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How to choose a pressure cooker

A pressure cooker is a must have item so many are the advantages it has.

Pressure cooking is a great way to prepare food. If you are fully convinced of this fact and have decided to get one, you would like to know how to choose the pressure cooker most suited to the kind of recipes you prepare and the needs and wants your family has.

Choosing the best pressure cooker for your family

First off, let’s talk about size. Because there are different sizes of pressure cookers, you need to know which one will best fit your needs. When preparing a meal or dish in a pressure cooker, you need to keep in mind that you can only fill it 2/3 full to allow room for any foam or debris that may build up during cooking. This also prevents the vent from getting clogged.

You can cook small amounts of food in a larger pressure cooker but you can’t cook large amounts of food in a smaller pressure cooker. The 6 quart size is good for just about any recipe that serves 4 to 6 people. However, if you want to cook a whole chicken or a large roast, a 9.5 quart size serves this purpose best.

Pressure cooker sizes range from 4 quart all the way up to 12 quart, so if you have a really large family or entertain guests often, one of the larger sizes will work best for you. Larger pressure cookers can also be used for canning.

Prices for pressure cookers vary greatly depending on brand, size and type. There are duo pressure cookers that cost just over $100, and there are single 4 quart pressure cookers that are under $25. Mirro makes a 22 quart pressure cooker for around $80 on Amazon. I believe you get what you pay for, so therefore I usually choose something mid-range. You can find a wide variety of pressure cookers either online or at your favorite department store. If you’re unsure, I would suggest sticking with a brand you already know and trust.

Another thing to consider when choosing a pressure cooker is functionality. Many recipes call for using a trivet and basket, so you will want to be sure your pressure cooker comes with those, or is available for purchase separately or at a later date.

If you have an older pressure cooker, you should consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. Pressure cookers today aren’t the same ones your mom used 30 years ago. Today, pressure cookers are safer and come in a variety of pressures.

Speaking of pressure, that’s another thing to consider when choosing a pressure cooker; what’s the greatest amount of pressure should you choose? Most recipes call for 15psi, so for ease of meal preparation you should choose one at that pressure. If you decide to go with less pressure, you will have to increase the cooking time depending on the amount of pressure your cooker supplies. This could be anywhere from 12% to 20%, so you’ll need to keep that in mind when using a recipe.