More people are looking for a way to prepare delicious, healthy, home-cooked meals, while still having enough time left over to juggle all their other responsibilities, at work, school or at home. It’s tough to find the right balance. Thankfully, the electric pressure cooker is available for purchase, a kitchen appliance that allows for more automated, hands-free cooking, without sacrificing flavor and nutrition.
Advantages of Electric Pressure Cookers
An electric pressure cooker provides many of the same advantages offered by more traditional pressure cookers. It’s easier to produce good food on a consistent basis, because all the cooking takes place inside a sealed environment. If your family loved what you cooked yesterday, you can be sure that you can replicate those results next week. In addition, this sealed cooking method also allows the resulting food to have softer consistency, more remaining nutrients and better flavor.
Those are all benefits that are shared with traditional pressure cookers, but an electric pressure cooker has even more tricks up its sleeve.
For example, an electric pressure cooker makes it much easier to achieve the desired heating and cooking, without having to supervise it closely. You just key in the settings that work for your desired meal, and let the cooker do its thing. This is a big advantage for beginners, who are looking for an uncomplicated cooking experience. This also means that once you’ve set the cooker up, you can go do something else.
Also, once the cooking is done, an electric pressure cooker can turn itself off, so that you won’t have to worry about overcooking. In fact, you can even schedule the start of the cooking process, which is useful if you need to delay cooking or have it begin later in the day.
As far as speed is concerned, while an electric pressure cooker isn’t as quick to cook as a stove top pressure cooker, it’s still twice as fast as other, more conventional cooking methods.
These advantages and more help to explain the continuing popularity of electric pressure cookers. This does lead to a dilemma though, where it can be difficult to choose a product for yourself or your family, from among the many, bewilderingly varied products available on the market today.
To make things easier for you, we have prepared a lineup of the top 9 products available, so that you can start your search on the right track.
9. Cuisinart CPC-600 Stainless Steel 6 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
This Cuisinart electric pressure cooker offers a number of important benefits. At 6 quarts, it’s big enough to handle most of the cooking needs of families. Its interface is straightforward and easy to read, and controls can be manipulated simply by pressing various clearly labeled buttons. The handles of the cooker are designed to be cool to the touch, which makes the appliance easier and safer to move around. The pot of this cooker is also coated with a non-stick surface, which makes it easier to keep clean over time.
Finally, the Cuisinart comes with its own book of recipes. This can be a big help for people who are still new to using an electric pressure cooker, and these recipes can also make it easier to adapt existing traditional recipes to this appliance.
8. NutriChef 8 in 1 Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker and Steamer
This NutriChef electric pressure cooker is a little smaller than the Cuisinart, at 5 quarts. But this may make it perfect for smaller families or groups, or people whose cooking needs are somewhat less. The smaller cooker may also allow for slightly faster cooking times, using less water.
This cooker also has a large, well-laid out interface. It has buttons that are labeled specifically for fish, rice, chicken, soup and others, to make choosing the right settings even more intuitive. The appliance is flexible enough to handle many kinds of food preparation, from cooking rice to boiling potatoes, and from baking pies to steaming clams. The pot also comes with a non-stick coating for easier clean up afterwards.
7. Chefman Electric Pressure Cooker 9-in-1 Programmable Multicooker
One of the main benefits of this Chefman electric pressure cooker is the variety of its food preparation functions. It can cook rice, steam vegetables, prepare soup or yogurt, and more. It can sauté, prepare chili and slow cook, as well as handle your pressure cooking needs. This variety is easy to access, even for beginners, thanks to large, and well-labeled buttons on its front.
Now, if you want to delay starting the cooking process until later, the Chefman can do that for you. And if you’d like it to keep the food warm after it’s done cooking, that’s possible as well.
6. BELLA 6 Quart 10 Preset Functions Electric Pressure Cooker
This BELLA electric pressure cooker also makes things easier for users, by offering 10 presets for handling certain types of food. So, for example, if you’re looking to prepare soup or cook risotto, you simply place the ingredients in the pot, close the lid, and hit the appropriate button. This makes cooking a breeze, whether you’re an expert or beginner.
This cooker also offers the ability to brown and sear food inside its pot. It comes with many important safety features, to ensure that the lid is locked properly and that pressure is allowed to vent when needed. And it makes clean up easier, not just with a non-stick coating, but also by providing a separate receptacle which catches excess moisture.
5. BLACK+DECKER 6 Quart 11-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
This highly rated BLACK+DECKER electric pressure cooker is promoted as having 7 pressure-related capabilities and 4 additional non-pressure-related ones. Hence, the 11-in-1 label. The 7 include cooking rice and meat, steaming vegetables, preparing soup and more. While the 4 include slow cooking and keeping the resulting food warm and ready to be eaten later.
Like the Cuisinart, it also comes with a book of recipes, which can be very useful for people who don’t have experience with an electric pressure cooker. After all, recipes designed for other cooking methods may not work when the appliance you’re using cooks around two times faster, and uses pressurized steam to do the actual cooking.
4. Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-Use Programmable Electric Cooker
Instant Pot is a kitchen appliance manufacturer that offers many highly rated electric pressure cooker products. Of those products, this particular model is one of the most highly regarded. It offers flexibility when it comes to food preparation, including the ability to cook rice, sauté, steam, keep food warm, prepare yogurt, and much more. It also allows the user to choose between lower pressure (better for more delicate ingredients) and higher pressure (faster) cooking.
