Pressure Cooker Reviews

Pressure Cooker ReviewsPressure Cookers are a must-have kitchen appliance for people who simply want to increase their productivity when it comes to cooking delicious meals. In short, Pressure Cookers are the complete opposite of a Slow Cooker. They utilize high pressure cooking methods to cook foods quickly and thoroughly – often without compromising on the taste quality. With dozens of brands offering both conventional and electric pressure cookers, we have put together a list of the best pressure cookers.

Each pressure cooker has received a rating out of 5 from us, and we have looked at the whole spectrum of each appliance. We’ve taken the build quality, affordability, durability, portability and more to make sure that you’re always getting the best buck for your money. To get started, simply scroll down to read our pressure cooker reviews.

⇢ THE BEST PRESSURE COOKERS: TOP PICKS OF 2016


Instant Pot IP-DUO60

Instant Pot IP-DUO60 Pressure Cooker

4.9 out of 5

The Instant Pot IP-DUO60 is Kitchen Reviews Direct’s #1 rated pressure cooker. In our review, we found that the IP-DUO60 made quick work of any meats, and the myriad of features and functions that come with it are genuinely helpful. You can control the temperature, cooking time and even cooking style. This model is a must-have for families who find themselves using a pressure cooker on a day-to-day basis.


Instant Pot IP-LUX60

Instant Pot IP-LUX60 Pressure Cooker

4.8 out of 5

The Instant Pot IP-LUX60 firmly scores second position as yet another outstanding electric pressure cooker. While it lacks power in comparison to the IP-DUO60, it does fall in slightly cheaper which makes up for it. This particular model is great for families who don’t particularly use their pressure cooker daily, but appreciate a well-built and high-quality appliance that will last for years to come.


All American 921

All American 921 Pressure Cooker

4.8 out of 5

The All American 921 is perhaps the most advanced pressure cooker we have reviewed to date. It is expensive though – and is one of the most expensive pressure cookers we have reviewed. For the price, you get a genuinely tough canner that can reach scorching hot temperatures. The benefit of this is much quicker cooking times. In fact, meats can be cooked in just a fraction of the time of an conventional oven.


Presto 01781

Presto 01781 Pressure Cooker

4.6 out of 5

The Presto 01781 is affordable and it almost feels like Presto have truly gone back-to-basics with this model. Boasting the conventional pressure cooker design and build-quality, you get a neat temperature gauge and well-protected handles to stop yourself getting burned. At this price range, we feel that the Presto 01781 more than fulfills the promises it makes; and is subsequently perfect for occasional use.


 Cuisinart CPC-600AMZ

Cuisinart CPC-600AMZ Pressure Cooker

4.6 out of 5

The Cuisinart CPC-600AMZ is slightly out-dated in comparison to other pressure cookers we have reviewed; but don’t let this put you off. It has firmly established itself as an industry leading model. The simplistic layout and design of the front panel is great to use, and the pressure cooker is well built enough to handle high temperatures. The Cuisinart CPC-600AMZ is a must-consider model for the family.


⇢ PRESSURE COOKER BUYING GUIDE: EDUCATE YOURSELF


Pressure cookers used to be a common sight in family kitchens, and they were used to create a range of meals, including stews and roasts, and even cooked vegetables. In the 80s and 90s they seemed to fall out a favour a bit, and it is now much rarer to find a pressure cooker inside the home. Despite their fall out of popularity, pressure cookers have always been present, and now they are being used again by TV chefs and cooking shows. This means that a whole generation of people who have grown up without knowing the pleasures of pressure cooking are now re-discovering this kitchen tool. The modern pressure cooker can be a bit different from previous versions, and if you want to purchase a brand new pressure cooker, there are certain things that you should expect to find. Pressure cookers that are simply based on old-fashioned models may not be the best option for your purse.

Types of pressure cooker

There are two main types of pressure cooker available to modern cooks. One is the Electric pressure cooker, which plugs into the wall socket, and the stove-top cooker, which is heated on the hob. Both of these models have advantages, but there are things that you should know about these items.

Stove-top pressure cookers: These are the traditional type of cookers, and are often favoured by cooks who have experience with these kitchen utensils. They are ideal for those who want fast cooking with high heat, since they reach top temperatures faster. They are also good for cooks who want to be there when their food is cooking, since the pressure is released faster, too. They are also ideal if you have previous experience of cooking using a pressured device, and want to move on to the next level.

Electric pressure cookers: These are ideal for the first-timer looking for a more easy-going cooker to begin learning about pressure cooking with. These automatically adjust heat settings, and are also great for slow-cooking at a gentle heat. They do well for those who are concerned about leaving the cooker on – it will turn off automatically- and also suitable for those who are using pressure cooking more than any other form, since it can be used for side-dishes while the hob cooker works on the main meal.

