Best Electric Pressure Cookers

Remember when pressure cookers were bulky aluminum pots that sat on your kitchen stove, emitting a noisy blast of hot steam as if they were about to blow? Food was typically over-cooked and nutrition flew out the window in the name of convenience. But no more. With today’s electric pressure cooker, you get an appliance that offers multiple pressure settings, myriad safety measures, and they come in sizes to meet every culinary need. And they offer so much more. Studies show that foods cooked via the pressure method retain 50% more of their nutrients than if steamed or microwaved. Let us take some of the pressure off you by sharing a number of the top trending features. The 5 designs we chose do everything from make yogurt, bake cakes, sauté, steam, warm, and even slow cook. Ready to shop?

Our Top Picks for Favorite Electric Pressure Cookers

Mueller UltraPo 6-quart Multi-Functional Electric Pressure Cooker: For Those Who Love a Pot That Can Do It All

Overview:

Construction: Stainless-steel shell

Capacity: 6 quarts

Pre-Set Programs: 15

Warranty: 1 year

You want it all, but you want it at a price that won’t break the bank, right? That’s why this 6-quart Mueller UltraPot pressure cooker is an ideal option. First off, it’s promoted as 10 appliances in 1, and because its capable of not only pressure cooking, but of creating soups, stews, steaming rice, slow-cooking, making yogurt, and even baking cakes, I’d say the manufacturer nailed it. The feature that really speaks to the multi-tasker in me is the bonus stainless-steel steamer basket that lets you cook 2 dishes at the same time. Pop your veggies, dim sum, or noodles into the basket while you’re cooking up another dish in the pot below. And speaking of the pot, it features a ceramic, non-stick coating over stainless-steel that not only distributes heat evenly to eliminate hot spots, but makes for an easy clean-up post-cooking – always important. Next-generation electronics include microprocessors that monitor pressure, track cooking times and adjust temperatures to meet your desired results. And although you can pre-program recipes, it also allows you to manually over-ride to customize the cooking process. And with 8 built-in safety measures, you never need to worry about getting it wrong – this unit has you covered.

Pros:

  • Stainless-steel cooking pot
  • Ceramic, non-stick interior coating
  • 10 appliances in 1
  • 8 safety mechanisms
  • Includes steamer basket, extra silicone gasket, ladle, and measuring cup

Cons:

  • Outer shell may feel a little thin / lightweight

If you’re working to a budget and want a multi-purpose pressure cooker you can rely on, then this 10-in-1 model is just what you’re looking for.

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 GoWISE USA 14-quart Electric Pressure Cooker: For Busy Households That Want to Cook and Freeze Meals

Overview:

Construction: Stainless-steel shell

Capacity: 14 quarts

Pre-Set Programs: 12

Warranty: 1 year

If getting your family on the track to healthier eating is a priority for you, then this 14-quart GoWISE pressure cooker is the simple solution. With a capacity this generous, you can easily cook up a week’s worth of nutritious, ready-to-freeze meals. And if you’re not sure about production cooking, you’re really going to appreciate how easy it is to use this pressure cooker. You don’t have to google recipes or set timers – just let the pot do it all for you. Seriously, it has 12 pre-set cooking programs so you can cook up a big batch of soups, stews, or chilli, then turn around and sauté your favorite meats or poultry for tonight’s dinner. Feel like something light? This pot steams veggies or rice to perfection And, if you want a healthy snack the entire family will enjoy, it even makes yogurt. In fact, its multiple features do the work of 9 countertop appliances. A 24-hour delay timer means you can set it to start while you’re still at work. Then come home to a dinner that’s ready to enjoy. Best of all, it includes a keep-warm function so even if you’re running late, your meal is never cold.

Pros:

  • Extra-large capacity
  • 24-hour delay start timer
  • 12 pre-set cooking programs
  • Keep warm feature
  • Non-stick, ceramic coated cooking pot

Cons:

  • Accessories needed for many recipes not included

If you’re looking for a hard-working pressure cooker that offers pre-set programmes and has the capacity for volume production, this is the cooker for you.

