Pressure cookers are one of the best hands-off ways of getting food on the dining table fast – just add the ingredients and cover with the locking lid. The pressure cooker can decrease your cooking time by almost 70%.
Most new models offer more cooking methods, including saute, steam, slow cook, and more. Some newer models are equipped with safety and handy features: smart auto-shutoff sensors, locking lids, built-in pressure release valve.
Obviously, these handy, versatile plug-in appliances are nothing like the old, granny pressure cookers. But choosing the right user-friendly plug-in appliance can be challenging considering hundreds of models out there.
So, in this post, we’ll be comparing the best electric pressure cooker america’s test kitchen on the market and a short buying guide on how to make a smart decision.
What is an Electric Pressure Cooker?
Essentially, this pressure cooker is a pot featuring a lockable lid and a valve to allow users to control the steam pressure inside the unit. The pressure cooker heats up and builds pressure inside with a gasket-sealed lid to trap steam and increase the pot’s internal temperature to about 250 degrees F.
This device is built to offer efficient and speedy cooking times compared to most other kitchen appliances. Aside from speeding up your cooking time by up to 70 percent, an electric pressure cooker is a decent choice to prepare tougher meats such as stew, and briskets.
What is an electric pressure cooker instant pot and electric pressure cooker, same?
The difference between the Instant Pot and the standard pressure cooker boils down to control, technology, and usability. The Instant Pot comes with several safety mechanisms compared to the old-time pressure cooker, which makes it much safer to cook with.
With the incorporated digital controls, these models now offer a seemingly endless amount of control to cook just about anything. With a push of a button, users can make yogurt, desserts, beans, soups, ribs, poultry, rice, and more. Plus, they are six times faster compared to the standard method of cooking.
While both instant pot and electric pots are still used widely in restaurants and homes, there’s no denying that the latter offers a high level of control.
These products are really handy, fast, and versatile; therefore, choosing the instant pot over a pressure cooker is about your preference. While it comes down to personal preference, the instant pot is equipped with several user-friendly features that make it more intelligent and approachable than most kitchen appliances.
How does a pressure cooker work?
Basically, pressure cookers work by creating pressurized steam by heating water with the pot sealed. The steam generated inside the pot is kept, and the excess steam escapes through a vent tube. This device automatically keeps the internal pressure for lower cooking time.
Reviews of Top 10 Best Electric Pressure Cooker America’s Test Kitchen 2020
Here are top rated Electric Pressure Cooker on the market today
#1 – Instant Pot Duo Mini 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker: Best Mutli Cooker
This model ranking top on our list comes in a compact size, making it great for side dishes, smaller households, or limited space. It comes with just about all features you’d expect from an electric cooker.
Instant Pot Duo Mini 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker is built to replace up to 7 appliances, saving space and cost. This product functions as a steamer, saute, rice cooker, slow cooker, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, and warmer.
What’s more? This device features 14 one-touch cooking presets to ensure quick cooking – bean/chili, rice, porridge, keep warm, yogurt, steam, slow cook, soup/broth, meat/stew, poultry, saute/searing, manual, and pressure cook.
This kitchen appliance monitors the temperature, pressure, keeps time, and easily adjusts the heating duration and intensity to ensure users achieve their desired results every time. Like any electric pressure cooker, it cooks 70% faster.
Another incredible thing about Instant Pot Duo Mini 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker is its dishwasher friendly, fingerprint-resistant stainless steel lid, components, and accessories to ensure this model is easy to clean.
- Available in different size options
- 7 cooking modes
- Compact design
- Dishwasher friendly
- Customer service could be better
#2 – Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 Pressure, Slow Cooker, Air Fryer and More, 5-Quart
This is another compact pressure built to replace lots of appliances in your kitchen. The Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 Pressure is equipped with a tender-crisp technology to ensure your ingredients cook quickly. Even better, its crisping lid provides your meal with that crispy, golden finish.
