The popularity of pressure cookers is continually increasing nowadays. Unlike back in the day when these appliances had a bad reputation, the modern pressure cookers are very safe and easy to use. If you take your time to look for the best pressure cooker, you are definitely going to appreciate what it will do for you. You will be able to prepare very delicious and healthy meals with it in a lot less time compared to ordinary cooking. Preparing stew will take less than sixty minutes while something like risotto will only take about five minutes to prepare.
If you compare the time that you would use to prepare food using a pressure cooker and the time you would use to prepare the same meal with conventional cooking, the pressure cooker will definitely be faster. This appliance is about 70 percent faster. You can put all ingredients in the pressure cooker and continue with other activities in the time that you normally take to prepare your food the ordinary way. Apart from helping you prepare your meals much faster, the pressure cooker also consumes less amount of energy compared to the conventional way of cooking.
Is It Worthwhile Buying a Pressure Cooker?
If cooking is an integral part of your household, buying a pressure cooker will definitely be a worthwhile investment. It is fast, healthy, easy and very safe to use. When you use it to prepare meals for your family, you can save up to seventy percent of the cooking time. In the fast moving and hectic world that we live in nowadays, that can mean a lot of extra time as well as after meal time that you can spend doing other things.
The following are some of the benefits that you are going to get when you prepare your food using the best pressure cookers.
Since your foods will cook faster when you use a pressure cooker, you will be able to use less energy. We live in a world where there is a lot of emphasis on energy efficiency. By using a pressure cooker, you will be contributing to an overall energy use reduction by making sure that a lot of energy is not wasted in your home. Since less energy is needed and used when cooking with a pressure cooker, less heat is generated in the process. It is a method of cooking that makes sense all year round but most importantly in summer when heating your home with a very lengthy cooking process is the last thing you want. The pressure cooker will help you avoid putting extra strain on your refrigerator as well as air conditioning unit.
Since pressure cooked foods do not require a lot of additional cooking liquid, more minerals and water soluble vitamins are retained in the foods. The minerals and vitamins will not be simmered out of the foods or boiled away as it is usually the case with the traditional cooking methods. You will be able to serve nutritional meals for your family because of this appliance.
When you cook food with the best pressure cooker, it will retain its color and eye appeal because of less cooking liquid and less cooking time. Even though this may look like a minor benefit, it is common culinary knowledge that meals that look good actually taste better.
- Cooler and Cleaner Kitchen
Your kitchen will remain cooler when you cook with a pressure cooker because all of the pressure and heat is trapped inside the pot. The kitchen will not heat up as it is usually the case with conventional stove tops or oven methods. Your kitchen will also remain cleaner because the cooked food is within a covered pot. You would not be required to clean messy splashes and splatters that are very common with the traditional cooking methods.
How Much Does a Pressure Cooker Cost?
The price of pressure cookers vary based on a number of factors, including size, model and manufacturer. The sizes normally range from 1.5 L to 8.5 L or more. When you are looking for one to buy, you need to choose appropriately depending on the size of your family, needs and requirements. The smallest pressure cooker can cost anywhere between $20 and $150 while the largest can cost anywhere between $150 and $400.
You should not buy a pressure cooker just because it is expensive. Some of the top rated pressure cookers or brands that are considered to be top of the line do not cook efficiently as those that would cost you less money. The best way to determine the efficiency of a pressure cooker is to know how much constant pressure is exerted within a pot while cooking meals. Known as operating pressure, this pressure is supposed to remain constant within the cooking cycle.
Apart from cost and efficiency, it is also important to consider the material that the pressure cooker you want to buy is made of. The pressure cookers are available in steel, stainless steel and aluminum materials. You need to choose the appropriate material depending on your cooking style and needs. Those that feature sturdy bodies and high quality bodies are reasonably priced.
What brands are best?
If you are eager to get your hands on a new pressure cooker, you need to take some time to understand which brands are worth spending your money on. It is not a good idea to just purchase the first pressure cooker you come across without having a clue whether it would serve the purpose that you are buying it for or not. The following are the top pressure cookers that you should consider buying if you do not want to be disappointed.
