Pressure cookers are a great addition to any kitchen. Here, the best pressure cookers of 2018, including electric and stovetop models.
Pressure cookers have been around for centuries, but interest in electric pressure cookers—which let you to cook food up to 10 times faster than on a stovetop or oven—has spiked in recent years, as more and more home chefs have realized how versatile pressure cookers can be. Take last year on Amazon Prime Day, for example: The retailer reported that a whopping 215,000 people purchased the popular Instant Pot electric pressure cooker in just one day.
What makes pressure cookers so great? They enable you to perfectly cook a wide range of foods in record time. As a result, they're perfect for nights when you couldn't be bothered (or you're too hot) to turn on the oven, or when you want a quick and healthy dinner, stat, but forgot to pre-program your slow cooker before you left the house in the morning.
How to use a pressure cooker
This really depends on the model you choose. With most electric pressure cookers, you pour water or another cooking liquid (such as broth or stock) into the pot, assemble your ingredients on a rack placed above the liquid, then program it to cook. As the liquid boils, an airtight lid keeps steam inside the device, raising the temperature so food cooks faster than it otherwise would. Stovetop pressure cookers function similarly but tend to require a little more hands-on prep since they don't have the preprogrammed meal settings you find on electric models.
Note: No matter what type of pressure cooker you choose, make sure to read the instruction manual carefully so you know exactly how to safely open the lid—if you open it before it's fully de-pressurized, hot steam will shoot out.
What can you cook in a pressure cooker?
Poultry, meat, stews, and soups are some of the most common foods to make in a pressure cooker, but don't stop there: Some of the devices below also have settings that allow you to make rice, eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, multigrain bread, even desserts like brownies. Need inspiration? Here are some of our favorite pressure cooker recipes.
Below, some of the top models on the market that will have you whipping up delicious pressure-cooked meals in no time, including both electric and stovetop pressure cookers.