If you’re looking for the best way to create delicious food quickly and conveniently right at home, then a pressure cooker is a great choice. A pressure cooker can save you time and money while making it easier than ever to cook and enjoy healthy meals (even in midweek!).
To help ensure you get the best product to suit your needs, we’ve reviewed the top 5 pressure cookers on the market in Australia and discuss what each of them has to offer. Following on from the reviews is a buyers guide to help you choose the right pressure cooker for your home.
1. Instant Pot Duo Nova Electric Multi-Use Pressure Cooker (Top Pick)
One of the most popular pressure cookers on the market globally, the Instant Pot Duo Nova is now available in Australia.
The cute design of the Instant Pot Duo is sure to look great in any modern kitchen, especially with compact dimensions that means it won’t take up a ton of countertop space.
If you love your gadgets to offer you maximum value, you will appreciate the vast amount this pressure cooker has to offer. It has various cooking options including manual and preset options, smart auto cook programs and an ample 5.7 litre capacity. The multi-use really is true to its name and even enables users to make yogurt.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, customers will love that the Instant Pot has over 10 safety features, a progress indicator, a steam rack with handles and a dishwasher safe inner pot.
What We Like:
- Over 10 safety features
- Various automatic and manual cooking options
- Dishwasher safe inner pot
What We Don’t Like:
- Some families may not require all capabilities
- May require larger capacity if feeding an entire family
2. Breville The Fast Slow Pro Multi Pressure Cooker
Breville is known for producing a wide range of high-quality kitchen appliances and this durable multi cooker is no exception. The 6 litre capacity of the Breville Fast Slow Pro is best suited to a small family and is the perfect device to help save time when you cook.
The stainless steel finish looks great and the one press functionality uses dual sensors to monitor and control the temperature and pressure for you. The Breville Fast Slow Pro also features three cooking programs as well as a keep-warm function. You can use the LCD display to choose from the pre-set programs to cook for as little as two hours up to 10 hours or overnight.
The Breville Fast Slow Pro is perfect for pressure cooking because it has eight pressure levels, and also keeps your hands away from the machine as it releases steam.
What We Like:
- Bright and easy to see LCD
- Cooks for two to 10 hours per setting
- Eight pressure levels
- Releases steam through the valve without requiring your hands get close to the cooker
What We Don’t Like:
- May not have as much space as you need
3. Ninja Foodi OP300 Pressure Cooker
The Ninja Foodi OP300 is a pressure cooker, slow cooker and air fryer all in one easy to use appliance. You can make your favourite meals and have them ready in no time which is perfect for busy lifestyles and life on the go.
The cooker has a ceramic-coated, non-stick inner pot that is easy to clean after use. This multifunctional all-in-one cooker has multiple functions and can be used as a pressure cooker, steamer, slow cooker or air fryer and is great for searing, roasting and broiling too.
This offers the best of air frying and pressure cooking in one so you don’t need multiple appliances on your kitchen counter. It also has an automatic keep warm function so your food will always be ready to eat even if you come home late. The 3.7L capacity is large enough for a couple or a small family too.
What We Like:
- Easy to clean
- Automatic keep warm feature
What We Don’t Like:
- Might take users some practice to get used to all of the features
4. Tefal Cook4me+ Pressure & Multicooker
The Tefal Cook4Me+ Pressure & Multicooker is a smart appliance with an intuitive digital screen that not only makes selecting settings easy but also guides you through the cooking steps.
This appliance has 150+ built-in recipes with step by step instructions. You can cook meals for up to 6 people and if you are having a date night or want to cook for fewer people, you can. There is an auto-adjust feature that will adapt the recipe to suit the number of people you are cooking for.
You can saute, sear and pressure cook in the Tefal Multi Cooker and you can use the bowl to serve directly to the table thanks to its cool-touch handles. When your meal is ready the Tefal Cook4Me+ will beep to let you know.
What We Like:
- 150+ built-in recipes
- User friendly
- Ideal for busy lifestyles
What We Don’t Like:
- Takes a while to preheat
5. Crock Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker
Crock Pot is one of the leading brands for all-in-one cooking and the Crock Pot Express Multi Cooker does not disappoint. It allows you to pressure cook or slow cook and has a number of pre-set menu options to make cooking a breeze.
