Best Electric Pressure Cookers to Buy in 2021
Are you looking for a kitchen appliance that will make cooking dinners fast and easy? Consider one of the best pressure cookers.
Pressure cookers cut cooking time in half. Meals like pot roasts or braised chicken that normally take hours to make in a slow cooker take only 40 minutes using an electric pressure cooker.
If you want an energy efficient appliance that helps you make meals packed with flavor in under an hour, a pressure cooker is the best choice for you.
Here are the 5 best electric pressure cookers to buy in 2021.
#4 Mealthy 9-in-1 Programable Pressure Cooker
Looking for the best multifunctional pressure cooker? The Mealthy 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure cooker is 9 appliances in 1! Features include:
- 9 kitchen appliance features
- 14 cooking programs
- Mobile app with video guides
Editors' Choice: Ninja Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer
The Ninja pressure cooker is a unique electric pressure cooker that’s also capable of air frying.
It pressure cooks 70% faster than traditional cooking methods and air fries with 75% percent less fat than traditional frying methods.
It comes with a six-quart ceramic cook pot and four-quart crisper basket, making it versatile enough for singles or small families.
You can use the pressure cooker and air fryer separately or together. Start by pressure cooking and then use the air fryer to get the perfectly crisp exterior.
You can even cook frozen foods without thawing first.
Ninja Pressure Cooker and Air Fyer Pros
- Easy-to-use design: The LED control panel makes it easy to choose your cooking program.
- Unique design: Unlike other electric pressure cookers, this one is also capable of air frying.
- Versatile size: The six-quart capacity is ideal for singles, roommates, and small families.
Ninja Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer Cons
- Heavy appliance: This device weighs over 30lbs despite the smaller capacity.
- High price: It retails for over $150 at most stores.
- Limited features: The Ninja pressure cooker doesn’t include other cooking programs like slow cooker, steam, or simmer.
Best Value: Instant Pot 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker
Looking for a versatile, reliable electric pressure cooker? Consider the Instant Pot 7-in-1.
It’s a mid-priced pressure cooker that’s worth the investment.
The eight-quart instant pot does so much more than pressure cooking. It’s one of the best selling multi cookers in the world.
With this programmable electric pressure cooker, you get an additional six kitchen appliances. This machine includes a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, warmer, and sauté option.
It also features 14 smart programs to make a variety of meals with the touch of a button.
Instant Pot 7-in-1 Pros
- Affordable price: The Instant Pot retails for under $100.
- Multifunctional appliance: It includes seven kitchen appliances in 1 and features 14 smart cook programs.
- Well made: America’s leading cooker brand makes this appliance with high-quality stainless steel.
Instant Pot 7-in-1 Cons
- Flavor transfer: The sealing lid tends to take on the flavors and smell of past meals. You might need to invest in two sealing lids: one for sweet foods and one for savory.
- Small capacity: The six-quart capacity is best for families of four.
Best for Small Families: Breville Fast Slow Pro 6-Quart Pressure Cooker
While the Breville Fast Slow Pro is technically a multi-cooker, it’s also the best electric pressure cooker for small families.
It comes with a six-quart removable ceramic cooking bowl that’s easy to clean. The price tag may be steeper than other models, but it’s a worthwhile purchase.
It comes with 11 pressure cooking settings and even includes an extra customizable option that you can adjust for your recipes.
Some of its other versatile cooking functions include sautéing, steaming, and simmering. An interactive LCD screen lets you pick your preferences and alerts you when it’s pressurizing, cooking, or releasing steam.
Breville Fast Slow Pro Pressure Cooker Pros
- High-tech design: This device includes an interactive LCD screen and a three-way interlocking safety system.
- Sized for small families: The cooker features a six-quart, removable cook pot that’s easy to clean.
- Versatile options: It comes with 11 pressure cook settings as well as slow cook, steam, sauté, and simmer settings.
Breville Fast Slow Pro Pressure Cooker Cons
- Expensive appliance: This device retails for upwards of $200.
- Small capacity: The six-quart pot is best for small families or roommates.
Best for Large Families: GoWise Large Electric Pressure Cooker
If you have a large family or cook for big crowds, you need a pressure cooker with more than a 6-8 quart capacity.
The GoWise Large Electric Pressure Cooker has a 14-quart inner pot that makes it easy to prepare meals for a packed house. The inner pot also has a ceramic coating to make cleaning up even easier.
