A pressure cooker simply uses steam pressure to quickly cook food. But multicookers like Instant Pots have customized settings that can take your meal planning to the next level. From hearty stews and pasta dishes to yogurts to desserts, one-touch settings can help make meals a snap. The best pressure cooker for you depends on who you’re feeding and how you plan to use it. If you’re using it mainly for stews and casseroles, you may not need all the bells and whistles found on other models.

Top Pick

Multiple settings maximize options in a device that can make food for up to six people at a time. Over 10 safety features including overheat protection. Instant Pot

An Instant Pot is more than a cooking device. It includes access to a community of committed (and sometimes borderline fanatical!) followers. There are many Instant Pot groups on Facebook and other social media sites that swap tips and recipes, as well as Instant Pot-specific YouTube recipes. Instant Pot also has an app with recipes as well. If you’re using one for the first time, remember there’s a learning curve and be patient. In other words, don’t plan to whip up a multicourse dinner party on your first try.

Extras Included

It can sear. It can bake cakes. It can do it all! Yedi

Multicookers may get credit for hearty meat dishes, stews and soups, but they can also make breakfast a breeze. Many Instant Pots and other pressure cookers on the market have settings to make oatmeals, yogurts and hard-boiled eggs.

So Many Settings

Product includes nearly fifty preset options and an easy to read display designed to be seen from a distance. Instant Pot

While a multicooker can cook pretty darn fast, some of the cooking times may seem too good to be true. That’s because cooking times may only include the amount of time the food is actually cooking — not the amount of time it takes for the machine to come to pressure and for the pressure to be released. That means that an 8 minute poached chicken may take more like 30 minutes until it’s actually ready to eat.