To think that thousands of years ago cavemen made their own fires for cooking makes us realize that having professional kitchen appliances is something we can be grateful for today. Each of us has our own appliance preferences: the oven, toaster, microwave, air fryer, blender, food processor, juicer, slow cooker, or even the good ole pressure cooker.
The pressure cooker is particularly one special small kitchen appliance. It’s a popular appliance in Europe, but nevertheless, it’s integral elsewhere too. But if there’s anything to admit about this device, it’s that it is pretty underrated. In fact, this device can have a significant amount of benefits for all your cooking needs:
- You won’t have to wait for your foods to defrost prior to cooking.
- Everything can be made in one single pot.
- Can cook up to 70-percent faster.
- There are many different sizes of pressure cookers at hand depending on your preference.
- There’s so many things you can cook in a pressure cooker from soups and stews, to meatballs, to cheesecakes and pies.
- Dishes tend to taste better as more of that “good stuff” is retained during the pressure cooking process.
- Pressure cooking saves energy.
- Pressure cookers can have similar effects on food as a slow cooker, yet it cooks significantly quicker.
- There isn’t as much cleaning required when you cook with a pressure cooker. Many are even dishwasher-safe.
- A pressure cooker doesn’t heat the kitchen up as much as many other ways of cooking (especially great for cooking in the summertime).
- Many pressure cooking devices have other cooking methods apart from pressure cooking, making them quite versatile.
But there are hundreds of pressure cooker options with different styles, features, and cooking options; it can kind of be overwhelming.
Let’s help you find the best pressure cooker within your price range and for your specific needs:
1. Mealthy Multipot 9-in-1 Programmable 6 QT Pressure Cooker
Multipot by Mealthy has hundreds of excellent reviews online and a plethora of cooking options along with convenient accessories with the pressure cooker purchase, yet, it has virtually the best pressure cooker price for everything you get in one bundle. The Multipot is long-lasting, consistent in its heat output, and is incredibly user-friendly. Even if you’re new to pressure cooking, the Mealthy Multipot can still be a great option for you as everything is ideally laid out.
- 9 ways to cook: Pressure, Slow, Sauté, Steam, Pasteurize, Yogurt, Cake, Rice, and Warm.
- 14 easy-touch cooking programs: Pressure, Multigrain, Rice, Yogurt, Cake, Keep Warm, Porridge, Steam, Slow Cook, Saute/Simmer, Bean/Chili, Soup, Poultry, and Meat/Stew
- Ability to cook two dishes at once
- Free Mealthy app with videos and some of the best slow cooker recipes on the planet
- Bonus gifts: steamer basket, ladle, measuring cups, rice paddle, spare gasket, and two silicone oven mitts
2. Homeleader 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable 5 Qt Pressure Cooker
Coming to the next pressure cooker on our list is the Homeleader 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker, a beautiful, 304 stainless steel appliance. When you opt for this device, you don’t just get an incredible pressure cooker, but also a rice cooker, stockpot, steamer, warmer, oven, and slow cooker all in one. Unlike some pressure cookers, this one is dishwasher-safe. And a bonus, this ETL-approved cooker comes with a one-year warranty from the purchase date.
- 12 smart programs: Cake, Steam, Bean/Tendon, Vegetable, Rice, Crispy Rice, Beef, Meat, Soup, Chicken Stew, Pressure Cooler, and DIY
- Safety lock feature that won’t open until the cooker is finished
- Digital display with easy-touch button settings
- Includes patented technologies
3. Instant Pot Ultra 3 Qt Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot is one of the best pressure cooker brand out there. Their UL-certified Ultra 3 Qt Pressure Cooker offers the perfect amount of space to cook for two to three individuals. It offers a bright and easy-to-read LED screen and contains up-to-date 3rd generation technology, offering a microprocessor. Additionally, this cooker is constructed with 304 stainless steel without chemical coatings and can be washed in the dishwasher when you’re finished cooking.