The pot has a 5.7 litre capacity which is enough to serve 4-6 people. You can pressure cook, slow cook, sear/ saute and steam in the Crock Pot Express. It is also a rice cooker too so you can create delicious rice effortlessly.
The cooking pot is non-stick and dishwasher safe so cleaning up after dinner takes no time at all. The lid is airtight locking so that it stays locked until the pressure is released to help keep you safe when cooking. This is a versatile and high quality multi cooker.
What We Like:
- Trusted brand
- Value for money
What We Don’t Like:
- Cannot keep an eye on the food while slow cooking as no glass lid option
6. Kambrook Pressure Express Cooker
The Kambrook Express cooker has everything you need to make a delicious selection of food quickly and conveniently. It is a pressure cooker and a slow cooker in one unit, which means you can cook a huge variety of different dishes with the one kitchen appliance. It also has sauté and keep warm options to further your pressure cooker repertoire.
Organised family cooks will love that the Kambrook is easy to use, with a digital control panel and preset functions and times. Manual adjustments make the capabilities even more versatile. Audible alerts and a long 4 hours keep warm function further advance the convenience of this attractive kitchen accessory.
This is a user-friendly pressure and slow cooker combo that offers 3 levels of safety and a removable, dishwasher safe cooking bowl.
What We Like:
- Can cook some foods in as little as 8 minutes
- Pressure and slow cooker in one
- Keep warm function
- Easy to use
What We Don’t Like:
- Timer max time is 30 minutes
- Low maximum temperature
7. Hawkins Induction Compatible Pressure Cooker
If you’re looking to veer away from electric pressure cookers, the smartly designed Hawkins might be one of the best alternatives for your family. It is made of high-grade stainless steel which means it can be used on halogen, electric, ceramic, gas and induction cookers. It also means it is suitable for use when camping, which is ideal if your family love to take trips in the great outdoors.
Customers who appreciate simple but well-designed kitchen products will appreciate the simplicity and effectiveness of the stainless steel Hawkins.
The Hawkins pressure cooker has an extra thick base which heats quickly and retains heat well. The rounded sides of the pot make stirring and checking on the food easier and makes cleaning easier too. This is one of the best stovetop pressure cooker options as it is high quality, portable and easy to use.
What We Like:
- High grade stainless steel
- Suitable for camping
- Suitable for use on all types of cooker
8. Philips Viva Collection All in One Multi Cooker
One of the most popular multi cookers on the market, this appliance will pressure cook with the best of them. This multi use model has a wide range of features and works as both a slow cooker and a pressure cooker so you can prepare a wide range of your favourite dishes with ease.
Users love the well-thought design that makes this cooker easy to use such as its scratch-resistant inner surface and easy-to-clean detachable lid.
The Philips Viva All in One has 9 safety protection systems making it ideal for anyone who hasn’t used a pressure cooker before. It also comes with a recipe booklet, measuring cup, steaming basket and scoop so you can cook a range of dishes with ease.
What We Like:
- Easy to use
- Wide variety of features
- 12 hour cooking and keep warm functions
What We Don’t Like:
- More complex than basic pressure cookers
Pressure Cooker Buyer’s Guide
If you are thinking of adding a pressure cooker to your kitchen, there’s a lot to consider. They aren’t simple gadgets and if you intend to use them a lot, you really do want to make the best choice for your family.
To help you make the best possible choice when it comes to investing in pressure cooking gadgets, take a look at our handy buyers guide:
How Much Would You Like Your Pressure Cooker To Do?
Some pressure cookers literally operate on a basic basis, without offering any frills. Some, however, come with all the bells and whistles. Some can slow cook, pressure cook, operate as a rice cooker, and even make yogurt. Of course, those additional settings are likely to mean you pay more for the model.
RELATED: The Best Slow Cookers
Electric Or Stovetop?
One of the first decisions when finding the pressure cooker best for you is whether you want it to be electric or stovetop. They both have their pros and cons so there is no right or wrong answer here, it is just about choosing which one is going to best suit your kitchen, lifestyle or cooking requirements.
