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We tend to believe that ALDI Finds (Special Buys) are worth waiting for. In fact, we think part of the fun is waiting for them to come around again. It’s a bit like Christmas.
But sometimes you can’t wait. Maybe something important is coming up and you need it now. Maybe what you had broke or otherwise isn’t available. In this case, you need an alternative.
The Aldi Product: Ambiano Programmable Pressure Cooker
- Cost: $39.99 (6-quart model), $59.99 (8-quart model)
- When We See It: The 6-quart shows up in late August or early September; the 8-quart shows up in late November or early December
- Our Thoughts: This is the Aldi attempt at an Instant Pot clone, and Aldi has sold both 6-quart and 8-quart models of it. The 6-quart was a 6-in-1 in 2018 and a 9-in-1 in 2019, while the 8-quart was a 9-in-1 in 2018.
- Links: Open Thread: Ambiano 9-in-1 6-Quart Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Ambiano 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker (2018), Ambiano 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker (2018)
For comparison, we looked at five possible alternatives to the Ambiano pressure cooker. We tried to focus on pressure cookers under $100, and for this piece we kept to 6-quart pressure cookers, as that is probably the size most people will look at. We also stuck with pressure cookers sold by major retailers rather than third parties. We’ve ranked them based on our assessment of their price and ratings.
If you have any experience with these — or have suggestions of your own — feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.
1. Instant Pot Lux 60 or Duo 60
- Current Price:
- Lux 60: $49.00
- Duo 60: $74.96
- Current Rating:
- Lux 60: 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon (5,800 reviews), 4.7 out of 5 stars on Walmart.com (894 ratings)
- Duo 60: 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon (35,673 reviews), 4.7 out of 5 stars on Walmart.com (458 ratings)
- Thoughts: Instant Pot is the undisputed king of pressure cookers, thanks to a great design, relatively affordable price, and solid versatility. The sheer volume of positive reviews speak for themselves, with 82% of Amazon users giving the Instant Pot models a 5-star rating. As the price would indicate, the 7-in-1 Duo version is the more upscale version of the two, offering a yogurt function (the Lux is 6-in-1), a longer keep warm function, and a lid holder. (You can read a fuller rundown of the differences here.) If you can’t get Aldi’s pressure cooker, you could do a lot worse than this one.
2. Crock-Pot 6-Quart 8-in-1 Pressure Cooker
- Sellers: Target, Walmart
- Current Price: $59.99-$69.99
- Current Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (693 ratings) at Target.com; 4.4 out of 5 stars (581 ratings) at Walmart.com
- Thoughts: This cooker comes from the company whose name is synonymous with slow cookers. While this device will work like a Crock-Pot slow cooker, it also does everything a pressure cooker does. Most people like it: over at Walmart.com, 73% of reviewers gave it 5 stars, while over at Target.com (which appears to get many of its ratings from CrockPot.com) 93% of users recommended the device. There aren’t many critics, but those few there mostly complained of having theirs go out.
3. Ninja Instant Cooker (PC101)
- Sellers: Amazon, Target
- Current Price: $69.99 (Amazon), $89.99 (Target)
- Current Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (76 ratings) on Amazon; 4.7 out of 5 stars (28 ratings) at Target.com
- Thoughts: Ninja sells a variety of cooking appliances — including this high-end combination pressure cooker and air fryer — and among them is this simple pressure cooker. While it only appears to be a 5-in-1 cooker, the reviews are good, with 80% of Amazon reviewers giving it 5 stars and 96% of Target.com users recommending it. Some users even claim they like it better than the Instant Pot, in particular commenting on the device’s speed. It doesn’t have the number of reviews as other pressure cookers, though.
4. Presto Electric Pressure Cooker
- Sellers: Target, Amazon
- Current Price: $59.99
- Current Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (31 ratings) at Target.com, 4.3 out of 5 stars (42 ratings) on Amazon
- Thoughts: The Presto name has been around for a long time, so it’s maybe not a surprise that this company has a pressure cooker, too. There aren’t a lot of reviews out there — it makes me wonder how many of these get sold — but the reviews are decent enough, with 69% of Amazon users giving it 5 stars and 96% of Target shoppers recommending it. With 15% of Amazon shoppers giving it 4 stars, this seems to fall into the “good to great” category, with just a couple of complaints over the product stopping working.
5. Farberware 6-Quart Programmable Pressure Cooker
- Sellers: Walmart
- Current Price: $64.74
- Current Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (459 ratings) at Walmart.com
- Thoughts: Farberware has been selling kitchenware and kitchen appliances since 1900, and in recent years moved into the programmable pressure cooker space. The Farberware pressure cooker is priced roughly midway between the two Instant Pot versions and offers 9 programmable functions. 67% of Walmart’s reviewers gave the pressure cooker 5 stars. Among the critics, some said the manual was hard to use, while others expressed frustration getting replacement parts.