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Best pressure cooker 2021: 8 best pressure cookers from Instant Pot, Lakeland, Tefal and more

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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.

Modern pressure cookers can easily revolutionise your mealtimes. Not only will they help you save money on ingredients and energy, but they are also super-speedy.

The latest designs include smart safety features, useful accessories and greater cooking versatility, giving them the ability to make everything from casseroles, curries and risottos, to melt-in-the-mouth ribs, tender cheap cuts, whole chickens, and even ten-minute dals.

And if you needed any more reasons to cook under pressure, it can be a lot healthier too. As pressure cookers use less water compared to conventional methods and there’s less oxidation, your food retains more vitamins and minerals.

However, not all models are built the same and the right one for you will depend largely on how much kitchen space you have and the dishes you’re most likely to cook. Check out our buying guide and reviews below to find out more.


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’ll 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’ll need to adjust the heat to achieve the correct pressure), there are electric versions that can reach the right pressure by themselves.

READ NEXT: The best food steamers for delicious dumplings and healthy veggies

How much should I spend?

Pressure cookers differ in price yet they all work on the same principle. How much you spend will depend on whether you’re choosing a hob-top model or electric and how much you’re planning to use it. The price of stovetop designs is similar to that of saucepans – spending more will usually mean the pan’s made from good quality materials (stainless steel instead of less durable aluminium) and will have a thicker base. The price of electrical models often reflects how many features they have and if they’re able to double as a steamer, slow cooker or rice cooker.

Is a multicooker the same as a pressure cooker?

If you’re opting for an electric pressure cooker, there’s a good chance it’ll also be a multicooker, namely a model that offers other methods of cooking. These can include searing or frying, which is handy for browning meat before adding other ingredients for a pressure-cooked stew – or slow cooking, which provides a low-heat alternative for casseroles, curries, chilli con carne or meat. If your cooker can maintain a much lower heat, it may even feature settings for making yoghurt.

While all these extra features can be useful, and help your appliance to earn its place on the worktop, consider how many of them you’re likely to use on a regular basis. If you’re mainly interested in pressure-cooking, look for a model that prioritises that function over the others or a pan that will last decades with proper care.

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, look for a high wattage, different heat settings or programmes, the option of a quick pressure release and an auto temperature control 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 for catering for one to two people. As they tend to be heavy, bulky pieces of equipment, often with accessories, make sure you have room to store larger models before you buy.

READ NEXT: The best multi cookers to buy

The best pressure cookers to buy

1. Ninja Foodi Multicooker: The best all-round pressure cooker that's also an air fryer

Price: £200 | Buy now from Argos

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’ll 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

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

Price: £45 | Buy now from Currys

Proving 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’ll 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’ll 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

Buy now from Currys


3. Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus: The 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 here.

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: The best all-round pressure cooker

Price: £200 | Buy now from Argos

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 easy to use – but it also offers a good range of advanced settings for more experienced cooks.

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 different dishes it can cook vastly makes up for this.

The Fast Slow Pro is able to produce great 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 Argos


5. Lakeland 3l Pressure Cooker: The best stovetop pressure cooker

Price: £80 | Buy now from Lakeland

There’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: The best budget stovetop pressure cooker

Price: £55 | Buy now from Argos

It’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

Buy now from Argos


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