There are a couple of hand-off ways to get dinner ready, but a pressure cooker gets it done in a fraction of the time. Just add the prepped ingredients to the cooker and cover with the locking lid and allow the pressure cooker to do the rest.
This kitchen aid is designed to increase the water temperature to boiling point and trap steam inside the unit. Therefore, reducing the cooking time significantly. Several recent models come with more handy features like saute, steam, slow cook, and many more.
However, choosing the right pressure cooker can be a real struggle, considering the plethora of options available on the market. This is why we’ve expertly handpicked the top best pressure cooker America’s test kitchen to ensure you make an informed decision.
Nevertheless, if you still find the decision making a bit challenging, then you should check out our detailed buying guide.
Reviews of Best Pressure Cooker American’s Test Kitchen 2020
Here are top 5 pressure cooker on the market today
#1 – Instant Pot Duo Mini 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker, and Warmer
The Instant Pot Duo Mini 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker is an ideal choice for a small household, thanks to its compact size. This unit works well for anywhere with limited space. Despite its size, this unit features all handy features.
This unit will easily replace about seven appliances, including steamer, warmer, saute, yogurt maker, slow cooker, and pressure cooker, which also helps save more space. It comes with 14 one-touch cooking preset for convenient and super-fast cooking: Keep Warm, Steam, Slow Cook, Rice, Porridge, Yogurt, Manual, Poultry, Sauté/Searing, Meat/Stew, Soup/Broth, Bean/Chili, Steam, and Pressure Cook.
What’s more? Instant Pot Duo Mini 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker helps monitor temperature, pressure, adjust the heating duration and intensity, and keep time for incredible results. Above all, its fingerprint-resistant stainless steel construction makes cleaning this unit a breeze. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe and includes 10 safety mechanisms.
- Sturdy stainless steel construction
- Easy to wash
- Comes with enough safety mechanisms
- Compact design
- Not ideal for large families
#2 – Ninja OP101 Foodi 7-in-1 Pressure, Slow Cooker and Air Fryer, 5-Quart
Another compact pressure cooker fully stacked with functionalities is Ninja OP101 Foodi 7-in-1 Pressure, Slow Cooker. This unit is equipped with tender-crisp technology, which allows you to get dinner ready in no time. This space-saving model cooks faster than the traditional mode of cooking.
Ninja OP101 Foodi Pressure Cooker features a crisping lid to provide your meals with a golden, crispy finish. Further, this unit can air fry with less fat than deep-fried, hand-cut french fries. Further, its non-stick 5-quart ceramic-enameled pot and 3-quart cook & crisp basket are dishwasher safe and can hold up to 4 pounds of chicken.
On top of that, this kitchen aid includes 7 functions: yogurt, bake/roast, air fry/air crisp, pressure cook, steam, slow cook, and saute/sear. More so, this model features 14 safety measures to offer every user peace of mind.
- Nonstick coating
- Easy to wash and use
- Safety measure for peace of mind
- 7 functions for more cooking versatility
- On the pricey side
#3 – Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker comes with a central dial to provide you with precise program adjustment and selection by a simple turn and press. This next-generation kitchen appliance, including amazing new features such as a steam release reset button, cooking indicator, and altitude adjustment.
For the sake of personalized programming, this unit includes an ultra button. Also, the include new features are egg, cake, and sterilize programs.
- Easily replace up to 10 appliances
- New steam release reset button
- 11 safety features
- Stainless steel construction
- Some products did not pressurize consistently
#4 – Yedi 9-in-1 Total Package Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker
Next up is Yedi 9-in-1 Total Package Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker, which allows you to cook your meals in a fraction of the time. This product is an all-in-one option. It will enable you to cook rice, steam, make cakes, slow cook, sauté, pasteurize, make yogurt, pressure cook, and warm.
Even better, it comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty, which shows the level of confidence in this product. It features a lot of cooking programs: Bean/Chili, Soup, Rice, Egg, Cake, Multigrain, Sauté/Sear, Porridge, Steam/Veggies, Slow cook, Meat/Stew, Poultry, Yogurt, and Pressure Cook.
