Believe it or not, any help you can get when we are handling household activities or when we cook, a pressure cooker is a life savior, especially when we are running out of time. Obviously, it happens more often to be running out of time nowadays. There is no doubt that in the century we are living in everything is moving too fast and every minute counts. If we are looking for solutions to save time when we are in the kitchen, salvation comes from where you least expect – from a pressure cooker.
This is the perfect tool for preparing healthy and delicious dishes. Forget about the explosions from your grandmother’s kitchen that involved a primitive pressure cooker. Nowadays the market is full of modern cookers, made of high quality materials. You may find it difficult to choose the right one, but it is not that hard. You need some information, patience and time. Therefore, we provide you with all the information you need to make the right choice to equip your kitchen properly. Being a smart buyer helps you save money, while you get the highest quality for your money.
Main advantages of pressure cookers
First it is important to understand what exactly does a pressure cooker. Therefore, it is a must for every kitchen, just as it is a stove or an oven. Using this type of cookers, you can prepare a delicious meal in just a matter of minutes. Also, it is the perfect gift, because nobody can be unhappy because of receiving such a useful gift. For starters, a pressure cooker is considered the quickest way of cooking healthy and delicious.
If you need more than one hour to cook a delicious 2kg chicken, with a pressure cooker you need only 15 minutes. It is possible to save so much time because the steam creates pressure from inside the pot, which cooks the food over the boiling temperature. Therefore, a main advantage of a pressure cooker consists in combining steam and pressure to cook the food 70% faster.
You can save up to 45-50% electricity and gas by using a pressure cooker. Also, it retains 50% more nutrients, which makes food healthier and more nutritious. Your body will receive more vitamins and minerals, but your taste buds will be delighted, as well. Because the foods are cooked in a sealed environment, it prevents the loss of flavor and moisture, which makes the dishes more flavorful. Not only that dishes prepared with a pressure cooker are delicious, rich in nutrients and flavorful, but is also 100% safe to use, because it is free of any micro-organisms. The heat produced in a pressure cooker destroys the most harmful bacteria and viruses.
A good pressure cooker will be your friend in the kitchen. It could help you cook perfect meals in no time with no effort. Nevertheless, it allows you to save space. We all know how unpleasant it is to find space for all the cooking appliances we use in the kitchen. With a pressure cooker, the lack of space will no longer be a problem for us. It is not only easy to use, but it’s simple to store, so the use of such a device is advantageous for all lovers of cooking.
Electric or stovetop pressure cooker
The first thing you need to decide when buying a pressure cooker is what type do you want – an electric or a stovetop one. A stovetop cooker offers the advantage of reaching a higher pressure in a short time and maintain it longer than electric models. Also, a stovetop pressure cooker is more accurate in cooking, because it offers the possibility to regulate the heat manually and it is a better long-term investment. If you want to sear the food, a stovetop pressure cooker is the perfect choice. Using it is easier to adjust the right browning temperature and your dish will look delicious.
When you steam veggies or fish, it is important to stop quickly the pressure cooker, is you want to do the fast-cold water release method. Also, you can reach the pressure quickly, which means you will spend less time in the kitchen.
Another aspect you should consider is the fact that these type of pressure cookers operate in the range of 8-15PSI (pounds per square inch). Most of the cookbooks recommends pressure cookers that works with 15PSI, but an electric pressure cooker reach pressure in the range of 10-11PSI. The higher the pressure, the faster you can cook, which is a big plus, impossible to ignore. If we add the durable stainless materials, the higher life and easy to use, a stovetop pressure cooker seems like a smart choice.
An electric pressure cooker is a built-in heating mechanism that can function without any other source of heating. It also has a useful digital timing technology that allows you to cook your favorite dishes without having to keep an eye on it. When it comes to comfort, an electric pressure cooker is the best choice. All you have to do is to press a few buttons and enjoy your free time, while your food is cooking perfectly. When the cooking process is finished, it switches off automatically and it keeps the dish warm until you will serve it.
The right choice depends on your needs. If you prefer a more convenient alternative, an electric pressure cooker is the best choice. It cooks for you while you read a book or enjoy a TV show, without spending one second around it. If you want to control the heat manually, a stove top pressure cooker is the thing for you. It is good to know that it is impossible to go wrong, regardless of the type you choose.
