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If you are new to the term “pressure cooking”, then it must be confusing to see other related terms to pressure cooking like instant pot and power pressure cooker. All these are pressure cookers which I will compare between Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker to know the differences, similarities, pros, and cons.
To clear things out on Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker, the instant pot is a brand name that has become more popular in the world of pressure cooking.
On the other hand, the pressure cooker is the generic name used for any vessel cooking through the pressurizing method. There have been questions asking between instant pot vs better pressure cooker?
In this guide, we will review each type of pressure cooker for you to determine for yourself.
What’s the difference? The instant pot is an electric pressure cooker and because of its popularity, it has taken the face of pressure cookers. The stovetop pressure cooker is the traditional type of pressure cookers so know you know. The instant pot is advertised as a fast cooking pressure cooker and at the same time a slow cooker with multiple cooking options.
The instant pot can pressure cook food, slow cook, rice cooker, steam food, make yogurt and many others. This device is most suitable for busy people with limited time in the kitchen as the pot cooks faster and also its multiple cooking functions.
Pressure cookers have been in use for a long time and maybe you have been considering switching to the new gadget in the market.
In this guide, we will distinguish the differences of Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker and also the benefits which come with these kitchen appliances.
For you to choose the best pressure cooker, it depends on your cooking needs. Let’s know more about the instant pot vs pressure cooker, which one is better?
Also Read: Best Food Steamer BPA Free
What is pressure cooking?
This is the process of cooking food with build up pressure inside a sealed pot due to the steam pressure for food to cook faster. This process saves more energy.
The pressure cooker can cook dry legumes within a half an hour and rice cooks about 3 minutes, that’s awesome. Any food cooked with liquid can be also cooked in a pressure cooker.
What to cook with a Pressure Cooker?
The pressure cooker can cook lots of foods and in a short time regardless of the type of food. You can cook rice(brown and white), eggs, beans, tenderize meat, vegetables, roasts, buffalo wing, mashed potato, Mongolian beef, pork ribs, and the list is endless.
Pros and Cons Of Pressure Cooking
There is no device that can be great at everything, it might be good for performing certain functions but poor at other things. Pressure cooking has its advantages and disadvantages as well.
Instant Pot [The Best Electric Pressure Cooker]
As I said before, this is an electric pressure cooker that is programmable and full of multi-functional cooking capabilities. It is the future of pressure cooking because of its powerful functions.
It is renowned as a multi-cooker thus you don’t need to worry about time. There are various types of instant pot and sizes to suit every customers’ needs. They are full of features that enable them to control the many functions of the electric pot.
Advantages of the Instant Pot
As said before the Instant Pot is a multi-cooker that replaces several kitchen appliances like a slow cooker, rice cooker, saute pan, steamer and many others. The device provides more than what you asked for and also simplifies the cooking process resulting in delicious meals. It a good choice if some of the replaceable appliances are not performing well in cooking meals.
Stainless steel interior
The interior is made with stainless steel material which only comes into contact with the food. This is a healthier option because its free from nonstick coatings containing Teflon which are harmful. This also makes the cleaning of the interior easier.
This is one of the biggest benefits in my opinion as this pressure cooker saves a lot of time compared to conventional cookers. Foods like rice take about 3 minutes and dry beans can only take less than 30 minutes. The instant pot is great for people with limited time and needs to cook as fast as possible. Due to the multi-cooking abilities, you can cook several meals in less than 40 minutes.
Set it and forget
When cooking, you just need to set the time and food type then the timer will let you know when the food is ready. Unlike the stovetop pressure cooker, you don’t have to keep checking the food.
The pre-programmed options enable you to set the instant pot for future use so that once you put food, it starts cooking immediately. The digital panel helps to set the programs easily and gives you full control of the outcome.
There is no doubt the instant pot is cost-effective due to its multi-purpose cooking capabilities. It replaces several kitchen appliances to perform several tasks in one device. Though the initial buying price is high, in the long term it provides the money value.
This device heat source is built-in electronic which creates sufficient energy to cook fast and save time. The instant pot does not rely on electric stoves and gas stoves.
