Pressure cookers are appliances that cook food under a sealed lid with very high-pressure steam.
Cooking this way speeds up many slow-cooked dishes, which is why it is a preferred cooking method of many foodies.
Buying a large pressure cooker can be daunting, so THT has rigorously tested and approved  models based on the following parameters:
- Size and Weight
- Safety Features
If you, like any parent, would like to cook more food in less time, a pressure cooker is the best way to do it.
Those families who cook for a big group regularly would benefit from an extra-large pressure cooker, even if you need to cook small meals occasionally.
We understand that not everyone has the same needs, so here is a top  list of the best large pressure cookers that we tested in 2021:
- All American Canner Pressure Cooker—Best Overall
- Buffalo QCP430 32-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker—Runner-Up Option
- GoWISE USA GW22637 4th-Generation Electric Pressure Cooker—Best Electric
What’s Better? A Pressure Cooker or a Slow Cooker?
Slow cookers have their place in the culinary world.
But, as their name suggests, they cook slowly.
Pressure cookers differ from slow cookers in their speed.
If you’re looking for a way to cook super-tender, tasty food, you could use a slow cooker or a pressure cooker.
However, if you’re looking for the fastest way to cook amazing food, then a large pressure cooker is the best option.
Does Meat Get More Tender the Longer You Pressure Cook It?
One thing that slow cookers are known for is the tenderness of their meat.
Can a pressure cooker measure up?
We believe so!
Choosing the right cuts of meat and following the instructions on your pressure cooker should yield tender, juicy meat.
Just like Mom’s slow cooker used to, but faster still!
Are Pressure Cookers Healthy?
There’s not a lot of info out there, but according to some food scientists, it’s as healthy as any other way.
The fact is, any method of cooking uses high heat, which reduces nutrients to some extent.
The fact that pressure cooking doesn’t use oil and the pots aren’t coated makes it a fairly safe and healthy form of cooking—provided the instructions are followed properly.
Stainless steel is a trusted material for pressure cooking methods.
Can Pressure Cookers Explode?
There are horror stories about pressure cookers exploding, but the fact is it’s extremely unlikely to happen if the instructions are followed!
Using Your Appliance Safely
Here are a few tips to stay as safe as possible when using yours:
- Don’t fill it too much—two-thirds full is the general limit.
- Use the right amount of liquid—half a cup of water, at the very least.
- Make sure the lid is tightly closed before using it.
Release Pressure the Right Way
There are only three ways to release pressure safely:
- Natural release: Let the cooker cool down on its own, once removed from the heat source.
- Quick-release: Open the pot’s release valve to let the steam escape.
- Coldwater release: Run cold running water over the lid of the pot.
Should a Pressure Cooker Hiss?
Don’t worry if you hear a hissing sound coming from your appliance.
This is just the extra pressure being released through the valves.
Modern pressure cookers tend to be pretty quiet, but a slight hiss is quite normal!
Extra Tips for Using Your Pressure Cooker
- Oil: Never use oil, unless using the pot like a normal, open-lidded pot. Using oil doesn’t produce steam and can damage the pot at very high temperatures.
- Cleaning: Clean it according to instructions only, as damage due to cleaning can compromise the safety of the pot and the seals.
- Seal: Check the seal periodically for signs of wear, and don’t use it if the seals have worn away. These can usually be replaced easily.
What Sizes Do Pressure Cookers Come In?
You can find pressure cookers in any size from 2 to 30+ quarts, so you should be able to find a size to suit your family.
Electric ones tend to be smaller, so if you’re after a large pressure cooker, you may need to go with a stovetop one.
The average, in-between size is around a 12-quart pressure cooker, but it’s really up to you and your needs.
What Size Pressure Cooker Do I Need?
This depends on a few things:
- How big your family is
- How often you cook for large groups
- Whether or not you’ll be using it for canning
- Your storage space
What Factors Drove Our Ratings?
When shopping for the best large pressure cooker, we looked at these factors:
- Capacity: A variety of available sizes were reviewed, but the best must be over 10 quarts to be considered a large pressure cooker.
- Size and Weight: The best models are easy to fit into a kitchen space and easy to clean no matter your square footage.
- Durability: We looked for anodized aluminum and steel because they are durable and easy to clean materials.
- Safety Features: Stay-cool handles, auto pressure release, and a tight seal are all necessary for total safety.
User reviews were also a large part of our research, to ensure verified buyers were happy with their purchases, and to compare our findings with the reviews.
Here at The Healthy Treehouse, we value quality over quantity. If we felt that the cost was greater than the value of what the appliance included, that model would be excluded from the list.
1. Top-Rated Large Pressure Cookers—Best Overall
All-American Canner Pressure Cooker
- Heavy-duty pressure canner/cooker
- Two canning racks
- Instruction and recipe book
- Made of durable, hand-cast aluminum
- Doubles as a pressure canner with a capacity of 7 pint-sized or 4 quart-sized jars
- Two canning racks for stacking
- Heat-free handles
- Easy on/off cover and positive action clamping wing nuts for easy opening and closing
- Automatic overpressure release
- Easy to read geared system gauge with 3 available settings of 5, 10, and 15 psi.
The All-American Canner Pressure Cooker is not only a pressure cooker, but it is a pressure canner.
It has two racks available for fitting 7 pint jars or 4 quart jars for canning.
This range has a product for every need, with five pressure cooker sizes available.
It’s perfect for cooking a variety of meals in less time, and is a superb canner, too.
Made from safe and easy-to-clean aluminum with heat-free handles, the All-American has all the safety features covered.
The smallest size is 14 x 13 x 14 inches and weighs 13.6 pounds, and the largest is 20 x 18.9 x 18.7 inches and weighs 33 pounds.
You can have any size you like with this model, so you will always have the size that you need for the right occasion.
