Best Pressure Cooker I Recommend to Try in 2020
- Best selling model: America’s most loved multi cooker, built with...
- Cooks fast and saves time: The Instant Pot Duo multi-cooker combines 7...
- Consistently delicious: 14 one-touch smart programs put cooking ribs,...
- Easy to clean: Fingerprint-resistant stainless steel lid and...
- Plenty of recipes: Free Instant Pot app on iOS and Android devices is,...
If the thought of pressure cookers scares you from the old stories of lids exploding off them, you have got to get over the fear. Those stories are set way back in the past and the modern best pressure cookers have nothing to do with them. With the latest advancements in electric pressure cookers, lid exploding off them or any similar accidents aren’t even a possibility any more.
If you don’t know much about the latest pressure cookers and your kitchen stills lacks one, it’s about time you upgrade your kitchen. You don’t just want any mediocre pressure cooker in your kitchen. If you want to make the most out of the pressure cooking technology and save your time, money and efforts in the kitchen, you only want the best electric or stovetop pressure cooker out there.
If you are unsure where to find the top-rated pressure cooker, we are here to help you out. Just read the pressure cooker reviews below and select a suitable one for yourself. Whichever pressure cooker you select, it will make cooking a walk in the park for you.
Best Stovetop & Electric Pressure Cookers & Our Testing Winner and Best Buy
Why do you need a pressure cooker?
Pressure cookers not only make cooking easier for you by saving your time and efforts, they also make your meals healthier and tastier to eat. There are tons of reasons why now is the best time to buy yourself a pressure cooker. Here are some of the top reasons why every kitchen must have a pressure cooker:
Probably the major reason why every household owns a pressure cooker is that it makes cooking faster. In fact, cooking with a pressure cooker takes only one-third the time it normally takes to cook the same ingredients inside a conventional pot over a stove. Take for example a roast which would normally take 2 to 3 hours to cook if you cook it inside a pot. The same roast will be ready within 30 minutes if you pressure cook it. What about chicken? It will only take under 15 minutes to cook perfectly. Soaked chickpeas will only take 10 minutes to cook completely.
By cooking the meals 70% faster as compared to other methods of cooking, a pressure cooker also saves loads of energy. To be more precise, a pressure cookers saves up to 40% energy as compared to an electric or a gas stove while up to 70% of the energy as compared to your conventional oven. You will realize the benefits of this energy conservation when you will notice remarkable reductions in your utility bills.So the small price which you are going to pay now to purchase a modern pressure cooker will soon be repaid in the form of huge savings in your utlity bills.
Besides saving you money and time, a pressure cooker will also ensure healthier meals for your family. Since a pressure cooker cooks food faster than all other cooking techniques and by using less water, it ensures that a major part of the vitamins and nutrients inside the ingredients is retained in the meal. Conventionally cooked dishes which take hours to prepare have very low nutritional value in them since the longer the food is cooked, the more nutrients it will lose. Also, by cooking your food in a sealed environment, a pressure cooker keeps all the nutrients inside with the steam without letting it escape into the air. So why not make the most out of fresh organic produce by pressure cooking it instead of using techniques which will kill all the useful content of these healthy ingredients.
Similar to how a pressure cooker saves the nutrients from being lost to the environment by cooking in a sealed container, it also saves the precious flavors and the natural colors of the ingredients from being destroyed at the hands of longer cooking durations. A pressure cooker traps in all the moisture and the flavors of the ingredients inside the cooker so that we can enjoy a flavorful meal which isn’t the case when you cook it inside a pot over the stove.
The whole house does not need to smell like garlic and onion or become unbearably stuffy when food is being cooked in the kitchen which is normally the case if you live in a small apartment and cook your meals the conventional style. Opt for pressure cooking and it will keep the smells, steam, heat and everything else trapped inside the pressure cooker so that the rest of the house does not need to become a part of the mess. Also, since there is a tight seal between the pressure cooking pot and the lid, there are no chances of bubbling and splattering of the food on the kitchen counter so after the meal has been prepared your kitchen will be as if nothing was cooked there at all. You simply have to clean the pressure cooker and your work is done.
If you had asked us twenty years back if you should buy a pressure cooker, we probably would have recommended against it. That’s because pressure cookers weren’t safe back then and there were some very nasty experiences involving pressure cookers explosions which were enough to help us make a rational decision. That’s not the case anymore. With the multiple safety features incorporated into the design of a modern pressure cooker, they are now rendered completely safe for even amateur cooks to use it on a regular basis. They might even be safer than the usual cooking pots and pans that you cook in without any fear.
Pressure Cooker Reviews 2020
- Best selling model: America’s most loved multi cooker, built with...
- Cooks fast and saves time: The Instant Pot Duo multi-cooker combines 7...
- Consistently delicious: 14 one-touch smart programs put cooking ribs,...
