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Small Appliances

Cook all the things with this 8-quart pressure cooker for $50

This top-rated Gourmia model costs less than the same-size Instant Pot. Plus: A huge price drop on a Harman Kardon portable Alexa speaker.

gourmia-8-quart-pressure-cooker

Ideal for large households, this Gourmia pressure cooker can hold up to 8 quarts.

Gourmia

Time is a precious commodity. If you'd like to spend less of it standing in front of a stove, consider investing in a pressure cooker, which can significantly shorten cooking times for a variety of foods. I'm a fan, but if you don't believe me, here are more reasons why your kitchen needs a pressure-cooker.

The well-known (and hugely popular) Instant Pot 6-quart model starts at around $70, but here's a cheaper -- and arguably better -- alternative: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Gourmia GPC800 8-quart pressure-cooker for $49.99 shipped (plus tax). It normally sells for $100. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

Worth noting, just because we're on the subject: Amazon currently has the Instant Pot Duo80 8-quart 7-in-1 cooker for $85 when you clip the on-page $15-off coupon. It's normally $140.

If you've never owned one of these, you might be amazed by its versatility. It not only pressure-cooks, but also steams, sautés and slow-cooks. (So if you're short on counter space, you can swap this in for your Crock Pot.) Beyond that, it offers a whopping 13 presets, for things like rice, yogurt and meat. 

How does the Gourmia compare with the Instant Pot? It's tough to say, but the former scored a 4.6-star average rating from 500 Best Buy customers. That's pretty compelling evidence that it's a good cooker.

Although these things can be a little intimidating at first -- that steam-release valve! -- I can definitely understand the popularity. One of my favorite recipes so far: Instant Pot spaghetti with meat sauce. (It's on the healthy side, too!) Pro tip for that one: Use precut spaghetti.

Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: Harman Kardon's Alexa-equipped Allure Portable speaker slashed to $65 from $200

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Harman Kardon

Many, if not most, of Amazon's smart speakers put smarts ahead of speaker. They sound OK, but they're hardly on par with, say, a Bose or Harman Kardon.

If you're looking for a smart speaker with superior sound quality (and don't want to pay a premium for it), look here: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Dell Home has the Harman Kardon Allure Portable speaker with Alexa for $64.95. It originally sold for $200 and currently runs $150 at Amazon. 

The Allure Portable is a 20-watt, 360-degree Bluetooth speaker with a two-microphone array (not four as indicated in Dell's listing) and rechargeable battery good for up to 10 hours, according to HK. There's also a charging cradle that you just set the speaker on -- a nice alternative to having to plug in a cord.

CNET hasn't reviewed this model, and user ratings are decidedly mixed, with some folks citing issues with pairing and others complaining about the lack of support for multiroom audio. But those who like the speaker seem to really like it, and I'll say that at face value, it certainly looks prettier than, say, the current-gen Amazon Echo. Plus, it's portable!

Take note, though, that Alexa requires internet connectivity, so if you're taking the speaker away from home Wi-Fi and want voice controls, you'll have to let it use your phone. (I suspect many users don't realize this, which could explain some of the lower ratings.)

Bottom line: $200 speaker, now $65.

Now playing: Watch this: 8 essential Instant Pot tips
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