1. Instant Pot
This is by far the best pressure cooker brand. The construction quality, feature set and durability of its pressure cookers are unbeatable. They produce electric programmable pressure cookers that have a lot of functionality. Many people that have given them a try have nothing but nice things to say about them. If you buy a cooker from this brand, it will quickly become one of your favorite kitchen tools. Some of the things that you would love about instant Pot pressure cookers include:
The All Stainless Interior: These pressure cookers have a fully stainless steel interior which is the only part that gets into contact with your foods. Even though some exterior parts are made of plastic and other materials, they will not come into contact with your food. They do not have non-stick surface or Teflon.
Multi-use Functionality: When you buy Instant Pot pressure cookers, they could conceivably replace a number of appliances in your kitchen, including your rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer and sauté pan. You may also start using your stove and oven less when you buy these pressure cookers. They would be very helpful especially if you have a small kitchen as they could perfectly do the job of other kitchen appliances.
Programmable Settings: Unlike most slow cookers and regular pressure cookers, the Instant Pot cookers features programmable settings that allow you to regulate your cooking the way you want. If you do not want to start cooking a recipe the moment you put it into the pressure cooker but want to have it ready to go, all you need to do is program it in advance. You can program it up to 24 hours in advance. They also have a few options that are pre-programmed for easy use.
Time Saving: If you do not like to spend hours and hours in the kitchen preparing food for your family, this is one of the biggest benefits of the Instant Pot pressure cookers that you would appreciate. A slow cooker recipe that would have taken 6 to 8 hours will be ready in just an hour when cooked with these pressure cookers. You will find them very helpful on days when you are not at home during the day and need to prepare food for your family quickly at night.
Energy Efficient: The heat source of these pressure cookers is electric and built in. They are more energy efficient because they do not require a separate electric or gas stove. They are also easier and safer to use because they are self-regulated.
Easy to Clean: The cooking bowl of the Instant Pot pressure cookers is of made of stainless steel material. This makes them very easy to clean by hand. You can even place them in a dishwasher.
If you have a large family, this is the pressure cooker brand you should consider going for. It has pots that are large and can double up as a water boiling canners for preserving pickles, salsa and jams. What is nice about this brand is that their pots are very affordable. If you are an entry level cook or young family, there are some great starter pots from their line that you can buy. Even though it is an entry level brand, their pots are very popular. The Presto cookers may not be as sturdy or fancy as some of the high end models that are manufactured by other brands but are very easy to use.
Apart from the large pressure cookers that this brand is renowned for, they also make smaller stainless steel and aluminum pressure cookers for people who do not have large families. The smaller sizes range from 4 quarts to 8 quarts. For people with large families or have a lot to cook, Presto has a big 23 quart pressure canner that is perfect for them.
T-fal pressure cookers are very user-friendly. They feature a handle lid that helps you open and close the pressure top conveniently. The struggle of aligning the handles of the pot and the lid in order for it to open or close will be a thing of the past when you are using these pressure cookers. They have a lid release and lock feature that you would definitely be impressed with.
Another thing that you would love about the T-fal pressure cookers is that they are dishwasher safe. Cleaning them up after use will not be a problem at all. They are also equipped with very useful safety features. For instance, when the pot is fully pressurized, the lid will always stay closed. After you are done cooking and there is no steam left, you can open the lid by simply pushing a button. When you do that, the speed valve allows you to securely relieve any steam and pressure very quickly.
On the side of the T-fal pressure cookers, there are well built handles that make them conveniently portable. To ensure that the efficiency as well as performance of the pressure cookers remain at top level, you are supposed to replace the rubber gasket at least one time every year.
4. All American
Even though All American pressure cookers come at an exorbitant price, their performance is top notch. This company has been around since the 1930s and has a reputation of making extra heavy and durable pressure cookers. Their cookers are made from high grade aluminum material with an outside that has a satin smooth finish. Between the lid and the pot of these pressure cookers, there is a metal to metal seal. This means that no gasket is attached to the lid.
Canning with All American pressure cookers is a lot easier, faster and safer. The brand has both large and small pressure cookers in their line to suit the needs of different people. The aluminum material that they are made of cleans easily, wears well and does not rust. It is very durable and ensures that the cookers last a lifetime. They are products that you can pass down to generations as long as you maintain them properly.
