Pressure cooker review

08/2019

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Pressure Cooker

Time-consuming dishes such as goulash or potatoes can be prepared quickly with a pressure cooker. In addition, you are not only saving time in the kitchen, your meals are also much more tasty and richer in vitamins than from conventional pots. We have tested 3 pressure cookers, paying special attention to safety and user-friendliness. Our test winner is the P2530738 Secure 5 Neo pressure cooker from Tefal: This cooker is particularly easy to use and has practical steam accessories. Our favourite with a test score of 9,3/10!

We test independently. Askgeorge.com uses affiliate links. For a purchase via a link marked with a or our price comparison, we may receive a small commission.

last modified: 05.11.2019, 12:35
Winner Best price winner
Our winner: Tefal Secure 5 Neo Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker WMF Perfect Pressure cooker Review AmazonBasics Pressure cooker Review

Tefal
Secure 5 Neo Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

WMF
Perfect Pressure cooker

AmazonBasics
Pressure cooker

  • Steam varnish accessories included
  • Easy handling due to 2 opposite handles
  • Module, which provides the correct steam outlet
  • Practical cooking display
  • Handles facing each other
  • Pressure valve can be released if required
  • Easy opening of the pot via a sliding knob
  • 2 grips for easy handling
  • Cooking display difficult to view
  • Steam accessories must be purchased separately
  • The pressure release is under the handle and is somewhat impractical to operate
  • No different print settings
  • No steam cooker sieve
  • Unsteady fixing of the pressure valve

A great companion in the kitchen and can be used in many ways.

Good pot, but missing pressure adjustment and inconvenient pressure relief.

A reliable pot that does its job well.

Energy efficiency
Capacity
Safety
Equipment
User friendly
Height 25 cm 19 cm 17 cm
Width 25 cm 25 cm 25 cm
Depth 45 cm 44 cm 45 cm
Packaging Attractive and functionally illustrated Attractive and functionally illustrated Unattractive, plain parcel box
Weight 3370 g 2770 g 2630 g
Scope of delivery Pressure cooker with lid and steam strainer Pressure cooker with lid Pressure cooker with lid
Quality impression Very good Very good Good
Quality of instructions Very good Very detailed and illustrated with pictures Very well and extensively described
Manual language FR, EN, NL, DE, IT, SV, FI, DA, NO, ES, PT, EL DE, GB, ES, BG, DE, FI, FR, GR, IT, NL, NO, PL, PT, RU, SE, SK, SI, CZ, TR, HU, HR EN, FR, DE, IT, ES
Additional warranty 10 years 3 years from date of purchase Unknown
Material Stainless steel Cromagan Stainless steel, plastic
Capacity litres 6 4,5 4
Suitable for induction Yes Yes Yes
Steam cooking possible Yes, accessories included Yes , but no suitable equipment included No suitable accessories included
Heat insulating handle Yes Yes Yes
Temperature of handles Handwarm, not noticeable Handwarm, not noticeable Handwarm, not noticeable
Removable handle No Yes No
Safety valve Yes Yes Yes
Heat distribution Even Even Even
Pressure valve 1: vegetable symbol; 2: meat symbol; steam vent; module removal No 1: up to 50 kPa; 2: up to 90 kPa; steam outlet, module removal
Pressure control Yes No Yes
Pressure regulation for sensitive foods Vegetables and meat No Can be changed in two positions
Dishwasher safe Only the pot and the steam accessories Only the pot, the lid without handle and possible attachments can be cleaned with the dishwasher Only the pot
Cleaning by hand Easy to do Easy to do Easy to do
☆☆☆☆☆
★★★★★
360 reviews
☆☆☆☆☆
★★★★★
18 reviews
☆☆☆☆☆
★★★★★
52 reviews
Test seal: Tefal Secure 5 Neo Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker, Rating 1.5
read review
Test seal: WMF Perfect Pressure cooker, Rating 2
read review
Test seal: AmazonBasics Pressure cooker, Rating 2.1
read review
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*All prices include VAT (if applicable, extra charge for delivery. Check the particular online shop to find information about the availability. Changes of indicated prices since the last update remain reserved.

Tested products

1st place: Tefal Secure 5 Neo Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

Test seal: Tefal Secure 5 Neo Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker, Rating good

The Tefal - P2530738 Secure 5 Neo Pressure cooker is very easy to handle and can be closed easily, whilst the self-locking lid ensures good safety.

In general, the pot cooks quickly and reliably and has almost no danger zones.