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prepAmeal 3-quart 8-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker: For Those Who Love a One-Stop Approach to Cooking Healthy Meals

Overview:

Construction: Stainless-steel shell

Capacity: 3 quarts

Pre-Set Programs: 8

Warranty: 1 year

You don’t need to be feeding a crowd to want to experience the many benefits that come with a top-quality electric pressure cooker. From preparing foods faster than traditional cooking methods, to retaining the nutritional values of foods, to the time-saving convenience of not having to monitor the process, it’s a kitchen tool you’ll wonder how you ever got along without. And for singles, couples, and small families, this 3-quart prepAmeal is the perfect intro to this style of cooking. For one thing, it’s multipurpose with features that can do the work of up to 8 of your counter-cluttering kitchen appliances. With the touch of a button you can whip up soups, stews, chilis that will make your old slow cooker obsolete. Steam rice, veggies, or even dim sum, and kick your rice cooker to the curb. But there’s more because it also sautés and browns meats, as well as cook eggs. I love that in spite of its size, it still offers up all the bells and whistles of the bigger units including an 8-hour delay start timer, a keep-warm feature, and 8 pre-programmed cook settings. Even the aluminum alloy pot has a non-stick coating for easy clean-ups.

Pros:

  • 8 pre-set cooking programs
  • Keep warm feature
  • Smaller capacity for quick and easy meals
  • 8-hour delay start timer
  • Non-stick, ceramic coated aluminum alloy pot

Cons:

  • Steam pressure needs to be released manually

If you want a quick and nutritious meal for one, two or three, this smaller 3-quart multi-purpose pressure cooker with 8-hour delay start timer, is a great choice.

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GoWISE USA 8.5-quart Electric Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker with Oval Pot: For Those Who Enjoy a Good Sunday Roast

Overview:

Construction: Stainless-steel shell

Capacity: 8.5 quarts

Pre-Set Programs: 11

Warranty: 1 year

If you love to sit down with friends and family to a nice Sunday roast, then this electric pressure cooker by GoWISE USA is about to make meal-times so much easier. Let’s start with the unique oval shape that makes it perfect for accommodating a whole chicken or roast of beef. You don’t have to break it down or worry about it not cooking thoroughly because this large capacity, multi-functional cooker not only cooks to perfection, but gets the job done up to 70% faster than conventional ovens. And there’s more. It includes an easy-to-use, one-touch panel with 11 pre-programmed cook settings that allow you to sauté and sear your meats before cooking, steam rice and veggies, cook eggs, make yogurt, slow cook, and more. What I love is all the extras, such as a 50-recipe book that gets you started, a mesh basket for veggies, and the flat steaming rack for vegetables, dim sum, or noodles So, you don’t have to spend more on accessories to enjoy the many features of this unit. Best of all, the aluminum alloy inner pot features a non-stick coating so it can be tossed into the dishwasher, making clean-ups a breeze.

Pros:

  • One-touch operation
  • 11 pre-set cooking programs
  • Keep warm and delay-start features
  • Comes with basket, steaming rack, and recipe book
  • Cool-touch handles

Cons:

  • Non-stick coating can be easily scratched

If you’d love to find an electric pressure cooker that can cook an entire chicken thoroughly and without losing flavors, this oval-shaped pot is worth checking out.

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Yedi 6-quart Electric Pressure Cooker with Separate Pots: For The Cook Who Needs a Multi-Functional Appliance

Overview:

Construction: Copper-colored stainless-steel

Capacity: 6 quarts

Pre-Set Programs: 15

Warranty: 2 years

While today’s electric pressure cooker can do everything from bake a cake to make yogurt, steam, sauté, pressure-cook, or slow-cook, this Yedi is even more versatile. Because not only does it feature a one-touch LCD panel with 15 pre-set cooking programs that take the guesswork out of meal prep, it comes with all the gadgets that make cooking with this multi-purpose appliance, fun. For starters, you get 2 stainless-steel steam racks and a steam basket so you’re ready to prepare any of the many dishes found in the recipe book they’ve included. Or, use the manual over-ride to customize your cook process. There’s more because you also get a measuring cup, ladle, cooking mitts, rice paddle, and even an extra silicone sealing ring. And in addition to the stainless-steel, locking lid of the pressure cooker, they’ve included a second lid made of tempered glass – ideal for when you want to use this unit as a slow-cooker. What I love is that you can load the steam basket up with veggies, set it atop the cooking pot and prepare an entire meal. The dishwasher-safe pot is food-grade stainless-steel with a non-stick coating and a 3-ply bottom for even heat distribution.

