A pressure cooker can be a lifesaver and an amazing kitchen hack. This compact appliance can whip up giant feasts of food in a third of the time it takes a conventional stove, making them great for big gatherings or extensive weekly meal-planning. There are many types of pressure cookers, including the well-known Instant Pot. There are also versatile units that function as deep fryers and other pieces of equipment. We’ll show you the best on the market, so you can confidently choose the right one for you.
Instant Pot Duo Plus
Many have tried, but few can compete with the Instant Pot. The best words to describe this cooker are “user-friendly.” The features make it difficult to mess up your pressure cooked meals. You have low- and high-pressure options to help you control the amount of pressure without much guesswork. Instant Pot took a look at some of the problems with pressure cooking devices and addressed many of these issues in this pot. The lid has an alert, which lets you know it is in the correct position. The steam handle is designed in such a way that it won’t allow you to put it on incorrectly; you can only put it in a vent or seal position.
In addition to all of the user-friendly pressure cooking features, this pot also provides you with options. Using the sauté feature, you can brown your meat in the Instant Pot before or after pressure cooking. The Duo Plus also has cake, egg, and sterilize program modes, which means you can cook just about anything. While this Instant Pot multi-cooker is an outstanding small appliance, it certainly isn’t perfect. The inner pot (especially on the 6-quart and smaller versions) is a bit narrow, which can create a challenge when you’re cooking things like roasts or a whole chicken. Foods like rice and potatoes also tend to stick to the bottom and lower sides of this pot more than with other pressure cookers that have a non-stick coating. All in all, the Instant Pot Plus appears to be a pressure cooker first and foremost, and the other functions (slow cook, etc.) are secondary.
A bonus for all you air-fryer foodies
Instant Pot also makes this smashing air fryer add-on lid to use with your Duo Plus. Just attach, switch on, and enjoy perfect fish fillets and other deep-fry favorites with Instant Pot’s EvenCrisp technology. With this thermal tech, your food will always have that moist and tender inside and crispy, golden outer shells. The fryer sports an auto-off function that kicks in if the lid gets overheated, so you won’t have to worry about keeping a close eye on your grub. The lid also comes with a recipe chart, with options for when you need to throw together a quick meal or prep a big family dinner.
Mealthy 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker
The Mealthy 9-in-1 Pressure Cooker is your one-stop shop for all things pressurized. Let’s start with the fact that this monster of a machine has up to 33 different presets for all your favorite cooker recipes, ranging from soups and rice to yogurt and porridges. There’s even a dedicated multigrain option!
Right out of the box, Mealthy gives you everything you need to get started, including a 6-quart stainless steel pot, stainless steel steamer basket, 4-centimeter raised trivet, two silicone mitts, ladle, rice paddle, and an 8-ounce measuring cup. At a loss for recipes? Download the Mealthy app for articles and recommendations from Mealthy’s lineup of top-tier chefs. Forgot the proper pressure setting for crab? The cooker also comes with a cheat sheet containing altitudes and cook times for some of the most common
Fissler Vitaquick Pressure Cooker with Glass Lid Set
This stovetop pressure cooker is incredibly durable, made of 18/10 stainless steel. It’s very difficult to dent, knick, or damage this pot, and when you pick it up, you can feel the quality of the material. When it comes to pressure cookers, size matters. Both the 8.5-quart and 10.6-quart models give you plenty of room to cook large foods, like roasts. You can also use this pressure cooker on any heat source — gas, electric, or even induction. If you want a smaller model, the cooker comes in 2.7-quart, 4.8-quart, and 6.4-quart sizes as well.
It has an easy-to-open-and-close lid, a safe lock mechanism, gentle and speed settings, and quick depressurizing. It comes apart for easy cleaning, and it even comes with a separate glass lid. When you compare the Fissler Vitaquick to some other stovetop pressure cookers, this cooker is fairly pricey. It’s built to last, and you pay for that quality.
