By now, you’ve certainly heard how famous the Electric Pressure Cooker has become as a household Instant Pot. Of course, yes, there are even several different models, dozens of devoted Facebook groups, and countless cookbooks related to Instant Pot cooking. Basically, before there were electric pressure cookers, there were stovetop pressure cookers in many households.
Both have their merits and, here in this elaborate article guide, we’re going to go over some pressure cooking basics, no matter what kind of pressure cooker you’re into. A pressure cooker works on a simple principle: Steam pressure. A sealed pot, with a lot of steam inside, builds up high pressure, which helps food cook faster. It was invented in the 1600s by a Frenchman.
Specifically, he goes by the name Denis Papin, and he wanted to translate new discoveries in physics about pressure and steam into cooking. He called his pot the “Digester,” yes, but it took quite a while before better manufacturing standards and technology could make these high-pressure pots safe. Today, the rise of technology has made the pot quite convenient.
With so many revolutions in kitchen technology, Instant Pots in their wide range of varieties have made their way into numerous kitchens — both in workplaces and home settings environment. The Electric Pressure Cooker is all fury nowadays, especially, for most cooks — the wannabes and professionals alike — as they are all in love with what it can do in terms of cooking.
Why An Electric Pressure Cooker Is A Must-Have Household Appliance
To enumerate, it’s worth reminding you that an Electric Pressure Cooker is an appliance that steams pressure to cook food in minutes. In other words, this is an airtight Instant Pot in which food is cooked quickly under steam pressure hence reducing the cooking time by almost 50%. This means the flavors and richness are enhanced by its 1000w and 6l aluminum inner pot.
The fact remains that pressurized cooking has been around for years, only that the modern age has made it more standardized than the primitive methods used there before. For newcomers, the old-school method was done on the stove and unless done right could be quite dangerous. The digital, electric variety of pressure cookers is fairly new and very safe to use.
By all means, this electric pressure cooker can get down to business to cook almost anything! Whist, acting as a warmer, pressure cooker, slow cooker, saute pan, steamer, cake maker, yogurt maker, jam-maker, mixer, etc. As a matter of fact, it helps cook rice in just a few minutes, and it cooks tougher things like beans and chickpeas in much less than an hour.
The basic features are:
- 1000w pressure cooker
- 6l aluminum inner pot
- 15 in 1 multi-function
- stainless steel housing
- large functionality control box
- 4-dight led display indicator
- 24-hour present timer
- a built-in safety guard
- a basic fail-safe switch
In a nutshell, the Electric Pressure Cooker Instant Pot is very good for foods that need to be tenderized like braised kalua pig meats and roasts. But, people have cooked all kinds of other things in it, too. Including foods like hard or soft-boiled eggs, bone soup, etc. But it is used most frequently around the world for beans and pulses, stews, vegetables, baking, and the like.
Why You Should Consider Investing In An Electric Pressure Cooker
And now, with electric pressure cookers, like the Instant Pot, pressure cooking is even simpler. These types of pressure cookers have built-in safety mechanisms that take a lot of the anxieties you may have about pressure cooking out of the equation. They also have preset options for rice, beans, and broth, so you don’t have to guess or look in the manual for how long to cook.
Both stovetop and electric pressure cookers really should be called fast cookers — they’re fascinating tools and good for many, many dishes in the kitchen. Let’s consider this case scenario: Did you forget to take out your frozen meat from the freezer? No problem! With a pressure cooker, your frozen meat does not need hours to cook given the myriad multifunctions.
It allows you to replace your slow cooker, steamer, and even a yogurt maker. Not to mention, the saute function allows you to saute your meat in the same pot that you cook in. Ultimately, while saving you from using a lot of dishes for just one meal. Equally important, since the inner pot is stainless steel, it is also very easy to clean it up by just passing a clean cloth.
Oftentimes, most meals can be made in one pot, which you can put in the dishwasher! The next benefit is that it helps you to save on electricity since it allows you to cook in less time, saving on electricity. In the same fashion, these electric pressure cookers also do not heat up your kitchen, unlike an oven on a warm summer’s day. You won’t even notice that it is cooking!
