The electric pressure cooker is one of the hottest kitchenware items on the market these days. Part crockpot, part rice cooker and part oven they’ve become the preferred way to prepare stews, soups, roasts and even succulent whole chickens. There’s almost nothing you can’t cook in them, with the only limit being the size of the cooker itself. Electric pressure cookers codify practices that used to involve lots of care and supervision and reduce complex food preparation to little more than the push of a button. Below are the best electric pressure cookers for 2019. Pick one and start eating well.
The Best Electric Pressure Cookers
The Instant Pot 8 Qt Electric Pressure Cooker is a multitasking monster with 14 preset programs that allow you to prepare everything from world-class chili to hearty stews to picture-perfect rice and everything in between. With its large volume and no stick pot preparing large cuts of meat is as simple as snapping your fingers. Or rather, pushing a button. The third generation tech at work here cooks food an average of 70 percent fast than the previous generation of electric cookers.
The deep, voluminous cooking pot is fashioned from restaurant grade 304 stainless steel that’s lined with a foolproof, chemical-free non-stick coating that won’t wind up in your food. The bottom of this smart kitchen gadget features 3-ply construction which allows for even heat distribution. That, in turn, prevents the kind of hot spots that, in lesser cookers, end up being sticking points for your choice roast.
14 smart presets built in.
3 ply bottom for even heat distribution.
3G tech is 70 percent faster.
10 built-in safety mechanisms.
Weight 15.8 pounds.
- BrandInstant Pot
- Weight15.8 pounds
Safety is a welcome priority.
An extremely versatile electric cooker.
Faster, more efficient cooking reduces energy use.
A range of useful accessories included.
So many features it can be a bit confusing.
The Crock-Pot brand slow cooker, pressure cooker, sauté and steamer is a mid-sized multipurpose electric pressure cooker with full-sized ambitions. It will do most everything its larger cousins will do including produce some of the most succulent pot roast and roast chicken you have ever had.
The eight preset meals on tap here include stews, chilis, rice dishes, poultry and more. When you’re ready to cook the simple icons on the lid show in no uncertain terms if the appliance is locked down tight like it should be. You can also program your start time out to 24 hours and when you’re done the cooking pot can be popped in the dishwasher to speed cleanup.
Clear, easy to navigate control panel.
10 different preset dishes.
Fully programmable timer.
Airtight lid seals in nutrients.
Weight 16.4 pounds.
- Weight12.8 pounds
The 8 presets create delicious meals at the push of a button.
Delay the start of the cooking cycle up to 24 hours.
The stainless steel cooking pot is dishwasher safe.
Instant Pot makes a return visit to our list of best pressure cookers with their 6 Qt multipurpose cooker. Like its big brother the 8 Qt cooker this Instant Pot features 3rd generation technology that markedly speeds up cooking times, enabling you to enjoy delicious home cooked masterpieces in a fraction of the time it would take you to prepare them on the stove.
The interior cooking pot is 18/8 stainless which means it contains 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel. This type of high-grade stainless is sometimes referred to as “304” stainless. The pot features the company’s standard non-chemical, non-stick coating that lets your expensive cuts of meat cook in peace.
6 kitchen appliances in one.
24 hour programmable start time.
18/8 food grade stainless.
Full Alexa compatibility.
Weight 11.5 pounds.
- Brand Instant Pot
- Weight11.53 pounds
With its new cake and egg programs it’s a value winner.
Keeps your delicious meals warm for up to 10 hours.
12 preset cooking programs including rice, stews and soups.
Veering from the presets can be an adventure.
The Mealthy 6 Quart Programmable Pressure Cooker takes the guesswork out of preparing high quality, healthy meals for yourself and your loved ones. There are 14 presets that let you bang out cakes, porridge, 5-alarm chili, beef, chicken or veggie stew, rice and a whole lot more. The stainless steel cooking pot holds up to 6 quarts which is enough space to cook a large roast or a small chicken.
Despite the unfortunate name this programmable electric pressure cooker delivers where it counts. It cooks fast, seals tight to retain flavor, juices and essential nutrients and cleans up in a flash. There’s also a Mealthy app for both Android and iOS that provides access to literally thousands of recipes and dozens of comprehensive how-to videos that will have you cooking like a pro in no time.
18/8 stainless steel cooking pot.
