Pressure cookers have become quite common in the Indian kitchen because of their ability to cook food faster and better.
Apart from less time and effort, they offer other benefits such as – it takes less amount of water to cook the food compared to traditional methods. So, the food will retain more nutrients and vitamins. As food will not be exposed to air while cooking, the nutrients will not get oxidized, resulting in a healthier food.
Though it is a simple cooking appliance, we recommend you consider certain factors to choose the best model for your requirements. We have mentioned these factors clearly in this guide for your reference.
5 factors you need to know to make a perfect buying decision
Factor 1. Choosing the right Lid type
The foremost factor to consider while purchasing a cooker is the lid. Basically, pressure cookers come in two models – inner lid vs outer lid. The main difference between them is the closing mechanism.
As the name implies, inner lids have lids that go inside the cooker for closing. Contrary to that, outer-lids will stay on the outside while closing. Outer lid models are available from small to large sizes while inner lid pressure cookers are available only in a few sizes. Both these options are good enough. However, if you will use separators or an idli stand, then an outer lid is the best option.
Factor 2. Choose the cooker shape you prefer
The next factor to consider while purchasing a pressure cooker is the shape. These cooking appliances are available in different shapes and sizes. You have to choose among them based on your cooking style or preference. Below, we have mentioned some of the common and popular pressure cooker shapes and their usage preferences.
Factor 3. Choosing the right cooker material
Material used for making a pressure cooker determines its quality, durability and efficiency. Some of the common materials are aluminium, hard-anodized, and stainless steel. All these types have their own benefits and drawbacks. For your reference, we have provided clear differentiation below. You can choose according to your taste and preference.
Factor 4. which cooker capacity is most suitable for you?
This factor has to be analysed based on how many portions you will cook regularly. Pressure cookers are available in different capacities ranging from 0.5 litres to as high as 9 litres. Below, we have provided a clear description of each capacity and its suitable cooking range.
Factor 5. other features to consider
1. Induction Base
Induction cooking has become quite popular and most people are adopting this option. However, regular utensils cannot be used on these appliances. Cooking utensils with induction compatibility come with specially designed flat bottoms. Below image provides clear idea on the same.
If you are using an induction cooktop daily, then make sure the pressure cooker you choose has the induction bottom. Most of the manufacturers provide this in the specifications section. Even if you are using a regular gas stove, it can be helpful to purchase an induction pressure cooker. You can use it for emergency purposes when you are out of gas or similar situations.
2. Avoid Non-Stick
No matter what material or coating is used, we recommend avoiding using non-stick pressure cookers. It will not stay forever as the non-stick coating will degrade over time and leaches into the food, affecting your health. As it is made up of chemicals, it is definitely not safe to consume even tiniest amounts. Apart from that, cooking at high temperatures tends to wear out the non-stick coating much faster than open pot.
3. Safety Features
Compared to older versions, the latest pressure cooker models are completely safe. When the pressure cooker reaches a higher point, it will vent out the stem using the valve. Even if the pressure doesn’t vent out and continues to increase, a safety gasket pops out to vent out the pressure. Make sure to check whether the model you choose has a safety valve before making the purchase.
4. Ease of Use
Some of the pressure cookers come with handles on both sides which help to carry them easily, especially if they are heavy with food. Some of them have removable or foldable handles which helps to store them easier. Choose based on your preference and comfort.
5. Heat Resistant & Ergonomic Handle
Some pressure cooker models have heat-resistant and ergonomic handles. This will help you handle the cooker easily. These handles prevent heat transfer so you can hold them without burning your hands.
6. Best Brands To Consider
6. Warranty & Accessories
Most of the pressure cookers can last for decades. However, their components are the main thing to consider. Getting replacement parts like gaskets or whistles can be difficult. Only top brands can provide replacements for their models for a longer time. Even if you have a warranty, it doesn’t cover replacement parts like gaskets. So, we recommend purchasing from a brand that has been there in the market for a longer period of time.