This appliance features 12 cooking programs, including the options to pressure cook, slow cook, steam, and sauté. This extra large pressure cooker even has settings for egg and yogurt making!
You can adjust your cook time, temperature, and pressure with the LED display.
GoWise Large Electric Pressure Cooker Pros
- Easy cleaning: The inner cook pot has a ceramic coating to make cleaning easier.
- Large capacity: The 14-quart capacity makes it easy to feed a crowd.
- Versatile cook functions: It includes 12 cooking programs and a delay timer you can set to start at a later time.
GoWise Large Electric Pressure Cooker Cons
- Counter space: This extra-large appliance needs more storage and counter space than traditional 6-8 quart models. This need can be harder if you have a lot of large appliances like food processors and rice cookers.
- Heavy materials: This electric pressure cooker weighs in at 30 pounds!
Best Multifunctional: Mealthy 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker
Looking for the best multifunctional pressure cooker? The Mealthy 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure cooker is nine appliances in one!
It’s a smaller, six-quart machine that’s capable of pressure cooking, slow cooking, sautéing, steaming, pasteurizing, making rice, making cakes, and making yogurt.
The Mealthy 9-in-1 also includes 14 cooking programs that you can set with the touch of a button.
You even have the option of making two meals at once when using the steamer basket on top. Convenient accessories like silicon mitts, a silicon gasket, a measuring cup, ladle, and rice paddle come with your purchase.
You can even browse easy to follow recipes and videos on the Mealthy app!
Mealthy 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker Pros
- Easy storage: The small six-quart size makes it easy to store in your kitchen cabinets or leave out on your countertops.
- Multi-functional appliance: It includes nine kitchen appliance features 14 cooking programs:
- User-friendly design: The mealthy app and LED screen make using your pressure cooker easy. You can follow along with recipes and video guides.
Mealthy 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker Cons
- High price: This option is more expensive than other models.
- Small capacity: The six-quart inner cook pot is best for small families or singles.
Types of Pressure Cookers
There are two pressure cooker styles to choose from: stovetop and electric.
Stovetop pressure cookers have been around for a long time. Electric pressure cookers are a modern version of the traditional, stovetop style and make cooking quickly even easier.
Here’s a closer look at the differences between the two.
Electric Pressure Cookers
Electric pressure cookers are a more convenient option.
They’re plug-in pressure cookers that use electricity, which gives you more high-tech features to use. This style is best for anyone new to pressure cooking because you don’t have to adjust the pressure settings on your own.
Cooking programs and preferences are automated, meaning you can set it and forget it. While stovetop pressure cookers require a little more monitoring, an electric model lets you set your cook time and then alerts you when your meal finishes cooking. This feature allows you to get other work done while dinner is cooking.
Although these handy appliances are easier to use, they take longer to warm up and take about 15-20 minutes longer to cook than stovetop models.
They’re also bigger, making them harder to store.
- Best for first-time pressure cookers
- Hands-free cooking
- Larger and heavier
- More expensive than stovetop models
- Takes longer to cook the same recipe
- Takes longer to warm up
Stovetop Pressure Cookers
If you’re an experienced cook, a stovetop pressure cooker might be a better choice for you.
This style of a pressure cooker is more traditional and cooks faster than an electric pressure cooker. It might not come with high tech features, but it gets the job done.
Stovetop models are also smaller, making them much easier to store.
You’ll have to keep an eye on your dinner while it cooks. They don’t come with built-in timers, so it’s up to you master the cooking time. The difference between perfectly cooked and mushy can be a matter of a few seconds with a stovetop pressure cooker.
Stovetop models usually have low- and high-pressure setting that you can adjust on the top of the tight sealing lid. You adjust the heat by turning the temperature on your stove up or down, and then adjust the pressure inside the pot once steam starts to build under the lid.
- Best for experienced cooks
- Cooks faster than electric models
- Easier to store
- Warms up faster
- Needs to be monitored
- No high tech features
- Requires more cooking skills
Electric Pressure Cooker Buying Guide
Electric pressure cookers, like the Instant Pot, have become one of the most used kitchen appliances in the last decade. Sales of these time-saving appliances have skyrocketed.
It’s easy to understand why: they’re convenient, cook faster than traditional stovetop appliances, and can even make healthier meals.
Pressure cookers cook so fast by using a tightly locking lid that traps steam inside the inner pot and raises the boiling point of water. Because pressure cookers cut down on cook time, they also use less energy than other convenient kitchen appliances like slow cookers.
