differences between stovetop and electric pressure cookers

differences between stovetop and electric pressure cookers
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…

stovetop pressure cooker electric pressure cooker

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.

heat regulation

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

cooking times

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.

opening methods

Generally, stovetop pressure cooker take a little less time to release pressure.

Normal Release – about 2 minutes.
Natural Release – about 10 minutes.
Additional feature-specific releases may be available on some models.More Info: Pressure Cooker Opening Methods

Generally, electric pressure cookers take more time to release pressure.  The natural release takes more than twice as long.

Normal Release – about 3 minutes.
Natural Release – about 25 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.

inside a stovetop pressure cooker

inside an electric pressure cooker

multi-uses

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.

storage

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.

heat source

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.
stovetop pressure cooker base
electric pressure cooker base

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.

replacement parts

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.

the mechanics

electric pressure cookerAlthough 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.

stovetop pressure cooker

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!

 

bottom line

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.

differences between stovetop and electric pressure cookers

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/

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126 Comments

  1. Let me start by saying that I’m not really a ‘cook’…I have the misfortune of living in China- far away from anyone who could actually teach me how to cook. So I’m a fly by the seat of my pants type of cook. I HAD wanted an electric slow cooker- we have no ovens here and the ‘stove’ is just one burner hooked up to a gas tube. Well we went in to check them out but no one was in that area to help me (I’m in China and can’t read Chinese) and I wandered into the pressure cooker section- so I didn’t know much before I bought it but it was just as portable as a slow cooker than my old slow cooker. Long story short…I’m totally confused.

    I make mainly soup and meat in the electric pc but it turns all my meats (except ribs) in to hot rubbery garbage! I’m not too sure about the ‘settings’ as they and the manual are Chinese but I figured I could figure it out. I can’t. I think it has a meat setting, a bone setting, a soup setting but I don’t know any of the other symbols. Also since I don’t know the ‘cuts of meat’ It’s hard to understand which would be best. I do like that it cooks fairly easy…but nothing ever has any flavor!

    1. It could be that you are over-cooking the meat. If it’s tough and tasteless (but the cooking liquid is delicious) that means that all of the juice was squeezed out of the meat and into cooking liquid! First, thing’s first. What is the make and model? If the same brand you bought is also sold world-wide there might be an English version of the manual. If not, have a friend help you translate the buttons – we need to find out if there is a manual setting where you can set the minutes. Not all electric pressure cookers have fantastic cooking programs, so I recommend you use the manual setting with our pressure cooking times:
      http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooking-times/

      Ciao,

      L

  2. I started my pressure cooking learning experience with a Wolfgang Puck electric that I purchased off one of the shop-at-home TV channels.

    My mom used to use the stove top models back in the 60s and 70s, and I remember some pretty amazing kitchen disasters during my younger times with things going very wrong.

    I miss the canning she used to do of everything that could possibly fit into Ball jars (have to call her now to remenise).

    The Wolfgang Puck looks fabulous. Cooking with it, well, not so much, but it was a good introduction to pressure cooking for the previously timid (me) who didn’t want to use the stove top methods.

    Still, the fabulous stuff I’ve popped out of that device…after working around its limitations of very low actual pressure and lack of direct control…have gotten good reviews by the chow-hounds around here.

    In recent times, I’ve matured a bit in transitioning to a Fagor induction cooking surface, but am still experimenting with the right match of the manual pressure cooker itself (tried two so far, still looking at alternatives). The articles here have been a great guidance so far in this transition.

    I am very glad to have found this site via a previous link from Lifehacker, reinforced by the most recent one there that discussed pressure cooking eggs (I had no idea!)

    1. Welcome! What models stove top pressure cookers have you tried that made you think you had to keep looking?

      Canning with pressure cookers is something that we’re hoping to tackle this year. It’s a subject that requires lots of research and testing but we want to write a definitive article about whether it’s safe to can using a stove top or electric pressure cooker AND how to do it.

