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Best pressure cooker 2023: Cut down on cooking time with these energy efficient tabletop cookers

Looking to save money and make meals in record time? Get started with our pick of the best pressure cookers

Cooking a tasty meal doesn’t have to take hours. In fact, the best pressure cookers will create tender, succulent dishes in a fraction of the time of traditional cooking methods. Thanks to advances in-home appliance tech, pressure cookers have improved vastly since the rattling, spurting models of the past.

The latest designs include smart safety features, useful accessories and greater cooking versatility, giving them the ability to make everything from casseroles and curries, to melt-in-the-mouth ribs, tender cheap cuts and even ten-minute daals. However, not all models are built the same and finding the right one for your needs will depend on your budget, cooking style and more. Check out our buying guide and reviews below to find your ideal match. 

Best pressure cookers: At a glance

How to choose the best pressure cooker for you

What is pressure cooking?

While in a conventional pan, food is cooked by boiling, a pressure cooker uses a different method. Its tight-fitting lid allows steam to build up under pressure, pushing heat into the food. This reduces the cooking time, which preserves more of the food’s nutrition and requires less energy.

For the best results, this means you will need to leave enough space for the steam to build into pressure, so only fill the pan halfway and include enough liquid. As well as hob-top pressure cookers (where you will need to adjust the heat to achieve the correct pressure), there are electric versions that can reach the right pressure by themselves.

What is pressure cooking?

In a conventional pan, food is cooked by boiling, a pressure cooker uses a different method. Its tight-fitting lid allows steam to build up under pressure, pushing heat into the food. This reduces the cooking time, which preserves more of the food’s nutrition and requires less energy. As well as hob-top pressure cookers, where you will need to adjust the heat to achieve the correct pressure, there are electric versions that can reach the right pressure by themselves.

Pressure cooker vs multi cooker

Nowadays, it’s quite rare to find an electric pressure cooker that isn’t a multi cooker. While some brands, such as Instant Pot, will refer to its products as pressure cookers, they will also come with a range of other functions including slow cooking, steaming, roasting, baking and in some cases, even air frying. It makes sense when it’s so easy to fit multiple appliances into one machine and saves on precious kitchen space

While all these extra features can be useful, it’s worth considering how many of them you’re likely to use on a regular basis. If you’re mainly interested in pressure cooking, you should look for a model that prioritises this over the others and avoid splashing out on top of the range multi cooker with all the bells and whistles.

What features should I look for?

If you’re buying a hob top pressure cooker, look for features that’ll make using it easier. These include an easy locking system, a pressure indicator – so you can see when it’s reached pressure, a non-stick coating and a two-valve mechanism for releasing the pressure (either naturally or by using cold water). Dishwasher-safe parts, suitability for all hob types, a timer and accessories for steaming will also come in handy.

Most of the former features will apply to electric pressure cookers too. In addition, you might want to keep an eye out for variable heat and pressure settings, a quick pressure release setting and an automatic switch-off feature to prevent food burning.

What capacity do I need?

Most range from 3L to 6L, with the larger models being suitable for batch-cooking and meals for up to six people. Smaller, 3L cookers are better suited for one to two people. Another thing to note is that even small pressure cookers can be bulky and come with additional accessories, so make sure you have room to store larger models before you buy.

How much should I spend?

Our favourite pressure cookers range from £50 to £200. While electric pressure cookers tend to be more expensive, it’s not always the case. Typically more expensive models are multi cookers, rather than dedicated pressure cookers. This means they also come with other features, such as slow cooking, steaming and sauteing. With stove top models, a pressure cooker is all you will get.

READ NEXT: Best multi cookers

The best pressure cookers you can buy in 2023

1. Ninja Foodi Multi-Cooker: Best does-it-all pressure cooker 

Price: £200 | Buy now from Ninja

If you’re stuck between buying a pressure cooker and an air fryer for healthy quick meals, the Foodi is here to tick both off your list. It comes with a second detachable lid to work as a pressure or slow cooker, while its main lid functions as a crisper, adding a golden skin to roast chicken, baking or “frying” chips from soft, pressure-cooked potato. As a pressure cooker, it’s simple to use, although the natural release can take a while to unlock. However, you will need a fair amount of storage space, especially for the bulky separate lid.

The crisping function is a little trickier to get the hang of as the heat can be fierce, so it’s best to keep checking on the progress of food before it becomes too brown. A big plus is that all the accessories are dishwasher-safe, so at least you can cook without factoring in time to wash up.