9 cooking appliances in 1.
Mealthy mobile app to access recipes and videos.
A full range of useful accessories.
Weight 15.9 pounds.
- Brand Mealthy
- Weight15.95 pounds
Easy to master cooking functions logically laid out.
Numerous cheat sheets to aid in use.
Silicone gasket included for savory dishes.
App links to a multitude of website info.
LCD display seems a bit dated.
With 16 preset meals at your fingertips you’re never at a loss to whip up something memorable with the Cosori Electric Pressure Cooker. It cooks faster and better than any crock pot either stove top or electric, stands toe to toe with the best rice cookers out there and features NextGen electric cooking technology that’s unmatched in any similarly priced cooker.
The control panel is clear and logically organized. The handles are robust and heat resistant. The top locks down like a submarine hatch to seal in juices, flavor and nutrients and the 3 ply stainless steel cooking pot distributes heat evenly, thereby staving off potentially problematic hotspots. But the Cosori Cooker doesn’t stop there.
16 preset meals programmed in.
3 ply stainless steel cooking pot.
Adjustable temps for browning, cooking and reheating.
8 kitchen appliances in one.
Weight 15 pounds.
- Weight15 pounds
A wealth of practical functions and safety features.
Presets for 16 different types of dishes.
Advanced technology allows for steam cooking up to 70 percent faster.
Cooking pot is free of chemical coatings.
The 2 year warranty might come in handy.
The Breville Multi-Function Electric Cooker is built to last and does an outstanding job producing delicious, high-value meals in short order and with minimal wasted energy. There are 11 cooking presets covering all the usual suspects including rice, stews and chili. The 18/8 stainless steel cooking pot has a 3 ply bottom that distributes heat evenly to prevent hotspots and there are high and low cook settings that range from 2 to up to 12 hours.
The interactive screen is large and thoroughly modern looking. Alas, like a lot of today’s leading edge digital devices, however, the screen may be too jammed with features to yield its secrets easily or in an intuitive manner. Chances are you’re going to spend some serious time negotiating the learning curve with this one. But once you’ve mastered it you’ll be in control of a first-rate all-purpose, 21st century kitchen appliance that’s going to make your life easier and a lot tastier.
3 ply bottom for even heat distribution.
High or low settings from 2 – 12 hours.
High quality non-stick ceramic coating.
Interactive digital interface.
Weight 14 pounds.
- Weight14 pounds
Does a great job with most types of food.
Dishwasher safe lid saves some clean up time.
Attractive, yet hard to pin down design ethos.
No app connectivity.
If you’re looking for an entry-level electric pressure cooker that will provide a bunch of high-end pressure cooker qualities and features the Gourmia 4 Quart is a good place to start. It features 13 presets including a nifty feature called “sterilize” that we’d like to see on some of the more expensive units. It uses NextGen electric cooking technology for a faster, more satisfying finished product and has a range of other features both practical and safety-related.
For instance; the lid sports a patented 12 level lock system that ensures no accidental openings occur while cooking is in progress. The internal thermostat continually monitors temperature and keeps things within an optimal range while internal pressure undergoes the same type of scrutiny. The GPC400 also retains more heat inside where it’s needed, uses less energy than many other models and comes with a handy cooking time reference chart should you want to wing it a bit. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best panini presses.
13 cooking presets.
Clear, intuitive control panel.
Stainless steel cooking pot.
Perfect for one or two people.
Weight 10.6 pounds.
- Weight10.6 pounds
13 preset meals including all your favorites.
NextGen electric cooking technology cooks fast.
Traps more heat for more efficient performance.
A very attractive price point.
Too small for family use.
No app or recipes.
The Gourmia GCR1700 Air Fryer is a slightly different take on the electric cooker. Not a true pressure cooker it’s more of a high tech portable stove that’s designed to focus on those things you might commonly prepare in the frying pan or wok. Grill a chop, stir fry vegetables, make a veggie omelette or slow cook a stew or some 5 alarm chili.
One of the many great things about the Gourmia Air Fryer is that none of these dishes require you to stand about and supervise. That’s because there are a number of different, detachable “spatula” accessories that slowly rotate through your creation, tossing them gently so that they get thoroughly cooked in less time.
An array of push button presets.
Rotating spatula feature.
Easy lift handles on the cooking insert.
ETL certified for safe operation.