The module that allows you to control the pressure in the pot is helpful and also easy to use and clean. A disadvantage is that the cooking display is so poorly visible.

read review
WMF Perfect Pressure cooker - thumbnail Test seal: WMF Perfect Pressure cooker, Rating good

2nd place: WMF Perfect Pressure cooker

The WMF - Perfect pressure cooker is a good pressure cooker, but it hooks a bit in some places and the steam releases unclean. Otherwise the pot heats up quickly and the cooking indicator is very helpful for estimating. Another practical feature is that the handle can be removed. This makes it possible to clean the pan very thoroughly.

read review
AmazonBasics Pressure cooker - thumbnail Test seal: AmazonBasics Pressure cooker, Rating good

3rd place: AmazonBasics Pressure cooker

The AmazonBasics - Pressure cooker is a simple pressure cooker, which only loses some water when the pressure is released. Here you have to be a little careful. Apart from that, the module is helpful. Otherwise it is easy to operate and the small pressure indicator makes it easy to handle. Food is reliably prepared in it.

read review

Tefal - Secure 5 Neo Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

Winner: read review
  • The lid must fit properly, otherwise no pressure can be generated
  • You should make sure that there is only as much water in the pot as indicated so the pot works as it should
  • Keep a close eye on the time so the food doesn't overcook
  • Caution when releasing pressure
 

Test procedure
In the run-up to the test, we defined the following test criteria:

  • Safety
  • Capacity
  • Equipment
  • Energy efficiency
  • User-friendliness
  • Heat distribution

In order to be able to evaluate these criteria, we have defined several tests for pressure cookers. First, the scope of delivery and functions are checked. In the first test runs, 750 g potatoes are cooked in each cooker. At the same time, potatoes are cooked in a conventional cooker to check how much faster the pressure cookers are.

Goulash ingredients: 100 g pork, 500 g beef, 2 peppers, 3 onions, 1 garlic clove, 200 g cream fraiche, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, some chili powder and salt and pepper

In the following process goulash is prepared in the pots. A total of 100 g pork, 500 g beef, 2 peppers, 3 onions, 1 garlic clove, 200 g cream fraiche, 2 tablespoons tomato paste and a little chili powder as well as salt and pepper are used. When frying the meat, the heat distribution of the pots is checked for evenness. User-friendliness, safety and energy efficiency are also evaluated during cooking. Finally, the pots are cleaned by hand.

Pressure cooker in our testkitchen
One of the pressure cookers in our testkitchen

In order to eliminate errors and to ensure the strain of everyday use, each test takes place in several rounds.

The test criteria are given percentages depending on their importance. The final score is then objectively calculated from the test criteria using an algorithm.

Product selection
Our product selection is based on observation of the current market. In addition to popular branded products, we also include insider tips in our selection. Criteria such as price and range of functions are an important factor for us. The test field is also determined by analysis and evaluation of customer reviews and external tests (e.g. Stiftung Warentest).

The devices are purchased anonymously or lent to us by the manufacturer. Dealers and manufacturers have no influence on the tests and our evaluation.

As soon as new relevant products come onto the market, our test field is extended by these. The new products go through the same test as the already tested devices.

Modern pressure cookers are safer than ever before: a multi-stage safety system ensures absolute cooking pleasure. It saves you time and improves the taste of delicious food.

Because food loses an important part of all its ingredients when cooked with water! But a pressure cooker works differently: it cooks particularly gently with only a small amount of water. If you follow the safety instructions, it's very easy to use.

But before purchasing, you should know exactly what you would like to do with it. In addition, you should familiarize yourself with the basic functions, because not everything is written in the user manual.

If you have decided to buy a pressure cooker, you have to consider even more. Afterwards a quick overview of the most important purchase criteria.

Set or single?

Sets offer different sizes, which is particularly suitable for larger households or if you have many guests. You also save money with a set, because it's usually cheaper than buying it individually. With a set you are always prepared for everything!

Material

Classic pressure cookers are usually made of stainless steel or aluminium. Stainless steel has the advantage that it allows cleaning to be done more often and therefore lasts longer. In the meantime there are also pressure cookers with ceramic coating. This means even more convenience for cleaning and operation!

Diameter and stove

In diameter, a pressure cooker is usually somewhat smaller than a conventional cooker of the same volume. In the beginning you have to get used to it. But as with normal cooking, the same applies here: The pot should match the stove! In the product description you will find the information for which stove it is suitable.

Cooking steps

A classic pressure cooker has only two choices: Easy and quick cooking. So there isn't much choice here. The electric pressure cooker is different: it offers a maximum of programs and cooking levels. So you can treat yourself and your guests!

