What to look for when choosing a pressure cooker for home
The attribute of a modern kitchen is increasingly becoming a pressure cooker - a device that can quickly prepare many dishes. The prototype of this device was created in the 17th century by Denis Papin, who worked on steam boilers. On a similar principle, modern appliances work. The bottom line is that the food is cooked in an almost sealed container. As a result, after boiling water appears steam, which creates excess pressure in the tank. As a result, the temperature rises above the boiling point and cooking occurs much faster. Cooking time is reduced to 40%.In addition, due to the minimal volume of oxygen in the tank, oxidation of the products does not occur, which preserves their useful properties. Because each owner is important to purchase this device. But how to choose a pressure cooker to make it as useful as possible? Let's try to figure it out.
Types of pressure cookers
Note that there are two main types of these devices:
- Installed on a gas or electric stove;
- Autonomous, electrically heated.
First made only of metal. And the simplest models are made from aluminum. They are distinguished from ordinary pans by a thick bottom and walls, as well as a tight-fitting lid.
The bottom can also be multi-layered. The lid is installed two valves: one working, and the second emergency. They serve to release excess pressure from the device to prevent its rupture. If for some reason the operating valve did not work, then an emergency valve will come into effect.
There is a gasket between the lid and the pan. In aluminum models, it is usually rubber. Such a pressure cooker is cheap, but it has some "disadvantages":
- First, aluminum is able to react with products, which not only leaves traces on the walls, but is also unsafe for health.
- Secondly, rubber gaskets are short-lived and eventually begin to release pressure.
- Thirdly, such a pressure cooker is suitable only for gas or electric stoves. It can leave stains on glass-ceramic, but it does not work at all on induction plates.
Steel pressure cookers of the first kind are more perfect. Their bottom is thermally accumulating. In addition, such models already have the simplest control functions. They have a lid lock that prevents opening in case of pressure in the instrument. This greatly increases the safety of the device.
In addition, the valve of such pressure cookers is two-position, which allows you to adjust the pressure inside for the preparation of various types of products. Naturally, this type of instrument also has an emergency valve.
The handles of such devices are heat-resistant, and the design is quite modern. The cover gasket of most steel models is made of silicone, which significantly increases its durability.
Some steel models have such an option as a steaming bowl that can be useful.
In addition, a glass lid comes with some models. The advantage of such pressure cookers is that they can be used both on gas stoves and induction and glass-ceramic. In general, it is possible to choose a steel pressure cooker for those who want a fairly high-quality and functional appliance at a low price.
Electric pressure cookers: features of the choice of
If you decide to choose an electric pressure cooker, you must take into account such factors as price. After all, such a device will cost more than their fellows. However, its functionality is much higher. Such a device has electronic control, because the hostess does not need to stand at the stove. You can simply set the automatic cooking program and the appliance disconnect itself after the cooking is completed.
Electrical appliances are also distinguished by the material of the pan. Like pressure cookers for cookers, they can be aluminum, steel or enameled. The latter are rare. In addition, you should choose a model with a non-stick coating. In such pans, the food will not burn to the bottom and walls, and cleaning will be much easier.
An important criterion when choosing a device is volume. There are devices with a volume of half a liter and up to 40 liters. Of course, you need to choose a "middle ground".
The pressure cooker should provide for your family. But in this case it must be borne in mind that the pan of the apparatus should not be filled completely. The maximum is two thirds. After all, you need space for the formation of steam. If rice or other swelling products are cooked, it is forbidden to pour more than half of the pan. These factors need to be considered before choosing a pressure cooker.
It is worth noting that a 5-6-liter unit will be enough for an average family. These criteria are important for those models that are designed for the plate.
Of course, such a factor as the power of an electrical apparatus also plays a certain role. Naturally, manufacturers are counting power in proportion to size. But it must be remembered that the more powerful the apparatus, the faster the water boils and steam forms. On average, conventional pressure cookers consume from 1 to 1.5 kW.Less power affects the efficiency of the device.
Last but not least is the functionality of the device. After all, there are separate cooks, rice cookers, pasta cookers, etc. But it is preferable to choose a multifunctional device, such as a universal pressure cooker. She “knows how” to properly cook all the above dishes, and, in addition, meat, soup, potatoes, etc. Of course, such devices cost a little more, but they completely pay back the cost of their purchase.
Many manufacturers complement their products with additional accessories - a steam plate that allows cooking under pressure for steam. With it, you can cook healthy and at the same diet with absolutely no fat and oil. Also, some models have a viewing window. It allows you to control the cooking process visually. For some housewives, this is important because they should turn their attention to just such models.
Naturally an important factor of choice is the manufacturer. Preference should be given to reputable brands. Before buying a device, it will be correct to get acquainted with the model line of each, and choose the option that best meets your needs, besides, it has an optimal cost.
As you can see, choosing such a seemingly simple device as a pressure cooker is not so easy. After all, there are many nuances that must be considered. But if everything is well thought out and take into account your own wishes with the recommendations of specialists, then you can purchase a versatile and very useful kitchen appliance that can please any, even the most demanding hostess.