Pressure cookers have revolutionized the cooking industry using the laws of physics to cook food 70% faster and using 70% less energy than conventional cooking methods. Electric pressure cookers have further added convenience and versatility to cooking. However, some professional chefs and restaurants still prefer the traditional stovetop pressure cooker over electric ones. Let’s look at the pros and cons of an electric pressure cooker:
- Most good models are multi-cookers i.e. in addition to pressure cooker, they are rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer and much more in just one appliance.
- They offer automatic venting of steam to release pressure before it goes beyond safe levels. This makes them safer as compared to conventional pressure cookers and do not require constant supervision.
- The automatic locking mechanism of the lid prevents it from coming off unless the pressure inside the pot reaches safe levels. This prevents any mishaps as associated with conventional pressure cookers.
- They come with multiple pre-programmed settings each for specialized cooking tasks to automatically adjust the temperatures and pressures according to the tasks. Manual adjustments with conventional pressure cookers require expertise and practice. This makes electric pressure cooker a preferred choice for amateur cooks.
- Electric cookers have a heating coil inside them which allows even heating of its contents. With conventional stovetop pressure cookers heating is controlled by an external source such as a gas stove. Sometimes the flame of the stove fluctuates considerably thus fluctuating the pressure inside. This leads to the risks of under cooking or overcooking. With electric pressure cookers, the temperature and pressure is adjusted automatically and accurately.
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- Electric pressure cookers are not as durable as the conventional stovetop pressure cookers. The added advanced features of the electric pressure cookers come with added electronics and wiring all of which can wear down in face of the continuous exposure to extreme heat at which the cooker operates. There is no such problem with stovetop pressure cookers. This is the reason why stovetop pressure cookers generally come with much longer warranties than electric pressure cookers.
- Electric pressure cookers cook food at lower pressures than their non-electric counterparts. As a result they take a little longer to cook food than the conventional stovetop pressure cookers. The standard pressure cookers have a maximum pressure of 15 PSI and this is the pressure most pressure cooker recipes assume. However, most electric pressure cookers are incapable of achieving this pressure and work at around 9-12 PSI.
- Electric pressure cookers cost more than stovetop ones. In addition, they run on electricity, which is many times more expensive as compared to gas.
Despite having its cons, best electric pressure cooker can make an excellent addition to any kitchen. They make cooking more convenient and faster than other conventional methods. All you have to do is find a good quality electric pressure cooker model from a reputable manufacturer that offers a long enough warranty. A higher maximum pressure is a plus.