Pressure cooker material
When buying an electric pressure cooker, we have to choose between a stainless-steel insert or a nonstick one. It is true that a nonstick insert is easier to clean, but it is less durable than a stainless steel one. You can add oil to prevent from cooking.
Stovetop pressure cookers are made either of aluminum or stainless steel, which is well-known for its longer durability. Even after a few years its looks as if it were new, with its perfect shine. The only disadvantages of buying it consists in its cost, which is a little higher than in the case of aluminum cookers and isn’t as good as a heat conductor.
Aluminum offers the advantage of being an excellent heat conductor, but it is also lightweight and cheaper. Unfortunately, it is not as durable as a stainless cooker. If you cannot decide between aluminum and stainless steel cookers, you can choose a cooker with an aluminum-clad base. This is a smart choice, because it combines the durability of stainless steel with good heat conduction qualities of aluminum. Although they are more expensive, we cannot go wrong with this type of cookers.
The size of a pressure cooker
We see a wide range of pressure cookers which differentiates among them through materials used in their construction, their electric or hob operation, and through their size, as well. With so many options, it is difficult to make the best choice. The size of a pressure cooker is important if you are cooking for a larger number of people. When cooking for a few people, a small pressure cooker is all you need. Using a cooker suited for your needs allows you to prepare delicious dishes quickly.
Keep in mind that a bigger pressure cooker is made of more material than a small one, which means that it requires more time to heat up. Also, it requires more liquid to reach pressure and it is more difficult to store and clean. It is better to use a pressure cooker of 6-8 quart, perfect for a family. This type of cooker is great for stocks, stews or soups. You can use it to prepare dishes for a family of 4-6 and is perfect for beginner.
Those who can afford more pressure cookers can buy one a braiser or a large pressure pan of 3-5 quart. This is good for preparing meat and is perfect for two people. For sauces is recommend to use a small pressure pan of 2-3 quart. This cooker reach pressure faster, because it is smaller, but it allows you to cook small portions of food. For restaurants and larger groups of people, cookers of 10 quarts or larger are the greatest. These can be used as canners, as well, but are more difficult to store and clean.
Depending on your needs, some features are more important than other in a pressure cooker. Therefore, safety valve is an essential feature we should find in all pressure cookers. Fortunately, most of the pressure cookers available today have at least two pressure release valves which functions as safety precautionary measures. Because they are so important, some cookers have many safety measures, even six valves, which increases considerably their safety.
Another important feature consists of the possibility to release the pressure when cooking. Pressure cookers have different methods of releasing pressure, including the “cool cooker at once”, in which the pressure cooker is put in a sink under cold water to release pressure. Another method, called the “natural release method” requires to allow the pressure cooker to call down naturally. Other cookers have a third feature, which is called the “automatic release method”. With this method, we can release the pressure by lifting the vent pipe or buy pushing a button.
Because pressure cookers can be very heavy when they are filled with foods and liquids, it is recommended to choose models that have durable and large handles. Models that have ergonomic large handles are easier to work with.
Other things to consider before buying a pressure cooker
The price is one of the most important things you need to consider before deciding which pressure cooker is good for you. Sometimes you need to pay more to enjoy the highest quality. Even though a good pressure cooker may cost a little more, it is an excellent investment and a tool that is a must in any kitchen. Before buying a pressure cooker, take time to analyze what it has to offer.
Chances are you will buy a pressure cooker that will last long enough. Still, it helps if you take into consideration every detail, including the company reputation, the customer support service it offers and of course, the warranty. Some manufacturers offer an impressive warranty that starts from three years and can last for many years. So, you will have no inconvenience if you make such a wise purchase.
Keep in mind to look for 18/10 mark in the description of the cooker, because it means it offers the highest quality of the stainless coating. This means 18 percent chromium combined with 10 percent nickel, which is a formula that guarantees an impressive durability.
There are many things you need to consider if you want to buy a high-quality pressure cooker. The choices you make depend on your needs. Fortunately, you can easily find pressure cookers suitable for all budget types, able to meet all the demands. Next time you go shopping for a pressure cooker, take all the time you need, analyze the market and make sure to make the best choice. This way you will return home with an excellent pressure cooker.
Once you bought exactly what you need, there is only one thing left to do, gather the best recipes and prepare the tastiest dishes. With the perfect pressure cooker, it is easy to feel like a MasterChef every time you want to cook something. Surely, your friends and family will enjoy every meal you’ll prepare.