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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!
7 months ago

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