August 5

Presto Stovetop Pressure Cookers: A Detailed Review of the Affordable Brand

By trk

Last Updated: August 8, 2022

best pressure canner, best pressure cooker, pressure canning, pressure cooking, Presto

Presto is one of the most popular brands sold in the US.  Presto pressure cookers get overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon and elsewhere. Presto is also an affordable brand, so if you're just getting into pressure cooking and aren't sure how much you want to commit, it's a good way to get started.

We take a detailed look at Presto pressure cookers: their features, pros and cons, safety, ease of use and cleaning, how they compare to some other popular brands, and more. This review should help you decide if Presto is the right brand for you.

Presto Stovetop Pressure Cookers at a Glance

Here are Presto's stainless steel pressure cooker models. Presto also makes aluminum pressure cookers, which are cheaper, but we do not recommend them because they aren't as durable (though they do get good reviews on Amazon), and the aluminum can transfer a metallic flavor to food. (Furthermore, aluminum may contribute to Alzheimer's disease, but that has been largely debunked.)

Presto Pressure Cooker

Features

Header

Presto 4 qt, 6 qt Stainless

(01341/01362)

See 4/6qt models on Amazon

See aluminum models (4-6-8qt) on Amazon

See all models at Wal-Mart

About $73 (both sizes)

-Best for beginners or people on a budget.

-Stainless steel body

-Tri-ply base for even heat

-Cover-lock pressure indicator

-Over-pressure plug indicator (safety feature)

-Induction compatible

-Dishwasher safe

-Etched 1/2-2/3 fill marks in pot

-Includes cooking rack and manual/recipe book.

-Assembly required

-12 yr warranty.

Presto Pressure Cooker 6Qt 01362 w:Cooling Rack and Guide

Presto 50 Deluxe 6qt (01365)

See it on Amazon

About $85

-Best for people concerned about safety.

-Stainless steel body

-Tri-ply base for even heat

-Cover-lock pressure indicator

-Second pressure relief valve (extra safety feature)

-Induction compatible

-Dishwasher safe

-Etched 1/2-2/3 fill marks in pot

-Includes cooking rack and manual/recipe book.

-Assembly required

-12 yr warranty.

Presto 50 Deluxe 6qt Pressure Cooker w:Cooling Rack and guide

Presto 8 qt Stainless (01370)

See it on Amazon

See it at Wal-Mart

About $100

-Best for people who want a big or short-handled pressure cooker.

-Stainless steel body

-Tri-ply base for even heat

-Cover-lock pressure indicator

-Second pressure relief valve (extra safety feature)

-Quick-cool steam release option

-Induction compatible

-Dishwasher safe

-Etched 1/2-2/3 fill marks in pot

-Includes steamer basket, trivet, and manual/recipe book

-12 yr warranty.

Presto Pressure Cooker 8Qt 01370 w:Cooking Rack and Guide

About Presto

Presto began in 1905 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin as a manufacturer of commercial pressure canning equipment. They started with 50-gallon capacity pressure canners, then added smaller models for hotels (20 gallon) and eventually for home users (10 gallon). Their original canners were made from aluminum but they were the first company to manufacture stainless steel canners during World War II when the aluminum supply was scarce.

Presto made the first sauce pan-style pressure cooker in 1939. Their products were so popular that they were one of the leading makers of household goods by the end of 1941.

Presto continued to expand their lines of goods and are still a very successful maker of consumer products today. In addition to pressure cookers and canners, they make air fryers, deep fryers, coffee maker (several types), dehydrators, electric griddles, knife sharpeners, popcorn poppers, pizza ovens, and more. 

Presto's headquarters are still located in Eau Claire. Design, sales, marketing, and testing takes place in the US, with manufacturing facilities China--all Presto pressure cookers and canners today are made in China.

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Pressure Cooking Vs. Pressure Canning: Which One Do You Need?

Presto Pressure Cooker 6Qt 01362

Pressure cooker: smaller, with no gauge.

All American 21.5 Quart Pressure Canner:Cooker

Pressure canner: huge, with gauge.

Many people are confused about the difference between a pressure cooker and a pressure canner. They are not the same thing, and it is important to understand the difference between them.