Additional functions

A timer is very convenient: it ensures that all your food is cooked at the time you want. Cooking for hours is a thing of the past, as well as losing important vitamins and other nutrients. The fill level indicator, on the other hand, is located in the pot itself: Particularly inexperienced people will find it a lot easier to use a pressure cooker, because it shows the maximum amount of water you can fill the pot with.

The first question is always about the right size. There are four different models, starting with 2.5 litres. This smallest size is sufficient for one or two portions, which is enough for you and possibly for someone else.

If you want to cook for more people, you need a bigger pot. 4.5 to 5 litres is enough for two to three people, for example for you and your family. But there are also larger pressure cookers. They can supply up to five people and have a capacity of 8 litres.

Just a small amount of water is needed to ensure a gentle preparation.

For social evenings with lots of guests, it's best to use the largest size: It has a capacity of 10 litres and easily serves more than five people.

In addition to the size, the type of the pressure cooker determines your purchase. That's why you should ask yourself this question: What are you going to use your pressure cooker for?

Classic pressure cooker

Classic pressure cookers are heated by a stove plate, but the stove plate does not remain switched on as long. This saves a lot of electricity. With this pressure cooker you simply can't go wrong if you cook at home. It offers only two settings. All in all, however, the functions are enough to make this pressure cooker a classic of the modern kitchen.

Electric pressure cooker

An electric pressure cooker doesn't need a stove, it needs a socket! It also offers you a number of additional functions, such as an automatic programme for certain dishes. The electric pressure cooker works with time preselection, which is very practical: it does not have to start immediately, but can also wait with it. Load the pressure cooker in the morning before you leave the house. When you come home in the afternoon, the food is ready on time!

Pressure cooker for microwaves

To be able to cook food gently in the microwave as well, inventors have come up with something. If you only cook food on a plate or in an open bowl, it often tastes bland. But putting a conventional pressure cooker in the microwave wouldn't be wise. So there are special pressure cookers for the microwave. Actually, this is more of a bowl that is sealed airtight.

Pressure cooker with induction base

If you have an induction stove, you also need a special pressure cooker: a model with induction base. It gives you the possibility to set different heat levels. It also heats up faster and ensures that the energy is transferred optimally. With such a model you save money, protect the environment and cook in a very sustainable way!

Pressure cooker for camping

There are different models on the market. Some of them require a special hotplate. If you are taking one with you on vacation this is the model for you. But if you mainly cook with gas, you will need a special pressure cooker.

Compression cooker, steam cooker or pressure cooker: All these terms mean the same thing. The principle behind it is as simple as it is genius. When the pot closes airtight, pressure builds up inside. Higher pressure also means: higher boiling temperature of water. This means that the food can be cooked at higher temperatures than in a normal cooking pot. The pressure cooker is therefore always used for food that normally takes quite a long time to cook.

Take care when draining the hot steam!

This is made possible by a mechanism that really closes the lid airtight. This includes a bayonet lock and a seal, but also a valve. The valve regulates the pressure and, if necessary, releases some. News about exploding pressure cookers is therefore now a thing of the past. Technology has evolved over the last few decades - not fundamentally, but in terms of safety.

The module helps with pressure regulation
The module helps with pressure regulation

Pressure cookers therefore have a few significant advantages. Because steam is formed inside, less water is needed and the energy used is much lower. The food is also gently cooked, so it retains most of its valuable ingredients. A lot is lost during normal cooking, especially vitamins, but also taste. And you need much more time for cooking!

You can use the pressure cooker in many ways: for stewing as well as for steaming or also for conserving. This variety is made possible by its use: it ensures that your food does not come into contact with the water on the bottom. Such a tripod, as the insert is often still called, is an important utensil for gentle cooking in a pressure cooker. Of course, you can also cook normally with the pressure cooker.

But not all pressure cookers are the same. It's not just the brand that plays a role here, but the type of pressure cooker can also be very different from other pressure cookers. That's why it's recommended that you consider what you're trying to achieve before purchasing.

In the pressure cooker, the produced steam builds up pressure. The water boils at higher temperatures, as does the food to be cooked, which significantly reduces the cooking time. This principle has a few advantages, but also a disadvantage: You can't use it for everything because it's pointless. If you want to cook eggs, for example, you don't need a pressure cooker. Here, the time saved would be too short and the energy consumption too high. That's why it's simply not worth using the pressure cooker at all.

The fact that the pressure cooker cooks faster is only worthwhile for dishes that take a long time. Therefore, simply boiling water or milk shouldnt be done with the pressure cooker, just like other liquids. Exceptions are soups, such as stews. Above all, the pressure cooker is practical for solid foods, which is why you can stew excellent meat with it.