Pros:

  • 15 pre-set cooking programs
  • 10 safety features
  • Comes with 2 steam baskets, rack, and recipe book
  • One-touch, LED operation
  • Cool-touch handles

Cons:

  • Non-stick coatings can scratch

If you want to get cracking with your new electric pressure cooker, you’re going to want all the accessories included and that’s where the multi-functional Yedi really comes through.

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You May be Surprised at the Number of Safety Features They Now Include

With today’s pressure cookers you have a countertop appliance that has anticipated and responded to every possible area of vulnerability. As a result, they include a number of fool-proof safety mechanisms that range from locking lids that prevent the unit from being opened while in use, temperature monitors, automatic pressure controls that often come with primary and secondary release valves, auto shut-off functions, and more.

Why the Electric Pressure Cooker is Edging Out the Stovetop Version

The upside to the electric pressure cooker is convenience. While the stovetop pressure cooker can achieve and maintain a higher operating pressure more quickly – which means a faster cook process – it does have its downsides such as the need to monitor it more carefully. Also, the noise as it continually releases steam. When it comes to the electric cooker, you have the convenience of being able to use one of the unit’s pre-program features or manually program your own cook temperature and duration, then walk away. Auto shut-off stops the heating process when done, and it operates more quietly than its stovetop counterpart.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Benefit to a Pressure Cooker Over a Regular Pot or Microwave?

Where to begin. For one thing, it’s fast. In fact, it can cut traditional cooking time by 1/3. It’s also healthy, with research suggesting it can retain 50% more vitamins and minerals than steaming or microwaving. It’s also eco-friendly in that its efficient cook process uses on average, up to 70% less power and water than standard cooking styles. But today’s electric pressure cookers are also versatile and include pre-set programs that take all the guesswork out of preparing new dishes.

What Should I Look for in an Electric Pressure Cooker for Family Use?

Size is probably the first consideration, but so is construction. Stainless-steel is the most typical material used because of its durability, but you also want to consider whether you want a non-stick interior. The advantage to non-stick is the quick clean up, but the disadvantage is that if you aren’t careful, you can scratch and damage the finish, causing foods to stick and the usual aluminum alloy material to leech through. Almost every electric pressure cooker will feature a vast array of settings, but don’t be oversold. Check them out to make sure the settings offered are appropriate for your chosen use.

How Do I Know What Size to Buy?

For a small family, you may think that a 6-quart pressure cooker is far too large for your needs. But when you consider that the maximum fill for most cookers is 2/3 of the pot capacity, it’s suddenly not so large after all. And if you’re talking grains, such as rice that tend to also foam, you shouldn’t fill the pot more than half-way. A rough estimate is to allow 1 quart per person – so a 6-quart pot would be sufficient to feed 6 people, even when allowing for the fill guidelines. And at the end of the day, who doesn’t enjoy having leftovers you can refrigerate or freeze for later. For that reason, I wouldn’t go smaller than 6- or 8-quarts of capacity for a small family.

What About Clean Up? What Parts are Dishwasher Safe?

Typically, the accessories are stainless-steel and can all be safely washed in a dishwasher. When it comes to the internal pot, you may want to hand-wash if its non-stick to ensure the finish is not damaged. If its strictly stainless-steel, you should be okay with tossing it into your dishwasher. Its always best to defer to the manufacturers instructions so as not to void any warranty.

Conclusion

With today’s busy lifestyles, it’s not always easy to maintain our healthy eating habits. And because we’re always on the go, we tend to reach for those pre-frozen dinners that are high in salt and low in nutrition. That’s why an electric pressure cooker makes so much sense. The models we’ve shown range from a whopping 14-quarts – perfect for when you want to cook up a volume of meals and freeze for use throughout the week – right down to a 3-quart model which is ideal for those who want a healthy meal but aren’t always home in time to cook it up. With the auto pre-set functions, you can start dinner as you’re leaving work and arrive home to the delicious aromas of a perfectly cooked meal. And for those of us who love to multi-task, many models such as the Mueller UltraPot and the Yedi, allow you to steam foods such as veggies, dim sum, or even fish, in a separate basket that sits right on top of the main pot. Pre-set functions mean you no longer have to search the internet for temperatures and cook times, it’s all done for you. And today’s cookers are loaded with safety features such as back-up release valves so you never need to worry about a build-up of pressure. If you’ve never considered pressure-cooking, now is the perfect time to check it out.

Photo credit: New Africa/Shutterstock

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