Pressure cookers are used to cook food: beans, rice, meats, stews, stocks and soups, etc.

Pressure canners are used to preserve food in jars for long-term shelf stable storage: pickles, canned vegetables and fruits, canned meats, etc.

Pressure canners have more accurate controls--usually a gauge--that control pressure more precisely. This is extremely important to ensure that all the pathogens are killed for safe long-term storage. You can't achieve the same amount of accuracy with a pressure cooker, which simply does not have the same level of accuracy.

Pressure canners are also typically much larger than pressure cookers because you need to fit several mason jars in them at one time.

The USDA and any canning recipe you use provides exact times and temperatures required to kill pathogens. This varies for different foods, so you have to be sure you're following the right guidelines when you're canning. (Your life may depend on it.)

Pressure canning is particularly important for low-acid foods, which have harder-to-kill pathogens. Low-acid foods--meats, most vegetables, some fruits, and beans, for example--should NEVER be canned in a pressure cooker.

Technically, you can use a pressure cooker to can high-acid foods like tomatoes, pickles, apples, and some other fruits. However, you can just use a hot water bath and don't need any pressurized container at all. Thus, the easiest way to can high-acid foods is in a large stock pot. 

Be sure to follow all canning instructions even for high-acid foods. 

You can cook foods in jars in pressure cookers, but this is not the same as canning for long-term storage. Unless you've followed an actual canning recipe, all foods cooked in a pressure cooker will require refrigeration for long-erm storage (that is, more than a few hours).

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Are Pressure Cookers Safe?

Some older pressure cookers didn't have the best safety mechanisms, so pressure cookers got a bad reputation for being unsafe. However, modern pressure cookers are very safe to use. Presto pressure cookers are an affordable brand, but they still have several safety features to ensure safe operation, including an extra pressure regulator and a lid that won't open until pressure has completely dissipated.

Even if a modern pressure cooker does malfunction, it's unlikely to explode.

The vast majority of pressure cooker mishaps are caused by misuse. The biggest error people make is overfilling them. You can only fill a pressure cooker two-thirds full, or half-full if the food foams (like beans).

If a pressure cooker is too full, food can boil up and clog the steam release valve, which is how problems occur. 

Whether you buy a stovetop model or an electric pressure cooker, be sure to read and follow all safety instructions before use.

Here are some suggestions on how to use a Presto pressure cooker safely:

  • Read the instruction manual before use and follow all safety instructions.
  • Inspect parts before using your pressure cooker. Gaskets, O-rings, and valves need to be replaced occasionally, so make sure they are in good working order before use. (It's smart to keep extra parts on hand rather than wait until something breaks, too.)
  • Check the air vent on the Presto pressure cooker before EVERY use to make sure it's not clogged.
  • Make sure the rubber plug is operating properly (they have a tendency to loosen up and need occasional replacing).
  • Don't fill a pressure cooker more than two-thirds full, or half-full for foamy foods (like beans). Always follow the etched markings in the pressure cooker and make sure that no food is above the safe fill line.
  • Be sure to use enough liquid per the pressure cooker's instructions (usually at least 1 cup).
  • Never leave a pressure cooker unattended. You need to monitor the heat to make sure it doesn't build up too much pressure. (True for "hands off" electric pressure cookers as well.)

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Stovetop Pressure Cookers Vs. Electric Pressure Cookers: Which One Is Best for You?

Electric pressure cookers have become hugely popular in the past few years, and with good reason: pressure cooking is a fast, easy, convenient way to get a meal on the table. 

But stovetop pressure cookers have their advantages, and you should definitely consider them before deciding what to buy.

