Home improvement

Guide to the best electric pressure cookers of 2020

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What is an electric pressure cooker?

The electric pressure cooker is a multifunctional computerized appliance that can run different cooking programs. This multifunctional cooker effectively replaces the work of other tools and appliances, which are normally used in the kitchen.

The electric pressure cooker is part of the electric cooker family and is the descendant and heir to the traditional pressure cooker.

The electric pressure cooker is also called the multi-function cooker or else cooker.

History and evolution of the electric pressure cooker

Electric pressure cookers have evolved further since the first patent was filed on 9 January 1991, so much so that on the basis of their cooking control capabilities, we can now classify them into 4 “generations”.

What can an electric pressure cooker do?

Over the years the market for kitchen appliances has seen the introduction of different appliances for specific uses, such as electric kettles, bread machines, steamers, toasters, etc.. Today many of these devices are combined with great success within a single appliance, able to create many dishes in a very short time, even complex and with different ways of preparation, all without sacrificing taste and quality.

What is the difference between a slow cooker and an electric pressure cooker?

Both slow cookers and electric pressure cookers can produce similar dishes, but they work in completely different ways.

The slow cooker, sometimes identified with the name of the first brand, Crock-Pot, was born as an appliance for the slow cooking of food.

Slow cookers cook at relatively low temperatures, between 79°C and 93°C for a long period of time, while electric pressure cookers operate at much higher temperatures, above boiling point, between 115°C and 118°C. This difference obviously results in drastically different cooking times.

Typically an electric pressure cooker makes a dish in less than an hour, while the minimum cooking time for a slow cooker is 4 hours.

From the point of view of consumption, the electric pressure cooker saves about 75% of electricity compared to a slow cooker when making a similar dish.

A very appreciated aspect of the electric pressure cooker is its complete sealing, which means that it releases neither odors nor vapors, which is not the case with slow cookers, which give off the aromas of the food during cooking.

It should also be borne in mind that electric pressure cookers often also have a slow cooking function, qualities that make them a valid alternative to slow cookers themselves.

A disadvantage of slow cookers is the loss of vitamins; particularly in vegetables, due to the enzymatic action during cooking. To overcome this problem, it is advisable to keep the cooking liquid, where most of the lost nutrients are present.

When vegetables are cooked at higher temperatures with the electric pressure cooker, these enzymes are quickly denatured and have less time to act during cooking, which results in better preservation of the nutrients.

If you are not a meal planner and you don’t like the idea of preparing your dinner before leaving the house for the day, our advice is to orient yourself on an electric pressure cooker or a multicooker.

What is the difference between an Instant Pot and an electric pressure cooker?

There is no difference because Instant Pot is nothing more than a registered trademark of a third-generation electric pressure cooker, which has sold millions of pieces mainly in the United States and Canada.

Since its creation, the Instant Pot has revolutionized the world of electric pressure cookers, today it is the reference model and the undisputed market leader. This is why the term Instant Pot is often considered a synonym for the electric pressure cooker. In our opinion today it represents something more than a normal electric pressure cooker: we are talking about a real programmable multi-function electric cooker, a cult phenomenon, capable of cooking any kind of food, replacing various household appliances and cooking in a short time that normally takes several hours.

What is the difference between a food processor and an electric pressure cooker?

The difference between a food processor and an electric pressure cooker is very easy to spot.

The category of food processors is represented by all those devices capable of dealing with the preparation of food.

Unlike the electric pressure cooker, this appliance can grate, grind, knead, mix, blend, blend and slice any ingredient.

The robots that instead perform the sole function of the kneading machine, bear the name of Planetaria, even if sometimes they are simply called a mixer.

Although even the latest generation of electric pressure cookers also contains the functions of many kitchen tools in a single appliance, none of these machines can prepare food as a food processor would.

We can, therefore, conclude by saying that the electric pressure cooker focuses on cooking while the food processor on preparation.

Electric pressure cooker or pressure cooker?

If you are in doubt between choosing an electric pressure cooker or a food processor, it’s because you simply haven’t caught the difference between these 2 appliances yet.

As we have seen in the previous paragraph, these 2 appliances are complementary to each other: the food processor prepares the ingredients and the electric pressure cooker cooks them. Logically, therefore, we may need both in our kitchen.

If you already have a food processor, you could do without the food processor and just buy the electric pressure cooker.

What is the difference between a cooking machine and an electric pressure cooker?

On the market, there are models of food processors with the cooking function, therefore, able not only to prepare the ingredients but also to cook them using various programs, just as a multicooker would do.

These all-rounders, called cooking machines, represent the future of the modern kitchen because they are able to combine in a single device many of the main tools we use every day in the kitchen. Among the most famous models of cooking, machines are Vorwerk’s Bimby and Kenwood’s Cooking Chef.

The difference between these 2 appliances lies first of all in the price, as cooking machines can cost 5 times as much as an electric pressure cooker, which, however, does not have all the features offered by these all-rounders.

