The best pressure cookers tried and tested

Read our review of the top pressure cookers on the market, including Instant Pot. Plus, we have cookery advice and recipe ideas for this speedy, economical piece of kit.

Asian beef short ribs in a sticky sauce with coriander and chilli

We’ve picked products we think you'll love and may earn commission from links on this page. Read about why you can trust BBC Good Food reviews. This page was updated in April 2020.

A pressure cooker's fundamental purpose is to speed up cooking time. From stews, curries and legumes to steamed puddings and cheesecake, there isn’t much that won't go in a pressure cooker.

It requires less water than other conventional cooking methods and means more vitamins and minerals are retained. Lack of exposure to air also prevents oxidation of the nutrients in the food. To top it all off, you'll save time and money on your energy bills.

As for the slow cooker vs pressure cooker debate, the two one-pot gadgets operate very differently and have pros and cons to each. Read more about slow cookers and pressure cooking.

We've tried and tested the market's pressure cookers so you can find the perfect model. For more unbiased expert buyer's guides, visit our review section to find 200+ round-ups of everything from food processors to coffee machines.

The best pressure cookers to buy

Instant Pot on white background

Instant Pot Duo

Best multifunction pressure cooker

Read our full Instant Pot Duo review and find Instant Pot recipes and user advice

The Instant Pot is a single piece of kit that performs several jobs. The main function is pressure cooking, although it also slow cooks, steams and sautés – which could mean less appliances and more space on your worktops. It cooks dried pulses very quickly, and tough cuts of meat in 30 minutes.

It's mostly silent when cooking, apart from the odd release of steam. It has max and ½ fill lines marked on the interior of the liner, which is important for safety, and uses power efficiently. You can also brown ingredients using the sauté button, saving you having to fry ingredients in a pan first.

If you're a true devotee, you can add to your repertoire and buy accessories for it. These include steamer baskets, yogurt pots, ceramic inner pots, cake tins and different shaped steam vents. Worth the hype. 


Available from:
Instant Pot UK (£79.99)
Amazon (£79.97)

My Pot pressure cooker on white background


Morphy Richards MyPot pressure cooker

Best pressure cooker for versatility

Debating whether to buy a pressure, rice or slow cooker? The MyPot ticks all three boxes. For pressure cooking, you can select presets or go manual, and there are a variety of cooking charts and recipes to get you started. Being digital, it plugs into the wall rather than sitting on the hob, but you can still use a 'sear' setting to cook onions and brown meat.

There's a six-hour slow cook preset, which simmered a gammon joint to perfection, but we'd like the option to adjust time and setting to high/low, giving the full range of slow cooker functionality. Overall, the product does a great job of providing a range of cooking options in one.

 

Prestige Hard Anodized Non-Stick 6l Smartplus Pressure Cooker

Prestige hard anodized non-stick Smartplus pressure cooker

Best pressure cooker for the frequent user

The durable non-stick surface of this pan added extra versatility and we were able to make a surprisingly good risotto. It proved very easy to clean, too. Prestige gets top marks for thorough explanations, giving the user a broad understanding of how different foods work so you don’t need to stick slavishly to a recipe.

We liked the simplicity and sleekness of the design, as well as its comparatively lightweight feel. It has a 6-litre capacity and is also available in stainless steel. Other features include a veg basket with separators and trivet, a non-stick surface and two steam settings. Suitable for all hob types.


Available from:
Prestige (£70)
Amazon (£71.99)

IKEA Värdesätta

IKEA Värdesätta pressure cooker

Best budget pressure cooker

This no-frills pressure cooker with two steam settings is great value. The instructions are straightforward, as is the functionality – although the lid could be easier to close and we’d like to have some recipes included.

There’s no trivet or basket, which we think are essentials for vegetables and joints of meat, but if you're thinking soups and one-pots, it's not a problem. A good, reliable 4-litre pressure cooker, suitable for all hob types.


Available from IKEA (£35)

Tower pressure cooker on white background

Tower aluminium pressure cooker

Best pressure cooker for practicality without the price tag

Only slightly more expensive than the IKEA pressure cooker, this offering from Tower ticks some additional boxes. It's lighter in weight and comes with a vegetable steaming basket and stand.

There's comprehensive information on cooking times, but still only two recipes. The design is super simple, meaning it's both easy to seal and doesn't have any bits that are awkward to clean. In this price range, you're unlikely to get much more. Suitable for all hob types, it comes in 4-litre and 6-litre versions.

 

How we tested pressure cookers

We tested a representative range of pressure cookers and scored them against our test criteria, focusing on the following four areas.

1. Size and storage: is the pressure cooker easy to store? Are there any features that would make it more compact?

2. Design: we assessed the aesthetic credentials of each model.

3. Cooking: we tried a variety of recipes to really put them through their paces, including meats that take a long time to tenderise, pulses and recipes with a lot of liquid, to see if it escaped on pressure release.

4. Ease of use: we looked at how easy the model was to open and close and whether the functions and accompanying literature were useful and straightforward.

Pressure cooker lemon and prawn risotto served in a bowl

Which pressure cooker should I buy? 

If you purchase a large pressure cooker, look for one with two side handles. The pots get heavy when they contain food, so it's easier to lift and handle a pressure cooker if they have them. Folding handles require less storage space. Many recipes call for the use of accessories such as a steamer basket or cooking rack, so you'd get the best value for your money if you buy a pressure cooker that comes with one or two of these accessories.

How to use your pressure cooker

10 tips for using a pressure cooker
Pressure cookers and how to use them

Pressure cooker recipes

Lemony prawn and pea pressure cooker risotto
Asian short ribs with herb salad

More advice on buying kitchen kit

The best slow cookers
The best bullet blenders
The best toasters 
The best kettles

This review was last updated in April 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk. 

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
John Walters's picture
John Walters
23rd Jun, 2019
The gasket on my IKEA Värdesätta pressure cooker needs replacing - it didn't last long and you have to go an IKEA store to get a replacement - we do not live close to an IKEA store and bought the cooker via the internet.
Narjas's picture
Narjas
9th Jan, 2017
What do you think of the Pressure King one that Argos stock. Seems to be very popular, but looks a considerably cheaper than your best pick, so wondering what it lacks. http://www.argos.co.uk/product/5532700
Big bad boss
1st Jan, 2020
What’s the difference between a pressure cooker and a “roasting” pressure cooker. Some of the prices are between £30 - £200. Before I spend my money, I’d like to know what I would be getting
lulu_grimes's picture
lulu_grimes
6th Jan, 2020
Hello, I think what you mean is a pressure cooker that is multifunctional like an Instant Pot, an even more multifunctional cooker like a Ninja? The multi function pressure cookers have internal elements so you can brown meat in the pot and then pressure cook it (as well as, depending on the make and model, air fry, slow cook, rice cook, make jam etc). How much you spend depends on what kind of functionality you want, I have an Instant Pot that I love but it does takes up lots of space and I probably don't use to to its full advantage. Barney has a stove top pressure cooker that he uses often and rates highly but he can only use it for pressure cooking (or as a saucepan. I hope this helps. Email us if you'd like to ask more.
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.