Mealthy Multi Pot(Recommended)
- 9 Quart
- Instant Access through Android/iPhone app
- 9 in 1 functionality (Pressure cook, slow cook, sauté, steam, make cakes, pasteurize, make yogurt, cook rice, and Warm, all in one electric appliance)
- 14 cooking functions
- Stainless Steel cooking Pot
- Stainless Steel Steam rack and steam basket included
- Silicone Mitts and Gaskets
THE BENEFITS OF COOKING WITH THE BEST ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER WITH STAINLESS STEEL INNER POT
Pressure cooking has come a long way from its modern mid-1900s popularity. Today’s electric pressure cookers work the same way as their stove-top pot-and-lid predecessors (raising the boiling point of water or other liquid in a pressure-sealed vessel, thus allowing food to cook hotter and faster than it would on the stove top), by means of temperature and pressure regulation via smart sensors.
Using an electric pressure cooker is very similar to using a slow cooker in that the cooking is done inside an inner pot placed in a housing unit fitted with a heating element, but that’s where the similarities end. The lid is fitted with a removable gasket to ensure a tight fit, keeping all of that steam inside until you’re ready to safely let it out using the pressure-release valve.
Pressure cooking depends on liquids to make it happen, meaning not every type of meal can be cooked in a pressure cooker alone. Roasted, fried, and some baked recipes should be kept to their respective appliances, but that doesn’t mean your pressure cooker can’t play a part in their creation. For example, steaming frozen chicken (when you’ve forgotten to thaw the meat in advance) before breading and baking it into crispy tenders for a weeknight dinner. Or whipping up last-minute baked mac ’n’ cheese in half the time it normally takes. These are just a couple of the ways your electric pressure cooker can make your life in the kitchen much easier.
WHY USE AN ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER?
In case you need a little convincing as to why an electric pressure cooker is right for you when you have perfectly good appliances already, read the following points:
It’s safe. Chances are that if you cook, you’ve splashed yourself with hot oil or gotten a burn from an oven rack. Electric pressure cookers are built with consumer safety in mind, with lid locks and automatic temperature and pressure controls to keep you safe.
It’s fast and convenient. Electric pressure cookers cut traditional cooking times by up to 70 percent, turning weekend dinners into weekday options. Why wait three hours to eat a thick braised cut of meat when you can be enjoying it in 45 minutes? Also, many electric pressure cookers are multicookers, offering numerous different preset function buttons to make cooking just about any food even easier. And no monitoring is needed; the ease of a set-it-and-forget-it function is a draw for any busy home cook.
It saves energy. Many pressure cooker recipes can be made exclusively in the pot, leaving your larger appliances off, your cooling bill low, and your messy kitchen nerves unfrazzled. The environment thanks you, too.
It’s nutritious. Pressure-cooked foods offer more vitamins and minerals than those cooked for longer times in traditional cookware. Less liquid is used in electric pressure cookers, meaning fewer nutrients are leached from the food. Smells are also trapped inside the cooker instead of dispersed throughout the house, so all those delicious flavors stay in the food.
Electric Pressure Cooking Terminology
There are so many buttons on those multicookers, but don’t be afraid of the technology. It’s actually much easier than you think to get cooking. Here are some of the cooker functions:
NATURAL RELEASE. The food in the cooker continues to cook while the pressure is released slowly by leaving the pressure release valve in the sealed position after the cook time ends. This is performed by selecting the cancel/keep warm functions or doing nothing at all. A full natural release can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, and the lid will not open before the cooker is completely depressurized. This is particularly good for soups and grains (which tend to foam) and larger cuts of meat that need resting time before serving.
QUICK RELEASE. This function stops the cooking process quickly to avoid overcooking. A quick release results in a strong jet of steam coming from the pressure release valve, so be careful when turning the pressure release valve to the venting position when the cook time ends. This is ideal for potatoes and vegetables.
MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK. There is a setting on most electric pressure cookers that allows you to input all of your cooking settings from time to pressure level.
KEEP WARM. Most electric pressure cookers have this function, which allows you to keep the food inside the cooker heated at a low temperature. Many cookers default to this setting at the end of a cooking time.
SIMMER/BROWNING/SAUTÉ. Simmer is a low-heat cooking method, best used for thickening sauces and soups. When you see “sauté on low” in a recipe, choose either the sauté or simmer function on your electric pressure cooker. Browning is a high-heat cooking method, best used for searing meats and browning root vegetables. When you see “sauté on high” in a recipe, select either the sauté or browning function on your electric pressure cooker.
POT-IN-POT COOKING. This method uses a heatproof dish for cooking your meal, side, or dessert placed in your electric pressure cooker, as opposed to cooking it directly inside the inner pot. This approach allows for cooking meals with low liquid content, reheating previously cooked meals, preparing multiple recipe items at once (such as rice and chicken), or steaming desserts like cheesecake.
SLING. This comes in handy for pot-in-pot cooking—a sling makes it easier to remove large pans from the inside of the cooker pot. You can make your own sling by taking an 18-inch strip of foil and folding it lengthwise into thirds. Center your pan in the middle of the sling, then carefully lower it into the pot, preferably onto a trivet or egg rack, and then tuck the ends away before securing the cooker lid. You can use the sling ends to lift the pan out of the cooker when done.
CHOOSING THE BEST ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER WITH STAINLESS STEEL INNER POT
In a world full of convenient small appliances capable of making any kitchen task easier, the consumer market is literally exploding with countless electric pressure cookers and multicookers.
Which Type of Electric Pressure Cooker Should I Get?
To decide which cooker is right for you, first consider your cooking habits. What kinds of dishes do you commonly make? If you already own a stove-top pressure cooker and use it frequently, maybe you’re just looking to move to an electric cooker to free you from babysitting the heat. In this case, a standard electric pressure cooker would be the way to go; this type of cooker has limited built-in functions but specializes in pressure cooking all of the foods you’re used to cooking in your stove-top version.
Second, go into your kitchen and look around. How much counter space do you have? If you already have a collection of small appliances cluttering your counters, or your kitchen is tiny, a multicooker is the way to go. It will perform all the functions of a pressure cooker, and it can also double as an excellent slow cooker and rice cooker. Many models can even make yogurt and cakes; some even have a sterilize function for jars and baby bottles!
Third, how much money do you want to spend? Electric pressure cookers are relatively inexpensive compared with most multicookers, so if you already own appliances that do the things a multicooker can do and you’re on a budget, saving some money by choosing a basic model might be a good idea.
What Size Cooker Is Right?
Most electric pressure cookers and multicookers range in capacity from 3 to 9 quarts. Unless you’re strictly cooking extremely small-batch meals on a regular basis, a 5- or 6-quart cooker is probably the best choice for a household of two. Keep in mind that, as for any pot that’s advertised to hold a certain volume, you won’t use all of the cooker’s available space. For example, 6-quart volume means the capacity of the cooker when filled all the way to the top, which is something you won’t ever do.
If you think you will be batch-cooking weekly, or you plan to cook whole chickens, game hens, or large cuts of meat, you may want to go bigger and choose a cooker with an 8-quart capacity. It’s wider and taller, so it will also take up more space on your counter.
Selecting a Particular Brand of Multicooker
If you’re faced with choosing a brand of multicooker, consider their main differences:
Instant Pot. The original multicooker, the Instant Pot, is available in 3-, 6-, and 8-quart sizes, and also offers different models with particular functions. The Lux is the 6-in-1 model; it is the closest to a standard electric pressure cooker, and it also has slow cooker and rice cooker functions. The Duo 7-in-1, the most popular model, comes equipped with a yogurt function, allowing you to make homemade yogurt easily (Instant Pot also offers a Duo Plus 9-in-1). The Ultra 10-in-1 model is a fully automated Instant Pot, providing push-button pressure release, a user-friendly LCD display, and the ability to adjust for altitude, among other impressive features. In addition, the Smart model comes with Bluetooth connectivity.