Unlike other models on the market, Yedi 9-in-1 Total Package Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker to input precise cooking times and set various pressure levels
- Include deluxe accessory kit
- 15 instant-touch microprocessor cooking programs
- 2-year warranty
- Allows manual input
- Valve might get clogged when cooking rice
#5 – Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
For beginners looking to purchase an easy to use model, Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker. This unit combines seven appliances: food warmer, steamer, pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, and saute.
This 3Qt model is available in a compact and convenient design. It’s suitable for cooking a meal for three people. Duo Nova is equipped with a microprocessor for monitoring and adjusting temperature, pressure, heat, and time.
- Worry-free cooking
- Elegant blue LCD
- EasySeal lid
- Ideal for beginners
- Washing might be a bit stressful
How We Test Pressure Cookers?
Over the years, the pros at BeefSteakVeg have tested and evaluated more than 15 pressure cookers and multi-cookers with pressure cooking functionality. During testing, our experts assessed each model’s ability to pressure cook (and slow cook) a beef stew, as well as evenly brown meat and make rice.
They also rated how quickly they could build up pressure and whether they could release it quickly and naturally. They also rated the ease of use of each pressure cooker, including how intuitive and easy-to-read the controls are, the variety of settings available, how easy it is to clean, and the clarity of the owner’s manual.
How Do Pressure Cooker Works?
A pressure cooker is essentially a pot with a lockable lid and a valve that controls the amount of pressure inside the pot. When heated, the pressure cooker generates steam, which becomes trapped inside and causes pressure. The high pressure raises the boiling temperature of water from 212 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to many manufacturers, the higher cooking temperature allows food to cook faster, reducing cook time by up to 70%. When the cooking is finished, you can either quickly release the pressure using the manual pressure release valve or let it drop naturally (natural pressure release).
When you think of a pressure cooker, you probably think of the Instant Pot, which has quickly become a go-to appliance in kitchens across the country, but there are various types of pressure cookers on the market today. Everything from relatively bulky electric countertop cookers to more traditional stovetop versions with varying bells and whistles is available.
Alternative Video: How To Use Pressure Cooker?
Pressure Cooker Buying Guide
Wondering how to pick the right pressure cooker? This buying guide contains critical features to consider from material and size to extra features.
Do you need a pressure cooker to cook for big families or parties? You need to figure out the purpose the kitchen appliance would serve to help choose the right cooker size. Smaller pots are suitable for people looking to prep small meals. However, there are other size options, such as 6-quart and 8-quart, to handle large meals.
Bear in mind that the pots should not be filled over two-thirds and only halfway if the food produces foam while cooking.
2. Liner Material
Electric models come with different liner materials. A lot of models feature a stainless steel liner, which makes it dishwasher safe and able to withstand repeated use. Other products have non-stick coated inserts to make it easier to clean up.
It’s important to caution about the kind of liner material because some options might scratch or chip depending on use. It boils down to easier maintenance or easier clean-up, whichever you decide to go for, you can’t really go wrong.
3. More Cooking Options
Most electrical pressure cookers feature more settings and are often called multi cookers. You should consider the different settings a kitchen appliance offers. On the market, some models are equipped with steaming slow cooking, including yogurt making options.
4. Safety Features
This is another factor to put into consideration with loads of pressure building up and piping-hot steam; you need some safety measures. Most models will come with locking lids to lock in the pressure inside the pot, a valve stem for steam to escape when there’s a load of pressure build-up and ergonomic heat-resistant materials.
5. Price Points
Regardless of the budget, there’s a pressure cooker for that price point. For under 20 dollars, you can quickly get a low-tech stovetop model. Also, you can get models fully-stacked featured pot and allow phone connectivity at a hefty price up to $300. With a lot of options, you should easily find a pressure cooker that fits your budget.
