One of the most commonly found cookware in any kitchen is the pressure cooker. Apart from saving time and gas, the pressure cooker also saves the loss of nutrients compared to open-pan cooking. Several giants in the Indian cookware market like Hawkins Cookers, Prestige, Butterfly, and Pigeon have released various models with different features to attract customers.
Read through to find out the benefits of using a pressure cooker and the factors and features you must consider before buying one so that your product lasts longer. Based on the points we talk about in the buying guide, we will recommend ten of the best pressure cookers in the market to make your shopping experience stress-free.
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Just like buying any cookware, there are certain factors to consider before buying a pressure cooker too. Choosing the best build material, lid design, etc. can be useful to us every day and also in the long run.
Pressure cookers can be used to cook rice, meat, and pulses as well. Depending on your needs, you can choose a pressure cooker with a capacity as low as 1.5 liters or as high as 35 liters. For your reference, in 1.5 liters of capacity, you can cook 250 grams (1 cup) of raw rice that can fully feed 4 people.
Of course, the capacity of the cooker your family needs depends on the amount of food each member eats. But, just to give you an idea — a 1.5L pressure cooker can feed 1 to 2 people, 3L for 3 to 4 people, 5L for 5 to 7 people, and 6.5L for 7 to 9 people. You can also buy a larger one for use when you have guests at home.
But, you are want to cook more complex dishes, for example, biryani, you may have to get a bigger one, as the meat takes up a lot of space and you may need more room for the rice to expand.
The build material plays a major role when it comes to our health, cooking time, and longevity of the cookware. Some factors to consider are the possibility of the material to react with the food, how conductive the material is, and how resistant it is to abrasion and corrosion.
Aluminum is a popular choice as a pressure cooker build material as it is an excellent conductor of heat and comparatively cheaper. But if the food you are cooking contains acids, say lemon rice, it could react with aluminum and release the metal into the food.
Not only does it give the food a metallic taste, but the metal could accumulate in our body, depending on the frequency of usage, and cause health issues like neurodegenerative diseases and impaired iron absorption. The constant corrosion from acid contact will reduce the durability of your pressure cooker too.
To tackle the issue of aluminum's corrosive reaction to acids in the foods, the cookware is subjected to an electrolytic process called anodization. This process converts the metal surface into an aluminum oxide that is resistant to abrasion and corrosion, making it more durable.
This process also prevents aluminum from leaching into the food from reacting with the acids. Anodized aluminum still has the conductive properties of aluminum, but the process makes the surface harder. Even though this process makes the cookware more expensive, people still prefer it because of the metal's comparatively better heat conducting properties that allow your food to get heated faster.
Yes, stainless steel cookware takes more time to cook. But that's a relative remark. The most popular metals used in making cookware are copper, aluminum, and stainless steel. Compared to the other two metals, yes, stainless steel takes more time to cook as it is not as good at conducting heat.
But stainless steel is a popular choice because of its corrosion resistance properties. It also doesn't release into the food as it is non-reactive to acids from foods like lemon, tomatoes, and other citrus fruits. Pressure cookers made of stainless steel also last longer than aluminum and copper cookware.
If you have used an induction cooktop before, you must have realized that the food gets heated faster, significantly reducing the cooking time. Induction cooktops heat vessels through electrical induction rather than thermal conduction, where the heat of the fire heats the vessel. This process ensures less energy loss as the heat is generated within the vessel.
But, to get the best out of your induction cooktop, you must use cookware made of ferromagnetic materials, which are materials that get attracted to a magnet If you can stick a magnet to your stainless steel pressure cooker, it will work wonderfully on an induction cooktop, whereas aluminum will prove to be less efficient.
To get around this problem, cookwares are fitted with an induction base made out of a magnetic material. These types will work on gas stoves and more efficiently on induction cooktops. To check if your pressure cooker actually has an induction base, try sticking a magnet to its bottom.
We are used to opening the lids of containers outwards, right? When we lift the lid of a container after cooking, the condensed water vapor usually falls back into the food or mess up your stove-top. Pressure cooker companies have found a solution to this problem too.
