All of my family and friends know that a Brains’s place is in the kitchen. Consequently, when I get gifts, it’s usually the latest kitchen gadgets. A few Christmases ago was no exception. My wife’s ex-stepmother got us all electric pressure cookers. At first, I looked at that behemoth, faked an appreciative smile, and wondered if the Goodwill donation drop-off box was open during the holidays.
Fortunately, my wife talked me into welcoming this new bundle of joy into our household, and much like an atomic clock, she is always right. We use ours to make falling-off-the-bone ribs within minutes, canning, cooking dry beans, and throwing together a healthy dinner anytime I’m feeling lazy (hint: that’s every time).
Which Is Better Electric or Stove Top Pressure Cookers?
There are a lot of benefits to using a stove top cooker: they reach and maintain higher pressures than electric models, they hold more volume for their compact size, they don’t require electricity, and they are faster. On the downside, you must have a stove, it isn’t as safe, and there is more of a learning curve. Electric models are much easier for beginners to get the hang of. Aside from the air fryer, they are probably the hottest new kitchen appliance this side of the Mississippi. Consequently, for the sake of this piece, please forget that stove top units even exist.
What to Look for in an Electric Pressure Cooker
First of all, you gotta know what size works best for your needs. Below, our electric pressure cooker reviews are mainly of six- and eight-quart models. These work great for families of four to six. You can get your canning done. You might be able to fit an organic, free-range turkey into the eight-quart units, but the steroid-packed 20-pound bruisers will not fit. Also, consider your storage space. Our appliance lives on our counter because we use it frequently, and it has a small footprint. If counter space is at a premium in your galley, you might want to be sure you get a smaller unit.
There are a number of features that are common in the best electric pressure cookers:
- Easy to Maintain – Tired of buying appliances that require you to make daily trips to a repairman to clean the elements? This is not a problem with the best pressure cookers! Most have nonstick interiors that are easy to clean and are dishwasher safe. For the best results cleaning, maintaining, and using your unit, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. They know what they’re talking about.
- Safety – It used to be that if you wanted to cook a pot roast, you could pretty much count on losing a couple fingers and experiencing fourth-degree burns. These days, we have it easy. If the pressure gets to be too much, cookers automatically release pressure. What a nanny state!
- Intuitive Interface – Who has the time to read these days? In our fast-paced lives, we want to be able to take appliances out of the box and start using them right away. You will have to do some reading to figure out your ideal electric pressure cooker recipes, but it won’t be like Ulysses.
NOTE: We reference using an electric pressure cooker for canning. The National Center for Home Food Preservation advises against this. However, we have canned dozens of things and never had any issues. We even have a pressure cooker canning cookbook.
Those are the basics. Now that you know what to look for, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the top 10 best electric pressure cookers reviews:
- 10 safety mechanisms to keep finger loss to a minimum
- 14 smart programs for yogurt, porridge, rice, poultry, chili, meat, and more
- Comes with a recipe booklet
The DUO80 is by far the most popular Instant Pot pressure cooker on the market. According to my made-up statistics, this appliance has 80 percent of the market share. What are the seven-in-one uses? I’m glad you asked: yogurt maker, steamer, slow cooker, warmer, sauté, rice cooker, and electric pressure cooker recipes. The biggest issue with the DUO80 Instant Pot pressure cooker and its little brother, the DUO60, and just about every other model is that there is a learning curve. You really ought to give the manual at least a once over.
- Automatic keep warm mode for when you forget you’re cooking
- Uses fancy technology to force moisture and liquid into your food
- One-year warranty
The Power Pressure Cooker XL is what I use for my day-to-day electric pressure cooker recipes. I like that it’s easy to clean. You gotta do it by hand, but the mold, mildew, and weeks-old soup come off it really easily. That said, don’t just leave leftover food in your unit and tell yourself you’ll get to it later. You won’t get to it later, and you’ll be tempted to just throw the whole thing away. Don’t throw the whole thing away! Other users have reported that the company has poor customer service, but I haven’t had any reason to call them up. Overall, this is among the best electric pressure cookers for under $100.
