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Pressure cookers are all but essential for people who get home late and need a healthy, hot meal fast. Using a vacuum seal that raises the boiling point of water, these cookers tenderize meat, soften dried beans, and meld stews in a fraction of the time it would take on the stovetop.

While all of our favorite pressure cookers include safety features to keep things from getting explosive, definitely read the included instructions before using one of these.

Use on your stovetop.

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This 4-quart aluminum pressure cooker is a great bare-bones option for beginners. It’s big enough to cook a meal for two, and the durable aluminum is safe for stovetops and your dishwasher.

Take it with you.

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Going camping and looking for an easy portable cooking option? This 3.5-liter cooker from Vinod is great for travel or for people who live alone.

Not just a one trick pony.

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You’ve probably heard of the Instant Pot, and for good reason. This 7-in-1 pressure cooker has made its mark for its easy and quick cooking options. This pressure cooker takes cook-time down from hours to minutes, which is perfect for those on-the-go, but also for those trying to meal-prep or make food in bulk.

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