- 10-in-1 device: Pressure Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice/Porridge Cooker, Warmer, Sterilizer, Steamer, Sauté/Searing, and Ultra
- Twist-and-click programming with 14 preset features
- Automatic altitude adjustment
- Steam release auto reset
- LED display with visual progress bar
- 11 safety mechanisms from pressure protection to a safety lid lock
4. Bella BLA14467 6-Quart Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker
Bella’s BPA-free, dishwasher-safe BLA14467 pressure cooker model offers an easy, non-stick way to cook anything from risotto to chicken. No worries about safety issues; Bella ensures this programmable pressure cooker is set with steam release valves and an air-tight locking lid. Overall, the BLA14467 offers a wide array of different cooking presets; however, the digital display is kept pretty simple compared to other pressure cooker brands’ models. This Bella cooker in general, while it works well, isn’t super tech-y compared to some out there. A limited two-year warranty is included with the BLA14467’s purchase.
- 10 presets: Pressure Cook, Rice, Risotto, Stew, Soup, Sauté, Brown, Chicken, Meat, and Slow Cook
- Removable cooking pot
- Two-hour delay timer
5. Breville Fast Slow Pro 6 Qt Multi Cooker
Whether you prefer low and slow cooking or high-pressure cooking, you can get the best of both worlds in the Breville Fast Slow Pro Multi Cooker as cooking times range from two hours to 12 hours. Breville’s non-stick cooking pot makes cleaning simple, and it can just be popped into the dishwasher if you want a more thorough cleaning. Generally, the design, operation, and features of the Fast Slow Pro are well-appreciated, and you get it all for a moderate-to-low price.
- 11 pressure cooker settings
- 3-way safety system
- Removable cooking bowl with PTFE- and PFOA-free ceramic coating
- Color-changing LED display to indicate pressurizing, cooking, or releasing steam
6. Instant Pot Smart Bluetooth 6 Qt 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker
For those who want a pressure cooker with Bluetooth, you’ve got it with the Instant Pot Smart Bluetooth 6 Qt 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker. You may have thought you hit the jackpot finding a pressure cooker with seven different ways to cook; however, the Bluetooth connectivity allows you to monitor and control your pressure cooking while it’s in operation. If that isn’t a convenient and incredible feature, I don’t know what is. That said, those who want something with the latest technology, opting for a pressure cooker with Bluetooth may be ideal for you.
- Bluetooth connectivity with free apps
- 14 programs: Pressure, Meat/Stew, Yogurt, Multigrain, Rice, Slow Cook, Soup, Poultry, Beans/Chili, Sauté, Steam, Porridge, Sauté/Searing, and Keep Warm
- 10 safety mechanisms
- Includes recipe booklet, steam rack with handles, soup spoon, serving spoon, measuring cup, red mitts
7. CuisinArt CPC-600 6 Qt 1000 Watt Electric Pressure Cooker
As perhaps the best electric pressure cooker out there, CustinARt’s CPC600 Electric Pressure Cooker is BPA free and offers a non-stick, dishwasher-safe pressure cooking pot. This pressure cooker also offers a limited three-year warranty, which in the pressure cooker world is pretty generous. While it doesn’t have a significant amount of cooking options, the CusinArt CPC-600 Electric Pressure Cooker is very affordable among pressure cookers and has favorable reviews as one top pressure cooker at Amazon.
- Pressure cooking, simmering, browning, sautéing, and warming
- Easy-to-read digital display
- Recipe book and trivet included
8. Chefman RJ40-6-CH 6 Qt Electric Multicooker, 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker
The Chefman 6 Qt Electric Multicooker is another affordable pressure cooker and can easily be considered the best pressure cooker under $100. One of the most favorable features of this Chefman pressure cooker is that it offers a 24-hour timer to delay cooking, giving you plenty of prep time. This is important for many working individuals who want to come home to a delicious, finished meal with a pressure cooker rather than a slow cooker. In general, this cooker is sleek, clean, and modern. It gets the job done, and well, it comes with a one-year warranty. For its price point, you’re getting everything from heavy durability to plenty of preset cooking features.