Fagor LUX. A well-trusted brand for decades, Fagor is known for its stove-top pressure cookers, making the electric versions a popular option. The LUX multicooker is next to the Instant Pot for most popular brand, and is even widely recognized as a better cooker overall. In multiple tests, it pressurized and depressurized faster than any other brand of cooker, and its user-friendly controls are a hit among home cooks. It also comes in many colors to fit your kitchen aesthetic.
Power Pressure Cooker XL. One of the largest multicookers (10-quart) on the market, this is an excellent choice for larger families. An affordable option, this cooker has an easy-to-use interface, giving you one of the highest levels of functionality in the electric pressure cooker market.
Breville Fast Slow Pro. The pricey but flashy Breville offers 11 cooking modes and is almost completely automated for the ultimate hands-off cook. This model boasts a color-changing LED display system, making it easy to double-check how the cooking is coming along. It is also one of the safest models of electric pressure cooker, with numerous safety features that other brands don’t have.
Crock-Pot Multi-Use Express Crock. The most popular slow cooker company has arrived to try to take back its convenience crown with the newest multicooker on the market. It has preset buttons that allow you to increase or decrease the cook time. It also comes with a nonstick inner pot instead of a stainless steel one, so there is less sticking, but also less browning of ingredients to enhance flavor.
Ninja 4-in-1 Cooking System. This cooker has a stove-top function and is a slow cooker, a steamer, and an oven all in one! The Ninja could very well take over all the cooking in your kitchen if you let it.
All electric pressure cookers work at standard PSI (pounds per square inch) ranges. The pressure rise inside the cooker directly correlates with the rise in the water’s boiling point. Any recipe you decide to cook again will be easy to duplicate with equally delicious results.
ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKING
If you’re new to pressure cooking, you’ll want to first get very familiar with the manual for your cooker. The manual is comprehensive, telling you how to operate the machine and how to cook various types of food, and it even offers some fun tips.
The Pressure Cooking Sequence
Here’s a quick overview of the primary steps used in electric pressure cooking (after fully reading the recipe, of course):
- Mise en place. A French culinary term often used in professional kitchens, mise en place means “everything in its place.” As for any recipe, ingredient preparation is the first step, which may include anything from chopping an onion to measuring out a liquid to soaking dried chiles for 15 minutes. Having all of your prepped ingredients ready to go and placed nearby streamlines the cooking process.
- Pre-pressurized cooking. You may need to do some pre-pressurized cooking in the inner pot, which basically includes any sautéing, browning, or searing that needs to be done before you put the lid on. Melt oil or butter and work your magic on those onions and garlic. Season the ingredients. Deglaze the pan with some wine and scrape up all those tasty browned bits to punch up the flavor. Those delicious flavors cannot develop in the wet heat of a sealed pressure cooker, so attending carefully to this step is well worth it.
- Remember the liquid. If you’re steaming something on a trivet or in a steamer basket in the cooker, do not forget to add the water! No liquid = no steam = no cooking. In many recipes, the liquid comes from the food itself, so less water is required, but check your manual for the minimum amount to use (every brand has one).
- Check the pressure needed. Once you’re ready to close the cooker, ensure that the lid is fitted with the sealing ring, then lock the lid on. Don’t forget to check that the pressure release valve is set to the sealing function. It will happen—you’ll forget, and a half hour later you’ll wonder why there is steam pouring from the valve but nothing is cooking. Also, always double-check the recipe for the pressure setting.
- Set the timer. Pay attention to the time that pops up on the digital screen when setting your cooker and adjust accordingly. As long as you set the correct time, the cooker will do the arduous work for you. The pressure can take anywhere from 1 to 15 minutes to build up in the cooker, depending on what’s in the pot before the cooking time begins. Sometimes a bit of steam may leak out during the pressurizing stage, which is okay.
