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Okay, so an Instant Pot is like a combination of a slow cooker and pressure cooker. It even has a sauté option too. There are buttons which you push to make these cooking actions take place.
That way, you don’t need to worry about setting the proper time, heat, and pressure for the food. If you’re new to cooking and you want to prepare simple meals fast, such as eggs or oatmeal, then an Instant Pot is wonderful. In addition, the Instant Pot is also convenient for cooking thicker pieces of food, such as baby back ribs.
You can take virtually any recipe and adapt it to the Insta Pot. It may take some practice before you get it right, but you will eventually. When you pressure cook your food, you can limit and alter the cooking time and the liquid. If you are slow cooking the food, the time will increase while the liquid will decrease.
So basically, the Insta Pot is a multi-cooking electric pot which allows you to cook foods slowly or quickly.
Instant Pot Ultra Model – Best Value.
The Instant Pot Ultra is like the Duo Plus. But the one major difference is the Ultra allows you to have more control over the different options and settings available. In other words, you can choose to warm the food, pressure cook it, or slow cook it whenever you want.
The process is streamlined with the pressure valve that automatically closes to make the pressure cooking much safer. Therefore, if you care about having more control over your cooking options and having a huge display screen, then you should choose the Ultra.
It may even be faster than the Instant Pot Max, even though the Max is advertised as the fastest. But a comparison test between the Ultra and Max proved otherwise. The Ultra was able to reach the appropriate pressure for cooking chickpeas more quickly.
The Sophisticated: The Instant Pot Ultra-model is super convenient as it has a very simple interface which offers an easy to understand dial and a control panel with no buttons.
Instant Pot Max– Best for the Tech Savvy.
The Instant Pot Max is the most recent model released and now the most expensive model too. It is supposed to pressure cook up to 15% quicker than any other Instant Pot model. While other models have 1,000 watts, the Max has approximately 1,100 watts. Regular pressure cooker recipes for stove-tops are still acceptable to make with the Max, which includes an automatic quick release function.
On the downside, the Max isn’t great for pressure canning, even though the manufacturer states that it is. Personally, we recommend the Instant Pot Ultra for anyone looking for high performance and speed in their pressure cooking.
The Instant pot Max cooker assists you to cook your favorite food in less time as it comes with NutriBoost technology that boils the vegetables or meat at boiling motion during pressure cook to soften the content of the food to add nutrition and flavor.
You can even make soup or broth in it as it breaks down the vegetables, lentils, and meat to give consistency in the texture. Further, it not does cook faster but can do home pressure canning as well.
It has a large touchscreen installed in it, makes programming easy. With the help of the display, you can adjust the temperature, pressure level and time according to what you want to cook. This would help you to eliminate the actual time that is consumed to make that recipe.
The pot is made from food grade 304 stainless steel which means it is rust-resistant and the pressure of the stove wouldn’t damage your pot. Thus, your pot would look as new when you purchased it.
Moreover, the unique feature it offers is the automated venting and lid-lock to avoid any harmful accidents while boiling or steaming the food. So, the UL certified pot ensures to provide you safety along with instant cooking technology.
The Sports Car: Built with the highest safety mechanisms ever produced in a cooker. Plus Offering the industry’s leading sustained working pressure at 15 psi. Historically, this pressure level been obtained by stove-top pressure cookers.
Instant Pot Smart WiFi – Multi Use.
The product has a smart WIFI display to get connected with your mobile devices easily. A large blue LCD screen which shows you about the temperature and all. Meanwhile, you can set your cooker from anywhere you want; you don’t need to go the kitchen and check the cooking process. Just do it while you are watching your favorite movie.
But don’t get confused here because you cannot activate your Instant Pot WIFI from miles away with your smartphone. For safety reasons, you must be within 45 feet of the Instant Pot for the Wi-Fi connection to stay active.
Furthermore, it has 750+ built-in recipes according to your taste buds. Thus, this product work like eight different cooking appliances in 1 pot. Also, it has 3 warms up the food temperatures to maintain the hotness level of your food. Plus, it has 11 safety mechanism which will prevent food for spoiling.
No more need to stand like a robot in the kitchen every time while you are cooking something, allow your mobile device to control the temperature of your food. Now, enjoy your meal without standing all the time in the kitchen.
This amazing device has its own 13 built-in programs such as broth/soup, stew/meat, chili/bean, slow cook, Cake, searing/sauté, multigrain, Rice, Porridge, yogurt, Steam, Keep Warm, and as well as Pressure Cook.
The Techie: WIFI control stainless steel cooker, which can easily be operated by using your mobile device.