- 9 preset options: Rice, Low Pressure, High Pressure, Chili/Beans, Beef/Poultry, Soup/Stew, Sauté, Steam, and Slow Cook
- Club Chefman recipes included
- 24-hour delay timer
9. Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
Have you ever thought of using a pressure cooker as a canner? Well, you can with the Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker! This giant canner and cooker duo, while primarily for canning, can cook massive amounts of food. Did you know that the USDA deems canning the only truly safe method for preserving poultry, meats, seafood, and vegetables? It’s true! Best of all, it offers a 12-year limited warranty, which easily beats out many pressure cookers – and it’s under $100. Its versatility and capability alone may this Presto appliance a must-buy. While it doesn’t offer any other methods of cooking apart from pressuring canning and cooking, if you are happy with just the two, you’re all set to go.
- Constructed of warp-resistant, heavy-gauge aluminum
- Easy-to-read pressure dial gauge
- Recipe book and cooking/canning rack included
10. Black + Decker 6 Quart 11-in-1 Pressure Cooker
The dishwasher-safe, non-stick Black + Decker 6 Quart 11-in-1 Pressure Cooker is priced at just $80 for a lot of bang for your buck. With its delayed start feature, you can get your food cooking when you want it to, so it will be warm and freshly-done right when you get home. This is the perfect pressure cooker for a family of four. It is easy to clean, has an attractive design, and has well-organized buttons and a bright display screen. With the addition of a whopping 11 ways to cook, this device can’t get much better!
- Several ways to cook: Soup, White Rice, Brown Rice, Steaming, Soup, Beans, Meat, and manual programming
- Plus 4 additional non-pressure cooking methods: Slow and low cooking, slow and high cooking, browning, or keeping food warm
- 9 safety features
- Delayed start option
- Comes with a cookbook, rice measuring cup, trivet, and non-stick serving spoon
11. Farberware 6-Qt Digital Pressure Cooker
Here’s another attractive, dishwasher-friendly pressure cooker but this time by Farberware. For under $80, just one use and you’d be thinking you received a pressure cooker double the price. However, I must say, one downside is that all of the cooking settings are pre-programmed on this device, neglecting the option for manual cooking. It has plenty of options to cook the way you want, but if you’ve never used a pressure cooker before, reading the instruction manual probably won’t help you out much. So, ask for help, do some research online, or work with it by trial-and-error.
- Easy-to-read LED display
- 9 preset methods of cooking: Slow Cook, Stew/Soup, Rice/Risotto, Fish Steam, Steak/Meat, Chicken, Vegetable Steam, Beans/Lentils, and Brown/Sear
- Safety lid lock: won’t open when in the process of pasteruizing
- Easy-grip handles
- Safety pressure release valve
12. Gourmia GPC400 4-Quart Pressure Cooker
The Gourmia GPC400 4-Quart Pressure Cooker offers a huge selection of cooking and timing options. If you plan to use your pressure cooker often, this may be the most relevant pressure cooker for you. This ETL-certified cooker is complete with a non-stick interior with a stainless-steel exterior, easy-grip handles, and one-year warranty. Surprisingly, this pressure cooker is under $70, yet it has the aesthetics, many options, the ability to work well, and a quality interior and exterior.
- 13 cooking modes: Soup, Meat, Steam, Poultry, Dessert, Sauté, Slow Cook, Rice, Timer, Preset Time Warm, Porridge, and Beans
- LED display and electronic controls
- 24-hour delay timer and auto timer
- Pressure sensor safety feature
- Includes condensation cup, mixing spoon, and stainless-steel steaming rack
13. Cosori 6 Quart 8-in-1 Multi-Functional Programmable Pressure Cooker
Cook for 4 to 6 people with the Cosori 6 Quart 8-in-1 Multi-Functional Programmable Pressure Cooker offering many ways to personalize your method of cooking. With amazing smart control programs and ETL, UL, and FDA certification along with food-grade, dishwasher-safe stainless steel, you can ensure to get quality and function in the same cooker. Due to its user-friendliness and reliable, versatile technology, the Cosori 8-in-one Programmable Pressure Cooker is ideal for both beginners and experts in pressure cooking.
