Choosing the best pressure cooker is not always an easy task. There are so many to choose from, and knowing which cooker is going to provide the best performance and durability day in and day out for your family is nearly impossible to figure out without trying them all out yourself.
That’s not really feasible for you to do, so here at Hometop, we sifted through the data to analyze over 100+ pressure cookers based on reviews, ratings, materials of construction, and size to narrow down the selection to just the eight best pressure cookers.
Then we purchased them and tested them out ourselves to see how good they actually were.
There was a lot of data to crunch. So, we've summarized the test results below. If you’d like to see the full testing procedure, you can find it here.
BEST STAINLESS STEEL
Prestige Deluxe Alpha Stainless Steel Cooker
5 Year Warranty
BEST ALUMINIUM & BUDGET PICK
Pigeon Favorite Aluminum Cooker
5 Year Warranty
BEST HARD ANODISED
Prestige Deluxe Plus Mini Pressure Cooker
5 Year Warranty
Best Pressure Cooker (Stainless Steel)
Prestige Deluxe Alpha Stainless Steel
Out of all stainless steel pressure cookers we tested, the Prestige Deluxe Alpha was truly the shining star (literally, thanks to its glossy stainless steel body). This pressure cooker comes in four different sizes. The options you have are a 2 Litre pressure cooker, 3 litre pressure cooker, 3.3 litre pressure cooker and a 5.5 litre pressure cooker. Since it’s made from stainless steel, it’s resistant to corrosion and very durable. It is available in multiple sizes and is good for families having 2 - 8 members.
This pressure cooker also comes with a host of safety features, like a pressure relief whistle valve, a pressure indicator, a gasket release system as a backup in case the safety valve fails, and even a safety plug that will melt if every other safety feature ceases to function as it should. And if that’s not enough, it also comes with a 10-year warranty so you’re covered if something breaks unexpectedly.
And since stainless steel cookers are always very heavy, the Prestige Deluxe Alpha comes equipped with an extra grip, which was really nice to have. The cooker was sufficiently fast to cook but a little slow to cool, but it beat the competition with its Safety. Features, ease of use, design and good brand and service backing.
No proper warranty details ?
10 years warranty is provided for the Cooker
Does it have conventional whistle?
Yes, it has a conventional whistle
How to insert lid?
Align the arrow on the lid & the cooker base, push the lid down and rotate in clockwise direction
What is the pressure indicator?
A pressure indicator is a device that indicates if pressure is still there inside the cooker and helps for safer opening of the lid
is gasket included?
Yes, 1 gasket is included
Can we use a cooking pan?
Without the lid, it can be used as a pan (just that it wont be non-stick)
Here are a few other things we liked
- Works with induction and gas
- Outer lid design (easy to use)
- Gasket release system, pressure indicator, and safety plug (safety)
- Ergonomic, rounded handle & grip provided (2 screws in each)
- 10-year warranty
But, while this pressure cooker has a host of features, there were a few things we didn’t like about it too. Since you typically buy a pressure cooker in order to cook food faster, we were surprised that this Prestige pressure cooker was actually slower to cook than others we tested (it wasn’t dramatic, but noticeable).
Here are a few other things we didn’t like
- This model was priced significantly higher than aluminium cookers of similar size (more than double)
- There was rice was stuck to the base after cooking (may depend on quantity of water)
- Very heavy compared to other pressure cookers (but is has grips on the side)
These negatives aside (even the slower cooking times), this pressure cooker is an outstanding purchase if you have the budget, since it combines an excellent feature set with durable, corrosion-resistant construction. So that said, we highly recommend the Prestige Deluxe Alpha stainless steel pressure cooker.
Best Aluminium & Best Budget Pressure Cooker
Pigeon Favorite Aluminum
The Pigeon Favorite aluminum pressure cooker is quite popular, and for good reason. It’s price tag is a third of the Prestige pressure cooker above and thanks to the aluminum build it’s exceptionally lightweight.
The Pigeon Favorite comes in two sizes (3 Litre pressure cooker and 5 litre pressure cooker) and weighs in at 1.44kg. The 3 litre pressure cooker and 5 litre pressure cooker makes it ideal for families between 3-7 members and not more.
