Cooks hip to the benefits of pressure cooking, and shopping for their first cooker often ask me if there is any difference between stove top and electric pressure cookers. Here’s a cooker-to-cooker comparison of the differences and similarities, between stove top and electric pressure cookers.
While electric pressure cookers require almost no monitoring to bring, maintain and release pressure, it takes them more time to get there (see “the mechanics”, below, for details). But if you can leave the house while an electric pressure cooker is running, does the extra time it takes to reach and loose pressure really matter?!?
match the cooker to your cooking personality
Through years of use and interacting with readers of the website and in-person demonstrations, I’ve narrowed down how to match a pressure cooker type to a cook. Which of these most closely match your cooking prowess and life style?
- Electric pressure cookers are best for..
- those who are nervous about fiddling with heat settings – the electric cooker will do it automatically, just set it and forget it;
- those who are drowning in electric appliances like slow cooker, rice cooker and yogurt maker – an electric pressure cooker will replace all of them;
- busy parents who need to schedule dinner to be ready when they walk in the door will appreciate the cooking delay timer available in some models which starts cooking dinner before anyone is home;
- college students or persons with limited kitchens – the electric pressure cooker is a complete cooking tool it browns/saute’s, pressure cooks and keep the food warm – some do even more;
- seniors and/or otherwise abled persons-no need to remember if the burner is on or off, the cooker will turn itself off after cooking and can be placed at any height for easy access;
- expert cooks who have already moved all of their cooking to pressure and often have more than one stovetop cooker running – an electric is a great addition to the ensemble.
- Stove top Pressure Cookers are best for..
- those who want speed and power since they reach higher heat and pressure than electrics;
- those who value durability over convenience – electrics can last years but stove top cookers last decades, generations;
- cooks who want to try advanced pressure cooking techniques -many require the higher pressure and lesser evaporation of modern stove top cookers;
- cooks who like to tinker and supervise the cooking since the pressure releases faster than electrics.
I’ve recently moved to almost exclusively using electric pressure cookers – they fit better with my lifestyle as busy mom. I have not abolished stovetops completely from my kitchen. I still pull out a stovetop pressure cooker to test cooking times, recipes and try new techniques.
More Info: The Pressure Cooker Buying Guide
stove top pressure cooker vs. electric pressure cooker
Here’s a detailed comparison listing the pro’s and con’s for each pressure cooker type…
maximum pressure and pressure settings
|Most stove top pressure cookers have two, or more pressure settings. “High Pressure” which is typically 13-15 PSI and “Low Pressure” which is 6-8 PSI.This is the “standard” pressure range and most cookbooks write their recipe timing based on this range. Pressure selection is achieved by either using dial that points to 1 (low pressure) or 2 (high pressure), or a marked bar that slowly raises from the cooker while it is reaching pressure – the first mark indicates low pressure, the second mark indicates high pressure.||Electric pressure cookers have a varied maximum pressure between manufacturers and models. Depending on the model one could reach only 6 PSI, while other models could reach 8, 9, 10, 11 or 13psi – some claim to cook 15psi though we have not found this to be true. Some have only one pressure setting, others have two. This means that the pressure cooking time will take longer in an electric vs. a stovetop pressure cooker to achieve the same results.|
|The cook needs to adjust heat while the stovetop pressure cooker is reaching pressure. When first learning to use a pressure cooker, it may take a few tries for the cook to discover the exact heat setting to keep the cooker from going into over-pressure or losing pressure. This process can take up to 15 minutes of the cook’s attention before the pressure cooking process even begins.
More Info: How to Use a Stovetop or Electric Pressure Cooker
|The heat regulation for electric pressure cookers is completely automated. The cook need only select the desired pressure, or program, and cooking time and hit “start”.
The cook does not even need to be there while the cooker is building pressure and pressure cooking.
time to pressure
|For stovetop pressure cookers: about 11 minutes, depending on the heat source, temperature of ingredients and fill level.1||For electric pressure cookers: about 14 minutes- times may vary according to the wattage of the electric heat coil, temperature of ingredients and fill level.1|
|Stovetop pressure cookers are, on average, about three times faster than conventional cooking.