Electric pressure cookers tend to take up counter space and they aren’t portable. They are also highly convenient and come with all kinds of extra features that busy home cooks will find handy. An electric pressure cooker has a digital timer which means it will turn off when the timer is finished so you don’t have to worry about being in the kitchen keeping an eye on it.
Electric pressure cookers are one touch, you set it and it will then autoregulate the temperature and pressure so it makes it easier to achieve the desired results. If this is your first time using a pressure cooker you may want the convenience of a one touch system and as much help as a technical product can give you, in which case the best one for you is going to be an electric pressure cooker.
If you want something that looks a bit more slick, or that can be taken camping and that could last for life, then maybe a stainless steel stovetop pressure cooker is the best choice for you. Stainless steel stovetop pressure cookers are something you have to put the time in to learn to use, but often when you have the hang of it, it will become an essential part of your cooking toolkit.
Stovetop pressure cookers can reach higher temperature and pressure levels than electric pressure cookers. As you need to manually control the heat of stovetop pressure cookers, it is easier to reach optimum heat levels. This is particularly useful for tasks such as browning meat before pressure cooking. There are clear advantages but keep in mind that even the best stovetop pressure cooker will not be as simple or convenient as an electric model.
When deciding how large you need your pressure cooker to be the two main considerations are how many people you will be regularly cooking for and how much available space there is in your kitchen. If you choose an electric pressure cooker, you need to make sure there is enough counter space for it.
When choosing the best pressure cooker keep in mind that you should not fill the pot up more than two-thirds. There needs to be space as the food will bubble and froth as it cooks and if it is too full it can block the steam pressure valve too.
With this in mind, it is best to buy a pressure cooker that is slightly larger so you have enough space to comfortably cook the meals you want.
This size guide: can help you determine the pressure cooker size that best suits your situation:
- Under 5 litres – this size is best for singles and couples. You can easily make a meal for two people in a smaller pressure cooker.
- 5 – 7 litres – this is the best pressure cooker for families of 3 – 5 people. It offers enough capacity for full meals but remains compact enough to store away when not in use.
- 7.5 – 10 litres – these are the best pressure cookers for large families. You can comfortably cook for more than 6 people making this a great option for regular dinner parties or cooking food in bulk.
If you plan to cook whole chicken or a large joint of meat you will need a larger pressure cooker to accommodate this.
Steam Release Valve
The steam or pressure release valve is a safety tool that releases steam from the pressure cooker. The pressure release valve reduces noise and vibration and also removes the pressure of the cooker so you can safely open the lid. Releasing steam with the valve also means you don’t have to allow extra cooling downtime once cooking is complete.
It is important the pressure release valve is easy to use and can be opened without the hot steam hitting your hand or face. It’s best not to place a pressure cooker under kitchen cabinets as the steam can cause the cupboards to warp and can create warm, damp areas for bacteria to grow.
Digital pressure cookers have automated steam release valves while other types of pressure cookers may require the valve to be turned manually during the cooking process. There is often an indicator that lets you know the pressure level so you will see when pressure needs to be reduced and when it is safe to open the pressure cooker lid.
As with any item we use in the kitchen, the easier that a product is to clean, the better. The best pressure cooker is going to be easy to clean, safe to use and offer plenty of functionality.
Look out for a cooking pot that is removable and dishwasher safe. It also helps if the lid is removable and dishwasher safe too. High-grade quality materials like stainless steel are a good sign that the product is durable and easy to clean. A quick read of user reviews can let you know whether a pressure cooker is user-friendly and easy cleaning or not.
Ideally, you don’t want a pressure cooker that has lots of seals and areas that need to be pulled apart to be cleaned as this is time-consuming and can be frustrating. Slow cooking is great but not if the cleaning process takes you the same amount of time to complete afterward.
You will mainly come across aluminium and stainless steel pressure cookers.
Stovetop pressure cookers can be made from aluminium or stainless steel. Aluminium pressure cookers are low cost, lightweight but have shorter life spans due to being less durable. Their lower price reflects the weaker material and reduced life span. Although a good option, the best stovetop pressure cooker and electric pressure cooker options are the stainless steel ones.