Its interface is easy to read and uses large, clearly labeled buttons. The actual pot inside this cooker is made of stainless steel, which is a good thing in terms of longevity and durability.
3. Housmile 7-in-1 Stainless Steel Electric Pressure Cooker
This takes us to the top 3 highly rated electric pressure cookers. At no. 3 is a cooker from Housmile. Its interface is also easy to read and well-laid out. The Housmile stainless steel cooker can handle a wide range of food (meat, soup, fish, rice, beans, cake, porridge, and more), and cooking methods (slow cooking, steaming, warming, and more).
The Housmile cooker comes with various accessories, such as a steamer rack, spoon for rice, ladle and measuring container. This cooker also has 9 safety features, such as a controller for the temperature and a monitor for the electric current, which are designed to ensure proper operation of the pressure cooker.
2. Crenova CR-38A 7-in-1 Multi-Use Electric Pressure Cooker
At no. 2, we have this highly rated Crenova electric pressure cooker. It’s easy to use thanks to 14 presets for cooking. The interface offers a lot of choices and functionality, but the buttons are labeled and laid-out well enough so that it’s not hard to figure out how to get something done.
Whether you want to cook some rice, steam some vegetables, cook some meat, or something else, this cooker has you covered. Cooking can start immediately, or you can choose to start it, up to a day later. And the inner pot has a non-stick coating for easier cleaning.
People who have bought this cooker have praised the simplicity of its interface, its pleasing design, the various built-in safety features, and the ease with which it can be cleaned.
1. Blusmart CR-26A 7-in-1 Electric Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker
Finally, we get to the no. 1 highly rated electric pressure cooker. This model is produced by Blusmart. Like the other products, it can handle many different cooking functions, such as preparing rice or cake, cooking meat, steaming vegetables, slow cooking, keeping food warm, and more.
Its interface keeps things simple and easy to understand, making this another great product for novices and people who would rather avoid unnecessary complexity. The pot’s non-stick surface makes cleaning convenient. Various safety features ensure that the pressure cooker’s operation will be worry-free. All in all, many buyers have praised this pressure cooker’s ability to prepare a wide range of delicious food quickly, in a way that is simple and hassle-free.
This overview of the top 9 electric pressure cookers should help with your planned purchase. In that regard, it might also help to briefly go over how exactly these appliances work, and what their main parts are.
How An Electric Pressure Cooker Works
An electric pressure cooker will tend to have 3 main parts: the housing, the pot and the lid.
The housing is the most exterior container of an electric pressure cooker. While traditional pressure cookers are heated by an external source, such as a stove, an electric pressure cooker has its heating element built-in, and you can find it inside the housing. The housing is also where you can find the electronic brain of the unit, as well as the pressure and temperature sensors. These are what allow the appliance to make adjustments automatically, to ensure that the food is cooked the way you want it.
Moving inward, you’ll find the pot which goes inside the housing. This is where the cooking ingredients go. To allow pressure to build up appropriately inside the pot, there is also its lid, which locks into place. The construction and connections between the two are robust, so that they can handle the pressurized steam the cooker creates.
Together, these 3 main parts work to create the sealed environment within the pot, which does the actual cooking by using pressurized steam.
What to Look for in an Electric Pressure Cooker
We’ve gone over 9 of the top electric pressure cookers, and their various features will already give you a good idea of some of the things to look for, when planning your purchase. Let’s end this article with a brief guide on key features to consider.
Look for a pot which has a non-stick coating. Just like any other kitchen appliance, it’s important to keep your electric pressure cooker clean. You don’t want want leftover debris or residue to affect the flavor of meals that you cook in the future. A non-stick coating will be very helpful precisely because it makes it much easier to clean your cooker, which will also save you time and energy.
Another key feature is a user-friendly interface. An electric pressure cooker is convenient because you can set it and forget about it. But this advantage is lost if it feels like you need a computer science diploma just to understand what to do or how to get the settings right. Some interfaces will be more self-explanatory and intuitive than others. So, when choosing a cooker, take a look at the buttons and controls, and ask yourself if those buttons make it easy for you to cook something the way you want.
Then, depending on your circumstances, you may want to favor an electric pressure cooker which can do other things, such as cook rice or do some slow cooking. This won’t be as important if your kitchen counters have a lot of free room, and especially if you already have separate appliances in charge of those other tasks. But if you live in a dorm or a small apartment, it can be a big deal to have one appliance that can do many things, while taking up only a small amount of space.
Pot material and durability are also something to consider. Some pots are made out of aluminum, while others are made of stainless steel. Aluminum does get the job done, but if you want to have an electric pressure cooker that will tend to last longer, steel tends to be the stronger material.
Finally, take some time to think about the size of the electric pressure cooker that you are getting. If you will be cooking for more people or if you will be preparing larger amounts of food, be sure to get a cooker with a large enough pot. For instance, a family of 5 people might be better off getting a 6 quart cooker, while couples might choose to go for a 3 or even 2 quart cooker.
Getting a cooker that is too large for your needs can cause extra hassle. A larger cooker may be more difficult to clean and store. In addition, cooking times will be longer than necessary, and you may end up wasting electricity and water.
In the end, whether you choose to purchase one of these top 9 electric pressure cookers, the important thing is to make sure that you think about your particular needs, you research the products that are out there, and you make a well-informed match between those two.