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Electric Pressure Cookers

Cooking is essential for human health and productivity, but the market for appropriately designed, energy-efficient off- and weak-grid electric pressure cookers remains nascent

Three billion people around the world depend on food cooked over polluting, open fires or inefficient stoves. Exposure to household air pollution from burning wood, charcoal, coal and kerosene is a leading risk factor for diseases. Furthermore, emissions from household cooking are a significant source of ambient air pollution and a major contributor to climate change.

Electric pressure cooking provides a wide range of benefits, from reducing carbon emissions and personal exposure to harmful pollutants to lowering the burden of disease associated with household air pollution.

Electric pressure cookers, however, are one of the most challenging off-grid appliances to design and develop to be both energy-efficient, cost-effective, and high functioning to meet individual needs and cooking preferences. Therefore, the global market remains in the early stages of development, leaving consumers and the environment exposed to harmful pollutants.

Past Competitions

In 2020, the Global LEAP Awards ran the first-ever competition for appropriately designed, highly energy efficient electric pressure cookers suitable for use in off- and weak-grid settings, to help companies, investors, and others make more informed procurement decisions. All nominated products underwent rigorous testing according to the Global LEAP Awards Electric Pressure Cooker Test Method by an accredited laboratory and an evaluation by a panel of technology experts. Products also underwent usability testing by everyday cooks who measured appliance performance in real-life conditions and provided feedback on food quality and cooking experience.

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Laboratory Testing Results

The competition, supported by UK aid’s Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) and Low Energy Inclusive Appliances (LEIA) programmes, received 40 product nominations from 15 companies in 8 countries and Hong Kong. Ultimately, the Global LEAP Awards identified 13 best-in-class, affordable, energy-efficient EPCs.

Detailed information about the 3 Winners and 10 Finalists—including product performance data and sales contact information—is available in the 2020 Global LEAP Awards Electric Pressure Cooker Buyer’s Guide.

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Usability Testing Results

From January to March 2021, a total of 9 EPCs from 8 companies participated in subsequent usability testing in Nairobi, Kenya. The competition deployed EPCs into the kitchens of Kenyan households and invited users to gather data on each product's energy consumption, provide feedback on their experiences cooking and evaluate the quality of food cooked. Users comprised of new EPC users and those with at least one year of prior experience cooking with EPCs.

Innovation prizes totaling $100,000 were awarded to Von VSCP60MMX and Instant Pot Duo 80 for Best User Experience and BURN MY-8001 for Best Value. Information about the usability testing methodology and results is available in the Electric Pressure Cooker Usability Testing Buyer’s Guide.