The safety of the instant pot is better than the stovetop pressure cookers due to the multiple settings in the control panel. The instant pot can release pressure in case of to much build up in the pot.
Easy to clean
The instant pot is easy to clean as the interior is made of stainless steel. It can be cleaned by hands or using a dishwasher.
The use of preset programs and their processors eliminate the possibility of human error by providing more control to the outcome. Unlike the traditional stovetop pressure cookers, the results are much consistent every time you cook.
Disadvantages of Instant Pot
The learning process
To use the instant pot for the first time is not that easy for some people. Learning how to cook the many recipes available to cook with the instant pot takes some time before familiarizing yourself with it. It seems easy to use due to the digital control panel but in a real sense to cook a meal needs some amount of practice.
Learn what to do if you get a CL6 error on your Instant Pot.
Any pressure cooker has the risks of safety although the instant pot is much safer than the other pressure cookers. If not well used can burn someone due to a lot of steam.
The instant pot has a lower PSI than the average stovetop pressure cooker which has 15 PSI while the instant pot has 12 PSI. If you would consider more speed, the instant makes it take 10 minutes longer to cook meals compared to the stovetop pressure cookers. There is no much difference but to some people, this may be a disadvantage.
The upfront cost
Most of the best instant pots cost above $150 that can discourage some people because they already have replaceable appliances in the kitchen. For someone starting a home, this is a great appliance to buy due to its multi-cooking process. The initial cost is higher but it’s worth it in the long run.
The capability of Instant Pot as a Pressure cooker
All the Instant Pot models feature the ability to pressure cook and can perform all functions of a stove-top pressure cooker. The instant pot has even more than one pressure settings except for the LUX series with only one pressure setting.
As said earlier, the instant pot replaces many appliances in the kitchen and performs the appliances’ functions even better.
The Instant Pot Series
The instant pot has established itself in the pressure cooker market and has several pot-lines to choose from. Since the first release of the instant pot in 2010, the manufacturer has continued to improve the appliances by making them more convenient and rich in features.
The following are the different model series of the Instant pot evolution.
Instant Pot Lux
This is the release of the instant pot seven years ago and still its relevant to use due to its updated features. The series features 2 models, the IP-LUX60 and IP-LUX50 where the LUX60 has 14 integrated programs and has a capacity of 6.33-quart and 1000 wattage.
The IP-LUX50 has 12 built-in programs with a wattage of 900 and 5.28 quarts capacity.
Instant Pot Duo
This series has 3 models, the IP-DUO50, DUO60, and DUO80. It is an advancement of the LUX series coming with the capability to make yogurt and also have dual pressure settings.
The IP-DUO50 has 5-quart volume, 900 watts, DUO60 has 6-quart volume and 1000 watts while the DUO80 has 8-quart volume and 1200 wattage.
Instant Pot Duo Plus
This is an upgrade to the DUO but shares the features of the duo only a few additional features are involved. Duo plus comes with a larger display panel which is easier to use to control the operations. It also has a sterilization mode and a cake, egg programs.
Instant Pot Smart
This is the most advanced in the market with a programmable app that can be connected to a cooker via Bluetooth for you to control the pot. It features only one model and performs all the programs of the LUX and DUO series.
This is a perfect choice for customers who like to use technology due to its smart features.
Instant Pot Ultra
The new option from the company comes with an “Ultra” setting to provide full customization of the pressure cooking process. The interface is new compared to the other series models.
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Its a dream come true to have this great appliance, the DUO60 7 in 1 programmable pressure cooker which is rich in features. You can cook different types of foods as it is a multi-functional cooker.
Some of the instant pot DUO60 functions are a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, saute/browning, steamer and warmer.
The instant DUO60 is made with stainless steel construction that means its durable for you to use for many years without break down.
It consists of 14 built-in smart programs that enable to operate the pressure cooker for the different food settings. The automatic keep-warm feature can keep food warm up to 99 hours.
For instance, when using the saute mode, there are three options to choose from like thickening, simmering and browning. The slow cook has also different temperature settings the high, low and warm.
