Cooking is an essential human activity. For some people, cooking is a chore, while for others, it is more of a pleasure and a hobby. Regardless of whether cooking is a chore or a hobby for you, using the best appliances makes the experience more pleasant. Kitchen appliances also make the task less time consuming and convenient. One essential cooking appliance is the pressure cooker.
What is a Pressure Cooker?
A pressure cooker can be defined as a sealed pot-like appliance with a valve whose role is to control the steam or pressure inside. It helps to cook food fast because of the pressure that builds up inside the appliance. The steam also makes the food moist; hence it is perfect for meals like a stew.
How Does a Pressure Cooker Work?
Like any other electronic in the house, you will need some guidance on how to use it. When using it for the first time, try out your pressure cooker with water. Add at least two cups of water into the pot and turn it on. When using the cooker, always make sure to use an inner pot. Putting food directly into the cooker without the inner pot is unsafe because the appliance uses electricity.
Once the water is inside the pot, lock the lid properly. Make sure it is in position, then you can adjust the valve so that it is in the sealed state. The next step is to select the cooking time. Click on the button with the least cooking time for the water test. The buttons are labelled according to the type of food. For instance, the fish button may be the least amount of time. With that, you don’t have to do anything else but watch.
In around five minutes, the water should start to heat up, and the steam pressure also continues to build up. The appliance also starts to release the pressure as it counts down. Once the timer is up, the appliance will turn off automatically. The same happens when cooking actual food.
Make sure not to open the lid before the countdown on the timer is complete. Failure to do so can cause serious harm like burns. For extra safety, you can also choose to let the cooker sit for a few minutes after the countdown is complete to make sure there isn’t any pressure left inside the cooker before you open it.
Features of a Pressure Cooker that You Should Consider Before Buying
Below are some of the top features you should consider when choosing the best pressure cooker:
1. Ease of Use
Using this device is only as easy as the instructions provided and the features of the appliance like its buttons. Make sure to get a pressure cooker with well-labelled buttons or an electronic display that will show you what cooking mode you can select. The display will also show you information like the amount of time left before the food is ready. Also, consider one with a preset menu so that you do not have to guess the best settings when you are cooking.
2. Safety Elements
One of the most important safety features to look out for when choosing the most ideal pressure cooker is the locking mechanism. Make sure to get a pressure cooker whose lid locks properly. Compare different brands to make sure that the one you choose does not have a lid that effortlessly twists to open and close.
3. Size of the Pressure Cooker
A standard pressure cooker features a capacity of between 5.6 and 6 litres. This means that it can cook food for 4-6 people. However, this may not fit foods like a whole chicken and large pieces of meat. However, there are a few brands that make large pressure cookers of up to 8 litres. Naturally, the larger the appliance, the higher the cost.
4. The Functioning of the Steam Release valve
As the name suggests, turning on this valve releases the steam from inside the pressure cooker. Unlike in traditional pressure cookers, modern ones with the steam release valve do not have to be carried to the sink to release the steam once the countdown is over. This means that you do not have to waste any more time than necessary when cooking. When choosing the best pressure cooker to make sure it has this valve. Also, make sure that you can use the valve without worrying about being hit in the face or hands with the hot steam from the pot.
5. The Pressure Settings and Indicator
The pressure indicator helps you to know when it is safe to open the appliance after cooking. If you happen to open the pressure cooker when there is still pressure inside, it can result in burns. Some brands produce a beep.
Also, make sure to get a pressure cooker with convenient settings that you can use to change the cooking time for different foods. Remember that the higher the amount of pressure, the faster your food will be cooked. Therefore, get a product which allows you to control the pressure levels for different needs.
6. Additional Features
These are the features that you will not find in most brands, and they increase the cost of the products. You can do without these features, but having them would make the appliance more convenient in different situations. They include:
-Start-delay feature- This feature would come in handy if you want to prepare a meal but do not want to sit around waiting for it to finish cooking. All you have to do is put the food inside the pressure cooker and set the delay feature to a specific amount of time so that by the time you the food is done cooking, you will be back in the house.
-The keep-warm feature- This feature would come in handy if the meal you are making cooks before you are ready to serve it. Brands of pressure cookers with this feature are designed in such a way that the feature is automatic. Therefore, when the cooking time is done, and the pressure cooker is not emptied, the feature automatically switches on to keep it warm.
-Salute and sear function- This element helps to lock in flavour. For instance, with this feature, you can brown your meat while cooking it in the pressure cooker.
The Best 8 Pressure Cookers in the Australian Market
1. Philips Viva Collection; The All-In-One, Multi-Purpose Cooker- The Top Choice
The Philips Viva Collection is more than a pressure cooker. It is a multi-functional cooker with up to 7 preset pressure cooker menus, slow cook features with varying heat levels for up to 12 hours, steam, sauté and sear functions. It also features the one-touch element that makes using the appliance easier. It is one of the highest-rated cookers in the Australian market and beyond with five stars from more than 50 reviews.