Goulash in the tefal pot
Goulash in the tefal pot

But even vegetables remain wonderfully tender! Everything you need water for is also possible: Classic cooking is one of the main activities of your pressure cooker! However, one thing is always important: you need just the right amount of water to get the best result.

With special inserts you you can get the best results with your pressure cooker. They are mainly used to protect sensitive food. Because you first fill the food into the insert, place it in the pot and then fill up only so little water that your food does not come into contact with it. This has both taste advantages and consequences for the ingredients of your food: Anything that does not come into direct contact with water retains valuable vitamins for longer!

This is probably the biggest advantage of the pressure cooker: You are saving time. No matter what you are preparing - it is much faster than with normal cooking pots. This is only possible because of this function: water inside the pot not only reaches a hundred degrees, but also cooks at 119 degrees Celsius. The difference doesn't seem very big, but it is crucial for time-saving cooking: These few degrees ensure that your delicious dish often takes only half as long to finish.

Depending on the manufacturer, the pressure cookers come with a chart showing the cooking times for different dishes. This is very helpful, but not all you need to know. The actual cooking time logically only begins when the pressure has been built up and the saucepan has unfolded its full potential. Maybe you're wondering now what's going on with the time between switching it on and then? That's a good question!

This is the precooking time. It is sometimes a little neglected, so many don't even know it. Precooking time means: In addition to the cooking time, you have to plan a little time in which the pot will, so to speak, reach operating temperature. The precooking time is usually not included in the cooking charts mentioned above! So you have to add them on your own responsibility. The precooking time depends on the size and filling quantity of your pressure cooker.

It's the same with steaming off - this is also not found in the cooking charts. This also varies depending on the model and size. Manual fast steaming takes an average of one to two minutes.

The more carefully the steam is released, the more time you have to spend here! In general, these can only be rough guidelines: How fast everything takes with your model, you will learn quickly, however, if you have used it a few times. Important: A little experimenting with the times can't hurt. After all, you want to get the most out of the pressure cooker!

If you have a lot of time, you can simply reduce the pressure yourself. Then the pot cools down a bit. But that takes about 13 to 16 minutes! Please note that the food will still cook a little.

Working with a pressure cooker is easy. However, it always requires a certain amount of caution, as a lot of pressure builds up inside. Explosions can hardly occur, but they cannot be completely ruled out. For reassurance: With proper use, hardly anything can happen today - provided that you are well informed about the function and correct operation of a pressure cooker. This concerns two of its parts in particular.

On the one hand, the safety valve must always be clean and functional. Its function is to adjust the pressure down automatically when it becomes too high. That's why you should always clean the valve properly! The good news is that even if the safety valve gets dirty, it still takes a long time for it to really fail. So here's the all-clear: a modern pressure cooker is very safe!

Always keep the safety valve clean!

For all those who want to know more: Inside your pressure cooker, an internal pressure builds up that is about 1.8 times as high as the normal pressure. Only in this way the boiling temperatures can be shifted upwards, which is why your pot is able to cook its contents more quickly. If the pressure threatens to become too high, the safety valve releases the pressure. This works automatically, which is why a modern pressure cooker normally cannot explode at all.

But the lid must also close properly! If this should not be the case and the pot would be switched on, the following would happen: The pressure rises, the lid cannot withstand it and lifts off. As a result, everything would shoot upwards! The risk of injury would be enormous, which is of course unacceptable. Therefore, make sure that the lid closes correctly! You can usually tell by the clear clicking sound when closing the lid. Good pressure cookers have an extra indicator that the pot is correctly closed. Finally, before and after each cooking session, check the gaskets, the stopper and the valves!

You should take the care instructions of the manufacturer seriously. Most pressure cookers may be put in the dishwasher, only the sealing ring may not, often also the application: These should be cleaned by hand. It is different with pressure cookers from the camping area. If you don't want to do a lot of work, you should check before buying whether the pot in question is suitable for the dishwasher or not.

Are there any spare parts?

The service life is not infinite, especially with the simple models. But even high-quality pressure cookers are subject to wear and tear. Valves and sealing rings are most frequently affected. That's why you should find out where you can get spare parts before you purchase.

The rubber ring is most frequently affected
The rubber ring is most frequently affected

Old cooking rules, which you may still know from traditional cooking, can be forgotten very quickly here. For example, the rule that the food to be cooked should always be just covered with water: This works completely differently when cooking with a pressure cooker.

But here, too, it's all about accurately measuring the right amount of water. It should neither be too much nor too little. If you are unsure, have a look at the user manual: it provides important information for newcomers!

