Not everyone has the time or energy to put hours into a home-cooked meal every night, and that’s where a pressure cooker comes in to save the day.
If you’re a fan of one-pot dishes that you can cook in about a third of the time of traditional methods, a pressure cooker might be your new best friend in the kitchen.
New pressure cooker models are safer, more versatile, and more user-friendly than the devices of previous generations. Many of them are multi-cookers, so you can even use them for other types of cooking.
There are two main types of pressure cookers: electric and stove-top. The stove-top models are more basic and use the heat from your stove, while the electric ones have their own heating elements and usually offer more options.
If you’re unsure which pressure cooker to buy, we’ve found and reviewed some of the best options on the market. Keep reading to find in-depth information about each one, so you can find the right pressure cooker for your needs.
The 5 Best Pressure Cookers For 2019
|3, 6, or 8 qt.|
Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker (Editor's Pick)
|4, 6, or 8 qt.|
|6 or 8 qt.|
|6 or 8 qt.|
Instant Pot Duo
About Instant Pot Duo
The Instant Pot Duo is a top-selling multi-cooker, and for many good reasons. This device functions as a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a rice cooker, a steamer, a yogurt maker, and a warmer.
There are 14 different smart settings to choose from for almost any type of meal, and the 10 built-in safety features assure that your cooker functions properly and safely.
The inner cooking pot is made from non-coated stainless steel, and it comes with markings for safe pressure cooking.
You can choose from low or high pressure settings depending on what type of food you’re cooking, as well as three different temperature options for slow cooking, searing and simmering.
The lid, steamer basket, and inner cooking pot are all dishwasher safe.
You can find the Instant Pot Duo in three, six, and eight-quart capacities to suit your family size and cooking needs.
The Instant Pot Duo combines a lot of great features in an affordable package, since it only costs around $80 for the 6-quart option.
The device doesn’t take up a lot of space, and the stainless steel/black exterior with a smooth touch pad looks sleek and is easy to keep clean.
While there is a bit of learning curve when it comes to following the correct procedure for pressure cooking, the Instant Pot does a great job at pressure cooking food in a very short amount of time.
It also excels at browning, which is partially due to the adjustable temperature settings and the stainless steel inner pot.
Otherwise, most of the other settings are intuitive and simple to use. You just fill the pot with ingredients and press the button that corresponds with the food you want to make.
It will also keep the food warm for up to 10 hours after it’s done, so you don’t have to watch over it the whole time.
One downside of the Instant Pot is that the pressure doesn’t always build properly unless you follow the directions exactly for filling the pot and sealing the lid.
However, most of the time, results and performance are generally consistent and reliable.
- 14 quick settings
- Pressure doesn’t always build
Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker
About Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker
If you’re looking for a pressure cooker that provides a lot of versatility, the Crock-Pot Express Multi-Cooker has several one-touch settings for things like meat/stew, rice/grains, dessert, and more.
Not only can you pressure cook your food with manual low or high settings, you can boil, slow cook, simmer, sauté, steam, or brown your food, too.
This multi-cooker includes built-in safety features like a locking lid that only opens once the pressure is released, so you don’t have to worry about getting burnt.
The inner pot has a non-stick coating and is dishwasher-safe, so cleanup doesn’t take much time at all. This multi-cooker comes with a recipe book, a steamer basket, and a serving spoon.
The Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker is slightly similar to the Instant Pot, except that it offers different preset options and has a non-stick inner pot.
The exterior of the pot is also taller and a bit bulkier than an Instant Pot of the same capacity. It has a smooth button interface, as well as a stainless steel and black plastic exterior.
Pressure cooking and slow cooking provided the most impressive results, but this cooker also does a good job at its other functions, as well. The only aspect where it lacks is in browning, which might be due to the non-stick surface.
However, if you want a multi-cooker that offers similar performance to an Instant Pot but with easier cleanup, this might be a good choice.
- Easy to clean
- Doesn’t brown well
Mealthy MultiPot 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker
About Mealthy MultiPot 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker
The Mealthy Multi-Pot 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker is loaded with features and comes with tons of accessories, like an extra silicone gasket, a steamer basket, a raised trivet, silicone mitts, a ladle, a rice paddle, and a measuring cup.
It has a bright LCD display and simple icons that show various settings and functions. The touch panel has 9 cooking functions and 14 preset programs.
The inner pot is made from non-coated stainless steel, and the exterior is stainless steel with black plastic.
You can choose from adjustable temperature and pressure settings, as well as keep food warm or slow cook.
