After a long day, kids and parents don’t want to come home to a long wait for dinner. That can mean settling for heavily processed frozen food and unhealthy takeout far too often, even if you’d rather have a home-cooked meal. Fortunately, we live in the age of electric pressure cookers, small kitchen appliances that take the pressure off of busy parents by putting it on food. They’re great for making quick one-pot meals, everything from stews and soups to carnitas and mashed potatoes, in a third of the time it would take using traditional methods.
These tricked-out, technologically-advanced pressure cookers are sleek and modern, light-years ahead of the ones your grandmother kept in the house. With safety features that prevent them from exploding, you can rest easy while these versatile appliances do their magic. Sure, you still have to gather your ingredients, but if you’re hoping to enjoy home-cooked food quickly, an electric pressure cooker is the way to go.
Because the Instant Pot’s arrival sparked a craze, spawning plenty of imitators, it can be tough to tell which is the perfect appliance for you. We rounded up the best electric pressure cookers based on customer reviews and our own experiences, highlighting the features that will make your decision and your meal prep that much easier.
Not sure of the best cooking mode? No problem. The Breville automatically adjusts time, temperature, and pressure between fast and slow cooking, effectively doing the work for you.
Pros: Not only is this one sexy machine, but this electric pressure cooker delivers the most tender brisket, ribs, and stew you’ll ever eat. We have this on good authority, since we’ve eaten all of these dishes. It has 11 pressure cooker settings and a removable cooking bowl with PTFE- and PFOA-free ceramic coating.
Cons: Some users said performance can be dicey and uneven. We have not had that experience.
The best inexpensive option, this pressure cooker still comes with eight different functions and six quarts of capacity.
Pros: $50 is a great price for a pressure cooker with this many features. Accessories like a steam tray and trivet/canning rack are also included.
Cons: This pressure cooker doesn’t give home chefs as much of an ability to fine tune their food as other models do.
This cooker offers you the flexibility to manually set your cooking times, but you also have the option to use the pre-programmed smart settings designed to help you cook a range of dishes with the touch of a button.
Pros: Thanks to its multiple uses, this electric pressure cooker takes the place of other kitchen gadgets so you’ll save space and money. You can make everything from eggs to cheesecake in this appliance. Heat-resistant handles make transferring it to the table safe and easy.
Cons: Some owners had to contact customer service after receiving error messages as early as the second use.
So wait, you're sick of soggy one-pot dinners? Us too! That's why we're into this model's TenderCrisp option, which lets you give your grub a golden, crispy finish.
Pros: You can cook an entire chicken in it. Just imagine using the pressure cooker to make your in minutes before crisping up the outside. It’s also more tall than it is wide and hence, takes up less counter space that other models. Dinner just became way easier.
Cons: Cheap, it’s not. And there’s a two-lid situation that can be confusing to operate.
Crock-Pot is known for their classic slow cookers, but the company is keeping up with the times with this great pressure cooker. Its cooking pot has a nonstick surface and is dishwasher safe, so cleanup is a breeze.
Pros: The brown setting is nice, a great way to put a sear on meat before you cook it through. And because it’s a Crock-Pot, you know this thing can slow cook with the best of them.
Cons: Only comes in 4- and 8-quart versions, so it’s not a good choice for those who want a super-compact or mid0sized pressure cooker.
This pot allows you to cook whole meals in mere minutes thanks to the included stainless-steel steamer basket that enables simultaneous cooking of two separaate components. With its easy-touch control panel with 9-in-1 cooking functions and 14 preset programs, it’s easy to navigate with or without instructions. Customizable presets remember your last selection.
Pros: You also have the ability to change the pressure level on all presets, giving you lots of flexibility. The pressure button actually pops up above the pot once it’s reached the set pressure, as opposed to resting flat. This way you can see it from across the kitchen and know your meal is cooking. And then, you’ll know when your roast beef and steamed broccoli are ready.
Cons: There’s an issue with pressurized hot steam escaping if the seal doesn’t close properly. So close that lid!
This cooker comes in 6-, 8-, and 10-quart capacities, so you can choose the size that best meets your needs. It’ll take your food from frozen to done in just 20 minutes without sacrificing moisture, nutrients, and vitamins.
Pros: It’s fast. Very fast. You can whip up chili in 45 minutes, using the one-touch pre-set buttons.
Cons: The inner pot in this electric pressure cooker is made of lightweight Teflon that can start to flake in as few as three uses.
Designed with an airtight, locking lid that stays sealed under pressure for added safety, this cooker features a delay start timer that offers you the flexibility to start the pot at a later time, so your dinner is ready and waiting. A warm setting lets you can keep your food at the ideal serving temperature.
Pros: You can make a melt-in-your-mouth tender pot roast in an hour in this electric pressure cooker. Or sautee your veggies first, then add your protein, and it’s ready in minutes. Devotees swear it’s absolutely foolproof. And home cooks will appreciate the simple clean-up thanks to the non-stick cooking pot.
Cons: This one has some weird error codes that may end up haunting you.
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