Breville produces pressure cookers that are designed to do everything from you from start to finish. All you need to do is input your altitude and the cookers will adjust the cooking times for you accordingly. When the cooking cycle is complete, the cookers are designed to release the steam automatically. You do not need to do it manually.
Other features that you would love about the Breville pressure cookers include the sleek design and intuitive interface. You would not have any trouble using them because they are very easy to understand. The Breville cookers are also very affordable. You would not break your bank account to purchase them.
Stove Top Pressure Cooker vs. Electric Pressure Cooker
When you decide to buy a pressure cooker, one of the things you will need to do is choose between a stove top pressure cooker and an electric pressure cooker. To make the right choice, you need to know how to match a pressure cooker to the type of cook you are.
While a stove top pressure cooker may not be as high tech as its electric counterpart, it is cost efficient and reliable. It goes right into your electric range or gas and comes in various sizes. It usually has at least two settings, which are high and low pressure. You are supposed to adjust your stove and make sure that it is at maximum heat when the cooker reaches pressure and then lower the stove as the cooker continues to maintain that pressure. Since most stove top pressure cookers do not come with a built-in burner, you need to keep an eye on the clock to know when the food is ready. It is very easy to store and is more versatile than an electric pressure cooker. It can double up as a pan if required.
With an electric pressure cooker, you do not have to stay around to watch as carefully as a stove top in order to know when your food is ready. You can set it and continue doing other things without worrying that your food may burn up. Everything about it is automated. You just need to select the pressure you need from the multiple settings and allow it to do its work. It is equipped with a timer that will let you know when your food is ready. It is very easy to use especially for someone that is using a pressure cooker for the first time. The downside is that all the bells and whistles that it comes with makes it more expensive compared to the stove top counterpart.
What Can I Do with A Pressure Cooker?
You can cook almost anything in a pressure cooker. You can use it to cook rice in just a few minutes and tougher things such as chickpeas and beans in less than thirty minutes. The idea of having to soak beans for hours before you start on a recipe can seem unwieldy. When you buy a pressure cooker, there will be no need to soak your beans anymore.
A pressure cooker is also great for foods that need to be tenderized such as braised meats and roasts. People have cooked all other kinds of things in this appliance, including baby food, risotto, chilly and sloppy joes, appleasauce, stews and soups, oatmeal and vegetable broth. The tricky part is that you have to wait for some time for the pressure cooker to heat before you add the food that you want to cook to it. But this does not usually take too long.
Tips for Purchasing Your Own Pressure Cooker
When you make up your mind to purchase a pressure cooker, it is imperative that you find the best one out there. It will be a good idea to save up some cash and purchase an expensive but better model. If you buy a cheaper, used pressure cooker, you may be forced to buy a new one a few years later.
The following are some of the important things you should keep in mind when choosing your own pressure cooker.
You need to look for a pressure cooker that is able to cook food that is adequate to feed your entire family. The cookers are available on the market in different capacities, so it will be up to you to choose one that meets your needs, requirements and family size.
Also consider the material that the pressure cooker is made of. They are available in steel, aluminum and stainless steel materials. Make sure that you check the advantages and disadvantages of each material before buying.
Make sure that the pressure cooker has all the features you need. Some of the most important features to look for include induction buttons, pressure indicators, double locking systems, rubber gaskets and gas release systems.
The pressure cookers are available in different colors and shapes to suit sophisticated and modern households. Choose one that will add value to your kitchen.
This should be the last thing to consider when choosing a pressure cooker. It should not be the only thing to consider when buying the cooker. When you choose to buy a cheap pressure cooker, make sure that it is going to serve its purpose well and last longer. You should be able to get value for your money from the pressure cooker.
For many people, a pressure cooker is definitely a worthwhile investment. As long you search for the best pressure cooker that will not disappoint, you will not have any regrets about spending your money on it. It is highly efficient, versatile and saves cooking time. You will be able to cook meals in your kitchen quicker than you normally do with the traditional means of cooking. You can use the pressure cooker to cook tender meats, soups, gravies, stocks for soups, vegetables, rice and other foods very quickly. Furthermore, the pressure cooker seals nutrients into foods. Minerals and soluble vitamins are not allowed to disperse while cooking under high pressure.