- Easy to clean: Fingerprint-resistant stainless steel lid and...
- Plenty of recipes: Free Instant Pot app on iOS and Android devices is,...
Instant Pot is probable the most renowned name in the pressure cooking industry and the most favorite pick for customers who are out shopping for electric pressure cookers. This model is a 6-quarts 7-in-1 device which is not simply a pressure cooker. It is in fact a multi-cooker which offers 7 cooking functions including pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming, rice cooking, sauteing, warming and yogurt making. What’s even cooler is that it can prepare your meals 70% faster as compared to the usual stovetop cooking.
The LCD display features 14 built-in cooking programs for the most commonly used recipes such as soups, stews, porridge, yogurt etc. It allows you the convenience of preparing the food with the press of a single button. With the timer and automatic keep warm options, you can even set the pressure cooker without fearing any overcooking or under-cooking of the meal. The device will cook your meals to perfection and will automatically switch to keep warm setting when the food is done. There are also built-in microprocessors inside the appliance which keep a watch on the food temperatures and adjust the heat and the cooking times on their own to maintain optimal results.
The cooking pot is made with the highest grade 18/8 stainless steel for durability, performance and easier cleanup while UL and ULC certifications of the device ensure 100% safe experience with the pressure cooker whether you are an amateur or an expert.
This is an excellent model with mostly good features to talk about but one disadvantage which we found to its use is the inability to adjust the cooking time or the level of pressure once the cooking begins.
- Chicken, fish, meat, and vegetables cook to perfection fast; Helps...
- Pressure regulator maintains the proper cooking pressure...
- Ideal for use on regular, smooth-top and induction ranges; Our...
- Cover lock indicator shows when there is pressure inside the cooker...
- Helper handle for ease of handling; Extended 12-year limited warranty
Presto is known for producing the most durable yet affordable stainless steel pressure cookers in the industry and this particular model is not just the perfect size for a medium sized family but also highly convenient to use. It features a capacity of 6 quarts and can prepare vegetables, fish and even meat within a few minutes rather than taking hours to cook like the usual cooking pots. You can also find the same model in a smaller size of 4 quarts if you cook for a smaller family.
Built on a contemporary design, the product features an automatic pressure regulator which does an excellent job at maintaining optimal cooking temperature and pressure without your supervision. Additionally, there is also a cover lock indicator which will keep you informed if there is pressure inside the cooker. The same feature will also prevent accidental opening of the lid even if there is a little pressure inside the pot.
Besides the superior design features, the appliance is also simple to clean with dishwasher safe parts and can be used on all types of stovetops including induction ranges. In addition to simplified cleanup, simpler handling is also ensured with cool-touch handles on both sides, one longer than the other. While the entire body of the pressure cooker is stainless steel for long-lasting performance, the base is, intelligently, tri-clad to allow a faster and uniform heat distribution. The quality of the product is further ascertained with its extended 12-year long warranty from the manufacturer.
Some of the things we did not like in about the package are the assembly required before one can start using it and the single pressure level at which the appliance operates. You will need to attach both the available handles before the appliance is ready for use. Also, unlike most pressure cookers which feature low and high pressure levels, this one features a single level.
Best Electric Pressure Cooker Reviews
- Cooks Fast & Saves Time: The Instant Pot Duo multi-cooker combines 6...
- Consistently Delicious: 12 one-touch Smart Programs put cooking ribs,...
- Easy to Clean: Fingerprint-resistant stainless steel lid and...
- Advanced Safety Protection - The 10+ built-in safety features,...
- Accessories included: Stainless steel steam rack with handles, rice...
As if Instant Pot wasn’t already the most popular name in the pressure cooking industry, it has overloaded this particular model with an array of functions and a spacious capacity to establish its footing as a best selling model on Amazon. Rather than being an ordinary pressure cooker, this model is a multi-functional device which functions as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, saute, steamer, rice cooker and warmer. The user-friendly control panel will feature one-touch operation for a variety of different recipes and a large display to keep you notified of the cooking time and temperatures. Additionally, it features 3 saute modes with low, medium and high to create optimum results for any recipe that you choose to prepare. Built using the latest technologies, the pressure cooker features a 24-hour delay start timer for a hassle-free cooking routine and an automatic keep warm function which can keep your meals warm for over 10 hours.
The exterior features a sleek and contemporary design with a stainless steel finish which is fingerprint resistant and easy to wipe clean. As for the interior, the 8 quarts interior is spacious enough to accommodate a large family meal while the stainless steel construction makes the pot safest for food preparation, durable and easy to clean. The inner pot, additionally, features a 3-ply bottom for a faster and uniform heat distribution within the cooking area. Also, the inner pot as well as the lid and the included steam rack are all dishwasher safe to save you from any cleanup hassle.
