Stovetop pressure cookers offer a fast and efficient method of cooking. Using a combination of high-pressure and high-temperatures, these appliances enable you to cook delicious, tender, and healthy meals in a fraction of the time that they would take in the oven. 

If you are looking for the best model available, we recommend the Presto 01370 Eight-Quart Pressure Cooker. It has a large capacity, is made from durable stainless steel with a tri-clad base for added heat conductivity, and comes with a 12-year warranty. 

Still not convinced? Read on to find out more about our top pick, as well our other stovetop pressure cooker recommendations.

  • 8-quart capacity
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Automatic pressure regulator
  • Cover lock
  • Steaming basket
  • 12-year warranty

  • 16-quart capacity
  • Aluminum construction
  • Cover lock
  • Safety valve
  • Pressure indicator
  • 12-year warranty

  • 6-quart capacity
  • Aluminum construction
  • Pressure indicator
  • Safety valve 
  • Ergonomic handles
  • Lifetime warranty


The popular Presto 01370 Pressure Cooker is our top pick. Its eight-quart capacity makes it a great choice for your everyday cooking needs, with plenty of space for family meals. Thanks to its durable stainless steel construction, this model has a fantastic lifespan and will continue to look great on your stove for years to come. 

The tri-clad base features a layer of aluminum between two layers of stainless steel to ensure even heating and optimal cooking results, while the cover lock indicator lets you know at a glance whether or not there is pressure inside the cooker. There is also a pressure regulator, which automatically ensures that the correct (and safe) level of pressure is maintained. Once you’re done cooking, the steam release valve provides a fast, secure, and practical way to cool down your pressure cooker before opening. 

You may initially find the lid is a little difficult to open and close, but you will quickly get the hang of it. A cooking rack is also included with this cooker, so you can cook different foods at the same time without worrying about their flavors becoming intermingled. There are also full usage instructions provided, as well as numerous recipes to get you started on your culinary adventure. When you consider this model also offers an extended 12-year warranty, it’s clear to see that this stovetop pressure cooker makes an excellent choice. 

Pros

  • Large capacity is great for families
  • Tri-clad base for even heating
  • Pressure indicator and safety valve make cooking easy
  • Rack allows simple separation of foods

Cons

  • Lid can be difficult to open and close 

If you want to try canning as well as pressure cooking, check out this Presto Pressure Cooker and Canner, which is included as our best multipurpose pick. This model features a warp-resistant aluminum construction that’s suitable for both smooth-top and regular ranges. Its generous 16-quart capacity makes it a great choice for cooking large meals, and it has a canning capacity of up to seven quart jars. The large, easy-to-read gauge lets you monitor pressure, a feature that is also essential for canning, however condensation can at times make it difficult to read. Moreover, given this large capacity, you may find this model a little large and cumbersome. 

The air vent automatically maintains a safe pressure, while the cover lock ensures that the lid is securely sealed before pressure can begin to build up. Full usage instructions and a recipe book are also included. All in all, this pressure cooker makes a great choice if you’re looking to cook more quickly and efficiently while also having the option to can your own food rather than relying upon store-bought supplies.

Pros

  • Suitable for regular and smooth-top ranges
  • Can be used for both cooking and canning
  • Dial gauge is easy to read
  • Air vent and cover lock for safety

Cons

  • Gauge is prone to condensation
  • Large and cumbersome


If you would like to try out pressure cooking but don’t want to spend a lot, check out this model by T-fal, our best budget stovetop pressure cooker pick. 

With its extra-strong aluminum construction, this 6-quart pressure cooker is highly durable and also features a secure auto-locking system to keep the pressure up to its 12-PSI level. This can be quickly verified with a glance at the easy-to-read pressure indicator. Another great feature is the cleverly-designed ergonomic handles, which make handling this cooker safe and easy.

On the downside, if you’re thinking of opting for this budget model, bear in mind that the interior tends to discolor rather quickly and can become prone to leaks. It does come with a limited lifetime warranty, though, so should you experience any major issues you can send it back for replacement or repair.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy-to-read pressure indicator
  • Ergonomic lid handles are easy to carry
  • Secure auto-locking system keeps pressure stable
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Prone to leaks
  • Inside becomes discolored quickly
  • Small capacity

Comparison Chart

Presto 8-Quart Pressure CookerPresto 16-Quart Pressure Cooker/CannerT-fal 12-PSI Pressure Cooker
Dimensions (in)17.4 x 11 x 10.5 14.8 x 14.8 x 11.917.7 x 11.6 x 9.6
Capacity (qt)8166
MaterialStainless SteelAluminumAluminum
Compatible with Induction HobsXX
Automatic Pressure RegulatorXX
Safety Valve
Cover Lock
Pressure Indicator
Weight (lbs)1010.54.85
Warranty12-year12-yearLifetime

Buyer’s Guide:

Stovetop Pressure Cooker

Pressure cookers are a great way to cook food quickly and healthily. But just how does your stovetop pressure cooker work? 

Your stovetop heats the water in your pressure cooker. Once it reaches boiling point, this water becomes steam, which expands to take up a greater amount of space than its liquid form. With a tightly sealed lid, the steam is unable to escape and the pressure increases inside the cooker. As this pressure builds, so does the temperature. It quickly exceeds normal boiling temperatures and thus cooks your food faster. The moisture trapped within the pot helps to ensure your food stays moist and tender.

You can also purchase pressure canners, such as the Presto 16-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner. Not all pressure cookers can be used for canning, but a pressure canner may also be used for cooking. This is because pressure canners need to reach particularly high temperatures to kill any bacteria that could be present in the jars before storage.

