As multifunctional and quick kitchen gadgets become more and more popular, some traditional cooking methods get left behind. But some older gadgets provide benefits and an added quality that newer kitchen tech, such as the Instant Pot, can’t replicate.
The stovetop pressure cooker is still one of the best ways to cook flavorful dishes fast, despite the popularity of rival modern gadgets, like the Instant Pot or air fryer. But you might be wondering: is a stovetop pressure cooker still worth it?
In this article, you’ll learn why a stovetop pressure cooker is still a staple in many kitchens and discover the reasons why you may want to consider buying one to enhance your cooking experience.
What is a Stovetop Pressure Cooker?
A stovetop pressure cooker is a pot that uses pressure to attain high heat and stop the steam pressure from escaping, resulting in a much faster cook time.
Old-time pressure cookers used to be dangerous, as they were subject to explosions. Today, they’re a lot safer. If you get a modern pressure cooker for your stovetop, it will likely have controlled high pressure and other safety features, like a modern pressure regulator and a pressure indicator or pressure level gauge.
What is an Instant Pot?
Instant pots do what a pressure cooker does and more. Instant pots are multi-cookers, electric cooking pots with the capabilities of several different appliances, such as:
- Slow cooker
- Rice cooker
- Yogurt maker
Contrary to popular belief, Instant Pot refers to a brand and not the product itself, although it used to be the only name associated with multi-cookers. Although there are plenty of other options on the market, Instant Pot continues to be synonymous with multi-cooker.
The main difference between Instant Pots and stovetop pressure cookers is that Instant Pots are electric, which is no surprise, considering that they’re newer kitchen gadgets. However, those who value traditional ways of cooking may still find interest in stovetop pressure cookers.
5 Reasons to Buy a Stovetop Pressure Cooker
Although some people find little need for a stovetop pressure cooker, these high-pressure vessels still prove to be useful in making great quality dishes. There are several reasons to use a stovetop pressure cooker to make your favorite meals.
Still not convinced? Here are the top 5 reasons to consider buying a stovetop pressure cooker.
Cook With Speed
One of the reasons to buy a stovetop pressure cooker is how much pressure they exert. Traditional stovetop pressure cookers reach a PSI (pounds per square inch) of 15, which is higher than the PSI of 12 that an Instant Pot pressure cooker has. A higher pressure point results in cooking your food faster, which makes stovetop pressure cookers the more efficient option.
Stovetop pressure cookers are easier to use than Instant Pots. There are so many varieties of multi-cookers currently on the market that it can be hard to keep up. Even harder is that each model seems to have more and more functionalities, making them difficult to figure out at first. In contrast, stovetop pressure cookers don’t have any fancy buttons and are straightforward to figure out, so you can spend less time learning how to use them and get to cooking sooner.
Endless Options for Dishes
Pressure stovetop cookers have long been known for their versatility. There’s no shortage of recipes that you can make with your stovetop pressure cooker. Considering that it also cuts down on cooking time, you can enjoy your favorite complex and rich meals any day of the week.
Common pressure cooker dishes include:
- Mashed potatoes
- Baby back ribs
Keep More Flavor
Stovetop pressure cookers have a sealed lid that holds in the steam pressure and prevents evaporation as well as the seasoning and aroma of your food from escaping. As a result, you get the maximal flavor from your dish, making it more enjoyable.
Better yet, stovetop pressure cookers have a lot of browning power for meats, thanks to the power of your stovetop burner. This feature provides additional flavor to your meal, still at a fraction of the cook time of conventional cooking methods.
Some people may find the stovetop aspect of this kind of stovetop cooker less convenient than an electric cooker, as you have to wait for your stove to heat up instead of just plugging in a device.
That said, you can’t underestimate the versatility of a stovetop pressure cooker. Although it may not have as many functionalities as an Instant Pot pressure cooker, you can still cook basically any meal in your stovetop pressure cooker as it can act as a simple saucepan with a lid. It’s great when you’re in a pinch and need an extra saucepan to finish the last part of your meal.
As a bonus, stovetop pressure cookers are generally easier to store than larger kitchen gadgets such as multicookers. Separate the lid from the pot to easily store your pressure cooker with your pots and pans.
Lastly, there’s a reason your grandmother has probably had her stovetop pressure cooker for longer than you’ve been alive.
Since they can handle high heat and pressure, stovetop pressure cookers are generally very durable and made to last. The most affordable pressure cookers are aluminum, but the best stovetop pressure cookers are stainless steel, which provides additional durability. So if you have the option, a stainless steel pressure cooker is worth the extra cost.
Recap: Stovetop Pressure Cookers Make High-Quality Meals
To recap, the top 5 reasons to buy a stovetop pressure cooker are for its:
- Ability to cook food fast
- Endless possibilities of dishes
- Ability to maximize your food’s flavor
Some consider a stovetop pressure cooker an ancient relic of kitchens past while others swear by its usefulness and ability to make flavorful meals in very little time.
If you have a stove, then you’ll find that a stovetop pressure cooker isn’t as antiquated as you might think.