These days, most people, particularly college students, the elderly and busy parents always have limited time to prepare a decent meal. Some of them go to an extent of even skipping meals at times especially when they are hard pressed for time.
However, it does not always have to be this way. Not when you have the best electric pressure cookers. These pieces of kitchenware are fast, easy to use, and can be used to prepare healthy homemade meals at your own convenience. Investing in one would be a real time saver.
Finding the best electric pressure cooker to cut your kitchen time is not as easy as you may think. There are numerous options that make choosing one really hard. Luckily, we have put together a comprehensive buying guide plus a review of 10 of the best products that suit you.
10 Best Electric Pressure Cooker Reviews 2018
To start us will be this review of 10 of the best electric pressure cookers in 2018. We hope that by reading on, you will get more insight on what to expect. These reviews would then provide you with options from which you can start your search.
1. Instant Pot DUO60 6 – Best For Smaller Families
For those who have a family of between 4 and 6 people and are looking for a multi-purpose pressure cooker, then this product is one of the best around. It is a 7 in 1 product, allowing you to use it as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt warmer and maker etc.
Features wise, this product has numerous so as to accomplish your cooking needs. All these are controlled from a large and easy to use control panel. The control panel has 14 smart programs built into it. These include automatic warm, slow cook and sauté temperature settings.
Using third generation technology, this electric pressure cooker is capable of producing consistent results. There is an inbuilt microprocessor that monitors temperature and pressure, keeps time, and adjusts heat intensity. All these are great features when preparing healthy dishes.
With this cooker, you can select between high and low pressures for cooking. For fast cooking, you can select the high pressure. On the other hand, for delicate dishes, the low pressure comes in handy. The cooking temperatures can be adjusted too depending on the type of cooking you want to apply.
Safety-wise, the product is designed to eliminate any errors that may bring you harm. For example, a pressure regulator ensures that only safe pressures are used for cooking. Safety lid, anti-blockage vent, lid detection sensor, leaky lid detection among others are some examples.
- One touch controls are easy to use
- Multi-purpose use
- Durable stainless steel construction
- Adjustable pressure and temperature settings
- Over 10 safety features
- Easy to clean
- Inbuilt microprocessor
- Added durability
- Energy efficient
- Certified construction
- Relatively pricey
- Slightly overweight
- Not very spacious
2. Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD – Perfect for Meal Planning
The Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD is a pressure cooker designed to cook mostly rice and steam other foods. If you love cooking rice, then this is a great option for getting your delicacy cooked in a short while. It holds between 2 and 8 cups of rice.
You can cook both brown and white rice, which after cooking is kept warm with the aid of an auto-warm function. A steam tray inside the cooker allows you to cook two meals at a time. Vegetables can steam above the cooking rice below the steam tray.
Ease of use is enabled by the use of programmable and digital controls. These enable you to select amongst an array of functions, such as keep warm, delay timer, white rice, brown rice, steam, and the powering on and off button.
Another great feature is the ability to steam quite a number of foods alongside the rice being cooked. Chili, soups, and jambalaya are some of the examples. The possibility of a 15-hour delay timer is great when you want to plan out your cooking until when you get back.
- Can be used to store food while travelling
- Reasonably priced
- Quite spacious
- Allows for cooking two meals at a go
- Durable stainless steel design
- High quality accessories
- Non-stick inner pot
- Simple to use
- Limited in terms of functionalities
- Small sized for large families
3. Instant Pot IP-LUX60 V2 – Best Safety Standards
Pressure cookers from Instant Pot are some of the best electric pressure cookers currently in the market. They are also popular for a number of features that you might find very useful as well. For starters, it is a 6 in 1 pressure cooker which allows you to prepare a variety of meals.
The six functionalities that it is capable of performing include being used as a pressure cooker, sauté/browning, rice cooker, warmer, steamer, and a slow cooker. All these functions are controlled through an easy to use control panel complete with 10 smart programs.
In addition, there is an auto-keep warm function with three temperature settings. These can be used to sauté/brown and also slow cook. If you are hard pressed for time, you can set the cooker to delay the cooking for up to 24 hours. You can also manually set a cooking time of 120 minutes. In essence, you would be coming back to an already prepared meal.
