A pressure cooker is a great way to quickly get dinner on the table. One-pot meals such as soups and stews can be made in a matter of minutes. You simply need to add the ingredients to the pot and then cover it with the lid. These are great for busy cooks as they can be ready in less than an hour and require minimal preparation.
How do we test pressure cookers?
Over the years, the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances has tested and evaluated over 15 pressure cookers. Our experts tested each model to see if it could pressure cook (and slow-cook) beef stew. They also measured its ability to brown meat evenly and make rice. They also evaluated how fast they were able to release pressure naturally and quickly. The ease of use of each pressure cooker was also evaluated. This included how intuitive and easy to read the controls, the number of settings available, and how clear the owner’s manual is.
Instant Pot Duo
There is a serious following for the Instant Pot. Nearly 140,000 Amazon reviews have a cumulative rating of 4.7 stars. It scored well in almost all of our tests and was the only one that cooked rice perfectly (not mushy). It passed both the pressure-cooking test and the slow-cooking test. It has many intuitive controls, including options for making soups, stews, meats, poultry, beans, rice, yogurt, and other dishes.
Programmable Digital Pressure Cooker
The Farberware 7 in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, although it was the least expensive model we tested, was a strong performer. Stew meat was tender whether it was pressure or slow-cooked. Vegetables were firm and held their shape, no matter how they were cooked. The program settings allow for many options, including soup/stew and rice/risotto as well as chicken, steak/meat, stew, rice/risotto and steaming fish or vegetable, browning/searing, slow cooking, and beans/lentils. It also has keep warm and delay-start settings. The lid can be opened quickly to release pressure in less than 3 minutes. It’s quite bulky, but it looks better than other models thanks to its stainless exterior, smooth touchpad controls, and easy-to-read LED screen.
Fast, Slow, Multi-Function Cooker
The Fast Slow Pro is more stylish than many pressure cookers. There are many options for cooking settings. You can set the temperature and pressure levels (from 1.5 to 12 PSI) and choose from auto quick, natural pressure release or auto pulse. You can even adjust the temperature and time settings according to your boiling point by simply programming your altitude. There are settings for vegetables, soups, meats, bones-in meats, chili, stew, and dessert. The best part is that, despite being a sophisticated appliance, the LCD screen and knob controls were intuitive and easy-to-use by testers.
Although stovetop pressure cookers are more complicated to use because they require more attention and manual adjustment than other models, beginners will not be overwhelmed by this model. The model has many safety features to make pressure cooking easier for beginners, such as a lid that snaps in place quickly and securely and detailed instructions with the minimum and maximum fill levels. It is made of durable stainless steel and can be used to cook many types of meals. It can also be placed in the dishwasher to make cleanup quick and easy.
Smart Pressure Cooker
The Chef iQ Smart Pressure Cooker is just like other models. It has a variety of cooking options, including steaming, slow cooker, pressure cooking, searing and sauteing. The built-in scale allows for precise cooking. This model is different from other models because it has more than 1000 presets and more than 600 recipes and how-to videos. You can also control the appliance via Bluetooth or WiFi from your smartphone.
Foodi 8 Qt. 9-in-1 Deluxe XL Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer
The Ninja Foodi Deluxe pressure cooker combines pressure cooking with air frying. This appliance can be used to brown and crisp your food after pressure cooking. This makes it ideal for making whole, juicy roast chickens with crispy skin and tender, caramelized short ribs. You can also use the Searing Function to brown your meat before pressure cooking, or gently sweat vegetables for soups or stews. This is a great all-purpose option for most cooks. If you need more versatility, upgrade to the Ninja OL601Foodi XL 8 Qt. The Pressure Cooker also has steaming capabilities.
Multi-Use Express Crock Programmable Slow cooker
The 6-quart Express Crock from Crock-Pot allows you to slow cook, pressure cook and brown, saute, steam, and more. The slow start feature and the warm function keep your food warm until you are ready to serve. In our tests, it excelled at slow-cooking beef stew. If you are a slow cook but want to experiment with pressure cooking, you will not regret getting rid of your old slow cooker. It’s especially convenient because you can put the nonstick cooking pot in your dishwasher for quick cleanup when you’re done cooking.
Maximum 6-Quart Multi-Use Electric Pressure cooker
The Instant Pot Max is a more advanced Instant Pot. The 15 PSI is a great feature that makes it a great choice for home chefs. You can adjust for altitude, which is helpful for those who live at or above 3,000ft. This makes it easier to convert recipes and provide more accurate cooking times. This Instant Pot has smooth dial controls that make programming easier than other models.