Are you ready to add a pressure cooker to your kitchen appliances? Let me just say, it’s a very good decision and you’ll be glad you made it! Pressure cooker cooks food faster and more flavorful than any of those conventional methods. What’s more? It also saves cooking energy by 70% as compared to conventional methods. So don’t be reluctant to spend a little extra on a good quality pressure cooker because in the long run, you will be saving loads on your electricity or gas bills. When out shopping for a pressure cooker, the biggest question that needs to be answered is whether you should buy an electric pressure cooker or a stove top pressure cooker. Which is better for you? The fact is, both have their pros and cons, you need to decide which works better for you. Here is a comparison among the two types to give you a better idea as to what would suit you more.
Maximum pressure reached:
Stove Top pressure cookers are the winners in this category. They can reach higher pressures and temperatures than electric pressure cookers and thus cook food faster. Most stove top pressure cookers have two or more pressure settings with the higher setting being around 15 PSI. Whereas the electric pressure cookers can have 1 or two pressure settings and they vary in the highest pressure reached. However most of them, even good quality ones, do not go beyond 11 or 13 PSI. This means it requires less time to cook food in stovetop pressure cookers than in electric pressure cookers.
Convenience of use:
The biggest advantage of electric pressure cookers over their stove top counterparts is that they do not require supervision for cooking food. The cooking mechanism is fully automated with customized programs for different types of food in more advanced versions. You just have to choose a setting, turn it on and the cooker will take over from here. They also have timers to inform you when the food is ready. Most stove top models do not have timers or cooking programs, you have to monitor the flame intensity and the time yourself which means you need to supervise.
Stove top pressure cookers are generally more durable than electric pressure cookers. All the advanced programs and electronics with the electric pressure cooker make them more susceptible to being damaged in presence of high temperatures. Stove top models, with no electronics, made from stainless steel or aluminum, are in comparison more durable. The outer layer of electric pressure cookers is made with heat resistant plastic which is not as strong as stainless steel. This is the reason why stove top pressure cookers have much longer warranties than electric pressure cookers.
Electric pressure cookers have their own heat source with fully automated heat regulation. Stove top pressure cookers use an external heat source where the user has to manually adjust the heat according to his requirement. With stove top pressure cookers, the user needs some expertise in order to determine the exact heat setting also requires a lot of his attention. With electric pressure cookers, no expertise and no supervision is required, the user just needs to select the program or pressure setting and cooking time and the cooker adjusts the heat on its own.
Stove top pressure cookers can be used as a normal cooking pot as well without the lid. On the other hand, electric pressure cookers cannot be used for normal cooking, without the lid. Some newer models, however, come with “browning” function to cook without the lid. Most electric pressure cookers unlike stove top pressure cookers come with a variety of different functions besides pressure cooking for example slow cooking, steaming and rice cooking. With larger models of stove top pressure cookers, pressure canning low acid foods like meat and vegetables is possible. This functionality is not available with electric models.
Now that you know the basic differences, you are the best judge of what would suit you better, durable, faster stove top pressure cookers or automated, convenient electric models. Know that whichever you choose, you will be far better off than cooking with conventional methods because ultimately both types of pressure cookers save time, energy, and nutrients in cooking your favorite dishes.