Best Pressure Cooker Reviews 2017 -Buying Guide
If you are looking for a trouble-free and quick way to prepare meals at home, you arguably need a pressure cooker. There are lots of options that you should consider, but we have done the homework for you. Read on to see the best pressure cooker that will meet your culinary needs.
What is a pressure cooker?
A pressure cooker is an essential kitchen accessory that allows you to prepare meals within a short duration, and it yields great quality food. Recipes that took hours to prepare now take less than an hour to cook.
Whether you need to cook veggies, beans, rice, pork or flavorful beef stew, your meal will be ready in less than an hour. Pressure cookers are way better than the conventional cooking methods.
Types of Pressure Cookers
There are two types of pressure cookers i.e. first-generation pressure cookers and second generation pressure cookers.
The first generation pressure cooker is the old type model and is less popular nowadays. It is heavier than the second generation pressure cooker, and it has a single pressure level. Some of these models still exist, though they have been redesigned to include additional safety features.
The second generation pressure cooker is the recent model and includes more than two pressure settings. The pressure levels make it possible to control how food is cooked and the duration it takes. It is the best pressure cooker option for great home cooking.
Are there cheap pressure cookers?
The price of pressure cookers varies from one model to another. The cost ranges from $50 to $200 depending on the type, capacity and the material used in making the unit.
There are inexpensive pressure cooker models with excellent performance and capacity. The average price of a pressure cooker is $100, and you will be spoilt for choice with that budget.
We analyzed 55 models to come up with the Cheapest Pressure Cookers Under $100. We evaluated these models based on features, quality, and price.
Best Pressure Cooker 2017 Reviews (Cheap Pressure Cooker Under $100)
With a limited budget, you will be spoilt for choice when buying a pressure cooker for home use. There are many options for a cheap pressure cooker, and we narrowed down to the best pressure cookers that we believe will give you value for your money.
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker IP-DUO60- Editor’s Choice
The 7-in-1 programmable pressure cooker features adjustable cooking modes, allowing up to 24 hours delayed cooking. The automatic keep-warm mode holds the food temperature for nearly 10 hours until you serve it. With Instant DUO60, you will prepare your best dishes with the push of a button. It is silent and leaks no steam when cooking.
IP-DUO60 is multifunctional and has the functions of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, yogurt maker, warmer and saute. The inner pot is durable and leaves no health concerns of the coating residual. It is easy to clean and lasts for years.
Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker CPC-600
Cuisinart electric pressure cooker features a tight seal that locks in heat, moisture, and nutrients, making it the perfect option for faster and exceptionally healthy cooking. With this appliance, you can prepare great-tasting meals in less time.
The cooker is easy to operate, and the easy-to-read display allows you to monitor the progress of your meals. It has a digital thermostat that regulates temperatures while preparing a meal. Depending on your preference, you can choose between the high or low-pressure cooking, simmering, warming and browning.
Other unique features include cool-touch side handles, non-stick cooking pot, LED countdown display and a dishwasher-safe trivet.
Presto Pressure Cooker 01370
Looking for the best pressure cooker that cooks meat, chicken, and vegetable to perfection? You are lucky because Presto 01370 does exactly that. It cooks three times faster than traditional cooking methods, saving you energy and money.
The 8-quartz pressure cooker features a stainless steel construction with a tri-clad base that ensures rapid and uniform heating while cooking. Use it as a conventional soup pot, as a canner and other functions that a pressure cooker would do.
The pressure regulator automatically maintains pressure while cooking. Also, the pressure cooker has a cover lock indicator that alerts you when there is high pressure inside the pot and prevents the cover from being opened till the pressure has reduced. The appliance comes with a steaming basket for cooking several foods at once while retaining their flavors and nutrients.
Presto 01370 comes with a 75-page recipe booklet that includes several mind-blowing recipes such as soup stocks, pot roasts, desserts, chicken, fish, beef, port, vegetable, and others. The booklet also outlines how to operate the pressure cooker and the safety features to observe while using the appliance.
Common questions when shopping for the Best Pressure Cooker
How much do you need to cook?
If you want a pressure cooker that can prepare large amounts of food, you should go with a high capacity pressure cooker. Such a cooker is ideal if you cook large quantities of food at once or you have a large family.
For large volumes of food, we recommend All American Pressure Cooker/Canner. Its capacity ranges from 10.5 to 41.5 quartz. The unit features extra heavy cast aluminum construction that supports fast and even heating. The double thickness edges provide extra protection on points of more substantial wear.