The absence of non-stick coating on the stainless steel inner pot is although preferable for the preparation of a healthy meal it may sometimes result in the sticking of food to the base of the pot. Cleanup may be a bit problematic if this happens.
- Cooks fast and saves time: The Instant Pot Smart Wifi combines 8...
- Consistently delicious: 13 one-touch smart programs put cooking ribs,...
- Connected for ease of use: Compatible with Alexa and wifi - control...
- Accessories included: Stainless steel steam rack with handles, rice...
- Advanced safety protection: The 10+ built-in safety features,...
It’s not easy to find a versatile, multi-tasking electric pressure cooker from a reputable manufacturer at a small price yet here is one from Instant Pot in just around $60. This highly advanced piece of machinery is much more than a simple pressure cooker. It is, rather, a multi-tasking kitchen appliance which can be used as an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, steamer, sauter and warmer. The easy-to-use control panel features a set of 13 cooking programs including an automatic ‘keep warm’ function which may be set to 3 different temperature levels optimal for serving.
Besides the simple control panel with timer and delay start options, the device is also WiFi compatible so that you may control the cooker no matter where you are and may monitor the complete cooking process without lingering in the kitchen. The app available with the appliance is compatible with all mobile devices featuring Android 5.0 or later versions and also for iOS 9.0 or later versions. In addition to the technological superiority of the device, it also ensures your safety and peace of mind by presenting UL and ULC certification and the use of 11 safety mechanisms for the purpose.
The 13-quarts size of the inner pot is sufficient to feed a medium sized family while being constructed from 18/8, food grade stainless steel to ensure healthier cooking and easier cleanup. To further simplify the cleanup task, the appliance offers dishwasher safe parts including inner pot, steaming rack and lid.
The WiFi app of the appliance does not feature any temperature readings for the internal temperature of the contents. Also, the cooking mode cannot be modified using the app once the appliance has initiated the cooking process.
- The Ninja Foodi—The pressure cooker that crisps. Pressure cooker,...
- Tender crisp technology allows you to quickly cook ingredients, then...
- Pressure cook up to 70% faster versus traditional cooking methods. Air...
- 6.5 quart ceramic-coated pot: Nonstick, PTFE/PFOA-free, and easy to...
- 4-quart cook & crisp basket: Large-capacity, ceramic-coated,...
This multi-cooker by Ninja is different from other electric pressure cookers since it functions as an air fryer and TenderCrisper besides a pressure cooker. The unique technology which makes the appliance a TenderCrisper allows fast preparation of your meals after which the Crisper lid comes in play and adds a crispy layer to your meals for an enhanced presentation and gourmet taste.
Besides the usual health benefits of a pressure cooker, the air frying capabilities of the appliance lets you enjoy french fries and other fried recipes using minimum fat. While the traditional frying techniques result in meals soaked in fat, the results from this air fryer are multiple times crispier, lighter and healthier. Besides the 6.5 quarts non-stick inner pot for pressure cooking meals, you will also find a 4 quarts crisp basket in the package. Besides the crisp basket, you will find two different lids in the package: one for pressure cooking and the other for crisping. You will, additionally, find stainless steel rack and a resourceful recipe book in the same unit. What’s even more surprising is how the appliance can turn frozen ingredients to crispy, cooked through meals in just a couple of minutes. You may simply take them out of the freezer and shove them into the cooker rather than thawing them beforehand.
Additionally, you can rest assured that you, your investment as well as your surroundings are completely safe when using this appliance because it comes with UL certification and includes 14 safety mechanisms to guarantee safe usage. What’s more, you will find a 1 year warranty to guarantee safe usage for an entire year.
One of the drawbacks of the design is the fixed Crisper lid. The Crisper lid remains open when you are using the pressure cooking lid but does not come off. Also, after using the air fryer, you will need to clean the frying basket as well as the non-stick pot beneath it.
- 9 Appliances in 1: Cook meals in mere minutes & in less than half the...
- 2 dishes at once & stainless steel pot: The included stainless-steel...
- 14 easy-touch cooking programs: poultry, meat/stew, Bean/Chili, Soup,...
- We've thought of everything: an extra silicone gasket, silicone mitts,...
- Recipes and videos on Healthy mobile app: The Healthy site and mobile...
One of the best selling electric pressure cooker models which you will find on Amazon is this one by Mealthy. One of the reasons why it’s such a popular choice is its capability to replace up to 9 appliances in your kitchen. In a single package, it can function as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, cake maker, pasteurizer, yogurt maker, rice cooker, warmer and much more. The versatile functionality of this electric pressure cooker can be controlled through the simple-to-operate control panel with a large digital display to keep you informed of the cooking process. Besides the sleek exterior, the inner pot is highly functional and simple to clean with stainless steel construction. The capacity is 6 quarts which is sufficient to hold food for multiple persons at a time. Also, you will truly understand how big the cooking pot is when you cook 2 meals simultaneously with the help of the included steamer basket. Besides the steamer basket, you will find tons of additional accessories which you may make use of including silicon mitts, steamer rack, ladle, measuring cup and rice paddle. With all the rest of the useful accessories, the company also provides access to an App customized for Mealthy users so that you benefit from their step-by-step guides and recipes.