Weight 10.3 pounds.
- Weight10.39 pounds
The presets are well considered and won’t let you down.
It’s nice to be able to watch things as they’re cooking.
The rotating spatula is a really handy feature.
Lighter than most electric pressure cookers.
Short on recipes.
The Potastic 6 Qt Electric Pressure Cooker is nothing revolutionary. What it is instead is well built, dependable, versatile and reasonably affordable. It hits all the electric pressure cooker beats with a dozen presets along with delay timer, pressure level monitor and a sterilize feature that all such cookers should have.
The LCD display on the Potastic 6 Qt is complex and comprehensive. Maybe a bit too much of both for some technophobes. That said though, it’s certainly not a deal breaker because the Potastic 6 Qt does a bang up job with staples like stew, rice, soup and chili and will bend to your wishes in Manual mode as well.
Clear “lid lock” indicator light.
Excess pressure regulator.
Internal temperature monitoring.
10 kitchen appliances in 1.
Weight 16 pounds.
- Weight16 pounds
The lid closes with authority to prevent accidents.
The Stainless steel inner pot is dishwasher safe.
Robust safety features throughout.
“Finished” tone when food is ready.
Layout of the control panel leaves something to be desired.
The last item on our list of best electric pressure cookers is the Greek Chef 8 Qt Oval Electric Pressure Cooker. The elongated shape finally makes it easy to cook any size filet or to roast a large chicken you could never fit into another pressure cooker. It will even handle a smallish turkey on Thanksgiving, lightening your work load considerably on that cooking-intensive day.
The lightweight non-stick aluminum cooking pot features cool touch handles, (so you won’t burn yourself if you forget the potholders) and cleans up in no time with just a sponge and soapy water. The lid fastens down with purpose by just turning the EZ-Lock lid handle. And to open simply give it a twist and lift. It’s that simple.
Oval shape accommodates larger cuts.
Aluminum cooking pot.
Fingerprint resistant stainless housing.
Redesigned EZ-Lock lid.
Weight 20.5 pounds.
- BrandGeek Chef
- ModelGP80 Plus
- Weight20.5 pounds
Large capacity aluminum no-stick cooking pot.
Finally, a pressure cooker you can use on Thanksgiving.
Locks down solidly with a simple twist.
Cooking pot cleans up in less than a minute.
The non-stick coating could be better.
Electric Pressure Cooker Buying Guide & FAQs
How We Chose Our Selection of Electric Pressure Cookers
Reviews – Regardless of the product we’re writing about we always prefer to draw our own conclusions. But that doesn’t mean we turn a completely deaf ear to what others are saying. The fact is we sift through mountains of customer as well as professional reviews. Although our primary reason for doing so is not to see if we can create synergy with the review community but to see if there may have been something we missed in our own review. If any such potential oversight jumps out at us we’ll revisit the product and adjust our review (if we feel that’s necessary) before publishing it.
Price – Electric pressure cookers tend to occupy a narrow price range right around the hundred dollar mark, with only a few exceptions. Therefore price isn’t really a big concern when it comes to judging this type of kitchen appliance. So since it’s often a case of all things being equal regarding price what we look for instead is a robust, dependable feature set and high build quality. Of course if an electric pressure cooker comes along that is significantly lower in price and yet still embodies most or all of the best qualities of the modern electric pressure cooker that device is going to get our attention. (See our Best Value – the Cosori Pressure Cooker – profiled above.)
Brand – You may have noticed that the above list is devoid of the typical Western brand names that tend to dominate the world of kitchen appliances. We certainly noticed as we conducted our research and it’s a curious phenomenon to say the least. But regardless of the underlying causes the fact is the Kitchenaids of the world simply don’t seem to have much of a presence in the electric pressure cooker market. Perhaps a study is in order to find out exactly why that is.
Features To Look For In Electric Pressure Cookers
Programs – The best electric pressure cookers all feature anywhere from 10 to 16 or so presets that will enable you to prepare hearty soups, stews, rice dishes, breakfast dishes, roasted chickens, pot roasts and more at the push of a button. Some, like porridge for example (which seems to be on the preset list of every electric pressure cooker ever made), are more or less superfluous while others will get plenty of use.
