The pressure cooker is actually one of the best inventions, and yet so little people use them. They make cooking faster, they make your food taste like you have spent hours cooking it….When in reality, its taken less than an hour to get that perfect braised lamb!
Its a sad fact that most people won’t realize the joys of owning a pressure cooker. And it is sad. They are an amazing bit of kit.
So why do more people not own a pressure cooker? Its a tough question, but its probably because they either don’t know what they are, or they don’t think they have a use for one. Or maybe they just haven’t read the pressure cooker reviews.
How Does a Pressure Cooker Work?
This is a question that many people ask. All pressure cookers work the same way. They have an air tight vessel that the food sits in and a heat source. The food is sealed in the vessel with a little water and is then heated up. The water turns into steam and this causes a high pressure inside the cooker. The high pressure and heat cook the food very fast.
To stop the pressure inside the cooker turning it into a bomb, there is a pressure valve on the top. This valve regulates the pressure inside and stops your pressure cooker from re-decorating your kitchen with your lamb shanks. There is also a safety valve as a double measure. The safety valve will pop at a certain pressure….Again, to stop a massive explosion.
Is it just a slow cooker?
In a word, no! The pressure cooker and the slow cooker are different things. What are the differences between a slow cooker and a pressure cooker? The first difference is the speed of the cooking. A slow cooker is just that. It cooks food very slowly, usually over the period of a full day. But the real difference is in the operation of the two devices.
The slow cooker uses a low temperature, sometimes even just provided by a light bulb. And there is no high pressure involved. A pressure cooker uses high temperatures and pressures to cook the food fast.
Although these are the facts, in pressure cooker reviews they can sometimes be used as a slow cooker if it has that facility.
What do people cook in them?
It used to be the fact that people just used a pressure cooker to cook meat and veg. But these neat devices are now becoming more and more popular and people re coming up with more and more ways to cook unexpected things.
People used to use them to quickly cook potatoes and carrots…Maybe some beef. But now people are cooking everything from steak to cakes in their electric pressure cookers (Or stove mounted!). Yes I said cakes. People have been known to cook cheese cake in their cooker.
Meat and veg will always be the mainstay of the pressure cook due to the simplicity. You just load it up and turn it on, but another great thing t cook is stews and other liquid type foods. Chilli is practically a given and beef stew is simply gorgeous.
Features of modern pressure cookers
Like everything in life, modern pressure cookers come in all sorts of price ranges. Each price range offers different features and different gadgets. And there is also the choice of a hob mounted cooker or a stand-alone electric one.
A hob mounted pressure cooker is more like a traditional unit. The device doesn’t have an on-board heater. It still has all the safety valves and works the same way but the heat source is provided by your hob. It is basically like a sealed pan that you place on your stove.
An electric pressure cooker is slightly different. It has a heating element that heats up the inside of the vessel.
As well as the choice of standard or electric there is another thing to consider. The size of your device. Pressure cookers generally come in three popular sizes :
4-Quart, Ideal for a single person or a couple
6-Quart, Ideal for a family of 4 or 5 people
8-Quart, Ideal for a family of 5 or 6 people
Any bigger than this and it is more like a commercial cooking device. Most people buy an electric pressure cooker for the convenience. But not just that, they often have features that make them extremely flexible and usable. Some features mean they can be used for much more than pressure cooking. One of the best sellers on Amazon for example is sold as an 11 in 1 unit.
Whatever you decide to buy you should read the reviews and info on this site and others and make the right choice for your pressure cooker.
Which are the best pressure cookers?
There are lots of units to choose from and you should read all the pressure cooker reviews before making your choice, but these are the 3 best sellers that seem to stand out from the crowd.
|Instant Pot IP-DUO Plus60
An excellent pressure cooker from instant pot. This is a 9 in one cooker loaded with feratures. Teh instant pot has 15 programs you can choose from.
It is a 6 quart device suitable for a small family but it also has a slow cooker facility for added flexibility and usability.
|Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
As you can see from the title, this pressure cooker is enormous! It is a 23 quarts unit so If you need a large cooker then you can't go far wrong with this unit.
This is a stove mounted pressure cooker, meaning it doesn't have any on board heating element. You need to heat it on your stove.
The geekchef is a large electric pressure cooker. This device has a sturdy feel to it with all the controls being positioned on the side of the pressure cooker.
The geek chef has 12 cooking modes which makes it an 11 in one cooking device. It also has a unique sous vide function