How An Electric Pressure Cooker Works In A Few Simplified Steps
To begin with, an electric pressure cooker works on a simple steam pressure principle. Eventually, a sealed pot, with a lot of steam inside, builds up high pressure, which helps food cook faster. Whilst, keeping in mind, that this is a completely different method than using a slow cooker, which uses low heat to cook over a long period of time. That’s why it’s an instant pot!
A pressure cooker is a sealed pot with a valve that controls the steam pressure inside. As the pot heats up, the liquid inside forms steam, which raises the pressure in the pot. For beginners, it’s a whole new way of cooking, with its own language and processes. You usually need to wait for a pressure cooker to heat up, then you add the food and the lid.
And then, let it cook for a certain amount of time, at a certain pressure level. How long? Well, there are many pressure cooking charts that show you how long certain foods should cook — use the one that came with your electric pressure cooker. Then, thereafter, you can now let the pressure release (sometimes fast, sometimes slow — depending on the recipe).
Must be remembered, that in all of this, your instincts as a cook are not always helpful. We know how to sauté, how to brown meat, how to boil potatoes. But, a pressure cooker is a sealed box — you can’t touch or taste the food as it is cooking. Successful pressure cooking relies on a new bank of knowledge that most of us have to acquire. Here are the basic steps.
Step #1: It initiates the heating process for the liquid in it
It’s, important to realize, that just like cooking with the normal stove, electric pressure cookers require less liquid to cook some common foods — which means more of those essential vitamins and nutrients make it onto your plate. Per your cooking, the touch panel display dashboard — with 14 popular functions — has a variety of features to choose from. To initiate the cooking process, all you’ll need to do is just select the best features per your custom meal plan needs.
Step #2: It raises the boiling point of the water in the pot
You should always, keep in mind, that when cooking something wet, like a stew or steamed vegetables, the heat of your cooking is limited to the boiling point of water (212°F). But, with the steam’s pressure now the boiling point can get as high as 250°F. To enumerate, this higher heat feature helps the food to cook much faster.
Step #3: It raises the pressure, forcing liquid into the food
The high pressure also helps force liquid and moisture into the food quickly, which helps it cook faster and also helps certain foods, like tough meat, get very tender very quickly. The extra-high heat of the pressure cooker also promotes caramelization and browning in a surprising way — we’ve not used to food caramelizing when it is cooking in liquid. But, the flavors created in an electric pressure cooker can be really deep and complex, unlike regular steamed food methods.
Step #4: A countdown timer is followed by a signal beep
Once the cooking is done, the timer will stop, followed by a few beeps to indicate the end of the process. As a result, you are now recommended to let loose the pressure cap so as to release the excess steam from the inner pot. By doing so, you will notice a strong jet of steam shooting upwards till all is drained from the electric pressure cooker pot.
Step #5: The basic natural release principle will apply
Good pressure-cooking appliances will instruct you on whether the pressure of the cooker should be released by natural release or rapid release. Natural release is considered part of the recipe’s cook time. Especially, with foods like rice and beans that continue cooking during natural release. As an example, a rapid release of grain foods like beans, green grams, or rice will result in a foamy spurt from inside the electric pressure cooker pot and under-done food.
Finally, once all the steam is drained from your electric pressure cooker, you can switch it off and then safely open the pressure cooker lid to investigate the end results — you may serve your food right away, or rather, preserve it for later.
Why An Electric Pressure Cooker Is Not The Same As A Rice Cooker
Generally speaking, rice cookers are fine (even industrious) appliances, but a pressure cooker can cook rice in half the time. While, at the same time, shortening a myriad of other kitchen tasks. Rice cookers are designed to turn off when the water inside reaches a boil, while pressure cookers are designed to bring water (and foodstuff) above the boiling point.
