The Presto manages to offer most of the performance of the top pressure cookers on the market despite often selling for much lower prices. As long as you're not invested in all of the recipe books and blogs that tailor themselves specifically to the settings and interface of the popular Instant Pot models on the market, we think the Presto is a perfect, generally, lower-cost alternative that is well-suited to share counter space with your other kitchen appliances.Editor's Note: This pressure cooker gear review now includes more information on our favorite cookers and those we'd recommend. This update happened on February 4, 2022.
Presto 02141 Review
Pros: Good overall cooking performance, easy to clean
Cons: No lid storage
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|Pros||Good overall cooking performance, easy to clean||Versatile, intuitive, feature-rich, great value||User friendly, easy to clean, reasonably priced, pressure release button||Perfect size for meals for one, easy to clean, good pressure cooking performance, doesn't need much counter space||Good pressure cooking performance, relatively easy to clean|
|Cons||No lid storage||Rice is a bit sticky, lid and stainless steel pot can be difficult to clean||Meat slightly less tender than some other models||Too small for family meals, meat just shy of perfectly tender||Interface is a bit clunky, fewer cooking presets than average|
|Bottom Line||An easy to clean, great performing product, especially for the price you pay||An easy-to-use, versatile model that won't break the bank and offers plenty of useful features||The best option for most kitchens, this model is easy to use and a breeze to clean||A fantastic smaller appliance for singles or for couples that aren't fans of leftovers||A capable cooker that lacks any differentiating features and doesn't feature the best price|
|Rating Categories||Presto 02141||Instant Pot Duo Plu...||Instant Pot DUO Nova||Instant Pot DUO Mini||Cuisinart CPC-600N1|
|User Friendliness (35%)|
|Cooking Performance (30%)|
|Ease of Cleaning (25%)|
|Cooking Features (10%)|
|Specs||Presto 02141||Instant Pot Duo Plu...||Instant Pot DUO Nova||Instant Pot DUO Mini||Cuisinart CPC-600N1|
|Pot Material||Nonstick||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Nonstick|
|Capacity||6 quart||6 quart||6 quart||3 quart||6 quart|
Our Analysis and Test Results
For the most part, the Prest is easy to use compared to many of the pressure cookers we tested. Its interface is clear and easy to follow, the lid secures on easily, and the pressure release valve is relatively easy to release (be safe and use a wooden spoon, so your hand doesn't get near the ensuing burst of steam).
We do have a few minor complaints, however. The first is that there isn't any convenient storage for the lid when it's not in place. Many other models have a slot in one handle that can hold the lid vertically while you saute your veggies or serve your meal. This may seem minor, but it feels pretty luxurious not to have to hold the lid in one hand while you stir or serve with the other. Additionally, the LCD screen on the control panel is relatively small, so those that require reading glasses may have trouble reading it unaided.
While we generally didn't find cooking performance very different across machines (pressure cooking is a fairly consistent method), the Presto found its way into the upper echelon in our tests. This is mainly due to its ability to cook very tender meat (the ribs we made fell off the bone), one thing that can often be challenging for pressure cookers. We also found the saute mode quite effective — a vital characteristic for making one-pot meals.
One slight weakness we found with this model was its rice cooking. The rice came out very tender but a bit moist and sticky; those looking for fluffier rice may be slightly disappointed.
Ease of Cleaning
Largely thanks to a nonstick pot certified by the manufacturer as dishwasher safe, we found the Presto to be one of the easiest models to clean of the many we tested.
That nonstick pot made scrubbing off burned veggies quick and easy, and the fact that we could toss it into the dishwasher was a huge plus. The two-piece lid has a removable gasket, making deeper cleaning fairly easy. Like every model we've ever tested, there is a gap where the lid secures onto the body that tends to catch bits of food and grease and is challenging to clean, but as of now, that's an unavoidable pitfall or pressure cooking.
The Presto offers more cooking features than most models. If you're a fan of cooking presets in your appliances, the Presto 02141 won't disappoint.
A Full List of The Presto's Cooking Functions
Brown, Saute, Rice, Multigrain, Chop/Rib, Roast, Poultry, Fish, Soup, Stew, Vegetables high/low, Desserts, Beans, Slow Cook high/low, and Keep Warm
Should You Buy the Presto?
Thanks to all-around good performance and a propensity for being on sale, the Presto is often a fantastic lower-cost option for those looking for a new pressure cooker. However, it becomes much less compelling if you can't find it on sale. The Presto is as capable as many of the most popular models and lists for a similar price. However, it can be found on sale very often. We think it is a fantastic overall value if you find it on sale. If you can't find it on sale, you may want to consider going with one of the more popular models instead — they're popular for a reason.
What Other Pressure Cooker Should You Consider?
We prefer the Instant Pot DUO Nova for a slight bump in price, which is far easier to use in our test and offers similar cooking performance. The pot is stainless steel, which many users prefer. If price is not a concern, the Instant Pot Duo Plus 6 Quart is the highest-ranking option with impressive results in every testing metric.
— Max Mutter and Michelle Powell
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