More Info: Stovetop and Electric Pressure Cooker Cooking Times
|Electric pressure cookers are, on average, about twice as fast as conventional cooking.|
|Generally, stovetop pressure cooker take a little less time to release pressure.
Normal Release – about 2 minutes.
|Generally, electric pressure cookers take more time to release pressure. The natural release takes more than twice as long.
Normal Release – about 3 minutes.
timer, scheduling features and cooking programs
|Most stove top pressure cookers do not have an integrated timer though they are becoming more popular. Typically, these cookers require a separate timer to keep track of cooking time while the cooker is at pressure. Stove top pressure cookers have no cooking programs or scheduling features (although more and more are coming out with their own apps).
If used in conjunction with an induction burner, the timer on the burner can semi-automate a stovetop cooker.
|All modern electric pressure cookers have an integrated timer to keep track of cooking time while under pressure. The most modern electric pressure cookers, feature micro-computer controlled smart cooking programs that interact with a pressure sensor and thermostat.
Most electric pressure cookers allow for scheduling and delayed start for up to 12 hours, depending on the model, for meals that do not contain meat, diary or other ingredients that must remain refrigerated.
|The base of stove top pressure cookers can be used as a normal cooking pot, without use of the pressure cooking lid.
Larger models, such as the ones that are 10 L/qt, or larger, can be used for pressure canning low-acid foods (such as meat, vegetables and soups).
More Info: Pressure Canning Guide & FAQ
|Electric pressure cookers cannot be used for regular cooking without pressure – though newer models include “saute'” function which allow browning in the cooker without the lid.Many electric pressure cookers also include slow-cooker and other multi-cooker functions (including one that makes yogurt!).
But, despite what some manufacturers might say, you cannot pressure can in an electric pressure cooker.
|A stovetop pressure cooker can be stored with regular pots and pans.||An electric pressure cooker needs counter-space and is bulky and tall – making it difficult to store in a cupboard. Also, when in use, the cooker should not be under an over-head cupboard. However, it can replace several other electric appliacnes.|
|Stovetop pressure cookers can be used on gas, electric, halogen, induction, ceramic and glass cooktops. Can also be used on camping stove or BBQ.||Electric pressure cookers have can only run on electricity.|
materials and durability
|Stove top pressure cookers are available in aluminum and stainless steel.
Stainless steel cookers are extremely durable and very difficult to damage and often last 20 or more years.
|The outer casing of all electric pressure cookers is made of thermal-resistant plastic. Some have better electronics than others. The interior liner is most often-made of aluminum with a non-stick coating. The cook must use caution when using utensils, accessories and even “pointy” food (such as cut bones) which may scratch the interior coating. However, today more and more models are coming out with stainless steel (pictured) and anodized aluminum and ceramic-coated interiors.
Cooks have reported electronic failures within the first three years of use.
|During the course of use gaskets and other silicone parts may need to be replaced. They can be purchased from the manufacturer.
More Info: Pressure Cooker Booklet and Instruction Library
|During the course of use gaskets and other silicone parts may need to be replaced.Non-stick pot inserts are easily damaged and need to be regularly replaced.Cooks have reported electronic failures within the first three years of use. Though a few well-made models have lasted longer.
Electric pressure cookers are often re-branded or imported as a one-time item so it may be difficult to track down replacement parts from non-established pressure cooker manufacturers.
Although the time to pressure for a electric pressure cooker is just a few minutes longer than stove top (14 vs. 11 minutes)1 the natural pressure release takes more than twice as long (25 vs. 10 minutes) because the base cannot be removed from the heat source (the electric coil needs time to cool). Additionally the thermos-like double-walled construction of electric pressure cookers further insulates heat loss prolonging the time to open.
However, the thermos-effect improves efficiency of the electric pressure cooker keeping the heat from the coil in the cooker and not dissipating it in the kitchen – making it 60% more efficient at using electricity than a similarly PSI’d stove top pressure cooker operating on an electric cooktop 2.