Type of Pressure Cookers
In Terms of Generation
1. First Generation
The first generation is the oldest version of pressure cookers with just basic features and lacks enough safety measures. This model depends on the weight modified valve, releasing pressure to the pot.
This kitchen appliance comes with a single pressure mode, which makes it a bit challenging to control the pot’s pressure levels. These first-generation pressure cookers can be a tad noisy with a sound similar to whistling.
2. Second Generation
An improved pressure cooker type with improved safety measures and newer features than older pressure cookers. Instead of the weight-bearing valves, these models use spring valves. Second-generation pressure cookers come with indicators to inform you about the pot’s pressure levels. More importantly, these models won’t release steam except you open the lid.
Also, it features a pressure selector dial, which eliminates noisy behavior and makes it a lot easier to control the pressure. Most stovetop cookers are second-generation models combining modern and traditional styles.
3. Electric Pressure Cookers
This type of pressure cooker is equipped with advanced features and runs on electricity. You can refer to them as electric pressure cookers or third generation.
They are now the go-to when it comes to pressure cookers as they come with different top-notch technology to make cooking a lot easier. Similarly, electric pressure cookers are equipped with a spring-loaded valve for handling the pressure.
This model usually comes with pre-programmed settings, which makes cooking your meals easier. Electric pressure cookers are equipped with automated features, allowing you to cook your meals without much supervision. These handy features make this model easy to use since all you’ve to go is set and leave.
The third generation pressure cookers offer more features and functionality, including dual pressure setting and timer setting. The different manufacturer offers electric cookers featuring multiple functions including steamer, saute, slow cooking, pressure cooking, and more. No wonder it’s sought after as it’s nothing like the old traditional models. It’s easy and convenient to use.
Based On Features & Functionality
Not all pressure cookers offer a single function; some models come with multiple functions, which allows you to pick from a plethora of options. Using a multi-function kitchen aid can be an economic decision over a single dedicated unit.
1. Single Purpose Pressure Cookers
The primary purpose of a single pressure cooker is to handle one pressure setting. They are built to provide you with a dedicated pressure level without any additional settings.
It may be an electric pressure cooker or a stovetop pressure cooker but will come with a single pressure setting. Nonetheless, most traditional pressure cookers you grew up with only comes with a dedicated pressure option.
2. Multi-Purpose Pressure Cookers
Multiple-purpose pressure cookers feature a lot of pressure settings and features to allow users to cook a wide variety of foods. There are different temperature controls and pressure settings options on the market.
This kitchen appliance can function as a warmer, steamer, rice cooker, slow cooker, and much more. Splurging on one of these models can be a smart decision, as it easily replaces several kitchens. But keep in mind that these models come with a salty price tag, unlike stovetop pressure cookers. Nevertheless, they offer more convenience and reliability with maximum efficiency.
Instant Pot makes another appearance on the list, this time with an electric-multi cooker that truly has all the bells and whistles imaginable. “When it comes to a multicooker, this takes the cake (it can also make it!). It’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, dehydrator, broiler, air fryer, sous vide, and more,” Melissa says.
The Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer replaces the pressure cooker lid with an air fryer lid with an easy-to-clean nonstick surface. What were the outcomes? “The air fryer chicken wings we did were so crispy, I’m still thinking about them,” Melissa says. With this all-in-one appliance, you’ll save a lot of counter space.
Frequently Asked Questions
Stovetop pressure cookers cook about three times faster than conventional cooking methods. Electric pressure cookers cook about twice as fast as conventional cookers.
According to some studies, pressure cooking destroys anti-nutrients, which are compounds that inhibit the body’s ability to absorb and utilize nutrients. Pressure cooking destroys more anti-nutrients than boiling. Many nutritionists also advocate for the use of the Instant Pot.
The T-fal Pressure Cooker has a secure locking lid, making it both safe and simple to use. For added safety, the steam release valve regulates steam release. Another safeguard is that the pressure cooker will not open if it is already in use and under pressure.