Another important difference is that at the moment no cooking machine supports the pressure cooking function, although this limit may be exceeded in the future; while by its very nature, the electric pressure cooker will never be able to crumble, knead, cut and blend ingredients.

Cooking machine or electric pressure cooker?

If you are undecided between buying a cooking machine or an electric pressure cooker, you need to ask yourself some questions first.

Do you like to cook dishes based on legumes, whole grains and tough cuts of meat? Then you need a tool that cooks quickly and at high temperatures, such as an electric pressure cooker.

You don’t have time to slice and chop food and you want to make a dish with minimum effort at the push of a button? The cooking machine is the solution to your problems! Just press a button and enter the ingredients, without worrying about having to prepare them according to the recipe.

You like to cook but you hate the bad smell that some foods release?
Don’t worry, you can solve the problem by choosing an electric pressure cooker, which unlike the cooking machine has an airtight seal that doesn’t let the odors escape.

You don’t have a grinder and you have little room in the kitchen?
Buying a cooking machine may prove to be the winning choice.

We conclude by saying that, if you don’t have problems with budget and space, buying both appliances is not crazy, considering that a cooking machine, however versatile it may be, can never replace the functionality offered by an electric pressure cooker.

What is the difference between a multicooker and an electric pressure cooker?

In recent years we have heard a lot of talk about an electric pressure cooker and multicooker, sometimes, mistakenly, referring to the same appliance.

Many new models have been introduced on the market, some created by the minds of brands already famous for kitchen appliances, others launched by newborns and little known brands.

Every day we see these appliances in cooking shows and teleshopping, not only abroad but also in Italy. In addition to having admired them on TV, we have seen them as the creators of many recipes published on portals and blogs in the sector.

Food bloggers all over the world have literally gone crazy for these 2 appliances, promoted on social media as essential cooking tools and protagonists in numerous Youtube tutorial videos.

To testify the great media impact that these 2 new product categories have generated in recent times, was the boom in sales by the global e-commerce giant, Amazon.

Large-scale retail companies have also adapted and filled the growing demand by introducing these new items to the shelves of supermarkets and specialist stores.

Having climbed the world rankings of the most sought-after kitchen tools, however, has not yet been enough to resolve the many doubts of consumers.

Our editorial staff has finally decided to clarify the subject and understand once and for all what are the differences between these 2 appliances.

To date, in most cases, there is no difference between an electric pressure cooker and a multicooker. This can easily be explained by observing the evolution that has affected these 2 appliances up to the present day.

While originally the electric pressure cooker was conceived as an appliance specializing solely in pressure cooking, today, on the contrary, it represents the maximum expression of the future generation of kitchen appliances, thanks to the different types of cooking supported the advanced features and specific programs.

The definition of multicooker is, therefore, the one that best identifies today’s evolution of the electric pressure cooker, i.e. a multifunctional, programmable, multi-purpose and intelligent electric cooker. Nevertheless, the argument is rather controversial considering that the same reasoning cannot be done with inverted parts.

Multicooker, in fact, are not electric pressure cookers: the materials of construction, shape, lid, seals, valves, and sensors are different.

Multicooker or electric pressure cooker?

It’s never easy to choose between 2 such similar appliances, especially if they match the name of the electric pressure cooker and multicooker.

You have little time to cook and you’re always in a rush?

Buying an electric pressure cooker will allow you to drastically reduce the time you normally spend preparing certain dishes, such as legumes, whole grains and large cuts of meat.

Do you hate the bad smells in the kitchen?

Don’t worry, the electric pressure cooker can come to your rescue, thanks to the airtight seal of its structure, which will not let smoke and unpleasant smells escape.

Do you love grilled meat or fish?

Only a multicooker can fulfill your wishes thanks to the grill function.

Do you want to cook in a healthier and more natural way?

Thanks to the very high cooking temperature, the electric pressure cooker guarantees the full preservation of the nutritional values of food, for healthier cuisine.

Don’t you have an electric oven?

Oven cooking is offered by all multicooker models, even in the “ventilated oven” version.

As we could see there is no better choice than another, this depends on your eating habits.

In an ideal situation, where we have no budget limit and enough space in the kitchen, it is advisable to buy both appliances.

Which dishes can I prepare with an electric pressure cooker?

Electric pressure cookers can cook many types of dishes, but especially in the preparation of those foods that usually take a long time in cooking.

Where to find recipes for the electric pressure cooker?

Finding a cookbook for an electric pressure cooker is a real undertaking! All the more so if you look for resources online.

Why should you buy an electric pressure cooker in 2020?

Owning an electric pressure cooker means saving a lot of time in the kitchen every day. Most families have to deal with the limited space and time available to cook a healthy meal.

How to choose the best electric pressure cooker?