A pressure cooker is one of the best hands-off ways to get dinner on the table fast. Just add ingredients to the pot and cover it with the locking lid; when heated, the pressure cooker raises the boiling point of water and traps steam inside, which is how it decreases cook time by up to 70%. When cooking’s finished, you can release the steam inside quickly via the manual pressure release valve or let it drop on its own.
Most new models also slow cook, steam, sauté, and more — we refer to these appliances as multi-cookers, like the cult-worthy Instant Pot. Newer electric pressure cookers also come fully stacked with safety features.
In addition to having the built-in pressure release valve, they also offer locking lids and smart auto-shutoff sensors. In other words, these versatile, user-friendly plug-in appliances are definitely not your grandmother’s pressure cooker.
That being said, stovetop models cook at a higher pressure than electric pressure cookers and therefore get hotter, so if you’re choosing between the two types, just take note that an electric cooker may take a bit longer to heat up and cook than their stovetop counterparts (don’t worry, it’ll still save hours off your cook time).
Our experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab evaluated electric pressure cookers for how well they could pressure cook (and slow cook) a beef stew.
We also evaluated their ability to evenly brown meat and make rice, and noted how quickly they came up to pressure and released pressure both quickly and naturally. We also checked each model’s ease of use, including how intuitive and easy to read the controls were, the variety of settings offered, how easy it was to clean the cooking insert, and the clarity of the owner’s manual.
They’re also great for novice cooks, since you can have a full meal on the table in under an hour with very minimal prep work. These six models are the best for making set-and-forget meals that will seriously slash your prep time.
GoWISE USA Electric Pressure Cooker – Most Versatile Pressure Cooker.
With built-in presets, the GoWISE USA programmable electric cooker has preset cooking programs for a number of meals. There are cooking presets for meals such as rice/risotto, porridge, multigrain, meat/stew, veggies, seafood, poultry etc.
If you choose to, then there is a manual mode which allows you to choose between three pressure settings. This feature is great as it allows you to customize your cooking experience to your exact specification. You can choose between the low, medium and high settings.
A unique design incorporates the functions of 9 appliances hence saving you kitchen space in the process. It can accomplish tasks ranging from pressure cooking, yogurt maker and canner to an egg maker. Just a push of a button can just do all these.
To ensure users are kept from harm’s way when steam is being released, an inbuilt pressure release button is added on the lid. It is then safer and quicker to release excessive pressure buildup. Seven other safety mechanisms are built in to achieve the same precautionary measures.
Maximatic Elite Platinum Pressure Cooker – Most Automated Cookers.
The Maximatic Elite Platinum Pressure cooker features up to 14 preset program cycles for preparing different meals. There is a function button for rice, vegetables, ribs/pork, beans, fish, poultry, desserts, potatoes, soup, grains etc.
When you feel like setting the cooking process to start after some time so that you can get back and find a ready meal, simply set the time on the timer. It can delay the timer for about 99 minutes. This is a way of making your mealtime to fit into your schedule. Once a cooking cycle is complete, an indicator beep alerts you.
The package has a measuring cup, stirring spoon, spoon holder, condensation cup, instruction manual and recipes for a comprehensive cooking experience. Besides these accessories, the stainless steel inner pot can be removed and washed for continued heat distribution and conduction.
COSORI Pressure Cooker – Fastest Cooker.
The COSORI Electric Pressure cooker is an 8 appliance in 1 product that you can choose for your cooking needs. Such designs are great at eliminating the needs for multiple cooking pots which you will have to clean thereafter.
17 smart programs are available for your favorite dishes. Fish, soup, baby food, beef/lamb, sweet potato, cake are just a few examples. Perhaps another feature that you would love about this pressure cooker is the use of ETL approved components that get in contact with the food.
The components are made from 304 stainless steel which is a food grade material. The inner pot and the 3-ply bottom are all made from this material. Once the lid detects pressure inside the cooker, it is kept from opening for protection against steam.
Safety features such as thermal and pressure limiters, pressure guards and electrical monitors are good when you need assurances over your safety.
How to Pick the Best Electric Pressure Cooker
When using an electric pressure cooker, your safety should be of paramount importance. The main reason is that the pressure cookers usually become very hot and contain high pressure superheated steam inside. If any mishap were to happen, you could suffer severe burns.
Therefore, the pressure cooker should have mechanisms in place to contain the pressure in a safe environment. Look for safety features such as release valves, pressure indicators, secure lid locks, release vents and tight-fitting lids that do not open when there is still pressure inside.
Materials of Construction:
There are two materials used to make pressure cookers. These are stainless steel and aluminum. These two have different properties and affordability. Aluminum electric pressure cookers are the least expensive of the two although they are less durable too.