Here's what makes stovetop pressure cookers a good choice:

  • Shorter cooking times: Electric pressure cookers reach a max pressure of 11-12 psi (and some are considerably less than this). Stovetop pressure cookers operate at 15 psi. This means faster cooking times (about 20% faster on average).
  • Better browning: The electric heater coil in an electric cooker can't compete with a cooktop burner. So you will always get better browning in your stovetop pressure cooker.
  • Durability: A good quality stovetop pressure cooker can last for decades; the average life span of an electric cooker is 5 years. You do have to change out parts occasionally, but this is true for both kinds of pressure cookers. 
  • Easier to use: Some people think an electric pressure cooker is easier to use because it can turn itself off, which is a fair statement. However, the complicated control panels can have a fairly steep learning curve. On the other hand, stovetop pressure cookers couldn't be simpler to use: you lock the lid in place and heat it until it's at the right pressure, turn it to simmer and set a timer to finish the recipe. Yes, you have to keep an eye on the heat, but this is standard with all cooking--and no matter how "hands off" an electric pressure cooker is, you should never leave any hot appliance unattended.
  • More capacity for the size: Even large stovetop pressure cookers are smaller than electric pressure cookers. An 8 quart stovetop model is smaller than a 6 quart electric. 
  • Easier to store: You can store a stovetop pressure cooker with your cookware, and it takes up less space than an electric cooker.
  • Easier to clean: No complicated lid or "inner pot" to futz with, no seams or channels to collect gunk. You can throw your Presto pressure cooker right in the dishwasher (though we recommend washing all your cookware by hand for best results).
  • Use it as regular cookware: You can use your stovetop pressure cooker as a regular pot, so you gain a piece of cookware.

You may argue that an electric pressure cooker can replace many other tools, including a slow cooker, a rice cooker, maybe even a yogurt maker and a sous vide circulator. But the truth is that while electric pressure cookers can do many of these tasks, they don't do them particularly well. It's really a "jack of all trades, master of none" situation.

And did we mention that stovetop pressure cookers are faster? 

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Why Buy a Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker and Not an Aluminum One?

Presto makes a few aluminum pressure cookers, and we didn't review any of them, nor do we recommend buying one.

They are quite a bit cheaper than stainless steel, so if you're on a tight budget and really want a pressure cooker, go with aluminum. They get great reviews on Amazon and will probably last as long as a steel one.

However, there are enough issues with aluminum that we think stainless steel is the best choice for a pressure cooker. 

Here are some of the issues:

  • Aluminum can impart a metallic taste to your food, especially acidic foods like tomatoes and tomato-based sauces.
  • Aluminum is a softer metal than steel, so it pits more easily. It will probably last as long as steel (or almost as long), but the inside will pit and scratch and become a pain to clean.
  • Aluminum has been associated with Alzheimer's disease and while this has been largely debunked, we think it's wise to err on the side of caution and go with the more durable, more stable stainless steel.

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How to Adapt Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes to a Stovetop Pressure Cooker (and Vice Versa)

If you've been using an electric pressure cooker or can only find recipes for an electric pressure cooker, don't despair: it's easy to adapt these to a stovetop pressure cooker.

Here's all you need to do:

To adapt an electric pressure cooker recipe to a stovetop pressure cooker, subtract 25% of the cooking time.

  • If cook time is 20 minutes on an electric cooker, cook for just 15 minutes on a stovetop cooker.

That's all there is to it--because a stovetop pressure cooker reaches a higher pressure, the cooking time is shorter; about 25% shorter.

To go the other way, you just do the opposite: add 25% cooking time if you're adapting a stovetop pressure cooker recipe to an electric pressure cooker.

  • if cook time is 20 minutes on a stovetop cooker, cook for 25 minutes on an electric pressure cooker. 

The rest of the recipe should be the same (including pressure release time).

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Pressure Cooking Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Up to 70% faster cooking time than conventional cooking
  • Retains the greatest amount of nutrients than any other cooking method
  • Because of the faster cooking time, uses less energy
  • One pot meals are easy
  • Batch cooking and meal prepping is easy
  • You can make stock in a fraction of the time using conventional cooking (30 minutes).
Cons
  • Can't adjust seasoning or check progress during cooking.
  • Only good for cooking methods that require liquid (soups, stews, stocks, beans, risotto, braises, etc.)
  • Natural depressurizing can take up to 30 minutes (though many pc's have steam release valves, or you can run under cold water to speed up depressurization.

Overall, pressure cooking is an excellent way to cook many dishes, including soups, stews, beans, rice, risotto, braises, and much more. Even though you can't use it for everything, many cooks find their pressure cooker to be an invaluable tool that they couldn't live without.

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Presto Vs. Other Brands of Pressure Cookers

Presto is a mid-range brand quality wise. It's a safe, affordable choice, but it lacks some of the features found on more expensive brands.