Before buying an electric pressure cooker it is good to know its main characteristics and the elements that can encourage the purchase. First of all, let’s see the anatomy of an electric pressure cooker and what elements it is made of:

  1. When cooking with pressure, the pressure adjustment knob (also called the steam discharge valve) must be closed or turned to “pressure”. In the case of slow cooking (slow cook function), this valve must be opened to allow steam to escape, thus avoiding increasing the pressure in the electric cooker.
  2. The floating valve controls the amount of pressure in the electric cooker, allowing excess pressure to be released during cooking.
  3. The safety valve works independently of the floating valve, but also allows excess pressure to escape during pressure cooking.
  4. The silicone gasket is a rubber ring, which fits comfortably into a channel around the perimeter of the bottom of the lid. When the lid is in the correct position, the gasket creates an airtight seal, which in turn creates pressure inside the pot.
  5. The lid is specially designed to create an airtight seal when properly sealed over the electric pressure cooker.
  6. The lid position indicator is activated during pressure cooking to inform us that the lid is locked. It will therefore not be possible to open the lid when it is locked as this is dangerous.
  7. The heating element regulates the temperature in the electric cooker for all its functions, including pressure cooking, slow cooking, and browning.
  8. The removable cooking pot is made of aluminum or stainless steel and may or may not have a non-stick coating. All food must be cooked in this pot.
  9. This is simply the base of the electric pressure cooker, where the removable cooker is located and where the control panel and all electronics are housed.
  10. The control panel is where all the functions of the electric pressure cooker are activated. Each appliance varies in the available functions, but all have at least one option for pressure cooking, slow cooking, and browning. The control panel will also show you when the cooker reaches pressure and allow you to set a timer for cooking.

Dimensions and capacity

A capacity of 4 to 6 liters is perfect for a family of four. Larger electric cookware generally requires extra time to heat food to the ideal cooking temperature.

Power

Electric pressure cookers today have powers ranging from 450 to 1400 watts. Like most household appliances, electric pressure cookers can be compared according to their power. The power will determine how long food can be cooked (power speed) and, to a certain extent, the lifetime of the appliance.

The time it takes for this electric pot to reach the pressure cooker can take from a few minutes up to half an hour, depending on how much food you are cooking and the power of the appliance.

The inner basket

The removable inner basket is the main food contact area, it is usually made of aluminum or stainless steel and may or may not have a non-stick coating. On this site we review electric pressure cookers evaluating that the inner pot has a quality and thickness coating, which is of great importance because it means a better resistance and a longer life of the basket.

The programmes

The electric pressure cooker is equipped with a series of programs controlled by a special microprocessor.

Functions

The electric pressure cooker provides the user with some very useful functions, which allow customizing the selected programs.

App and connection

The new frontier of the latest generation of electric pressure cookers is the connection via Bluetooth with dedicated mobile apps.

Thanks to these applications we can program and send hundreds of recipes directly to our electric pressure cooker; but not only that, through this technology you can share your recipes and photos of the dishes so as to feed a real community of fans from all over the world, always connected and able to support themselves thanks to their ideas and creations.

A real digital revolution that promises to conquer kitchens around the world, broadening the horizons of those who love to cook healthy, tasty and in a short time.

Accessories

When we buy an electric pressure cooker, there are often no accessories or spare parts included, although it may seem trivial, you cannot always buy and replace certain damaged or worn parts, so it is important to get a model that allows us to find the necessary parts later.

From gasket rings to extra pots to steaming accessories, there are plenty of useful tools to take these multi-purpose pots to the next level. In case you’ve read electric pressure cooker cookbooks and learned the recipes for beginners, now the next step is to buy accessories that will help you make your favorite dishes to perfection.

Maintenance

Electric pressure cookers are maintenance-free and generally reliable. However, good care minimizes the risk of malfunction, so it is a good idea to contact a manufacturer who offers a guarantee of quality and service.

Before you buy an electric pressure cooker, find out in advance if you can easily purchase spare parts, such as silicone gaskets that need to be changed at least once every 2 years.

Cleaning is another important element for the care and maintenance of your electric pressure cooker. The effort required is minimal and is essentially limited to washing the inner pot and lid; in addition, many components are dishwasher safe.

The last point, make sure that you are offered a warranty for at least 2 years.

What price to pay for an electric pressure cooker?

The cost of an electric pressure cooker varies from model to model and although we are talking about the latest generation appliance, the price is easily affordable.

In addition, it should be considered the considerable energy savings that this appliance can guarantee to all people who love to cook. In this regard, in each product review of this category, we have included a sheet that summarizes the costs and consumption of the appliances.

Prices generally vary from 100€ to 300€ and in case of special offers (present all year round) they can drop considerably.

There are very cheap multi-function electric pots and pans under 100€, like the Aigostar Mi 30IAU, or others, like the Moulinex Cookeo, that reach 300€.

Where to buy the electric pressure cooker?

When you buy an electric pressure cooker it is advisable to look at the many offers you can find on the net.

Some chain stores for the home, such as Kasanova, offer electric pressure cooker models (e.g. Swiss Home Bergner’s Infinity Chef electric cooker), which are rarely the best solution, although the price is not lower than higher-quality electric cookware.

The fierce competition from online shops has made it very easy to offer better quality electric pressure cookers at lower prices.

The editorial staff of Nnhotempo.it has selected for you the best electric pressure cookers, divided by category, reviewed and tested by our experts.

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