Additionally, the company sets your safety as its topmost priority with multiple safety features and ETL certification to guarantee it. Also, it comes with a hassle-free 1 year warranty with a dedicated customer service to help you out.
One of the drawbacks that you will find of the design of this electric pressure cooker is that the inner pot does not come with a non-stick coating which may make it a bit troublesome to clean as compared to others. Additionally, you will find this model more prone to scratches as compared to the others available in the market.
Best Stovetop Pressure Cooker Reviews
- Designed to give you more body capacity as compared to normal outer...
- Comes with a first time 2-in-1 safety device called PI (Pressure...
- Uses best quality virgin steel with stronger lugs and thick base to...
- Enables Separator Cooking more hygienic form of cooking to retain the...
- Total Volume Capacity of the Pressure Cooker is including the lid
One of the cheapest yet functional stainless steel pressure cookers that you will find in the market is this one by Prestige. You can select this basic pressure cooking model in a range of different sizes to choose from depending on your cooking requirements: 2 liters, 5.5 liters, 6.5 liters, 3 liters, 3.5 liters, 4 liters, 8 liters and even 10 liters for bigger families. The unique design of the lid on this pressure cooker model allows more internal capacity for each size as compared to the usual pressure cookers available in the market.
Although much affordable than the rest, the pressure cooker features strong walls and thick platform using highest quality stainless steel construction. What’s even more impressive is that the pressure cooker complies with all the quality and safety standards even at this low a price and features all the necessary UL and ETL certification to prove it. It, additionally, includes a pressure indicator to keep you informed of the internal pressure and keep the lid tightly shut while the cooker cooks at pressure. It will only allow you to open the lid when the pressure has been safely released. Also, the pressure cooker ensures safe and convenient handling of the device with the inclusion of cool-touch handles on both sides.
What sets the unit apart from the basic pressure cookers is the fact that it allows separator cooking using which you may cook 3 different dishes inside the same pot and at the same time while retaining all the natural taste and flavors of the ingredients.
Since the pressure cooker does not include a steaming rack, you will need to purchase it separately if you use it in your recipes. Also, with the thicker walls and base, the model can be somewhat problematic to move around due to the added weight.
- Pressure control system with 2 cooking levels: fast cooking -8 psi-,...
- Made of 18/10 stainless steel
- Designed in Spain
- Dishwasher safe pot
- Ten year warranty
If you are looking for a safe and reliable stainless steel pressure cooker at a reasonable price, you cannot go wrong with Practika Plus by Magefesa. Standing among the best selling models on Amazon, it features a large capacity of 8 quarts and an accurate pressure control system with two different pressure levels to cook at. You can also locate the same model in smaller sizes including 3.3 quarts, 4 & 6 quarts and 6.3 quarts. You may use the 8 psi setting or 15 psi setting depending on the type of recipe that you are following. However, one thing that is ascertained is that you will be cooking at far greater speeds and in much healthier surroundings as compared to an ordinary pot.
The cooker is constructed to perfection in Spain using 18/10 stainless steel for ultimate durability while the inner pot is, additionally dishwasher safe for simpler cleanup. Furthermore, the cooker makes use of its 3-ply base to spread heat quickly and uniformly among the contents and create faster results. Stay cool handles on both sides of the cooker allow easier transportation around the kitchen while the 5-fold safety features ensure its safe handling. Multiple pressure release valves ensure safe release of pressure without posing any harm to you or the surroundings while the pressure indicator will prevent accidental opening of the lid when there is pressure inside it.
Just like all the high-end varieties of stainless steel pressure cookers, it offers a generous warranty period of 10 years which ensures optimal performance for years to come.
Besides the larger capacity, the presence of a long side handle makes the appliance somewhat difficult to store as compared to most others.
- Exclusively made from BUFFALO Clad, its thermal conductivity is faster...
- Buffalo Pressure Cooker also manage to obtain ISO 9001 : 2000 and...
- German gear with mortise and tenon joint design, simple switch, safe,...
- Pressure indication valve, relieve pressure easily/ Emergency pressure...
- Suitable for use on gas stove, electric stove, induction cooker and...
If you want a large pressure cooker to feed a large family or for use in an industrial setting, this is just the ideal choice. This is a 12 quarts model but the same features are available in 8, 15, 21 and 32 quarts as well. Constructed by one of the best pressure cooking brands, the construction is solid and durable and the heating is much faster and more uniform as compared to most other stainless steel pressure cookers.
