Technology

The best electric pressure cooker

These models belong in the kitchen

17. 02. 2020, 16: 00 | by

Content from our partner Wirecutter, A New York Times Company

Photo: Wirecutter / Michael Hession

An electric pressure cooker – better known as a multi-pressure cooker because it can also cook slowly, sauté, and more – helps to bring dinner to the table quickly and easily, even if You have a lot to do. Of the 15 models that we have since 2016 tested, the Instant Pot Duo is still our top recommendation. It offers great performance at a reasonable price. Its tried and tested design is also easier to use than fancy smart or multi pressure cookers.

Update 24. 10. 2019: We have tested two other Instant Pot products, the Duo Nova and the Duo Evo Plus, and the Zavor Lux 6L and find them no better than our top -Recommendation.

The test was carried out by wirecutter. com carried out in America, which is why only products available in Germany may be missing. You are reading the German translation.

Our top recommendation for a pressure cooker: Instant Pot Duo 6 liters

The Instant Pot Duo 6 liters is our absolute favorite if you are looking for a super light quick cooking experience. It is easy to use and prepares delicious dishes in a fraction of the time that traditional cooking requires – you can, for example, black beans from scratch in Cook for minutes. You can also use this top as a slow cooker and as a rice cooker and it sautées food better than other models. We like that the stainless steel pot of the Duo can withstand more than the non-stick inserts of other models.

Price: approximately 110 Euro (at Amazon, latest version: 13. 06. 2019)

Photo: Instant Pot

Why you can trust this test

Wirecutter's senior author Lesley Stockton has spent her entire career in the food industry and has been reviewing electronic and normal pressure cookers for Wirecutter since 2016. For the original version of this guide, she interviewed pressure cooker experts Lorna Sass, author of the book Cooking Under Pressure , and Mike Vrobel, who has many quick cooking recipes in his blog Dad Cooks Dinner released.

For our 2019 Update spent Anna Perling more than 20 hours cooking butter chicken, rice, beans and risotto in the pots. In addition, she fried two whole chickens, French fries and mozzarella sticks in two new and well-known cookers. She also researched the publications Hip Pressure Cooking , The Veggie Queen , Serious Eats and Miss Vickie .

Who is this guide for?

If you need to bring dinner to the table quickly every day, an electric pressure cooker is just the thing for you. Cooking food can be stressful and time-consuming, but an electronic pressure cooker will do a lot of the work for you. Just like a slow cooker, throw your ingredients in, seal the lid, turn it on and go away. But instead of cooking all day, you can cook a full dinner from start to finish with an electric pressure cooker in less than an hour – and that includes preparation. Pressure cookers accelerate traditional braising, steaming or cooking by trapping the steam in the saucepan. This creates a pressure that increases the boiling point of water and cooks food faster.

The new generation of electronic pressure cookers are more aptly referred to as “multi-cookers” because they also cook gently , tap, cook cereals and produce yoghurt quickly and safely. They do not intimidate you like a normal pressure cooker for the stove, although they take up more space and cost more. Many Wirecutter employees love to use electronic pressure cookers to feed their families quickly or to experiment with simple recipes.

How we chose

The most important thing with electric pressure cookers is that they are suitable for everyday use. It is therefore important to ensure that they are versatile, easy to use, durable, safe and easy to clean. Otherwise they will eventually become dusty on the shelf. In order to find the best electric cooker that should make the preparation of weekend meals faster and easier, we have prioritized the following criteria:

  • Versatility

    Even if we call these devices “electronic pressure cookers”, our favorite models are actually multi-cookers that are pressure cookers, slow cookers, sauté pans, steam cookers and rice cookers in one. We searched for products that have the most pressure settings and cooking programs to adjust the cooking.

  • User friendliness

    Electric pressure cookers have many buttons and make noises that can be a little worrying at first. We looked for models with simple user interfaces that were intuitive and easy to use from the start, and had a clear digital display that would help you see exactly what was happening.