Here are some of the differences:

  • Presto has just one pressure setting, 15 psi. Both Fissler and Kuhn Rikon have a high (15psi) and low (11psi) setting.
  • Presto cookers are harder to read than other brands: the pressure regulator in some cases is very hard to see because it doesn't rise higher than the handle, so you have to be right next to it to read. This can be a safety issue if the cooker is releasing a lot of steam.
  • Presto cookers have a thinner tri-ply base, so you may experience some scorching of food if you leave the cooker on a burner too long or don't use enough liquid.
  • Presto pressure cookers don't have as many redundant safety features as more expensive brands (although they are completely safe to use).
  • Some people find some Presto cookers hard to get the lid on and off, and complain about parts coming loose (e.g., the handle and the rubber pressure plug).

This is not to say Presto pressure cookers aren't good quality or are unsafe to use. They have a huge following and many generations of families have been loyal to the brand. They just don't have as many features as more expensive brands, and they may not be quite as easy to use. But the end results are probably about the same.

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How to Choose a Stovetop Pressure Cooker (Features to Consider)

Here are the important features to think about before you buy a stovetop (or any) pressure cooker.

Size/Capacity

Size is very important. You may think you want a small pressure cooker, but if you ever do meal prepping or batch cooking, then a large pressure cooker is a huge asset.

We recommend not going smaller than 6 quarts and think 8 quarts is a better size for stocks, roasts, whole chickens, and more. But if you're cooking for one or two or are buying a second pc for side dishes, then 4-quart is a good size, too.

Presto offers just three sizes: 4 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart. For this reason, we give them an average rating in this category (other brands make sizes as small as 2 quarts and as large as 12 quarts, and in different shapes), but the truth is that these are the most useful sizes, with 6-quart and 8-quart being our recommendation for most cooks.

Build Quality and Overall Design

It makes sense that you want the most durable pressure cooker you can find, and you also want one with a design that makes it easy (and maybe even a little fun) to use.

Presto gets average marks for build quality and design for a couple of reasons.

First, their tri-ply base is on the thin side, so food can scorch and cook unevenly.

Second, the tri-ply base isn't as wide as the pots, another factor that can cause food to cook unevenly (although with liquids, it's not such a big deal).

Third, some reviewers complain about handles coming loose and parts falling off.

And because some of the plugs are loose, it can take a Presto a long time to come up to pressure, which is frustrating.

Finally, their overall design is quite basic: they make a deep, sauce-pan shaped pan and nothing else. So if you want an extra wide base or a shallower pan, you'll have to look elsewhere.

While Prestos are safe to use, they have enough dings against them that they deserve just an average rating for build quality. 

Safety Features

Presto pressure cookers have enough safety features to make them perfectly safe to use, so no worries there. But they don't have quite as many as some other brands, and some of the pressure regulators come loose over time and thus, don't do their job very well.

They're easy to replace, and need to be replaced periodically (true for all brands of pressure cookers). But because the pressure regulators can come loose, we can't give 5 stars for safety (even though they won't explode or otherwise be unsafe in any way). 

Ease of Use and Cleaning

Presto pressure cookers get an almost perfect score for ease of use and cleaning. 

They're easy to use: you just screw the lid on until it's in place--there's an indicator to let you know it's in place--and turn the heat on. When it starts to hiss or whistle, you turn the heat down and set your timer for cooking time. 

We could take points off because the steam regulator is a little hard to read, but the hissing is more than enough to alert you to when it's time to turn down the heat. 

In fact, we found Presto pressure cookers extremely easy to use. Everything we cooked turned out well and we were very satisfied with the performance; we had none of the problems with loose valves, loose handles, or hard-to-turn lids that some reviewers did.

These pressure cookers are also easy to clean: both the lid and the pot are dishwasher safe, so you can just throw both of them in the dishwasher if you don't want to wash by hand (though we recommend hand washing for all your good cookware).

Be sure to check all the valves and vents for gunk and make sure they're thoroughly cleaned out (again, necessary for all brands of pressure cookers).

The pressure regulator unscrews easily, and other parts are also easy to remove and put back on.

