Are you looking for a way to make your busy life a little easier, especially at dinner time? Cooking with an electric pressure cooker may be your answer. They are a little different than your ordinary pressure cooker and the differences actually make them a little bit easier to use.
Our Pick for the Best Electric Pressure Cooker:
Instant Pot IP-DUO60 Programmable Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot IP-DUO60 Programmable Pressure Cooker is our choice for the best electric pressure cooker. It is the most versatile of the electric pressure cookers with 7 functionality.
Electric pressure cooker vs. regular pressure cooker
An electric pressure cooker is simply a pressure cooker that uses electricity. By using electricity, you actually add more functions to your cooker including an electronic timer, more cooking modes and most importantly more control over the amount of pressure you are using.
I am personally always afraid when I use a regular pressure cooker that I am not using it correctly and it might blow up.
An electric pressure cooker actually cooks more like a microwave does. It uses the same type of internal steam pressure and infuses it into the food. And, if you are like me, and you get nervous trying to set an ordinary pressure cooker, an electric pressure cooker might be a better choice since it doesn’t have such a high-pressure threshold and it automatically sets the heat level so you don’t have to mess with the settings.
The timer is great as you can set it to start several hours later, however, if there is not enough liquid in the cooker it will either switch off or go to a warm mode.
If you have a limited kitchen area, like a college student, it’s a great appliance that can do multiple tasks such as cook rice, steam vegetables, make yogurt, saute and brown food and slow cook which makes them a versatile tool to have in the kitchen.
They are a bit bulky so if you have it in your home, make sure you have the counter space.
What to look for in an electric pressure cooker
Depending on the amount of food you will be cooking, you need to look for a deep enough cooker to hold it all. Most of the cookers ranged from 5 quarts to 10 quarts.
Also look for a non-stick surface for easy cleanup – this will help a lot if you are cooking in a dorm room as you will have limited area for appliance clean up.
Make sure the digital display is something that you can work with.
Some of them can be very involved requiring reading a manual – I even needed to watch a youtube video to understand mine. So, depending on your skill with electronics, you may want to get one that has a very user friendly setting control.
What you need to know before buying an electric pressure cooker
Electric pressure cookers are a kitchen tool that you need to learn how to use. There are several areas that can be a little confusing and dangerous if you’re not careful.
Here are a few things you should know before using one:
Quick versus Natural Release
When you are done with cooking, you need to release the pressure. This can be done one of two way, through a quick release or a natural release.
A quick release means that you release the pressure immediately after cooking by turning the pressure release valve. Natural release means you allow the pressure to release on its own which benefits food that can use a little bit more cooking time.
Remember, don't open the pressure cooker while it's cooking.
Most electric pressure cookers will not let you do this until it is done cooking. However, make sure to not ever try to force it open. If for some reason you do need to get inside the cooker, unplug it and allow the pressure to release first.
High, Medium & Low Level of Pressure
What pressure you use all depends on what you are cooking. Some cookers do not even have the medium pressure option. Just make sure to check the manual which will be able to tell you what pressure setting to use for what type of food.
This little pin like mechanism is located on the lid of the cooker. It pops up when the cooker has reached the correct pressure and goes down when the pressure has dropped. It also tells you when the cooker is locked preventing you from opening it.
Pressure Release Valve
This valve is also found on the lid of the cooker and you can use this to release the pressure from your cooker for a quick release. However, if you touch the release valve while it’s cooking, you may come into contact with some hot steam and you may burn yourself.
You may want to use a long spoon to turn it for you instead.
(This is coming from someone who has burned themselves in the past.)
Steam Condensation Collector
The small container is locked onto the side of the cooker and is where the extra condensation is collected and held while it’s cooking.
Silicone Sealing Ring
The seal on the inside of the cooker’s lid is the silicone sealing ring which creates the steam-tight seal that keeps air from escaping while it’s cooking.
5 Best Electric Pressure Cooker We Reviewed
1. Instant Pot IP-DUO60 Programmable Pressure Cooker
The Instant Pot IP-DUO60 Programmable Pressure Cooker is actually the third version of its Instant Pot line. It holds up to 6-quarts and comes in a 5-quart version as well as Bluetooth-enabled version that lets you control the cooker with a smartphone app.
This is a very versatile pressure cooker that makes it unnecessary to buy other kitchen appliances, so you save money. It can be used as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, and steamer. It also browns, sautés, and slow cooks.
It perfectly cooks rice, meat, vegetables and a lot more.
It does have a learning curve to it and that the instruction book isn’t that helpful so it will take a bit of practice to use it. However, there are plenty of online recipe books, instruction manuals and videos that will help you learn how to use it.
Having experience with an ordinary pressure cooker will definitely help you to learn the Instant Pot faster. Otherwise, it’s easy to clean and dishwasher safe. It is also very durable and made of a 3-ply, food-grade stainless steel which is not normally seen in electric pressure cookers.
People who have bought this and other pressure cookers often said that Instant Pot feels much safer.