Does the pressure cooker incorporate safety features?
Although pressure cookers are essential home appliances, they may pose a danger to your family and pets. The heated pressure and hot steam from the cooker may cause skin burns and other accidents if not managed.
Ensure that your pressure cooker incorporates safety features such as a pressure limiter, anti-jam protection, digital thermostat, over-pressure monitor, opening pressure guard, cover lock indicator, and a study cover.
Can the pressure cooker perform other functions?
Buying an appliance that performs several functions at the same time will save you money. With such an option, you will be killing several birds with the same stone. How cool is that?
When choosing the best pressure cooker, getting a model that can perform other functions such as steaming and canning is a plus. Instant Pot IP-DUO60 and Cosori 7-in-1 electric pressure cooker feature several essential functionalities apart from pressure cooking.
Does the pressure cooker support several cooking modes?
Different foods take varied amounts of cooking time. The best pressure cooker should allow you to customize the amount of cooking time for various foods. This pressure cooker features 14 cooking modes that make it possible to cook several types of foods using one appliance.
Power Pressure Cooker XL 8-Quartz- Flavor Infusion Technology
It features the flavor infusion technology that forces liquid and moisture into the food, trapping in loads of flavors and nutrients that would have otherwise escaped. The feature is ideal when canning fruits or cooking vegetables.
The intelligent one-touch settings make this equipment the best pressure cooker for healthy cooking. The preset one-touch settings make it possible to cook meat, beans, fish, vegetables, rice, stews and soup with the push of a button. Sounds cool?
Other features that make power pressure cooker the best include a digital display, safe-lock lid with manual steam release, non-stick and dishwasher-safe inner pot, stainless steel material and automatic keep-warm mode.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker versus Electric Pressure Cooker: Which is the best?
Stovetop Pressure Cooker
The stovetop pressure cooker is an old model, and it existed even before the introduction of the first electric pressure into the market. However, stovetop pressure cooker has been redesigned to include features that customers are looking for in the market.
- It is cheaper than an electric pressure cooker.
- It has a lid-locking system to ensure safety while cooking.
- Takes approximately 11 minutes for the pressure to build up.
- Works like a regular cooking pot and makes a perfect gift for grandma.
- It works with various heat sources such as BBQs and bonfires.
- Unlike electric pressure cookers, stovetop pressure cookers lack an integrated timer/scheduler.
Electric Pressure Cooker
Electric pressure cookers are more “trendy’ and efficient than stovetop pressure cookers. They are programmable to support different types of food whose cooking time vary. With an electric cooker, you can set the cooking time manually when needed.
If you are a busy person who prefers getting the food ready in less than an hour rather than waiting for up to 8 hours, you should buy the best electric pressure cooker. Pressure cookers have made cooking a lot easier than using conventional cooking methods.
- Automatic timer to track the cooking time.
- Several pressure settings.
- Automatic temperature regulation.
- Programmable- users can set preferred settings depending on the type of food.
- Incorporate several safety features.
- Slightly larger than stovetop pressure cookers.
- Lack cold water release feature.
Aluminum Pressure Cooker Versus Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker: Which one is better?
After deciding whether to go with a stovetop pressure cooker or electric pressure cooker, you should now choose the material that you prefer, between aluminum and stainless steel.
Stainless steel material is a more popular option, and pressure cookers made with this material are durable, and they retain the shiny finish for many years. This material resists corrosion and scratching and therefore more preferred than aluminum. However, stainless steel pressure cookers are more expensive than those made with aluminum.
Aluminum pressure cookers are soft and therefore more prone to scratch, dents, and corrosion that may affect its appearance. It is lightweight and inexpensive. However, you can find a top rated pressure cooker like the Presto 01264 Pressure cooker that is built using aluminum and functions excellently.
Mostly, most pressure cookers have both materials, where the stainless steel material is used to manufacture the primary components of the pressure cooker whereas the aluminum material is used in making the base due to its high heat conduction.
Best Pressure Cooker Reviews: Pros & Cons of Aluminum and Stainless Steel
|Durable and lasts for many years|
Resists corrosion, warping, and scratches
|Poor conductor of heat
A good conductor of heat
|It is soft, and it is prone to dents and scratches.
May react with acidic foods.
Not very durable
Are there alternatives to pressure cookers?
There are appliances in the market that perform part of/whole of the pressure cooker functions. Some of the alternatives to pressure cookers include slow cookers, pressure canners, and food steamers.