Touch handles on both sides are cool to touch and short for a compact storage of the appliance. Besides the handles, the lid also includes a safety lock which will prevent it from coming off while the cooker cooks at pressure and a safety valve for safe release of steam. Other than these features, the pressure cooker offers multiple safety features for which it has received safety certifications which ensure a completely safe experience for the user.
Besides the strong construction, simple cleanup and safe usage, you will also appreciate the fact that this pressure cooker can be used on all types of stovetops including gas and electric stoves, induction cookers and also ceramic furnaces. If you want a large pressure cooker to save time, efforts and money while preparing delicious recipes, you definitely need to give this model a thought. The inner cooking pot is backed with an excellent lifetime warranty.
Of course it’s heavy and a bit difficult to handle and to clean when you compare it to smaller pressure cooker models in the market but that’s pretty much expected when you consider the large size of the model.
Pressure Cooker Buyer’s Guide 2020
Besides the size and type of pressure cooker, there are also certain other things which need to be considered when picking out a pressure cooker. Let’s have a look:
Pressure cooking is all about the pressure that can be developed inside the sealed pot. The best pressure cooker will offer multiple pressure levels with a high pressure of 15 psi. This is exactly the pressure level that most recipes call for. A lower pressure level will increase the cooking time which means you won’t be able to rely on the cooking time mentioned in the recipe. You will have to adjust it depending on the pressure level that’s reached by your pressure cooker. Most of the budget pressure cookers will offer a maximum pressure of around 9 to 12 psi for which the cooking times will be higher.
Multiple pressure settings:
The good pressure cooker models will feature multiple pressure settings to allow you to cook a range of different types of recipes. Most of them will feature 2 pressure settings: high and low which is sufficient for most types of recipes but some of the even advanced models might feature a greater range of pressure levels to work with. The low pressure setting works great for ingredients such as veggies, chicken and fish which take less time to cook while the higher pressure setting is suitable for ingredients such as meat and grains which take ages to cook inside a normal pot.
In case of a stovetop pressure cooker always pick out a stainless steel model instead of aluminum pressure cookers for some very obvious reasons. Stainless steel pressure cookers are much more durable, stain resistant, rust resistant and easier to clean as compared to aluminum pressure cookers. Aluminum pressure cookers aren’t just weaker but also pose danger to your health since they can react with acidic ingredients such as lemon and vinegar.
Brand and warranty:
These are two of the most important factors in determining the performance and durability of a pressure cooker. Stovetop pressure cookers will generally feature much longer warranties as compared to the electric models as we have already seen. However, all the parts might not be covered in this extended warranty such as the rubber gasket which normally has a life of around a year. To ensure that you find the replacement parts easily and readily when you need them, you should opt for a reputable manufacturer.
Although electric pressure cookers will offer much smaller warranties, they should at last a couple of years and the brand should be a well known one such as Instant Pot so that you may be reassured of factors such quality, durability and customer service.
Avoid non stick coating:
Non stick coatings are not very suitable for pressure cookers since they will soon scratch off and expose the material underneath. The material underneath the non-stick coating will most likely be aluminum which when comes in contact with the food may react with it and make it unsuitable for consumption.
For a stovetop pressure cooker, spring valve is the latest style of pressure regulating system which is a much better alternative to the old style jiggle valves. These old style pressure cookers would fill the kitchen with steam and that insanely loud jiggling sound which should be enough to wake up a sleeping person in the neighborhood. The modern stovetop pressure cookers are not only quieter, they save energy as well. In addition, they will almost always include a pressure indicator in the design which will keep you informed of the internal pressure. This pressure indication does not come with the jiggle valves on old pressure cookers.
As for an electric pressure cooker, this is the variety of valves you need to be finding. Just like the spring valves in case of stovetop pressure cookers, the float valves are also quiet and make an electric pressure cooker energy efficient.
Almost all electric and stovetop pressure cookers come with steaming baskets and/or cooking racks. These two basic accessories will come in handy for many different kinds of recipes involving steaming and baking. You might want to consider a model of pressure cooker which includes these accessories in the package otherwise you will need to purchase them separately.
Especially in the case of a large pressure cooker, you should consider a model which comes with cool-touch handles on both sides. Although it may seem like an insignificant point, you will realize its importance when trying to lift a loaded pressure cooker. Also, it’s better to choose a model with shorter handles or foldable handles so that your pressure cooker does not take a lot of storage space inside your kitchen.
How are modern Pressure Cookers Safe?
Okay, so now we have stressed many times that the modern pressure cookers are many times safer than the vintage ones you would find at your Grandma’s place. But are you just going to take our word for it? Wouldn’t you ask us how exactly are we calling them safe? What’s different between these modern ones and the vintage pressure cookers? Most modern pressure cookers will have many safety features to ensure a safe use but these safety features are a bare minimum which you will find in every pressure cooker in the market today:
Nowadays all pressure cookers come with locking lids which will ensure that the pressure cooker stays shut all the while there is pressure inside it. You wouldn’t be able to open it even if you tried. The locking lid will only be allowed to open once the pressure inside the cooker has reached safe levels.
