Besides the fear factor of exploding stews, one of the deterrents to using pressure cookers is their size—at 8 quarts or more, they tend to get pulled out of the cabinet for family-size braises, but not everyday cooking. This Pressure Pan from Fissler changed the way we think about pressure cookers. At 4.2 quarts and 10.2 inches in diameter, it behaves more like a deep skillet, but with a pressure cooker lid, it cooks faster and is more energy efficient than traditional cookware. And it comes up to pressure faster than a large pot. We loved how it perfectly braised chicken thighs in 15 minutes and made easy work of risotto. Besides the pan and pressure lid, the $255 set includes a glass lid (to use the pan as a high-sided skillet) and a steamer/fryer basket. You can find it at Amazon.com.