What is a Programmable Pressure Cooker?

 Let’s start with the definition of a Pressure Cooker. Pressure cookers are considered the cheetahs of the cooking world because of how fast they process food. Pressure cookers are great for quickly cooking food while retaining the vitamins and minerals that can be lost when food is cooked using other methods. Though there are still learning curves that you need to know and get used to, so if you’re using a pressure cooker for the first time, it’s important to know how to get started safely. As a consumer, knowing the basic mechanisms of pressure cooking to be able to recognize an unsafe system will make all the difference when you start using your pressure cooker.

Ways on how to cook on your pressure cooker is really not that complicated. When you turn on the pressure cooker, there will be heat which produces steam that cooks food faster by raising the boiling point. There are two types of pressure cookers, first is the old style pressure cooker which has a “jiggle top” or weighted pressure regulator that sits on top of the vent pipe on the lid. The second type is the newer style that uses spring valves and a closed system.

old style pressure cooker vs weighted pressure regulator

After the stove-top pressure cookers, in 1991 came what they called “third generation” which is the electric pressure cooker. These include an electric heat source that is automatically regulated to maintain the operating pressure. They also include a spring-loaded valve. This pressure cooker type cannot be opened with a cold water quick-release method and should be operated with caution when releasing vapour through the valve, especially while cooking foamy foods and liquids.

Best Programmable Pressure Cookers Guide for Buyers

  • Instant Pot IP-DUO60
  • 6Qt/1000W
  • 14 built-in smart programs
  • Stainless Steel
  • 11,623 reviews
  • Instant Pot IP-DUO50
  • 5Qt/900W
  • 14 built-in smart programs
  • Stainless Steel
  • 11,623 reviews
  • Bella14124
  • 6.5Qt
  • 8 pre-set cooking times
  • Stainless Steel
  • 85 reviews
  • Secura 6-in-1
  • 6Qt
  • Micro-computerized temperature and time-control system
  • 18/10 Stainless Steel
  • 546 reviews
  • GoWISE USA® GW22620
  • 6Qt
  • 16 built-in smart programs
  • Stainless Steel
  • 361 reviews

Choosing the Best Programmable Pressure Cookers

When choosing the best programmable pressure cooker, you should understand first the tool or your pressure cooker.

1. You should know what a pressure cooker does. When it’s turned on, the heat produces steam that cooks food faster. The first is the old style pressure cooker which has a “jiggle top” or weighted pressure regulator that sits on top of the vent pipe on the lid. The second type is the newer style that uses spring valves and a closed system.

2. Check to make sure there are no dents or cracks in your pressure cooker before using it. Also check that the pressure cooker is clear of leftover food. Pressure cookers that have cracked can be dangerous as they release hot steam and might burn you. There must always be some sort of liquid in your pressure cooker before you cook anything in it. Then the cooker should never be more than ⅔ full of liquid as there needs to be room for the steam to accumulate.

3. You should understand the steamer basket and trivet. Pressure cookers come with a steamer basket that vegetables, seafood, and fruit are generally cooked on in the pressure cooker. The trivet is the basket’s stand. The trivet is placed in the bottom of the pressure cooker and the basket is placed on top of it. So in the end, whether you choose the old or newer style of pressure cooker you should consider the pros and cons and what are the main features because in the end it’s you who will experience the convenience of cooking.

Things to Look for When Buying the Best Programmable Pressure Cookers

Well obviously, one of the things that you need to look for when buying a pressure cooker is the parts and design. Portable pressure cookers consist of all or most of these basic component parts, depending on the manufacturer and model of pressure cooker. Pressure cookers are typically made of aluminum or stainless steel. Aluminum pressure cookers may be stamped, polished, or anodized, but all are unsuitable for the dishwasher. Aluminium is reactive to acidic foods, whose flavors are changed in the reactions, and less durable than stainless steel pressure cookers.

Higher-quality stainless steel pressure cookers are made with heavy, three-layer, or copper-clad bottoms (heat spreader) for uniform heating because stainless steel has lower thermal conductivity. Most modern stainless steel cookers are dishwasher-safe, although some manufacturers may recommend washing by hand. Some pressure cookers have a non-stick interior. A gasket or sealing ring, made from either rubber or silicone then forms a gas-tight seal that does not allow air or steam to escape between the lid and pan. Normally, the only way steam can escape is through a regulator on the lid while the cooker is pressurized. If the regulator becomes blocked, a safety valve provides a backup escape route for steam.