Key specsSize (WDH): 36 x 32 x 43cm; Power: 1,460W; Accessories: Recipe book, pressure cooking lid, reversible rack, 3.1l crisping basket; Capacity: 6l

Buy now from Ninja

2. Pressure King Pro 12-in-1: Best budget pressure cooker

Price: £50 | Buy now from AmazonProving that pressure cookers can do so much more than stews and curries, the Pressure King Pro uses its speedy cooking power to whip up everything from pasta dishes and fish to creamy risotto and tender meat. Ideal for busy families, it will even cook a whole chicken in just 25 minutes, while a handy 24-hour delay timer, automatic keep-warm function and fast reheat button work around the most hectic lifestyle. It will also function as a slow cooker while the steam plate serves to gently cook veggies without boiling away the nutrients. On the downside, there are a few awkward nooks and crannies to clean and it’s quite bulky to store.

Key specs – Size (WDH): 34 x 33 x 36cm; Power: 900W; Accessories: Recipe book, steam tray, measuring cup, cooking spoon.; Capacity: 5l

3. Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus: Best Instant Pot pressure cooker

Price: £130 | Buy now from Amazon

If you want your pressure cooker to do a lot of the hard work for you, Instant Pot’s newest addition to its UK range is a great buy. With 48 preset functions and a number of one-touch buttons, including options for rice and sous vide, you can pressure cook anything from a curry to a shoulder of lamb in a jiffy. Like all pressure cookers, it does sometimes require you to use your best judgment when figuring out timings for meat but if you’re already familiar with how pressure cookers work, this shouldn’t be an issue.

The Duo Evo Plus is not only feature-rich, but it also looks the part. The elegant digital display and dial are a joy to use and make choosing your preferred timings, presets or pressure levels easy. We’re also big fans of the enhanced safety features on this machine. It plays a distinct jingle when the lid is open or closed, so you know when it’s locked into place, and there’s a steam diffusing cap on top, so you don’t get caught out when manually releasing steam from the pot.

For more details, information and specs, read our full Instant Pot review

Key specs – Size (WDH): 32.2 x 33.1 x 32.5cm; Power: 1200W; Accessories: Steam rack, additional sealing ring; Capacity: 5.7l

4. Sage Fast Slow Pro: Best pressure cooker for most people

Price: £200 | Buy now from Sage The beauty of the Sage Fast Slow Pro is that it works well for any type of user. If you’re a beginner to the world of pressure or slow cooking, it’s simple to get started, while still offering a good range of advanced settings for more experienced cooks. As well as being able to pressure cook, slow cook, reduce, steam, sear and sauté, the Fast Slow Pro has a number of options within these modes that offer pre-determined cooking times, pressure settings, temperature and more.

While it is a little on the big side – making it a bit more tricky for storage than others in our list – the extensive range of dishes it can cook vastly makes up for this. The Fast Slow Pro is able to produce well cooked food, while saving you time and money.

Key specs – Size (WDH): 43.6 x 36 x 35.8 cm; Power: 1,100W; Accessories: Steam basket; Capacity: 6l

Buy now from Sage

5. Lakeland 3l Pressure Cooker: Best stovetop pressure cooker

Price: £90 | Buy now from LakelandThere’s a lot to love about this compact pressure cooker. First, it’s easy to lock the lid on – there’s no twisting or struggling, just a single button to press with another to unlock. There are two levels of pressure to choose from and a pop-up indicator lets you know when it’s reached either.

It comes with a trivet for steaming or keeping meat away from the base of the pan and a glass lid so you can also use it as a standard pan. It’s suitable for all hob types but sadly not dishwasher-safe, meaning you may find yourself scrubbing its gleaming stainless-steel interior.

Key specs – Size: 33 x 21.5 x 17cm; Power: N/A; Accessories: Glass lid, trivet; Capacity: 3l

Buy now from Lakeland

6. Tower Sure Touch 6l Pressure Cooker: Best budget stovetop pressure cooker

Price: £80 | Buy now from AmazonIt’s not just the sleek looks that give this pressure cooker appeal, but its useful features. As well as being suitable for all hob types, it has chunky handles for easy carrying, a quick mechanical locking system, two pressure settings and a stainless-steel steamer basket.

However, best of all is the built-in 30-minute timer, which enables you to monitor cooking duration while juggling other tasks. It might not be dishwasher-safe, but it’s a smart kitchen staple that handles everyday tasks well and can even be used for making desserts.

Key specs – Size (WDH): 37 x 23.9 x 24.8cm; Power: N/A; Accessories: Steamer basket, worktop protector; Capacity: 6l

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