- Let it go. The pressure, that is. When your cooker beeps to let you know its job is done, make sure you’re paying attention, especially if a quick pressure release is needed. There’s nothing more discouraging at dinnertime than overcooked, mushy pasta that was meant to be al dente. Be careful when performing a quick release to avoid getting any body parts near the valve when you turn it—the steam is extremely hot. The lid will unlock when the pressure is completely dispersed and the float valve has dropped. Always be careful when removing the lid, titling the steam vent away from you.
- Finish it off. Some recipes require some post-pressurized attention, in the form of shredding meat, thickening a sauce or gravy, or adding more ingredients and completing the cooking with the lid off. Don’t forget to follow these final steps for a perfect home-cooked meal.
Some Useful Equipment
Any electric pressure cooker will be amazing right off the shelf (and many come with bonus items), but investing in some extra pieces of equipment can turn a once-in-a-while pressure cooking hobby into an obsession. Here are some items that you’ll likely use often when pressure cooking for two.
Cooking thermometer. No more guessing about whether the pork chops are really done. This handy kitchen gadget helps you know whether the item you are cooking is exactly the right temperature. There are several types of kitchen thermometers (for meat, liquids, oven temperature, all-purpose, etc.).
Ramekins. These are small ceramic or glass custard cups, perfect for individually sized meals, side dishes, or desserts; they come in several sizes. Also useful are 4-inch springform pans, for slightly larger but still single-serve desserts. Before filling them, be sure to grease with butter, oil, or cooking spray.
Small cake pan. Any 6- or 7-inch round, square, or rectangular pan or dish (glass, ceramic, or metal) can be used in your cooker for anything from cakes to lasagna to frittatas. Grease them with butter, oil, or cooking spray before filling.
Steamer basket. Much like a trivet with holes and feet, a steamer basket keeps food up out of the water. It is great for steaming vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, and broccoli, and makes removal of foods easy.
Trivet. A trivet is a rack with feet that keeps ingredients or pot-in-pot dishes off the bottom of the pressure cooker. Most brands include one in the cooker.
Dos and Don’ts
As with any new appliance, there are a few rules to abide by:
DO read the entire recipe before you begin. Varying seasonings is one thing, but eyeballing liquids is another, especially in an appliance that relies on liquids to work.
DO use the release method specified in the recipe. Using a natural release when you actually needed a quick release will leave you with overcooked food.
DO keep your pressure cooker clean. A little TLC will keep your new favorite appliance around for years. Wash the inner pot in warm, soapy water after every use. Clean the lid with a wet cloth and wipe it dry. Remove and clean the sealing ring and allow it to dry before replacing it. If the pressure release valve has collected foam from cooking pasta or rice, you can remove it for cleaning.
DON’T add too much liquid in the cooker, and DON’T leave the liquid out completely. Pressure cookers trap steam, allowing you to cook with less liquid than traditional stove-top cooking allows. It also keeps your food from scorching.
DON’T overfill the pressure cooker. Resist the temptation to fill your pot to the top—in fact, try to keep it less than two-thirds full. If there isn’t enough space above the food in the cooker, proper pressure won’t be reached, and foods like rice or beans that create a lot of foam may block the valves.
DON’T increase cooking time when doubling recipes. The pressure cooks all of the food inside at the same rate, so even with twice as many potatoes, it will really only take the same number of minutes.
DON’T be careless when using your electric pressure cooker. The cookers themselves are built for safety, but be mindful when operating. Ensure that the bottom of the inner pot and the heating plate are clean and dry before using. Make sure the lid is in good working condition—meaning the valve is clean and free of food buildup, and the sealing ring is secure. Always use caution when releasing pressure, and don’t forget to unplug your pressure cooker when you’re done with it.