This model pressure cooks about 70 percent faster than traditional cooking methods. Also, it air fry with lesser fat compared to other options. Besides, this 5Qt ceramic pot is dishwasher safe, PFOA/PTFE free, and non-stick.
Like our top choice, this product comes with 7 functions: sear/saute, slow cook, air fry/air crisp, pressure cook, steam, bake/roast, and yogurt. Further, it comes with 14 safety features to ensure a safe and efficient cooking experience.
- Wide range of size options
- Defrost and cook quickly
- Lock in juices
- Easy to use
- Consumes power
#3 – Instant Pot Ultra Mini 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
This model is the latest addition to the brand’s series of products. It comes with a simple twist and clicks program modes to allow users to access the preset cooking programs with ease. Plus, it ensures that you enjoy optimal user customization.
That’s not the only thing new about this model. It comes with a steam release auto-reset, visual progress, automatic altitude adjustment. It includes 16 microprocessor controlled programs, which removes the guesswork and lesser cooking time.
Instant Pot Ultra Mini 10-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker will easily replace up to 10 common kitchen appliances, including rice/porridge cooker, cake maker, warmer, sterilizer, slow cooker, yogurt maker, egg cooker, saute/searing, and steamer.
This Ultra Mini 3 Quart is multipurpose and quite practical for making two side dishes at home or while traveling.
- Comes with safety mechanisms
- Compact design
- A simple twist and click programming allows easy access.
- Comes with several new features
- The saute function does get hot enough.
#4 – Mealthy MultiPot 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, Stainless Steel Pot instant access to recipe app
Taking a spot on our list is the Mealthy MultiPot 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure with an easy-touch control panel. This model features 14 preset programs and 9 cooking functions to ensure a seamless cooking experience. On top of that, it has a customizable preset that remembers your last settings.
Further, it features an LCD Panel equipped with an inbuilt icon and progress indicator, which means no more confusing symbol or guesswork. This model has a 6Qt stainless steel pot with stainless steel steamer brackets, allowing you to make two dishes simultaneously. Mealthy MultiPot 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure sport an extra-wide steam vent handle for safety when releasing steam.
- Easy-touch control panel
- 9-in-1 cooking functions
- 14 preset programs
- Spare silicone gasket for sweet dishes
- Take time to get used to this product
#5 – Yedi 9-in-1 Total Package Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker
Another 9-in-1 pressure cooker comes from Yedi, a well-known brand in this space. This model will help you cook meals in a jiffy. Its array of cooking functions include pressure cook, steam, pasteurize, cook rice, warm, make yogurt, cakes, slow cook, and saute.
A 2-year worry-free warranty backs this all-in-one kitchen appliance. More so, it is equipped with 15 instant-touch microprocessor cooking programs. Even better, this model allows users to input cooking times and choose their preferred pressure levels manually.
- Impressive flexibility
- 2-years cooking
- 9-in-1 cooking function
- 15 instant-touch microprocessor cooking programs
- Slow cooking could be better
#6 – Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker by Instant Pot
Another spot, another Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. This device will serve up to 6 people, which makes it a smart use for everyday meals. It’s engineered to replace about 7 kitchen appliances.
To ensure users get consistently great results, Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker allows users to monitor the temperature, pressure easily, adjusts the heating duration and intensity, and keep time. It includes rice paddle, soup spoon, steam rack, sealing ring, stainless steel inner pot, and lid holder, which are all dishwasher safe.
- Dishwasher friendly
- Easy to clean
- 10 safety mechanisms
- Offers consistent great results
- The red color options appear closer to orange
#7 – Power Pressure Cooker XL
This model is available in different size options: 6Qt, 8Qt, and 10Qt. Power Pressure Cooker XL helps you cook healthier, flavorful, delicious meals much faster than your traditional cookware.
Power Pressure Cooker XL boasts of its flavor infusion technology, which traps superheated steam inside the unit to force moisture and liquid into your food.