You don’t have to worry about some accessories like measuring cup soup spoon as it comes with these already. It includes a steam rack, condensation collector, rice paddle to make the pressure cooking easier.
Out of the 14 feature programs, one of them is a timer which is used to set the time for cooking your meals. The instant pot doesn’t have to be monitored, unlike the traditional stovetops pressure cookers. It has the ability for delaying the cooking process for up to 24 hours.
The instant pot DUO60 is UL and ULC certified which means the safety measures are up to standard. It includes a pressure regulator, Steam Release, excess pressure protection, electrical fuse, thermal fuse, safety lid lock, anti-blockage vent, high-temperature warning to maintain the safety of the device.
The instant pot DUO60 7-in-1 multi-functional pressure cooker is one of the best models and its cost is even less than $100. With this affordable price, you get seven appliances in one to make your cooking easier and faster.
Some of the functions may not be 100% efficient to cook with the pressure cooker compared to the specifically dedicated appliance but it is a great device to have if you like saving time and space in the kitchen.
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The latest edition of the instant pot family comes with more features than the other models. Instant 10-in-1 Pot Ultra comes with 10 appliance functions including a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, warmer, egg cooker, saute pan, yogurt maker, cake maker, and sterilizer.
This is the next generation pressure cooker which can perform functions of 10 kitchen appliances.
The ultra button also gives you the option to personalize and program the features like the cooking indicator, altitude adjustment, safety features like the steam release feature.
One important thing to understand about this ultra pot is that it can only pressure cook between low and high pressure. This allows pressure cooking from 0 up to 6 hours, unlike the DUO60 which has a warm cooking option.
The design of ultra 10-in-1 is sleek and has a large LCD screen fitting all the 16 smart programs of the pot. The price of this latest instant pot is regular price considering it functions as 10 appliances in one device.
Depending on your family size, you opt for the less capacity like the 3-quart for a less price tag or 8-quart for a bigger option.
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A larger instant pot is what you need for a big family for a 6-in-1 multi-cooker for your kitchen. The instant pot Lux features 6 different functions like a slow cooker, rice cooker, pressure cooker, saute, steamer and warmer.
This appliance has fewer functions which give it the advantage of cooking more efficiently. It also includes 10 different built-in programs to help cook specific meals by just pressing a button.
With instant Lux80 you can delay the cooking process for up to 24 hours and can also keep food warm for up to 10 hours.
It consists of a 3rd generation microprocessor which enables the pressure cooking even to 240 minutes. Similar to the other instant pot models, the safety mechanism features are amazing which are ten of them to give you comfort to handle the device without accidents.
The interior is made of stainless steel cooking pot, steam rack, and lid which are all healthy choices with a food-grade of 304 and 18/8. The exterior has a brushed stainless steel fingerprint resistant to prevent it from getting dirty and sticky. Cleaning of this appliance is very easy with the interior removable parts and dishwasher safe.
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If you like technology advanced and up to date kitchen appliances, the instant pot smart Bluetooth 7-in-1 is your choice. As the name suggests, it can connect with Bluetooth and control it through the graphic interface.
This smart device is made with a stainless steel interior of 304 strength which guarantees your health as it is free from chemicals. The 3-ply lining of stainless steel provides a great distribution of heat and increase efficiency.
The 14 programs allow you to make your programming for various cooking functions. The Bluetooth interface makes it easier to use mobile apps to control via the graphics for all your recipes and also to write recipe scripts to execute and share.
The dual pressure has a low and high mechanism to deliver three temperatures range which include slow cook, saute and automatic keep warm. Just like all the instant pots, the safety of this appliance is great and UL certified.
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The mini size as advertised by instant pot company is a small size version of instant pot Duo 6 quart. Honestly speaking the Duo mini can do anything the bigger Duo can do performance-wise.
It is perfectly suitable for small families which usually have to make small dishes like for 2-3 people. It is a great appliance but if you have a bigger family this is not ideal for you.
The mini comes with a rice cup, rice paddle, little rack, and a soup spoon to make it easier cooking your meals to stir and serve.
It’s sealing ring is different than the bigger Duo instant pots due to the size where the little button on the rim pushes down when the lid closes.
