Types of Pressure Cookers
Electric Pressure Cookers
Also called multi-cookers or countertop pressure cookers, electric pressure cookers have become wildly popular in recent years because they're safe, versatile and easy to use. Cooks love them for their "set-and-forget" convenience -- a plus if you have other things to do while dinner is cooking or if you often have every burner on the stove occupied. Many electric pressure cookers can also multitask -- serving as rice cookers, steamers or slow cookers as well. Most have a delay-start feature so you can prepare the food in advance, and have it start cooking several hours later. Electric pressure cookers are bulkier in general than stovetop pressure cookers, and they don't reach as high of pressure as stovetop models do; however, that's easily remedied -- just add a few minutes to the cooking time.
Stovetop Pressure Cookers
This is the traditional type of pressure cooker and they're still very popular kitchen items. Stovetop pressure cookers look like a standard pot, and they can be used on any type of stove (although heavier models should not be used on glass or ceramic cooktops), including propane-powered stoves. Unlike electric models, stovetop pressure cookers have to be monitored and the pressure manually released after a set period of time, depending upon the recipe. However, they heat more quickly and come to a higher pressure than electric models, so they will cook faster than electric.
Pressure cookers can save you time
cookers have been around since the 1800s, but they are more popular than ever
in today's kitchen. A pressure cooker can turn the toughest cut of meat into a
tender, flavorful dish; cook bean soups and chilis (from dry beans) in less
than an hour; make creamy risottos; and produce healthy, nutritious broths and
stock. Pressure cookers are particularly popular with those who follow the
Paleo way of eating and like to nosh on bone broths and savory meat and veggie
dishes (see our report on weight loss programs for more about Paleo).
Having a pressure cooker in your kitchen means you can have a healthy, balanced
meal on the table in a fraction of the time it takes using a stove or oven.
cookers work by creating an airtight seal within the pot. Under such high
pressure, the boiling point of water increases, meaning the cooker and its
contents maintain a higher temperature -- usually from 230 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
compared to water's normal boiling point of 212 degrees -- so food cooks
faster. The high pressure can pose some safety concerns, however, and some may
remember the threatening cookers of decades past. But modern pressure cookers
offer safety features that automatically release pressure before it poses any
danger, or won't work at all unless its seals are properly engaged, so don't
let a childhood fear of pressure cookers keep you from trying out this
versatile cooking tool.
Finding The Best Pressure Cookers
"Multicookers (Electric Pressure Cookers) "
"The Best Pressure Cooker"
"Should You Buy a Stovetop or Electric Pressure Cooker?"
year there are quite a few professional tests of pressure cookers. Most are in
response to the surge in popularity of electric pressure cookers, although most
sites test both electric and stovetop models. Cook's Illustrated, Wirecutter and
Good Housekeeping were particularly helpful in narrowing down our picks this
year, because they test some very popular electric and stovetop pressure
cookers. Serious Eats also takes a serious look at both types of pressure
cookers, and offers a thorough overview of their testing.
considering expert input, we then match that with the
experiences of consumers who use their pressure cookers day after day in real-world
cooking situations. We analyzed hundreds, sometimes thousands, of user reviews
at retail sites such as Amazon, Macys and elsewhere. The result of that
research is our recommendations for electric and stovetop pressure cookers and
canners that offer the best combination of
performance, durability, safety and ease of use.