On top of that, this unit has digital display panels for easy use. Also, it is one of the easiest to clean, thanks to its dishwasher- safe parts.
- Manual steam release
- Automatic keep-warm mode
- 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Large and sturdy lid arm handle
- Teflon comes off
#8 – COSORI CP016-PC Electric 6 Qt 8-in-1 Instant Stainless Steel Pot Pressure Cooker
When it comes to products offering ease of use, COSORI CP016-PC Electric 6 Qt 8-in-1 Instant Stainless Steel Pot Pressure Cooker takes the lead. This model features an unlock indicator to notify users if the product is not properly locked.
This product helps create family-size meals without the hassle. It comes with a customizable program to create a custom setting for each cooking program by adjusting the cooking time, pressure, and temperature.
More so, COSORI CP016-PC Electric 6 Qt 8-in-1 is engineered to create your culinary masterpiece without any hassle.
- Quick adjustment
- Fingerprint-resistant brushed stainless steel housing.
- Micro Limit Switch Protection
- Anti-Clog Protection
- The lid doesn’t seal properly.
#9 – GoWISE USA GW22700 12-in-1 Multifunctional Electric Pressure Cooker
If you are in the market for models that offer more cooking functions, you should consider purchasing GoWISE USA GW22700. This model comes with 12 cooking presets for snappy cooking such as steam, egg maker, yogurt, caning, chili/beans, veggies, seafood, etc.
The body and lid feature stainless steel construction, while the inner pot is made of aluminum alloy and coated with ceramic. Even better, it allows users to set the time manually, and simply switch between the pressure level for a customized experience.
- Easy to use
- A special release pressure button
- Non-stick ceramic coated pot
- Wide range of size options
- The detachable cord seems fragile.
Reviews of Best Pressure Cookers of 2020
Here are top rated Pressure Cookers by consumer reports
Top 1 – T-fal Pressure Cooker, Pressure Canner with Pressure Control: Best Choice
This model comes with a deluxe pressure gauge dial to make it easier to monitor the pressure. It comes with two cooking racks to allow users to maximize the canning space and prevent food from sticking to the bottom.
This unit features a heavy-gauge, rustproof polished aluminum stovetop canner and pressure cookers designed to help you save cost and time. Another thing about this product is its 5 point security system, which includes a pressure-monitoring device, overpressure steam-release safety components, sure-locking lid system, etc.
- Heavy-gauge aluminum body
- 5-Point security system
- Three cooking-pressure options
- Two cooking racks
- The handle could be sturdier
Top 2 – Presto 01370 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
Presto 01370 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker cooks vegetables, meat, fish, and chicken to perfection. The stainless steel construction features a distinctive tri-clad base to ensure uniform, fast heating. This model works well with smooth and regular top ranges.
The pressure regulator automatically keeps the right cooking pressure. Further, the steam release valve provides users with an effortless, quick cool mode. On top of that: there’s a cover lock indicator to notify when pressure is present inside the cooker to avoid any accident.
- Stainless steel steaming basket
- Cover lock indicator
- A steam release valve for effortless “quick cool” option
- The tri-clad base for even heating
- Not senior-friendly
Top 3 – Prestige 3.3-Liter Deluxe Alpha Induction Base Stainless Steel Baby Handi
The Prestige 3.3-Liter Deluxe Alpha is stacked with lots of features such as the induction bottom and euro-clad base to ensure it works on any heat source.
What’s more? This model sports a durable, cool-touch handle, which offers a firm grip to allow you to hold the cooker easily. This product works with induction cooktops and features an alpha base to ensure efficient cooking with uniform distribution.
Besides, it features some safety measures such as the pressure indicator for safer cooking.
- Stainless steel construction
- Contemporary styling
- Include safe measures
- Durable, cool-touch handles
- Closing the lid is challenging.
