SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- This summer, let a pressure cooker save you time and keep the kitchen cool. Consumer Reports cooked up a storm to see which models can take the pressure off your summer entertaining.
Pressure cooking ribs will help tenderize them. Then pop them on the grill to sear and smoke. Do you need deviled eggs for a crowd? That's not a problem, because pressure-cooked eggs are simple to peel. But which device can tackle your whole summer barbecue?
There's the Instant Pot and other multi-cookers, which can cost $70 to $250. Consumer Reports set out to see how they perform.
Testers checked out features like steaming, sautéing, slow-cooking, and pressure cooking by preparing pork ribs, chili with dried beans, lots of vegetables, and white rice.
Five models got an Excellent rating for pressure cooking, and a few had some special talents.
The 6-quart Breville Fast Slow Pro model # BPR700BSS for $250 stands out for slow-cooking, so it would be perfect for making tender baked beans. It also gets high marks for steaming; every BBQ needs something a little healthy! The Breville's lid doesn't lock in steam mode, so you can peek in and avoid mushy veggies.
The 6-quart Instant Pot Max for $200 has a sous vide feature, which will turn out moist meats and fish. It does a very good job making rice.
The Ninja Foodi OP302 is a 6.5-quart model for $230 that has a crisping lid; after testers pressure-cooked a chicken, they were able to brown it. It also works as an air fryer, and you can even roast corn on the cob in it!
As for dessert, a multi-cooker can even finish your summer BBQ with a cheesecake so you don't have to turn on your oven!
Consumer Reports has this tip: The silicone ring that seals the lid on multi-cookers can retain the odors of whatever you cook. So to keep the scent of curry away from your cheesecake, consider keeping a second ring on hand just for sweets. It's also a good idea to dry the lid ring-side up.
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Consumer Reports puts pressure cookers to the test