Overall, we find the Presto pressure cooker very easy to use and clean.

Steam Release

Steam release allows you to release steam immediately after cooking time is complete rather than wait for the pot to de-pressurize naturally (up to 30 minutes) or run under cool water (a quick workaround for cookers that don't have steam release).

The only Presto model that has a steam release valve is the 8 quart short-handled model (01370). And it's a little tricky to use it without getting steam burns on your fingers (hint: use a heating pad). 

Automatic steam release isn't a deal breaker, as you can use cool water to de-pressurize if you're in a hurry. But because only one model has this feature, we give Presto pressure cookers an average rating.

Number of Settings

On stovetop models, the maximum number of settings is three: high, medium, and low. And the vast majority of food is cooked on high (15 psi), so having fewer settings is far from a deal breaker. 

But having said that, many other brands offer at least a High/Low setting, but Presto cookers have just one setting (15 psi). 

There are easy workarounds for this, such as turning the burner down (or off) as soon as the pressure regulator starts to hiss. So when you get the hang of adjusting your Presto pressure cooker, you'll figure out how to cook delicate and fast-cooking foods (like fish and certain vegetables). 

So even though we can only give Presto an average rating for number of settings, it's more of an inconvenience than a fault.

Included Accessories

Some brands of pressure cookers have more accessories than others (like glass lids for use as a regular pot), as well as trivets, steamer baskets, and replacement gaskets. But very few offer all of these accessories included with the pressure cooker. 

All Presto pressure cookers come with a cooking rack, which is a great feature. Some also come with a steamer basket and a trivet, which make one-pot meals easy. 

Because Presto offers at least a cooking rack with all of their models, we give them an above-average rating for included accessories. 

On the other hand, we've found it incredibly difficult to find parts and accessories on Presto's website. They should have, at the very least, a page of replacement gaskets and pressure regulators for each model sell. But if they do, we haven't been able to find it. Amazon has a better selection than the Presto site, but if you don't know your exact model number, good luck getting the right part on Amazon.

For these reasons we couldn't give Presto a 5 star rating in this category.

Parts Availability

As we said above, we've had a hard time finding parts for Presto pressure cookers. We know they exist; Presto recommends getting a new gasket every two years, so we know they're out there. But where are they? 

Presto should make it much easier to find parts than they have. Do you really have to call customer service to order a gasket? It appears to be the case, when ordering these frequently-needed parts should be simple.

 (We realize we may have overlooked something obvious, and if we have, we will raise this rating. But we had a really hard time with parts, so we couldn't give a better score than this.)

Warranty and Customer Service

You shouldn't buy a pressure cooker with less than a 1 year warranty, and ideally more than that.

We love that Presto has a 12 year warranty on their stovetop pressure cookers (just 1 year on their electric models). And their customer service number was easy to find, and we actually talked to a human being when we called it. (But again, you shouldn't have to do this for standard replacement parts.)

For these reasons, we gave Presto 4.5 stars for warranty and customer service. 

Though their product is no-frills and basic, they support it well and treat their customers respectfully.

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Pros and Cons of a Presto Pressure Cooker

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Safe to use
  • Easy to use
  • All models include a trivet and some include a steamer basket
  • 12 year warranty.
Cons
  • Only one pressure setting (15 psi)
  • Some models require assembly
  • Thin bottom can scorch food if you leave on too long or don't use enough liquid
  • Some complaints about being hard to close/open
  • Some complaints about the rubber plug and handles coming loose
  • Some complaints about taking a long time to come up to pressure due to loose pressure regulator.

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Our Favorite Presto Pressure Cookers

If You're On a Tight Budget: Presto 4-Qt/6-Qt Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

Presto pressure cooker 01362 with callouts

See Presto 01341/01362 Pressure Cookers on Amazon

See Presto 4-Quart 01341 Pressure Cooker at Wal-Mart

See Presto 6-Quart 01362 Pressure Cooker at Wal-Mart

About $73

This is Presto's standard model and their most popular by far. It also gets the highest number of positive reviews at almost 90%. 

One annoying aspect of this cooker is that it comes without the handles--both long and helper--attached, so you have to do that yourself; it requires a Phillips screwdriver, and isn't difficult, but out of all the brands we've reviewed, Presto is the only one that requires assembly.

