For fast and efficient cooking, a pressure cooker is a must-have. These cooking appliances take cooking to another level and allow you to enjoy it so much more. Pressure cookers come in all sizes, designs, styles and models. They are also made of varying materials and feature different finishes. This makes finding the right cooker for your kitchen more overwhelming. But not to worry, here are some of the top rated pressure cookers available in the market today. You will certainly find one that suits your needs, tastes and budget.
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Ultimate Pressure Cooker Buying Guide, You Will Ever Need
In today's fast paced world, it is becoming increasingly easy to eat out or order in instead of making a tasty, healthy home cooked meal.And what is the most common excuse for not cooking?"Not enough time."
That might be a legitimate excuse for conventional cooking methods, bringing up images of grandma slaving away all day on the stove, but with the right pressure cooker, cooking times can be reduced by up to two thirds, and "time" will never be a reason not to cook again.
But what is the "right" pressure cooker for you? The answer is... it depends. It depends on whether you're cooking for yourself or a family, whether you make mostly stews or mostly beans and rice, whether you want a devoted unitasker or an appliance that can do a bit of everything.
Here are some quick tips for choosing your first pressure cooker, with our pressure cooker buying guide.
Electric or Stovetop?
One of the biggest differences between pressure cookers is the choice between electric and stovetop, and there are pros and cons to both.
Electric pressure cookers can be plugged into an outlet, leaving the rest of your stove free for other uses. However, with a few exceptions, they usually cannot get hot enough to sauté or brown meats and vegetables.
Stovetop pressure cookers, on the other hand, are used, well, on the stove. This means that you have more control over the heat you expose your food to, but that it will take up one of your burners in case you are cooking up a large meal and need every burner.
What size do you need?
Pressure cookers generally range from two quarts to eight quarts for home kitchens, but can get even larger for industrial purposes. For a single person who wants to cook single meals, two quarts might be enough, but we recommend one that ranges from 6 to 8 quarts. This is enough to make stew for a small to medium sized family and small enough to fit neatly in a cabinet when not in use.
What material is suitable for a pressure cooker?
Pressure cookers generally come in either stainless steel or aluminum.Stainless steel offers more even heat distribution and is less reactive to foods, but is much heavier and significantly more expensive.
Aluminum, on the other hand, is more affordable and easier to manipulate because of its lighter weight. It can react with acidic foods, however, and leach into slow cooked foods like tomatoes and lemon juice.
How do I clean a pressure cooker?
Pressure cookers are complicated machines, but by the time they reach the consumer, all the difficult parts have been hidden away.
Generally, after cooking, you will have to clean two components: the pot and the lid. In electric pressure cookers, the inner pot is usually removable.Some lids and pots are dishwasher safe. Others can be washed like any other dish--with warm water and gentle detergent. Please check with your pressure cooker's user's manual to be sure.
Is pressure cooking safe?
Pressure cookers sold in the European Union must comply with the Pressure Equipment Directive. Regulation in the United States is similarly strict.
Generally, pressure cookers feature safety release valves that allow pressure to escape when the pressure within the chamber exceeds a safe limit. Trusted manufacturers will include multiple redundant valves for maximum security.
They also have automatic locking lids to prevent accidental opening when cooking, which prevents hot food and steam from escaping.
To be completely safe, always read the user's manual before using a new pressure cooker and exercise caution.
What are some of the most popular brands of pressure cookers?
Here are five of the most popular brands of pressure cookers available today.
1. Instant Pot
This electric pressure cooker offers the most utility of any of the pressure cookers listed here. Some models of Instant Pots offer yogurt making, porridge, stew, and even sauté options. This is one of the few electric pressure cookers that get hot enough to even sear meats. Furthermore, Instant Pot gives easy, intuitive options for variable pressure, cooking time, and temperature. Prices run from $80-120
This classic Indian brand can be found in just about every household across India. A country whose cuisine relies heavily on beans and lentils, a pressure cooker is almost a necessity in India. Prestige is well-known for its long history and safety as well as the high quality of its construction. It is also unique in the way in which it releases pressure and steam: through a whistling top that jiggles. Prestige pressure cookers generally cost $25-60.