It features 11 smart programmable digital controls for rice, soup/broth, Saute, stew/meat, steam, slow cook, Bean/Chili, yogurt, keeps warm and pressure cook.
The mini 3 -quart can be a good option when traveling for camping purposes, boating, sailing with a small group. The price is lower and can be a great alternative to have in your kitchen and I guarantee you’ll love it.
What to Consider When Buying an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
The reputation is a great factor for a quality electric pressure cooker. The instant pot is a reputable brand that provides high-quality electric pressure cookers. There are many types of instant pot in their line and thus is better to look for the most reputable amongst them.
From the instant Lux to the instant Ultra, there are the most popular with high reputation Like Duo plus series.
All the instant pot pressure cookers can cook meals fast and result in a delicious one but it is the features that attract customers. A pressure cooker with multiple and powerful settings is a great option that can cook several meals and fully programmable.
Instant pot may perform various cooking’s but not all of them can be perfect and thus it’s important to master the meals produced perfectly by the pot.
The size matters in any device and the instant pot is no exception. The most common size is 6 quarts which are enough to feed a normal family of up to 7 people. If you have a large family, there are larger sizes of instant pots of up to 8-quarts
The wattage is a great factor in the performance of the instant pot pressure cooker. The wattage should be strong enough to enable the instant pot to perform operations like searing efficiently.
Some instant pots do not sear meat enough due to low wattage. A good wattage starts from 900W and above to provide the power needed to multi-cook.
Ease of use
The control panel of the electric pressure cooker should be simple to operate and understand. Some pressure cookers have many control buttons but they are not well organized for ease of use.
Good indicators to show different tasks with corresponding colors are a better option. They show when the process is on, the temperature and time to complete.
A long warranty is better to cover the instant pot in case of any damage. A 1-year warranty and above is good to have as it shows the confidence of the manufacturer to the product. Some even give up to 7- years of warranties.
The Stovetop Pressure Cooker
This is the original pressure cooker in simple terms, the stovetop is the most common in the market. The process of pressure cooking started many years ago and since then, there have been improvements to the normal pressure cooker.
The stovetop pressure cookers have also the ability to sear food just like the electric pressure cookers but this is done in the stove not before.
The Best Stovetop Pressure Cookers [Reviews]
- Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Pressure Cooker, 7.4 Qt
- Presto 8-Qt Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker [Best Budget]
- Culina One Touch Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker, 6Qt
- Fissler Vitaquick 8.5 Qt Pressure Cooker [Best set]
- All American 10-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker Canner
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The stainless steel pressure cooker has a sleek and minimalist design to make it one of the attractive pressure cooker and also the best.
Kuhn Rikon brand has a reputation for manufacturing top and quality pressure cookers over the years with great durability for you to use for a long time.
Most of the pressure mechanisms are of stainless steel construction except the heat- resistant top release button.
The design of the pressure cooker enables the ease of use and also cleaning the inner parts of the pot. It is made to be compatible with all the cooking surfaces even the induction cooktops. The base of the pressure cooker contains a heavy Aluminum sandwiched layer between the stainless steel to enhance the heat distribution evenly.
When using the Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker, you don’t need to worry about safety as it has at least 5 safety features. These safety features include the:
- Correct Lid-placement Nub
- Primary Pressure Release Valve
- Secondary Pressure Release Valve
- Self-locking Gasket
- Safety Vents
The top of the Duromatic has a protective dial on the top of the pressure release valve which can easily diffuse the steam and quick pressure release. After checking several pressure cookers, this Kuhn Rikon makes the top of the list because of its capacity compared to other stovetop pressure cookers.
The warranty is of 10 years covering all the pan bodies and handles and a 2-year warranty for all parts subject to wear like the valves, gasket, and valve caps. Its price is a bit high compared to the competition but its quality makes Kuhn worth it for better performance in cooking delicious meals in a short time.
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The Presto 01370 allows killing two birds with one stone. It allows catering for cooking small meals to large meals of up to 10 people and at the time being one of the lowest-priced pressure cookers you can ever buy.
If you want to cook vegetables and meat to perfection, then the presto is the best choice to deliver the cooking saving time and energy for you.