And even though it’s a cheap pressure cooker, it still has just about every safety feature that the Prestige cooker above has too (minus the pressure indicator). Plus, it cooks very efficiently. Yes, another handle grip would be helpful but it doesn't matter as much as other heavier cookers. Although it sounds like nitpicking addition of a pressure indicator would have been even helpful for new users. Lastly to top of the good in the Pigeon pressure cooker it comes with 5 years of warranty and support for Induction Cooktops. Being available in multiple sizes it's good for families having 3-7 members,
Is it light or heavy to hold?
It weighs 1.44kgs, which is lighter than most cookers, but it doesn't have grips.
Does it work on gas/stove?
Yes, works with both
5 years warranty
Here are a few of the things we really liked about the Pigeon Favorite:
- Induction base support
- A cheap pressure cooker with a lot of features
- It has an outer lid, making it very easy to use
- Includes a gasket release system and safety plug
- Good cooking and cooling time (14 minutes in total)
- Good cooking and cooling time (14 minutes in total)
- Works on induction and gas
- 5 years warranty
As you can see, it packs quite a punch for it’s price. But that said, there are definitely some things we didn’t like (and you need to consider before your purchase). We listed them below:
- Only 3 and 5 litre sizes available
- Inserting the whistle is a little hard (Will be easier with use)
- It doesn’t include a pressure indicator
- No extra grips provided to lift from two sides
- The handle is attached with a single screw
Those lacking features may or may not be a problem for you. And if you don’t need the durability that comes from stainless steel or hard-anodized construction, you can save a lot of money and still get most of the same features and conveniences you’d expect on a pressure cooker three times as expensive.
That’s why we highly recommend the Pigeon Favorite aluminum pressure cooker as our top pick for best aluminum pressure cooker and best budget pressure cooker.
Best Hard Anodised Pressure Cooker
Prestige Deluxe Plus Mini
The Prestige Deluxe Plus Mini pressure cooker was one of the two hard-anodised cookers we tested. Hard anodised aluminium is known to be the most durable material of construction for long life, corrosion resistance, and stain resistance in cookware. So while they tend to be much more expensive than aluminium pressure cookers, they might be the last one you’ll ever buy.
The Prestige Deluxe Mini is rather uniquely shaped, which makes it useful as a serving dish in addition to a cooking pot. It comes in three sizes: 2 litres, 3 litres & 4.8 litres. Although the cooker weighs 1.8kgs, like it’s stainless steel cousin above, it does come with an extra handle to help with the weight. It is available in multiple sizes and is good for families having 2-7 members.
Is it non stick?
Does it work on gas and stove?
Diameter of base?
It is induction base compatible size & works with induction base
Plus, as you’d expect, it comes with all the safety features you need and cooks efficiently. Here are a few other things we really liked about the Prestige Deluxe Mini:
- Hard Anodised material of construction (very durable)
- Works with induction and gas
- Handi shaped and can be used as serving dish
- Ergonomic, rounded handle and extra grip provided
- Outer lid (easy to use)
- Gasket release system, pressure gauge and safety plug included
- 5-year warranty
As you can see, there’s a ton of things to love about this pressure cooker. There’s no doubt that like it’s stainless steel brother above, it would be suitable for anyone looking for durable pressure cooker that is going to last.
But that said, there are a few drawbacks we weren’t so hot about. Here’s the things we didn’t like:
- Cooks a little slow (it has a heavy base which is meant to help food cook more uniformly)
- The handle and grip are held with one screw (not as robust of construction)
- Triple the price of the Pigeon Favorite above
Who is this pressure cooker for? We think small families will most likely see the best use out of this one. While it’s an awesome cooking tool and will provide years of use, it’s size will likely keep it from being useful for larger families (8 or more members).
So if you don’t mind the price, we would wholeheartedly recommend the Prestige Deluxe Mini if you’re looking for one that will last.
Hard anodised cookers are actually not supposed to be cleaned with metal scrubs as their surface may get scratched, Stainless Steel & Aluminium cookers work fine with metal scrubs
Why trust us?
Since there are so many pressure cookers available in various sizes, shapes, prices, materials, and brands, and it might be difficult for you to decide which is best. While the easiest way to figure that out would have been to conduct multiple tests on all available cookers on the market, that wasn’t realistic.