A slight change to the design of the lid—instead of opening it outwards, the lid loosens to fall inwards, which you can rotate in a specific way to take it out of the pressure cooker. Sounds complicated? It is not! Use it a couple of times, and you will find it to be extremely helpful for maintaining a cleaner kitchen.
Just like a stove-top pressure cooker, but sometimes much more efficient, electric pressure cookers are becoming a trend nowadays. Let's take a look at some benefits of owning one.
Imagine that you are cooking while watching your favorite show, there might be some moments where you’ll completely forget about the food, right? In such situations, you usually end up with a burnt or soupy food. If you don't have a timer mechanism connected to your gas stove, an electric pressure cooker may be your next best option.
These small appliances come with timers that will auto-shutoff after the set time. This becomes handy when you are busy getting ready for your office in the morning and cannot wait around near the stove to make sure that your food doesn't get spoiled.
Ready with your recipe and the ingredients? You got the right utensils too. But do you know how long you have to leave your flame on to warm your food? Do you know how long you have to cook for sautéing? Does cooking chicken take the same time as cooking rice?
Electric pressure cookers are much more than pressure cookers. Along with the option for setting the timer manually, they also come with presets for cooking different types of food and also different types of cooking. Until you become a master chef, you can use some help, and an electric pressure cooker is the best option.
Suppose you are living in a small space, like a hostel room. Such places usually won't have space to accommodate a gas stove and a gas cylinder, too. Not to mention the safety risk.
If you have a socket in your room, it's time to get your own electric pressure cooker. As we mentioned earlier, it does much more than pressure cooking. It is portable and a safe option.
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Hard Anodized Aluminum Pressure Cooker
Boil Eggs, Cook Meat and Rice, Warm Food - An All in One Small Appliance
Stove-Top and Induction Cooktop Compatible
Comes With a Nonstick Inner Pot
Ergonomically Designed Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
With Two Cooking Pressure Levels and Pressure Indicator
For Large Quantity Cooking
Modular Design for Your Modern Kitchen
Hard Anodized Aluminum Build With Induction Base
Presto Stainless Steel
Aluminum Core Improves Cooking Performance
If you are a fan of aluminum's heat conducting properties, this product is for you. Hawkins Contura Black is a hard-anodized aluminum pressure cooker with a stainless steel lid. You don't have to worry about the acids in the foods reacting with the aluminum since the anodized aluminum surface, which is also corrosion and abrasion resistant, prevents it.
The company has done a good job by choosing stainless steel for making the lid, as the inward opening lid is more prone to abrasion and stainless steel is much more resistant to that.
Hawkins Contura Black is available from 1.5 L to 6.5 L of capacity. This product is stove-top compatible and doesn't have an induction base for induction cooktops.
Mealthy MultiPot is an electric pressure cooker with presets for cooking a variety of foods. The settings also give you the option to control the pressure inside, which is useful for more experienced chefs. The product comes with a stainless steel inner pot and a separate basket for steaming your food.
This electric pressure cooker also offers several cooking modes like pressure cook, slow cook, saute, cake, multigrain, etc. The accessories include silicone mitts for handling hot utensils that you may place inside for steaming, a steamer basket, a raised steam rack that allows you to cook two dishes at once, a measuring cup, and an India-customized recipe book.
Mealthy MultiPot is a 1000W small appliance that comes in 3 L and 6 L capacity and weighs about 7kg 430 grams.
Hawkins Hevibase comes with a hard-anodized base that makes it compatible for both stove-top and induction cooktop use. This pressure cooker is made of aluminum and has an inside fitting lid that opens only when the pressure drops for a safe and mess-free cooking experience.
This pressure cooker model is available from 2 L to 8 L of capacity and weighs about 1kg and 810 grams. The double-thick base is made of magnetic stainless steel, which makes this pressure cooker compatible with electric, halogen, and ceramic cooktops. It also makes this cookware ideal for light frying of meat before pressure cooking your food.
Geek Robocook is a 1000W electric pressure cooker that replaces 11 cookwares. This small appliance can be used for preparing vegetarian and non-vegetarian food of any type. The nonstick inner pot is a special feature of this electric pressure cooker that makes cleaning easier too.