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Hi Laura – I teach a pressure canning class here in MN, and can tell you that the National Center For Home Food Preservation absolutely recommends NOT pressure canning in a pressure cooker. In order for the canned goods to be safely preserved (i.e., low-acid foods need to be preserved under the high temperatures achieved under pressure for a specific length of time in order to kill the botulism spores that can thrive under the anaerobic conditions of canned food), they need to be processed in a vessel that is specifically designed and labeled as a “pressure canner.” Their higher capacity provides ample room for the heat and pressure to penetrate the contents of the jars and safely process the food in a shelf-stable application. All pressure canners can also be used as (very large) pressure cookers, but pressure cookers cannot safely be used as pressure canners. Hope that’s helpful. :) Love the site!

        1. Thanks for your message – don’t worry I do not tackle a topic without fully researching it, first. I contacted the USDA to find out how they came to those recommendations and they told me “studies” support it. Then I asked for a list of the studies and they couldn’t provide me with them. Somewhere along the line they lost track of them.

          Whether canning is possible in a pressure cooker is a topic that will require a lot more effort and research on my end than I’m able to dedicate at the moment.

          However, do not worry, should I decide to start tackling it my recommendations will be definitive, responsible and supported by facts.

          Welcome!

          L

        2. Juice,
          You note that you teach a pressure canning class here in MN, and that the National Center For Home Food Preservation absolutely recommends NOT pressure canning in a pressure cooker.

          Interestingly just today I was commenting in another pressure cooking group about something a new owner of the Power Pressure Cooker XL said. She mentioned that it’s possible to can in this electric PC. The website for this product,
          http://www.powerpressurecooker.com
          notes that canning can be done in the Power Pressure Cooker XL as well.

          In looking at the above website, I noticed that one of the items the pot comes with is a home canning guide. The short video about the product also mentions canning and says the pot “meets US standards for canning.” Which standards they’re referring to are a little vague it would seem, but clearly the sellers of this electric PC are suggesting that canning can be done in the unit. The video shows canning jars being placed in the PC.

          Now what I know about pressure canning or any other kind of canning you could put in a thimble with space left over, but I’m wondering if perhaps canning can be done in some of the newer electric PCs. It would seem very risky for the manufacturer or seller of any PC to say that it could be used for canning if it wasn’t safe to do so in its unit.

          As we know, if Laura decides to take on this topic, she will do a thorough job of researching.

          1. Hi! There are certain guidelines for the size of the vessel for it to be able to be used as a pressure canner. If a specific manufacturer’s model states that it is also a pressure canner, then I’m sure it is fine to use for that purpose. I believe that the guideline for canning is that the vessel must be able to hold four quart-size jars for it to be considered a pressure canner/cooker. Laura is a valuable fount of knowledge, to be sure! This is a GREAT site! :) Cheers!

      2. I am excited about the potential of canning in an electric pressure cooker. Not pressure canning of low acid foods, but rather using the pressure cooker as water bath canner for those occasions when I am making a smaller batch of something and/or don’t want to spend a lot of time with a large pot of boiling water. Ball is now selling a device called FreshTech which is a sort of water-bath-canner-meets-electric-pressure-cooker, but the price point is significantly higher than that of an electric pressure cooker, leading to me researching the possibilities of pressure cooker as water bath canner. So far I haven’t had much luck.

        In the meantime, according to the tracking information I just checked, an InstantPot is waiting for me at home, and I am excited to start using it. My immediate hope is that it will help me become more comfortable cooking meat, especially beef. I’m also looking forward to reduced bean cooking times.

  3. SeattleFoodie,
    Like Laura, I too am curious as to what stovetop pressure cookers you’ve tried, apparently unsuccessfully, with your induction cooktop. You mention “experimenting with the right match.” What is not working for you? I own different size stovetop PCs from three manufacturers – Kuhn Rikon, Fissler and B/R/K. All work beautifully with my NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop – and before that I used them successfully with a Max Burton portable induction unit. If you can explain the problem or problems you’re having, perhaps we can help you.

