Invented in 1679, pressure cookers have been used for a very long period of time. Pressure cookers are airtight containers that produce heat from steam and raise the boiling point of water. This reduces the cooking time for foods, thus lessening the time you need to spend in the kitchen cooking a meal. If your kitchen storage space is cluttered with single-use appliances that primarily collect dust, you may want to consider investing in a pressure cooker that can ‘do it all’ while saving you tons of valuable time and space. There are two main types of pressure cookers on the market that are commonly used today. The more conventional stovetop pressure cooker is heated using a stovetop burner. Conversely, the electric pressure cooker is designed to self-regulate the temperature and pressure while cooking. There are pros and cons to using both stovetop and electric pressure cookers, so read on to learn the benefits and drawbacks of each, so you can make an informed decision about which style best suits your lifestyle and cooking needs!
Cooking with any pressure cooker is pretty straightforward. No matter what you are whipping up in the kitchen, you can follow these 6 basic steps and adjust the settings accordingly to suit your recipe:
- Put your food and liquid into the pot
- Close the lid and ensure that it is sealed properly
- Select your pressure setting
- Allow pressure to build up inside of the cooker
- Allow the food to begin cooking under the pressure
- Release the pressure and enjoy your meal!
If you are using a pressure cooker, chances are, you will need a pressure cooker rack. Check out this guide by Corrie Cooks to learn more about pressure cooker racks and trivets.
Stovetop Pressure Cookers
A stovetop pressure cooker is a great tool to have around in the kitchen. Many people are drawn to this style of pressure cooker because it is both very durable and incredibly powerful. Because they are capable of reaching a higher temperature and pressure than the electric pressure cooker, the stovetop pressure cooker can prepare food more quickly than their electric counterpart. This also gives the stovetop pressure cooker an upper hand when it comes to browning your food. A stovetop model is ideal for someone who values speed and power in their device. Stovetop pressure cookers also tend to be longer-lasting than electric models, so if you value durability, then a stovetop pressure cooker might be the way to go! While fairly comparable in price, stovetop pressure cookers tend to be somewhat more affordable than electric models. Additionally, if you enjoy being more involved in the cooking process, then you might opt for a stovetop model over an electric model. During the cooking process, the pressure must be regulated manually. Because of this, the stovetop pressure cooker allows the cook to implement more advanced pressure cooking techniques, and add more of their own personal flare to the dish during the cooking process. Moreover, a stovetop pressure cooker can be used as a regular saucepan if you should need it. Many of them come with a regular lid in addition to the sealed lid to add to their versatility. They are easier to store than the bulkier electric pressure cookers, and can be easily kept in cupboards alongside your other cookware. One negative aspect of the stovetop model is that they do reach higher pressures than their electric counterparts, and therefore have a reputation of exploding if they are not used properly and carefully. This can lead to a mess in the kitchen, and even cause injury. While the stovetop pressure cooker may have fewer functions than the electric pressure cooker, what it can do, it does very well. Investing in a stovetop pressure cooker is not your only option though. Read on to learn more about the Instant Pot- an electric pressure cooker that has many similarities to the stovetop pressure cooker but also brings its own personal flare to the table!
Electric Pressure Cookers (Instant Pot)
In recent years, you may have noticed that people have been raving about a device called the ‘Instant Pot’. It is a very common household name nowadays, and understandably so! This multifunctional pressure cooker allows you to make anything from yogurt, to rice, to curry- very easily in your own kitchen. The Instant Pot hit the market in 2009, and has exploded in popularity since. It is a kitchen gadget that combines an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, and yogurt maker in one handy device. One drawback to electric models like the Instant Pot is that they are somewhat slower than stovetop models. However, because of their automatic nature, you can set it to cook your meal and leave it while you tend to other tasks. They are much easier to operate and require less attention than their stovetop counterparts. While slightly more expensive than a stovetop pressure cooker, investing in an Instant Pot won’t break the bank. One drawback to owning electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot is that they are bulky and tend to take up a significant amount of counter space. Another inconvenience is that they are not as long-lasting or durable as stovetop pressure cookers. The average lifespan for an Instant Pot is around five years, while their stoetop counterparts can easily last for decades. That being said, electric pressure cookers are perfect gadgets for busy college students, parents, and even senior citizens. Parents and students typically lead very hectic lives and do not have the time or patience that a stovetop pressure cooker demands. Some newer Instant Pot models even have time settings that will automatically begin the cooking process before you arrive home from school or work! Older folks often struggle to remember simple tasks like turning off the stove burner, and with an electric pressure cooker, they can rest assured that the device will turn itself off automatically. Instant Pot offers a huge variety of sizes and styles, so you are sure to find one that suits your style.
What kind of pressure cooker is best for you and your lifestyle? I hope that this article has succeeded in breaking down the benefits and drawbacks of both the stovetop pressure cooker and the electric pressure cooker. Both of these varieties are incredible devices that can help to simplify your life in the kitchen.