ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tips on buying the best pressure cooker

Updated on July 3, 2013

Why choose a pressure cooker?

Pressure cookers can be intimidating. There are countless stories out there about exploding ones. The reality is that only old pressure cookers are prone to explode, the new models are extremely safe and easy to use. Pressure cooking is worth getting into as it produces delicious and healthy food in a lot less time than ordinary cooking. Risotto takes only five minutes to prepare, a stew takes less than an hour.

Pressure cookers function based on the principle that under pressure, the boiling point of a liquid is higher. As the cooker is sealed, the pressure inside the cooker begins to build. The pressure raises the boiling point of water from 212 to 250 degrees, and produces steam. The hot steam 'bombards' the food, making it cook faster. This process uses less energy than ordinary cooking, and produces a richer flavour as no molecule can escape from the pressure cooker.

What is it made of?

Pressure cookers can be made of two materials. Aluminum and stainless steel. It is best to avoid pressure cookers that are made of aluminum. They are less resistant than those made of stainless steel. Heavy usage will result in deformation and stains. Aluminum pressure cookers are cheaper, but if you plan on using the pressure cooker for years, I would advise you to save up, and buy a pressure cooker made of stainless steel.

However, stainless steel is not a good conductor of heat. A pressure cooker made of nothing else, but stainless steel would contain hot spots. These are areas which are significantly hotter than others. These translate to longer cooking time. To purchase the best pressure cooker, select one that has an aluminium disc attached to the bottom of it. This way, you get the best of two worlds.

How big is it?

The most popular pressure cookers are the 6 quart models. However, I advise you to buy a bigger one, unless you have a tiny kitchen. There are two reasons for this. First, it is impossible to fill a pressure cooker more than up to 2/3 of the way. All the juices from the ingredients will stay in the cooker, which will require space. Second, some recipes require bigger models. I recommend an 8 quart model. This allows you to cook larger meat like whole chiken, turkey legs, ribs.

Juicy meat and crispy vegetables made with a pressure cooker


Wide or tall?

When given the chance, go for the wide models. A wide bottom provides bigger cooking surface. This is more efficient, and you have to spend less time browning meat before closing the cooker. A wide cooker's inside is easier to reach when cooking, the food easier to see. The useful models are the ones around 7.5 to 9 inches in diameter. The best ones are 9 inches wide.

Can it handle 15 pounds of pressure?

A pressure cooker is essentially a sealed vessel that does not allow air or liquid to escape below a pre-set pressure. The higher the pressure, the shorter the cooking time. Cooking under 15 pounds of pressure would take away the speed advantage of pressure cooking. Longer cooking defeats the purpose of pressure cooking, as you do not save any energy by doing so. Also, you will need to adjust your recipes. Most pressure cooker recipes are written for 15 pounds pressure.

Electric or stovestop?

Electric pressure cookers have grown in popularity in recent years. Newbies to pressure cooking like them as they are easy to use, but new pressure cookers are a constant source of headace. They come with a shorter warrantee than their stovestop counterparts. The programmable feature reduces your options. For example, rapid cooling is impossible, which prevents you from prepairing tender-crisp vegetables. Electric pressure cookers are harder to repair, parts harder to replace. A good stovestop model will make life easier, allow you greater freedom, and serve you for a lifetime.

Does the handle matter?

Never buy a pressure cooker with only one short handle. You will burn your fingers far too many times. A long handle offers leverage when locking the lid in place. Having a shorter helped handle on the opposite side of the bottom unit is a must. It is hard to lift an 8 quart model full of food with only one handle.

A second, small handle is a must


Old or new?

Old pressure cookers might be cheap, but they can be unsafe, and hard to repair.

If the manufacturer of the pressure cooker is out of business, parts are hard to obtain, a manual almost impossible to find.

An old pressure cooker's bottom can be bumpy which prevents proper conduct of heat. The lid might not fit the bottom easily. If the vapor is allowed to escape, the pressure cooker is useless.

If the pressure regulator doesn't fit well, the cooker is unable maintain pressure as indicated. This damages the purpose of pressure cooking.

All of the above can result in a useless pressure cooker.

Avoid non-stick interiors

Non-stick interiors can not withstand pressure cooking. Interiors peel off as the result of sustained pressure. These parts end up in the food as well as the fumes fluorocarbons release.

You can not use metal utensils as these damage the non-stick finish.

Your new pressure cooker will serve you and your loved ones for a lifetime. It is vital to find the best pressure cooker out there. Save up some money and buy a pricy, but better model. This investment will pay for itself in a short time by reducing your energy bill and saving you time.

Please leave a comment and share your experience with us!

Some of the above tips are explained in this great video


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • AbelLorincz profile imageAUTHOR

      Ábel Lőrincz 

      6 years ago

      Thank you!

    • Guru-C profile image

      Cory Zacharia 

      6 years ago from Miami Beach, Florida

      Great information on pressure cooking. Safety first! Voted up.

    • AbelLorincz profile imageAUTHOR

      Ábel Lőrincz 

      6 years ago

      Thank you very much. I'm glad you liked them!

    • jabelufiroz profile image


      6 years ago from India

      Useful tips on pressure cooker. Voted up.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)