    And by the way, SeattleFoodie and other readers, stovetop PCs today are not the same as those from the 60s and 70s. Used according to manufacturer’s instructions, a “kitchen disaster” is very unlikely. Most modern stovetops employ spring-valve technology as opposed to the old jiggle top technology and have multiple safety mechanisms built in.

  4. Laura and razzy 7 thanks for the quick replies.

    As I transition from an electric PC over to stovetop models, I am fortunate to live in a 51 apartment building that has a bunch of other foodies here.

    I am borrowing their PCs, but it has been tough for me, and filled with pilot error on my part simply because using their PCs, even with their advice is a little hit’n’miss in the results category.

    They use theirs in regular stove top manner, but I’m doing the induction cooking surface approach…which is very different in its ramp up to action and adventure.

    The recent article here about using a more moderate setting at the front end with inductions really was great. I was blowing up my recipes since I didn’t realize the whole temp/pressure/balance aspects of the rapid heating via induction. Thank you to Laura for writing that article.

    The manufacturers are the known people: I’ve tested a Fagor and Kuhn Rikon (the KR I will use again tonight to do the Comfy Cottage Pie recipe (using Russet potatoes that I have on hand, along with a pound of veal…cooking for 1 I cut down on ingredient proportions).

    A lot of what I am going through is just being very new to the entire induction surface + stove top PCs. I haven’t had horrible failures, but I am still getting used to the different aspects of the new control of the variables I have over the old electric.

    This site is still new to me, but I’m liking what I see so far.

    (and no razzy7, I am no longer afraid of re-creating a stove-top nightmare from back in my mom’s days in the 60s and 70s…as you are very right that tech has moved forward. I had a great phone conversation with my mom about some of those old PC memories from decades ago that was fun for us to revisit.

    1. Bill, I don’t see a comment from you in the que waiting to approved – I approve all (positive and negative) comments and only remove SPAM.

      I see two comments from you on that recipe.

      Sometimes the caching program that makes this website load quickly can show you an old page. So be sure to hod down the shift key while clicking on the re-load button (the arrow that goes in a circle to) see the latest version of any page.

      Ciao,

      L

  5. SeattleFoodie,
    How fortunate you are to live in an apartment building with so many foodies. I am envious!

    It sounds as if your “problems” are mostly a result of little experience with using stovetop PCs and your induction burner and your problems will be solved with more experience. If it would be helpful, many stovetop manufacturers make their instruction manuals available online in case the units you’re borrowing are not coming with the instruction books.

    I haven’t tried Laura’s advice for using a more moderate temperature to bring the PC to pressure when using induction- but then I’d also add that I haven’t experienced the problems she described either. Still I may try what she suggests to see if I like the results any better.

  6. razzy7,

    Thanks for the reply.

    It’s an interesting process moving over from being an experienced cook, into using new methods.

    Frankly, I’m learning that some cooking techniques will translate…

    …but others are hopeless (as in my comments not displayed yet here, and I don’t know why) about why the Cottage Pie didn’t match up to our Scottish tastes and textures.

    Also, the interface of induction cooking surfaces versus the surface PC needs a lot of work to really ever get to be functional for most home users.

    As I wrote earlier this week in my criticism of the NuWave2, it really doesn’t seem to work at all with the biggest PCs (and a lot of what I said earlier this week in the review is reflected on Amazon’s comment board).

    Our host here wrote about the need to really get the watts in the induction surface, and 1300w doesn’t cut it for efficiency, compared to using 1800 to 2kw (even if it is a Fagor or other non-recognized as topend unit).

    I look forward to future conversations.

    I also look forward to the chefs and foodies here in Seattle getting off their butts, and stop whining about the manufacturers of gear about how feeble the state of the universe for accurate and easy to use PC and INS (induction cooking surface) technology is today…

    …compared to where the world could be with positive and objective input to mfgrs to allow the whole PC universe to take off at a price point and results-in-food-served to the table that makes it a great thing for the common home cook to crank out good, nourishing food for a family in a time efficient manner.

    A lot of work to be done!

    Again, thanks for your comments.