By utilizing the consistency of a microprocessor, uniform cooking results can be achieved almost every time. Easy one-touch controls make operating the cooker a breeze. On the interior, the cooker is made from brushed stainless steel that is fingerprint resistant. Other useful accessories made from the stainless steel are included in the package.
- Certified safety precautions
- Pressure and temperature adjustable
- Stainless steel construction stain proof
- Dishwasher safe accessories
- Multi-purpose uses
- Great value for the price
- One push buttons
- Easy to maintain
- Durable product
- Not very spacious
- Slightly heavy
4. Mealthy MultiPot 9-in-1 – Best Multi-Functional
The Mealthy MultiPot is a 9-appliance rolled into a single product for the best versatility. With this cooker, you can pressure cook, steam, slow cook, sauté, make cakes, make yogurt, and pasteurize. In addition, you can cook rice and then warm meals.
To save on cooking time and the time you spend in the kitchen, you can prepare two meals at a time with this product. In the package is a steamer made of stainless steel to make double cooking possible. Its main cooking pot is made of stainless steel too.
The cooking programs are provided in a 14 built-in program setup. These are used to cook specific meals or perform a specific function. You have a choice of selecting between a program to cook porridge, make the cake, prepare poultry and keep warm among an array of other useful tasks.
All these processes are displayed on an LCD panel. It is filled with intuitive progress indicators and icons which are great for keeping tabs on how your food is cooking. You do not have to fumble with buttons or guess on when your meal would be ready.
- 9 cooking appliances in one product
- Easy to program
- 14 programs for cooking
- 2 dishes can be prepared at a time
- An extra pair of silicone mitts provided
- Recipes can be accessed via a smartphone
- Step by step videos provided on the app
- Great safety features
- Can be noisy when in operation
- Quality control can be an issue at times
5. Cuisinart CPC-600 – Best at Saving Time Spent to Cook
With a capacity of 6 quarts, the Cuisinart CPC-600 is a great option when preparing meals for medium sized families. It features a host of features that make it among the best electric pressure cookers you can find around.
It features a BPA free construction, which means it has no harmful plastics. You are, therefore, not put at risk when cooking at high temperatures and pressure. A side panel is provided for controlling the different functions on an easy to read digital display.
Once the set temperature and pressure are reached, a precision thermostat switches off the power supply. In this way, overcooking or wastage of energy is prevented as well as ensuring user safety. Settings such as pressure cooking, simmering, sautéing, warming and browning are accessible through the side control panel.
On the sides are cool touch handles that do not get hot when cooking. The inner cooking pot has non-stick properties while still being dishwater safe. Its trivet too can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
- Digital countdown display
- Easy to clean and use
- Dishwasher safe
- Greatly affordable
- Recipe box included
- Easy to maintain
- Cooking capacity is maximized
- Cooking pot can be used as a serving dish
- Long warranty provided
- Delay timer not provided
- Stirring required when slow cooking
- Nonstick finish peels off at times
6. Instant Pot LUX60 V3 – Great for Multipurpose Usage
Offering the capabilities of six appliances in a single product, this is one of the best pressure cookers you can buy. It is almost similar to the previously mentioned product, albeit with additional features. One of these is the ability to prepare an egg.
This product is like an upgrade on some of the previous designs. Alongside the usual pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, warmer, and slow cooker programs, there is are two additional programs for preparing cakes and cooking eggs.
It features 10 built-in programs for preparing your favorite dishes within a short period of time. Access these by simply pressing the particular button and start preparing your meal. A microprocessor ensures cooking integrity, while stainless steel accessories evenly distribute the heat.
With a design that can pressure cook for up to 240 minutes, there is no limit to the meals you can prepare. Use the delay timer for up to 24 hours when you are in no hurry to cook a meal. 10 safety mechanisms are certified so as to prevent any mishaps.
