Pressure cookers are all the rage, and if you’re still making it through life without one (how?!), consider what you’re missing out on before another day goes by. The best pressure cookers basically whip up entire meals for you; turning healthy meal-making into a seamless process and encouraging you to try flavorful new recipes, all while helping you save hundreds of hours in the kitchen over the course of a year.
Yes, we know that they can be intimidating — especially to beginner cooks — but the newest models definitely take away the fear factor, and the convenience they offer on busy weeknights just can’t be beat. Seriously, a frozen chicken breast takes a mean 15 minutes to cook in most pressure cookers. And dried beans? Forget overnight soaking for good.
We’ve rounded up the absolute best of the best pressure cookers so you can confidently — and quickly — whip up quality, satisfying meals for yourself and your entire family. Read on for our favorites.
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1. Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker
This multi-use programmable pressure cooker offers seven functions so you can steam, warm, slow-cook, or sauté your meals. It can also be used as a rice cooker or yogurt maker. Not to mention, it’s available in four sizes, from a 3-quart appliance perfect for tiny spaces and single-serve meals to a 10-quart model that can make a big batch of just about anything. The 6-quart version is the standard size. This counter-top cooker monitors pressure, time and it will even adjust the heat settings automatically to deliver consistent results with each use. The stainless steel inner pot is easy to clean and all of the included accessories are dishwasher-safe, so you can kiss washing a zillion pots, pans and cooking utensils on a daily basis goodbye. Still not sure what you’d make in it? You don’t have to know since you’ll gain access to the app, which provides over a thousand recipes. And you’ll be able to make them three times faster than if you were to attempt the recipe without it.
2. Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker
This insanely cool pressure cooker will also steam and (wait for it) air-fry or even dehydrate your sides and snacks. This 8-quart cooker comes with accessories so you can whip up steak and potatoes in one shot thanks to the included removable rack that layers food. The Tender Crisp technology turns simple chicken into a golden-brown dream. Most pressure cookers don’t feature the crisping element, so that feature alone sets this pressure cooker apart from other models. Plus, how could you not love the ability to make your own kale chips, jerky or dried fruit right at home? It’s as simple as choosing your main ingredient, adding your favorite flavors and hitting the right button. We’d say this pressure cooker is worth the splurge.
3. Instant Pot 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker
Runner-up to our favorite, this one includes two other functions: It cooks eggs and can be used as a sterilizer, too. And you’ll still reap the same benefits of having an appliance from the most popular pressure cooker brand on the market, like stellar safety features and full access to the recipe app. You’ll get obsessed with the seemingly endless setting buttons on the face of this pressure cooker. Just hit “Cake” the next time a birthday (or heck, craving) rolls around — or press the “Bean/Chili” button when the game is on. There are actually 14 setting buttons to press aside from the customizable ones that relate to pressure level and temperature. The fingerprint-resistant lid keeps the appliance looking sleek your countertop, and just like the other Instant Pot models we recommend, this one features the same stainless steel inner pot and dishwasher-safe accessories. Plus, it’s available in a 3-, 6- or 8-quart versions.
4. Presto Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
If you appreciate using a pressure cooker, but prefer to whip something up via stovetop, this stainless steel version is your best bet. It might look like a regular pot, but it’s so not. The included rack makes it possible to cook several different types of food at the same time without merging odors, flavors, or colors. The entire thing is dishwasher-safe which makes cleanup even faster than the electric options, yet it speeds up cooking time just the same. Oh, and it’s super easy to use safely like the electric pressure cookers, thanks to a feature that will alert you to pressure that needs to be reduced before opening the lid. Plus, you can take it to the RV or campsite where you can cook up food for the family fast while using as little resources as possible. It comes with a 64-page recipe book including tips and tricks, so you’ll have the tools to turn this Presto pressure cooker into your go-to sous chef. Yep, you don’t need an electric pressure cooker to produce those Pinterest-perfect meals.
5. Mueller UltraPot 6Q Pressure Cooker Instant Crock 10 in 1 Pot
This German-engineered multi-cooker appliance does almost everything except actually serve your meal! It lets you input cooking times manually, but also comes with 15 pre-set “Smart Solutions” for cooking oatmeal, broth/soup, poultry, yogurt, beans, rice and more. It also comes with a bonus stainless steel steamer basket — so you can cook two dishes at once. It boasts a ceramic, non-stick interior coating, has heat-resistant handles, and comes with 8 safety mechanisms so even multi-cooker newbies can feel confident using this appliance.
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