Multiple pressure release valves:
All of the pressure cookers that you will find today, including electric and stovetop ones will feature multiple pressure release valves for multi-fold safety. If the pressure starts to rise beyond the desired level, the primary pressure release valve is supposed to release the excess pressure and bring it back to the desired level. However, if it fails to do so due to some blockage, the second pressure release valve will be called to action to release the pressure.
This is a safety feature you will benefit from only in case of an electric pressure cooker. Almost every electric pressure cooker will include this feature in the design. If the electric pressure cooker senses anything wrong with the heat or the pressure, it will turn the unit off automatically and save the food, the cooker itself and the surroundings from any harm. This will account for a safe cooking even if you’re not there to supervise it.
Lid lip vent:
This is a safety feature which will be called to action if all of the multiple release valves fail to respond. This is a small vent in the lid of the pressure cooker which is through which the steam will be released to bring the pressure down in case all other pressure release valves are blocked.
As already pointed out, this is a bare minimum which every modern pressure cooker will have. Most of them will feature a greater number of safety features depending on the model and its price.
Electric or Stovetop Pressure Cooker?
So now that you see how much it benefits you and your family and have decided in favor of buying a pressure cooker, your task isn’t done yet. There are some very important questions which need to be answered and some very important decisions which need to be made regarding your purchase. The first and the foremost among them is the ultimate pressure cooking dilemma: Electric or stovetop? These are the two types of pressure cookers you need to choose among depending on what you prefer more.
Here are some of the plus points of using an electric pressure cooker:
- You don’t have to adjust the flame to set the heat which might lead to errors if you’re not an expert. In an electric pressure cooker, the heat is adjusted electronically which results in a much accurate control of the temperature at which the food is being cooked. Accurate cooking temperatures will guarantee desired results for all your recipes without any risks of the ingredients being overcooked or being left undercooked.
- Using an electric pressure cooker will leave your stovetop free for other cooking tasks.
- Once you have set the cooking time and the cooking temperature or selected one of the built-in cooking programs, you can leave it for unsupervised cooking. Unlike most stovetop pressure cookers, the electric ones do not need to be monitored all the while that they are cooking the food.
- Most of the electric pressure cookers aren’t simply a device for pressure cooking but they are many kitchen appliances in a single unit. Most of them will also be a slow cooker, yogurt maker, an appliance for sautéing, rice cooker, steamer and much more besides a basic pressure cooker.
Here are some of the benefits that stovetop pressure cookers offer:
- Those who are looking for a speedier cooking, a stovetop pressure cooker is a better alternative as it cooks food at much higher pressures as compared to an electric pressure cooker thereby increasing the cooking speed and reducing cooking times by a notable percentage.
- Stovetop pressure cookers are much more durable as compared to electric pressure cookers which is the reason why they come with extended warranties 10 to 15 years or even a life time as compared to just a couple of years for an electric pressure cookers. The reason is that a stovetop pressure cooker features a simple design without any electronic parts which could suffer damage.
- Besides the speedier cooking, a stovetop pressure cooker is also faster in releasing pressure once your food has been cooked or you want to check the contents inside. Overall, it will bring meals to the table much faster as compared to electric pressure cookers.
- Stovetop pressure cookers are mostly for the expert cooks who like to supervise the food while it is being cooked and to control the heat manually for customized results rather than the preset programs of an electric model.
Now that you have seen the pros of one type of pressure cooker over the other type, you can easily decide which one suits you best.
How should I select a Good Size for my Pressure Cooker?
That’s a very important question and quite a tricky part involved while picking out a pressure cooker. This is because the size of the pressure cooker does not directly correspond to the amount of food you can actually cook in it. This is because you cannot fill a pressure cooker with food to the rim.
Although there will be a max line inside the cooker pot to tell you how much food you can actually load it with but as a general rule, you can only fill it to 2/3 of its actual volume. For grains, the ratio is only 1/3 since these types of foods will expand while they cook. A 2 liter pressure cooker will be able to cook around ¾ cups of dry beans and 1 1/3 cups of dry rice while a 6 quarts pressure cooker will cook up to 4 cups of dry rice for you and about 2 ½ cups of dry beans.
So how do you know which size is the right one for your family? The easiest way to solve the problem is to allocate 1 liters of volume for one person. So for singles or couples, a small 2 liter pressure cooker should do fine while for a small family of 4 persons, you should choose 4 liters pressure cooker and so on. If you’re still unsure about the size or if you often invite guests, you should buy a litter bigger pressure cooker than you actually need. This way, you wouldn’t find it too short even if you’re cooking in bulks.