- Increased cooking speeds
- Additional egg and cake programs
- Very portable
- Improved consistency
- No chemical coatings
- Clear display panel
- Brushed finger-print resistant construction
- Hard-boiled eggs easy to peel
- Does not work great as a slow cooker
- Odor from previous cooking hard to remove
- Takes time for pressure to reach cooking levels
7. Power Pressure Cooker XL – Best for Locking Nutrients and Flavours
The Power Pressure Cooker is another of the best electric pressure cookers you can find today. It consists of a flavor infusion mechanism that traps the superheated steam in the pot. Once trapped, the steam forces moisture and liquids into the food being cooked.
On the side of the cooker is a digital display panel. All the functions can be accessed on the panel through easy to read and press buttons. The time counter digital display is useful when you are preparing a timed meal.
Another great feature is the safety lock lid. This lid incorporates a manual steam release system for safety purposes. On the lid is a sturdy handle you can use to either open or close the pressure cooker. A slow cooker and auto keep warm feature are great for those delicate meals.
Cleaning this cooker is made easy with the incorporation of brushed stainless steel housing. This can be easily wiped clean when need be. Safety release valves, a pressure indicator, cool-touch exterior, auto-locking handles and a locking lid ensure that you enjoy an error-free cooking experience.
- Housing kept cool when cooking
- Handle heat resistant
- Accessories dishwasher safe
- Attractive silver design
- Response time automated
- High quality construction
- Interactive digital screen display
- One-touch buttons
- Easy to operate
- User manual provided
- Some users do not like the Teflon coated inner pot
- Durability is questionable at times
8. GoWISE USA Electric Pressure Cooker – Most Versatile Pressure Cooker
With built-in presets, the GoWISE USA programmable electric cooker has preset cooking programs for a number of meals. There are cooking presets for meals such as rice/risotto, porridge, multigrain, meat/stew, veggies, seafood, poultry etc.
If you choose to, then there is a manual mode which allows you to choose between three pressure settings. This feature is great as it allows you to customize your cooking experience to your exact specification. You can choose between the low, medium and high settings.
A unique design incorporates the functions of 9 appliances hence saving you kitchen space in the process. It can accomplish tasks ranging from pressure cooking, yogurt maker and canner to an egg maker. Just a push of a button can just do all these.
To ensure users are kept from harm’s way when steam is being released, an inbuilt pressure release button is added on the lid. It is then safer and quicker to release excessive pressure buildup. Seven other safety mechanisms are built in to achieve the same precautionary measures.
- Several functionalities
- Easy to wash
- Using it is a breeze
- Relatively affordable
- High-quality housing and accessories
- Can be used several times a week
- Adequate safety mechanism
- Detachable cord saves space
- Breaks down at times
- Getting the lid off can be a hassle
- Steam release knob fails on occasions
9. Maximatic Elite Platinum Pressure Cooker – Most Automated Cookers
The Maximatic Elite Platinum Pressure cooker features up to 14 preset program cycles for preparing different meals. There is a function button for rice, vegetables, ribs/pork, beans, fish, poultry, desserts, potatoes, soup, grains etc.
When you feel like setting the cooking process to start after some time so that you can get back and find a ready meal, simply set the time on the timer. It can delay the timer for about 99 minutes. This is a way of making your mealtime to fit into your schedule. Once a cooking cycle is complete, an indicator beep alerts you.
The package has a measuring cup, stirring spoon, spoon holder, condensation cup, instruction manual and recipes for a comprehensive cooking experience. Besides these accessories, the stainless steel inner pot can be removed and washed for continued heat distribution and conduction.
- Works perfectly
- Easy and fast cooking
- Prevents overheating/overcooking
- Great cooking presets
- Retains essential nutrients
- Elegantly brushed housing
- Keeps food warm for up to 12 hours
- Increased capacity
- Safety assurances
- Malfunctions after a while
- Too many functions may be confusing
10. COSORI Pressure Cooker – Fastest Cooker
The COSORI Electric Pressure cooker is an 8 appliance in 1 product that you can choose for your cooking needs. Such designs are great at eliminating the needs for multiple cooking pots which you will have to clean thereafter.