Other than that, it's a good pressure cooker. It's available in 4- and 6-quart sizes and we recommend the 6-quart for most cooks (unless you're specifically looking for a smaller model for side dishes or whatever). 

Like all Presto stovetop pressure cookers, it has just one setting which is 15 psi. This works for the vast majority of foods, but some delicate foods (like fish) and fast-cooking foods (like many vegetables) will fall apart with too much time at this pressure. 

There are workarounds to this: for example, as soon as the cooker starts to pressurize (which you'll notice either by the hissing/whistling or by the pressure regulator rising), you can turn the heat down to low, or possible even off in the case of fast-cooking foods.

You will get the hang of using your pressure cooker, but you do have to experiment with times and heat settings because everyone's stove is different.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Overwhelmingly positive reviews
  • Comes in 4- and 6-quart size
  • Includes trivet.

Cons:

  • Handle can come loose
  • Rubber plug (overpressure plug) can come loose, causing it to not build up pressure and is easy to lose if it falls out.

This is Presto's most popular pressure cooker by far and it has mostly excellent reviews. We also had no issues using it. Though we think an 8-quart is the better size for most cooks, this is the best deal and should serve most people very well for years. 

Nevertheless, we recommend that you read the negative reviews before you decide to buy. Presto is a budget maker, and the quality won't be as high as with European brands like Kuhn Rikon and Fissler.

We recommend buying an extra gasket or two with your purchase. Presto recommends changing them every 2 years regardless of use level. If you can't find the right gasket on Amazon, contact Presto for help (they don't seem to have them on their website).

buy presto stainless steel pressure cooker:

Amazon buy button

If You're Concerned About Safety: Presto 50 6-Qt Deluxe Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

Presto 50 Deluxe pressure cooker with callouts

See the Presto 50 Deluxe Pressure Cooker (01365) on Amazon

About $85

What separates the Presto 50 Deluxe model from the standard long-handled model (reviewed above) is that it has an extra safety feature: an extra pressure relief valve rather than just a pressure plug. (The short-handled model below also has an extra pressure relief valve.) If this pressure relief valve is releasing a large amount of steam, along with an "unpleasant" noise, this indicates that the vent pipe of the main steam release valve is plugged. 

The handles are also supposed to be more "ergonomic" than on the other long-handled model, but we found them to be about the same comfort level.

This model is available only in the 6 quart size, which is the same size as most electric pressure cookers (Instant Pots). It's a good size for 3-4 people, but if you want to meal prep or make stocks, we recommend the 8 quart (below). In a stovetop pressure cooker, the larger size isn't as daunting as with electric models. 

Some people has problems closing the lid, but we had no problems in our testing. One real issue is with the rubber plug in the lid, which is a bit loose and can fall off into your foods or down the drain while washing if you're not careful--so if the plug is a little loose on your cooker, be very careful when handling the lid so as not to lose the plug.

Pros:

  • Good size for most families
  • Easy to use
  • Extra safety feature
  • Overwhelmingly good ratings
  • Includes trivet.

Cons:

  • Some assembly required: handles must be screwed to pot before using
  • Many reviewers had trouble getting the lid on and off
  • Can take awhile to come to pressure, possibly because the pressure relief valve is too loose.

This pressure cooker gets about 90% positive reviews, but you should probably read the critical reviews (1-3 stars) before buying. Most users get years of service from this pressure cooker, but some have had serious issues.

We recommend buying an extra gasket or two with your purchase. Presto recommends changing them every 2 years regardless of use level. If you can't find the right gasket on Amazon, contact Presto for help (they don't seem to have them on their website).

BUY PRESTO 50 Deluxe 6-Qt STAINLESS STEEL PRESSURE COOKER:

Amazon buy button

If You Want an 8-Quart or Short-Handled Pressure Cooker: Presto 01370

Presto 8qt pressure cooker short handles

See the Presto 8-quart short-handled pressure cooker on Amazon

See the Presto 8-quart short-handled pressure cooker at Wal-Mart

About $100

The 01370 is a short-handled, stockpot-shaped pressure cooker with a tri-ply base for even heating. It comes with a steamer basket and trivet, plus an instruction manual/recipe book.