So to do our tests, we selected the eight best pressure cookers to actually purchase and try out.
From this list the cookers were separated by materials (aluminum, stainless steel & hard anodised) and we selected two best pressure cookers from each category that were highest rated and highest reviewed. We made sure that all of the cookers were compatible with induction bases.
This left us with 6 pressure cookers, and because aluminum is the most common, we decided to add 2 more into our review pool that didn’t have an induction base. The 8 pressure cookers we purchased are listed below.
List of contenders
Here are the tests we performed on each one. (All the tests we performed were on the 3 litre pressure cookers.)
We selected the eight best pressure cookers by compiling a list of pressure cookers from Amazon and Flipkart with ratings higher than 3 and more than 70 reviews (around 40 in total).
Test 1: Usability
We conducted the usability test to evaluate the features of each pressure cooker that couldn’t be inspected just by reading the online product specifications. Things like ease of inserting the whistle (weight valve), how heavy it was and if there was a need for an handle, how it handled and felt when you used it, etc.
The cookers we tested were designed with an inner lid (Hawkins pressure cookers & some prestige pressure cookers) or outer lid (Prestige & some Pigeon pressure cookers). Inner lids cookers are considered safer because the lid is locked in place and can't escape, this makes them difficult to insert & remove during daily usage (Frequent usage will help improve the experience).
The Usage test was conducted to understand the feel & weight of the cookers in hand. There are certain factors like ergonomics of handle which cannot be tested by just looking at a product listing.
To start with the handle, on an average all cookers were of 14-15cm length which was sufficient to hold, only the Futura had a slightly shorter 13.4cm handle.
Coming to the design of the handle there are two main types, The Hawkins pressure cooker handle, which is a metal piece riveted to the cooker base to which two parts of plastic or Bakelite cover grips are provided and the second type which is used by Pigeon and Prestige pressure cookers where a handle is screwed directly to the Cooker Base.
Amongst all cookers in this test only the Prestige Deluxe Alpha & Prestige Deluxe Plus Mini had an extra grip which helps in easier lifting of the cooker.
After the grip the next aspect tested was the Lid closing mechanism, there are again two main types, the Hawkins inner lid & the Prestige/ Pigeon outer lid. While this can be a personal preference the outer lid system seems easier to insert and remove as there is no possibility of the lid touching the cooker food.
All the lids gaskets were easy to insert & remove (the gasket is the main part in a cooker that needs replacement once a year). The whistle (weight valve) insertion and removal was smooth and easy in all cooker except the Pigeon where it was a little hard to insert, but that is something that should ease out with usage.
The Hawkins Miss mary & Prestige Popular were the only two cooker which did not support the induction base but they do fit within the allocated space for induction cookers.
The Prestige Deluxe Alpha pressure cooker ticked all boxes positively, and came out on top in this first test. The handle and grips are ergonomic to hold, and since it’s an outer lid, it’s easy to use. It is heavy at 2.1 kg, but the the extra grip makes it easy to carry and move around. The handle and grip are also attached with 2 screws instead of one, adding more strength. This makes it more unlikely for you to have problems with loose screws and rattling handles. And finally, the weight valve (whistle) and rubber gaskets were both easy to insert and remove.
Test 2: Cooking Time
Since the biggest benefit of a pressure cooker is the speed at which you can cook meals, we decided it was ideal to test each one and see which one performed best. To do so, we used the following procedure:
- 1 small cup of rice
- 2 ½ small cups of water
- Gas stove (small burner at full flame)
We cooked rice for a duration of 4 whistles and measured how long each one took in minutes. Once the cooking phase was completed, we placed the cooker off to the side and allowed it to cool (we also measured this time). We compiled the results below in the table.
Note: Some cookers had pressure indicators that let the user know when they were cool, but on the others there is an audible hissing sound that softens over time to judge from, so it was to a certain extent dependent on human judgement.
Cooking TIme Test
In the cooking test all cookers took an average of 6-7.30 minutes to cook the rice with the fastest being the Futura which took five minutes to cook & the slowest being the Prestige Deluxe Plus Mini which took 8.10 minutes. On the 4th whistle the gas was turned off and the cooker was moved away from the gas and kept to cool.
