A pressure cooker is a handy kitchen appliance to invest in. Apart from saving time (we’re talking a cooking time reduction of up to 30%!), it’s one of the best hands-off ways of cooking that helps retain more vitamins and minerals in your meal.
Newer models can do so much more than just pressure cooking too – they can slow cook, sauté, sear, and steam! Brands have started including pressure-release valves, smart auto-shutoff sensors, and improved locking lids to make pressure cookers more reliable and functional.
If you’re looking for our pick of the best pressure cooker Australia has to offer for 2020, you are in the right place. See our top picks explained in detail below along with their pros and cons. So, let’s get started!
The Best Pressure Cookers in Australia (2020)
Before talking about the pressure cookers in detail, here’s a list of our top five picks:
- Philips Viva Collection All-In-One Cooker
- Sunbeam PE6100 Aviva Pressure Cooker
- Tefal Cook4me+ CY8518 Smart Multi-Cooker
- Ninja OP301 Foodi 9-in-1 Multi-Cooker & Air Fryer
- Breville BPR700BSS Fast Slow Pro™ Multicooker
How we picked
A pressure cooker is useful in the kitchen, but considering the variety available in the market, choosing just one can get a little tricky.
Here’s what you need to look for to determine the right pressure cooker for your kitchen:
Kitchen equipment like a pressure cooker should always use highly-quality materials, and what embodies sturdiness better than stainless steel?
However, keep in mind that not all stainless steel is the same. As you explore brands and models, you’ll find several variations. This is why you need to be extra careful while shopping for pressure cookers.
Look for labels or bottom stamps that are marked 18/10 Stainless Steel. These labels indicate that the pressure cooker is made out of 18% chromium and 10% nickel. Furthermore, this composition has two solid advantages such as:
- Higher resistance to corrosion and stain
- Increases protection with added shine and gleam
Pressure cookers are available in a wide range of capacities. Although the most common ones are 2.5 litres and 6 litres, you can choose from 7 or 10 litres as well. Remember, the higher the capacity of the pressure cooker, the steeper its price.
It mostly boils down to your personal preference, household size, and cooking style. Other than that, consider your available space, budget, and the number of portions needed for use.
A 5-litre capacity is adequate for a single person or couple, while pressure cookers with a 7-litre capacity would be more suited for a 6 or more member household.
Pressure Indicator and Pressure Settings
With the help of the pressure indicator, you’ll know when to open your pressure cooker. An acceptable standard here is 15 pounds per square inch or psi (103kPA).
To make it more convenient for you, look for models that have a pop-up indicator or are colour marked. This will take away any guesswork on your part.
Several pressure settings give you the flexibility to adjust the overall cooking time depending on the dishes. In other words, the higher the rated pressure, the lesser the cooking time.
Choose models with an automatic steam-release valve that can get rid of any pressure buildup while cooking. As a result, you don’t have to give the pressure cooker any extra cool-down time or carry it to the sink.
These microchip-controlled valves can calculate the right time to release any extra steam. Keep an eye out for customer reviews as well. This will help you weed out pressure cookers that might have faulty or lower quality valves.
A reliable locking mechanism is important for minimizing kitchen mishaps. After all, mismanagement of high pressure and superheated steam could result in a kitchen mess, or worse, a potentially-dangerous explosion.
Make sure that your steam pressure has a tight-fitting lid that only opens when the inside pressure has subsided. Steam-release valves can be a part of a good locking mechanism too.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning a pressure cooker can be quite an elaborate task. You need to ensure thorough cleaning for not only hygiene reasons but also for maintaining the appliance safely, as well as preventing the build-up of bacteria and mould.
Often an overlooked aspect, ease of cleaning is an important consideration. You can look for options that are dishwasher-safe or have less complicated lids. In case you have an electric pressure cooker, you’ll need to wipe the housing clean instead of washing it.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of choosing kitchen appliances that come with at least a one-year warranty. In fact, premium pressure cookers tend to have longer warranties, which is why you should always check it.
Since you’re spending your hard-earned money on a specific product, you should take measures to take the risk out of your investment. Also, pressure cookers with warranties speak volumes of the trust that its manufacturer has on its products – a positive indication in terms of its quality.
Best Pressure Cookers in Australia in 2020
Top Pick: Philips Viva Collection All-In-One Cooker
After reviewing various models, we concluded that the Philips Viva Collection All-In-One Cooker is the best pressure cooker available on the Australian market. There are several reasons why it’s worthy of this honour.
Phillips has become the go-to kitchen appliance brand for Australians. This isn’t only because of the company’s smart marketing strategy, but it’s also due to it always dishing out the latest innovations to make the lives of its users more comfortable than before.