Parts of the pressure cooker include the Pan which is made of metal. Pan handles, usually one each on opposite ends, for carrying the cooker with both hands. Then there’s the lid. Lid handle, usually with a locking device button or slider which “clicks” shut and prevents removal while cooking. The accessories; which includes the steamer basket, Trivet for keeping the steamer basket above liquid and metal divider for separating different foods in the steamer basket.

Common Best Programmable Pressure Cookers Generation and Settings

For the best pressure cookers, its generation and settings is the key to its success when it comes to processing food. Its pressure and non-standard pressure settings should be taken into consideration. As per research, most pressure cookers have a cooking pressure setting between 0.8 – 1 bar 11.6 – 15 psi. The standard cooking pressure of 15 psi was determined by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1917. At this pressure, water boils at 121 °C or 250 °F.

The higher temperature causes food to cook faster; cooking times can typically be reduced to one-third of the time for conventional cooking methods. The actual cooking time also depends on the pressure release method used after timing and the thickness and density of the food, since thicker and denser foods take longer to cook. Frozen foods need extra cooking time to allow for thawing

When pressure cooking at 1 bar/15 psi, approximate cooking times are one minute for shredded cabbage, seven minutes for boiled potatoes (if cut small, not diced) and three minutes for fresh green beans. If the pressure is released naturally after timing (see Pressure release methods for details), cooking times are even shorter. Food cooks more quickly when cut into smaller pieces.

For the 1st generation with mechanical timer, there is no delayed cooking capability. While for the 2nd generation with digital controller, delayed cooking becomes possible and the controller shows a count-down timer when working pressure is reached. And for the 3rd generation with smart programming, Smart Programming includes pre-set cook times and settings, based on heating intensity, temperature, pressure and duration. Programmable electric pressure cookers, has become as intuitive to use as the microwave.

 

Best Programmable Pressure Cookers Brands

As most of the pressure cookers that are sold on the market, there are a few specific brands that have made themselves in the face of the competition and have managed to create a dedicated line of customers. While there are many models from other brands that are not well known, not everything depends on the brand, the following are three of the top pressure cookers brands manufacturers on the markets:

Instant Pot

Instant Pot definitely made its name and is now the highest rating on Amazon. The Instant Pot is a 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, Rice Cooker/Porridge Maker, Steamer, Sauté/Browning, Yogurt Maker and Warmer. It has 3 Adjustable Modes for most functions; 3 Sauté temperatures and 3 Slow Cook temperatures. It also has Dual pressure settings for fast and flexible cooking: Cooking with the high pressure reduces cooking time by up to 70% and the low pressure avoids overcooking delicate food.

Check other products in the Instant Pot line  

Bella

Bella cookers are the next highest ranking on Amazon. With 4.6 star rating, Bella made its name and make the customer trust their product. This slow cooker is like no other. You can first brown or sear your meats on the stove top, then finish cooking in the slow cooker itself for optimal and juicy results. This BELLA slow cooker is also lighter and easier to carry. Notable features include a digital countdown timer, 8 preset options, and a large 6.5QT capacity.

Check other products in the Bella line  

Secura

Secura also made its name for being the third highest rank on Amazon. It is a 6-quart multifunction electric cooker replaces your pressure cooker, slow cooker, food steamer, rice cooker, browning/sauté pan, soup maker. Automatic keep warm. It also has 18/10 stainless steel dishwasher-safe cooking pot; Cool-touch handles; Stainless steel lid with cool-touch finish, safe and energy efficient.

Check other products in the Secura Pot line  

 5 of the Best Programmable Pressure Cookers Reviews

  1. Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W, Stainless Steel Cooking Pot and Exterior, Latest 3rd Generation Technology
Instant Pop IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker is a 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker. It is a Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Steamer & Warmer Large, easy to use control panel with 14 built-in Smart Programs, Dual pressure, Automatic keep-warm and 3 temperatures for saute and slow cook UL and ULC certified with 10 proven safety mechanisms Highly energy efficient and kitchen friendly Include 3-ply bottom stainless steel cooking pot, stainless steel steam rack with handle & manual and recipes in English, Spanish, Chinese and French Note: indeed it is recommended filling liquid no higher than the MAX line on the inner pot, but for dry food, such as a chicken, pot roast, or steaming vegetables, the inner pot can be filled with food over the MAX line. The inner pot capacity is rated 6Qt for the full size. This is going to be your top choice.

