What Size Electric Pressure Cooker Do I Need? - Jody's Bakery

What Size Electric Pressure Cooker Do I Need?

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Electric pressure cookers are an excellent way to prepare delicious meals quickly and easily. More home cooks are employing them with the rise in popularity of Instant Pot, Ninja, Presto, Go Wise, Power Pressure Cooker XL, and other multicookers. 

You may have received a multicooker as a gift or searched for the best multicooker. Are you unfamiliar with electric pressure cooking and unsure where to begin? You enjoy using your Instant Pot but are interested in the best electric pressure cookers. This information will help you answer these questions and many others! 

What Is an Electric Pressure Cooker? 

In 1679, the first known pressure cooker was invented. A sealed pot with a great deal of steam inside is utilized to generate high pressure. This simulates the effects of lengthy braising or simmering but in much less time. 

Traditional pressure cookers are stovetop appliances, whereas electric pressure cookers use electricity to generate high or low pressure inside the cooker. Stovetop pressure cookers boil water using heat, then trap the steam inside to increase pressure. Less expensive stovetop pressure cookers require more attention and are less customizable. Broadly appealing about electric pressure cookers is the ability to program desired pressure and cooking time without monitoring. 

In other words, an electric pressure cooker allows you to place the ingredients in the inner pot, set the pressure-cooking time, and voila! The pressure cooker does the rest. 

Why Do You Need an Electric Pressure Cooker? 

A pressure cooker’s functions can be accomplished with traditional cooking methods but having one will certainly make life easier. Electric pressure cookers significantly reduce cooking times, bringing chili from dry beans to bubbling and warm in less than an hour. 

Moreover, modern electric pressure cookers offer more than just pressure cooking. Popular models include slow cooking, rice cooking, air frying, sautéing, steaming, and searing. Some even produce bread and yogurt. 

Suppose you want to reduce the amount of time you spend in the kitchen preparing stews, soups, and other labor-intensive dishes. In that case, we believe you will appreciate owning an electric pressure cooker. 

What Size Electric Pressure Cooker Do I Need? 

If you are looking to upgrade your kitchen with a modern pressure cooker, one of the first things you will notice is that all models, regardless of the brand, are available in many sizes. 

Now, while you can cook smaller quantities of food in larger pressure cookers, it is not safe to cook large amounts of food in a small pressure cooker. You will find models with capacities ranging from two to over ten quarters. 

As one size does not fit all in this convenient kitchen appliance, there are a few factors to consider selecting the best size for your kitchen, family, and lifestyle. 

So, what size pressure cooker should I purchase? This entirely depends on the size of your family and whether you prefer to cook larger meals for leftovers. Please refer to the following chart for a more comprehensive reference. 

2-4 Quart  Perfect for 1 individual who eats alone. 
5 Quarts or Less  Perfect for 1-2 people or a small family. 
5-7 Quarts  Perfect for 3-5 people & provides flexibility. 
7-10 Quarts  Great for 6+ people or a large family. 
10+ Quarts  Great for 8-15 people. This size is often used for canning purposes. 

Even though these are the suggested values, you may need to upgrade to a larger pressure cooker if these recommendations are not sufficient for your needs. 

A larger pressure cooker will be ideal if you plan to can food, attend a lot of potlucks, or cook for large groups of people regularly. A smaller pressure cooker will do the trick as a practical gift for a college student or a first apartment. 

Best Electric Pressure Cooker For Every Size

👉 2-4 Quarts

👉 5-7 Quarts

👉 7-10 Quarts

👉 10+ Quarts

Does The Size Of An Electric Pressure Cooker really Matter? 

When discussing the size of a pressure cooker, we refer solely to the volume or the amount of food it can hold. We are not debating the appliance’s casing, weight, or aesthetics. The size of a pressure cooker directly affects the amount of food that can be cooked at once. 

In addition, size matters because overfilling the pressure cooker can cause serious problems, and if the pressure cooker is too large for your needs, you will waste a great deal of energy. 

However, the essential rule is that a larger pressure cooker is never the better option; you should choose the smallest size that meets your needs. 

The Issues With Purchasing An Oversized Electric Pressure Cooker 

  • You will lose a great deal of energy and heat efficiency. If you frequently only fill your pressure cooker by a third or half, you heat a great deal of unused space, which drives up your electricity bill. 
  • You may end up limiting the available cooking methods. Why? A larger pressure cooker will require a greater minimum water level. If you have too much liquid, you may not be able to braise meat. This would need you to boil or partially cook your food. 
  • The larger the pressure cooker, the greater the amount of cleanup required. There is no point in putting yourself through this if it is not necessary. 

Calculating a ratio is a rule of thumb for pressure cookers. This is typically one quarter/one liter per person in the home. Anything below four quarters will suffice if you have a family of two. Six quarts are sufficient for three to five people, while eight quarts are sufficient for six or more people. 

What Size Electric Pressure Cooker Do I Need - FAQs

The standard size for pressure cookers is between five and seven quarters. Why? You can cook for an average-sized family while retaining culinary versatility. Three to five people can be served with an individual use of this size. 

In addition, it is ideal for those who enjoy leftovers or who wish to prepare extra food for meal prepping. A four-quart pressure cooker would suit a single person or a couple. 

Additionally, it is ideal for those who enjoy leftovers or who wish to prepare extra food for meal prepping. A four-quart pressure cooker is sufficient for a single individual or a couple. 

If you intend to engage in extensive food preservation, you will require a larger pressure cooker. Although the minor pressure cooker size that can be considered for canning purposes is 10 quarts, it is common to see sizes ranging from 12 to 25 quarts. 

The USDA deems any pressure cooker that cannot hold at least four-quart jars of food unsafe, as not enough heat may be delivered during the pressurizing and cooling processes. 

As with pressure cooking, size matters when pressure canning, and it is possible to go too big. If you have a large canner, you will expend a great deal of energy, resulting in a significant loss of efficiency. 

This will increase your per-jar energy costs and carbon footprint. If you desire flexibility and have been completely bitten by the pressure canning bug, you can purchase two different sizes. 

For residential use, a ten- or sixteen-quart capacity is ideal for smaller loads, whereas a twenty-five-quart or larger capacity is ideal for large loads. 

While the answer to this question depends entirely on the chicken you purchase, a ten-quart pressure cooker is typically recommended. Some individuals can now cook a two- to five-pound chicken in a six-quart Instant Pot pressure cooker. 

The general rule is to cook chicken for six minutes per pound using the natural release method for twenty minutes. 

A family of one or two people can use a pressure cooker for between two and five quarters. The larger the pressure cooker, the greater the versatility with single dishes. You will need a six- or seven-quart pressure cooker for a family of three to five. 

You will be able to cook complete meals with a six- or seven-quart pressure cooker, have various cooking method options, and store the pressure cooker with relative ease. 


By now you should have a clever idea of what size electric pressure cooker you need for your household. If you are still not sure, consider the number of people in your family and how often you cook. You can also think about whether you want a unit that has multiple functions or if you just want a simple cooker that will get the job done. No matter what, there is an electric pressure cooker out there that is perfect for you and your family. Thanks for reading! 

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