Best Pressure Cooker

Pressure cookers are amazing kitchen tools, and if you haven’t ever used one, prepare to be amazed.
Modern pressure cookers have redundant safety measures and pressure release valves to make sure they don’t explode in your kitchen.  They are a simple, straight-forward tool. The boiling point of water depends on the air pressure of the environment, so the higher the pressure, the higher the boiling point. So, high-pressure environments, like a pressure cooker, can get to really high temperatures.
The biggest feature by far is how fast they cook.  We’re talking from dried beans with no pre-soaking to black bean chili in half an hour.  All this adds up to less energy used to cook and less time in the kitchen.  Stay tuned for my fave recipes!
Most stovetop pressure cookers will sear and deliver tender meats (for you carnivores), cook beans to tender perfection, and make one-pot meals in a fraction of time. But not all pressure cookers are created equal.
Here’s what you want to look for:

  • Ease of use, versatility, well designed so it’s easy to clean and maintain.
  • Cookers with a wide, low profile are much better for searing and sauteing.
  • The lid should lock on smooth and tight.
  • Easy-to-see pressure indicators. Cheaper cookers have tiny or recessed indicators that are difficult to see.
  • Easy to obtain replacement parts and good warranty.
  • Heat evenly, sauté or sear without scorching. Look for a nice thick, wide disks at the base that will distribute heat evenly.


What size is best?  That really depends on the size of your family.  I find it’s about a quart per person.  For example, I can make black bean chili perfect for four people with my 4 quart.  If I am feeding more, I jump to my 8 quart.

My Recommended Pressure Cookers

  • I have the Fagor Duo: and it’s fantastic! But…the company is going out of business so units will get hard to find and customer service will eventually be non existent.  So, it won’t be an option for much longer.  Update!!!!  Looks like a company called Zavor is now selling what was once Fagor:
  • Fissler is considered top of the line and highly rated.  If you have the budget, Fissler is shiz:
  • On a budget, then I recommend the Presto:


I need to address the elephant in the room…the Mulitcooker or the ever popular Instant Pot.  If you are not familiar with the Instant Pot, it is a mulitcooker. You can head over to amazon and take a look at the glowing reviews:

It’s a device that combines an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker and yogurt maker in one handy unit.  But, I don’t have one and here is why.  It works well but not as well as any of those items individually.  Stove top pressure cookers are faster (higher pressure level than any electric cooker), sear better, and have more capacity for their size.  Even more, I use my pressure cooker pots for more than just pressure cooking.  So my stove top pressure cooker is more efficient, takes up less room/weight and is multi functional too.

That said, if you still think a Multicooker is right for you, I would suggest checking out the Zavor over the Instapot: 

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  1. Nikki Wynn

    Hey Rebecca! We didn’t say that the instant pot wouldn’t make great rice or anything else and the ease is certainly there. Americas Test Kitchen, Wirecutter and Consumer Reports have all done the side by side testing with exactly the same results I mentioned above.

    We have done side by side comparisons with our friends insta pot (they are die hard instapot fans) but even they agreed there was a slight noticeable difference of the pressure cooker over the instapot end results. But, they still love and would choose again their instapot for its ease and convenience. We weren’t out to try and prove one right or wrong, simply curious. In the end, we are drastically different cooks and we each have the appropriate set up for our cooking styles. I prefer more flexibility and control. I enjoy the process of cooking. My friends like good food but don’t like the hassle of cooking and the instapot is the perfect solution for them.

    I think the instapot is great but it is much larger, heavier and simply not as versatile for me. We don’t use propane for cooking. We have an electric induction cooktop so it is still an electric device that runs off of our solar/lithium battery set up (all listed in the gear store too if you are curious). And that is the big takeaway, choose the best devices and set up for your style. There is no one size fits all. We’re all beautifully diverse. 😉

  2. Rebecca

    I totally disagree with your assessment of the Instant Pot. It makes the best rice, especially for sushi and it’s the easiest yogurt maker I’ve ever used. Not to mention you can set it and forget it, unlike a stove top. I have 3 and was an early adopter back in 2015 so I have a lot of experience with the pots. I’ve never actually used the slow cooker function because I now pressure cook those recipes now. My understanding is that’s really the only aspect that may not be as good as the original. You are correct about a standard pressure cooker being able to multi task as a regular pot. I would also think with your robust solar set up that it would be cheaper to run an electric pressure cooker than to use propane/gas. I am planning to take my IP cruising with me. I can’t comment on the brand you recommended because mine are all Instant Pots. Have you done any side by side comparisons? Thanks for all of your great content!

  3. IndoorKitty

    Fagor is going out of business! What the what?!?! My family sized Fagor PC is fantastic.

    Off to buy a spare set of gaskets…

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