Presto features a pressure regulator steam release valve to automatically maintain the pressure required for cooking meals containing the flavor for a delicious outcome.
The pressure cooker is made of stainless steel with a tri-clad base which is a combination of stainless steel and aluminum that helps to distribute the heat evenly. The overpressure plug controls the decrease of the pressure when the cooker produces too much of it.
The cover lock indicator allows you to instantly determine if the pressure is too high and prevent you from opening the cover until the pressure has bee released. Its design makes it safe to use with more than five safety features and short handles to easily carry the pot.
Presto 01370 is extremely durable and comes with a 10-year to cover the parts of the pressure cooker. Cleaning the pressure cooker is easy and also it is dishwasher safe. Make sure to remove the sealing ring when cleaning the appliance to make space to clean the rim of the lid.
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The Culina one-touch pressure cooker gives you the features needed in a pressure cooker to cook the delicious meals you will ever imagine. Both the interior and exterior are made of shiny stainless steel which makes this pressure cooker durable and resistant to wears from heat.
An Aluminum layer is sandwiched between the interior and exterior layers to eliminate the hot spots caused by stainless steel cookware.
Using the Culina one touch is easier to use to pressure cook. The one-touch button opening and closing makes it the pressure cooker to avoid steam burns when opening the cover.
It reduces the cooking time by 70% saving energy and resources compared to the traditional cookware. Culina design is simple and gives you safety features to handle the pressure cooking with less risk and prevent accidents. Safety features include pressure indicator, Large ergonomic handles, silicon gasket, release valve.
You can cook enough with this 6 quart capacity for medium family comfortably. It can be used to steam food items like vegetables and fish. The glass lid enables to sear and braise. The price is great for a quality pressure cooker from a well-known brand in the kitchen appliance industry.
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The Vitaquick form Fissler is the best pressure cooker in the market but it comes with a higher price than the competition. If you have deep pockets and don’t mind about the price this, this is the pressure cooker for you.
The performance is excellent with a steady level of heat distribution due to the thick and wide laminated base compatible with all cooking surfaces.
The 8.5 capacity gives more room to cook meals for a large family, unlike the 6quart pressure cooker.
If you need a smaller capacity pressure cooker then the 2.7, 4.8, 6.4, and 10-quart sizes which give the same performance except for the capacity.
The construction is of high-quality which makes it easy to handle the pressure cooker with a wide pot suitable for browning and saute surfaces. The pressure in the Vitaquick builds faster than the competitors with the steam loss at a minimum.
The safety features keep the pot from excess pressure and exploding. The handle cannot open until the pot has properly released all the pressure. The pressure valve releases automatically but also can be done manually through the valves on the sides of the handle.
This high-quality pressure cooker will give a durable and great performance to fall in love with it.
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A heavyweight stovetop pressure cooker and can be used as a Canner. This is the smallest form of the American line of pressure cookers to cook daily meals and canning small batches of preserved foods.
It has the unique feature and its the only pressure cooker with no gasket from the giant All American brand.
The pressure cooker holds 7 standard regular mouth pint jars or 4 regular mouth quart jars perfect Canner for all canning purposes.
The construction of the pressure cooker is of a cast- Aluminum with an attractive clean satin finish. You can also easily read the geared steam gauge on the top of the cover and the safety features keep the pressure at optimum amounts and release in case of overpressure.
The Differences Between Instant Pot vs Pressure cooker
The main differences between Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker are the features, time taken to finish cooking, design and the ability of multi-function to cook several types of foods. This video shows you more about the instant pot vs pressure cooker.
What to Consider When Buying a Stovetop Pressure Cooker
These stovetops come in different sizes and you have to know your needs to determine the size to buy. The most common sizes are 5,6 and 7 quarts which can feed a medium family, 6-8 people. If you have a large family or need a big quantity, there are also large-sized stove-tops of up to 12 quarts.
I highly recommend choosing a stovetop pressure cooker from reputable manufacturer brands. These brands have mastered the quality and have plenty of experience in the field. It doesn’t mean other new brands cant make quality pressure cookers but the safety may be a bit unsure.
