Every person in charge of cooking in the home dreams of speeding up this process, and, ideally, as little responsibility for it as possible. Those who have already managed to understand what a pressure cooker is, say: the device really resembles a magic pot from a fairy tale. We offer the rest to understand the principle of operation of a pressure cooker and, on the basis of this, decide which equipment is better to buy for your kitchen.
What is a pressure cooker
A pressure cooker can be both an independent item of dishes and a multicooker format device. In any case, the principle of operation is the same: the pan (or bowl) is closed with a sealed lid equipped with valves. When the food inside heats up and begins to boil, steam appears. It does not go outside, but accumulates inside, creating high pressure. Under such conditions (pressure above atmospheric), the boiling point rises to 120 degrees. Products are prepared faster on average by 1.5-2 times.
When the internal pressure reaches a certain value, the limit for this design, the valves open, releasing excess steam. The device is equipped with several valves: working and emergency, which must relieve pressure if the first does not work.
The pressure cooker can be made in two versions. The first one is used as a special saucepan on a regular stove. Another option is an independent device, which includes not only the pressure cooker itself, but also an external case with heating elements, a control panel and controllers.
Advantages electric pressure cooker are to automate the process: just select the desired type of dish in the menu and press the start key. Most of these devices belong to multicookers. In addition, an electric modern pressure cooker has a number of additional functions – from delaying cooking and heating to steaming.
How to choose the right unit
The main factors that will help you choose a technique are the following aspects:
- the material of the pressure cooker itself;
- sealing ring material;
- valve design;
- mechanism that opens and closes the device.
The materials from which the device is made have their own characteristics.
- Aluminum products cost less than their stainless steel counterparts. According to customer reviews, they are also more durable. However, there are also disadvantages: the dishes quickly lose their appearance and plaque forms on its walls. In addition, you need to be careful about food with high acidity – aluminum can get into food. It is not only tasteless, but also harmful.
- stainless steel it will better preserve all the useful qualities of the products, preventing them from oxidizing. Food in such dishes burns less often due to the bottom with a heat-distributing layer. This steel is medical (which means that bacteria will not multiply in it). The only drawback is the high cost.
How to correctly determine sealing ring? These parts are made of silicone and rubber. It is best to opt for the silicone version – it is not only more practical, but also does not absorb various odors.
Before buying, you need to pay attention to the steam coming out to the sides, and not forward. This will help avoid burns.
In the question of how to choose a pressure cooker, it is important to pay attention to the opening-closing mechanism. The ideal option is when the pan simply does not open until the pressure inside drops. And for the immediate dish volume already looking, based on the needs and the amount of cooking. Manufacturers offer models from 0.5 to 40 liters (for a family of four, a five-liter version will be enough).
There is one important warning: the pressure cooker must not be poured to the very top, it is necessary to leave a reserve for steam. This is very important for safe operation.
Other Important Features
- It is good if various additional accessories are attached to the selected model, for example, these are devices for steaming or rice nets.
- It is great if a scale is provided inside that helps to measure the required amount of liquid.
- In some models, a glass lid is installed – with its help you can observe the process taking place inside (in others it is replaced by a viewing window).
- Additional convenience is provided by heat-resistant handles.
The power of the device should also be chosen, because the speed at which water boils and steam is formed depends on this parameter. Usually the normal power threshold is from 1 to 1.5 kW. If the value is lower, the appliance will work more economically, but the food in it will cook longer.
Best models by customer rating
The most interesting models of pressure cookers will be considered below.
Pressure cooker/multicooker Polaris PPC 1203AD
Polaris PPC 1203AD is a compact multicooker/pressure cooker with a 3 liter bowl. It takes up little space and looks very nice. At the same time, there is enough volume, trying to cook dinner even for a large family, though not for a week. The bowl itself is thick-walled, with a good coating. The device can work as a slow cooker, and with the valve closed – as a pressure cooker.
The advantage of this model is the removable cover, which is easy to wash. The power of 800 W for such a volume is optimal.
The device has many preset programs and modes, but you can use the multicooker – manual entry of all cooking parameters. The set comes with a set of accessories and a cookbook with basic recipes.
- pressure level adjustment (3 options);
- removable cover;
- low price;
- high-quality materials and cases, and thickets, solid assembly;
- 3 year warranty.
- difficult to find a spare bowl for sale.
Pressure cooker / multicooker Tefal CY621D32
This is a unique pressure cooker of its kind: it has 3D heating, a pot-shaped bowl that creates the effect of a Russian oven, and a low-temperature Sous-Vide mode. There are no analogues on the market. The power of the pressure cooker is 1 kW, which, with a bowl volume of 4.8, allows it to heat up almost instantly, cook quickly and efficiently. The device is made of premium quality materials, the warranty period for it is 2 years.
- a large selection of modes;
- there are yogurt, milk porridge and Sous-Vide modes;
- high power, 3D heating;
- the effect of the Russian oven, some dishes are especially tasty.
- the useful volume of the bowl is less than the nominal one.
Pressure cooker/multicooker REDMOND RMC-PM401
This appliance combines the best qualities of a pressure cooker and a multicooker, has many new, exclusive modes and at the same time it costs no more than a simple multicooker. The volume of the bowl is 5 liters, but the device as a whole looks neat, not bulky. The power of 900 W is enough to provide all the declared characteristics (temperature conditions, heating rate, etc.). On the body has a carrying handlethis is very convenient if the device is not standing on the work surface, but is taken out of the cabinet as needed.
- many modes, there are unusual ones: deep frying, dough rise, cheese and fondue, sterilization.
- there is an insert for steaming;
- on many programs, you can adjust the time and temperature of cooking;
- you can adjust the steam release speed manually.
How to use a pressure cooker
The procedure for working with a pressure cooker is as follows: products are loaded all at the same time before cooking, mix, season with salt and spices, too, immediately. Next, the dishes must be closed with a lid, making sure that the structure is correct and tight, and put it on the stove.
Cooking time should be counted from the moment when the device reaches the operating pressure. This is usually clear from the operation of the valves: they either begin to hiss or rise. Some pressure cookers have pressure sensors that will show everything.
After the workflow has ended, pressure must be released. Do not open the lid at high pressure, it can be dangerous. Let off steam gradually. Usually this procedure takes 5-15 minutes, rarely more. To speed up, you can cool the cap with cold water, just so that it does not fall on the valves. The food inside is cooked as long as there is pressure in the pressure cooker, this must be taken into account when planning the total cooking time.
The cleanliness of the pressure cooker must be monitored: wash it immediately after use, paying special attention to gaskets and valves. Any food particles accidentally left on these elements may adversely affect the operation of the entire device.
So, if you really want to save time on cooking and get a healthy and suitable dish according to all the principles of proper nutrition, then the versatile and modern pressure cooker will take its rightful place in your kitchen.