  • Material and construction

    Better materials and construction details have a big impact on usability in everyday life. Uncoated stainless steel inner pans wear less over time than those with non-stick coating that can be scratched by metal tongs and spoons. In addition, a removable lid is preferable because it can be soaked in soapy water, which makes cleaning easier.
  • Warranty and spare parts

    A good guarantee covers the electronics and the pot itself for at least one year, but does not necessarily include seals, valves and seals. Whether a guarantee covers this or not, it is important that you can purchase it separately. After all, you need to be able to replace them every one to three years, depending on how often you use the pot.

How we tested

We have been testing electronic pressure cookers since 2016. For each test round, we started with a few simple cooking tasks: making beans from scratch, cooking brown rice and sautéing onions. Over the years we have also cooked a number of recipes such as braised beef, pork roast, risotto, butter chicken, sushi rice and even baked cakes. To test the Ninja Foodi, we roasted a chicken and fried mozzarella sticks and fries in addition to our usual ones. The device is a combination of a hot air fryer and an electronic pressure cooker.

During our tests we learned that each of the pressure cookers mastered basic recipes such as beans or braised meat equally well. The biggest differences between the models are the user-friendliness and the features. Great multicookers are easy to use and clean, have a variety of cooking modes and sauté well. The inserts are also made of stainless steel. Poorly designed pressure cookers have complicated user interfaces, nonsensical instructions and consist of small, easy-to-clean parts.

Detailed test report: Instant Pot Duo 6 liters

Photo: Wirecutter / Michael Hession

The Instant Pot Duo 6 liters is the best electronic pressure cooker because it offers the best combination of great performance, versatility and price. Starting the duo is more intuitive than starting other multi-cookers and it produces delicious dishes such as butter chicken, risotto and braised meat very quickly. It is also one of the easiest stoves to clean. The duo's stainless steel pot will last longer than non-stick inserts and there are many spare parts on the market.

Despite the many buttons and its spaceship-like look, the instant pot is easy to use. Within a few minutes of reading the instructions, we cooked beans. For comparison: the buttons of competitors like the T-fal were complicated, the manual for the Cuckoo iCook Q5 Premium was inaccessible. Similar intuitive models like the Ninja Foodi and the Breville Fast Slow Pro cost more or took up a lot more space.

The Instant Pot Duo has 14 Settings, including default settings for food such as rice, stew, yogurt or manual programs for sauteing, slow cooking or quick cooking. You can also adjust the time and pressure within the programs. The Multipot also remembers these adjustments the next time it is switched on.

We liked that the instant pot had three temperature settings for steam pressure cooking and sauteing, while other devices in the same price range only offered one or two settings. You can cook a sofrito at a low temperature, or caramelize onions and garlic at a high temperature. The instant pot also has two pressure settings – low and high – while other models we've tested only had one.

The instant pot was one of the only multipots we tried, the uncoated stainless steel pot. This gave onions and beef a nicer color than the non-stick pots of other models, although there is no way to sear a meat in the pan on the stove. Many other multicookers also have a coating that scratches easily during cooking and wears out sooner or later, even if you handle it carefully. The duo's pot also has a three-layer base, which means that the food is cooked evenly.

The uncoated inner pot makes the Instant Pot Duo more durable than pots with a non-stick coating. Photo: Wirecutter / Michael Hession

We like that the instant pot has three temperature levels, while the other pots in their price range only offer one or two. Low heat can be used for slow cooking a sofrito or soup base, and high heat gave us a very satisfactory color for onions and garlic. The uncoated pot gave onions and beef a better color than other electric cookers (meat still has a much better color on stove models).

The lid of the pressure cooker can be removed and has tabs that fit into a slot in both handles so you can park it where it best fits your counter placement or preferred hand. In comparison, the T-fal has a hinged lid that does not come loose, which makes cleaning more difficult.

Video: Wirecutter / Michael Hession

Like all modern pressure cookers, the instant pot is also Security mechanisms equipped to keep the pressure at a safe level. The mechanisms also keep you from opening the stove while it is under pressure. This could lead to a dangerous fountain of hot liquid.

