The 5 Best Pressure Cookers

By Jeffrey Pu on 13 June 2013 (Updated 21 August 2013) 3 comments

The pressure cooker is a cooking appliance that intimidates almost everyone who steps into a kitchen. It's not hard to see why — the pressure cooker isn't typically found in most home kitchens, and the way it cooks is rather unconventional. However, when used properly, a pressure cooker can easily simulate lengthy and difficult cooking methods, saving you both time and energy.

What Is a Pressure Cooker?

A pressure cooker is a device that cooks food within a sealed vessel. By sealing the container, steam pressure from boiling liquid builds, thus raising the temperature of the water vapor and cooking food faster. A stew that could normally take several hours in a conventional pot could take as little as 30 minutes. Pressure cookers come in two basic types: stovetop and electric. Stovetop pressure cookers typically reach and maintain pressure faster than electric ones; however, electric pressure cookers are typically easier to use for those new to pressure cookers.

Best 5 Pressure Cookers

Fagor Duo 8-Quart Pressure Cooker

Well-reviewed by both professional and at-home owners, the Fagor Duo 8-Quart Pressure Cooker offers both high quality performance and simplicity for those new to pressure cookers. This Fagor Duo model also comes with a number of safety features including a long, heat-resistant cooking lid, a safety-lock handle, visual pressure indicator, and automatic pressure release setting. Finally, its stainless steel construction and 10-year warranty mean you can count on using it for a very long time. Currently $102.80 on Amazon.

Cuisinart CPC-600 Pressure Cooker

Considered the best electric pressure cooker by Good Housekeeping, the Cuisinart CPC-600 offers great performance and a number of programmable features. Professional tests rate the food that comes out of this Cuisinart as high quality and very good-tasting. Along with basic high pressure steam cooking, it is also capable of browning, sautéing, and simmering. Finally, the Cuisinart is more user-friendly than most stovetop models. Currently $92.45 on Amazon.

Tramontina 8-qt. Heavy-Duty Pressure Cooker

Considered the fastest stovetop pressure cooker by Good Housekeeping, the Tramontina Heavy-Duty Pressure Cooker was the quickest at reaching and dropping pressure, which is typically the longest part of the cooking process. It is also easy to use and clean up, which contribute to making this pressure cooker a fan favorite. Currently $99.95 on Amazon.

All American 921 Pressure Cooker/Canner

The All American Pressure Cooker/Canner is for those who are interested in heavy-duty pressure cooking and canning. With a 21-quart carrying capacity, it is perfect for canning and cooking extremely large meals; however, its size can make it too heavy for the casual cook. The nearly completely metal construction makes it extremely safe and reliable, and it is likely to last you several decades if not longer. Currently $199.99 on Amazon.

Presto 01370 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

Users agree that the Presto 8-Quart model serves as a great basic pressure cooker. At the lowest price point of this entire list, it handles the most fundamental function of a pressure cooker with high quality results. While it may not come with any other advanced features, folks who own this Presto model all agree that it is a great value for the price. Currently $58.00 on Amazon.

 

And those are our recommendations for the best 5 pressure cookers. Be sure to check out the Wise Bread Buying Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!

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Guest's picture

I have my grandmother's plus an electric one my MIL bought me. :) Free--my favorite!

Guest's picture
Jill

As a pressure cooker expert and author of a pressure cooking cookbook, The New Fast Food: The Veggie Queen Pressure Cooks Whole Food Meals in Less than 30 Minutes, I think that you failed to mention one of the best pressure cookers which is the B/R/K. I have used many cookers and both the design and functionality of these cookers is top-notch.

While I am not a huge fan of the electric pressure cooker, I really like that the Instant Pot (not mentioned) has a stainless (rather than nonstick) insert. Some people love their electric cookers. Good for them. The recipes in my book work with those, as well.

Thank you for writing about pressure cooking. It's an incredible way to cook.

Guest's picture
Guest

I own an All American and a Cuisinart, and love both. The Cuisinart will cook a pot of black beans in under an hour. Its high-pressure setting is 10 lbs so flatlanders will be able to can 3 pint jars in it. The All American is tough and heavy enough to hold steady pressure on lowe than usual range heat, enabling home canners to save a little extra. Gardeners, check out the canning blogs and the University of Georgia's National Center for Food Presentation web page and learn how to preserve your own food in the ultimate recyclable contsiner, the Mason jar.