Best Pressure Cooker Buying Guide
Looking for the best way to cook delicious meals in minutes? If yes, then this pressure cooker buying guide is for you! Simply put, a pressure cooker is a life saver at times when you do not have the luxury to cook a regular stove top dish. Purchasing the best pressure cooker is an investment that will quickly be repaid in health and financial savings. Pressure cookers reduce the actual time required to cook; they use higher pressures to produce a higher temperature. The thing is that such high pressures can be unsafe if the pressure cooker is not built sturdily or designed to handle the heat. So It’s very crucial to look out for superior quality as well as heavy-duty construction when choosing a pressure cooker. All other bells and whistles of your cooker don’t really matter if it’s not made of high-quality materials.
Having said that, it’s very crucial to pay more attention to the materials that are used in the pressure cooker since we’re dealing with equipment that’ll be responsible for your food and health. You should know that pressure cookers have witnessed significant changes in both safety and design over the years and there are quite a number of cookers with different features to choose from. The good news is that I’m going to cover all that has to do with buying the ideal pressure cooker that’s sure to fit your cooking needs. Sounds good? Let’s get started!
First Things First: Do You Need a Pressure Cooker?
I believe now is the best time to upgrade to a pressure cooker especially if you want the cooking process to be easier! It’s important to note that today’s pressure cookers are more advanced than they used to be and are sure to make you feel safe while cooking your favorite dish in the kitchen. It’s pretty obvious that everyone would love to cook quick, delicious and healthy meals, and only a pressure cooker can do just that.
Benefits of Using a Pressure Cooker
It Saves Time
This is obviously one of the biggest advantages of using a pressure cooker is that it cuts down the time required to cook your delicious meals. In fact, it’s the fastest way to prepare all your healthy, balanced and tasty dishes. For the record, it’ll take only fifteen minutes to cook up to 2kg of chicken in a pressure cooker. Now that’s awesome!
You should know that pressure cooking is green! Pressure cooking uses 70% less electricity, water, and gas. In other words, pressure cookers are very efficient when it comes to getting the most out of energy.
Enjoy Healthy, Delicious Food
For starters, cooking with a pressure cooker will help retain up to 50% more nutrients. Moreover, several studies confirm that using a pressure cooking method will retain more nutritional supplements than cooking with no pressure level. One thing you’re sure to love is that pressure cooking requires less water as compared to other conventional cooking methods. Also, pressure cooking stops the oxidation of nutritional elements in the food since it won’t get exposed to oxygen and air. This only implies that your body will get more vitamins and minerals from a pressure cooked dish.
Your meal gets to be delicious mainly because of the sealed environment of the inner pot. Since the moisture and flavor won’t evaporate, your food will retain both the nutrients and delicious natural flavor. The bottom line is that a pressure cooker will give you the opportunity to cook healthy and tasty meals that your family is sure to love.
Super Easy To Use
Pressure cookers are also very easy to use. You only have to add water and keep an eye on the cooking until it reaches pressurized level. The thing is that using a pressure cooker is more like regular cooking apart from the fact that you only need to use a little more water and much less time. The moment you get the hang of how your pressure cooker functions, you’ll hardly need to monitor the cooking process on both stove-top and electric pressure cookers.
Today’s technologically advanced pressure cookers come with tons of precautionary features that were not found in the previous ones. Most pressure cookers have several built-in mechanisms to ensure you and your family’s safety. For instance, there is a safety vent which releases steam through the safety valve when the pressurized level is reached. Moreover, latest pressure cookers with multiple full-proof safety features as well as several relevant backup features. To sum it up, your food will also be super healthy mainly because the heat inside the pressure cooker will get rid of all forms of viruses and bacteria.
- Pressure Cookers Don’t Consume Much Space
So I guess you might wondering if you really need to get another kitchen appliance that will take up more space and sit on your countertop. Well, the good news is that a pressure cooker is a very versatile and essential kitchen item. In essence, a pressure cooker will surely replace most of your cookware and save more space for other things. Considering the time you save cooking, the healthy food you get to enjoy and the financial benefits, we can safely conclude that a pressure cooker is sure to be an excellent investment fit your kitchen.
Things To Consider When Choosing a Pressure Cooker
For starters, your pressure cooker must be constructed from high-quality stainless steel material. This is mainly because cheaply made aluminum cookers are not good enough for your cooking needs. Moreover, aluminum cookers may likely affect the taste of your food, and that’s not a good idea especially if you really love to cook. Another good thing is that a stainless steel pressure cooker will last for many years to come. They also distribute heat evenly and are super easy to clean. It’s also important to note that there are different variants of stainless steel available; in essence, you need to check the information label and ensure that the cooker is made from 18/10 (18% chromium and 10% nickel) stainless steel.
Multiple Pressure Settings
It’s also an excellent idea to go for a pressure cooker with a two or more pressure settings. The settings should primarily include High-pressure for foods that require a longer time to cook and Low-pressure light foods such as eggs, vegetables, fish among others. Most top quality pressure cookers come with a simple button which you can use to select your preferred pressure level. It’s also important to note that there are some pressure cookers that feature over ten pressure settings and the good news is that they’re also very easy to use irrespective of your cooking experience.
