How to be sure to choose your pressure cooker when faced with many models? Well, in this buying guide, we will give you some tips and tricks that will help you find the best device for your needs.
What is a pressure cooker?
A pressure cooker is a kitchen utensil consisting of a thick metal container hermetically sealed by a lid equipped with a depressurization valve.
It allows you to cook various foods under pressure with water, steam, smothered or simmered or browned. For cooking with water, the food is immersed in the basket or directly in the tank.
For steam cooking, the use of the basket, always sold with it, is essential since the food must be above the water level. For cooking to suffocate, simply put the lid without using the pressure rise.
The pressure cooker offers a very wide use since you can almost cook everything. Soups, meat, fish and vegetables. And without forgetting the desserts!
You do not suspect all the possibilities that such a device can offer. If you want some ideas, consider reading the recipe books most of the time provided with your pressure cooker when you purchase it. In short, for an easy and delicious cuisine every day; whether for steaming or simmering sophisticated dishes, this utensil works wonders.
The advantages of a pressure cooker
The delicious dishes that you will cook in your pressure cooker will be able to treat up to 10 taste buds thanks to the vats of greater or lesser capacities. Indeed, some may contain up to 10 liters. Prepare your soup, and put it in a can for the winter.
Or sterilize your jars with your pressure cooker, they will return without problems. You will amaze your entourage with your successful cooking and your tender meats despite the large amount you have cooked.
And, in addition to its functions of cooking under pressure, it will be able to replace your stewpot and serve as well to brown a whole pile of food. With this type of cooking, your kitchen will be more tasty, healthy and respectful of food.
In stainless steel, this pressure cooker is, in addition, solid and durable in time. You can also cook for your entire family without problems because it has a capacity of 8 liters for 5 to 8 people. Vegetables, meat, fish … Prepare what you want with every meal!
Security is also one of the main assets to take into account; by choosing a brand, you will also choose safety.
Finally, the strength and longevity of most of its devices thanks to their thickness and their materials (often in stainless steel, an ultra-resistant material and recognized for its ability to conduct heat well) allow them a guarantee generally exceeding 5 years.
Manufacturers, and suppliers knowing that these devices are indestructible, they can afford to guarantee them for a decade. And with the new products on the market, the latest improvements to some models, and their adapted design, their use is all the more comfortable.
How to choose a good pressure cooker?
Before you buy the first pressure cooker that you find pretty, or that you will be vested enough to make you want to buy it, ask yourself a lot of questions.
It is indeed essential to know the pot capacity necessary to prepare a meal for the whole family.
For that, it is necessary to know that the volume of the tank varies from 4 to 10 liters, even more.
And for your convenience, we inform you that a capacity of 4 liters is suitable for a preparation for 2 to 4 people and a capacity of 6 liters is a meal for 4 to 6 people.
If you are more numerous at home, it would be better to opt for a cooker of greater capacity: 8 liters for 5 to 8 people; 10 liters for 7 to 10 people.
The opening system
This type of pan must be perfectly hermetic to be able to cook stew.
There are 4 different opening and closing systems designed for this purpose, the most classic of which is the stirrup. On this model, turn the clamp knob to the left to lower the caliper.
We also find the closing button press and return cover that is certainly the most practical.
And finally, there is the bayonet closure that is especially present on the latest generation of pressure cookers, where it is sufficient to align the arrows of the lid with those of the handles ending with a slight pressure.
Some built-in pressure cooker options may attract you to one model over another.
Thus, there are versions of pots with a timer that will be very convenient to warn you the end of a cooking.
This will allow you to enjoy a good time with your guests, without having to monitor the preparation.
On more advanced models, the timer can even automatically stop the cooking of the meal or to launch a preparation during your absence.
This is the option of a delayed start. Conventional models are also equipped with a valve to let steam escape once the necessary pressure is reached.
On the other hand, the professional pressure cookers have an LCD display to program the cooking mode according to the dish and even to activate the function of keeping warm.