The most tangible difference between stove top and electric cookers is the maximum pressure that can be achieved. While all modern stove top cookers adhere to the 13-15PSI standard, electric pressure cookers can vary greatly between manufacturers and models and are often below, or grossly below, the standard (with few exceptions). Lower pressure means that the cooker will need more time to achieve the same results as a stove top pressure cooker. Recommended cooking times and pressure cooker cookbooks will need to be adjusted – though they will still be briefer than cooking without any pressure at all!
In my case, it made sense to trade the durability and power of a stovetop pressure cooker for the convenience of an electric. Even an automatic timer glued to the top of a stovetop pressure cooker or technological advances of newer stovetop pressure cookers introduced in 2016 – that include built-in thermometers, bluetooth communication, and apps – do not absolve the cook from the time needed to supervise the pressure cooker when it’s building pressure nor allow you to leave the house while any of this is going on.
Ultimately, both electric and stove top pressure cookers will save energy, vitamins and time so the decision to purchase a stove top or electric pressure cooker is up to the individual cook.
Do you already own a pressure cooker? Leave a comment to let us know what you like about it and if you have both kinds which one youuse the most.
Images provided by Kuhn Rikon and InstantPot and used with permission.
1Timing based on multiple instances of bringing 6Lpressure cookers up to pressure while containing 1 kilogram (for stove top) or 1 liter (for 1000W electric) of ambient temperature water.
2Wang, R. (2012, May 24). Which is Faster: Electric vs Stove-top Pressure Cooker. InstantPot. Retrieved from http://instantpot.com/which-is-faster-electric-vs-stove-top-pressure-cooker/
3How Smart Cooking Programs Work. InstantPot. Retrieved from http://instantpot.com/technology/smart-cooking-programs/
Love the pics INSIDE the PC’s!! I never knew that they take about the same time to reach pressure. O.M.G. love this blog!!!!
I love my electric pc. I have used it for about 2 years now. I think I would want to try a stove top model though someday. I do have to say set it and walk away is kinda cool. My PC also has a brown, warm, slow cook setting. It has 3 psi settings with 15 being high.
I own 4 stove top models (3 Kuhn Rikon (each over 10 years old) and 1 Hawkins Futura (that’s about 30 years old) and I did, briefly, own one electric model (don’t remember the manufacturer). All of my stove top models see use at least weekly, the pressure pan and 7.4 liter are used much more frequently. The electric model took *forever* to reach pressure and even then, I had to add time to my recipes or the food would come out underdone (I’m guessing actual max PSI was about 12). Then, on use 5, the electronics failed and I was left with a completely useless pile of junk. Thankfully, I was able to return it for a full refund.
Stove top pressure cookers of top quality (you can’t go wrong with Kuhn Rikon) will last you a lifetime – at least! And if you have an induction cooktop, you can bring even a “full” 7.4 liter model up to full 15 PSI in less than 10 minutes.
Why take a chance on a one-trick-pony electric?
Your comment on the stove top pressure cooker made my purchase even more rewarding. Thanks!
I have both a Kuhn Rikon and an Instant Pot, which I learned about from Hip Pressure Cooking and bought even before this review.
I love both of them, but I really love being able to walk away from the electric cooker without a thought. That is the biggest pro. Another is that it made delicious brown rice, though granted it took just as long in the electric pc as if I’d made it on the stovetop. But it was far tastier.
So far I have not made any meat dishes, but surprisingly, the recipes I’ve tried (beans, vegetarian dishes, vegetables) have not taken any longer to make than in the stovetop PC–I thought I’d have to increase cooking time to account for the lower pressure, but not so. Perhaps I will have to when I cook meat dishes, but I won’t know that till winter. Perhaps the longer time to pressure release (and so additional passive heating time) accounts for that?
I have not minded the longer pressure release time in the electric. A timer alerts you when your food is done with the pressure cooking part, which is good. Also, it lets you know that it has entered the “keep warm” phase, which keeps a low heat on the food for half an hour, I believe. This is the feature I don’t like–it seems like it would take the pressure longer to come down, and potentially overcook more delicate foods. So I have always turned the pot off and unplugged it when the buzzer sounds. Again, this may change when I make stews.