Essential features of the modern pressure cooker

There are some features which you should be looking for in a modern pressure cooker. This includes being made of the best stainless steel. Heavy gauge steel is the best, since you will be cooking your food inside a pressurised container. You should be looking for steel made from 18% chromium metal and 10% nickel, which provides corrosion resistance and extra strength. Your machine should also have a three-ply bottom, which means that it has been given a strengthened base, ideal if you don’t want pressure to blow out the bottom of the cooker.

You will also need to have an accurate pressure metre which features a quick-release button. This mechanism will quickly lower the pressure in the pot in order to prevent damage to the pot if your metre suggests that it is too high. Some cookers have a pop-up indicator as part of the metre which will give you a strong clue that the pressure is at the top level.

Part of the features of the pressure cooker which they must all have is a pressure regulator. There are three main options for pressure regulators. The weighted valve allows small amounts of steam to escape from the cooker when it is working. The value maintains the optimum pressure level. The modified version of this valve allows steam to escape in short bursts, and the cooker will not start cooking the meat until steam begins to escape. However, it requires participation from the cook, who will have to adjust the temperature down once steam does escape. Spring valve cookers have a valve which pops-up to release steam. This is not audible, unlike the other cookers, so you will have to watch for steam.

Most modern pressure cookers will also have features such as the cover interlock, a device which allows you to secure the lid, and prevents pressure from forming inside the pan until that lock is sealed. It will also keep the lid locked until pressure is at a suitable level.

Choosing a pressure cooker

When you find a pressure cooker with the features that you want, you will also need to look at the devices which you have left. You may find that you exclude some models due to the size. Most beginners will choose a medium-sized cooker to begin with, although larger models are ideal for those who want to experiment more with their cooker, and, for example, might wish to make large batches of food in order to freeze some. This was more common in the early years of freezers, but some cooks still do use this option.

Cooking racks and baskets are also an essential feature of the pressure cooker, and they are an ideal way to control your food cooking. You can put the food into the pressure cooker, hanging it from the basket to create the perfect level of steam, or place it on the rack in order to stop it going soft in the water at the bottom of the cooker. There are a variety of utensils which can now be used with the modern pressure cooker.

Beginners in the art of pressure cooking may benefit from buying a smaller and cheaper model to learn the art of pressure cooking on. However, once you are experienced enough to cook regularly on the device, then you should consider expanding into a larger and more expensive version. Regular use requires that you have a pressure cooker which is made from good quality materials and design, so that it is built to stand up to the wear and tear which is suffered by most kitchen pressure cookers.

⇢ PRESSURE COOKER COMPARISON CHART: COMPARE THE BEST MODELS


Our Pressure Cooker comparison chart gives you an easy way to navigate through all of our pressure cooker reviews. Each model is assigned a rating out of 5, and the rough price estimate is given as well. To learn more about a particular Pressure Cooker model, simply click the “Read Our Review” link to get the full review for that model.

Pressure Cooker Comparison Chart

⇢ PRESSURE COOKERS EXPLAINED: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW


Pressure cookers are a common way of cooking and preparing food, particularly meat, stews and stock. They were extremely popular 40 or 50 years ago, but gradually fell out of favour to be replaced by ready meals and packet foods. In recent years, with the attempts to revive proper home cooking, many have started to use pressure cookers again. This means that there is now a demand for pressure cookers from people who have not used them before, and therefore don’t understand how they work, or what they should be looking for when they make a purchase. In order to use a pressure cooker safely and successfully, it is important that you learn as much as possible about them before you make a purchase.

Why are people starting to use pressure cookers again?

The main reason why people have started to use pressure cookers again is that they are part of a wave of interest in traditional ‘home’ cooking, rather than shop-bought meals or foods which are ready-to-eat. Pressure cooking is quite far away from the instant foods of the past two or three decades, and that is one of the reasons why they have increased in popularity. Another reason is that pressure cookers are now available with modern designs which have improved their safety, but also made them much easier to use. Lastly, pressure cookers have also come down in price considerably since they were first re-introduced, and that means that cooks who have never used them before are now interested enough to try pressure-cooking for themselves.

Reasons to use a pressure cooker

Alongside the above reasons for turning to pressure cookers, there are also practical reasons why this is one of the best options for cooking meals that the whole family can enjoy:

  • They are easy to use. Cooks can just add water to the pan, and then watch it, as you would have to with any pan of water.
  • They are also healthy, since pressure cooking has been shown to retain more of the natural nutrients in foods. They are better for you than microwaving, boiling or steaming without using pressure. Up to 50% more nutrients are preserved using pressure cooking.
  • They are fast, helping to cut down the time it takes to cook a joint or a roast of meat, and cooking chickpeas (pre-soaked) in under quarter of an hour. Much quicker than ordinary boiling, they are also better for cooking items such as peas than microwaves, which don’t always cook off the solidity of the outer shell.
  • They are environmentally friendly. Reports have shown that pressure cooking reduces the amount of electricity needed by between 30 and 70 percent. Their energy savings have been compared to that of energy saver light bulbs.
  • They are also perfectly safe. Unlike some of the older pressure cookers, which could easily scald unwary cooks, modern pressure cookers are much better at protecting you, with immediate pressure-release buttons and lid security that prevents you from opening the cooker before the steam is gone.