- Up to 24-hour delayed start
- Accessories include soup spoon, stainless steel steam rack, measuring cup, and rice paddle
- Traps nutrients, aromas, and flavors
No list of electric pressure cooker reviews would be complete without several Instant Pot pressure cookers. The LUX60 is our bargain basement choice. It’s the least expensive option to make our list. In this instance, the six appliances in one are a steamer, rice cooker, slow cooker, warmer, sauté, and it makes electric pressure cooker recipes. Of course, you could do most of those things with a pot on your stove, but that distracts from the fact that this is an awesome device. It is ideal for busy people who aren’t the best at cooking. You can even use it to make eggs and cake.
- Has seven different trim colors to choose from. Perfect for those of you who need something in purple
- 19 program functions, including ribs, potatoes, desserts, fish, and more
- 29-hour delay timer lets you prepare tomorrow night’s dinner this morning
You gotta love a company that just puts two fancy-sounding words together and calls it good. Elite Platinum (if that is their real name) is a brand of the Maxi Matic company. I went to the About Us section of their website, and all it says is “Coming Soon.” I guess they’re too busy making the best pressure cookers. Anyway, for a no-name company that produces a varied array of kitchen appliances, this product is pretty darn good. There are rare instances of it malfunctioning after a few weeks, but customer support is quick to rectify the sitch.
- Two separate LED LCD displays for pressure and cooker time
- Sixteen built-in programs, including egg maker, yogurt, porridge, and beans plus stuff you actually want to eat, like meat
- Comes with rice scooper, steam rack, measuring cup, and steam basket
The GoWISE USA GW22623 is another 8-in-1 deal, but basically, if anything is less than 8-in-1, it does not necessarily mean it has less than eight functions. It is more a sign that they put less time into their marketing angle (and the unit probably doesn’t make yogurt). The eight functions are common in just about all the best pressure cookers. That said, I don’t understand why people lose their poop over the fact that it makes eggs. You can make perfect eggs in a couple minutes on your stove. Big whoop! I’m more impressed that I can use this to make pulled pork in an hour. Let’s see you do that, stove!
- Overheat protection
- 8-hour delay timer is perfect for getting dinner ready before leaving for work
- Two pressure-control valves
The name Fagor sounds vaguely offensive. Nonetheless, the aptly-named 670040230 is a no-frills unit that gets the job done. It’s like that one guy you worked with for decades who never missed a day of work, ate lunch at his desk, and never said more than two words to you.
- Standard automatic pressure release and self-locking lid
- Removable dishwasher-safe nonstick cooking insert
- LED display and soft touch buttons
The Nesco PC6-14 is a great, low-maintenance model. The biggest complaint from users is that the temperature cutoff device goes dead if the appliance reaches excessive temperatures. Fortunately, there is a one-year warranty.
- Program and monitor cooking progress using your tablet or smartphone
- Free app with lots of recipes or add your own
- Won’t burn your face off
By now, you should realize that “Instant Pot” is not some sort of marijuana delivery service (true story: my mom actually thought this.) They exist solely to make sure you can have delicious meals cooked quickly with the use of intense pressures. In fact, the term “instant pot” is now used to describe any brand of cooker. Anyway, the Smart Bluetooth Instant Pot pressure cooker allows you to cook dinner from the comfort of your office desk.
- Thirteen programmable cooking modes
- 12-quart behemoth
- Will even automatically continue cooking if you lose power (once the power is back on)
Just about all of the best pressure cooker manufacturers claim their units will cook meals up to 70% faster. This is true of just about every model. It should not serve as a selling point for specific models. That said, the Gourmia GPC1200 is the most expensive cooker on this list. I only recommend it if you want to be able to cook huge meals in a short time.
- Fifteen programmable cooking modes, such as curry, broth, congee, multigrain, and water
- Comes with an extra glass lid for when you want to take things slow
- Nine proven safety mechanisms, including unplugging it
For number ten, I almost put one of the winners of the over-produced Gordon Ramsay show Hell’s Kitchen as a great “pressure cooker,” but I was not willing to sacrifice journalistic integrity for a simple pun. You’re welcome.
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