There are plenty of features you should consider when buying a pressure cooker. Besides considering quality, safety and durability of pressure cooker, you should know clearly your purpose of buying pressure cooker such as do you regularly use it? How many people you will cook for with pressure cooker? How much money you intend to spend on buying pressure cooker? … When you can answer those questions, you combine them with these following features in order to find the best pressure cooker for your family.
Stainless steel or aluminum pressure cooker
Stainless steel and aluminum are two main materials to made pressure cooker. And material is always the first thing you should come up with when you choose pressure cooker.
Stainless steel pressure cooker
Stainless steel is valuable for its durable and safe ability. It is also very sturdy which can ensure the firmness and bump-resistance. The pressure cooker with 18/10 stainless steel is the best indicator for high quality and durable product. Moreover, stainless steel pressure cooker tends to have higher price than aluminum pressure cooker.
Aluminum pressure cooker
Aluminum pressure cooker is more inexpensive and lighter in weight than stainless steel pressure cooker. And it can retain higher and longer heat than stainless steel. However, it is easy to be distorted or broken when it is bumped to other solid objects (floor for example).
The combination of stainless steel and aluminum
Today, manufacturers produce pressure cookers with the aluminum core and stainless steel cover. This line is usually from electric pressure cooker with a pod inside. This combination can take advance of both materials: the inside core made of aluminum can conduct more heat and the outer part of cooker can be durable and strong thanks to stainless steel. Generally, most of the best pressure cookers on the market are made of this great combination. Besides its outstanding quality, it tends to be less expensive than the ones made of completely stainless steel.
In short, it seems to be the best if you choose the stainless steel pressure cooker with aluminum base. You can visit http://thebestpressurecookers.com to read more pressure cooker reviews then know how to choose the right pressure cooker for your own need.
Pressure regulator is a valve used to regulate and control the pressure inside pressure cooker. It is the most important part of a pressure cooker. There are several types of pressure regulator, including spring valve, weighted valve and modified weighted valve.
Spring valve: this is the latest and the most expensive pressure regulator among the three. It contains a short pop-up valve to indicate the level of pressure in pressure cooker. The valve will pop up to announce you when it is at low pressure or at high pressure (usually it has two different color lights to show you two pressure levels). Another benefit of using spring valve is it requires less amount of water for cooking than other types but still keeps the enough moisture in the foods. However, because spring valve cannot be monitored audibly (by noise), you are not able to leave while you cook. You have to stand in the kitchen full-time and observe carefully to regulate the heat.
Weighted valve: this is the most traditional pressure regulator which is called “jiggle top”. It is a small valve sit on top of vent pipe (vent pipe is a place for excess heat escaping during cooking process). Weighted valve regulate pressure through rocking motion. It will rock when pressuring time starts. Especially, you can both see and hear the valve rock which is very convenient in case you are busy at other place and cannot watch the cooker all the time. Maintaining low and gentle rock is really important in order to minimum the releasing heat. To maintain low and gentle rock during the whole cooking time, you need to adjust the heat setting to reduce the temperature. Using this type of pressure cooker, you should notice to buy the one with removable weighted valve, so that you can regularly check and replace it.
Modified weight valve: it is attached on steam vent. And it periodically releases steam in short bursts to let steam escape in order to maintain 15 psi (pound per square inch). When you see steam coming out from the valve, it means the pressure cooker start to cook. Then you need to regulate temperature to keep steam releasing slowly. Like spring valve, modified weighted valve doesn’t have audible indicator, so that you need to watch it very carefully when it starts to release steam.
You should remember that all three pressure regulators are safe and work very well. About price, spring valve is the most expensive, then modified weighted valve and lastly weighted valve. About the ability of indicating pressure, spring valve seems to be the best and obvious one.
Pressure cookers vary in different sizes, but the most common sizes are from 4 to 12 quarts. The bigger can be used for scanning (you should consider 16 to 26 quarts if you intend to use for canning foods). However, if just use for pressure cooking, 6 quarts cooker is perfect for family use (of 5 to 6 members) and 8 quarts is suitable for larger family (more than 7 members). Also, these sizes are affordable.
Modern pressure cookers that we use today are secured in safety. However, you still should consider safety features when you choose pressure cooker
+ Releasing pressure: although pressure cookers can naturally releasing pressure by itself, this method takes time. While some foods need to be cool down right away, it is good when your pressure is designed with quick pressure release mechanism. With this mechanism, your pressure cooker is facilitated with a releasing valve. And when you want to apply quick-release method, you just open the valve and let the steam escape.
+ Cover interlock system: it is safe for you when buying a pressure cooker having cover interlock system. This part will prevent your cooker from building up pressure until the cover (lid) is completely locked. You should consider this feature for your safety.
+ Handle: the handles of your pressure cooker should be large, sturdy and heat resistant to keep your hand safe from high heat. It is best to have two handle on two side of the cooker.
+ Warranty: because pressure cooker is a long-term use product, you should choose the one with extended warranty.
+ Accessories: choosing the pressure cooker with some extra divides, such as cooking rack, cooking pot, cooking basket to have more choice of making foods.
+ Brand: you should consider the prestige company in manufacturing pressure cookers and has reputation on the market with various high-quality products.
+ Washable: choosing the pressure cooker that can be easily to clean, especially in dishwasher can help you a lot in cutting down your cooking time.
And last but not least, you should research as much as possible of all the products and read the reviews of users. The comments of other customers are the honest opinions that you can consult.