Just like other electric pressure cookers, Geek Robocook also comes with presets for different types of foods and cooking. The pressure inside this electric cooker is controlled by an intelligent chip that makes cooking easier for beginners.
Geek Roboccok comes in 5L and 8L capacities with a recipe book and also silicone mitts for handling hot cookware.
Butterfly Curve is a stainless steel pressure cooker that comes in capacities of 2L, 3L, and 5.5L. The ergonomic curved design of this cookware gives it an elegant look and also increases the bottom surface area that reduces the cooking time significantly; the more surface area in contact with the induction cooktop or stove-top, the quicker the food heats up.
Butterfly Curve has an anodized aluminum base that makes it compatible with induction cooking and also increases heat conductivity, and the stainless steel build is safe for healthy cooking and increases the life of this cookware. The gasket, which is a flexible, separable ring that makes the pressure cooker airtight, is made of food-grade silicone that doesn't release odor or color to the food being cooked.
AmazonBasics Stainless Steel pressure cooker comes with several small but helpful features. It has an aluminum core that increases the cooking performance by improving heat conductivity and also reduces the weight of this cookware.
This pressure cooker also has a mechanism that allows two cooking pressure levels — 7.3 psi (pound-force per square inch) for slow cooking that prevents too much loss of nutrients and 13 psi for faster cooking, which results from high temperatures that break down fibers in vegetables and meat quickly.
This product comes in 4 L size and has a water level indicator inside. The stainless-steel base makes this pressure cooker suitable for cooking on induction and ceramic cooktops too.
If you have a family of many members or if you are looking for a pressure cooker for your restaurant, the Hawkins Bigboy series is for you. This model comes with capacities of 14 L, 18 L, and 22 L and is made of aluminum for making it lightweight.
There are three sturdy handles for lifting the pressure cooker safely from the stove-top—two short handles on opposite sides and a long one. Since induction cooktops are not built for supporting heavy cookware, this product is only compatible with stove-top cooking. Hawkins Bigboy's sturdy and lightweight material makes cooking large quantities of food faster and easier.
Prestige Clip-on Svachh is a pressure cooker with a modern design. Traditional pressure cookers allow you to lock the lid only in one direction and position, aligning the handles of the lid and the body together. But this model allows you to lock the lid safely in any position you want.
The product comes in capacities of 2L, 3L, and 5L, with options of anodized aluminum and stainless steel. The company also provides a glass lid that transforms the pressure cooker into a saucepan. The handles are placed on opposite sides of the body for safe lifting of the cookware. Prestige Clip-on Svachh has an induction base for cooking on stovetops and induction cooktops alike.
Prestige Svachh Nakshatra Plus has stainless steel and anodized aluminum models. The capacities range from 2L to 6.5L, and you also have the option to choose between a straight wall body or an ergonomic body. There are color options of red and black for anodized aluminum models to add style to your kitchen.
All models in the Nakshatra Plus range of pressure cookers come with inner lids for safety and mess-free usage. Another important feature of these models is the induction base that allows you to cook on induction cooktops too.
Borosil is a huge name in the home appliance and cookware market. Their Presto Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker comes with an aluminum core for improving cooking times. The exterior and the interior are made of food-grade stainless steel that is resistant to rust and abrasion.
This product comes in 3 L and 5 L variants and has a unique 7mm thick induction base for cooking on ceramic, electric, and induction cooktops. Customers who bought the Borosil Presto Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker is impressed with the sturdy handle that stays cool even while cooking.
Check out more small appliances and cookware that are necessary for every kitchen. We have curated a list of the best sandwich makers, slicers, and dosa tawas for you, along with a buying guide.
Not many people know that many factors come into play while choosing a pressure cooker. Anodized aluminum is a healthier option if you are looking for a lightweight and cheaper pressure cooker, while stainless steel can be sturdier but a comparatively expensive choice.
Choose one that fits the style of your kitchen and also the space available. An electric pressure cooker is a wise choice for people staying in places where it is impossible to have a gave stove or an induction cooktop. Also, this small appliance replaces many cookware in terms of the type of food that can be cooked and the type of cooking.
Author - Arun F Xaviour
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