Preserving your garden’s harvest, or seasonal produce when it comes on sale, is just flat-out smart. A pantry full of jams and jellies, chutney and pickles for the year is economical, you get to control what goes into the foods you eat, and it’s fun to produce them as well. You can produce a variety of low-acid foods, including garden veggies, fish, poultry, game, and meat. And while they make look a little complicated, they actually have a simple design and are easy to use. Get the whole story now!
Foodal's Pressure Cooker Reviews
Are you considering a new pressure cooker? If so there are a variety of different factors that you need to consider before making your purchase or even prior to reading various reviews. We’ve summarized some of the options below but be sure to read Foodal’s buying guide to get the full scoop on the various options that will improve your cooking experience and which will significantly less the time it takes you to prepare food.
Already have an idea of want you want? Check out our many pressure cooker reviews found below.
Stovetop vs Electric
Or would your rather have more convenience? If this is the case, an electric version can make a lot of sense. These models range from the basic to the more advance such as the Instant Pot 7 in 1 Pressure Cooker (check out our review) that allows for host of different functions such as slow cooking (similar to a crock pot), rice, and even yogurt making. Another well reviewed electric example is the Cuisinart CPC-600 1000 Watt model.
Would you rather have a product that is more flexible? If so, a stovetop model may be right for your kitchen. At first glance, the stovetop versions appear very similar to regular stockpots or braising pans. However, on a closer look you’ll find that they have a tight sealing gasketed lid and various dials to indicate when pressure has been achieved.
Construction and Material
Aluminum - Many of the less expensive and lower quality stove top examples are made of aluminum. Aluminum is cheaper to fabricate but does not perform well with acidic foods, easily discolors, can add off flavors to the ingredients (due to its reactivity), and has been linked to Alzheimer’s.
The only aluminum model that we would recommend would be the All-American which is really designed as a canner rather than a cooker and thus doesn’t normally come into direct contact with food. Some of the electric based appliances also have an aluminum pot which normally features a non-stick coating – we’re not a fan of Teflon type of coatings in pressure cookers for the same reasons that we’re not a fan of them in other cookware – the jury is still out on the long term health effects and they do not allow meat to become truly brown (more of greyish beige).
Stainless Steel – This is the preferred material that you want to look for in order to bring out the flavors of your dishes and to avoid any of the complications found in other materials. Stainless steel is non-reactive and can be used with any type of ingredient – that acidic tomato or vinegar based sauce that leads to pitting and staining in aluminum does just fine in stainless containers.
Moreover, stainless is one of the best materials that allow a full browning of meat (also known as a Maillard reaction). Want a crispy seared outside on your pot roast? Stainless is the clear choice for this (or cast iron/carbon steel in ordinary cookware).
The two top contenders in the stovetop class include the Kuhn Rikon models and the Fissler Vitaquick series with the Fagor brand leading the best budget option. One of the few electric models that includes a stainless pot is once again our top rated model, the Instant Pot 7-in-1.
Whether stovetop or electric, you’ll want a model that has multiple pressure settings – at least two. The lower setting is ideal for preparing tender white fish and vegetables whereas the higher setting is desired for tenderizing the toughest pot roast.
Spring Valve vs Jiggler
Jiggler design - First generation “American” style models have what is often referred to as a jiggler. This is a little device that must be adjust so that it rocks back and forth at just the right tempo to allow a bit of steam to escape which maintains the correct pressure. Although simple to operate, there are some downsides. These devices are loud, noisy, and may scare the pets, spouse and the kids. Unless you’re really into the steampunk genre or want to have the precursor to Watt’s steam engine setting in your kitchen, you may be better off with a “European” style spring valve design.
Spring valve design - These designs don’t vent like the jiggler style which keeps the flavors better trapped in the dish. The pressure is controlled by temperature rather than by venting. The only tradeoff with this is that they require a little more adjustment to dial in the correct amount of heat via the dial on your kitchen’s range. However, they don’t sound like they belong on an old steel wheeled John Deere either.
There are many other factors that you should consider when purchasing a new product and you can read more about these marvelous devices in our buying guide or check out all of Foodal’s pressure cooker reviews and “how-to” articles below.
Many people have supposedly heard of someone who almost lost his head because the lid of his pressure cooker/canner flew off! Join the experts at Foodal as we examine this cookware’s dubious reputation, and the design improvements and safety features that are now standard in today’s safe, easy, and convenient models. Read more now.
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