Don’t you love the taste of braised short ribs that literally fall off the bone or the rich flavor of carnitas that have been cooking for hours? When short ribs or large roasts cook at a low temperature for long periods, the meat becomes extremely tender while retaining its flavorful juices. But preparing these dishes takes forethought and planning. They simply are not something you whip up after work one night; that is unless you have a pressure cooker.
|Best High-End Pressure Cooker||Best Economic Pressure Cooker||Best Budget Pressure Cooker|
How It Works
“Pressure cooker” is an appropriate name because this device creates extreme levels of pressure within a sealed compartment. When a pot’s lid is sealed so tightly it creates an airtight environment, the pressure developed in that environment is so high that it raises the boiling point of water, which means that the cooker reaches and maintains a higher temperature. These conditions cause food to cook faster. According to some pressure cooker reviews, a stew or roast can be done in less than an hour’s time.
Parts at Play
There are basically two types of pressure cookers: stovetop and electric.
Stovetop–This is the traditional design and tends to heat up faster than electric versions. Additionally, they run smaller; however, most pressure cookers range between 6 and 8 quarts. Smaller ones measure in at 4 quarts.
Electric–These units sometimes resemble slow cookers, and in fact, sometimes offer that cooking process, too. All you have to do is plug them in, program the cook times, add the food, and you’re good to go. Those new to the pressure cooking method might appreciate they’re simplicity.
Regardless of which heat source you choose, all pressure cookers should have some prominent safety features, such as an automatic pressure release and a lid-locking system to avoid lids being blown off as a result of the high pressure.
Other elements to consider in your pressure cooker reviews:
• Easy to use lid locking system
• Clearly identified pressure indicators or gauges
• Easy clean-up
Figuring out what type of pressure cooker will work best for you means determining how large a unit you need (remember to factor in storage space), what you wish to cook in it, whether you want a stovetop or electric model, and how much you want to spend—prices range between $50 and $250.
High-End ChoiceAll American-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner
At 21-1/2 quarts, this cooker is large enough to hold large portions of meat or several jars for canning purposes—up to 19 pint-sized jars or 7 quart jars. It’s constructed out of hand-cast aluminum for excellent for heat conduction. The clearly visible steam gauge allows users to keep any eye on pressure readings. Set the automatic overpressure release for 5 psi, 10 psi or 15 psi.
Economic ChoiceCuisinart 1000-Watt 6-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker, Brushed Stainless and Matte Black
This 6-quart pressure cooker can cut cooking time by up to 70 percent. The device does more than just pressure cook. Users can program it to brown, simmer, sauté and even warm, much like a slow cooker. The digital display panel is easy to read, and cooks make selections with a few pushes of the button controls. The nonstick pot is dishwasher safe.
Budget ChoiceT-fal P2510737 Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe Pressure Cooker Cookware, 6.3-Quart, Silver
This versatile pressure cooker works on gas, electric, and induction cook tops. It features a variable control operating valve, pressure indicator as well as over pressure gasket release window. The 6.3-quart size makes it large enough to cook family meals, but not too cumbersome to store.