Spring Valve and Float Valve
If you’re going for a stove-top pressure cooker (we’ll talk about it later in the article), then you need to get a spring valve. This type of valve features the latest pressure level regulator, and the best part is that they’ll not disturb your kitchen with the pesky noises of steam pouring out of the lid or other annoying sounds. Overall, if your pressure cooker has a spring valve, then you can be fully assured that it won’t make any sound.
The float valve is the spring-valve version for electric pressure cookers. It’s still as energy-conserving and silent as the spring-valve. The difference is that the float valve does not control the pressure level inside the pot mainly because all electric pressure cookers come with an automatic heat regulator that helps adjust the temperature as when due.
Avoid Non-stick Coatings
It’s very crucial to stay away from this feature when it comes to getting a pressure cooker. Why? Well, non-stick coatings will scratch easily regardless of the used for the coating. Also, a non-stick coating can wear out over time and get in direct contact with your delicious food. The bad news is that they’re made from chemicals which can be very harmful to your health. In essence, the degraded aluminum is very unsafe to savor even in the smallest quantities.
Quick Release Valve and Good Pressure Indicator
For starters, a regular pressure cooker can reach up to 15psi, and that’s pretty much what you’ll need to cook your favorite recipes. It’s also important to note that there are some models on the market that are incapable of reaching this level. So it’s crucial to check and confirm if your pressure cooker can reach 15psi or falls short by a few psi. Well, the good news is that many of the big brands will be capable of handling up to 15psi or more.
It’s also recommended to check for an accurate indicator before making the plunge. In essence, be sure that the indicator will clearly show when the desired pressure has been reached. Some cookers might feature a pop-up indicator while others might be colored marker. You should also choose a pressure cooker that comes with a quick release valve that should be built into the regulator. This plays a role in maintaining the heat inside the pot while discharging the pressure to a certain level where it becomes safe to open the lid. This is sure to come in handy for recipes that require extra ingredients midway through cooking.
Size Of the Pressure Cooker
This could be the hardest decision to make as the size of the cooker is sure to matter in the long-run. For the most part, a 4-quart cooker will come at a lower price but will obviously cook less food than a 6 quart or 8-quart cooker. It’s imperative to consider the amount of food you prepare, storage space and budget before buying a pressure cooker. Just know that the 6-quart cooker is the basic size for any kitchen, and a 8 quart is a large unit that’s sure to come in handy for special occasions.
- 4 quart is great for singles or couples.
- 6 quart is sure to work for a small or medium sized family.
- 8 quart is ideal for large families of six or more people.
Warranty and Accessories
Most high-quality pressure cookers last for decades, but it’s the parts that make a significant difference in the future. Trust me, getting hold of gaskets or other replacement after fifteen years is not going to be easy. So it’s imperative to invest in a pressure that’s built by a well-known brand that has a good reputation as well as an excellent customer support that will attend to any issues you might encounter along the way.
The Two Options: Stove-top or Electric Pressure Cookers
Now that you’re set to get a pressure cooker, there are two options to choose from. So are you going for a stove-top or electric pressure cooker? One sure thing is that they’ll both work perfectly and prepare your food quickly, but they have their differences. Let’s take a look at them so you can get a feel of what each has to offer.
Electric Pressure Cooker
An electric pressure cooker is an excellent option for those who do not have the luxury of setting the heat level manually. This means that you just have to set it and forget it! In essence, every single thing is automated. Another great benefit of this type of pressure cooker is its ability to take the place of other kitchen gadgets including your rice cooker and slow cooker. This option is ideal for those who fancy preset timers where they can simply set the cooking method, hit the start button and check back when the food is ready. An electric pressure cooker is also perfect for those with limited space in the kitchen; it’s sure to be ideal for singles and couples.
Stove-top Pressure Cooker
Owning a stove-top also comes with a number of benefits. For starters, the ability to manually regulate the heat is incredibly important in browning, where you choose to sauté the food, seal the pot and continue pressure cooking. Another advantage of preparing yourself favorite dish with a stove-top is that it’s sure to attain maximum pressure much quicker than an electric pressure cooker. Moreover, the stove-top gives you the chance to quickly release steam to stop the buildup of pressure. This function is excellent at those times when you want to steam fish and vegetables. A stove-top pressure cooker can also double as a regular pot or saucepan; this means it’s very versatile. Their premium stainless steel design coating is also a big plus and replacement of worn out parts is also a breeze compared to the electric model.
To sum it up, investing in a stove-top pressure cooker will give you the opportunity to have both speed and power because they’re sure to reach higher temperatures and pressure than electric cookers.
Wrapping It Up
And that’s it, folks! With all that has been said, we can conclude that a pressure cooker is a worthy investment that’s sure to be an excellent addition to your kitchen. I hope this simple guide come in handy when you decide to purchase your very own pressure cooker. Happy pressure cooking!