The Instant Pot Duo 6 liters and 7.5 liters. Photo: Wirecutter / Michael Hession

With more than 28. 000 positive Amazon reviews ( Status: February 2019) the instant pot has a passionate fan base. Bloggers with a focus on steam pressure cookers also love this device. Mike Vrobel, author of the cooking blog “Dad Cooks Dinner”, praises the instant pot for “the little features like the silicone gasket that makes it so easy to clean the instant pot, the built-in lid holder and the stainless steel pot.” After years of using our instant pot, it still remains one of our favorite devices for the worktop. The pot has a one year guarantee and spare parts are available online.

We believe that the 6 liter pot is enough for the home, but Instant Pot also produces an 8 liter version for larger quantities and a 3 liter -Version. If you are not sure, you will find our Guide for the right instant pot size here (in English). The instant pot is also available in the colors red, black, teal and white.

Defects but no deal breakers

A few parts of the instant pot are not so easy to clean. Salt, crumbs or grease quickly gets caught on the depression at the edge of the outer pot, but we can clean it with compressed air and a damp cloth. In addition, rumors quickly get caught in the silicone seal, but this can be treated with sprays.

This part of the instant pot is difficult to clean. We used compressed air for this. Photo: Wirecutter / Michael Hession

None of the electronic pressure cookers from the test, including the duo , cook brown rice as well as the electronic rice cooker Cuckoo CRP-G 1015 F, our upgrade rice cooker recommendation. But the duo is more versatile than a rice cooker specially designed for this purpose and still produces rice that we would like to eat.

The instant pot cannot sear meat as well as you can on a stove in the pan. All pressure cookers have this problem. For a good crust, you should sear the meat separately on the stove, deglaze and then add both the meat and meat juices to the Multipot. This process will put an end to your fantasies of a simple, uncomplicated dinner, but sometimes compromises are just needed in life.

In order to quickly release the pressure from the pot, you must open the valve on the lid that releases the steam. If you're new to the pressure cooker process, or if it makes you nervous, it can be scary. No hot steam and duo has happened to us yet, but we recommend that you keep your face away from the lid and loosen the valve with a tea towel.

Maintenance and Care

You should remove and clean individual parts such as seals and valves after each use. Photo: Wirecutter / Michael Hession

It is important to clean the lid after each use , because food residues can get caught in the valve and edge. These are not only a source of bacteria, but also prevent the pot from being properly sealed. Removing the valve and gasket from the lid is easy. This way you can better remove any residues. The lid is also dishwasher safe.

Even if you clean it regularly, the sealing ring can store food odors that can then be transferred to other food. We found that it helps to seal the 120 ° C in the oven between 20 and Bake minutes if you want to remove the smells. You just have to make sure that the seal is cleaned thoroughly beforehand so that no residues or grease get stuck. Another option is to buy additional sealing rings and use them for particularly aromatic food.

Sooner or later the seal will wear out. That is normal. If your pot takes longer to build pressure, you know you need to replace your sealing ring. We advise you to use the sealing rings and other spare parts via the Manufacturer website and not through Amazon so you don't fall for wrong instant pot parts.

What you can look forward to

The End 2019 we have the new one Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus tested. Unfortunately, we found that the new instant pot model lacked a crucial feature that was advertised: the so-called “Quick Cool” system. This new feature can be used with a tray that is sold separately and can be filled with ice. Then place it directly on the lid of the cooker, which should make the food cool down faster. Instant Pot claims that this is the pressure release at 50 percent accelerated. As of October 2019 this tablet was not yet available. As soon as we get our fingers on this accessory, we will test it and report about it here.

Remarks

The article “The best electronic pressure cooker” is the German translation of the article “ The Best Electric Pessure Cooker “by thewirecutter.com . The test was conducted in the United States and was first published in English on the Wirecutter website. The translation is based on the version from 01. 03. 2019. The CHIP test center was not involved in the investigation. We removed products that were not available from Amazon Germany at the time of translation. These are the pressure cookers: Instant Pot Ultra, Instant Pot Max, Instant Pot Duo Plus, Breville Fast Slow Pro, models from Fagor Lu, Elite Platinum 6 Qt. Digital Pressure Cooker, T-Fal Electric Pressure Cooker, Tramontina Electric Pressure Cooker, Cuisinart CPC – 600 6-quart Electric Pressure Cooker.

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