- 8 ways to cook: Pressure Cooker, Hot Pot, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté/Browning, Warmer, Yogurt Maker, and Steamer
- 17 presets: Slow Cook, Meat/Stew, Poultry, Soup, Beans/Chili, White Rice, Brown Rice, Bake Multigrain, Hot Pot, Steam Vegetables, Pasta/Boil, Steam Potatoes, Yogurt, Sauté/Brown, Reheat, and Automatic Keep Warm.
- Three adjustable temperatures for Sauté/Brown, Hot Pot, Reheat, and Slow Cook
- Bright LED screen
- 10 safety features
- Includes recipe book, stainless-steel steam rack, measuring cup, extra silicone sealing ring, and a rice spoon
Pressure Cooker FAQ:
Whether you’re new to pressure cooking or not, there’s a lot you need to know before you make your next pressure cooker purchase.
1. How do pressure cookers work?
Pressure cookers cook food by sealing steam into an airtight pot. The trapped vapor of water, broth, or other liquid within the pressure cooker increases the pressure and thus the temperature in the pot.
2. Are pressure cookers dangerous?
Modern pressure cookers are deemed safe as they are equipped with a safety valve that will burst to let excess steam out if the pressure gets too high in the pot. Pressure cookers have been thoroughly tested and redesigned over the years for safety. In fact, the pressure cooker deaths per year is slim as only 30 reports of all pressure cooker incidents (injuries included) occur annually.
Perhaps a few ways a pressure cooker could be deemed dangerous is if 1) someone puts their face near the device’s safety value and get scalded, 2) someone opens the lid before the food is finished cooking and gets splashed with boiling water or steam, or 3) someone touches the pressure cooker pot or objects inside the pot while it is in use.
In other words, pressure cookers are relatively safe unless you have an older pressure cooker that’s poorly made or do not use caution when using your device.
3. What does a pressure cooker do?
Using high pressure created from boiling liquid, a pressure cooker cooks food quicker than a traditional pot. The tightly-sealed lid of a pressure cooker allows not just the pressure to rise but also the temperature. You can achieve cooking that is 70-percent quicker than other ways of cooking.
4. What is the best pressure cooker cookbook?
Some of the most highly-rated pressure cooker cookbooks best sellers include:
- Great Food Fast: Bob Warden’s Ultimate Pressure Cooker Recipes by Bob Warden
- The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Two: 125 Easy, Perfectly-Portioned Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker and Multicooker by Erica Acevedo
- The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook by Barbara Schieving
- Indian Food Under Pressure: Authentic Indian Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker by Ashley Singh Thomas
- Instant Pot Cookbook: Delicious, Simple, and Quick Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes That Anyone Can Cook by Stanley King
- The Complete Meal Prep Instant Pot Cookbook by Renee Shaw
- Instant Pot Cookbook: 100 Hand-Picked Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker by Messiah Sanders
5. Can pressure cookers explode?
Pressure cookers can explode just as anything with high pressure can. However, new pressure cookers designed with a safety valve are less likely to explode than older pressure cookers. That said, do not use a pressure cooker without a safety valve. If yours breaks during cooking, this should be replaced.
Additionally, you should replace your pressure cooker every once in a while to ensure it has the latest safety features and testing. Overall a pressure cooker blowing up is fairly uncommon today, but with the right safety measures, you can reduce any pressure cooker related injuries. It’s also important to remember that pressure cookers have been used since the 1600’s.
6. Are pressure cookers healthy?
Cooking in a pressure cooker can actually be healthier than other ways of cooking as it traps in more nutrients, that is, if what you’re cooking is healthy to begin with.
7. Do pressure cookers kill nutrients?
No, the reverse is true. Pressure cookers help retain more nutrients than most other cooking methods. Additionally, many nutrients are more likely to survive a pressure cooker as there is a slow cooking time involved.
8. What are the best pressure cooker recipes?
Some of the best things to cook in a pressure cooker include:
- Chicken wings
- Pot roast
- Beef brisket
- Baby back ribs
- Mashed potatoes
- Meat loaf
- Macaroni and cheese
- Chicken pot pig
For some of the best pressure cooker recipes, refer to Question 4.