Like all Presto stovetop pressure cookers, this model has one setting: 15 psi. You know it's at pressure when it starts hissing, at which point you turn your burner from High to Low or Simmer--you will have to experiment with your stove to figure out the right setting to keep it at pressure.

Safety features include a cover lock indicator and a pressure relief valve (the knob in the middle of the lid, unlabeled in the photo above) in addition to the pressure regulator/steam release valve (which hisses when the cooker is at pressure).

It's a good size (you should be able to fit a whole chicken or roast in here) for families, making stocks, and meal prepping. 

Pros:

  • Good size for most families
  • Quick-cool steam release option
  • Steamer basket included
  • At about $100, the price is hard to beat.

Cons:

  • Tall, narrow shape may not be great for all foods
  • Base is somewhat smaller than pot, so heating will be slower than cookers with wider base
  • Steamer basket is too small for the pot size
  • Can take awhile to come to pressure, maybe because the rubber pressure relief valve is too loose and lets steam escape
  • Some people have trouble closing the lid.

Overall, this pressure cooker gets about 90% positive reviews--but we recommend reading the critical reviews (1-3 stars) before you buy. Most people get years of excellent service from this pressure cooker, but a few have had serious issues.

We recommend buying an extra gasket or two with your purchase. Presto recommends changing them every 2 years regardless of use level. If you can't find the right gasket on Amazon, contact Presto for help (they don't seem to have them on their website).

Presto Pressure Cooker 8Qt 01370

BUY PRESTO 8-QT Short Handled STAINLESS STEEL PRESSURE COOKER:

Amazon buy button

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Presto Pressure Cooker Parts and Accessories

Owning a pressure cooker means replacing parts occasionally. In particular, the gasket--the rubber seal that ensures the lid fits tightly enough to create pressure. Presto recommends that you change gaskets every 2 years regardless of use. 

Interestingly, we had a hard time finding parts on the Presto site, so we're linking to Amazon, which has a better array of parts. 

We recommend you write down your pressure cooker number, which will make it much easier to find parts for it. If you don't remember the number and can't find the manual, contact Presto customer service.

See Presto pressure cooker parts and accessories on amazon

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Presto Pressure Cooker FAQs

Where Are Presto Pressure Cookers Made?

Though Presto is an American company that's been around for several decades, all Presto pressure cookers are made in China. This includes their electric models, as well.

Is a Presto Pressure Cooker Good Quality?

Presto is an intermediate brand of pressure cooker. They are safe to use, but they have just one pressure setting and the tri-ply base is a bit thinner than on European brands. You can pressure cook just fine with them, but you may have to replace parts a little more often, and you may experience the bottom scorching if you let them go a little too long or don't use enough liquid. You may also want a pressure cooker with more than one pressure setting, although you can use any Presto at lower pressure by controlling the amount of heat and steam released (something unique to every cook's stove).

Can You Use a Presto Pressure Cooker on an Induction Stove?

You can use Presto's stainless steel stovetop pressure cookers on an induction cooktop, but you can't use the aluminum pressure cookers on induction.

Can You Use a Presto Pressure Cooker for Canning?

You can use a pressure cooker to can high-acid foods, like most tomatoes, pickles, apples, and some other fruits. Low-acid foods like meats, seafood, and most vegetables require a pressure canner, which provides more precise control. This is necessary to kill the pathogens in low-acid foods. 

For more information, see our article Pressure Cooker Vs. Pressure Canner: Are They the Same Thing?

How Do You Replace the Parts on a Presto Pressure Cooker?

You can look on Amazon or the Presto website. If you can't find the right parts (or don't know the part numbers), contact Presto customer service.

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Final Thoughts on Presto Presto Cookers

Presto pressure cookers are an affordable brand that offer good quality and reliable years of service to most cooks. We strongly recommend the stainless steel models over the aluminum models, which pit and show wear faster, and may taint your food with an odd metallic flavor.

Presto is a no-frills brand to be sure, with one pressure setting (15psi) and simple design. They're safe, but they don't have as many safety feautures as other brands. But they cost significantly less, so if you're on a budget, a Presto is an excellent choice. 

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