An electric pressure cooker is a kitchen appliance designed to cook meat and other dishes quicker than conventional cooking. For example, if you’re craving sinigang or caldereta, you can stew the beef in 40 minutes, as compared to 4 hours with a regular pot. It belongs to a new generation of smart cookers, which offer easy and convenient preparation of meals.
While the traditional stovetop pressure cookers have a shorter cooking time, electric pressure cookers are built with a digital timer and preset modes that automate the cooking based on your ingredients. In this article, we prepared a buying guide along with our 8 recommended electric pressure cookers that you can purchase online.
In this time of smart cookers and electric kitchen appliances, it can be confusing to differentiate a slow cooker, a multicooker and a pressure cooker. The basic descriptions below will help you decide which one matches your needs the most.
A slow cooker is a hands-off type of cooker that only requires you to throw in all the ingredients in the pot, then set it on low and steady heat, and wait for the food to cook for a few hours. It is very ideal to use when you have other chores or activities to do at home. As some would say, it offers a “set it and forget it” type of cooking.
Meanwhile, a multicooker is an all-in-one kitchen appliance with a wide range of cooking programs such as sautéing, searing, boiling, simmering, grilling, roasting, frying/deep-frying, steaming, and baking.
Moreover, it speeds up the cooking time without sacrificing the flavor. However, not all multicookers have pressure cook settings for meat and other solid ingredients.
Lastly, if you simply want a quicker method of preparing your meals, pressure cookers are designed to decrease cooking time, especially for tenderizing meats, by trapping the steam inside the pot.
The pressure created in this process is either released manually through a valve or naturally by letting the steam out over time. Just remember that some ingredients have different cooking times.
Programmable smart cookers such as electric pressure cookers have advanced bells and whistles for a more enjoyable and efficient cooking time. Let us guide you on what to consider before buying one.
The main advantage of electric pressure cookers over its stovetop counterpart is the programmable settings. This control panel allows the home cook to automate the timer and the temperature. There is no need to adjust the heat from time to time. Moreover, its LCD screen will help you monitor its progress.
To see if an electric pressure cooker is worth your investment, take a look at the control panel to check the preset buttons. Typically, it must have a mode for cooking beef, pork, poultry, fish, rice, and soup. If you’re into pasta, breaded meats, and other food items that easily foam or become soggy, then electric pressure cookers aren’t the best appliance to get.
However, some models are built as multicookers. They feature extra cooking functions such as sauté/sear, slow cook, bake, and sauce, as well as an auto keep-warm function. This way, you’ll have a more versatile smart cooker that will keep your meal warm 'til you’re ready to eat.
Meanwhile, the most common fear or cause of hesitation in using pressure cookers is the risk of “explosion” or the likelihood of blowing the lid up high while cooking. There are two reasons why such an incident would happen – first, the pressure inside the pot gets too high, and second, the lid is not locked properly.
To prevent this, look for safety features such as a pressure release valve that manually releases the steam from the inner pot. This is done after the timer is up and before you open the whole lid. In addition, steam vents allow you to maintain the right amount of pressure inside by letting the steam out little by little until the pressure cooker has finished cooking the meal.
Lid locks, on the other hand, can work in 2 ways: first, prevent the pressure cooker from operating while the lid is not yet locked, and second, prevent the pressure cooker lid from opening while the timer is still on.
An electric pressure cooker has 3 major parts – first is the base where you’ll see the control panel at the center along with the heating element at the bottom; second, the lid where you’ll find the pressure release valve and other safety lock features; and third, the inner pot where all the cooking materializes.
Choose an inner pot that is either stainless steel or an aluminum shell with a non-stick coating for easy cleaning. These materials are also food grade and are suitable for high temperatures.
When it comes to capacity, note that pressure cookers must never be over-filled to ensure that the food inside will not bubble and clog the pressure valves and steam vents. When choosing the right inner pot capacity, you should consider the number of people in your household and the amount of food that you plan to use the cooker for.
Most inner pots are measured either in liters or quarts. A capacity of 5-6 liters is more than enough for small families and can cook a meal for 5 persons & up. Of course, this still depends on how much food is consumed per person.
