Choosing a pressure cooker, howsoever trivial it may appear has huge implication, if nothing else, at least for a happy married life! That is why when I purchased our first pressure cooker after getting engaged; I called up my wife about a thousand miles away and asked which one I should buy! A popular pressure cooker brand in India has this tagline, “Jo biwise sachmuch karte pyar, woh PRESTIGE se kaise kare inkaar! (Those who really love their wife, how can they refuse the prestige cooker!). On a serious note, the utensil does deserve to be chosen carefully. I remember an incident when due to a faulty safety valve, the whistle flew, hit the roof and fell on the head of the lady cooking the food.

The first choice you have to make is; whether to go for electric or stove top pressure cooker. Electric cooker offers huge convenience as it can be used in places where the regular source of heating is not available. For instance, a bachelors’ hostel or when you are going for a trip long enough to necessitate a cooker. It also offers advantage in terms of auto-switch off which can come in handy for the busy and forgetful ones or those who wish the cooking to continue while they are in bathroom!

However, it comes with a disadvantage of lower operating pressure which makes the cooking process slower, requiring about 50% more time than the stove top cooker. You also need to decide on whether to go for non-stick ones or the ordinary steel ones here. While the non-stick ones may appear more attractive, the non-stick properties do not stay for long. So, if you can take the additional precaution of oiling the interior of the stainless steel cooker, so much better.

When it comes to choosing a stove top cookers, the most important aspect is its method of controlling the pressure inside as it carries heavy pressure inside, up to 15 psi. Among the choices are weighted valve regulation (also called jiggle top), its modified version, spring loaded valve regulation and automatic release valve regulation, http://www.thejuzz.com gives a detailed overview of different types of regulations, if you wish to have a better idea. While all of them serve the purpose, the later ones offer more convenience and look more sophisticated, hence worth the money. The cooker should also have a good locking lid system with low failure rate of the sealing ring gasket.

The second aspect is the weight and size of the cooker since it is made to withstand high pressure and temperature. Since a higher sized cooker can increase the weight substantially, making the whole exercise of handling the cooker and cooking rather cumbersome, it is best not to choose higher sized ones. It would also not be a bad decision if you choose two cookers, one with a small size for regular use and another with bigger size for special occasion or dishes which can’t be cooked in the smaller one.

Other

than these basic features, the cooker design with steaming basket is also very popular as it allows you to cook several items together without intermixing of flavors or affecting the taste of food. Another feature that could come in handy is the option to keep food warm in the cooker itself. This prevents the food from getting cold if it is to be kept for some time before being served.
So, to sum up; while electric cooker has a

definite advantage in terms of ease of use, the slower cooking time acts as a disadvantage. However, if you love cooking, stick to stove top; buy two of them!

Author's Bio: 

My name is Elaine and I'm a self proclaimed "do it yourself addict". I am the mother of the best 11 year old boy ever and my husband's not too shabby either