Presto 01781 Canner & Stovetop Pressure Cooker, 23-Quart
Last updated date: February 9, 2021
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We looked at the top Pressure Cookers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Pressure Cooker you should buy.
Editor's Note April 1, 2021:
Checkout The Best Stovetop Pressure Cooker for a detailed review of all the top pressure cookers.
In our analysis of 65 expert reviews, the Presto Presto Stovetop Pressure Canner & Cooker, 23-Quart placed 11th when we looked at the top 17 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
Pressure canning is the only method recommended safe by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for low-acid foods. Doubles as a boiling water canner for preserving fruits, jams, jellies, pickles and salsa in pint and half pint jars. Also handy as a large capacity pressure cooker. Constructed of warp-resistant, heavy-gauge aluminum for fast, even heating. Works on regular and smooth-top ranges. Deluxe pressure dial gauge registers the complete range of processing pressures. This precise measurement is especially important at higher altitudes. Air vent/cover lock allows pressure to build up only when the cover is closed properly and prevents the cover from opening until pressure is safely reduced. Liquid capacity: 23 quarts (21.8 liters).
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Our Expert Consultant
Julie Chernoff is a long-time member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (past president of the Chicago Chapter, and current co-chair of the LDEI Legacy Awards Committee), the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Chernoff is the dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. Her journalism started in the test kitchens of Weight Watchers Magazine. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has spent the last few decades styling, photographing, teaching, developing recipes, editing, thinking and writing about food.
Overall Product Rankings
An Overview On Pressure Cookers
Ask previous generations about pressure cookers and they’ll likely bring up safety concerns. But pressure cookers have come a long way from their mid-1900s popularity. The newer models of pressure cookers will keep you protected from the over-pressurization that once put home chefs at risk.
“I’ve got to be honest. These things used to scare the bejesus out of me,” confesses culinary expert Julie Chernoff, member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, dining editor of Better magazine and food journalist. “But today’s upscale, high-tech models aren’t your grandma’s stovetop pressure cooker, although the basic premise is the same.”
In recent years, all-in-one units like the Instant Pot have made pressure cooking popular again. However, you don’t have to buy a bulky countertop unit to enjoy the benefits of pressure cooking. Stovetop pressure cookers are fairly straightforward, with only a few steps to get you going. Instead of trying to figure out which button does what, you simply insert your items, then cover and seal before you start steaming.
But there are more than a few models to consider while shopping for a pressure cooker. Although all models are safe, each has its own safety mechanisms. There are models with something as simple as an indicator light and others that have as many as six built-in safety features.
“The best ones have built-in safety features, meaning they won’t over-pressurize and explode, like locking mechanisms with indicator lights, easy-read displays, and solid stainless-steel construction rather than the old aluminum variety,” Chernoff explains.
In addition to safety, ease of use is important when you’re considering which stovetop pressure cookers to buy. You’ll need to seal and choose a pressure setting, but once that’s done, you’ll turn the stove burner on and let your pressure cooker do the rest. Pressure cookers with a simpler design just require turning a knob, but other pressure cookers have an easy on/off cover as well. As you choose a pressure cooker, also consider the weight and durability, especially if you have a more sensitive ceramic or glass cooktop.
Lastly, you may want to consider clean-up as you’re choosing a pressure cooker. If you’re used to tossing your pots and pans in the dishwasher, you may want to steer toward one of the dishwasher-safe models. Even the models that have a finish that makes for easy handwashing may not provide the convenience you want.
“Personally, I would lean toward a model that could be throw in the dishwasher, because easy-to-clean is always my preference,” Chernoff says.
She also says to consider capacity. How much will suit your family? Will you be using the pressure cooker for weekly food prep? And think about what foods you want to cook to determine whether a pressure cooker is right for you.
“Pressure cookers are great for all legumes, grains, broths, soups and stews,” Chernoff says. “They utilize steam pressure as it builds inside the tightly-closed pot, and that’s particularly great for tougher foods and proteins (or both, like dried beans). Plus, you’ll save the pre-soaking time.”
The Pressure Cooker Buying Guide
- Safety mechanisms are built into every modern pressure cooker, but you may like some better than others. One model has a locking mechanism on the cooker that includes a mechanism light that goes from red to green once it’s locked. That takes all the guesswork out of using one of these devices. Some models use a metal-to-metal seal to make sure no steam can escape. Lastly, other units have built-in safety features, including a cover that will not open unless pressure has been fully released.
- Pressure cookers come in a variety of sizes, so it’s important for you to know what you’ll be doing. If you simply want to try canning a few items, for instance, the smaller-capacity pressure cookers will do. However, unless you have a large family, a 21.5-quart cooker may have far more room than you’ll ever need. A 10.5 quart will hold seven standard mouth regular pint jars or four standard regular mouth quart jars.
- Ease of use is also an important factor when you’re choosing a stovetop pressure cooker. Look for pressure settings that are extremely easy to read and lids that slide onto the pot without much effort.
- The size of larger units, like the 21.5-quart pressure cookers, can bring a couple of issues. First, its size means it doesn’t fit snugly on just one burner, making it difficult to place. You’ll also find its heaviness may make it a bad fit for a ceramic or glass range. Lastly, the size signifies it will also take longer than average to heat up and cool down.
- Clean-up is an understandable concern with any appliance. If you’re used to tossing your pots and pans in the dishwasher, you may want a unit that provides that level of no-fuss cleaning. Look for a model that is labeled as dishwasher safe. Models that have a satin finish also tend to be easier to clean by hand, in the event that they aren’t dishwasher-safe.
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