17 smart programs are available for your favorite dishes. Fish, soup, baby food, beef/lamb, sweet potato, cake are just a few examples. Perhaps another feature that you would love about this pressure cooker is the use of ETL approved components that get in contact with the food.
The components are made from 304 stainless steel which is a food grade material. The inner pot and the 3-ply bottom are all made from this material. Once the lid detects pressure inside the cooker, it is kept from opening for protection against steam.
Safety features such as thermal and pressure limiters, pressure guards and electrical monitors are good when you need assurances over your safety.
- Safety oriented
- Great versatility
- Lots of cooking modes
- Easy to keep clean and operate
- Great for preparing small batches of food
- Comes with two separate tops
- Food can burn if you are not careful
- No auto-shut off
Electric vs Stovetop Pressure Cooker
When it comes to pressure cookers, these two are the main types that you will find. Despite the apparent differences, both use the same working principle which is that of using high pressure steam for cooking.
Although there are preferences for one type over the other, they still get the job done more efficiently over other conventional cooking methods. The only drawback would be the constant hissing from the venting steam.
However, between the two, there are apparent differences in the manner in which they operate.
1. Stovetop Pressure Cookers
These are the pioneers of the pressure cookers. The designs have evolved profoundly over the years, with newer, more efficient designs being produced. They require no source of electricity, but rather use a stove or any other secondary heating medium to cook food.
With one of these, you need to constantly monitor it when preparing a meal since it doesn’t come with lots of fancy features.
- Faster cooking than electric pressure cookers
- Three options for pressure release: remove from heat source, cold water drip & detach pressure valve knob
- Usable as a normal cooking pot without the lid
- Unlimited external source of energy
- Automatic locking system for the lid as pressure builds up
- The aluminum types are not durable as the stainless steel ones
- There is no scheduling of cooking times
2. Electric Pressure Cookers
This second type of cookers was introduced to counter for the inefficiencies of the stove top pressure cookers. As the name suggests, they use electricity as the main source of heating medium. Buttons are included on a control panel for performing all the functions.
- Great for canned/preserved food
- Automatic pressure and temperature control
- Various pressure settings for different foods
- Specific food preset cycles
- Automated pressure release system
- Timer for delayed cooking
- Serves many cooking functions hence saving space
- Easy to use digital controls
- Auto warmer features is a life saver
- Bulkier than stovetops
- Cannot be dipped in cold water for pressure release
How to Pick the Best Electric Pressure Cooker
1. Safety Features
When using an electric pressure cooker, your safety should be of paramount importance. The main reason is that the pressure cookers usually become very hot and contain high pressure superheated steam inside. If any mishap were to happen, you could suffer severe burns.
Therefore, the pressure cooker should have mechanisms in place to contain the pressure in a safe environment. Look for safety features such as release valves, pressure indicators, secure lid locks, release vents and tight-fitting lids that do not open when there is still pressure inside.
2. Materials of Construction
There are two materials used to make pressure cookers. These are stainless steel and aluminum. These two have different properties and affordability. Aluminum electric pressure cookers are the least expensive of the two although they are less durable too.
Aluminum is a great conductor of heat but tends to stain and warp more in the process of cooling. On the other hand, stainless steel is heavier, distributes heat more and are the most expensive of the two.
For electric pressure cookers, you are better off with a stainless steel product. They are not reactive as aluminum, hence no changes in the food flavors.
3. Pressure Cooker Capacity
Size matters a lot when choosing an electric pressure cooker. It determines how much food you can prepare at a time. To put it in perspective, when you have a large family to prepare a meal for, then you would need a pressure cooker larger than 8 quarts.
For smaller families, the size should be smaller. There is a drawback to an increased size. A bigger sized pressure cooker takes longer to generate enough steam and pressure to start the cooking process. Pressure accumulation occurs at a slower pace, but when it does, you will have delicious food for your whole family.
4. Stay Away from Nonstick Inner Pots
Nonstick surfaces are only great for pans but not for pressure cookers. Even when used on pans, you are advised not to expose them to too high temperatures. Since pressure cookers operate under extreme pressures and temperatures, this nonstick layer would simply peel off and become ineffective after a while.
