Don’t Let the Pressure Get to You

While growing up, I can remember how I was always intimidated by pressure cookers. The noisy rattle, the escaping steam… it looked too much like an impending cartoon explosion about to go off, something from an old Looney Tunes show perhaps. I didn’t quite make the connection, when I was very young, between the use of a pressure cooker, and the deliciously moist and sumptuous dishes that my mother would present for dinner later in the evening. Once I was able to do that, I actually began to look forward to the sound of the pressure cooker… even if it was still a little unnerving (I kept waiting for the little knob on the top of the cooker to fly off and embed itself in the ceiling directly overhead).

When I started to look for some pressure cooker reviews online, I discovered that there was an amazing abundance of material available. Simply put, that was in and of itself intimidating. It was hard to determine what was viable, and what wasn’t; who had actually tried using the pressure cookers that they were talking about, and who hadn’t. I managed, with some investigation, to uncover three of the best pressure cooker reviews available, and to investigate the associated products; fortunately, I have a very tolerant (and hungry) family. With no further ado, here is my take on those three products. Hopefully, being more succinct and straight to the point, with a smaller selection to choose from, this list will be of some value to you!

IMUSA 4.4-Quart Aluminum Pressure Cooker

My family and I gave this little gem a try, and while its capacity wasn’t the greatest for a full-blown family of six (we had to make some sacrifices that night, let me tell you) the cooker itself functioned just as some of the best pressure cooker reviews online had said it would. The advantages to a pressure cooker – the fast, high-quality cooking produced from keeping heat and steam trapped inside – are all present with this beauty, while its four-point-four quart capacity makes it ideal for a young couple just starting out… or for a smaller family than mine; four and a half quarts puts it on the small end of the cookers that I tried, but it’s still a decent amount of volume for a meal! This aluminum-body pressure cooker is easy to clean, and works quite well for making one-dish entrees like baked beans, soups, chicken, and – of course – chili. What made this cooker stand out the most for me, as opposed to its competition, was the price; mine was under thirty dollars, and it can be found online for even less.

Presto 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

Presto is a name that rarely disappoints when it comes to their quality, sturdy, and innovative kitchen products. I’m not sure that I would call this one “innovative,” to be honest – but then, two outta three ain’t bad! This particular pressure cooker, according to some of the best pressure cooker reviews online, can feed a family of eight to ten people – hands down, and with leftovers to spare. It definitely kept my family in cold turkey sandwiches for almost a week after the main course was finished! Presto’s latest pressure cooker comes with a book of recipes for some delicious and wholesomely nutritious ideas. This baby cooks even faster than some smaller pressure cookers, thanks in part to Presto’s patented composition of sandwiched stainless steel and aluminum – improving heat distribution. Meats come out juicy and tender, and vegetables retain both their healthy nutrients and their delicious flavors.

8-Quart Power Pressure Cooker XL

This item was pretty new to me, and I have to say that – at first – I almost felt that childhood sense of intimidation return after getting a good look at it. This is an eight-quart capacity beast which could probably be counted on to provide the majority of your extended family’s Thanksgiving-day feast. Like any pressure cooker, it works by forcing moisture into your food under high pressure, locking in moistness while preserving both nutrients and flavor. Meats turn out tender, and vegetables come out genuinely sumptuous. In the case of this monster, however, there is also the added convenience of its “powered” aspect: multiple settings, accessible through a convenient button-based interface, allow you to take advantage of pre-installed cooking modes. There are “one-touch” settings for beef or pork, other meats, chicken (or other poultry), fish, beans, rice, soup, stews, or steamed vegetables. A convenient LED display clearly shows how much time is left before your meal is ready. Despite this, it is – unlike most, even un-powered pressure cookers – dishwasher-safe. Assuming you can get it to fit (but that still translates into a more easily hand-washed machine, in any case).