There is only one downside of this product:
When you cook a strong-flavored food, it's hard to remove the strong smell from the gasket. Some people even chose to purchase a second gasket just for less flavourful food.
2. The Secura 6 in 1 Electric Pressure Cooker
The Secura 6 in 1 Electric Pressure Cooker includes a stainless steel pot and is very versatile. It’s a little cheaper than the Instant Pot but it also does not make yogurt.
It does have the same steaming, browning and sauteing features and can also be used to cook rice and as a slow cooker. It does not have a manual feature like the Instant Pot but reviewers don’t seem to be bothered by this.
For the price, it’s a really great value.
The Secura 6-in-1 Electric pressure cooker is a 6-quart pressure cooker that is made of stainless steel and is dishwasher safe and has a non-stick cooking pot. It is a durable pressure cooker and reviewers have commented that it is pretty well made in comparison to well-known chef brands.
The cooker also comes with a recipe book, measuring cup and rice spoon.
Some people do complain about the electronics tend to break down after a while and you often need to add a few more minutes to cooking time to make sure the food is cooked through well.
For the price though, I'm sure people agree that was a decent cooker and very versatile.
3. Fagor 6 Quart Multi Cooker
This brand has a pretty extensive line of ordinary and electric pressure cookers but this model is the highest rated of their electric pressure cookers.
This model only has a high and low-pressure setting, which are fewer settings than the Instant Pot or the Secura, and allows you to either only warm or brown. The Fagor is a 6-quart cooker that has settings to cook rice, slow cook, and pressure cook.
The cooking pot is detachable and dishwasher safe which makes cleaning easy.
It’s not as durable as the other electric pressure cookers and does not include a steam rack but does have a non-stick coating. The learning curve is also high on this; the instruction could be easier to understand and that the buttons on the machine don’t match up with the instructions. But it’s not difficult to figure out on your own.
Also, you cannot open the lid while it is working and it has anti-overheating features for increased safety. It is recommended to really read through the instruction booklet to make sure you understand how to use the cooker before using it.
Fagor may not be large enough to cook large family meals but perfect for a small family or a couple. It's a great electric pressure cooker for the price.
4. Cuisinart CPC 600
The Cuisinart CPC 600 has a capacity of 6 quarts and has been well-known as one of the best electric pressure cooker on the market.
It offers two pressure settings, an automatic pressure release, a programmable timer plus a built-in thermostat. It does have the tendency to shut itself off if it doesn’t sense that there is enough water.
Cuisinart cooks and browns food well, is easy to use, and clean. There is a non-stick coating on the insert. This is a great cooker for a novice as well as for professional cooks. It has an easy to read LED display and pre-programmed settings for warming, sautéing, simmering, browning and steaming.
The precision thermostat controls the pressure for worry-free cooking and has cool touch handles.
The Cuisinart turns itself off when pressures have been completely released which saves energy and overcooked food.
You can create stews, soups, entire chickens and tenderized pork as well as make cheesecake and custard. It takes the place of several appliances saving you money in the kitchen. It also has a 99-minute timer on the LED display that shows a countdown.
When it’s done cooking, it automatically turns off and continues to warm the food for up to 12 hours.
5. EPC-1013 Platinum Electric Pressure Cooker
The EPC-1013 Platinum Electric Pressure Cooker is a 10-quart cooker with a stainless steel look and easy to red push button control and LED display.
The EPC-1013 has an exclusive cooking process that traps in steam which cooks your food more evenly and seals in nutrients while retaining flavor. With a 24-hour delay timer and a 10 Qt. inner pot, you can cook a wide range of meals for the whole family.
There are eight multifunctions for the EPC-1013 so you can cook a variety of foods like risotto, vegetables, meat, chicken, beans, soups, and stews.
It’s easy to clean with a removable cooking pot and is dishwasher safe. It browns nicely and is very versatile and cooks vegetables, meat, rice, fish, soups, and desserts.
It works great as a slow cooker too because it has a 24-hour timers so you can set up your meals to cook in advance like making oatmeal for breakfast the next morning.
Watch out for the vent at the top, this is where the steam is released to avoid pressure buildup.
The EPC-1013 Platinum Electric Pressure Cooker also makes great smoothies, milkshakes, protein shakes even coming with two 28-ounce cups that include spill-proof lids so you can take your drinks with you. It’s also small and easy to store saving you counter space.
However, you can’t cook large pieces of meat in it because of its size and, if you are cooking meat, you need to add more time than is recommended.
Conclusion: The Winner
The clear winner is the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 Programmable Pressure Cooker. It is the most versatile of the electric pressure cookers as it is the only one that can make yogurt.
When discussing features, most people compare other cookers to it.
There are plenty of resources online to help you learn how to use the Instant Pot and its best feature is the Bluetooth that allows you to control it with a Smartphone app. It’s also extremely durable and, unlike other electric pressure cookers, it’s made of a 3-ply, food grade stainless steel.
Hands down, this pressure cooker has the durability and features that make it stand out from the rest.