Have you have ever thought of buying a pressure cooker, or wondered why you would need this small kitchen appliance?
Pressure cooking allows you to prepare a meal in a fraction of the time. With traditional cooking methods, such as a stove, oven or slow cooker. This can take 2 to 6 hours.
The same meal prep time with a pressure cooker takes just 20 to 40 minutes. Reducing your cooking time by up to 70%.
These machines are also multi-function, which means what required 3 machines can now be accomplished with one cooker.
What is a Pressure Cooker
A pressure cooker works by trapping steam as it builds up inside the machine. This builds up intense pressure to create hotter internal temperatures to more rapidly cook the food. The tight seal around the lid locks in heat, moisture, and flavors, as well as, vitamins and minerals for exceptionally healthy, great-tasting meals.
The lid locks while it is in use to prevent super heated steam from escaping, which can cause a painful 3rd degree burn. For your safety, you must press a button to release the steam before the lid unlocks.
Pressure cooking reduces cooking time by up to 70% as compared to cooking on a stove top or in an oven.
A basic single purpose pressure cooker does one thing and does it well. A programmable pressure cooker has several features and functions, including:
- Slow Cooker
- Rice Cooker
- and Warmer
There are three types of pressure cookers on the market today:
First Generation – This type of stove top unit uses a weight-modified valve, which suddenly releases pressure once it builds up inside the cooker.
Second Generation – This unit uses a proprietary mechanism, that lets users choose between multiple pressure options.
Third Generation – This is the modern electric counter top pressure cooker.
A Brief History of Pressure Cooking
Pressure cooking dates back to 1679, when a French physicist, named Denis Papin, sought a way to speed up the cooking process of food. He invented a pressure cooker made of cast iron.
Over the centuries other inventors developed more advanced pressure cookers that were lighter and had more relevant and practical uses for professional chefs and home cooks.
A modern pressure cooker does more than cook your food under pressure. They can actually replace several other small kitchen appliances in your home, such as a slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, and even a bread maker. You can use one machine to cook an entire meal in a fraction of the time.
How Does a Pressure Cooker Work?
What Can You Make in a Pressure Cooker?
- pulled pork
- steamed vegetables
- and more!
How Much Do Pressure Cookers Cost?
Pressure cookers have come along way, since they were first invented over 100 years ago. You can buy a basic stove top unit for under $50 that uses heat from the burner on your stove.
You can also purchase an advanced electric multi function pressure cooker, that you plug into the outlet in your kitchen. This unit can also saute or brown, is a slow cooker and can make cakes and yogurt. This type of multi function pressure cooker can cost anywhere from $70 to over $200, depending on size and capability.
What is the Best Pressure Cooker for Under $100?
You will find that you can buy a basic no frills unit for $30 to $50. If you are looking for an electric multi-function cooker that can brown, saute and can even make a cake, you can expect to pay $80 to more than $200.
My research indicates the best selling electric pressure cookers are the following:
- 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker–Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Steamer & Warmer. Please refer the user manual before use.
- Large, easy to use control panel with 14 Micro-Processor controlled programs, Dual pressure, Automatic keep-warm and 3 temperatures for saute and slow cook.
- UL and ULC certified with 10 proven safety mechanisms; Highly energy efficient and kitchen friendly.
- Includes 3-ply bottom stainless steel cooking pot, stainless steel steam rack with handle & manual and recipes.
- 14 Micro-Processor controlled programs: Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté, Steam, Rice, Porridge, Multigrain, Slow Cook, Keep-Warm, Yogurt, Pasteurize and Fermented Rice (Jiu Niang).
- Dual pressure settings for fast and flexible cooking. Cooking with the high pressure reduces cooking time by up to 70% and the low pressure avoids overcooking delicate food.
- 3-ply bottom Food Grade 304 (18/8) stainless steel cooking pot for durability.
- Finger-print resistant brushed stainless steel exterior.
- 6-quart capacity.
- Cool-touch side handles; Nonstick cooking pot.
- Dishwasher-safe cooking pot and trivet; Trivet included.
- 99-minute time and LED countdown display: 0-40 minutes = 1-minute increments. 40-99 minutes =5-minute increments.
- Fingerprint-proof brushed stainless steel housing; BPA free.
- Push button control for cooking options and programmed settings: Low and High Pressure, Browning, Simmer, Saute and automatic Keep Warm Settings.
- Dimensions: 12.20 x 12.20 x 13.19 -inches; Limited 3-year warranty
- The variable control valve cooks at 10 or 15 PSI for different meals.
- With a durable stainless steel body, this will be a long-lasting addition to your kitchen.
- Riveted, durable handles for secure grip provide safe transport and easy handling.
- Suitable for all heat sources including induction.
- It comes with a secure locking lid making it safe and easy-to-use.
- The steam release valve controls steam release for added safety.
- For safety, the lid will not open when already in use. Lid will release after pressure is released.
- Chicken, fish, meat, and vegetables cook to perfection fast.
- Helps tenderize economical cuts of meat.
- Strong heavy-gauge aluminum for quick, even heating.
- Works on regular and smooth-top ranges.
- Pressure regulator maintains the proper cooking pressure automatically.
- Cover lock indicator shows when pressure has been achieved, and prevents the cover from being opened until it is safe.
- Helper handle for ease of handling.
- Includes a special rack for cooking several foods at once with no intermingling of flavors.
- Extended 12-year limited warranty.
We hope you have found this article interesting and informative about the function, capability and affordable price of pressure cookers.
Pressure cookers are not glorified rice cookers or for boiling water, you can actually prepare an entire meal in less time than you can prepare the same meal in an oven or on the stove top.