    –Bill
    SeattleFoodie

  7. SeattleFoodie – Bill,
    This statement isn’t correct, “Our host here wrote about the need to really get the watts in the induction surface, and 1300w doesn’t cut it for efficiency, compared to using 1800 to 2kw (even if it is a Fagor or other non-recognized as topend unit),” — or at least the advice isn’t. I own both a Max Burton 6200 and a NuWave PIC. Here are the wattages and temperature ranges available in the two units.
    Max Burton 1800 watts
    Temperature range from 140 to 450 degrees F.
    NuWave PIC
    Temperature range from 100 to 575 degrees F.
    Thus increased wattage doesn’t necessarily get you higher temperatures.

    Also, temperatures for the Max Burton are adjustable in increments of 30 or 40 degrees. Temperature for the NuWave PIC are adjustable in increments of 10 degrees.To me the finer temperature control is a big plus, especially when I’m selecting a temperature that will maintain my PC at high pressure.

    I missed what you said about the NuWave2 not seeming to work at all with the biggest PCs. What size PCs are you referring to? I have PCs in the following quart sizes: 3.1, 4.2, 4.2, 5.8, 7.3 and 7.35. I use all of them successfully with my NuWave PIC. What look like size repeats really aren’t as one 4.2 is a Fissler and one is a B/R/K — same size but very different in shape – diameter and height. Same with the 7.3 and the 7.35. One’s a KR and one’s a B/R/K.

  8. I’m out of comments after this for a while, as it is vacation time.

    You said my statement isn’t correct: I wrote (basically to shorten it down a lot) that our host wrote (wisely) that buying big when purchasing an induction cooking surfacte is a good thing for several reasons.

    She wrote in 7 DO’s & DONTS this quote under the heading Induction Burner Shopping:
    “Buy the highest wattage induction burner you can afford and your kitchen outlets can handle – the low wattage cheaper induction burners can bring a cup of water to a boil in a couple of minutes too, but increase that to a 16 cup soup or stock and they begin to struggle and show their “you get what you pay for cheapness”.

    My point isn’t to debate whether the specs you are reading are accurate.

    It’s more to define them by getting away from just reading something that a public relations company blindly puts out on whether these products actually perform these ways in real life.

    If you have had good results with your devices and produced satisfyingly consistent and good food for your family, our discussion is moot. Your combination of devices works well with your recipes, and people are happy at dinner time.

    Yay!

    Additionally, you report vast experience with a variety of products (in fact, an oddly large claimed variety of products, since you aren’t apparently a commercial restaurant or test kitchen. To quote your message: ” I have PCs in the following quart sizes: 3.1, 4.2, 4.2, 5.8, 7.3 and 7.35. I use all of them successfully with my NuWave PC.”

    Since the NuWave PC (particularly the 2 model now in service) can barely boil water under sea level conditions, it would be great to understand why you own (by your account) 6 PCs, and find them all working off a 1300w surface induction system that most have discarded as useless in pushing out the needed current to get results.

    Here, we’re testing items loaned from a few people who have verified experience in the cooking industry in working with both induction surfaces and the PCs that reside on top, and like to work off quantifiable things like verified surface induction ratios.

    I guess you took me as a novice upon my earlier messages about induction, but that really isn’t the case in broader terms.

    There are a lot of products out there.

    It’s my opinion that the common mom could certainly benifit from having an accurate and effective device to cut down her prep time time each day in getting meals on the table.

    Pressure cookers and induction surfaces are a way to go for a portion of her activities as a part of her life.

    I’m off on work elsewhere for the rest of the month (so probably slow to respond), but looking forward to debating the facts and substantial information via tests, and particularly the tasted food results, here in the future.

    Um, our site host could easily take this conversation offline into a different area as to not disrupt the general blog traffic, and possibly dissuade smart blog readers from taking up pressure cooking.

    The site host has written a number of things that are right on.

    Let’s get back to that if we can and stop doing one on ones…as that will better the community here.