I like the stainless steel insert. It doesn’t feel particularly heavy-duty, not as lovely a pot as the K-R, but it does come out of that big over-pot and go right into the dishwasher. If the only option were nonstick, I wouldn’t have bought one.
I can easily envision using both when it cools down and I do more intense cooking. But for keeping me in a steady supply of beans, rice, and vegetables here in the hot summer I’ve enjoyed using the electric and not having to turn the stove on, even for short pressure-cooking times.
I started with a stove-top pc, and it was great, but I had an electric stove and was constantly running in and out of the kitchen to check the pressure gauge. I now have an electric pc (Cuisinart) and I love it. I’ve not had to adjust any of my cooking times from my recipes, and the saute and brown feature is very nice. I would recommend a good electric pc for anyone starting out in pressure cooking as an easy way to begin.
I have a Cuisinart 6 qt electronic pressure cooker and a Fagor Splendid 6 qt and 4 qt pressure cooker set. I cannot discern a difference in the finished ‘meal’ from the stove top to the electronic pressure cookers using the same recipes and pressure times. Somehow the Cuisinart makes up for the lower cooking pressure with its electronic temperature/pressure control.
In addition my Cuisinart’s natural release is about 14 to 18 minutes, I let it natural release for 10 to 12 minutes then switch to quick release (yes, it is a dry quick release).
I have only used my Fagor when two pressure cookers are needed since acquiring the Cuisinart. Before I got the Cuisinart I thought stove tops were the only way to go, but now I seldom use the Fagor PCs.
I have both as well. I LOVE my InstaPot 6-1. It is perfect for my busy schedule and does so many different things. I almost got rid of my stove top since this one worked so well, but can’t quite make myself do that.
I have both and use the electric Tefal all the time. Can’t beat being able to walk away and leave it. I’ve been very happy with the results – and so much easier to use than my stovetop Hawkins model, which I’ve had for 15 years and rarely used due to inconsistent results and inconvenience of having to watch the whole time. I have since given it away. I should get a commission from Tefal – so many of my friends have purchased one since seeing the ease of use and results
I tried fagor multicooker that is advertised as PC. rice cooker and slow cooker. PC worked great, slow cooker not so much. did not test rice cooker. in the end I returned it and stayed with my stainless steel fagor. but I do think it would be nice to have elcetric one for soups and other things where u can just set it and walk away
I recently purchased a stove top model. I LOVE how nice and brown the meat gets on high heat before I cook it under the pressure. That’s where the great flavor begins! I’m thinking of buying an electric one too. However, I have one huge concern. Can the electric ones brown the meat like the stovetops? If so, does one brown better than another? All feedbacks would be appreciated!
Yes some do. I have a Cuisinart electric PC & it browns nicley on the table top.
The answer to your question was no, I had no idea about the differences. But after reading the article I certainly do! And it seems pretty clear there is no contest–the good old stovetop cookers win, hands down. Why would you ever use an electric pressure cooker? Thanks for the info!
And I wonder who would ever want to use a stovetop when they have to babysit it. I brown whatever needs it in my electric PC, add the rest of the ingredients, and set the controls. Then I go play until it’s done doing its thing. Love my electric pressure cookers — yes, I have three. I have a tall, round Cuisinart — good for soups and stews and pretty much anything else. I have a shorter, oval Cook’s Essentials — good for larger pieces of meat or a whole chicken and pretty much anything that isn’t too soupy. I have a small (2 qt) CE that I use when I just want to cook a single or double serving, not a big pot of stew or large roast.
I watched my mom use a stovetop PC all the time I was growing up and never wanted to have anything to do with one of those beasts. Then I discovered electric ones and love them.
“Why would you ever use an electric pressure cooker?”
Answer: When you can’t or don’t want to be watching the pot. With an electric PC you can program it, leave for hours, (while at work or running errands), and come back home to a perfectly cooked meal.
