AS energy prices remain high, many families are looking for cheaper ways to prepare meals.
One solution could be a pressure cooker. They cook food faster than a slow cooker, but the build up of pressure makes meat tender.
Lynsey Hope tries out best-selling pressure cookers and shares her verdict
They turn liquid into steam to cook food, eliminating the need for oil or fat. Food retains more vitamins and minerals, so is healthier too.
There are different types – stove top and electric – but which is best?
Here, Lynsey Hope tries out best-sellers and shares her verdict.
Tower 6L Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker: 10/10
I liked the stainless steel steamer basket and stand that came with it
THIS looks like it’s sturdy and built to last. You can choose from two pressures and it cooks six to eight portions in one go, so great for big families.
It has a durable steel base that means heat is evenly distributed during cooking and it’s suitable for all hob types, including induction hobs.
I liked the stainless steel steamer basket and stand that came with it.
Meat was tender in no time and I found it ideal for cooking everything, from curries to roast chicken.
A great option for the price – real value for money.
Ikea 356+ Pressure Cooker: 7/10
It did clean up well in the dishwasher and after a bit of trial and error, this made some good meals including a creamy risotto
I FOUND this quite tricky to put together as you had to line up the lid at the right angle to get it on.
It’s also a heavy pan, especially uncomfortable to lift and carry when full. I tried a beef stew initially, but it stuck to the bottom.
It did clean up well in the dishwasher and after a bit of trial and error, this made some good meals including a creamy risotto.
A red ring lights up when the pressure goes too high, which is a handy safety function.
Futura Pressure Cooker: 6/10
It’s very small, so only suitable for singles or couples
THIS claims to cook food 46 per cent faster than a microwave.
It doesn’t give off a whistle like some do, so you’ll need to set a timer or stay close by to keep an eye on your food.
The non-stick worked well and it looks stylish.
It’s very small, so only suitable for singles or couples. I found the handle a bit stiff, otherwise it worked well.
Tefal Turbo Cuisine Pressure Cooker: 9/10
Tough meat is a thing of the past with this and now I hardly use my cooker at all
I WAS really impressed with this one. It’s very versatile and you can use it to make everything from soups, roasts, curries and even boiled eggs.
Meat was very tender after cooking for just half an hour. It has a special basket for steaming veg and you can even use it to make yoghurt.
It has a 4.8-litre capacity so can hold enough food to easily serve six to eight.
It also links to an app that gives you recipe ideas. It’s electric so you plug it on the counter rather than using it on the hob like the cheaper options.
Tough meat is a thing of the past with this and now I hardly use my cooker at all.
Pricier than the rest, but worth every penny.
Judge Everyday Pressure Cooker 5L: 5/10
I did find it quite hard to lock the lid and the pressure mechanism isn’t the best
QUITE light to pick up compared to some others, which was surprising given its size.
It has a five-litre capacity so one of the biggest tried.
It has a whistle to alert you when food is ready. I was really impressed by how fast it cooked food, so it’s great option if you want to cut down on rising energy bills.
However, I did find it quite hard to lock the lid and the pressure mechanism isn’t the best. I’m not sure how long it will last.
Drew & Cole Pressure King Pro: 9/10
You can make all sorts – just put your ingredients in and chose from the 14 pre-set cooking functions and this does all the work for you
COOKS 90 per cent faster than traditional methods and uses 53 per cent less electricity than the average oven.
You can make all sorts – just put your ingredients in and chose from the 14 pre-set cooking functions and this does all the work for you.
Functions include saute, fish, veg, meat, stew, soup, poultry, chilli and curry. It’s a good size so great for big families – the only downside is it takes up quite a bit of counter space.
Amazon Basics Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker 4L: 8/10
It cooked meat well and in super quick time – overall, for the price, I thought this was a great value option
A BASIC model but feels like good quality stainless steel for the price.
Straightforward to use but it is very heavy, so might not be suitable if you don’t want to lift anything heavy or struggle with weak or arthritic wrists.
I worried the plastic handle would be flimsy but it seems reasonably robust – only time will tell.
It doesn’t have a whistle to let you know when food is cooked and is rather small – Amazon do have a larger model for bigger families.
Cleaned up well in the dishwasher. It cooked meat well and in super quick time – overall, for the price, I thought this was a great value option.