Steam cooking requires little water, but too little is not good either. Otherwise what happens: The cooking process does not get going. This is not desirable, so you should take special care here. As a guideline, 250 ml of water is often enough to cook your food perfectly. But you should always consider the capacity! The bigger your pressure cooker is, the more water it needs.

But too much is not good either. A thumb rule is: do not fill more than about two thirds of the pot with water. Otherwise the cooking process will be delayed too much. This means that the water is difficult to boil despite the pressure. As a result, you lose the decisive advantage of your pressure cooker, namely speed!

If your pot has a fill level indicator, this can also help enormously. It shows the amount of water you are allowed to fill in in order to work optimally with the pressure cooker. Furthermore, the amount of water depends on the recipe you are currently using.

The two-thirds rule mentioned above applies above all to stews. But you need less to cook crispy vegetables!

Many manufacturers include it in their products, while with other models you have to buy it separately: we're talking about applications. It helps you to cook the food correctly. If you simply put everything in the pot and add water, your food would come into contact with the water. But sometimes that's not desired at all. The very name steam cooker says it all: In pressure cookers, steam cooking is the preferred cooking method.

That's why you need the insert! The purchase is also worthwhile if a manufacturer offers the insert separately, because steam cooking is much more gentle than cooking.

With such a steam insert, you can also determine the level at which your food is cooked. If you use several levels, different foods can be cooked together without coming into contact with each other. This is called floor cooking, and combi cooking is also a common term. Then some of the food is cooked on the floor, the rest is placed in the insert. This has proved particularly successful in the combination of meat with vegetables and fish with vegetables. It takes a little experience to do this, but over time this happens all by itself!

Some inserts are unperforated, others perforated. The difference: Water can drip off through the holes in the bottom when it condenses. This happens during the heating phase, when the steam is not hot enough.

With such a special insert, you give the condensate the chance to drip off downwards. This is desirable for all food that should not absorb too much moisture. Exceptions are rice and spelt. Here you don't need a perforated insert. Depending on the model, the inserts belong on bridges, which are supplied by the manufacturer. Others can be placed in the pot without further accessories.

This important point mainly concerns the cover and sealing ring. Although the lid is actually stable, it has weak points: Handle and valve. If they are broken, the whole lid has to be replaced. Here you go by model and order from the manufacturer. But if you use an older model, this can be problematic. What to do if your model is no longer on the market?

If the model is no longer known, you should at least know the manufacturer, because here too he is your first point of contact. The reason: As a rule, one manufacturer uses the same locking mechanism for all models. If you look for a suitable lid from the same manufacturer, you can assume that it fits. Ask your company about safety before you buy!

In general, modern pressure cookers are particularly safe. The operation has also become easier and easier over the years, which also applies to complicated processes such as steaming off or letting off pressure. The pressure can be released manually or automatically. If there is a problem inside, the safety valve detects it automatically and acts immediately. Pressure is released, the danger is averted.

In case of problems like the one below, the pot should no longer be used - something is wrong! If steam escapes between pot and lid, the rubber seal may be defective. It normally ensures that the steam remains safely inside the pressure cooker. Do not use the pot any more! Let off steam manually or automatically and hand over the pot for inspection. If it's already older, it's definitely worth buying a new one! Then you have another advantage: the more modern a pressure cooker is, the safer it is.

On the cooking display you can see how high the pressure is and you can adjust the heat level
On the cooking display you can see how high the pressure is and you can adjust the heat level

For many models, for example, an indicator signals when the maximum pressure has been reached. At the same time, the pot locks automatically so you can't open it accidentally. All this is part of modern safety technology: it ensures in several stages that you cook more safely with new pressure cookers. The lid cannot be opened until the pressure has been released - this is called evaporating! This function considerably minimizes the risk of injury! If the valve heats up too much, it also releases pressure to prevent excessive overpressure. This works automatically and requires no further intervention from your side.

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  • What are the comparison criteria?
  • What tests are we going to run?
  • What is the test procedure?

When everything's settled, we'll bring the devices to us. For each product the test procedure, the measured values and product properties are documented in detail. We create photos and videos. We evaluate the results for you, summarize everything in a test report and calculate the test grade.

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2019-08-08
What is the best pressure cooker?
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AskGeorge.com

Time-consuming dishes such as goulash or potatoes can be prepared quickly with a pressure cooker. In addition, you are not only saving time in the kitchen, your meals are also much more tasty and richer in vitamins than from conventional pots. We have tested 3 pressure cookers, paying special attention to safety and user-friendliness. Our test winner is the P2530738 Secure 5 Neo pressure cooker from Tefal: This cooker is particularly easy to use and has practical steam accessories. Our favourite with a test score of 9,3/10!

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