This is an all-in-one cooker that allows you to try out a wide array of cooking methods. With a 6 L capacity, it’s suitable for feeding a family of four or five members. You’ll particularly like its versatile cooking modes that let you whip up several delicious and easy meals – all in a jiffy. Further, the one-touch design makes it simple to use too.
This pressure cooker can slow cook on high and low temperatures for up to 12 hours. It also has 9 safety protection systems to minimize accidents or burns. Its warm function will keep your food at the right temperature for up to 12 hours, giving you enough prepping time. This slow cooking functionality was enough to win this model our best slow cooker pick too.
It can steam foods, bake delicious goodies, or make yoghurt using the seven preset pressure cooker menus. This is in addition to the sauté and sear functions that can be super useful when boiling bone broth, meat and beans. Basically, there is plenty of flexibility with this cooking vessel when it comes to cooking styles. What’s even more fascinating is that the total time taken is half than what it would usually take!
In terms of convenience, the anti-scratch cooking pot and detachable inner lid make cleaning and maintenance easy. The exclusive ProCeramic+ coating of the pressure cooker makes it five times more durable than its rivals, according to Philips.
Plus, a two-year warranty helps you get your peace of mind. This guarantee extends to component replacement such as silicone seal and gaskets as well. If you do face any problems, the efficient and knowledgeable customer service is always available at your service. Besides the cooker, you get a recipe booklet, measuring cup, steaming tray, and scoop.
You need to carefully go through the instructions to understand the settings and functions of the pressure cooker. This might take a little bit of time at first. But, you can always take the help of YouTube videos to see a practical demonstration.
Although all its past buyers have been raving about the product, a few raised problems with the responsiveness of the touchscreen. After some time, the touchscreen can start being a little unresponsive. Other than that, there aren’t any disadvantages – such is the quality and efficiency of this pressure cooker.
Priced at AU$179, we have no hesitation in recommending this fantastic pressure cooker to truly transform your cooking style for the better.
Runner Up Pick: Sunbeam PE6100 Aviva Pressure Cooker
Giving tough competition to our top pick is the Sunbeam PE6100 Aviva Pressure Cooker, which in many ways is similar to the Philips pressure cooker.
Of course, there are dissimilarities – big ones – which makes this cooker different from Philips’.
The Sunbeam PE6100 Aviva Pressure Cooker is the rare combination of affordability and quality. But, despite its lower price tag, it is still packed with valuable features.
You get seven cooking functions with this multi-cooker: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, brown, simmer and sauté. It is this feature of the cooker that separates it our other picks but it isn’t as versatile as our top pick, Philips. While it’s similar in the useful inclusion of steaming and slow cooking features, the Sunbeam PE6100 doesn’t let you bake or make yoghurt.
While the multi-cooker has a 6 L capacity, the rice cooker part has a huge 12-cup capacity. Again, there is plenty of flexibility where you can choose to slow cook or pressure cook on high or low settings. The auto ‘keep warm’ feature gets activated as soon as your cooking time is over.
We liked the large, user-friendly panel that housed the menu, heat settings, cooking time remaining, and other buttons. A delay start mode is another addition to the panel.
Not only is the delay start mode limited to a select few cookers, but it’s also quite useful. It comes handy in times when you’re finished with the prep, but won’t be home before cooking time is over.
You also get a rice measuring cup, serving spoon, rice spoon, and a steam rack along with the pressure cooker as included accessories.
As mentioned before, ease of cleaning is one of the key considerations that you should keep in mind before purchasing a pressure cooker. Hence, the fact that the pan is dishwasher-friendly was very appealing to us.
But, there’s a catch here.
The design of this pressure cooker has a few hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. This makes the cooker a little difficult to clean, which might eventually lead to food buildup.
The one thing that we didn’t like about this product was the low-performing non-scratch surface. This takes away the gleam of the cooking vessel faster making it look dated, especially compared to some of the shinier pressure cookers out there.
The Sunbeam PE6100 Aviva Pressure Cooker costs AU$133 and comes with a one-year warranty. While we would have certainly preferred a longer warranty, this pressure cooker rightfully deserves the second position on our list.
Tefal Cook4me+ CY8518 Smart Multi-Cooker
Who wouldn’t want to own a pressure cooker that, more or less, cooks for you?
Sounds a bit far-fetched, right?
Well, the intuitive mechanism of the Tefal Cook4me+ CY8518 Smart Multi-Cooker makes this possible.