Top 4 – Presto 01341 4-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
The Presto 01341 4-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker is smart for people looking to use induction, smooth-top, and regular ranges. It features a pressure regulator to help maintain proper cooking pressure hands-free.
It’s engineered to cook vegetables, meat, fish, and chicken to perfection. The cover lock indicator notifies when there’s pressure inside the cooker to prevent users from opening until the pressure is safely reduced.
- 12 year limited warranty
- Easy handling
- Two size options
- Cover lock indicator
- The handle could be ergonomic
Top 5 – T-fal 7114000511 Pressure Cooker
T-fal 7114000511 Pressure Cooker offers three cooking pressure options: 5 PSI, 10 PSI, or 15 PSI. It features heavy-gauge, rustproof aluminum construction for uniform heating.
That’s not all: it’s equipped with a sure locking lid system and pressure monitoring device. It includes two canning racks, which hold 26 half-pint size or 16-pint size jars.
- Polished aluminum construction
- Sure locking lid system
- limited warranty (1-year replacement parts, 10-year canner)
- 22-Quart Large Canning Capacity
- Warranty does not cover the handle
Things to Consider Before Buying a Pressure Cooker
Most pressure cookers on the market share a lot of similarities, which means only a few key differences exist. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of these slight differences when shopping for the best pressure cooker.
PSI, Pounds per Square Inch, measures how much pressure the kitchen appliance can cook with. However, most recipes will require 15 PSI to cook with.
Ideally, you should opt for a model that offers up to 15 PSI. In most cases, stovetop pressure cookers will attain that level. However, the electric counterparts only offer as high as 12 PSI.
Regardless of your choice, the device should feature a lid that fits tight and secure and strong handles for a firm and secure grip. Also, models with a lid equipped with a locking feature to prevent burns from the splattered steam and food.
As long as the pressure cooker you’re buying is made within the last few years, then it will likely come with the standard safety features needed.
Most pressure cookers come with a price tag in the affordable range. The price difference can be worth it: material, accessories included, and the brand’s reputation. The electric pressure cooker can be on the pricey side. But keep in mind, spending a little more up, in many cases, can be worth it in terms of time and energy cost.
Capacity & Size
When choosing a pressure cooker, you need to consider how much food you intend to make at home and the amount of space in your kitchen you’re willing to sacrifice.
Unlike the stovetop counterparts, an electric pressure cooker is a bit trickier to choose from since you have created either a sizable cabinet or counter space. The cooker capacity is a measure in quarts. There are different capacity options, which means there is a size option to cater to cooking volume.
The pressure-regulating valve is an important part of your pressure cooker, which ensures using these kitchen appliances are safe. Different models come with different types of valves to meet different purposes.
The spring valve is a pop-up valve to notify users of the pressure level. This feature is included in most high-end models since it uses less energy and offers a noise-free operation.
When it comes to pressure cookers, there are two main materials: aluminum and stainless steel. Stainless steel pressure cookers are heavier and come with a salty price tag. On the other hand, aluminum models come in a lightweight design and cheaper price point. Besides, the weaker material has a shorter lifespan.
In general, the stainless steel offers superior models, while aluminum helps cooks more uniformly. Also, some models feature a non-stick interior coating to make cleaning a breeze. In our opinion, the non-stick coating won’t last long, and it’s best avoided.
Additional features to consider
We’ve discussed the most important considerations, other worth considering factors include a cooking rack, recipe book, different cooking pots sizes, warranty, and pressure canning.
Types of pressure cookers
There are two main types of pressure cookers: Stovetop and electric. Both have some unique advantages and disadvantages, which is worth considering before making a choice.
We’ve compared the best electric pressure cooker America’s test kitchen on the market. Now, it’s up to you to make a smart decision, keeping in mind the key factors discussed in the buying guide above.
Nevertheless, for those in a rush, Instant Pot Duo Mini 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker is a decent way to go. Regardless of which model you decide to go for, you can’t really go wrong.