I have had both a Presto and Fagor stovetop model fail on me, and in a spectacular fashion, lol. The Presto managed to do it with 2lb of turnip inside (not for long). When I went to buy another, I got the Cuisinart electric and I could not be happier! This model does the saute and browning and doesn’t seem much slower than the stovetop version at all. I would never, ever go back to a non-electric with the exception of my big pressure canner.
I have a Nesco Electric PC that does reach 15psi, and a clamp style stovetop Fagor Classic 8qt that only reaches 9psi. They both have their unique abilities. The Nesco can be programed hours before and will be warm when I arrive, it can also function as a slow cooker.
The stovetop 8 quart Fagor Classic, (commonly sold in the U.S.A. as the Pressure Magic at State/County Fairs and Boat Shows), is huge and nice for large batch cooking. The most impressive use for the Fagor Classic is for pressure frying chicken, fish, and “mojo” sytle potatoes. The stovetop Fagor Classic can prepare three pounds of KFC/Pioneer/Knott’s/Church’s/Popeye’s style “broasted” chicken in nine minutes!
‘babysit’? in the less than 20 minutes most things take to cook, i take off my shoes, and prep my salad/set the table. it kind of evens out. . .using an electric pressure cooker to ‘cook unattended’ kind of negates the advantage of cooking quickly, i think. . . i use a slow cooker when i want to do that. i can prep and have what i picked up on the way home on the table in 2o mins or so with a stovetop model. so i don’t have to guess what i’m going to be in the mood for after a long day at work. i can also brown meat in it, reduce cooking liquid into a sauce after release, and can all kinds of homemade stuff. and i’m still using the presto stove top model that my grandma gave my mom before i was born! winner! i can see where a stove top model would be a pain in the butt on an electric stove, but who (that knows anything about cooking and had any kind of choice) still has an electric range? they are sucky sucky sucky!
Anonymous asks, “i can see where a stove top model would be a pain in the butt on an electric stove, but who (that knows anything about cooking and had any kind of choice) still has an electric range?” I can tell you who, anonymous. Those of us who live in apartments or other rental properties and have to use appliances that are there. Yes, I believe I know a lot about cooking and am a good cook, but unfortunately am stuck with an electric stove where I live – and a pretty cheap one at that. Given a choice an electric stove would not be my choice. I also have a portable induction burner which I love. It has virtually removed the need to “babysits” my stovetop PCs. I pretty much know the exact setting I need to use with each of my stovetops, so I don’t have to keep checking the pot to make sure the pressure is right.
I currently have 3 electric and 4 regular pressure cookers. I often use up to 4 at a time and use them differently. I cook soups in both, short cooking grains in both but long cooking ones like barley or rye in the electric. I cook beans in both. I like the non stick feature of the electric one for things without much liquid and ingredients that are prone to burn like canned tomatoes (chili, stew). I am vegan so do not cook meat so can’t comment on that part but grew up on beef stew at least weekly in a jiggle top pc. I do not use aluminum so my jiggle tops are all gone and I am interested in the stainless steel potential of the electric ones mentioned in the article as I would like to get away from the non stick, of course, due to potential hazards of the coating. I recently got a set of waterless cookware and am using it for steaming veggies and starchy veggies to preserve vitamins, but will not give up my pcs. I love the timer on the electrics, and mine all have a slow cooker, brown and steam function. I do not like when it goes on warm mode automatically – some do and some don’t. I got them most thru QVC (electric) and have different brands but they are the same cooker. One reason I have so many is the failure factor – I have backups at the ready. They last 1-3 yrs with heavy use but ultimately either the pressure valve breaks or the electrical quits. I have a Maga Fesa, Kuhn Rikon and a couple of Fagors. I had a Maga Fesa fail after a few years of heavy use and no where to get it fixed but had a back up of my mom’s. I have tried to quit using them and just steamer cook with waterless but appreciate the article giving me confidence that I am not killing my food! Thank you!