It has an intelligent and versatile design that offers five cooking options. Namely, pressure cook, brown, simmer, steam, and reheat. Further, these cooking functions come with 150 pre-programmed sweet and savoury recipes. These are perfect for beginners as well as culinary experts. You only need to push a single button for the appliance to start working.
This pressure cooker has four cooking modes: recipes, manuals, ingredients, and favourites. This helps you exercise full control of your cooking, but without putting in too much effort.
It has a 6 L capacity just like the above pressure cookers, with an LCD screen that lets you scroll and click smoothly.
But, even with the above (admittedly impressive) features, this pressure cooker falls short due to some hard-to-overlook drawbacks.
At AU$329, the Tefal Cook4me+ CY8518 Smart Multi-Cooker is pretty expensive. In comparison to this, our top pick, Phillips is a much better deal in terms of the value provided.
The second drawback would be that even though the appliance is easy to use with a smart intuitive panel and delay timer mode, it isn’t ‘smart’ enough. To be precise, you’ll still need to prepare your ingredients and do a little bit of browning and stirring for a few recipes.
Another issue is the pressure cooker’s larger footprint. This one-pot digital cooker has a detachable inner lid with plastic handles to support the contemporary-looking metal construction. But, it’s still bulky and hence, takes up more space.
Ninja OP301 Foodi 9-in-1 Multi-Cooker & Air Fryer
If you prefer multi-use kitchen appliances, then the Ninja OP301 Foodi 9-in-1 Multi-Cooker & Air Fryer, along with its TenderCrisp Technology, could be a great place to start.
Not only does the pressure cooker save counter space, but it can double up as a steamer and air fryer. However, don’t assume that this appliance has a compact design – it has a larger footprint.
This may sound like a juxtaposition, but it’s true. You see, the space you save is in terms of owning a single appliance, but it doesn’t mean that this appliance is particularly a small one.
It’s great for cooking recipes like a rotisserie-style chicken, pot roast, and even cheesecake. While the nonstick pot is 5.7 L, the air fryer has a 3.8 L capacity. You also get a cooking rack with every purchase that’s ideal for steaming meat and vegetables.
Still, the chunky and cumbersome construction and the fact that the air frying lid isn’t removable makes storing the cooker a task. You can, of course, buy this appliance if space isn’t an issue for you.
Having said that, there’s another catch for you to make note of:
The Ninja OP301 Foodi 9-in-1 Multi-Cooker & Air Fryer isn’t sold by most Australian shopping portals and shops, which is why you need to research extensively to find a seller.
Breville BPR700BSS Fast Slow Pro™ Multicooker
The Breville BPR700BSS Fast Slow Pro™ Multicooker will blow your mind – both in a good way and no-so-good way – with its customized cooking settings as well as its price tag respectively.
It’s an electronic pressure cooker that gives you a 6 L capacity with 11 pressure cooking settings. In addition to this, you get another custom setting that lets you adjust the pressure, temperature, and time of your favourite recipes.
The cooker has smart sensors scattered along the bottom and top parts making it completely automated. The functionality of the cooker is further boosted by a host of pre-programmed functions like sauté, slow cook, sear, precious steam, keep warm, and pressure cook.
It has a digital LED display that gives it a fancy touch. Though design-wise, we found the structure to be a little awkward, which is why it might take you a little time to get accustomed to it. It also has an automated steam-release valve that you can adjust as need be.
You must be wondering why we didn’t choose this pressure cooker as our top pick if it offered such precision, convenience, and automated cooking. Unfortunately, several drawbacks (including price) meant that we couldn’t select it.
You have to spend AU$379.95, which makes it expensive, even with the added slow cooking, steaming and sautéing functionality. Also, you only get a one year warranty with the appliance. Considering the investment you make, this just isn’t long enough.
The Philips Viva and Sunbeam PE6100 pressure cookers are a much better choice with their smart cooking and sturdy construction. The former pressure cooker even lets you make yoghurt, unlike the Breville model.
What is pressure cooking?
Pressure cooking, as the name suggests, is a cooking process where ingredients are prepared under pressure. Here, you use a sealed, airtight pot called a pressure cooker, and add the ingredients with a liquid such as water or stock.
The addition of a liquid is important as it is directly responsible for creating steam, which in turn, increases the internal temperature. This then creates the needed pressure.
Think of pressure cooking as braising – only quicker.
How does a pressure cooker work?
Pressure cookers have a very simple rule: the higher the pressure settings, the higher the temperature and pressure inside the cooking vessel will be.
This is why you need to be careful when choosing the settings depending on the ingredients. When you prepare vegetables in a pressure cooker, you can expect the entire process to be over between 1 to 5 minutes. In cases of ingredients like artichokes or potatoes, it might take you about 6 to 10 minutes more.