But not all electric pressure cookers are built the same. Consider the most common pressure cooker features to determine what you need.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Thoroughly cleaning the interior, exterior, and inner cook pot is an important part of maintaining your pressure cooker.
Look for pressure cookers with removable inner pots that are dishwasher safe to make cleaning easier.
While nonstick inner pots might sound better, they aren’t necessary. Due to the pressure and high cooking temperature of pressure cookers, nonstick coatings wear down fast and can leak into your food. Stick with stainless steel.
Once you are ready to clean your pot, remove the silicon sealing lid and wipe down the exterior and interior with a warm, wet cloth. You can also add a little bit of vinegar or dish soap to the wet cloth.
For hard to reach corners of the release valve or vent, try using q-tips to remove any residue buildup.
There are two materials you can choose from:
- Aluminum: Aluminum pressure cookers are usually cheaper than stainless steel ones. While they’re more affordable and get the job done, they aren’t the best if you want a long-lasting option.
- Stainless Steel: Look for an electric pressure cooker made of stainless steel. They’re more expensive, but they heat more efficiently and brown food better. Stainless steel cooking pots are also easier to clean and will last longer.
Choose the material that is best for your preferences and budget.
Electric pressure cookers come with a variety of cooking programs.
While having more cooking programs and smart features is convenient, the most important thing to look for is a display screen that’s easy to understand and use.
All electric pressure cookers include cooking timers where you can set the cooking time and adjust the pressure settings.
If you’re worried about getting the cooking time or pressure right, you can also select from a variety of cooking programs where the time and pressure is based on the ingredients you’re using.
Common cooking programs include:
Electric pressure cookers with more options also sometimes include programs like:
If you’re buying a multifunctional pressure cooker, you might also have options to slow cook, steam, sauté, simmer, and keep foods warm.
Because pressure cookers reach a higher boiling point than water, opening the lid when it’s full of steam can be dangerous.
Unless you invest in an electric pressure cooker with the right safety features, you might get burnt.
What safety mechanisms should you get?
Tight fitting lids or secure locking lids are the most important feature. A locking lid will help steam build up faster inside the pot and prevent the lid from opening or flying off when it’s in use and under pressure. A lid lock only opens when it’s safe to take the lid off.
Release valves also make cooking with an electric pressure cooker safer by controlling the pressure inside the pot. When enough pressure is inside the container, you can release the steam by adjusting the valve and letting steam out through the release vents.
- Natural release valves release steam steadily over time. You don’t have to adjust them.
- Quick release valves open when you turn the release valve from “sealing” to “venting.” This allows the steam to release when the cooking time is up.
Pressure indicators are another safety feature to consider. They keep you updated on the exact pressure inside the pressure cooker.
When you see that pressure has reached the highest point, you can adjust the release valves to allow steam to vent.
Size matters. If you have a large family or make bulk meals often, you don’t want to buy a pressure cooker with a capacity under eight quarts.
Here’s a closer look at the different size options available:
- Below five quarts: Pressure cookers with a capacity of fewer than five quarts are tiny. They’re ideal for small living spaces, singles, or couples. This size makes portions for 1-2 people.
- Five to seven quarts: Most pressure cookers fall in this range. The average pressure cooker is about six quarts and can make portions for 3-5 people. If you have a small family or want to make more than one serving at a time, consider this size.
- Seven to ten quarts: Another size you’ll see frequently is eight quarts. This size makes up to six portions at a time, making it ideal for larger families or if you love having guests over for dinner.
- Above ten quarts: Pressure cookers with a capacity of over 10 quarts are considered commercial-use appliances. They make portions for up to 15 people. While this sounds like a lot, it can come in handy if you love to meal prep or if you have an extra large family and also want to have leftovers.
Use these guidelines to find the size that is best for you.
Most pressure cookers come with a 1-3 year manufacturers warranty that covers the cost of parts and labor due to defects. They don’t cover repairs for misuse of damage due to shipping.
If you purchase a pressure cooker over $150, consider buying an extended warranty to protect your appliance.
An electric pressure cooker is an excellent investment for anyone who wants to make delicious meals fast.
This hands-free cooking appliance is incredibly versatile and easy to operate. It’s also relatively affordable and capable of making meals for up to 15 people at a time.
Use our buyer’s guide and our top picks to help you decide which one is right for your home.Read More