Say goodbye to long hours spent hovering over a stove and hello to a world of culinary magic! In today’s fast-paced world, time is a precious commodity, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on taste. Enter the game-changing hero of your kitchen: the pressure cooker. With its ability to cook meals in a fraction of the time, while retaining incredible flavors and nutrients, the pressure cooker has become the ultimate ally for busy home cooks.
I love the Instant Pot and you can read below more about their troubles, but I am cheering them on to come back even stronger. Pressure cooking is a lifesaver in the kitchen and there are some new kids on the block!
What is a Pressure Cooker?
A pressure cooker is a sealed cooking appliance that uses steam pressure to cook food quickly. It consists of a pot with a tight-fitting lid and a valve system that regulates the pressure inside.
Here’s how a pressure cooker typically works:
- Food is placed inside the pot along with a certain amount of liquid, such as water or broth. While a slow cooker doesn’t need liquid you will want to make sure your recipes for the pressure cooker have at least a cup of liquid.
- The lid is secured tightly to create an airtight seal.
- As the pressure cooker heats up it causes the liquid inside to boil and produce steam.
- As the steam builds up, the pressure inside the pot increases, raising the boiling point of the liquid.
- The increased temperature and pressure help to cook the food faster than traditional cooking methods.
- The valve system on the lid allows excess steam to escape, maintaining a consistent pressure level inside the pot.
- Cooking times can be significantly reduced due to the high-pressure environment, making pressure cookers popular for preparing meals quickly.
Pressure cookers are known for their ability to tenderize tough cuts of meat, cook beans and lentils quickly, and reduce cooking times for a variety of dishes. They are particularly useful for dishes that require longer cooking times, such as stews, soups, and roasts.
It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a pressure cooker to ensure safe and effective cooking. Modern pressure cookers often have safety features, such as locking mechanisms and pressure release valves, to prevent accidents and maintain user safety.
Free Cheat Sheet
Be sure to print of this handy dandy pressure cooking chart for a quick reference guide for the cooking times for common foods. Plus tips for when to use quick-release or slow steam release.
The Best Pressure Cookers
Pressure cookers can be found in various sizes and designs, including stovetop pressure cookers and electric pressure cookers. Electric pressure cookers are self-contained units with built-in heating elements and digital controls, while stovetop pressure cookers require a separate heat source, such as a gas or electric stove.
There are several highly regarded pressure cooker brands and models on the market. The “best” pressure cooker for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. However, here are some popular and well-reviewed pressure cookers:
Did Instant Pot File for Bankruptcy?
Instant Brands, the maker of the Instant Pot and other household brands such as Pyrex, Snapware, and CorningWare, announced on Monday, June 15, 2023, that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to the company, the move will secure funding to allow it to stay afloat and restructure rather than liquidate its business.
While I am still using my electric pressure cooker several times a week it looks like electronic multicooker sales plunged by 50% from $758 million in 2020 to $344 million, AP reported citing NPD Group data.
The Instant Pot bankruptcy filing doesn’t mean that the Instant Pot will be disappearing from shelves tomorrow. Hopefully, they will reorganize and be stronger. The good news is that you can see from the list below there are other options for pressure cooking!
Top Rated Pressure Cookers
- Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker: This is my top pick! I love the dishwasher-safe stainless steel inner pot and I have personally used this model for years. You will find the Instant Pot is a widely recognized brand known for its multi-cookers. All the cooking modes make this a versatile electric pressure cooker that functions as a slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, and more. It comes in various sizes and has a user-friendly interface with preset cooking programs. TIP: Did you know the lid when removed fits upright in the handle?
- Ninja Foodi 12-in-1 Deluxe XL 8 qt. Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer that Steams, Slow Cooks, Sears, Sautés, Dehydrates & More, with 5 qt. Crisper Basket With over 30,000 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 star reviews the Ninja can do it all from pressure cooking to air frying. So much versatility!
- NESCO NPC-9 Smart Electric Pressure Cooker and Canner, 9.5 Quart, Stainless Steel. This ones has the added feature of being able to be used for canning. Most electric pressure cookers are NOT meant for canning so this is a big bonus.
- COSORI Electric Pressure Cooker 6 Quart, 9-in-1 Instant Multi-Cooker I have to give this one a shout-out not just for the great reviews but because I love this brand. I am a huge fan of their air fryer. It is our go-to way to make fries and roast veggies.
- Breville Fast Slow Pro Slow Cooker: 11 settings from fast pressure cooking to slow cooking with the touch of a button. Removable cooking bowl with PTFE and PFOA-free ceramic coating.
- Fissler Stainless Steel Vitaquick Pressure Cooker, For All Cooktops, 6.3 Quarts: If you want a stovetop model pressure cooker try this one. Fissler is a German brand known for its high-quality cookware (the brand of cookware I use and have loved for more than 20 years!). The Vitaquick pressure cooker is known for its durability and excellent heat distribution. It features a convenient locking lid system and comes in different sizes.
Remember to consider your specific needs, preferences, and budget when choosing a pressure cooker. I always check the most recent customer reviews and ratings on Amazon to ensure I’m getting the most up-to-date information.