In the market for a pressure cooker but spoiled for choice? What are the different types of pressure cookers? Which one is best for you? This quick guide should clear up some quick overall concepts before you delve deeper into our more in-depth reviews.
Electric or Stovetop?
An electric pressure cooker plugs directly into an outlet and works on its own. There is usually an inner pot that can be removed and washed in a dishwasher, but always check the user’s manual before assuming it can go in.
A stovetop pressure cooker is more traditional and can be used on any kind of stove. Heat is generally better controlled with a stovetop pressure cooker, reaching heats that can help sear or sauté.
Stainless steel or aluminum?
Stainless steel is the most common material for pressure cooker construction. It provides an even distribution of heat and is non reactive with acidic ingredients. The downside is that stainless steel is more expensive and much heavier than aluminum.
Aluminum is the other common material for pressure cookers. It is might lighter, and therefore much easier to move around. However, it is not recommended to cook acidic foods for long periods of time with aluminum, as minerals can leach into your food. Aluminum pressure cookers are usually more economical.
What size should I get?
A 6-8 quart pressure cooker is the perfect size for a single person or a small family. If you are feeding more than six people, it might make sense to go up to a 10-12 quart pressure cooker, but you would be nearing industrial standards!
How do I know a pressure cooker is safe?
Pressure cooker safety is extremely important. Pressure cookers sold in the United States or the European Union have passed strenuous tests for safety. To be safe, look for a sturdy build, automatically locking lids, and redundant safety valves. It is advisable to buy from a reputable brand so as to ensure absolute peace of mind when it comes to safety.
Once you have decided on the size, material, and whether you want an electric or stovetop pressure cooker, the differences basically boil down to additional features. These three factors are probably the most important in terms of your satisfaction with your new pressure cooker. We hope you make delicious and healthy meals for yourself and your family and save lots of time maximizing cooking efficiency with a suitable pressure cooker.