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The Best Pressure Cookers

Happy Foods Tube/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated November 2022

Need a delicious meal in a flash? Microwaves are a go-to for premade dinners, but pressure cookers can roast birds, steam rice, and cook full one-pot homemade meals quickly and deliciously. Check out these handy, highly-rated pressure cookers.

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  Top Choice Best for Crisping Best Extra-Large Best Smart Pot Best for Stovetops
 
  Instant Pot
Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
Ninja
OS301 Foodi 10-in-1 Pressure Cooke
Presto
16-Quart Aluminum Canner Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot
Duo Plus 9-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
T-fal
Clipso Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
 
Our SummaryMake dinners quickly with an Instant Pot that also lets you cook rice, make yogurt, and more.The combination of a pressure cooker and an air fryer gives you a great crispy finish on food.A pressure cooker that works great for canning or large-batch cooking.This pressure cooker takes pressure off the cook and their family with new abilities like sterilizing and cake making.This stainless steel pressure cooker offers a straightforward cooking process.
Pros✓ 13 Smart Programs
✓ Make rice, soup, meat, dessert, and more
✓ Multipurpose
✓ Food-grade stainless steel
✓ Free downloadable recipe app
✓ Safety features
✓ Pressure cooker and an air fryer
✓ Easy to read display
✓ Unit shuts down automatically when finished
✓ Durable heavy-gauge aluminum construction
✓ Extra-large 16-quart capacity
✓ Good for canning
✓ Great for main courses too
✓ Upgraded version of 7-in-1
✓ Functional sterilizer, sous vide, and cake maker
✓ 15 customizable Smart Programs
✓ Safety features
✓ Comes with app for recipe ideas
✓ Convenient one-hand open and close function
✓ Safety features
✓ Stainless steel
✓ Steam release valve
Cons✗ Cooking controls can be confusing at first✗ Pricey
✗ No pre-programmed settings
✗ Cleaning can be demanding✗ Difficult to clean✗ Cheap parts
✗ Doesn't last
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The Best Pressure Cookers

A hand fills an pressure cooker with ingredients for a curry.
Happy Foods Tube/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for Pressure Cookers

double valve pressure cooker on a gas stovetop in a kitchen.
gcafotografia/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a pressure cooker?

A pressure cooker delivers flavorful, nutritious food in up to 70% less time than traditional cooking methods—if you need to make the most of your limited time for cooking on a busy day, consider making a pressure cooker your go-to cooking method. Whether you want to make a roast with vegetables, whip up a homemade chicken noodle soup, cook dried beans in minutes instead of hours, or even serve up some cinnamon rolls, the right pressure cooker is there for you.

A pressure cooker works by raising the interior pressure of a tightly sealed pot by around 15 psi (pounds per square inch) above atmospheric pressure. At that pressure, water reaches a higher temperature at boiling—250 degrees Fahrenheit rather than the standard boiling temperature of 212 degrees. With your ingredients and a little liquid inside, the pot’s higher temperature and pressure force moisture into food to tenderize it, cook the food faster, and retain nutrients. The higher temperature also promotes caramelization; this browning sets pressure cooker food apart from food that’s just been steamed.

What should you look for in a pressure cooker?

  • Pot Capacity and Coating: A typical pressure cooker has a 6-quart capacity, but some hold smaller or larger amounts. A 6-quart pressure cooker will feed up to four people for most dishes. If you’re cooking for a larger family or preparing substantial batches for freezing, you may need an 8-quart size or larger. You should also look at the type of coating on the cooker’s pot—the pot insert may be stainless steel or have a non-stick coating like Teflon or a ceramic coating. Non-stick coatings make cleanup simpler, but they may wear off over time.
  • Safety Features: Look for the safety features for lid locking and pressure release on a pressure cooker. Your pressure cooker should have built-in measures to guard against building up to extremely high pressures and ways to protect you when you “quick release” the pressure, releasing a strong jet of steam.
  • Added Features: First, the control panel should be easy to read and navigate so you can take advantage of bonus features. Check the preset programs to ensure the pressure cooker has easy settings for things you’ll make often. Also, check the accessories included, like cooking and egg racks, steamer baskets, spoons, or measuring cups.

Why buy a pressure cooker when you have a microwave?

Definitely keep that microwave! It works to thaw and quickly cook just about anything, particularly premade foods. However, if you want a hot meal with more than two components for the family, you’d have to stand at the microwave all night. All that work and no subtle flavors left. Also, you wouldn’t cook a frozen burrito in a pressure cooker—that’s a job for the microwave or air fryer. Pressure cookers are designed to make complete meals with fresh ingredients. Ultimately, there’s a place for both the pressure cooker and a microwave in your kitchen. For example, take the leftovers of the roast and potato dinner you made in the pressure cooker and warm them up later in the microwave. 

Our Picks for the Best Pressure Cookers

Top Choice

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

Make dinners quickly with an Instant Pot that also lets you cook rice, make yogurt, and more.