How much should you spend on a Pressure Cooker?
With the countless varieties and brands in the market, you will find pressure cookers in a wide range of prices. And that’s a good thing since we know that no matter how little or how large our budget may be, we can find the perfect pressure cooker that will fulfill all of our requirements. Most of the pressure cookers which you will find will lie in the range $40 to $500 and we took special care while picking out products for our reviews to cover the entire range. This way you won’t have difficulty finding the right pressure cooker that’s also within your budget.
Of course, the more you are willing to spend on the pressure cooker, the more versatility and convenience you get with it. The high-end pressure cookers that are priced above $200 will feature a greater number of functions to make cooking easier and versatile for you as compared to the low budget ones which will come in under $50. Also the high-end pressure cookers are designed to be more energy efficient as compared to the cheaper models since they are built using better materials and can attain higher pressures levels.
It would help to think of a pressure cooker as an investment for your future rather than simply a purchase. It is an investment that you are making for your family’s health, lower utility bills and your convenience. Sounds like the right call, doesn’t it?
What can be Cooked inside a Pressure Cooker?
What you will love about a pressure cooker is the diverse range of dishes you can bring to the table with it! With an electric pressure cooker, you will find countless functions for preparing countless different recipes while for a stovetop pressure cooker you will need a little bit of expertise and vigilance to create just as many dishes. Here are some of the things you can try in a pressure cooker:
Meat is the very first name that comes to mind when you say the word pressure cooker. That’s how well they go together. The best technique to prepare tough cuts of meat is to pressure cook it. While it will take ages to cook in a normal pot, it will turn out fall-of-the-bones tender in just around 30 to 40 minutes when cooked inside a pressure cooker.
Again, since meat turns out so well when cooked inside a pressure cooker, different recipes for stews and curries are best prepared inside a pressure cooker. The only thing you need to remember is to first add in the meat and let it cook for a while before adding in the vegetables since veggies take less time to cook. You wouldn’t want them to be mushy and shapeless when you add them in with the meat and then let them cook for 40 minutes.
Grains and beans:
All types of grains and beans, which again take hours to cook in a normal pan even after you have soaked them overnight, will take 20 minutes to soften inside a pressure cooker. Even if you have forgotten to soak them overnight, you can cook them inside a pressure cooker. They will of course take a little more time to cook in such a situation but will turn out perfectly.
Tougher vegetables such as potatoes and carrots can easily be cooked inside a pressure cooker and presented to the family in less than 20 minutes which would again have took around an hour if cooked in a pan. Also, they would have lost much of their nutrients if cooked in the conventional style.
Brown onions and meat:
Most of the recipes will call for browned onions or browned meat before the later steps to bring out a nice caramelized flavor. It is very much possible with a stovetop pressure cooker if you leave the lid open. Most electric pressure cookers will also offer a browning function for this purpose.
Poached fruits, if you have a sweet tooth or have a toddler to feed, can be easily prepared inside a pressure cooker. Also, it will be a far more nutritious meal for your little one as that cooked inside a pot.
Puddings and cakes:
Yes, pressure cookers work perfectly for your desserts as well! You will find tons of dessert recipes on the internet which you can try in your pressure cooker.
The Basics of Using a Pressure Cooker Properly
Pressure cookers are becoming more and more popular, largely due to the many benefits that they can offer.
In addition to reducing cooking time, pressure cookers can save energy and reduce the heat output in your kitchen.
Additionally, cooking in a pressure cooker has been proven to help foods maintain higher nutritional values, as well as preserving their true flavors.
That said, it is critical to understand how different cooking with a pressure cooker is to cooking with a conventional oven.
This article will present some basic tips to help you use your pressure cooker properly.
Tip 1: Never cook dry
Whilst a pressure cooker will retain more moisture than a conventional oven, it is still very necessary to always add liquid when cooking.
It is recommended that you use a minimum of 1 cup of liquid (water or stock) when cooking, but if a recipe calls for more then be sure to follow the recipe.
The real key is to never fill your pressure cooker more than halfway with liquid. If you wind up with too much liquid, simply leave the cooker uncovered and boil off the excess liquid. Once the level is halfway or less, then you can cook normally.
Tip 2: Use the right amount of food
In addition to never filling your pressure cooker more than halfway with liquid, you should never fill it more than two-thirds full with food.
This ensures that there is enough space in the cooker for the steam to build, thus creating the pressure that you need.
If you overfill the cooker, then it will be unable to perform properly.
Tip 3: Always reduce the temperature
In a way, cooking with a pressure cooker is a lot like boiling pasta.
When boiling pasta, you bring the water to a boil, add the pasta, then reduce the heat and let the pasta cook in a slow, gentle boil.
Similarly, you want to start the pressure cooker on high heat, thus creating the steam and pressure needed. Then, reduce the heat so that it is hot enough to maintain the pressure, but not so hot as to continually increase the pressure.