9. Do pressure cookers make noise?
Pressure cookers don’t make noise unless its pressure limit is close to being reached. In that case, lower the burner a bit to reduce some of the pressure. In other words, if a pressure cooker is making noise, it’s a warning sign.
10. Does pressure cooker food taste good?
Because flavors are better trapped in pressure cookers, foods can have more flavor. Meats especially turn out more flavorful, juicy, and tender when cooked in a pressure cooker.
11. Do pressure cookers use a lot of electricity?
Compared to other methods of cooking, pressure cookers don’t use as much electricity. Pressure cookers cook food approximately 70-percent faster, thus saving approximately 70-percent of energy. They’re fairly eco-friendly due to this.
12. Is pressure cooker and slow cooker the same?
Pressure cookers vary from slow cookers because they utilize high pressure and cook at faster rates. Slow cookers are inside designed to cook things long and thoroughly. But both appliances can cook pretty much the same foods.
13. Are pressure cookers allowed on flights?
Yes, pressure cookers can be brought on planes as carry-ons or checked baggage, but check with your specific airport just to be on the safe side. Some pressure cookers may exceed check-on dimensions.
14. Do pressure cookers cause cancer?
No. Interestingly, pressure cookers can help eliminate two carcinogenic compounds known as acrylamide and heterocyclic amines. However, some may not be so concerned about potentially cancer-causing coatings on their pressure cooker itself, but you can find may pressure cookers on the market without these coatings.
15. Can pressure cooker be washed in dishwasher?
Many newer pressure cookers on the market are dishwasher safe. However, if your pressure cooker says it is not dishwasher safe or doesn’t say whether it is or not, do not place in the dishwasher or submerge in washer. This may clog your pressure cooker’s safety valves or its pressure regulator.
16. Will a pressure cooker work for canning?
There is a difference between a pressure cooker and a pressure canner. Pressure cookers are not designed to can food, but rather, cook foods under high pressure. However, there are pressure cookers out there that are pressure canners as well. So, not every pressure cooker will have the capability of canning; never try canning with a pressure cooker unless the product is capable of both.
17. Will a pressure cooker tenderize meat?
Yes, pressure cookers can tenderize meat very well, similar to a slow cooker. Pressure cookers do this by melting the collagen in meat into a gelatin thanks to its higher pressure and temperature. However, in some other ways of cooking such as roasting or searing, the collagen in meat tends to toughen up.
18. Are pressure cookers worth it?
Not everyone will enjoy using a pressure cooker, but they are extremely versatile and have a lot to offer. Before making your purchase, consider the following pros and cons to decide if it’s an appliance you will want and need in your kitchen.
- There is an endless number of things that can be cooked in pressure cookers from tough meats to sweet treats.
- They’re more energy-efficient.
- Pressure cookers offer many different modes and settings.
- Pressure cookers are fairly compact devices and can be bought in many different sizes depending on how much you’d like to cook.
- They don’t require a lot of cleaning. Plus, some of them are even dishwasher-safe.
- More flavors and nutrients are retained when you cook different foods in pressure cookers.
- You can also use your pressure cooker to preserve food.
- Chances are, you can find a pressure cooker in your price range as prices vary drastically depending on your needs.
- Some pressure cookers double up as a pressure canner.
- Pressure cookers generally make for easy cooking as there isn’t a whole lot of effort that goes into it.
- Some pressure cookers can be on the pricier side. (However, a majority of them are fairly affordable often $80 or under.)
- Many pressure cookers only offer a one-year warranty, which isn’t that great.
- While they are considered safe devices overall, there is a still a slimpotential that a pressure cooker can explode if not used correctly or if it is poorly made.
Ultimately, adding a pressure cooker to your kitchen is a wonderful investment for many, that is, if one plans on actually using it and not just shoving it in your cupboard to collect dust. When you have a kitchen appliance that is easy to clean, efficient in its cooking, and very flexible in what it can make, it’s hard to say no. Don’t let the fear of a pressure cooker blowing up (as it’s extremely rare) stop you from opting for one. You just might feel a bit silly for not trying a pressure cooker sooner when you realize these appliances are very safe and offer such great texture and flavor alike!