Disclaimer: This is only a general estimate as quantity also determines the total cooking time.
What are the different parts of a pressure cooker?
The number of parts that make up a pressure cooker is surprising. To give you more information about its construction, we have listed some of the most important ones below:
The pan is the main pot where you do all the cooking. Generally, it’s made out of strong metal such as stainless steel or aluminium and is available in different sizes.
Pressure cookers have heat-proof handles located on either side. It’s with the help of these handles that you can move the cooker about.
Arguably, the most important part of the pressure cooker, the lid is what makes the appliance unique. It has a handle and a locking device that secures the pressure cooker in place and keeps you safe from all the steam.
Sometimes, pressure indicators are also placed on the lid to give you a better understanding of the pressure buildup. Brands also fit safety devices on the pressure cooker to protect you from getting burned.
Many a time, a pressure cooker might come with extra accessories like a steamer basket, a metal divider, or a trivet. Each of these has different functions that help enhance the overall efficiency of the cooking process.
Should you buy a pressure cooker with a nonstick coating?
Buying nonstick kitchen appliances has become the latest cooking trend. While it could be convenient in case of other kitchen appliances, for pressure cookers in general, nonstick coating is a big no.
Pressure cookers with nonstick coating won’t last long. This is because the coating will wear off considering the high heat, steam, and pressure that the cooker creates. Once this coating is off, the appliance will no longer be useful and your money will go to waste.
How to safely handle a pressure cooker?
Many cooks are often intimidated by pressure cookers. We can’t blame them because the prospect of cooking with a pot that contains so much steam and pressure is scary.
In reality, however, with modern pressure cookers you don’t need to worry about getting hurt or burnt. Simply follow the following tips to understand how to handle a pressure cooker safely:
- Overfilling your pressure cooker with ingredients or liquid
- Make sure that the amount of added liquid is enough to create sufficient steam depending on the ingredients
- Don’t ever try to pressure fry
- If you are planning to make food items that tend to froth, take care to prevent them from blocking the steam valve
- Always clean the cooker properly, especially the pressure valve and lid
- Check whether the lid is properly secured before cooking
- Always open the pressure cooker in a way that the release of the buildup pressure is away from you
What are the advantages of pressure cooking?
Like every cooking method, even pressure cooking has its own set of benefits. We’ve made a list of these advantages below:
Better Nutrition Profile
As pressure cookers prepare meals faster, they have higher nutrient retention. The ingredients are able to keep most of its natural colour, flavour, vitamins, and minerals – provided it’s cooked within the right time frame.
These foods also have a lower likelihood of containing undesirable carcinogens and lectins.
Time-saving Method of Cooking
Let’s face it: nobody likes spending time in the kitchen more than they need to. If this sounds relatable, you’ll certainly prefer pressure cooking as it’s less time-consuming.
There are several one-pot meal recipes that you can make in a pressure cooker using ingredients like meat and veggies. Not only are they healthier, but they are also delicious.
Energy-saving Method of Cooking
Pressure cooking can be a fantastic way to reduce your utility bills. One of the biggest reasons behind this is that you only use one burner.
Besides that, reduced cooking time is a sure-shot way to save energy.
Pressure cookers are super convenient, no doubt. As mentioned before, you only need to use one pot for cooking. After you’re done, just soak the appliance for some time and rinse it.
Also, the ease of cleaning isn’t only limited to food inside the pressure cooker, but even on the outside. Firstly, the lid is airtight which minimizes any splashes or splatters. Secondly, this airtight mechanism also stops any boil overs.
Cooler Kitchen Temperatures
Standing in front of a hot stove can be very tedious, especially in the middle of the hot Australian summer.
The traditional cooking methods tend to make a lot of steam and that will only raise the temperature in your kitchen. On the other hand, pressure cooking keeps the heat and steam sealed inside the cooker.
The Bottom Line
All the five pressure cookers that we’ve mentioned above are the best that the Australian market has to offer.
Either of our two top picks, Philips Viva Collection All-In-One Cooker and Sunbeam PE6100 Aviva Pressure Cooker, will be perfect for household kitchens or cooks who want convenience and functionality. When selecting the your pressure cooker, make sure that you remember the features to determine the best model for yourself.
Best Pressure Cooker for Versatility: Philips Viva Collection All-In-One Cooker
Best on a Budget: Sunbeam PE6100 Aviva Pressure Cooker
Best Pressure Cooker for Beginners: Tefal Cook4me+ CY8518 Smart Multi-Cooker
Best Automatic Electric Pressure Cooker: Breville BPR700BSS Fast Slow Pro™ Multicooker