Aluminum is a great conductor of heat but tends to stain and warp more in the process of cooling. On the other hand, stainless steel is heavier, distributes heat more and are the most expensive of the two.
For electric pressure cookers, you are better off with a stainless steel product. They are not reactive as aluminum, hence no changes in the food flavors
Pressure Cooker Capacity:
Size matters a lot when choosing an electric pressure cooker. It determines how much food you can prepare at a time. To put it in perspective, when you have a large family to prepare a meal for, then you would need a pressure cooker larger than 8 quarts.
For smaller families, the size should be smaller. There is a drawback to an increased size. A bigger sized pressure cooker takes longer to generate enough steam and pressure to start the cooking process. Pressure accumulation occurs at a slower pace, but when it does, you will have delicious food for your whole family.
Stay Away from Nonstick Inner Pots:
Nonstick surfaces are only great for pans but not for pressure cookers. Even when used on pans, you are advised not to expose them to too high temperatures. Since pressure cookers operate under extreme pressures and temperatures, this nonstick layer would simply peel off and become ineffective after a while.
Another reason to avoid nonstick accessories is the difficulty of cleaning them. In the end, layers of food start to build up on the surface of the pot, reducing its efficiency after a while.
Should be Dishwasher Suitable:
Some buyers tend to overlook this feature when buying a kitchen accessory. For a pressure cooker, it becomes even more necessary to be able to wash the parts in a dishwater. Note that it is the accessories and the lid that should be washed and not the housing with the electrical components.
If you cannot use a dishwasher to clean it, you would have to spend hours scrubbing the parts once you are done with the cooking. And it is this time that you don’t have in the first place.
Although often ignored, handles are important in ensuring your safety when preparing a meal. Superheated steam makes the whole housing very hot at times that it may spill over to the handles if you do not take care.
You run the risk of suffering burns if the handles become too hot and then you hold onto them. For a user-friendly cooker, insist on a heat-resistant handle.
There are other features that improve your overall user experience. An example is cooking programs. If you want a variety of preset cooking programs, then look for one with the most inbuilt programs, provided it meets the other criteria.
There are other options that have instructions and recipe booklets for your own convenience. A manual would be helpful if it’s your first time using an electric pressure cooker. Nonetheless, the guides and recipes effectively get you started on your meal preparation.
Cooking racks and steamer baskets help you separate foods into two. You are then able to prepare two meals at a time, hence saving on time.
Electric Pressure Cooker FAQ
Q: After cooking, how do I release the pressure from the cooker?
A: When you are through with cooking and have disconnected the power source, you have two options for releasing the internal pressure. First, you can use a quick release by turning, pressing or lifting on the pressure release valve. Be prepared for the loud gush of steam. Secondly, you can use a natural release where you let the pressure drop by itself. It takes longer but benefits foods that require extra steam when cooling.
Q: Which Pressure Should I Use?
A: The pressure to use depends on the type of food you are cooking and the capabilities of the pressure cooker. A conventional notation is to have the low, medium and high notations, although some designs lack the medium setting. Softer and canned foods require a lower pressure while harder foods would need a medium to high pressure.
Q: Is it safe to use an Electric Pressure Cooker?
A: Yes. It is okay to use one, provided it has all the safety features in place and you don’t attempt to bypass any of them. With modern designs, safety is even more guaranteed.
Q: Are there foods I can’t cook in my Pressure Cooker?
A: Yes. Generally, foods cooked in a pressure are those that are served humid and moist. If you want to cook a type of food that should be crispy or hard after being cooked, then a pressure cooker isn’t for that purpose.
Q: Is the rubber/silicone gasket necessary
A: It is one of the safety features that keeps a tight seal between the pan and the lid. Without it, steam would leak out, and the pressure would not build up to cook. So, yes. You need it.
Q: Does high pressure mean faster cooking?
A: Technically no. High pressure is only needed during the initial stages of cooking. After a while, when it starts escaping, then high pressure only leads to energy wastage and no accelerated rate of cooking.
Q: Can my pressure cooker act as a pressure canner?
A: The shortest answer is no, or unless the pressure cooker meets USDA food safety standards. There are also not many of these around with those available being at least 10 quarts in size. A better alternative would be to find a pressure canner that doubles up as a pressure cooker.
If you were looking to invest in a pressure cooker, we hope this review has been exhaustive and helpful in one way or another. We did a lot of research to produce a meaningful and insightful post on the best electric pressure cookers.
Always take your time when investing in one since they don’t come cheap. In addition, it should serve you for the longest time possible.