What should I avoid with pressure cookers?

If you are considering buying a pressure cooker, there are some types of cooker which you should try to avoid. These are usually cheaper options, but may also be high-priced, but completely unsuitable for use as a pressure cooker. In order to ensure the safety of the cooker, it is important to bear in mind these simple rules:

Don’t choose aluminium over steel: Steel pressure cookers are more expensive than aluminium, but if you are tempted to buy the latter in order to save money, you could be making a serious mistake. Pressure cookers are, as the name suggests, a container under internal pressure. This means that the materials forming the pressure cooker have to be of the highest standard. High-grade steel is essential if you want to be certain that no part of your pan will buckle under the pressure. IN fact, some aluminium cookers have been known to fail under the simple act of cooking.

Don’t choose a non-stick interior: When you are using a pressure cooker, you are usually heating foods which will leave some remnants clinging to the inside of the pan when you are finished. You may think that the best solution to this problem is to use a non-stick coating on the interior surface of the pan. However, this is not a good idea, because non-stick materials have not been made to be under pressure for hours. Nor are they designed to be in contact with steam for the same period of time. What this means is that, after only a few uses of the pressure cooker, the non-stick surface will start to come away from the inside of the pan, leaving nasty cracks on the interior, and surface-debris in your meals.

⇢ PRESSURE COOKING CORRECTLY: HOW-TO GUIDE


The revival of the pressure cooker has been welcomed by many cooks, and even those who have not experienced pressure cooking before have started to take an interest in this form of cooking. More people are turning to modern pressure cookers, with attractive safety features that mean that it is now easier than ever to use these devices. 10 years ago, almost no-one owned a new pressure cooker, but now they are flying off the shelves once again, and amateur cooks are buying reprints of pressure cooker recipe books. If you haven’t had any previous use for a pressure cooker, but are interested in finding out how to use one, then there are some basic steps that you can follow to begin your journey in pressure cooking.

Step 1: Read the manufacturer’s manual

Before you even plug in the pressure cooker, you should sit down and read the manufacturer’s manual. It will tell you more about the individual pressure cooker than recipes or cooking instructions, and it will also give you a feel for the experience of cooking under pressure. Most manuals will give you a step-by-step course in using your pressure cooker safely, and it is a good idea to have those pages from the manual with you when you start cooking.

Step 2: Check the cooker to make sure it is in good condition

Most modern pressure cookers are made to a high standard, and the cost of the cooker should be reflected in the quality of its finish. However, every time you get the cooker out in the future you will need to examine it closely, and it is good to start practicing this ritual with your first use of the cooker.

  • Take the cooker out of the packaging, and make sure that the lid is in the locked position.
  • Look at the pressure gauge, and check that it is moving and working.
  • Examine the pressure valve, which will usually be on the lid of the cooker. Ensure that this can move up and down freely.
  • Unlock the lid, and turn it over. You should see a small pipe leading upwards towards the pressure valve. Check that this is clear of obstructions. Blow down the pipe, and make sure that you can feel air coming from the valve.
  • Examine the manufacture of the cooker, and ensure that everything is firmly attached. Turn the pan around and ensure that everything is in good condition, and that there are no cracks or signs of deterioration in any part of the device.

Step 3: Put your food into the cooker and add water

Make sure that the recipe you are following has been specially designed for a pressure cooking. You should see some timing charts, and notes on when to release the pressure throughout the recipe. The Pressure cooker will not require a large amount of water, but ensure that you put in the minimum amount required by the recipe. The amount will be decided by: how long you are cooking the food for, and your method of cooking according to the recipe. Use your manual to give you guidance on how much water your pressure cooker will need. Do not over-fill the cooker. The maximum level you can fill a pressure cooker is two-thirds of the total interior. Foaming or expanding foods should be given more room when you are cooking to ensure that they do not obstruct the vent or soak up all the water.

Step 4: Start the pressurizing

The next step is to start pressurizing. When the water has been added, put on the lid and turn it to the locked position. Most modern cookers have a lid which locks over the handle (the handle is in two parts and these slide together to form the lock), and this should be closed together and the lock applied. Turn on the stove, or plug in the cooker if it is electric. Heat the food on the highest temperature until steam starts to escape from the pressure valve at the top, or the gauge on the handle tells you that the food is at 15psi. When this is reached, turn down the heat immediately, and cook the food on the lowest temperature that can still maintain the 15psi pressure.

Step 5: Depressurise the cooker

When you have cooked the food for the recommended time, you will then need to turn off the heat completely, and then depressurise the pan. Your manual will tell you exactly how to do this for your device, because each model is slightly different. It is very important to make sure that you depressurise the cooker exactly as the manual says in order to avoid accidents or spoiling of the food. Once the pressure has been released, you can then open the lid. Always make sure there is no remaining pressure in the cooker before taking off the lid.