    –Bill
    SeattleFoodie

    1. Bill, you can start a topic in the forums about this, if you like! Technically, I cannot move “comments” into “forums” smoothly. Please come back and post a link to the topic you create so anyone who cares to follow, can.

      Once you get the hang of pressure cooking – one pressure cooker isn’t enough! I recommend readers start with a stockpot-type cooker (or a set with a smaller cooker if they can afford it). Eventually once they start moving ALL of their boiling, braising and steaming recipes to the pressure cooker a set may not be enough and I recommend purchasing a braiser! Though it IS important to get started, get the hang of it and get fantastic results before investing in more.

      I will help to the best of my ability to ensure your success.

      Safe travels and have a great vacation.

      Ciao,

      L

  9. I recently purchased an electric PC and really like it. I have used ‘stove top’ recipes and just needed to adjust the cooking time by roughly 15%. The PC I own is the Emeril T-Fal. The article explaining the major differences is very educational for us novices. I do have to disagree with one statment concerning heat sources. If the stove top model is Aluminum it cannot be used on an induction burner. Just flat out won’t work. The vessel has to be magnetic.
    Have a great day,
    John
    Las Vegas, NV

    1. JohnNV51,
      Exactly what statement or whose statement are you disagreeing with? You’re correct a pot with an aluminum base (pressure cooker or conventional cookware) will not work on an induction burner but I don’t recall anyone saying it would.

      Fortunately most high quality stovetop pressure cookers available today are made of stainless steel. Only the cheapest ones these days are made of aluminum. Less expensive models from Presto, Mirro, Hawkins and Prestige come to mind. And of course pressure canners are all, to my knowledge, made of aluminum.

      That said, for anyone considering the purchase of a new stovetop pressure cooker, I would recommend purchasing only a stainless steel model. They’re more durable and sturdier.

  10. Hi Razzy, I was reading the blog about the ‘Differences b/t Stove Top and Electric Pressure Cookers’ on this page.

    If you scroll up and find “Heat Source” you will see the statement concerning induction heating and then down to the next subject line “Materials and Duribility” the mention of Aluminum is there.
    Have a good day,
    John

  11. John,
    These are in two different sections. They don’t necessarily go together.
    Stovetop models can be used on induction. True statement.
    Some stovetop models are made of Aluminium. True statement.
    Nowhere does it say that Aluminium models can be used on induction cooktops

    This particular entry is comparing stovetop and electric PCs. It does not and should not go into all the details of each.

    Surely if you have bought an induction cooktop you will have read the instructions and will be aware of the fact that you need a magnetic base. Just as you will be aware that you should not use one if you have a pacemaker as they can interfere with them.

    Likewise, if you have an induction cooker, you will check the PC you are considering buying to confirm that it is compatible with your cooktop. Even I do this and I cook with gas. Just as I am sure you advise all your visitors with pacemakers to stay out of the kitchen. My brother who uses induction does.

    Incidentally, I chose gas over induction as the electricity supply in my area is less than reliable. I can put a hot meal on the table even during a lengthy blackout.

  12. This Site sure is a happening place with regards to pressure cooking! Love my stove top PC and reading all these blogs got me interested in an electric PC. So just ordered one and hope to be able to contribute to these great discussions. Thanks for such a great website!

  13. I just got my first electric pressure cooker after many years of using stove-top pressure cookers. I know that the high pressure is lower on an electric pressure cooker, but what about low pressure? Is the low pressure on an electric the same as the low on a stove-top? I am mainly asking because I love doing hard boiled eggs in my pressure cooker. Thank you!

    1. Erica, there is no set standard for Electric pressure cookers – it’s whatever they make it. Do you know what pressure “low pressure” is on your pressure cooker? If you give me the brand and model I can try to find out for you.

      Generally “low pressure” is defined as anything between 6 and 8 psi.

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Thank you! I just got an instant pot which I love. I have made the eggs for a few years now using my KR stove-top PC. I can easily just keep making eggs in my KR, but I wondered if I could use the same timing for my Instant Pot.