Presto offers a middle-of-the-road option for those who want a simple, economical pressure cooker. This is perfect for a new cook or someone who just wants to dip his or her toes into pressure cooking. Models are utilitarian, no frills, and run from $25-80.
T-fal is just a step above Presto in terms of cost, but offers a slightly wider range of products that have several additional features.
5. Power Cooker Pro
Power Cooker Pro offers a great alternative to the Instant Pot as a more affordable electric pressure cooker with fewer functions. If you must have electric, but do not want to invest a large amount of money into a multitasker, Power Cooker Pro might be for you.
Buying a pressure cooker can be daunting at first, but hopefully this pressure cooker buying guide has answered some questions. We offer plenty of more in-depth reviews of various models of pressure cookers, and there is certainly one suitable for you.
It is difficult to convince ourselves to cook healthy meals for our health and our pocketbooks, but hopefully, armed with a great pressure cooker, you will be able to spend half as much time in the kitchen while retaining all of the taste, flavor, and nutrients. Foods like beans and steel cut oats, which previously seemed like health foods that took too long to cook can now be thirty minute meals.
Best Pressure Cooker Recipes
There are many pressure cooker recipes that can become a part of your healthy diet as this technique of cooking tends to preserves the aromas (and hence the true flavors) of the ingredients you've used. Along with that, it makes the raw foods more juicy, not to mention the amount of time it saves you in the kitchen.
Below are 15 of the most popular pressure cooking recipes that will make a great meal for your family any day.
1. Mushroom Risotto in Pressure Cooker - delicious and filling risotto for vegan food lovers, takes 15-20 minutes to cook.
2. Lamb Shanks With Garlic and Port Wine - flavorful dish with tender meat, takes only 30 mins to cook in a pressure cooker instead of 2 hours in case of regular cooking.
3. Hungarian Chicken - be it any kind of chicken, bone-in or boneless - takes 35-40 minutes to cook.
4. Lentil Soup - nutritious, stick-to-ribs beans soup, cooks in 20-30 minutes.
5. Spareribs with Barbecue Sauce - cook for 15 minutes at about 15 pounds pressure.
6. Butternut, Chard & White Bean Soup - fiber-rich soup, cooks in about 45 minutes.
7. Corned Beef and Cabbage - another healthy dish, takes 1 hour and 15 minutes to prepare.
8. Chicken Piccata - lemon-flavored Italian dish served with sauteed green beans, basil and topped with toasted slivered almonds, takes 40-45 minutes to cook.
9. Savory Pot Roast - pressure cooker makes this classic even better, cooked in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
10. Potato Leek Pea Soup - for a quick dose of fresh veggies, takes about 15 minutes to prepare in a pressure cooker.
11. Carnitas - great to be served with tortillas or tacos, takes close to 1.5 hours to pressure cook.
12. Jamaican Oxtail with Broad Beans - for beef oxtail lovers, this Jamaican dish will take you 1 hour and 15 minutes to prepare.
13. Italian Chicken Soup- prepared with chickpeas, fresh spinach and parsley leaves in just 50 minutes.
14. Sausage, Kale, and White Bean Soup - soak navy beans in water overnight (or for 8 hours to be precise) and you can prepare this nutrient rich soup within 1 hour and 15 minutes with the help of a pressure.
15. Teriyaki Chicken - cook this in just 40 minutes and serve hot with rice or spaghetti.
Who said pressure cooked meals aren't delicious? If you've not tried pressure cookers in your kitchen yet, maybe you should give it a thought. If you are good at experimenting in the kitchen, you can probably put your own twist to the recipes we have shared and surprise your family with flavorful dishes in almost no time. Happy pressure cooking!