Its always good to use appliances with high safety mechanisms to avoid kitchen accidents. Some of the safety features to look for in a stovetop pressure cooker are:
- A heavy-duty seal which is easy to clean and removable.
- A valve
- The lid that won’t open until the pressure is at normal levels
- Should have a fill line inside the pot to guide the user, not to overfill the pot.
Design of the pot
There are some pots with unnatural designs that can make the operations of the pressure cooker a challenge. Make sure to have the normal pot-shaped designs for more efficient results.
The pressure settings can be of advantage if they are more than one. Some of the stovetops have only one pressure setting which limits the appliance to cook some dishes differently. Some foods need low pressure while others need high pressure and thus important to have both settings.
This applies to people with induction cooktop when buying the stove-top pressure cooker is wise to look at the compatibility.
The handles should of good quality and size. If you prefer long handles there are pots with long handles and also short handles. The should also be non-conductor of heat to avoid burning of the hands.
It’s a big bonus if the stove-top pressure cooker comes with extra features to enhance your cooking operation.
Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker Differences
The instant pot has a slow cooker and its one of the main packages advertised along with the instant pot multiple cooking capabilities.
On the other hand, the regular pressure cookers do not have a slow cooker function.
Interior Cooking pot
Most of the regular pressure cookers come with a nonstick cooking pot interior.
The instant pot has a stainless steel interior pot. Both the stainless steel and nonstick materials are easy to clean.
Size & Appearance
The size depends on your needs as the instant pot has up to 8-quart size pots and 3-quarts being the smallest one.
The regular pressure cooker has bigger capacities even of up to 12 quarts and even more depending on the brand.
Delay Time Function
This option is great to enable you to set a timer for food to ready in the specified time.
The majority of the pressure cookers do not have a delay time function on them.
The instant pot is rich in cooking functions that make it the most valued electric pressure cooker. You can perform a lot of cooking with the instant pot by setting the functions and also the pre-programmed functions to cook automatically the most cooked meals. All these instant pot pressure cookers come with these multiple cooking functions.
The instant pot has control panels to enable set the cooking functions easily. The regular pressure cooker does not have control panels. The control panel offers a lot of use in the pot from setting the timer, selecting the food to cook, temperature control and many others which make using an instant pot easy.
The instant pot price a bit higher than the regular pressure cookers due to their multi cooking functions. All of them are at a medium price affordable to most of the customers depending on their needs and specifications.
Deciding between an Instant Pot and a Stove Top Pressure Cooker
Deciding between these two great options can be from different perspectives. The instant pot is the best brand of electric pressure cookers and has a lot to offer in terms of features and functionality. You can consider the following to make up an informed decision;
An instant pot is best suitable for people who want the following:
- Multi-cooker- yogurt maker, steamer, slow cooker, saute pan and other many functionalities all in one
- Flexibility of use
- Having multiple kitchen appliances in one
- The budget is not a constraint to make them buy.
- A slightly longer time of cooking than the stovetop pressure cooker
- Digital compatibility
A stovetop pressure cooker is best suitable for people who want the following:
- A more powerful pressure cooker faster cooking
- An appliance which is inexpensive and performs the same task
- Less bulky and easy to store the pressure cooker
- Durable pressure cooker to last many years
Final Verdict (Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker)
The comparison between Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker has resulted in both quality pressure cookers which are a great choice to cook delicious meals within a short time. The instant pot gives the user more control over the outcome of the foods by setting the cooking functions through the control panels.
The most important thing to consider, is how to use the pressure cooker? In my opinion, whether instant pot vs pressure cooker comparison goes, the instant pot is a great option if you don’t have the slow cookers, rice cooker, yogurt maker and other replaceable appliances.
If you already own these appliances, a regular pressure cooker would be okay to buy.
Richmond Howard started Meal Prepify in 2019 and has helped over a million people learn how to meal prep, get better at meal planning, and create a kitchen they love to use. He’s an avid home chef and loves to bbq, grill out, and make awesome food for family and friends. He’s been featured on MSN, Renaissance Periodization, and Good Financial Cents.