  14. I have one of the Cook’s Essential oval PC and have enjoyed using it a lot. It shows a 15 psi setting which I have only used so far. Unfortunately the regulator valve thing broke and QVC not only does not sell the model any more but they do not allow you to contact the supplier. No parts, no support and the “warranty” only covered the pan for a year so they tell me now. Stores that used to stock electric PC only seem to offer them on line now. The pressure ratings you provided on models are well under the 15 psi I “thought” I was using. I am missing having an electric PC and not sure what would give me the results I had been getting. I only want to deal with companies that have needed replacement items like regulators, pots and seals. I have enjoyed reading your blog this afternoon and would appreciate your input as to an electric replacement. Websites are mostly missing pressure ratingsfor the pots they sell.

  15. Ntxirwin,

    I don’t own one, so I can’t speak from actual experience, but everything I’ve read and learned about the Instant Pot company tells me that they have excellent customer service. All they sell is digital pressure cookers so it’s important to them that they have happy and satisfied customers. I can’t assure you, but my guess is that you WOULD be able to get parts for an Instant Pot should you have difficulty with it.

    If I were you, I’d write to Instant Pot customer service, share your experience/frustrations with your current pressure cooker and ask them if you purchase one of their Instant Pot pressure cookers, if you will be able to get replacement parts should they be needed. I’m guessing they will say yes. Keep that e-mail!

    By the way, I said that I do not own an Instant Pot brand digital pressure cooker. That’s because my personal preference is stovetop pressure cookers. However if I purchased a digital, this is absolutely the brand I’d purchase.

    1. There is definitely a divide between marketing and manufacturing of electric pressure cookers. I don’t think any of it is malicious (like claiming an electric pressure cooker reaches 15psi – when it’s not the case) but rather the people involved not understanding the mechanics and science behind pressure cookers.

      When you find that you are considering a specific model, take a peek at its review:
      http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooker-reviews/

      If I have not reviewed the pressure cooker, yet, look at the manual:
      http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooker-manual-library/

      Although many manuals do not include pressure information, below most manuals you’ll find a “hip notes” section. That is where I write down any pertinent information I get from readers (a particularly faulty pressure cooker) and any information I get directly from the manufacturer about that particular pressure cooker. Besides the reviews, this is another place where you can get reliable technical facts about pressure cookers – because I contact the companies, not the sales people.

      For example, if you look for the manual of your oval cooker, you’ll see that there has been a bit of turmoil over its manufacture and that the company has gone out of business. What you see for sale now are just retailers clearing their stocks – they will not be able to supply parts or replacements. So I cannot in good conscience recommend you get another one.

      I’m a big fan of Instant Pot – I wrote their review before they asked me to become their spokesperson. Along with my stove tops it gets used almost every day (it’s steaming oatmeal for me, as I type this). The biggest feature, for me, is the stainless steel insert – no worries about scratching and ruining a non-stick coating and the food browns in it beautifully!

      If you would like more opinions, come to post in the forums! Our readers use a variety of pressure cookers and those who have had the best experience are also the most enthusiastic.

      I’m glad you found your way here and I’ll help you get all of the information you need to purchase your next pressure cooker!

      Ciao,

      L

      1. I disagree with Laura.

        In an established business that hopes to have a future, both product development and marketing work hand in hand in how the product rolls out through its lifecycle.

        I’ve purchased a number of pressure cooking products, both electric and stove top, along with supplimental items like Fagor induction cooking surfaces.

        Rarely have I seen any interest from these manufacturers to establish even the most basic qualifying parameters for their products.

        It is totally the “Wild, Wild West” from a consumer standpoint, with absolutely zero interest by even the highest level manufacturers to come together to form an industry group to set standards on pressure, capacity measurements, and a dozen other parameters that every other “grown up” manufacturer groups did decades or hundreds of years ago.

        It remains impossible for the common consumer to trust the pressure cooker industry as a whole, since, without a regulating body, all the information us consumers have to make a purchasing choice resolves down to just reading the BS literature (that has no backing in physical testing) from PR companies who will write the product up glowingly, regardless of how bad it performs in real life when you get it delivered to your home.