Accessories – Any electric pressure cooker worth its salt comes with an assortment of useful accessories that make using the device easier and more fruitful. Normally, those accessories include things like a stainless steel steamer insert, a rice paddle, a soup spoon and perhaps silicone pinch mitts and/or a spare silicone gasket in case the original begins to take on less than favorable odors from repeated use. The more the merrier when it comes to accessories though. So if your cooker also comes with an app that allows you to access hundreds of recipes and instructional videos then all the better.
Quick release – With the quick release you literally blow off steam that has built up inside the cooker during food prep. To activate this feature you turn the pressure release value on the lid. The alternative is called “natural release”. Natural release is when you allow the interior pressure to siphon away naturally. This takes longer but it’s sometimes recommended for dishes that call for a little extra cooking at the tail end of the recipe. Just remember to never open the cooker until the pressure between inside and outside has been more or less equalized.
PSI – PSI stands for pounds per square inch and is the measure of the pressure within the cooker. Some cookers have gauges that allow you to monitor the internal pressure or PSI, while others do not. Those that don’t will sometimes (not always) have a pressure warning light instead. When the pressure gets too high and the warning light goes off it’s time to turn the pressure release value and let off some steam.
Indicator – The indicator pin is usually located on the lid of the cooker. It’s a very simple device that pops up with the pressure inside has reached the desired level and drops down again when the internal pressures drops. When this device is engaged it’s also an indication that the lid is properly locked down and can’t be accidentally opened.
Steam Collector – Often referred to as the “condensation collector” this device typically hangs off the side of the pressure cooker and collects excess condensation. This helps prevents the food from getting too soggy during cooking.
Pressure Cooker Safety Tips – Electric pressure cookers are incredible time savers that are capable of producing some outstanding traditional, as well as cutting edge, dishes. Because they deal with high pressure steam, however, they are also potentially very dangerous if handled improperly. Kids should never be allowed to operate a pressure cooker, no matter how automated it might be. And any pressure cooker you bring into your home should have a long menu of safety features including a pressure indicator and release valve, rock solid lid locking mechanism and cool touch handles. Remember never to open an electric pressure cooker after cooking until the internal pressure has returned to a state of equilibrium with the outside.
Electric Pressure Cooker FAQs
Q: Do electric pressure cookers use a lot of electricity?
A: Any sort of electric powered cooking device is going to be a bit of an energy hog. There’s just no way around it. That said, compared to electric stoves, slow cookers and their forebears of even just a few years ago, today’s electric pressure cookers typically use less electricity. That’s because most new models have internal thermostats that cycle the power on and off rather than keeping energy usage at a steady rate the way older models did (and a few contemporary models still do). If you are the kind of homeowner that likes to keep their energy consumption to a minimum (and who isn’t?), you’ll want to make sure that your new electric pressure cooker has just such an internal thermostat.
Q: How long does it take to cook a roast in an electric pressure cooker?
A: In no uncertain terms it will depend on the cooker in question. It will also depend on how long you want to wait for your roast. It’s conceivable that you could cook an entire pot roast in less than half an hour. The tradeoff is that the meat will likely be dry and a bit tough. The longer you take to cook your roast the higher the quality of the finished product. And that’s true for just about every electric pressure cooker out there. Of course, if you cook your roast for 90 minutes instead of 20-30 minutes you’re going to burn through more energy. So it all comes down to how long you have to cook and how much energy you’re willing to use.
Q: Can you overcook in a pressure cooker?
A: You can overcook in just about any type of cooking device ever invented, including the best electric pressure cooker. Of course, it’s not going to happen if the device is working properly and you use any of the presets in the recommended way. However, problems sometimes do occur when aspiring electric pressure cooker chefs hit the “manual” button and disregard the recommended cooking times that come with device. In such cases it’s not unheard of for stew to turn into puree and a pot roast to become a shriveled shell of its former self.
Q: Can you can in an electric pressure cooker?
A: You can use certain electric pressure cookers for canning if you are so inclined. But you should make sure that the cooker you want to use is designed for this purpose. The best way to determine that is simply to see if there is a “canning” button on the control panel. Only a few actually have one. The problem is that the relatively new and often fast changing technology employed by electric pressure cookers means it’s hard to establish dependable guidelines and processes that will result, without a doubt, in the elimination of all potentially dangerous microorganisms. For this reason we recommend you contact the manufacturer and discuss the issue before trying to can with your electric pressure cooker.