The lower heat is the temperature that cooks your food.
Tip 4: Time is relative
Just as conventional oven recipe times may not be quite right for your particular oven, so too, pressure cooker times may be a little off.
The general rule is that a recipe time will be too short, never too long.
If your food isn’t quite finished at the stated time, close the cooker, bring it back to the required pressure, and cook for a few additional minutes. Repeat this process until your food is done.
Tip 5: Read the manual
As with any other electronic device or appliance, different models will behave in different ways. Thus, the first thing you want to do is read the manufacturer’s manual that comes with your pressure cooker.
The information in the manual will help you understand the nuances unique to your cooker and thus will help you be able to use it more effectively.
Using a pressure cooker can be a fun and rewarding experience.
The five tips in this article will help make sure you get the best out of your cooker each and every time you use it. Bon appétit!
How To Use A Pressure Cooker
Your cookbooks and recipes should already have the instructions on how to use a pressure cooker to make a specific dish. This is a step-by-step guide on the basic procedures you will use to cook with a pressure cooker. Please note that the steps might need adjustments if you use an electric pressure cooker because we wrote it specifically with stovetop cookers in mind.
1. Brown meat and aromatics. Whenever you’re cooking with meat, it’s a good idea to first brown it so that you get a carmalized flavor for depth and you lock in the juices of the meat. When cooking with pressure cookers, browning creates browned bits jammed with flavor that you will often incorporate into a sauce. So whenever you’re cooking with meats, make sure you first brown it in the pressure cooker and then set it aside. Also, if you use any aromatic ingredients such as onions, garlic, and tomato paste, browning these will bring out extra aroma and flavor too.
2. Add liquids. After you brown the meat and aromatics, the next step is always to add the liquids. Liquids are needed to cook the food properly in the cooker. It is often in the form of broth or water but can also be other things like the liquid from a can of tomatoes. NOTE: It is important to add just the right amount of liquid that your recipe calls for. And because there’s no evaporation from the pressure cooker, you usually only need a small amount of liquid.
3. Lock lid. Today’s pressure cookers are very secure and their lids snap and lock safely into place. How you lock your lid will depend on your model. Some have lids where you line the markers, while others have lids where you line up the handles. Another safety feature is that if your lid is locked in place, there’s an indicator to let you know that it’s closed properly.
4. Bring cooker to the appropriate pressure level. Once you’ve locked the lid, put the pressure cooker over the stove and heat it over medium-high heat until the desired pressure level is reached. Your pressure cooker should have indicators to tell you when your pressure cooker reaches the desired level.
5. Reduce heat and maintain cooking pressure. Once your cooker reaches the desired pressure level, reduce the heat level and cook for the amount of time indicated on your recipe. It’s important to maintain the pressure level at this stage so make sure you have enough heat – and not too little! Usually, the medium-low setting on your stove will do. As you get used to working with your pressure cooker, you will be able to gauge the settings and timing on both the cooker and your stove. Careful not to run the heat too high because this will scorch the pot. In the old days, this also posed a safety risk because too much pressure builds up.
6. Release pressure. Pressure cookers cook fast. You won’t be waiting on it for too long. Usually food cooks in 10 to 15 minutes. Once the food is done cooking, you will release the pressure. This will be done either manually or naturally. Most recipes call for quick pressure release (manual). In this case, use your pressure cooker’s release valve or button and make sure you point the steam away from you. With the natural release method, you would simply slide the cooker onto a cold burner and let it sit for 15 minutes. Pressure will drop naturally. But the residual heat will continue cooking the food so try not to let it sit for longer than 15 minutes and quick release any remaining pressure to ensure good results.
7. Remove lid. Without any pressure remaining, you can remove the lid. Carefully unlock and twist open, noting that there will be some steam leaving the cooker. The food is basically ready to serve, but in some cases, you might want to continue cooking the food with the lid open or make a sauce with the remaining liquid.
A final word: If you are using an electric pressure cooker, some adjustments we would recommend is adding about a cup more liquid than the recipe indicates before cooking under pressure, and then using the browning setting to simmer the sauce to proper consistency before serving. Also, avoid using the keep warm setting because it will throw off your recipe.
Pressure cookers are such a versatile and useful machinery and pressure cooking is such a diverse subject that one can go on and on when speaking on the topic. Although this guide might not have covered every aspect of the topic, we hope that it was sufficient in providing the necessary knowledge which will help you pick the best pressure cooker and get started on your pressure cooking journey. No matter which pressure cooker you opt for, one thing that we can ascertain with full confidence is that it will much of the stress out of your cooking. You’ll be spending a much smaller time in the kitchen and a much longer time enjoying and connecting with your family.
Let us know if you have any specific questions below and we’ll try our best to address them. Good luck!