Arguably, the best pressure cookers are made from stainless steel. They are more durable and offer great value for money but they aren’t quite as good at conducting heat as an aluminium stovetop pressure cooker. Some higher quality models have a layered base with aluminium, this gives the best of both worlds and is a great option.
If you are leaning towards a stainless steel electric or stovetop pressure cooker, the best quality options are 18/10 stainless steel meaning it has 18% chromium and 10% nickel. This is durable, stain-resistant and easier to clean.
If you are choosing an electric pressure cooker you may also see options with non-stick inserts. This is easy to clean and is great for preventing food from sticking but it is less durable than stainless steel. The coating is known for wearing away and this means it needs to be replaced in order for it to continue being effective.
Automatic settings are handy but sometimes you can get versatility in basic cooking settings. Some key features you should look out for in a pressure cooker include; an adjustable temperature, the ability to cook food and set your own timer and the ability to switch the cooker pressure. These are all handy features to look out for should you wish to further extend your cooking capabilities with the product.
Another consideration is whether you want just a pressure cooker or a multi cooker. One appliance can be used for multiple cooking methods if you choose a multi cooker. This gives you the flexibility to slow cook, cook rice, saute, steam and more without needing different appliances. Many of the products reviewed above offer different cooking modes for the ultimate convenience in the kitchen.
By following our tips, and spending some time shopping around, you can get a product that does everything you want it to and more. Soon enough, you’ll be regularly making delicious pressure cooked meals at home for the whole family to enjoy.
Pressure Settings and PSI
The pressure cooker should have at least two pressure settings (high and low). This allows you to create a range of dishes with ease. Selecting the pressure setting should be straightforward and it should be obvious which setting or mode the pressure cooker is in. Depending on the model, the pressure setting is usually selected using a switch, button or pressure rings.
Another key factor to look out for is the PSI. This is how much pressure your pressure cooker can cook with, many recipes call for a 15 PSI pressure cooker. If you choose a 12-13 PSI or 8-9 PSI pressure cooker dishes will take 10-20% longer to cook. The best stovetop pressure cooker models generally offer around 15 PSI while an electric pressure cooker is often closer to 10 PSI.
One of the most common questions about pressure cookers is regarding safety. They are safe to use, especially if you have used a pressure cooker before and understand how they work, but it’s always good to choose a model that has safety features built in. Older models tend to have fewer safety features so if safety is a concern, go for a newer model.
Pressure cookers should have a lid-locking feature, this prevents you from getting burnt by removing the lid while cooking. A locking lid is a safer option and is best for family kitchens.
In addition to the locking lid, the handles need to be secure and easy to grip and there should be a precision valve pressure regulator that releases steam and regulates the pressure during cooking.
A visual pressure indicator is also a good safety feature as this lets you know what is happening inside the pot. The pressure indicator is a precise and accurate way of keeping an eye on the pressure and can include a light indicator, numbers or markings depending on the chosen model.
Warranty – a pressure cooker should last you many years so choosing a model that comes with a warranty. Make sure you read the fine print to find out exactly what the warranty covers. It can also be worthwhile checking the manufacturer’s website to see if they sell replacement parts such as silicones seals or gaskets on their website.
Accessories – a lot of recipes involve a cooking rack or steamer basket. Consider a pressure cooker that comes with these accessories or offers them at a low price. Other accessories you may be interested in include a glass lid for slow cooking, a split seperator for making more than one dish at a time and a stack steamer.
Side handles – as a pressure cooker can be heavy look for one that has two sturdy side hands. Two handles make it easier to lift the pressure cooker and move it around. Some options come with folding handles which can help save on space too. The handles need to be sturdy and well made so they can withstand the weight and stay cool during the cooking process.
Multi cookers – multi cookers give you a selection of cooking methods in one appliance. A pressure cooker that is also a rice cooker, can be used to slow cook, can air fry chips and so much more brings you versatility and flexibility. If you want to have the option of multiple cooking methods, choose a multi cooker option.