Pros: Instead of oohing and awwing over its many functions, let’s look at the type and number of appliances the Instant Pot can replace. Yes! The Instant Pot takes over as your slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté pan, and food warmer. Fewer kitchen appliances equal more counter and kitchen cupboard space. It has 13 Smart Programs that you customize based on what you want to cook, from rice and beans to ribs, desserts, and more. The food-grade stainless steel Instant Pot has a free downloadable recipe app for trying new meals.

Cons: It may take a while for users to hang the cooking controls. While the thin aluminum disk at the bottom heats food quickly, it also increases the risk of burning foods.

Bottom Line: As you can see, there is a lot to like about the Instant Pot 7-in-1. It cooks foods you love and offers the opportunity to make recipes you’ve never tried. Homemade yogurt may be one of those. This popular pick for a pressure cooker is a fantastic choice for most people.

 

Best for Crisping

Ninja OS301 Foodi 10-in-1 Pressure Cooker

The combination of a pressure cooker and an air fryer gives you a great crispy finish on food.

Pros: This Ninja Foodi Deluxe, with a stainless steel finish, works as both a pressure cooker and an air fryer with settings for pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming, yogurt, searing/sautéing, baking/roasting, air crisping, broiling, and dehydrating. The large display window is easy to read, and the unit automatically shuts down when your cooking time is up. The Ninja pressure cooker has an 8-quart capacity, and the cook and the crisp basket have a 5-quart capacity. Both the cooking bowl and the cook and crisp basket are ceramic-coated. A cookbook is also included.

Cons: While its price makes sense for its large capacity and desirable features, it may be too high for some. Also, there are no pre-programmed settings.

Bottom Line: Roast a 5-pound chicken and achieve that crispy outer layer on the non-stick coating of this fancy small kitchen appliance. It cleans up in a breeze and can make a ton of your favorites.

 

Best Extra-Large

Presto 16-Quart Aluminum Canner Pressure Cooker

A pressure cooker that works great for canning or large-batch cooking.

Pros: This durable heavy-gauge aluminum pressure cooker/canner will last years. The Presto has a 16-quart capacity for pressure-canning vegetables, meats, and fish. Skeptical about the safety of canning the latter two foods? Just know that pressure canning is the only safe way to can meats, fish, and all low-acidic foods. That said, the Presto also serves as a boiling water canner to preserve fruits, jellies, jams, and pickles in half-pint and pint jars. You’re not limited to canning; use it to make soups, stews, sauces, and more: even English Plum Pudding, a holiday dessert.

Cons: Cleaning the Presto can be a bit demanding, as you must remove the sealing ring before washing the lid. Also, the lid should be washed by hand and not submerged in water.

Bottom Line: It’s pretty easy to decide if you want the Presto hybrid canner/pressure cooker. Canning is a specialty cooking method, unlike slow cooking and pressure cooking. With Presto, you can trust that canning your favorite foods is safe.

 

Best Smart Pot

Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

This pressure cooker takes the pressure off the cook and their family with new abilities like sterilizing and cake making.

Pros: If you were charmed by the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1, you’ll also love this souped-up 9-in-1 model. It’s a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, sterilizer, sous vide, and cake maker. The sterilizer program, in particular, distinguishes this pressure cooker from the others. Use it to sterilize utensils or baby bottles or to pasteurize milk. Choose from 15 customizable Smart Programs to make a wide range of dishes, and take advantage of the free Instant Pot app for making new recipes and standard classics. It’s UL certified, too, with 10 safety mechanisms.

Cons: The slow cooker function isn’t great. You might want to have a separate slow cooker for certain recipes.

Bottom Line: Whether you go with the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 or this Plus 9-in-1 model, you get the same quality stainless steel, UL-certified appliance, and an outstanding reputation. But the 9-in-1 sure is impressive.

 

Best for Stovetops

T-fal Clipso Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

This stainless steel pressure cooker offers a straightforward cooking process.

Pros: It may look like yet another stainless steel pressure cooker, but this T-fal Clipso 8-quart pressure cooker has its alluring components. It’s foolproof; you can’t accidentally open it when it’s in use, yet it has a convenient one-hand open and close function before and after pressure cooking. The pressure indicator and steam release valve keep you informed and safe. When finished with that sumptuous meal you made, put all the parts into the dishwasher and kick up your heels.

Cons: It may not last forever, and it may not be compatible with some types of stovetops.

Bottom Line: Compared to the other pressure cookers we reviewed, the T-fal is a simpler, streamlined product, which you may like. This easy-to-use, straightforward pressure cooker does what’s needed—cooks food well and fast—with no confusing buttons.

Final Thoughts

Well, there’s no need to hesitate—time to get a pressure cooker with the components you need to make good food fast. Or you could give one as a gift if you’re feeling generous.

Lisa Walenceus Lisa Walenceus
Lisa Walenceus has 20 years of research and writing experience as an educator, news reporter, and freelancer. She writes to learn and digs deep to find how things work. Read Full Bio »
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