Read Full Review Here 

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  1. Instant Pot IP-DUO50 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker with Stainless Steel Cooking Pot and Exterior, 5Qt/900W, Latest 3rd Generation Technology
Instant pot is a smart electric pressure cooker designed to aim safety, convenience and dependable. It speeds up cooking by 2-6 times using up to 70% less energy, and, above all, produces nutritious healthy food in a convenient and consistent fashion. IP-DUO is a 7-in-1 programmable cooker, building on our best-selling IP-LUX series, with the functions of pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker & warmer. A 24-hour timer allows for delayed cooking. Automatic keep-warm holds the temperature of the food until you serve it. Instant pot generates almost no noise and leaks no steam. It traps all the aromas in the food without heating up the kitchen. The 3-ply bottom stainless steel inner pot is extremely durable and leaves no health concerns of non-stick coating residual. The new slim body design has smaller foot print and lid holders for both left and right handed users. The brushed stainless steel exterior is finger print resistant. Its elegant and durable design makes it easy to clean and pleasurable to use for the years to come. IP-DUO uses the latest 3rd generation technology with an embedded microprocessor, which monitors the pressure and temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity. Even the volume of food is also taken into consideration. The cooking programs have been lab-tested hundreds of times for optimal effect. These greatly improve cooking result and maintain consistence. Instant pot is carefully designed to eliminate many common errors from causing harm or spoiling food. It passed the stringent UL certification giving you uncompromised safety and peace of mind and protects you with 10 proven safety mechanisms and patented technologies.

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  1. BELLA 14124 Programmable Slow Cooker with Searing Pot, 6.5-Quart, Stainless Steel
The Bella 14124 Programmable Slow Cooker is a Searing Pot and Slow Cooker in one. It can add more depth and flavor to your meals with the Bella Programmable 6.5-Quart Slow Cooker with Searing Pot. This slow cooker has a removable aluminum pot for browning or searing your meat on the stovetop. After browning, replace the pot in the slow cooker to finish cooking. It has Eight Preset Cooking Times for Quick Programming that take the guesswork out of slow cooking by selecting one of the eight preset cooking times for chicken, pork, beef, or stew. You can also manually program your desired temperature and time from 30 minutes up to 20 hours. When finished cooking, the slow cooker will automatically shift to the warm setting.

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  1. Secura 6-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker 6qt, 18/10 Stainless Steel Cooking Pot, Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Steamer, Rice Cooker, Browning/Sauté, Soup Maker
The Secura 6-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker is a 6-quart multifunction electric cooker replaces your pressure cooker, slow cooker, food steamer, rice cooker, browning/sauté pan, soup maker. Automatic keep warm. It has 18/10 stainless steel dishwasher-safe cooking pot; Cool-touch handles; Stainless steel lid with cool-touch finish, safe and energy efficient. It also has Micro-computerized temperature and time-control system; Digital display; Convenient lid bracket; Up to 24-hour delay timer.

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  1. GoWISE USA® GW22620 Latest 4th-Generation Programmable Pressure Cooker. 8-in-1 multi-function, 6Qt/1000W, Stainless Steel Cooking Pot, steam and egg rack
GoWISE USA® GW22620 is a new model of programmable pressure cooker. It is an 8-in-1 multifunction cooker: pressure cooker, rice cooker, bean cooker, yogurt maker, food warmer, steamer, sauté, slow cooker, and egg maker. The pressure is preset depending on what cooking option you use. It has 12 cooking options with preset times that make cooking easy for you. They are “Rice”, “Multigrain”, “Porridge”, “Steam”, “Soup”, “Meat/Stew”, “Bean/Chili”, “Sauté”, “Poultry”, “Yogurt”, “Slow Cook”, “Egg Maker” and a manual time setter, “Pressure Time +” and “Pressure Time -” for those who want to do it themselves. This pressure cooker allows the user to choose between low and high pressure as well as temperature settings for the slow cook function. It also features a delay timer for people who want their food to be cooked and ready by a certain time and a pressure reading display to show how much pressure is being used for the duration of the cooking time.

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