If you prefer to slow-cook your meals, you should go for the best slow cooker that meets your culinary needs. They are a relatively new on the market, and they are a great addition to your kitchen. You can buy the best slow cooker for $100 and below.
Several benefits make a slow cooker a must-have accessory. One of the advantages is low oil consumption compared to conventional cooking methods because it allows the natural water to stay on top of the ingredients. Also, a slow cooker is ideal for cooking pork, chicken ribs and beef brisket because it helps retain their delicious flavors and juices. As the best chefs will tell you, slow cookers produce a gentle heat that brings out the great tastes in your meals. You should get this!
The U.S.D.A recommends pressure canning as the best way to can beef, poultry, fish, and vegetables. With a pressure cooker, you can preserve your favorite food and eat them at any time you like. Canning is ideal when preserving low-acid foods
One of the advantages of a pressure canner is the reduction in the amount taken to prepare meals. Also, it saves energy due to the short processing time. Pressure canning consumes less energy than other traditional cooking methods.
Nutrients from vegetables are essential in the development of our body. However, some of the cooking methods that we use lead to the loss of these nutrients through overcooking. As a result, we remain with vegetables that may not be as beneficial to our body as they would have if properly cooked.
Food steamers use steaming technology to ensure that we not only get all the nutrients but also enjoy great tasting meals. These appliances cook the vegetables under sealed vessels to prevent the natural moisture from escaping. Note that food steamers do not need oils when cooking vegetables.
Features to consider when choosing the best pressure cooker
The most popular sizes for the pressure cookers varies from four quartz, six quartz, and eight quartz. The four quartz pressure cooker is the perfect option when cooking meals for a small family, i.e., one to three people. The eight quartz models are ideal for a big-sized family of five to eight people, or for families that cook meals in batches.
When filled with food, a pressure cooker may become impossible to carry on its own due to the weight and heated surface. The best pressure cooker handles should be study and cool-to-touch to avoid causing burns on your hands.
The handles should be comfortable to hold and large enough to keep the hands off the appliance.
When choosing the best pressure cooker, you should consider the safety features incorporated in the unit. A pressure cooker works using the built-up pressure that may cause severe damage if not managed. The safety features include secure lid locks, automatic temperature regulation, pressure indicators, release valves, over-pressure monitor, opening pressure guard and a sturdy cover.
Cover interlock mechanisms
Before narrowing down to a particular pressure cooker, ensure it has a functional cover control mechanism. The feature locks pressurized steam inside the pressure cooker and remains closed till the pressure reduces to a safe level.
An effective cover interlock mechanism should enclose pressurized steam inside the pressure cooker when cooking. Also, the best pressure cooker should not commence building up pressure until the cover is locked. This feature reduces cases of burns and other accidents caused by the built-up pressure.
Always check the compatibility of a pressure cooker with different types of cooktops before making a purchase decision. Some models do not work with ceramic cooktops while other models work with virtually any type of cooktop.
However, the issue of compatibility mainly affects stovetop pressure cookers because they depend on external sources of heat.
Most pressure cookers come with non-stick interior materials. However, the majority of pressure cooker reviews agree that non-stick interior is not a necessity because they fail to hold up under intense pressure. Also, certain types of utensils don’t work in harmony with non-stick surfaces.
A bi-metal and tri-metal base are ideal if you are looking for a material that is easy to clean and an excellent heat conductor. The best pressure cooker should have a base clad in aluminum to reduce the risk of scorching by allowing even distribution of heat over the pot.
Somes pressure cookers have an automatic pressure release mechanism while in other cookers, the pressure has to be released manually. The automatic pressure release mechanism subsides the pressure slowly, so the pressure cooker has to be put aside until all the pressure has been released.
When releasing the pressure manually, place the cooker in cold water or under running cold water. As a caution, you should not open the cover until the pressure has fallen to safe levels.
The recipe booklet gives easy-to-implement recipes that new cooks and expert cooks can try on their own. Some pressure cookers come with recipes as a free add-on item or as an item sold separately. Also, they include clear instructions on how to use the appliance and the safety precautions to observe.
How to Use a Pressure Cooker (Infographic)
Source: Hip pressure cooking
1. Food Sense Utah University – Importance on pressure cooking & Types of Pressure cookers
2. Wikipedia– History of Pressure cookers
3. Kitchn– How a Pressure Cooker Works
4. Today– Magital tips on how to use a pressure cooker.