Pressure cooker buying guide 2020 India
What is a Pressure Cooker?
A pressure cooker is defined as any air-tight vessel, be it an electric appliance or cookware, that utilizes the build-up of steam to quickly cook food. By heating up a small amount of liquid within the closed vessel, you create steam that is unable to escape. This build-up of steam will increase the temperature and pressure within the vessel, and, ultimately, cook the food inside.
Why You Should Buy a Pressure Cooker
The concept of pressure cooking was first thought of back in the 17th century. As you can imagine, this cooking technique has evolved quite a bit since that time. However, the advantages of pressure cooking have remained pretty consistent over the years.
But, despite the deep history of this cooking technique, do you really need a pressure cooker? No, probably not. The truth is that you could likely cook many of the same foods and recipes without buying a pressure cooker. However, there are many benefits that come with owning one, and it will greatly improve your day-to-day meals.
1. It Will Save You Time
This has always been the biggest selling point of owning a pressure cooker. You can cook many of your favorite recipes in less time than they take with other cooking methods. Where a pot of soaked beans will normally take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to cook on the stove, a pressure cooker will have them done in less than 10 minutes.
2. Your Food Will Retain More Nutrients
Research has shown that pressure cooking can help retain many of the vitamins and nutrients within various types of food. Arguably, this cooking style is better at retaining nutrients than any other cooking method.. Since pressure cookers cook the food at a faster rate and retain more of the liquids, you enjoy more of the nutritional benefits of the foods you eat.
3. It’s Better for the Environment
The time savings in cooking amount to energy savings as well. A pressure cooker will take far less time than a cooktop or oven, which means using less energy. In regard to total cooking time, a microwave may be able to cook at a quicker pace, but it often requires more power to operate and you still have lower-quality food with all the nutrients being nuked. By using a pressure cooker, you slash the amount of time and energy required per each recipe, yet still retain the food quality and nutritional benefits.
4. It Involves Less Cleanup
With a pressure cooker, you can eliminate many of the extra pots and pans. Many recipes call for you to combine foods into the unit, allowing you to only worry about cleaning the cutting board, knife and
other prep required.
5. Your Food Will Be More Flavorful
A pressure cooker makes use of the liquids in the pot, rather than letting them evaporate away and take some of the flavor with them. Your flavors get trapped in with the food itself. This leaves you with a tasty and savory meal, not only retaining all the vitamins and nutrients, but the delicious flavors as well.
6. Don’t Worry, Modern Pressure Cookers are Safe
And if you’re worried about old stories of pressure cookers exploding, don’t fret. Yes, it has happened in many kitchens, but pressure cookers have become safer and safer as the technology continues to evolve. With so many brands manufacturing these devices, the demand from consumers have forced safety innovation making these just as safe as other cooking techniques. When used properly, these small appliances are just as safe as your oven or stove.
Choose right pressure cooker size
The size of the pressure cooker you'll need does not depend on what you’ll be cooking instead it depends on how many people will you be cooking for and how often?
- A small family of 3-4 and regularly, then a standard pressure cooker of 3-5 litres will be enough.
- A bigger/joint family of 5+ people will require a pressure cooker in the range of 5- 9 litres.
If you’re cooking baby food or are staying alone, then 1-1.5 litres would be your ideal size.
Whereas, a larger size than required would burn more fuel and spend more time on flame, which would require greater efforts on cleaning and also reduce its life.
Pressure Cooker type
Hard-Anodized pressure cooker
Stainless steel pressure cooker
Aluminium pressure cooker
Some Pressure cookers are not compatible to use on an Induction stove, so always check for a sign that says “Induction Stove Compatible” before buying. To further help you make the choice for your perfect pressure cooker, here are some general tips on what else you should look for or consider when buying:
- Most pressure cooker recipes call for cooking at 15 psi, so check that your pressure cooker is capable of reaching this level. Otherwise, add 10% more cooking time for a 12-13 psi pressure cooker and 20% more time for an 8-9 psi cooker.
- You're going to use your pressure cooker for many years, so do a quick check on pressure cooker companies and the warranties they offer. Usually, replacement parts for your cooker are not covered in a warranty, so go for a company that always has replacements and accessories in stock.
- For stainless steel pressure cookers, the best quality ones are those marked "18/10 stainless steel". This means the stainless steel is composed of 18% chromium and 10% nickel, which makes it more durable, resistant to stains, rust, and corrosion, shinier, and easier to clean.
- Many recipes call for the use of accessories such as a steamer basket or cooking rack, so you'd get the best value for your money if you buy a pressure cooker that already comes with one or two of these accessories.
- If you purchase a large pressure cooker, look for one with two side handles. The pots with food in them get heavy, so it's easier to lift and handle a pressure cooker with two handles. If folding handles are available, you'll require less storage space.
- Non-stick pressure cookers are not highly recommended. Non-stick surfaces don't last long and will show signs of wear and tear soon. Currently, only electric pressure cookers have non-stick pots, which can be replaced when needed.