT
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.
    What We Like
    • Ideal for large families or crowds

    • Easy to clean

    • 12 cooking presets

    What We Don't Like
    • Sauté function not the best

    • Issues with durability after years of use

    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 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 than an average-sized cooker, and it’s also much heavier, weighing in at 18 pounds before food is added. It includes a steam rack, steam basket, rice scooper, and measuring cup.

  • 06 of 08

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

    Presto 01362 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.
    What We Like
    • Affordable

    • Simple controls

    • Cooks quickly

    What We Don't Like
    • No adjustable pressure

    • Handles loosen over time

    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 not have adjustable pressure. It also comes in a 4-quart size.

  • 07 of 08

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

    Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.
    What We Like
    • Large capacity

    • High safety standards for canning

    • Made from warp-resistant aluminum

    What We Don't Like
    • 5- and 10-pound regulators sold separately

    • Bulky

    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 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.

  • 08 of 08

    Best Small: PressurePro 4 Qt Pressure Cooker

    What We Like
    • Easy to clean

    • Convenient, one-touch buttons

    • Ideal for smaller kitchens

    What We Don't Like
    • Steamer basket not included

    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 pre-programmed 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 ​it easy to check the 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 your food will be ready and waiting for you at exactly the right time.

Final Verdict

We found the Instant Pot Duo 60 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker lives up to its reputation as the standard-bearer for design and performance. If you're on a budget, the Crock-Pot 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cooker offers quality performance—albeit with fewer bells and whistles.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Donna Currie is a cookbook author, as well as a writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats, specializing in all the latest kitchen gadgets. Danielle Centoni, who personally tested three of the pressure cookers on this list, is a James Beard Award-winning food writer who has authored five cookbooks and contributed recipe testing for even more.

What to Look for in a Pressure Cooker

Stovetop vs. electric: The first decision you’ll make is whether you want a stovetop model or an electric one. Both will reduce your cooking time, but stovetop models achieve higher pressures and will cook your food slightly faster. Electric models, on the other hand, tend to have more features and can turn themselves off automatically when cooking is done.

Capacity: Pressure cookers come in a variety of sizes. Keep in mind that you can’t fill the cooker to the top since it needs space for food expansion, to create pressure, and to make sure food doesn’t bubble up through the pressure valve. Overall, large pressure cookers are great for bigger batches of food, but they may not fare as well when cooking small batches.

Features: While electric pressure cookers have more buttons and features than stovetop models, there are differences to consider between them, like the style and placement of the pressure release valve, handle, and locking mechanism. Just think about what matters most to you!