T-fal Clipso Stainless Steel 6.3 Quart Pressure Cooker
T-fal is widely regarded as an industry leader for non-stick technology, from stovetop pans to pressure cookers. The 6.3-quart stainless steel basin is coated with T-fal’s proprietary non-stick coating, meaning no charred bits of pork stuck at the bottom of the cooker. T-fal’s formula features zero PTFE, PFOA, and cadmium properties. These are common non-stick ingredients that can break down and become airborne toxins over time.
T-fal knows how tough a pressure cooker can be on the hands, so the Clipso lid is designed for quick, single-hand operation. Just push in the lock tabs on the side of the lid handle and pull up to remove. To re-seal, just push down on the lid handle. The base of the Clipso cooker is also encapsulated, meaning your food will be cooked evenly throughout over any cooking surface, and the pot itself is dishwasher safe with the gasket and pressure valve removed.
Granite Ware 12-Quart Pressure Canner
Pressure-canning your food is one of the best ways to preserve your grub’s most essential vitamins and nutrients. The Granite Ware machine lets you can meats, seafood, and many types of vegetables both safely and easily, and the best part is that you can also use the device as a pressure cooker. The Ware’s pressure indicator locks the lid in place, even if there’s only a single psi of pressure in the machine, which means you can set it and forget it. The Ware is also a great buy for those who have never tried canning before, as the cooker comes with four single-quart jars, seven 1-pints, and eight half-pints, so you’ll be able to experiment with many different kinds of cooker recipes.
On the downside, the Granite Ware pressure cooker/canner is made of aluminum, which is not the most durable metal. This also may not be the best option for canning pros who want to can as much as possible. For those in need of a bigger cooker, Granite Ware also makes a 20-quart model.
Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker, Steamer, and Air Fryer
The Foodi is a solid pressure cooking device that can cook up a great pot roast, rotisserie-style chicken, or even a cheesecake. Its 6.5-quart ceramic non-stick pot is wide enough to fit large cuts of meat or multiple ingredients (think meat and potatoes). The cooking rack is ideal for steaming veggies, and the accessories are well-made.
The Foodi is more than just a pressure cooker and steamer though. It has two separate lids — one for pressure cooking and one for air frying. You get a 4-quart capacity air frying basket that can hold up to three pounds of french fries. Want to crisp your chicken skin after you pressure cook? No problem. Instead of moving your chicken from a pressure cooker into the oven, you can do it all in the Foodi. Just pressure cook, empty the excess liquid, and then air fry for chicken that falls apart on the inside, but has perfectly crispy skin. You can even bake or broil your foods in the Foodi, and some of the more expensive models (like the OP 302) include a dehydrate function.
What’s not to love? The Foodi is a bit heavy and cumbersome, and the air frying lid isn’t removable, so the Foodi can be tough to tuck away in a cabinet. But if you have somewhere to put it or if you’re OK with leaving it on your counter, the Foodi will be a great addition to your kitchen. Check out our full Ninja Foodi review.
Sistema Microwave Multicooker
Most microwave pressure cookers get poor user reviews. They’re either poorly constructed, overpriced, or they don’t cook the food very well. Sistema has built an international business by creating products that can handle microwaves and other common kitchen appliances, so it’s no surprise that their cooker is one of the most dependable — and very affordable.
Sistema’s rice cooker and multicooker receive good reviews from users, who say they’re super easy to use and the food comes out consistent each time. Sistema uses BPA and phthalate-free plastics in their microwave products. The firm offers a wide range of microwave products, ranging from soup mugs to egg poachers to rice cookers.
How we test pressure cookers
We compared and tested nine different stovetop pressure cookers and electric multicookers with some of the highest overall user ratings in their individual categories. We cooked the same two recipes — gluten-free cheesecake and a whole rotisserie chicken — in each of the multicookers and stovetop pressure cookers. We compared the taste of each recipe, how quickly the device reached full pressure, ease of use, ease of cleanup, ease of setup, and manual instructions (how easy the user manual is to understand and follow) to determine which device performed the “best.” We also consider other factors like durability and price vs. value.
When we are unable to test a device, which was the case with certain pressure canners and microwave pressure cookers, we use research we obtain from customer reviews, user interviews, manufacturer manuals, and product descriptions to determine which device is the “best” in terms of functionality, value, and quality.
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