You know the drill. 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.
Some things to keep in mind:
Size For a family of four, the six-quart tends to be the most popular option, and what many recipes are written for. Are you really into weekly meal prep? Consider sizing up to eight quarts. The three-quart size is ideal for smaller meals (like if you’re cooking for one or two people) and kitchens with limited counter space.
Settings Some programmable cookers offer extra settings such as egg-cooking, cake-baking, sous vide and canning.
Adjustability More advanced pressure cooker users might appreciate a gadget with customizable settings, thus allowing them to tweak the pressure and temperature, and even adjust for altitude. Although if you’re new to the game, these might only confuse you.
Smartphone compatibility Pressure cookers can be linked with your phone or tablet so, provided that you’re in wi fi range, you can send pre-programmed instructions from your device to the appliance (helpful if you tend to make the same things each week) as well as keep tabs on the cooking progress.
Best Electric Pressure Cooker Deals
The six quart Instant Pot was $99.95 but is now $79.99. Best price ever for the perfect dinner companion, which makes enough food for six people.
You know the Instant Pot. You love the Instant Pot. And you need this six-quart Instant Pot, which also serves as an electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, food warmer, and sauté powerhouse. It’s seven gadgets in one. And it’s at a price that’ll whet your appetite.
The Instant Pot Ultra is down from $149.95 to $83.77, and you can even use it to sterilize bottles or make a cake.
This bad boy replaces 10 kitchen, because it’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, egg cooker, saute/searing machine, steamer, warmer, and sterilizer. Boom. What else ya go?
The Ninja pressure cooker, formerly $99.99, gives you a wide temperature range that basically takes the place of a stovetop.
The Ninja six quart pressure cooker has five built-in cooking functions: pressure cook (high and low), slow cook, steam, sear/sauté, and keep warm. No, it won’t make porridge or yogurt. But it will get dinner on the table, and fast.
Are you a bit of a fancypants? What makes the Geek Chef stand out is that along with it's affordable price (currently improved even more with a 10 percent off coupon), it can also double as a sous vide machine.
This electric pressure cooker features 12 smart programs, letting you slow cook, simmer, make yogurt, use it as sous vide, plus make pasta and rice and beans and chili. And you can even use it to can stuff.
With the current $29 coupon, this nifty kitchen helper, which comes with a cookbook, steamer rack and measuring cup, can be yours with its very own stainless steel inner pot.
The Bilaca is a solid, entry-level pressure cooker. It has a delay-start feature, so you can set it to start cooking at a time that works for you. It also has pre-programmed settings such as yogurt, rice, poultry, chili and multigrain.
Deenkee, a Chinese home appliance company, produces popular, affordable pressure cookers. Although Amazon already offers it for well under the $90 list price, this six-quart option is currently an additional 15 percent off. It comes with an additional glass lid for slow cooking and sautéeing, as well as extra accessories like a steamer basket and egg racks.
Some cooks appreciate that the pressure release button is spaced fairly far from the steam valve, thus preventing potential burns. Some of the more unusual preset functions include pasta/boil and hot pot.
A current coupon gives shoppers an extra $15 off this already nicely priced gadget, which offers a whopping 16 different functions, including reheat, steam potatoes and options for both brown and white rice.
One thoughtful feature: The lid is designed to be easily used by both righties and lefties. Also included are silicone mitts, a steamer basket and raised rack.
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