Our pick

Instant Pot

Modern classic

Presto 01370 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

The Instant Pot is a brand name pressure cooker that also has other uses, such as sautéing meats, steaming vegetables, cooking rice and porridge, making homemade yogurt, and more. It's pretty easy to use once you get through the basics in the manual, and the price is pretty reasonable.

$80 on Amazon

Pros

  • Comes in a variety of different sizes and models.
  • Has many different modes.
  • Mostly set it and forget it
  • You can adjust to low or high pressure when needed.
  • Usually quieter than stovetop cookers

Cons

  • Can seem intimidating to newcomers.
  • All the options can make a purchase confusing.
  • Takes a while to get to pressure
  • Electrical components may fail after several years

Stovetop pressure cookers, in general, are easy to use from the get-go, since they only pressure cook and sauté. But you'll need to babysit them on the stove, and they produce more noise while in use. The price range on stovetop pressure cookers can range anywhere from around $50 to over $200.

$68 on Amazon

Pros

  • Comes to pressure faster than electric models.
  • Better at browning meats
  • Usually has pressure regulators
  • Works on your existing regular or smooth top stove ranges.
  • Can last much longer than electric versions.

Cons

  • Requires more attention.
  • Produces more noise than electric versions.
  • Only for pressure cooking

While your parents or grandparents may swear by those traditional stovetop pressure cookers because they last for decades, it's really all about convenience nowadays. After all, how can you not like a machine that practically lets you dump in all of your ingredients into the pot, set the timer, and then walk away without a care in the world? Let's break it down a bit further.

It's about convenience

In this day and age, it's all about the convenience factor, especially when it comes to kitchen appliances. Who wants to spend more time working in the kitchen after a long day of work? This is where the Instant Pot, along with other electric pressure cookers, really shine compared to their stovetop counterparts.

Instant Pot Stovetop Pressure Cooker
Varying sizes Yes Yes
Variety of models Yes Yes
Fastest cooking times No Yes
Ease-of-use Yes No
Requires babysitting No Yes
Sauté Yes Yes
Multiple cooking modes Yes No
Quiet Yes No
Stainless steel Yes Yes
Durability No Yes

As you can see, both the Instant Pot and a generic stovetop pressure cooker can prepare your meals quickly, with the stovetop being faster because they reach higher heat and pressure levels.

However, stovetop cookers need to be supervised, because you'll need to adjust the heat level as it reaches pressure, making sure that it's at exactly the right level. When you look at it this way, compared to an electric pressure cooker where you just set it and forget it, having to keep watch on the stovetop is a lot of extra work. With the Instant Pot, just dump in your ingredients, set the mode and time, walk away, and relax!

The Instant Pot and other electric pressure cookers are also superior because they serve more than one purpose and can cut down on the number of appliances you need in the kitchen. With an Instant Pot, you get a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, yogurt maker, sterilizer (only in the DUO Plus, ULTRA, and MAX models), egg cooker, cake maker, stew and chili maker, and more. A stovetop pressure cooker, on the other hand, will only be able to help you sauté and pressure cook.

Plus, if you're renovating your kitchen and don't have a working stove at the moment, you won't be able to use your stovetop pressure cooker. The Instant Pot and other electric pressure cookers can be used anywhere with an outlet since it's powered by electricity.

Even though stovetop pressure cookers may last for decades, we find that it just involves too much work. Instant Pot makes it super easy to cook healthy and delicious meals without much effort. And honestly, it's great to be able to cook while you're just sitting on the couch with a nice drink after a long and stressful day. Plus, Instant Pot has plenty of sizes and models to fit all of your cooking needs.

Our pick

Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi Cooker

Set-it-and-forget-it cooking

Instant Pot is a trusted name brand of electric pressure cooker. It offers different sizes and models, but they all come with multiple cooking modes and let you cook tasty meals without having to babysit the pot.

Traditional pressure cooking

Presto 8 Qt Stovetop Pressure Cooker

Old-school deliciousness

Presto's line of stovetop pressure cookers comes in a variety of sizes and is fairly easy to use once you understand how to get the proper pressure level from manual heating. It's also faster than electric pressure cookers (but with more work) and will last you for years on end.

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