People love pressure cookers because they cook food fast and use less energy. Also, since they cook with steam and distribute heat evenly and quickly, food retains more of its original flavor as well as vitamins and nutrients. In comparison to conventional cooking methods, pressure cookers are known to reduce cooking time by 30%–70%. This means, if you're preparing a roast that ordinarily takes three hours, a pressure cooker can cut this time down to 20-40 minutes. Also, since pressure cookers don’t allow the steam to escape into the room, your kitchen stays cooler than it would with other cooking methods. Additionally, because food is cooked at a temperature above the boiling point of water, almost all harmful bacteria and viruses are killed. And finally, since all the cooking is done in one pot, less cleanup time is required.
Picking the Best Pressure Cooker for You
When deciding between an electric or stove-top pressure cooker, there are a few different factors to consider. A stove-top pressure cooker is generally more powerful and reaches a higher heat faster than an electric pressure cooker. While it might not be as powerful, an electric pressure cooker offers more convenience because you can set it and forget it. A digital pressure cooker can simplify your meal prep. It can sit on the counter, leaving you with burners open to simultaneously prepare other dishes with a skillet, pan or pot. Thanks to the cold-touch surface, a digital pressure cooker is also considered a safe option with respect to little children and curious pets. Another consideration is whether to choose a non-stick or a stainless steel pressure cooker. As you would expect, stainless steel lasts longer, but you will have to take care of it to alleviate food sticking. You can try using cooking oil or a rack to help from food sticking. Aluminum is another alternative. It’s a great heat conductor, generally less expensive, and weighs less, but it’s also a less durable option.
Choosing the Right Size Pressure Cooker
As for choosing the right sized pressure cooker for you, if you get one that's too small, it might force you to use it in shifts. Bigger also isn't necessarily better. If the pressure cooker is too large, it can lead to inefficiency in both cooking times and energy usage. When considering the right size for you, think about how many portions you need (approximately one quart per person is a typical portion), what types of dishes you’ll be preparing, and how much storage space you have available. They range in size from a small pressure cooker with a 4-quart capacity to a larger cooker with an 8-quart capacity, and some are even bigger. Whichever size is right for you, keep in mind that you only want to fill the cooker half to three-quarters full so as not to build up too much internal pressure, which can lead to a loss in flavor and texture.
Are Pressure Cookers Safe?
Thanks to built-in safety features such as a locking lid and auto pressure control, today's pressure cookers are safe. Also, for your peace of mind, each Best Buy product description outlines the safety features.
For many people, a pressure cooker is just as much a must-have small kitchen appliance as a bread maker because they can make appetizers and meals with more than one course that taste better than food that comes out of a can or is heated in a microwave. Another thing people enjoy is being able to use their iPad Pro to find new pressure cooker recipes online, allowing them to move meal time away from the ordinary and try something new like a smoked trout spread or Moroccan meatballs. For others, the fun comes from the fact that, depending on the model you choose, your pressure cooker can be programmed and doesn’t require constant monitoring. This means meal prep is simplified, potentially giving you extra time to use your electric wine opener to pop open a favorite vino to enjoy while the pressure cooker does all the work.