        While I support this forum and knowledge exchange, as it is one of the few places of discussion…I strongly worry about connections between the host and the companies being discussed, as that tends to shadow the conversations with a hint of favoratism for or against sponsored/non-sponsored products.

        –Bill
        Loing-Term Foodie In Seattle

        1. [Apologies for repeating Bill’s post, but I didn’t know a better way to respond to various things he said. His comments are within quotes and mine are not.]

          “I disagree with Laura.”

          Bill, I’m not sure exactly what Laura said that you disagree with.

          ‘In an established business that hopes to have a future, both product development and marketing work hand in hand in how the product rolls out through its lifecycle.”

          I think Laura would agree with that statement (as would I), but is noting that such a relationship often does not exist.

          “I’ve purchased a number of pressure cooking products, both electric and stove top, along with supplimental items like Fagor induction cooking surfaces.

          Rarely have I seen any interest from these manufacturers to establish even the most basic qualifying parameters for their products.”

          I can’t speak for everything, but I think there are some government safety regulations manufacturers of stovetop PCs in the US must meet. In fact I’ve read that stovetop PCs marketed in much of the world cannot be marketed in the US because of our regulations.

          “It is totally the “Wild, Wild West” from a consumer standpoint, with absolutely zero interest by even the highest level manufacturers to come together to form an industry group to set standards on pressure, capacity measurements, and a dozen other parameters that every other “grown up” manufacturer groups did decades or hundreds of years ago.”

          I can’t disagree with you here Bill though I would note that there’s a difference between manufacturing a refrigerator or stove and something like an electric pressure cooker that costs the company that will market it as little as $15 a unit for as few as 500 units. Such products are largely mass market “throw-aways.” If they work for the length of the warranty period (a year, maybe two), that’s all the marketer cares about. Doesn’t make us happy as consumers perhaps, but that’s the way it is. Besides, consumers are often looking for the “latest and greatest” and don’t seem to care much that products like their electric PCs aren’t likely to last more than a year or two.

          If you doubt that electric PCs are much more than mass market throw-aways, scroll through the pages at this website:
          http://www.made-in-china.com/productdirectory.do?subaction=hunt&style=b&mode=and&code=0&comProvince=nolimit&order=0&isOpenCorrection=1&word=pressure+cookers
          There are literally thousands of electric PCs being cranked out by at least 20 manufacturers – and this only reflects China. Is it realistic to assume that there are going to be any manufacturers that come together to set standards on pressure etc.?

          “It remains impossible for the common consumer to trust the pressure cooker industry as a whole, since, without a regulating body, all the information us consumers have to make a purchasing choice resolves down to just reading the BS literature (that has no backing in physical testing) from PR companies who will write the product up glowingly, regardless of how bad it performs in real life when you get it delivered to your home.”

          Yes that’s true though I’m not quite as cynical about the product information available. Is there marketing hype? Of course, but that doesn’t mean that it’s all BS. It also doesn’t mean that there’s no product testing before a product goes to market. While there is not a “pressure cooker industry group” there is the power of the Internet and that’s a powerful resource indeed. There have been many occasions where I’ve considered the purchase of a certain product only to read reviews of it in places like Consumer Reports and ATK and from actual consumers. In some cases the reviews have been very positive and I’ve purchased the product and been very satisfied. In others, after reading customer reviews I’ve thought, “No, you need to pass on this one.” Recently I was in the market for a new food processor. I researched everywhere I could find, made a choice based on my research, and could not be more pleased with my purchase. I don’t think there’s a “food processor industry group” but that doesn’t mean there isn’t sufficient objective information available to make a wise choice.

          “While I support this forum and knowledge exchange, as it is one of the few places of discussion…”

          Agreed.

          “I strongly worry about connections between the host and the companies being discussed, as that tends to shadow the conversations with a hint of favoratism for or against sponsored/non-sponsored products.”