Another reason to avoid nonstick accessories is the difficulty of cleaning them. In the end, layers of food start to build up on the surface of the pot, reducing its efficiency after a while.
5. Should be Dishwasher Suitable
Some buyers tend to overlook this feature when buying a kitchen accessory. For a pressure cooker, it becomes even more necessary to be able to wash the parts in a dishwater. Note that it is the accessories and the lid that should be washed and not the housing with the electrical components.
If you cannot use a dishwasher to clean it, you would have to spend hours scrubbing the parts once you are done with the cooking. And it is this time that you don’t have in the first place.
6. Heat-Resistant Handles
Although often ignored, handles are important in ensuring your safety when preparing a meal. Superheated steam makes the whole housing very hot at times that it may spill over to the handles if you do not take care.
You run the risk of suffering burns if the handles become too hot and then you hold onto them. For a user-friendly cooker, insist on a heat-resistant handle.
7. Additional Features
There are other features that improve your overall user experience. An example is cooking programs. If you want a variety of preset cooking programs, then look for one with the most inbuilt programs, provided it meets the other criteria.
There are other options that have instructions and recipe booklets for your own convenience. A manual would be helpful if it’s your first time using an electric pressure cooker. Nonetheless, the guides and recipes effectively get you started on your meal preparation.
Cooking racks and steamer baskets help you separate foods into two. You are then able to prepare two meals at a time, hence saving on time.
How to Use an Electric Pressure Cooker
Electric Pressure Cooker FAQ
Q: After cooking, how do I release the pressure from the cooker?
A: When you are through with cooking and have disconnected the power source, you have two options for releasing the internal pressure. First, you can use a quick release by turning, pressing or lifting on the pressure release valve. Be prepared for the loud gush of steam. Secondly, you can use a natural release where you let the pressure drop by itself. It takes longer but benefits foods that require extra steam when cooling.
Q: Which Pressure Should I Use?
A: The pressure to use depends on the type of food you are cooking and the capabilities of the pressure cooker. A conventional notation is to have the low, medium and high notations, although some designs lack the medium setting. Softer and canned foods require a lower pressure while harder foods would need a medium to high pressure.
Q: Is it safe to use an Electric Pressure Cooker?
A: Yes. It is okay to use one, provided it has all the safety features in place and you don’t attempt to bypass any of them. With modern designs, safety is even more guaranteed.
Q: Are there foods I can’t cook in my Pressure Cooker?
A: Yes. Generally, foods cooked in a pressure are those that are served humid and moist. If you want to cook a type of food that should be crispy or hard after being cooked, then a pressure cooker isn’t for that purpose.
Q: Is the rubber/silicone gasket necessary
A: It is one of the safety features that keeps a tight seal between the pan and the lid. Without it, steam would leak out, and the pressure would not build up to cook. So, yes. You need it.
Q: Does high pressure mean faster cooking?
A: Technically no. High pressure is only needed during the initial stages of cooking. After a while, when it starts escaping, then high pressure only leads to energy wastage and no accelerated rate of cooking.
Q: Can my pressure cooker act as a pressure canner?
A: The shortest answer is no, or unless the pressure cooker meets USDA food safety standards. There are also not many of these around with those available being at least 10 quarts in size. A better alternative would be to find a pressure canner that doubles up as a pressure cooker.
If you were looking to invest in a pressure cooker, we hope this buying guide has been exhaustive and helpful in one way or another. We did a lot of research to produce a meaningful and insightful post on the best electric pressure cookers.
Always take your time when investing in one since they don’t come cheap. In addition, it should serve you for the longest time possible. In the review, the Instant Pot DUO60 6 Programmable Pressure Cooker is our top pick for the best electric pressure cookers.
It is made by a reputable brand in making pressure cookers, comes with an array of 14 preset cooking cycles and 7 multipurpose usages for a guesswork free cooking. 10 top-notch safety features prevent steam leaks or any mishaps during use.
In addition, the product has rave reviews from those who have used it, which is a testament to its superior quality.