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The Best Electric Pressure Cooker

Last updated on January 21, 2024
Best Electric Pressure Cooker

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Pressure cookers have been around for decades, but they have recently surged in popularity, thanks to the Instant Pot and other similar appliances. When you know what pressure cookers are capable of, it’s not hard to see why so many home cooks adore them.

Cooking with an Instant Pot saves tons of time. These energy-efficient appliances can prepare a meal 70 percent more quickly than baking, roasting and other cooking methods. Since pressure cookers do work so speedily, the food can retain up to 90 percent more of the water-soluble vitamins lost when baking, boiling or steaming. Not only that, but meals come out looking divine and tasting amazing.

Pressure cookers are also convenient. They take up minimal space in cupboards and on countertops. Since they can be used to prepare everything from boiled eggs or steamed rice to rich soups and stews to succulent meats and veggies, an Instant Pot might even replace other single-purpose appliances you already have or have considered buying. You can even use them to cook meat straight from the freezer.

Most Instant Pots are programmed with one-touch presets that remove the guesswork from cooking times or temperatures. In addition, if you are cooking a dish that doesn’t require refrigeration, you can use delayed cooking to plan ahead.

Foods are cooked evenly, and the results are consistent. Pressure cooking quickly breaks down tough meat, producing tender and juicy main courses. Legumes do not require pre-soaking when you make them in an Instant Pot, as pressure cooking makes beans come out firm but malleable.

The cookers are impressive on their own, but when you add in available accessories, you can take your cooking to another level. Along with steamer baskets, glass lids and ceramic inner pots, you can also pick up extras such as springform cake and loaf pans, yogurt cups, stackable steamer pans and egg steamer racks.

Instant Pots have more than 10 safety mechanisms, making these appliances so much safer than the pressure cooker your Grandma warned you to steer clear of as a child.

Cleanup is also easy. You can toss the pot and most accessories in the dishwasher.

Our Picks For The Top Electric Pressure Cookers

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Product Overview
Our Take
 Most Versatile

Instant Pot Smart WiFi 8-In-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

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Instant Pot

Smart WiFi 8-In-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

This electric pressure cooker allows customers to send notifications to a connected mobile device. So you'll get an alert as soon as cooking is complete. You can also use the electric pressure cooker's app to check on food while it's cooking.

Overall Take

13 One-Touch ProgramsThis electric pressure cooker is Wi-Fi and Alexa compatible.

 Best for Groups

Yedi Houseware 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, 8-Quart

Yedi Houseware

9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, 8-Quart

There are a couple of benefits of a larger cooker like this electric pressure cooker for families. You can cook for up to 10 people, making it handy for large families or groups. However, a larger capacity also means you can easily slide in bulky items like ribs or crab legs, or simply make large quantities of food to save for later.

Overall Take

Large CapacityIf you have a large family or cook for groups, this electric pressure cooker has the larger size you'll need.

 Great Value

Instant Pot DUO 7-In-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot

DUO 7-In-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

This electric pressure cooker sets the standard for electric pressure cookers thanks to its affordability and versatility. You can use this Instant Pot to make meats and vegetables or creamy items, like yogurt and cheesecake. The three-ply stainless steel bottom ensures even heat distribution and retention. In our test kitchen, this multi cooker co...

Overall Take

Awesome CookerA top-notch multi electric pressure cooker that makes cooking a breeze.

 Best Classic

Instant Pot Ultra 10-In-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, 6-Quart

Instant Pot

Ultra 10-In-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, 6-Quart

This electric pressure cooker for families expands the capabilities of previous models, with the ability to replace 10 kitchen appliances, including your rice cooker and your slow cooker. The large screen is not only easy to read, but it keeps you updated on the progress of your meal. Once your meal is done, simply push the steam-release button to ...

Overall Take

Most EconomicalIf you prefer to use your pressure cooker for everything, this electric pressure cooker for families has the versatility you'll need.

What to Look For

  • One of the primary considerations that you will want to think about when looking for a new Instant Pot is the size. Instant Pots come in 3-quart, 5-quart, 6-quart and 8-quart sizes. Deciding which one is right for your family can be a daunting task. The 6-quart cooker is popular, as it is large enough for complete meals or sizable cuts of meat, but not so big that it is difficult to store or move. However, there are other factors that could help you determine the best size. For instance, if you are cooking for one, a 3-quart cooker might be ideal while if you have a large family, you might require the big 8-quart Instant Pot.
  • Of course, sticking to your budget is imperative. Fortunately, you can purchase a versatile and reliable Instant Pot without spending a small fortune. If you want all the bells and whistles, expect to pay a little more.
  • Safety is essential, especially if you have small children underfoot while you are making meals. While all Instant Pot models have integrated safety features, some have additional protective measures. For instance, the Instant Pot Ultra contains a separate quick-release button on the lid away from the vent. This extra safety feature keeps your hand away from the steam that might escape from the vent.
  • While all Instant Pot models have certain features, such as delay start, slow cooker or sauté mode, there are some differences between versions. For instance, some features such as the sous vide option, temperature customization and Bluetooth connectivity are only available in specific Instant Pot models. Deciding what features matter most to you could help you pick the perfect appliance.
  • When looking at features, consider whether you are likely to use them. Instant Pot versions with a greater number of functions can be more challenging to use out of the box. However, if you enjoy learning to use new devices, this might inspire you to cook even more.
  • Although all Instant Pot models include a sealing ring, pros and experienced users recommend grabbing some extras. The silicone gaskets have a tendency to absorb odors from the various foods made in the pots. If you plan to make a variety of dishes in your pressure cooker, consider keeping at least two sealing rings. That way, you can reserve one for savory meals and the other for sweet recipes to avoid unpleasant tastes or odors.

More to Explore

While aspects such as a digital display, WiFi notifications and one-touch technology might be modern and cutting-edge in the kitchen, the premise of the Instant Pot is not a new one. In 1679, British physicist Denis Papin invented a vessel with a tightly fitting lid that would raise the contents to a high temperature under pressure. In 1809, Napoleon Bonaparte awarded French confectioner Nicolas Appert 12,000 francs for his canning process of cooking foods packed in glass jars in boiling water.

In 1938, when German inventor Alfred Vischler introduced his saucepan-style pressure cooker at a New York City Trade Show. By the 1950s, pressure cooking was exceedingly popular. However, with the onset of World War II, aluminum was at a premium, and new pressure cookers were hard to come by. Friends and neighbors shared their cookers with one another. The appreciation of pressure cooking carried on well into the 1980s and 1990s. Today’s Instant Pots have brought pressure cooking to the forefront once more.