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What factors should be considered while buying a pressure cooker?

1 user answered
Rini Chandra, Allahabad
User, Level 7 Contributor
Buying a pressure cooker is an investment in both money and time that will quickly be repaid in health and savings. I mean, for today’s people, who are expected to put their best foot forward in everything they do, while they try to manage both work and home as efficiently as possible, a pressure cooker in the kitchen is a real savior. After all, it saves a huge amount of time and effort in cooking, and so many recipes can be cooked in an unmonitored manner, without compromising on health and taste. But now that we have such a wide number of choices available, with so many varied features and brands in the market, it is very easy for us to get confused a bit while buying pressure cookers. So what are a few things that should be kept in mind while purchasing a pressure cooker? Read on to know a few important tips.

1. Material
Pressure cookers are mainly are made of three different kinds of materials-stainless steel, aluminum, or a combination of both. Aluminum pressure cookers conduct heat very well and are light-weight. Also, they are extremely affordable. But one drawback is that they are more susceptible to staining and warping, and hence, they are not considered very long-lasting. Stainless steel pressure cookers are more expensive, heavier and don’t conduct electricity as efficiently as aluminum. But they are more long-lasting and durable as compared to aluminum. And pressure cookers having a combination of both aluminum and stainless steel could be considered the best because they bring together the advantages of both these materials. But they are a little more expensive as compared to stainless steel.

2. Pressure regulation
This is quite a critical part of the design of the pressure cooker. This is because if a person isn’t properly able to determine the pressure that the pressure cooker creates, for cooking the food, following a recipe with proper accuracy won’t be possible. We cannot determine the pressure that the pressure cooker is maintaining without the presence of a well-designed pressure regulator in the design. Furthermore, a pressure regulator can be used to adjust the pressure and to tell when cooking actually begins.

There are three main types of pressure regulators: weighted valve pressure regulators modified weighted valve pressure regulators, and spring valve pressure regulators. Regardless of which type of regulator is used, it should be removable. Otherwise, it will be difficult to properly clean the vent pipe or to clear obstructions.

3. Available features and quality
Pressure cookers are available commonly in capacities of 3, 5 and 7 liters. For cooking for just one or two people, 3 liter works fine. For medium-sized families, 5 liters is fine. And for large families that cook in large stocks, 7 liters suits best. And as far as quality is concerned, we should keep in mind checking that the handles are strong, sturdy and heat-resistant because a full pressure cooker can get very heavy and difficult to handle. Also, pressurized steam is dangerous and may cause serious accidents. Hence, there should be proper pressure release and cover interlock mechanisms.

Also, keep in mind the cook-tops that your pressure cooker is compatible with. Normally, a stainless steel pressure cooker works both on regular as well as induction cook-tops. But any aluminum utensil, for that matter, not just a pressure cooker, does not support induction cooking naturally unless it has an induction base separately provided on it. Aluminum pressure cookers are available with this nowadays but are slightly more expensive.

And last but not the least, any pressure cooker should have proper safety mechanisms available. I really cannot stress enough on this. Make sure that the model name and the manufacturer name are available before buying a pressure cooker. The manufacturer should still be producing pressure cookers, or it will be impossible to find replacement parts. An owner's manual should be included, or it should be available online.

Just keep these few simple things in mind, and enjoy the pleasure of hassle-free cooking!
9 months ago

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What are the factors that I should look into before buying a memory card for my digital camera?

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Taran Luthra, Bilaspur
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Some important factors that you need to look into when buying a memory card for your camera are

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What are the things that we need to look at when buying a diamond? What are the factors that determine a diamond's value?

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Rajveer, Dantewada
User, 9 Contributor
In 1939 De Beer's introduced a concept called 4C's which was used to gauge the value of a diamond based on 4 factors; namely, the Cut, Clarity, Carat and Colour. Of these 4 factors the last three are dependent on natural conditions while the first factor Cut is a reflection of the skill of the jeweller involved. Further information about these 4 factors are given below.

1. Cut: Cut refers to two things. The first one is the shape of the diamond. Some of the most commonly sold shapes are round, pear, heart, oval etc. Other popular shapes include Princess, Marquis, Emerald, Cushion, Radiant and Asscher.

The other reference is towards the symmetry, polish, number of facets and proportions. A diamond's cut is considered very important and can affect its value greatly. It is responsible for how light gets reflected and dispersed when passing through a diamond. Two diamonds of similar colour, carat and clarity can often differ in price due to the a difference in the quality of cut.

A well cut diamond is one where light enters through one facet and is reflected to another only to finally leave from the top of the diamond. Here each angle is to be aligned perfectly so as to reflect the maximum amount of light. If the cut is very deep then the light can leave through a facet other than the one at the top. And if the cut is shallow then the light can just pass through the diamond. So you can now understand why the cut is considered very important in determining a diamond's value.

2. Carat: Carat which refers o a diamond's weight is the easiest among the 4C's to understand. One carat equates to around 0.2 grams. Carat is the standardized unit for referring to a diamond's weight and it does not reflect a diamond's size. is equivalent to 0.2 grams. It is the standardized unit of weight for diamonds and is not necessarily a reflection of size.

A diamond's value can change according to the an increase in carat size and it won't necessarily be in proportionate terms with respect to the weight. This is because diamonds with higher carat size are less common and occur less frequently in nature.

3. Color: One should understand that when we are searching for a diamond it is one with no colour. But before they are mined diamonds are coloured. The pressure involved in crystallisation can cause certain distortions in crystal colour which can contribute this colour. Elements like nitrogen in tiny traces can also cause this colour.

A 12 point Alphabetical scale from D to Z to used to evaluate diamonds based on the colour. This scale has been developed by the GIA(gemological Institute of America). According to this scale D is considered to be colour less while Z has a slightly deeper tone. The value decreases from D to Z.

When the intensity of colour exceeds the Z scale, then that diamond becomes a fancy diamond. And here value can greatly increase, in fact it can become significantly higher than a D scale diamond depending on its colour. The reason for this being that the possibility of a 'Fancy' coloured diamond is 1 in 10,000 to that of a regular diamond.

For example, there are grey, brown and light yellow diamonds which are marginally higher priced to a D scale colorless diamond. The deep yellow and orange diamonds cost higher. The pink, blue, violet green and purple diamonds cost more while the most expensive and rarest of the lot is the red diamond.

4. Clarity: Now diamonds occur naturally. So it is quite natural that they may contain certain imperfections which can be formed during crystallisation indie the earth. These imperfections can also be formed during mining or processing. Now these imperfections can vary from one diamond to another.

So they are evaluated based on a 10 point scale of magnification and grades are assigned to a diamond based on this. These grades vary from Flawless Grade at the top where no imperfection is found by a qualified observer even at 10X magnification to Imperfect grade at the bottom where imperfections can be seen by anyone and are visible to the naked eye.

According to statistics, only about 2% of the world's diamonds are flawless. Most diamonds lie in the VVS(very very small inclusions), VS(very small inclusions) or SI(small inclusions) grades.
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