(Time to heat)
Six to nine minutes was the average cooling time of the cookers with the fastest being the Futura, taking around 5 minutes to cool & the slowest being the Hawkins Stainless Steel and Prestige Deluxe Alpha taking around 13 minutes to cool.
(Time To cool)
An important observation from the cooking test was that irrespective of the handle & grip length the handle & grips did not heat up and were cool to touch.
The Hawkins Futura was very stylish and a modern pressure cooker. It completed the test in almost five minutes. But it was a fairly erratic experience using it, since there are no whistles. Using the cooker will take a fair bit of experience and time before you get the feel for it. And as for the cooling part, the Futura was again the fastest.
An additional note about the Futura:
The Futura was a great product. It cooks really fast and efficiently and is even featured in the Museum of Modern Art for its design! But there were multiple factors that kept it from being our top pick including a big price tag (Rs. 3300) and a very heavy weight (2.6kg). It also doesn’t have an extra handle which makes it difficult to hold, or a whistle which makes it a little different to operate.
Test 3: Cleaning
Cooker emptied for cleaning
Let’s face it. No one likes to spend a lot of time doing dishes. So the easier it is a pressure cooker is to clean, the quicker you can get on with other things.
So to test how easy to clean each pressure cooker was, we emptied each one out after the cooking test and checked for any residual rice stuck to the inside. Then we cleaned each one using a metal scrub and Scotch Brite (plus soap and water) and compiled the results in the table below.
All cookers performed equally well and the cooked rice did not stick to anyone except to the Prestige Deluxe Alpha (just a little) which had a very small amount of rice stuck to the base, all cookers were subjected to cleaning using a Scotch Brite SPonge (Soft) & a Metal Scrub, none got scratched on the first cleaning session.
All cookers were easy to clean and we considered this to be a good thing. The wasn’t any cooked rice stuck to the inner surface of any of these cookers except to the Prestige Deluxe Alpha (just a little). And none of our test pressure cookers were scratched on the first cleaning with the metal scrub.
Note: Hard anodised pressure cookers are actually not supposed to be cleaned with metal scrubs. Stainless steel and aluminium cookers work fine with metal scrubs though. Additionally, a true scratch test is difficult to perform, since it usually takes weeks and months to see any effects of wear.
Never cook food in a cooker with no to little water (could be hazardous), never Dry cook in a cooker
Generally thick base cookers are slower to cook
All Aluminium cookers are neither Stain nor Corrosion resistant and can be cleaned with metal scrubs
All Stainless Steel cookers are Corrosion resistant but not stain resistant and can be cleaned with metal scrubs
All Hard anodised cookers are corrosion & Stain resistant and should not be cleaned with metal scrubs
Not a single cooker transferred heat to the handle
How to choose a pressure cooker
The infographic shows the 3 most important parameters we must decide upon before choosing a Pressure Cooker.
While these are the main parameters one must look for, there are a few others also:
Induction support: You should also consider other things such as the presence of induction base support. Induction Pressure Cookers will be more helpful for people as they can use the Induction cooker to save costs. Do note that large size cookers (7 or more litres) will not have induction base support as Induction bases have a certain size & weight limit.
Brand: You should also consider buying a pressure cooker from a good brand. Choose a company with good product design and user experience. A lot of people are used to the Hawkins pressure cookers' inner lid design, while some prefer the Outer lid style of the Prestige pressure cookers. Choose one that works for you
Service & Warranty: This is a continuation of the Brand parameter as more established brands have much more service centres & dealers. Same goes with warranty more brands do offer a 5 year warranty relatively new brands may offer less.
We highly recommend the any of the three cookers we selected above. Which one you buy though will depend on what your specific needs are though. If you need the best bang for buck, the Pigeon Favorite is definitely the way to go.
But if you’re willing to spend a little more on something that is going to last longer, the stainless steel or hard anodised Prestige Pressure Cookers are the way go.
Here at Hometop, we’re committed to researching and analyzing the products in-depth (not just on the surface level), to help you make an informed decision. Stay tuned for more in-depth analysis.
For now, we want to hear from you. Have a question about pressure cookers? Drop a comment below.