It’s best to get straight to the point and deliver the facts about pressure cookers. With some knowledge, you will abe able to pick the right pressure cooker for your kitchen.
Most popular cookers, Presto pressure cookers, have been around for a long time and offer a variety of different sized stainless steel and aluminum pots. Stainless steel cookers are best used if weight is not an issue, since they are non reactive and can be dishwasher cleaned. For every case, take a heat resistant handles. A 6 quart pressure cooker is minimum family size. Go for a larger cooker if you plan to use it as a pressure canner.
The brand manufacturer is your best choice, even if you are giving primary consideration to the price. The quality control will be beter and you will be able to find replacement parts 10 years from today. Valves get lost. Gasket usually gets damaged or wears out. Your stock pot won’t be affected by a loose lid, but your pressure cooker would be ruined.
Most cookers come with vegetable steamers, racks and trivets. Most chefs brown meats before attaching the lid so sticking does occur. You may still want to avoid nonstick interiors, however. The risk of peeling interior coating is bigger problem then a little extra cleaning. The potential problem with nonstick interiors is lower if you have electric pressure cooker.
Another pressure cooker that is worth considering is Cuisinart. Priced between the Presto and the Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker its push-button controls and digital display make an attractive package. You can use warming, sautering, browning or simmering with a Cuisinart pressure cooker. Electronic thermostat gets advantage over the stovetop control that needs to be set in precise position. But, you can’t open a cooker until the cooker lets you and this is how you lose some flexibility. You can put the cooker under the cold water with the stove top models.
Pressure cookers have features characteristic of their categories. Rice cookers have single inside containers while normal cookers comes with multi deck containers. Another distinguishing feature of rice cookers is relatively thinner construction.
Cookers provide pressurized (10Ksc) cooking which helps cook 30-50% faster. Cooking under sealed condition, as dictated by high pressures, has dual advantages. One: Faster cooking saves time and energy; two: prevents loss of nutrients.
Pressure cookers build up to 10ksc of pressure in quick time. This asks for fail proof safety features. A release valve lifts off just before the threshold pressure is reached regulating the inside pressure. The gasket in the lid expands and comes out of a recess in the lid when the release valve fails to operate or reduce pressure even after operating. Of course, the gasket has to be replaced later. Another important safety feature is the blow off safety valve. This operates only when both the above fail. This is directly fitted to the top of the lid and is made of a special alloy of aluminum which melts exactly at the threshold pressure.
The body is made of extra strong aluminum of thickness 5mm. The bottom is 10mm thick in some models. The lids are designed to fit either from inside or outside depending on the design. Inside lids are safer than the other design as their entire rim grips the mouth better under pressure. The electric variety cookers have thermostats which switch off at a particular temperature preventing higher pressure buildup.
Pressure cookers have really made cooking more easy and convenient. Just remember it is always recommended to go through the user manual and safety precautions first before using your pressure cooker for the first time.
Related links in Modern Pressure Cooker :
Electric Pressure Cooker
Presto Pressure Cooker
Presto Pressure Cooker Parts
Presto 23-Quart Pressure Cooker
Presto 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
Using Your Pressure Cooker
Pressure Cooker Recipes
Sealing Ring For 18&23QT Pressure Cookers