Non-stick – the downside to this is that it can wear easily and will need to be replaced if the layer becomes worn. Some users prefer this for its convenience and ease of cleaning so it’s good to know this is an option for pressure cookers too.
How To Use A Pressure Cooker
A pressure cooker works by using a weighted lid and a rubber ring that seals the cooker to make it airtight. This allows steam to build up inside and raises the temperature above boiling point. Pressure cooking can reduce cooking time by an average of two thirds. They are very efficient when used correctly and can save you time, energy and money.
Step by step guide to cooking with a pressure cooker:
Step 1) If desired, brown meat or vegetables first to give your dish more flavour.
Step 2) Add ingredients and liquid to the cooking pot (do not overfill the cooking pot). The liquid is essential as without liquid there will not be any steam. The pressure cooker instructions should include a minimum amount of liquid that needs to be used when pressure cooking.
Step 3) Close and lock lid, ensuring the valve is at the correct position
Step 4) On a programmable pressure cooker/ electric pressure cooker you would now need to select the cooking program and time. On a stovetop pressure cooker, you would need to turn the stove on high and select the pressure setting.
Step 5) The pressure will now begin to build up and the pressure cooking will begin. On a stovetop model, you will need to reduce the heat and start a timer once the pressure has built up.
Step 6) Safely release pressure, check the dish is cooked and serve.
Step 7) Clean and store it ready for the next use.
- Don’t overfill the cooker, there should be a max fill line on the inner bowl to indicate where you can fill the cooker to. You can generally not fill a pressure cooker more than two-thirds full.
- Add at least 2 cups of liquid so pressure can build within the cooker. Check the user instructions to find out the minimum amount of liquid you need to use inside the pot. You don’t need a lot of liquid as the liquid is not going to evaporate away.
- If you are browning cuts of meat, do it in small batches as overcrowding the cooker will make the meat tough.
- Don’t remove the lid without releasing pressure first. Many of the best pressure cookers have a safety feature that means the lid cannot be opened until the high pressure has reduced to safe levels.
- Follow the manuals care instructions.
- Multi cookers offer different settings such as a slow cooker, air fryer or rice cooker so make sure you find the best setting for the recipe.
- Store the cooker with the lid upside-down on the pot. Storing it the right way up can lock the lid and damage the seal.
What Can Be Cooked In A Pressure Cooker?
There are so many different dishes that can be made in a pressure cooker, these include:
- Curry and stew – extremely popular and easy to prepare
- Stocks – a pressure cooker is great for preparing homemade stocks
- Pot roast/ meat stew – make the classics with a high pressure cooker and you can enjoy tender meat without waiting all day for it to cook.
- Meat – braising or stewing meat in a pressure cooker can make it very tender
- Vegetables – carrots and potatoes are softened easily when cooked in a pressure cooker
- Legumes – dry beans and similar ingredients that normally take longer to cook are ready quicker
- Rice and risotto – easy to make and produces great results every time. Some multi use pressure cookers even have a rice cooker function too.
- Fruit – poach or steam fruit to make desserts and baby food
- Steamed puddings – for those with a sweeter tooth you can make steamed puddings and cheesecakes with fruit
There are heaps of dishes you can make in a pressure cooker. This kitchen appliance can handle a huge variety of dishes and reduces the cooking time considerably.
The main things you need to do when converting a regular recipe to a pressure cooker recipe is reduce the cooking time by around two thirds and add a small amount of liquid (if the recipe already includes liquid you probably don’t need to add as much as stated as the liquid does not evaporate away in the pressure cooker).
Pressure Cooker FAQs
For two people, pressure cookers under 6 litre capacity tend to work well. For medium to large families, a product with a capacity over 6 litres is ideal.
The effectiveness and ease-of-use of pressure cookers can enhance your ability to enjoy healthier dishes at home. However, it is the individuals choice whether they choose to cook healthy or unhealthy ingredients in the appliance.
Some cookers have a sauté setting, but usually it is advisable to use only a minimal amount of oil in a pressure cooker. Each manufacturer and model will have specific guidelines on the maximum amount of oil that can be used with the product.