Additionally, you can keep track of where you’re at in the cooking process, since this information is displayed on the screen.
The Mealthy Multi-Pot is incredibly easy to use and intuitive. It heats up and comes to pressure in 10 minutes or less, which is quite impressive compared to most pressure cookers.
The pot itself feels sturdy and very substantial, which is great if you plan to use the product for a long time.
It has a bright red button that pops up when the cooker reaches full pressure, which is a nice benefit since it’s easy to see.
All of the settings are easy to use and perform their intended functions, with excellent results. The free Mealthy app offers a lot in terms of videos and recipes, too.
The accessories are all useful, especially the spare gasket, which means you’ll have one for sweet foods and one for savory.
One downside is that some quick settings like rice or grains can produce inconsistent results.
- Comes with a lot of accessories
- Very durable
- Easy to track cooking process
- Pot scratches easily
- Some quick settings are inconsistent
Presto 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
About Presto 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
If you’re looking for a simple, stove-top pressure cooker, the Presto 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker is a good choice for regular, smooth-top, and induction ranges.
The pressure cooker’s base is made with three layers of stainless steel and aluminum for quick, even heating.
It has a built-in pressure regulator that keeps the pressure at an ideal level, and a cover lock indicator as a safety feature to prevent the lid from opening until the pressure is at a safe level.
There’s also a quick-cool option when you don’t want to wait for the pot to depressurize slowly.
This pressure cooker comes with a stainless steel steamer basket. Additionally, you’ll get a 64-page instruction and recipe book.
While this is a basic pressure cooker that doesn’t offer a lot in terms of versatility, it does hold a larger amount of food at a lower price – about $60.
The Presto 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker is very durable and sturdy, with a heavy bottom that absorbs and retains heat well. The pot has an attractive mirror finish, too.
Overall, it’s a great choice for basic pressure cooking without all the bells and whistles of a multi-cooker. This pressure cooker does a good job at quickly heating and cooking food, and it’s easy to clean after use.
A few downsides to note are that the handles are somewhat short, and it can be difficult to align the lid just right when putting it on or taking it off.
- Heavy-duty design
- Works on most range types
- Low price
- Short handles
- Lid can be difficult to align
Yedi Total Package 9-in-1 Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker
About Yedi Total Package 9-in-1 Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker
The Yedi Total Package 9-in-1 Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker is designed to function as 9 different appliances in one, but it’s first and foremost a pressure cooker.
It comes with 15 instant-touch settings that allow you to cook things like poultry, stew, meat, porridge, rice, cake, and more with the push of a button. There’s a manual pressure cooking option, too.
This appliance comes with tons of accessories, including two egg racks/trivets, a glass lid, a ladle, a rice paddle, a measuring cup, an extra silicone gasket, cooking mitts, and a stainless steel steamer basket.
The inner cooking pot is made from non-coated stainless steel, and it’s dishwasher-safe. The LCD display shows you all of the functions, and it’s easy to control the settings.
Adjustable pressure settings let you control the pressure for the type of food you’re cooking, which gives you more versatility.
This pressure cooker has 10 built-in safety features, so you don’t have to worry about accidents.
The Yedi Total Package 9-in-1 Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker is a great choice if you’re looking for a pressure cooker that gives you a lot of functionality and accessories.
Another plus is that this cooker comes in three different color choices: copper, stainless steel, or black.
It’s easy to program and use, but does require a learning curve and experimentation with the various settings and options.
The stainless steel inner pot is easy to clean, and most of the settings excel at their intended functions.
A few downsides of the appliance are that it can take quite a bit of time to come to full pressure, and the rice setting doesn’t usually produce good results.
- Tons of accessories
- Color choices
- 15 settings
- Manual pressure option
- Bad results with rice setting
- Pressure builds slowly
The Best Pressure Cooker for 2019
A great pressure cooker is easy to use and provides consistently good results, so that’s why we’ve chosen the Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker as the best overall. This versatile appliance lets you make everything from slow-cooked meals to sautés to desserts without any issues.
If you’re looking for a simple, affordable pressure cooker that excels at its intended function, the Presto 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker is a good choice.
Regardless of the one you choose, all of the options in the guide can help you get dinner on the table in way less time than traditional cooking methods.
Writer and Product Researcher
Spending the last 10 years researching and writing about various home, garden and electronics topics, Shelley is more than qualified to write for Meccano Home. Her work has been featured on eBay, Pottery Barn, SFGate, TheKnot, Williams-Sonoma and various other blogs and websites.