We must not forget, in fact, that a pressure cooker is a pressure cooker that is pressurized. In doing so, it is not a trivial device, so it is important that you choose a device that meets excellent safety standards. Many devices include a mechanism to open the pressure cooker (example: lower and turn counterclockwise). These protections are particularly important if you have children and want to keep them away from any potential danger.
The different cooking modes are what will allow you to get the best of your device, and thus to use it differently on many occasions. Many devices offer you several programs to adapt cooking to the foods in question.
ACCESSORIES AND ANCILLARY FEATURES
It must be admitted that, on pressure cookers, the options are ultimately quite small, if not, of course, the presence of the timer. However, some manufacturers compete with imagination and offer you functions of keeping warm, automatic or not. It’s up to you to see how much additional features you need.
Although pressure cookers are available at many different prices, it is recommended that you do not throw yourself on the first pressure cooker come, simply because you may face a product of poor quality, and so that will not last not in time.
To ensure that you buy a quality product, the first solution is to buy pressure cookers online that come from well-known brands, as well as Seb or Tefal as seen in our 2018 comparison. These manufacturers provide indeed a certain know-how. which ensures a good reliability of your device.
The second solution is to turn to customer reviews: users with the device for a long time will be most likely to learn about the longevity of devices.
What is my budget?
As with any purchase, it is, of course, THE inevitable question: the budget you have. A price range will help you purify your list, and you will be able to make a choice on the price/quality ratio you expect from your purchase. A basic but high-quality product, or a product offering a few more options for the same price with, inevitably, a slightly lower quality.
What use will I have?
Finally, you will have to ask yourself if you are buying a pressure cooker only to prepare good soups, soups and/or stew this winter, or if the use you make of it will be daily. Since you can prepare any kind of food, any kind of cooking and any kind of dish (and even desserts), your pressure cooker could quickly become the utensil you use every day. In this case, it will be better to opt for a device of optimal quality.
Why buy a pressure cooker?
You do not have to be a regular cook in order to use a pressure cooker because it is very easy to use cooking appliance.
The goal is to cook food under pressure, just close the lid of the pressure cooker before putting it on the fire.
And for your safety, the valve will immediately turn to evacuate the steam at the end of cooking so that you can open the kettle without risk of burns. In case your device has a timer, it will sound as soon as the preparation ends.
Divide the cooking time
This is one of the main advantages of a pressure cooker.
It allows the food to be cooked at an impressive speed since the pressurized steam makes it possible to reach a higher cooking temperature compared to a boiling temperature obtained with a simple kettle.
The cooking time with a pressure cooker is, therefore, less compared to a traditional pan preparation that does not have a hermetically sealed lid.
This saves a lot of time for all those who want to prepare succulent dishes very quickly while preserving the vitamins and nutrients of the food.
This is obvious: the faster the cooking, the less energy is consumed.
The use of the pressure cooker for induction will have a very positive impact on your billing statements because you will not have to cook your dishes for several hours.
It is the same if you use gas for your cooking. You will be quickly conquered by the practical and economic aspect of this device because, in addition to cooking meals very quickly, it will also allow you to save energy. One more reason to buy one, besides being easy to use.
HOW TO USE A PRESSURE COOKER?
Fortunately, the pressure cooker that can serve as a rice cooker has been designed to be easy to use, its purpose being to provide you with help in the kitchen. Thus, you just need to put a little water in the bottom of the pressure cooker, before placing the basket in which will be the food.
Once the appliance is closed, it will heat up before blowing air – meaning that pressure cooking has started well.
If some appliances include an automatic timer, be aware that this is not the case for everyone: you should know that the cooking time is counted only when the pressure cooker emits a hissing sound.
HOW TO MAINTAIN A PRESSURE COOKER?
Just like its use, the pressure cooker is very easy to clean since it can normally be put in the dishwasher. However, it will be important to think about changing the seal of the device regularly (about every year, depending on your use) because these parts wear out relatively quickly depending on your use.
With this in mind, it is worthwhile to call upon well-known manufacturers, such as Seb or Tefal: they ensure you a very good availability of parts, such as seals and other accessories. For the rest, a hand wash with hot water and washing up liquid will be enough. It is possible to keep in your kitchen an auto cooker for several ten years.