This information is WAY out of date. I have two electric pressure cookers. Both have a “BROWN” setting. Both have a “SLOW COOKER” setting. The round one has two pressure setting, HIGH – 15 psi and LOW – 7.5 The oval one has THREE pressure settings 7.5, 10, 15. The lower pressures on both are excellent for parboiling things. I make hash browns and freeze them. The potatoes have to be parboiled to avoid then turning BLACK (not grey – BLACK) when being cooked. I like to make smoked potato salad. I parboil the potatoes before finishing the cooking in the smoker. (parboil, smoke, then make your favorite potato salad for a new taste). The electric cookers come to pressure as fast as the stove top ones. When they are done, they switch to a warming mode which keeps the food at 158 Deg F (above the “safe” temperature of 140 Deg F). They signal when the pressure cooking is done. IF you let them run out of water the safety sensor turns them OFF. I have canned pumpkin in them. This requires 50 minutes at pressure. I have stopped using my stove top high pressure cookers except the large canner for things that require short canning times. I still use the “low” pressure stove top cooker for vegetables.
Risotto takes 6 minutes at pressure. I sweat the onions in the pressure cooker, toast the rice in the cooker. I heat water with bouillon powder on a burner while this is happening (or MW and let the bouillon disolve). Add all but a cup of the broth (minimum 4 cups in cooker). ^ minutes later, open the lid, add the last water, cheese and any other ingredients. Let sit for 5 minutes. The risotto is as creamy and tasty as that I have done by adding broth at intervals for the 40 minutes the “old” way.
We don’t disagree. Unfortunately there are still electrics without the brown function being sold so I would have been remiss not to mention them.
You may want to check your manual – there is only one oval pressure cooker being manufactured (in various iterations) and it claims to reach 15, 7.5 and 2.5 PSI – though there appears to be some dispute if these pressure cookers actually operate and cook at 15PSI.
Thanks for sharing your tips and recipes!
I now use my electric presure cookers almost every day for nearly all my cooking. I find it orders of magnitude more convenient than the stove top pressure cookers, or even stove top cooking. ( i have not used my slow cooker or the stove top pressure cookers since i got my electric pressure cookers). The convenience of automatic pressure control and heat cut out far outweighs their disadvantages (they are lower pressure, less robust than the stove top ones). i wish i had discovered them sooner. I do all my soup, stews, curry, biryani and even roasts in the pressure cooker at a fraction of the time. Highly recommend. Note of caution you need to understand how the pressure cooking works and adjust your cooking accordingly to get the best results.
Here in South Florida where Hurricanes and/or severe Tropical Storms are a yearly concern it is wise to have a backup plan in case of unexpected electric power failures that can last for days or weeks, and a good Stove-top model that’s easy to operate via a small portable gas range is a better investment.
A stove-top model also adds the extra benefit of not having to worry about electric-power brown-outs and/or surges that can ruin (if not properly protected) your electric PC’s delicate electronics during lighting storms that are also very common in this area.
I, too, watched my mom use a stove top pressure cooker with all that jiggling noise going on. Was afraid it was going to surely explode. But it didn’t. Her fresh green beans with salted pork were the BEST. When she passed away, I used her cooker for 10 years .. but when my family surprised me with a Cuisinart electric pressure cooker, I started cooking three or four meals at a time. And wanted to cook more. The meat, potatoes, carrots, onions and herbs are ready in 7 minutes. Green beans in 2 minutes. By the time you set the table and prepare your drink THE WHOLE MEAL IS READY. As I said, you could cook a chicken or roast or turkey all within half an hour and have meals for next few days. Trust me. Best appliance in my lifetime.
I have 2 electric pressure cookers one at home and one in the camper van. They do not blow off steam so no condensation problems, and unlike pans I have never melted one due to multi tasking ! In van they use little power once up to pressure but have had to make a stand to stop falling over while driving. Use one about once per day, but after 6 years of use non stick worn off so stainless would be better. Good for 2 steak’s in bottom then another 5 layers of same (=12, freeze some ) with onions and 4 oxo takes about 50 mins, is drop to bits tender even with poor meat.
