We tested eight and four electrics made beef stew chicken stock Boston baked beans parmesan risotto and a meaty tomato sauce of pork ribs well since a lot of these recipes call for sauteing food in the pot before you seal the lid for pressure cooking.
We tested 8 stovetop pressure cookers to find the best one:
#1 Our winning stovetop pressure cooker
#1 Our best buy stovetop pressure cooker
#1 Our cookbook, Pressure Cooker Perfection
I also checked evenness of browning by cooking crepes in the pan bottoms, and here’s what I found you want stainless steel rather than aluminum cookers so aluminum reacts with acidic foods like
tomatoes, but you can give food a metallic taste steel doesn’t do that.
It’s also much sturdier than aluminum, so it’s going to last longer get an 8 quart cooker even though 6 quarts is a really popular size.
We found that you can only feel pressure cookers two-thirds full so most recipes fit really easily in an 8 quart cooker you can always make less food in a bigger pot, but that doesn’t work the other way around.
Now low wide pots are much easier to see in and cook in than tall skinny pots the wider the better we found the inside cooking surfaces range from just over six inches to a full nine inches wider pots.
Mean you can saute faster and you get better browning because the foods not crowded and that also means you can sear meat and fewer batches a thick bottom is important stovetop pressure cookers have disk bottoms made of steel and aluminum.
It’s a great combination of metals for steady cooking steadiness is important with a pressure cooker you don’t want the heat to fluctuate and make the pressure drop some of these pots we had to babysit.
And food wasn’t always fully cooked by the time indicated in the recipe because the pressure wasn’t
always where it should have been.
If some of these pots were steady as a rock and those are the ones with the thickest discs bottoms you also want the discs to be as wide as the pot making that
Disk is expensive so some companies make them tiny and then does the pot bulge over like a fat guy with a tight belt.
You do not want that heats going to rise up the sides and scorch the inside of the cooker where it overhangs the disk and that heat going up the sides damages the sealing gasket and handle locks.
It’s going to make your pot wear out much faster worse a little itty-bitty disk means you have to use a small burner or keep the flame down low under that.
So you’re going to be standing around longer each time waiting for the pot to reach pressure.
So look for a big wide thick disc bottom and straight sides for the best results now pressure indicators tell you when the pot is at pressure with a pop up stick or button you want ones that you can see at a glance from across the kitchen.
Some of them are confusing to interpret or they’re stuck down in a hole so you have to lean over the pot you want a pressure cooker that prevents much evaporation during cooking pressure cookers always need some liquid to generate steam.
But if your pot keeps venting during cooking food can scorch in our tests we found some models lost three or four times as much steam as the best ones, that vented very little during cooking now a word of warning this is not something you can tell when you go shopping for pressure cookers.
But most of our cookers actually fell short of reaching high pressure our top model was the only one to reach 250 degrees.
A few more came close and not others the pressure was too low and food wasn’t always done at the right time we had to reseal the pots and bring them back up to pressure added up to 50% more cooking
time and a boatload of guesswork.
Now our favorite overall was the fist lurvy – quick 8 litre pressure cooker look at that low wide shape straight sides and thick discs for steady heating and perfect results.
But at $280 it’s kind of an investment
Our best buy is the Fagor duo 8 quart pressure cooker.
It’s $110, it’s got that same shape, it’s got the thick broad discs just like our winner it’s lighter weight it feels a little more economy.
It’s cooking results were really good though and it’s especially easy to use even if you’ve never used a pressure cooker before.