Size and Weight
The largest model weighs in at 33 pounds, which is pretty heavy, however, not everyone will need a pressure cooker of that size. All other models are much lighter.
Made of easy-to-clean aluminum, this machine wipes down with ease and can pressure cook or can anything.
The materials are safe for cooking with heat-free handles to ensure you will never burn yourself when cooking.
Annie (verified purchase) had this to say about her purchase, “I have a fear about pressure cookers, but this one has the best security locks I’ve seen, and I feel quite confident about using it. It makes killer meals in no time at all.”
Why Buy This Product
For those who like to cook and preserve canned foods, this is the machine for you.
If you like freedom of choice, the All-American comes in 5 different sizes to choose from.
2. Top-Rated Large Pressure Cookers—Runner-Up Option
Buffalo QCP430 Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
- Pressure cooker/canner
- User manual
- Commercial-grade pressure cooker/canner, with available sizes between 8 quarts and 37 quarts capacity
- Suitable on a gas stove, electric stove, induction cooker, and ceramic tops
- Made with high-quality stainless steel
- Pressure indicator, vent filter, three safety valves, and pressure-release hole
- Easy to use and clean
- ISO 9001:2000 and Safety Goods certified
With many sizes to choose from and great safety features, the Buffalo QCP430 Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker can be used on any stovetop and for any sized family.
Stainless steel is safe to cook with, with indications of there being less chance of it leaching toxins into food during cooking than other materials.
It’s also easy to clean, heavy-duty, and will last for years.
It’s one of the safest around, with a pressure indicator, vent filter, three safety valves, and a pressure-release hole.
The smallest size is 11.5 x 11.5 x 11 inches and 7.2 pounds, and the largest 20 x 20 x 16 inches and 27.4 pounds.
From an 8-quart to a 37-quart capacity, with sizes in-between, you will be able to find your perfect pressure cooker.
Size and Weight
The largest of the sizes is just over 27 pounds, which is lighter than our first pick.
Stainless steel is notoriously easy to clean, and this machine was simple to wipe clean and put away without any residue.
Perhaps the most safety features so far, this machine features three safety valves, a pressure indicator, vent filter, and a pressure-release hole.
Julia (verified purchase) said this about her appliance, “I’ve been using pressure cookers for the past forty-something years. This one is very easy to handle, it’s lightweight and easy to clean due to the stainless steel and safety valve.”
Why Buy This Product
This big pressure cooker is a commercial-grade appliance that is safe to use and eat from.
The stainless steel pressure cooker will last for years and keep you safe while using it.
3. Top-Rated Large Pressure Cookers—Best Electric
GoWise Electric Pressure Cooker
- 14 quarts capacity electric pressure cooker
- Rice spoon
- Measuring cup
- Recipe book
- Free lifetime support
- The largest pressure cooker in the market with 14 quarts capacity
- Proven to cook faster than stovetop cooking
- Ability to prepare meals with a touch of a button with its 12 cooking programs, replacing 9 appliances into one
- Warm feature and 24-hour delay timer for slow cooking
- Comes with 50 pressure cooker recipes
- Access to tips, tricks, and recipes through GoWise’s social media accounts and community
- Free lifetime support from the GoWise USA
This GoWise Electric Pressure Cooker is the largest pressure cooker on the market and is fully electric.
Being an electric pressure cooker, this one cooks faster than its stovetop counterparts.
With 12 different modes, you’ll be able to cook anything to near perfection.
With a 24-hour delay timer and the ability to slow cook for up to 20 hours, you can’t go wrong with your meal timing.
It’s fairly compact at 13 x 16 x 15 inches and weighs in at 30 pounds.
We love the versatility of this cooker.
It can be used for practically anything—breakfast, lunch, dinner, large family meals, and even flavored yogurt!
From a 6-quart to a 14-quart size option, you can pick the perfect capacity for you.
Size and Weight
As a middle-of-the-road weight, this machine is the second-heaviest on our list.
Made from stainless steel, this all-in-one machine cleans with ease and can cook almost anything.
We found this machine to have no issues when it comes to safety. The electric pressure cookers have a locking lid so that steam cannot escape or burn you while cooking.
Laurie (verified purchase) said this in her review on the product, “The size of this one is the largest one now available and accessible for home usage. I can easily prepare a complex meal or four in the enormous removable metal liner.”
Why Buy This Product
To pressure cook anywhere in your house, buy this model.
It is perfect for people with small kitchens, or who just want to stick with an electric model over a stovetop cooker.
Helpful Related Information
The Aiduy 12 Pieces Pressure Cooker Accessories Set is the perfect set to assist you in making the best pressure cooker meals with ease.
For the healthy steaming of vegetables or dumplings, this Instant Pot Large Mesh Steamer Basket can help you stick to healthy foods.
Keeping with that theme, a 3-Piece Divided Steamer Basket is perfect for steaming multiple things at once!
For our favorite kitchen essentials across the board, check out our top picks here.
Not sure what to cook in your pressure cooker?
Try our BEST Butternut Squash Soup Recipe made in the pressure cooker and blender.
Carrot Ginger and Lentil Stew is another super quick and healthy meal made by power pressure cooking.
Don’t Make Your Decision Under Pressure
Pressure cookers can be really nice appliances to have for impatient cooks.
Our top choice for the best large pressure cooker is the All American Canner Pressure Cooker.
It has both cooking and canning functions and offers sizes from 10.5 to 41.5 quarts.
No matter what your cooking volume needs are, one of these will have you covered!
It’s all among the safest pressure cookers out there, made of aluminum with a metal-to-metal seal, nonbreakable gaskets, and an easy-to-read pressure gauge.
A large pressure canner and cooker is a necessary addition to your kitchen arsenal, so get one today!