Another common question about switching to electric pressure cookers involves power consumption. If you're particular about saving on electricity, check the smart cooker's wattage – high wattage means that it consumes more power, which then translates to a higher electricity bill.
Meanwhile, most electric pressure cookers come as a complete package with extra accessories such as a measuring cup, a spatula, and a recipe booklet.
This eases the transition from stovetop cooking where it is easier to adjust the seasoning and ingredient measurements to a more calculated one. With an electric pressure cooker, you won't be able to take the lid off once the timer starts.
Here are 8 excellent electric pressure cookers that you can purchase online, just in time for your Noche Buena favorites this holiday season.
|Inner pot material||Food grade stainless steel|
|Accessories included||Steam rack with handles, Filipino recipe booklet, serving spoon, and measuring cup|
|Inner pot material||Aluminum alloy with Whitford golden coating|
|Accessories included||Ladle, measuring cup, and spatula|
|Inner pot material||Ceramic-coated pot|
|Accessories included||Measuring cup, rice spatula, soup spoon, and steam basket|
|Inner pot material||Ceramic pot|
|Accessories included||Spatula, soup ladle, and measuring cup|
|Inner pot material||Non-stick aluminum cooking pot|
|Accessories included||Measuring cup, serving spoon, and steamer tray|
|Inner pot material||Non-stick coated pot|
|Accessories included||Measuring cup, rice spatula, and soup spoon|
|Inner pot material||Non-stick coated inner pot|
|Accessories included||Ladle and measuring cup|
|Inner pot material||Not indicated|
|Accessories included||Steaming tray|
Duo 60 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker
Electric Pressure Cooker
Home Chef Smart Pro Electric Pressure Cooker
6-in-1 Multi Cooker
Home Chef Smart Electric Pressure Cooker
Electric Pressure Cooker
Smart Cooker for Perfectly Tender Ingredients Every Time
Pressure Cooker With a Back-up Memory
Opti-Taste Technology for Better Tasting Meat
User-friendly Control Panel and LCD Display
Space Saving and Budget-Friendly
Safe Pressure Release Button to Leave You Worry-Free
3 Variable Pressure Levels for Easy Adjustments
Manual Knob Selector for Beginners
|Price Starts at||₱6,995||₱8,250||₱15,847||₱3,850||₱4,885||₱11,595||₱3,500||₱3,690|
|Inner pot material||Food grade stainless steel||Aluminum alloy with Whitford golden coating||Ceramic-coated pot||Ceramic pot||Non-stick aluminum cooking pot||Non-stick coated pot||Non-stick coated inner pot||Not indicated|
|Capacity||6 quarts||6 liters||5 liters||6 liters||5 liters||6 liters||6 liters||5 liters|
|Wattage||1000 watts||1000 watts||1000 watts||1000 watts||950 watts||1000 watts||1100 watts||900 watts|
|Accessories included||Steam rack with handles, Filipino recipe booklet, serving spoon, and measuring cup||Ladle, measuring cup, and spatula||Measuring cup, rice spatula, soup spoon, and steam basket||Spatula, soup ladle, and measuring cup||Measuring cup, serving spoon, and steamer tray||Measuring cup, rice spatula, and soup spoon||Ladle and measuring cup||Steaming tray|
In the YouTube video above by Modern Nanay, learn how to cook Bulalo using an electric pressure cooker – after all, a hearty soup paired with tender beef shanks and vegetables is the best comfort food during cold, bed-weather days.
Using an electric pressure cooker requires precision especially in measuring ingredients. Click the article links below to see our recommended kitchen tools and accessories to help you prepare, for example, in chopping vegetables, grating some cheese, and seasoning your meat.
Some home cooks are hesitant about using pressure cookers because of the fear of an explosion. While it is possible for the lid to fly off the pot due to too much steam pressure, new generation electric pressure cookers have smart features to make it safer and more convenient to use.
While they are not as quick as stovetop pressure cookers, electric pressure cookers have preset buttons to automate the cooking time. You’ll have a more enjoyable way of cooking a perfectly tender beef for your favorite sinigang, bulalo, or caldereta just in time for a rainy day and the upcoming holidays.
Author: Ayeza E. Mangulabnan
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