Almost everyone, especially busy moms, is looking for healthy ways to prepare meals without spending much time in the kitchen. If you are one such person, you will enjoy having a pressure cooker.
A pressure cooker is becoming a necessity in modern kitchens due to the convenience it offers. It is the ideal tool used in creating a balance between healthy cooking and time-saving. A pressure cooker is a hands-off cookware that aids in preparing meals faster than most traditional cooking methods and within short periods.
In this article, we will be focusing on the definition of an electric pressure cooker, the various types of pressure cookers, and the things to look out for. Plus, we also answered some frequently asked questions.
An electric pressure cooker is an advanced plug-in kitchen sidekick that depends on building up steam in an airtight pot or basket to prepare your meals. It is a hands-off multi cooker or gadget that requires less babysitting when in use.
Pressure cookers can be classified into types based on their function or generations. The classification that has to do with its function is subdivided into two. These include the multi-purpose cooker and the single-purpose cooker.
While based on its generations, it is divided into three generations. The first generation, the second generation, and the third generation. The electric pressure cooker falls under the third generation, and the stovetop pressure cooker falls under the second generation category.
Without further delay, let’s get started with the review of the best electric pressure cooker in America’s test kitchen. Read on to find out the ideal electric pressure cooker for your cooking style and kitchen needs.
What does it do?
Instead of boiling food in a large pot or skillet like you would with most other cooking methods, a pressure cooker seals the lid onto the pot and cooks food under high pressures. This method allows water inside the pot to boil at 280 degrees Fahrenheit instead of 212 degrees — without burning your meal, creating steam that helps seal in moisture and speed up cook times even more.
Reviews Of The Top 7 Best Electric Pressure Cooker America’s Test Kitchen
Here are top rated Electric Pressure Cooker to buy in 2021
Top 1- Zavor LUX LCD 8 Quart Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker: Best Choice ATK
The Zavor LUX is renowned as one of the top-grade electric multi cookers by America’s Test Kitchen. The LCD screen changes color to indicate that the pressure cooker is in use. Plus, the panel lock features disables the digital control panel from accidental revocations or adjustment during operation.
This 8-quart pressure cooker can hold up to 5 pounds of chicken wings and better prepare meals. The lid alarm goes off when the lid is not properly positioned, offering maximum safety to its users.
This pressure cooker is an ideal option for home cooks that don’t like noise. As it comes with a mute setting that silences all the alarms and beeps. The steamer and inner pot are made of food-safe stainless steel and are safe for the dishwasher machine.
- Panel lock
- Digital LCD screen
- Dishwasher friendly
- Versatile functions
- Safety features
- Not an ideal option for portion control
Top 2- GoWISE USA GW22623 8-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
Next on the review is an 8-quart pressure cooker from GoWise. This product comes with several add ons such as a measuring cup, a stainless steel rack, a stainless steel basket, a cookbook, and a rice spoon. With its 12 pre-programmed settings, you can cook a wide variety of foods without guesswork.
The built-in delay timer allows you to set the pressure cooker to start at a later time. This product features an automatic Keep Warm feature and can slow cook your meal for up to 20 hours.
You can never run out of ideas on what to cook when using GoWISE USA GW22623 8-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker. It is equipped with a cookbook that contains 50 recipes for both beginners and professional cooks.
- Auto Keep Warm
- Includes a recipe book
- Extra accessories
- Easy to clean
- Built-in delay timer
- Several users complained about the control panel
Ninja FD401 Foodi 8-Quart 9-in-1 Deluxe XL Pressure Cooker is a blend of both air frying functions and pressure cooking functions. It comes with dual lids and 14 safety features. This product can be used to roast, slow cook, saute, air fry, sear, steam, dehydrate, bake, broil, and even make yogurt.
The control panel is easy to read and understand. This model is equipped with a chef-inspired recipe book, a reversible stainless steel rack, a 5-quart ceramic-coated crisp basket, a pressure lid, a crisping lid, and an 8-quart inner pot.
The reversible rack offers you ample cooking space and is well suited for either steaming or broiling. Besides, the 8-quart ceramic coated inner pot and 5-quart crisp basket are free of BPA and PTFE.
- Extra-large capacity
- Reversible rack
- PTFE and PFOA free pot and basket
- Customizable programs
- The inner pot does not come with a handle.
Here is another 8-quart electric pressure cooker that is equipped with several air fryer settings. It comes with a dual lid technology that allows you to interchange the lid to suit your cooking style. The easy release button allows the steam inside the cooker to discharge faster.
The Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11 in 1 model is one of America’s test kitchen’s best electric pressure cookers. It functions as a rice cooker, a saute pan, a slow cooker, a steamer, a dehydrator, and more.
With just a simple dial, the pressure cooker provides you with excellent cooking results all the time. The extra accessories sold alongside the pressure cooker include:
- An air fryer basket and base.
- A broiling tray.
- A steam rack.
- A stainless steel pot.
- A pressure lid.
- An air fryer lid.