Moving on, a majority of electric pressure cookers already include other added options such as a rice-cooking function. Thus, the results will be faster and more consistent if the rice is cooked on a manual pressure setting. You’ll also have an addition of optional accessories like a steamer basket, silicon mitts, silicon gasket, trivet/steam rack, and much more.
Last but not least, some electric pressure cookers have even multipots — you will topple them on each other — to give you complete convenience as you cook 2 dishes simultaneously. Thereby, saving you more dishes and valuable time.
How To Choose The Right Instant Pot From The Marketplace Storefronts
The Instant Pot is probably the most well-known electric pressure cooker — more accurately called a multi-cooker because it can also slow cook, sauté, and more — but still, many brands make this handy appliance. A good electric pressure cooker can help get dinner on the table quickly and easily even when you’re swamped. We tested some of the topmost best models so far.
Of them all, the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart stands out as one of our most favorite. For one thing, it offers great performance at a reasonable price, and its tried-and-true design makes it easier to use than other multi-cookers or gimmicky smart cookers. There is also the Instant Pot Pro 6-Quart, one of Instant Pot’s new models that was released to the market back in 2021.
On one hand, it comes with a number of small but impressive upgrades that make it more enjoyable to use. On the other hand, its inner pot has handles, a convenience that not only allows you to lift the pot out easily but also keeps the pot from whirling around inside the cooker as you sauté and stir. With those examples, before you buy a pressure cooker, note a few things.
- Price: Electric Pressure Cookers sell at different price points. Consider your budget when determining which is best for you.
- Functions: The electric pressure cooker/instant pot does so much more than the traditional pressure cooker. Many pressure cookers have various functionalities like pressure cooking, sauteing, steaming – the list goes on.
- Size: It matters when it comes to choosing a pressure cooker, especially, if you have a large family — you can choose an 8L option. Whereas, if you are a smaller family or live solo, you can buy a 5L which is budget friendly and takes up less space.
In addition, quality electric pressure cookers also come with pre-programmed cooking methods — with a user manual or guidelines on how you can easily adjust the buttons. Having said that, below are a few brands to outsource yours from.
Some of the best marketplace brands:
- MIKA MPC1106 Smart Pressure Cooker
- Ramtons Electric Pressure Cooker RM/582
- Von VSCP60MMX Pressure Cooker 1000W – 6L
- Nutricook NC-SP208K Smart Pot Pressure Cooker
- MOULINEX Turbocuisine Fast Electric Pressure Cooker 5L
- Kuvings Multipot Electric Pressure Cooker – 6L
And now, if you’re looking to turn up the heat in the kitchen without breaking a sweat, it’s time to invest in a pressure cooker. With its automated cooking and multiple cooking methods, you get to use fewer dishes, which makes it a handy kitchen gadget. Plus, it makes cooking for multiple people easy. Suffice it to say, you just need to find the pressure cooker for you.
Always remember, there are many other leading brands that you can choose to buy your electric pressure cooker from — given your price and location. Just make sure that conduct thorough research first and learn from what other consumers are saying also. So that, in the end, you can make the right and informed decisions — you’ll get yourself a cooking partner.
Rice seems to flummox so many home cooks, and even more so when we want our rice in a rush. Stovetop rice, rice cookers, rice in the oven — many methods promise perfect rice, but few offer rice that is ready almost as soon as we want it. An electric pressure cooker is the key to perfecting rice in a rush. Or even hard-cooked eggs from the electric pressure cooker.
Of course, eggs from an electric pressure cooker aren’t much quicker than using the stovetop method, yes, but the result is reliably outstanding — delicious, easy-to-peel, ridiculously creamy eggs every single time. This is breakfast made easier! What’s more, you can make rich stews and soups in under 90 minutes, including chopping and browning. Amazing, right?
For instance, let’s consider whole chicken breasts as yet another most common meal for many — with the help of an Instant Pot, they cook without drying out in less than 20 minutes. Whilst, making meal prep a snap. Furthermore, you can use shredded chicken for everything from salads and grain bowls for lunch to tacos or soups for a week’s worth of meals.