Capacity

It’s important to consider your needs when choosing a pressure cooker based on capacity. While six-quarts may suffice for individuals and couples, you may struggle to cook enough for everyone if you have family or friends around for dinner. Eight-quart pressure cookers like our top pick are a popular size as they are large enough to cook for a family without being too large and cumbersome to use. 

If you’re planning on purchasing a pressure cooker that is also suitable for canning, you will need to buy a much larger model like the Presto 1755 16-Quart Aluminum Pressure Cooker/Canner. This will ensure that you have enough space for your jars. 

Construction Material

Most stovetop pressure cookers are made from extra-strong, warp-resistant aluminum. Aluminum is renowned for its low weight and excellent heat conductivity. Durable stainless steel is also another popular choice – our top pick features a stainless-steel outer with a layer of aluminum in the base to improve its heating time.

Cover Lock and Indicator

The cover lock is an essential safety feature that ensures that the lid is securely sealed before pressure can start to build up. A pressure indicator provides an easy way for you to check that your pressure cooker is sealed and ready for use. All of the models we have reviewed include these important features.

Pressure Regulator

Our top pick, the Presto 01370 8-Quart , features a handy pressure regulator. This ensures that your cooker maintains an optimal level of pressure automatically, which makes cooking quick and easy.

Safety Valve

Should the pressure become too high, a safety valve allows for the quick release of steam, as well as offering an easy way for you to cool down the pot once you have finished cooking. All of the models on our list have this feature.

The following method is suitable for the vast majority of stovetop pressure cookers, but you should always review your model’s accompanying literature to ensure that your model can be cleaned in the following manner.

  1. Before cleaning, remove the sealing ring and wipe clean. This will also ensure that you can clean inside the rim of the lid, thus preventing any residue buildup which could prevent your cooker from sealing and locking correctly. 
  2. Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner such as regular dish soap. Once your stovetop pressure cooker is empty, provided it is fully immersible, we recommend putting it to soak immediately in your kitchen sink. This can also help to prevent any stains from developing.
  3. Use a soft sponge or cloth to wipe clean the interior of the pressure cooker. You will need a small brush or a pipe cleaner to clean out the vent pipe.
  4. Rinse out your clean pressure cooker and dry.
  5. To keep your pressure cooker looking like new, you may like to occasionally polish the exterior with a fine metal polish.
  6. Replace the sealing ring and your cooker is ready to use for your next meal.

Product TypePROSCONS
Stovetop pressure cookers
  • Cheaper than electric counterparts.
  • Less complex to use
  • Durable – no electrics to wear out or break
  • Reach high temperatures faster than electric models
  • Cook quicker – as they heat up faster, they cook your meals more quickly
  • Less functionality
  • Require more supervision
Electric pressure cookers
  • Often have multiple functions and cooking programs
  • Require less supervision
  • Take longer to heat up than stovetop models
  • Electrical components have a shorter lifespan
  • Can be more complex to use
  • Usually more expensive

  • Are stovetop pressure cookers safe?
  • If you’re worried about the safety of pressure cookers, you needn’t be. Today’s modern models have been carefully designed with safety in mind and boast a multitude of features that were nonexistent on older models. If you follow the manufacturer’s directions, stovetop pressure cookers are no more dangerous than any other kitchen appliance.

  • Can I use a pressure cooker to smoke foods?
  • No, pressure cookers are not suitable for smoking foods, for that you would need a smoker. If, though, you’d like to enjoy succulent smoked foods in a fraction of the cooking time, you could use your pressure cooker with liquid smoke for a smoked flavor. Simply add the recommended amount of liquid smoke directly to your cooking liquid.

  • Are stovetop pressure cookers suitable for beginners?
  • Simple and easy to use, stovetop pressure cookers are certainly suitable for beginners. Just be sure to read through manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly before use. Many models also come with recipe books so you can start to experiment with new dishes straight away.

  • What is the difference between canning and cooking?
  • Cooking in your pressure cooker involves heating liquid and trapping the steam to create high-pressure and high-temperatures to quickly and efficiently cook your food, without the need for any fats or oils. Canning must be undertaken at very high temperatures exceeding 240 degrees for an extended period of time. This ensures that any bacteria present in the contents of your jars are killed off to prevent stored food from spoiling later. Only specially designed models, such as our multipurpose pick, can be used for canning as well as cooking.

Final Thoughts 

Stovetop pressure cookers are an excellent way to improve your cooking. Not only can they save you hours of cooking time, they also provide a simpler and healthier way to cook by cutting out unnecessary additional fat and calories. 

Our favorite stovetop pressure cooker is without a doubt the Presto 01370 Eight-Quart Pressure Cooker. Made from durable stainless steel with a heat-conducting tri-clad base, this popular model also comes with a 12-year warranty, a cooking rack and a recipe booklet. Easy to use, with a great capacity, this pressure cooker is the one to beat. 

If you would like to try out home canning as well as pressure cooking, then be sure to check out the multipurpose pressure cooker and canner, the Presto 1755. It has a large 16-quart capacity with enough space for up to seven quart jars. It also comes with a 12-year limited warranty and is made from an extra-strong, warp-resistant aluminum. 

Lastly, if you’re new to pressure cooking and you want to try it out without paying over the odds, check out our budget choice, the T-fal Secure Aluminum Initiatives. This small but inexpensive model has all the features you need, such as a secure auto locking system, ergonomic handles and an impressive lifetime warranty.

Further Reading

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