- Removable lids
- Even crisp technology
- Dishwasher safe
- Overheat detector
- Replaces multi cookware
- The nonstick coating flakes off
Yedi 9-in-1 Total Package Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker comes with all you need to start preparing your favorite meal. The deluxe accessory set includes two egg racks, a tempered glass lid, two heat resistant cooking gloves, a ladle, a measuring cup, stainless steel basket, stainless steel cook pot, silicone sealing rings, and rice scooper.
This product from Yedi replaces over 9 kitchen appliances on your countertop. It doubles as a traditional stockpot and can be used in making yogurt, boiling eggs, and even slow cooking. The digital control panel is user-friendly and easy to read.
The base of the unit is triple-layered for even heat distribution. Moreover, the large LCD screen features a progress indicator and displays four different icons. The measuring cup and cookpot are marked for accuracy.
- 2 years warranty
- Flexible cooking settings
- UL certified
- Smart locking sensors
- Automatic temperature control
Next up is another model from the instant pot. Instant Pot Duo Plus Mini 3 Quart 9-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker is ideal for portion cooking or a family of three. It is versatile cookware with 15 smart cooking programs. This option is a space saver unit and replaces nine cookware on your countertop. Such as your rice cooker, your saute pan, your sterilizer, and even your food warmer.
The overheat protection detects when the cooker is heating up and automatically shuts it off to prevent any hazard. The steam rack offers you an additional cooking space and can hold up to 4lbs of fries.
The display screen shows the full cooking progress bar, from the preheating stage to the Keep Warm stage. Plus, it shows the current temperature and pressure level. The temperature can be read out either in Fahrenheit or Celsius.
- Anti-slip design
- Tri-ply base
- 15 smart programs
- Modern design
- Safe for the dishwasher
- Not an ideal option for large families
Last but not least, on this review is Emeril Everyday 6 QT Pressure Air Fryer. Unlike most other cookers in this review, it is the only electric pressure cooker that serves as a canner. You are assured of safe pressure cooking when using this unit, as it comes with over 14 built-in safety features.
This 6-quart cooker provides you with enough space to prepare meals for your family without much effort. It offers you the flexibility to adjust the cooking time and temperature as you desire. The Keep Warm mode ensures the food remains at a serving temperature for hours before dinner time.
The inner pot is made of food-grade stainless steel, free of toxins such as PFOAs and PTFE. Besides, the cookbook included with the cooker grants you access to Emeril Lagasse recipes.
- Dual lid design
- Perfect for family-sized meals
- LCD screen
- Measuring cup included
- Easy to wash
- The dual lids don’t stack up for compact storage
In this guide, you will find the important factors to pay more attention to when choosing the best electric pressure cooker. Aside from your budget and the build quality of a cooker, there are other things to focus on, they include:
The size of the family or those you cater to will determine the cooker you should buy. If you cook for a large family, you will need a bigger pot and basket. However, if you love to portion your food because you live alone and to avoid wastage, you will need a small-sized cooker.
The size of the inner pot and basket ranges from 3-quart to 8-quart or more. Ensure to settle for the size that meets your needs.
The cooking programs of a cooker are not only vast but vary from one brand to another. You will find tons of cookers with several preset cooking programs and some fewer cooking programs.
Ensure the cooker you settle for can perform the functions you often need. Look out for options with customizable settings and more functionality.
Unlike the older models with limited safety features, these new models of electric pressure cookers are fully stacked with numerous safety functions. These features include fast steam release, self-locking lids, auto shut off, smart sensors, and overheat detectors or alarms.
How do you test a pressure cooker?
Since the goal was to develop a list of the best pressure cookers, we set out to rank these products based on user experience and performance.
To do this, we read through hundreds of reviews from cooking blogs and popular review sites like Cook’s Illustrated, Consumer Reports & America’s Test Kitchen.
We narrowed our field down to all stovetop models with at least 15 verified reviews (a total of 14) and started testing them head-to-head in actual everyday cooking scenarios. Over almost 4 months of testing 10+ recipes per week, we used each model at least five times a week along with a stock pot filled with water to compare volume capacities.
Why buy a electric pressure cooker?
In recent years, electric pressure cookers are becoming more and more popular. There are so many benefits of using this product to help you save time and energy.
An electric pressure cooker saves your time as you do not need to wait for it to come to full pressure anymore. It also lets you keep an eye on the food that is being cooked even if you are busy with other things around the house.
This can be helpful when cooking meals like stew which requires constant monitoring (cooking under high temperature may lead to overcooked meat or vegetables).
Instant pots are quite safer when compared to pressure cookers. This is because they are designed with digital controls and numerous safety mechanisms. Instant pots offer a superior level of control and are easier to manipulate.
The warranty on a product is an indicator of how long it will last. A product with many years of warranty tells you how well the manufacturers are confident about their product. However, the life expectancy of an electric pressure cooker depends on how often you use and maintain it after use.
Is Zavor a good pressure cooker?
The Zavor DUO Pressure cooker is our runner up for the best of them in this bunch. It’s great if you are looking to be able to cook a meal with less time and energy on your end, but it might not work out well for people who don’t have experience using pressure cookers already!
Investing in any of our top 7 best electric pressure cookers America’s Test Kitchen is one of the best decisions you will ever make and be thankful for. We hope you find this review helpful.