(google tim’s pressure cooker)
I am a personal chef in the Phoenix area and multi- tasking in the kitchen is the only way to make several meals at once. It was highly recommended by other personal chefs to purchase an electric PC. Not only does this free up space on the stove top, but while we are cooking on four burners at once, the electric pc can do its thing, on the counter, without being ‘babysat’.
I had bought a stovetop version but returned it because it clearly stated NOT to use it on a glass top stove (which most of my clients seem to have). However, it says in your comparison above, that you can use it on glass top stove…..anyone have any experience with this?
By the way, I bought the Fagor 3in 1 the has a browning feature and can be used as a rice cooker, again freeing up stove top space. Anyone have thoughts on this newer model??
Jennie, what brand pressure cooker did you get that you could not use on a glass top? Most brands (including the stove top version of Fagor) have universal bases that can be used on ceramic, glass, induction and gas.
Since adjusting the heat to keep a stove top pressure cooker up to pressure takes a little practice, having to re-learn this on each of your clients cook top sounds like a nightmare.
An electric is definitely a wise choice in this situation.
I can’t remember the exact brand, T-Fal maybe? I just remember opening it (I was so excited) and then feeling so bummed because it said no glass cooktops! Oh, well, I know that the electric model will work so much better for my business. If only everyone had a gas cooktop…!!
I can’t wait to start using the electric model…should be here any day now….all of the recipes here look great.
You may find the electric PC you’re expecting meets your needs, but even in your personal chef work an electric PC has some disadvantages. It can be slower to come to pressure initially and of course you can’t use a cold water quick pressure release. Though most electrics now have a browning setting, I find that it doesn’t function as effectively as browning does in stovetop PC. An electric PC may not get hot enough and instead of the food browning it first tends to stew in its own juices. If you’re like many of us, there are times when you might want to cook some meat for a period of time, release the pressure and add some veggies (or other ingredients that don’t take as long to cook as the meat), bring the pot back to pressure and finish cooking. Yes you can do that in an electric but I find that it takes an electric longer to come back to pressure after releasing the pressure, adding additional ingredients and bringing it back to pressure.
You also mention the issue of “babysitting” your PC and freeing up stovetop space. I can recommend something that will address both concerns. I have a NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop (PIC) that I use with all my stovetop PCs. In fact I rarely use my stove anymore for any kind of cooking. The PIC temperatures are adjustable in 10 degree increments. After a bit of experience with my pressure cookers and PIC, I have determined the temperatures each PC needs to maintain high pressure. Hence once I bring the PC to pressure and reduce it to the temperature that will maintain it, I don’t have to babysit the PC while it cooks. You might also find a PIC useful for serving food at the table or on a serving counter in your personal chef work. It will be easy to keep the food warm without burning it.
Whatever you finally end up with – electric or stovetop PC or both, I’m sure you will love pressure cooking and find it very useful in your work as a personal chef.
Thanks for the info… My electric PC just arrived and I am excited to get started. I will practice at home first but I understand what you mean. Most of my clients have glass top electric stoves, and from what I am reading, that can be tricky as far as controlling temperature for a regular PC. The electric may take a bit longer to build and release pressure, but when I am at a client’s for only a few hours, it will save me a LOT of time in the long run!
I am excited about the PIC…it looks perfect for my job! I will look into that and then the stove top PC…many personal chefs use two pressure cookers at once and this may be the perfect solution….Thanks again!
I have a 30 year old stove top Fissler Vitavit PC and I LOVE it!!!! It was handed down from my grandmother to my mother and then to me. I have had it now for over 15 years and it has followed me from France to England to the US. I am still able to get the rubber parts and seals on the Fissler website which I renew every 2 – 3 years or so. I use my pressure cooker several times a week. Especially in the winter it is wonderful for soups and stews!
I cannot comment on which I prefer as I have never had or even tried an electric PC, but based on the pros and cons above, I cannot see the need for me to even get an electric one. It seems from the comments above that the main benefit of an electric one is the babysitting part. Not a nuisance or problem for me at all… so I will stick with my trusty steed. In fact, I am making chicken stock right now! :-)