It features a 6L capacity, which is perfect for a family of 4 to 6 members. It also has a keep-warm function that works for up to 12 hours and up to 9 safety protection features. The lid to the pot is detachable and anti-scratch, hence making it easy to clean. Additionally, this pressure cooker comes with a cup for making measurements, recipe booklet, a scoop, as well as a steaming tray. The manufacturer offers a two-year warranty.
- It is easy to use.
- It features a sauté and sear function.
- It also comes with a keep-warm feature.
- It features a capacity of 6L and up to 9 safety features.
- It is 5-star rated and only goes for $ 239, which is quite affordable considering all it has to offer.
- The capacity could be higher.
2. Sunbeam Aviva Pressure Cooker- The Runners Up
Like the first one, this pressure cooker is multi-functional. It works as a pressure cooker, slow and rice cooker, steamer, sauté and simmer. It also holds a capacity of 6L; hence it is good for families with four to six people. It has different pressure settings, a large panel that shows the menu, heat settings, and heat, as well as an auto warm feature. It also comes with a delay start function and a 12 cup capacity rice cooker.
This pressure cooker’s pan is dishwasher-safe, hence easy to clean. It also comes with a measuring cup, rice, and serving spoon as well as a steam rack. Additionally, it comes with a one-year warranty.
- It is a highly functional product with more than seven functions.
- It features a capacity of 6L.
- It features a keep warm and a delay start mode.
- It is conveniently priced at $189.
- It is dishwasher-safe, hence easy to clean.
- The pot’s surface is not scratch-free.
- It is hard to clean as it experiences food build-up.
- The warranty is quite short.
3. Cuisinart CPC- 610A Pressure Cooker Plus
This pressure cooker has eight programmable settings, including a high and low-pressure setting, sauté and steaming, browning, slow and low cook feature. Also, it has an automatic keep-warm function. It has a capacity of 6L and is easy to use.
- It has eight programmable features.
- It is easy to use.
- It has an automatic keep-warm function.
- It is costly.
- The consumer ratings are low.
4. Kambrook Pressure Express KPR 620
This product only functions as a pressure cooker. Instead of buttons, it is operated using a dial. The dial is clearly labelled for convenience. It also has preset functions for different food options. The product has a capacity of 6L and a 2-year warranty.
- It is very easy to use.
- It is conveniently-priced.
- It comes with a 2-year warranty.
- It only has only one function.
- Its consumer ratings are low.
5. Tefal Cook4Me + CV8518
This pressure cooker comes with more than 150 built-in recipes and a one-touch functionality feature. With a capacity of 6L, it acts as a pressure cooker. It features steam, brown, simmer, and reheat functions. It also comes with a delayed start feature, a non-stick brown, and a dishwasher safe inner lid. The oven comes with a steam basket which has a 2- year warranty. However, its metal base and pot have a 10-year warranty.
- It is easy to use.
- It is well-designed with added features like a reheat function.
- It comes with a 2-year warranty for the steam basket and a 10-year warranty for the pot
- and metal base.
- It is very costly.
6. Homemaker Pressure Cooker
This is the smallest pressure cooker reviewed on this post with a 5.5L capacity. It comes with ten preset menu options, a steam function, a 24-hour delay timer, and a keep-warm function. It has a 12-year warranty.
- It is easy to use.
- It comes with a 12-year warranty.
- Its quality is impeccable.
- It is quite costly.
- It does not have any frills.
7. Breville Fast Slow Pro BPR700
This is a highly impressive pressure cooker loved by clients. It comes with a pan that is easy to clean as it is dishwasher safe and fridge safe as well. It is large enough to feed an entire family. It also comes with a removable silicone handle that makes it more convenient to use.
- It features a capacity of 7L.
- It features a stovetop to the cooker.
- It features a standalone and a non-stick pan.
- It comes with a removable power cord and a removable power cord.
- It is quite heavy.
- It does not have a timer.
8. Tefal Secure Neo 5
This is the largest pressure cooker on this list, with a capacity of 8L. It comes with varying pressure settings, a steamer basket, as well as a 5-point security system. It also comes with an impressive 10-year warranty. It is also quite easy to clean and usage as well.
- It is quite large hence convenient for foods like a whole chicken.
- It is easy to use.
- It is easy to clean.
- It is quite heavy.
- Its price is quite high at $249.95.
Pressure cookers are convenient cooking devices because they minimize the amount of cooking time. They are also convenient for tasks like tenderizing meat. Each product listed on this write-up is incredible. However, our top choice is the Philips Viva Collection’s multi-purpose Cooker. It is Australia’s top-rated pressure cooker features a 5-star rating. It comes with seven preset menus, slow cook modes, bake, steam, and yoghurt modes. Using this product is stress-free and cleaning it as well.