Our Picks for Best Pressure Cooker!

Looking for the Best Pressure Cooker?Pressure cookers vary in capacity, heat source (i.e., cook top or electric) and intended use; for example, some are great for canning, others are better-suited for multi-cooking, and still others are made for serving up lots of food at tailgate parties or the campground. Consequently, we’ve broken down our picks for best pressure cooker below by type/use. However, before we get to the results, we wanted to identify the factors that we used in determining the “best pressure cooker” in each category.  These were the considerations we focused on when selecting models:

  • High reviews and ratings – we took amazon.com review scores and selected only from those models at or very close to an average satisfaction rating of 5 stars.
  • Lots of reviews – there are many models that are purportedly 5-star but have only handful of reviews; we selected models that had a lengthy track record of excellence.
  • High-quality construction & durability – some pressure cookers are very popular for providing great value, but sometimes skimp on design quality, which over the long-haul results in a shorter product life and early failure.  We only selected models that are built to exacting standards and are designed for many years of use.
  • User-friendly – there’s no point having an electric pressure cooker that can say good morning in 6 languages if you can’t get it to make rice.  Don’t get us wrong, sophistication is great, and we’re all for modern features, but were most concerned about how straightforward and efficient a cooker is to use!

So, without further delay, here are our picks for best pressure cooker!

Best Pressure Cooker for Canning

Best Pressure Cooker for Canning

Without a doubt the prize goes to the All American Pressure Cooker/Canner line.  These American-made pressure cookers have been around since 1930, and bring old-fashioned outstanding quality that knows no equal in our view.  And while you could cook in one of these things, they’re really best suited for canning purposes.  If you don’t know already, pressure canning is pretty much the best way to safely can a variety of foods, and is the method recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture.

What we we love about the All American Canners is simple – simplicity!  These things are constructed from very heavy and thick-walled cast aluminum that look like it could withstand a direct missile hit. And with their matching manhole-like aluminum covers with heavy duty screw-mounts, there is no gasket needed at all as the metal surfaces create an air-tight seal. This is extremely handy when you consider that the gasket is typically the weak spot in most pressure cookers/canners. Also nice are the lid pressure gauges used on these models, which are very precise and similarly long-lived.

Finally, these are big cookers, and are commonly available in 10.5, 15.5, 21.5, 25, 30 and 41.5-quart sizes.  To give you some idea, the smallest of these (the 10.5-quart model) can comfortably hold 7 pint-jars, and the largest (41.5-quart) can accommodate no less than 32!  

Are these pricey – yes. But are they worth it – yes!  In short, there is no other canner out there that is as robust, simple to use and durable as the All American line. 

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Best Pressure Cooker for Cooking

Best Pressure Cooker for Cooking

As far as which cooker we’d choose for the kitchen and all-around cooking, this is also very easy:  the Kuhn Rikon Duromatic series.  If you don’t already know, Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss company that engineers and designs high-level cookware, including Rolls-Royce quality pressure cookers.  Consistently boasting average user satisfaction ratings close to a perfect 5-stars, these are truly top-of-the-line.  But what’s so great about them, you ask?

In a nutshell, these too are simply-designed yet extremely durable and well-made cookers that value precision and performance over gimmicks or the use of cost-saving, cheaper materials. Each of the pressure cookers in the Duromatic series is constructed with not just any old steel, but 18/10 stainless-steel – the best stuff around – thus giving you a stronger, more durable and more attractive cooker that will retain its luster and shine for many, many years.

And in addition to first-rate materials, this series is built with smart safety features, such as a fool-proof lid locking mechanism and a spring-loaded safety valve with an extremely accurate visual pressure level indicator.  As such, you don’t have to tip toe around this cooker during operation with trepidation, fearing a blow out or some other equipment failure.

Finally, these cookers simply perform.  Whether you are just making rice or softening up tough meats, there really is no better pressure cooker around to get the job done, done well – and done quickly.  And as a bonus, you won’t hear a bunch of steam escaping or other such commotion with these cookers – they work almost silently, so silently in fact you might forget you’re cooking altogether!

No surprise – these are expensive pressure cookers.  But rest assured that you are getting your money’s worth with the Duromatic cookers. In fact, we are confident that once you spring for one of these, you won’t be using any other brand again.

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Best Electric Pressure Cooker

Best Electric Pressure CookerElectric pressure cookers are very popular, in part because they often come with “intelligent” features, which can provide a very automated, push-button level of convenience that is becoming more important as people have less and less time to prepare dinner. In addition, most of these models have multi-functional capabilities, and can serve as slow-cookers as well.

Although there are many new electric models coming out these days, our favorite model is still one of the most established – the Instant Pot IP-LUX, which is currently being offered in two sizes; a 5.3-quart model, the Instant Pot IP-LUX50;  and a 6.3-quart option, the IP-LUX60. These are “6-in-1″ multi-cookers that can do pretty much everything, such as saute and brown meats, slow cook, prepare excellent rice, and even steam veggies. Add to that 10 programmable functions, 3 cooking modes, digital temperature adjustment, and a variable timer, and you can exert precise control over whatever you make.

Further, beyond the sophistication of this cooker, which we can only begin to scratch the surface of here in this article, it’s also very well made. In particular, while many electric pressure cookers will use cooking pots (i.e., “inserts”) that are coated with some non-stick material, the IP-LUX uses a durable stainless steel insert.  Likewise, the build and feel of this unit is very solid and sturdy throughout, and both versions (the IP-LUX60 in particular) have long records of outstanding reviews, so you can be sure they are built to last.

And on the bright side, while not exactly inexpensive, these are relatively affordable pressure cookers, especially when you consider all of the “smart” features crammed into these things!

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Best Pressure Cooker for Camping or Tailgating

Best Pressure Cooker for CampingAlthough “camping” pressure cooking may at first seem a little random, why should it? The benefits of heating foods under pressure knows no boundaries – and when it comes to cooking up a batch of simple grub for a horde of hungry campers or tailgaters, what better than a pressure cooker? Whether it’s stews, meat, veggies or poultry, you can get more food prepared faster, and with less waste of firewood or gas!

Well, as far as the pressure cookers we would take to the campground, we’d have to go with the CanCooker line. The CanCooker is another simple, yet effective design with a body composed of a very sturdy, single-piece piece of  food grade anodized aluminum, which promotes outstanding heat transfer as well as making for quick clean up.  These large cans can be used on pretty much any type of heat source available, including wood fires, camping stoves, propane grills, charcoal grills, conventional stove tops, turkey friers, and other sources. And due to it’s large capacity, the CanCooker is reported to make enough food to feed 20 people, making it ideal for any type of large gathering, either indoors or out. 

Other nice features include safety clamps and a vented-lid for worry-free cooking, strong riveted handles, a wide-mouth top design for easy food placement/removal, and a long-lasting silicone lid gasket to maintain cooking pressure.

Besides durability, performance and a simple but powerful design, the CanCooker is actually quite inexpensive, especially considering how long it will last you and how many people you can feed with it. As a result, this is one of the most popular outdoor pressure cookers on the market, which is a trend we think will continue for some time.

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