          Yes, that is likely Bill, but at least Laura is upfront about her associations and about getting a product for review at no cost, if that is the case. She did write her first review of the Instant Pot prior to becoming their spokesperson. She’s also been upfront about now being their spokesperson. Is she likely to give the Instant Pot in a terrible review now that she has an association with the company and I presume receives some financial remuneration? No, I think it’s fair to assume that she will not. I suspect what she will be able to do now is review Instant Pot products prior to their being on the market and provide feedback to the company before we even see the product. Potential problems or issues may be headed off before we even see the product for sale.

          I think it’s also fair to note that Laura doesn’t bill Hip Pressure Cooking as an independent review site for pressure cookers as an organization such as Consumer Reports does. Yes she does some reviews and shares what she’s learned. While I don’t expect her future reviews of Instant Pot pressure cookers to be totally unbiased, I also don’t expect her to lie about them.

          As I understand it, the overriding goal of Hip Pressure Cooking is to share a love of pressure cooking with others who also love it and to encourage those not already “hooked” to give it a try. Can it also benefit Laura financially? Sure, but that’s not a crime and again she’s upfront about that.

          1. Thank you to Razzy7 for the well thought out and detailed response.

            I completely respect Laura’s work here in establishing a place for pressure cooker newbies and veterans to learn more in a common and open environment of discussion.

            Razzy7 gives much more slack to the power of the internet to sort out good products from bad.

            Yes, forums like this discover elements of this, but to assume that “buyer beware, unless you find the exact and truthful website that knows the details of a relatively obscure product like a pressure cooker”…

            …is asking way too much of someone new to the process of PC.

            I return to the idea that not having basic standards (self-imposed by the industry) to define pressures, capacity, warrantees, etc, are not things to be ignored.

            Yes, pressure cookers have now descended into the “throwaway” category, but that was by decision of the manufacturers and consumer environment.

            China is popping out zillions of these things that work for a week in a feable state, then die.

            It’s (in my opinion) because the industry of responsible manufacturers did not take the opportunity to create specific product standards to regulate this product.

            Everyone hates additional regulations, I certainly do in all the businesses I work in, but by not taking it upon themselves to self-regulate to allow consumers to know what they are getting…

            …they’ve self-destroyed an entire product line.

            Thanks again razzy 7, as I appreciate your thoughtful and calm discussion on a device I use 2 times per week to great success.

            –Bill
            Long-term Foodie In Seattle

  16. Thank you for your reply! I did not find any reviews of electric models except the Instant Pot. Did I miss a link? I also could not find any Hip Notes. Yes, the model I have been using was a Demi. I really liked the way it worked. If I purchase the new 7 in 1 which you rate at a high pressure of 11, as I understand, how much longer would it take to do the things I use a pressure cooker for, which is mostly meat based items? I already have grain and yogurt makers which are not getting much use. I have a slow cooker that seems to meet my needs when I want to cook things for a long time.

    I had noticed that models that looked like mine were more close out sites. Where do I read about the turmoil about that company? I did not see anything but the manual, which I already have. Strangely, the 800 number in the manual does not say it no longer works, it is just always busy and QVC just gave me the run around. My opinion of QVC has certainly gone down by how they have responded.

    1. Take a look at these hip notes:
      http://www.hippressurecooking.com/deni-pressure-oval-cooker-manual/

      I got this information directly from Deni before they closed down.

      Your oval pressure cooker actually operated at 11.6psi, the same pressrue as Instant Pot – no adjustments to cooking times you already established for your favorite dishes need to be changed. : )

      Ciao,

      L

  17. My Instant Pot 7 in 1 is on its way from the company.

    1. ntxirwin,
      That’s terrific, I bet you’ll love it and will look forward to hearing what you think about it. Of course you know that Laura is very knowledgeable about the Instant Pot and the company itself has excellent customer service.

      If you haven’t already, download the free recipe booklet for the IP here:
      http://instantpot.com/free-electric-pressure-cooker-recipe-booklet/

    2. NTxirwin, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how Instant Pot compares to your oval pressure cooker – that’s too bad that you have to chuck a whole pressure cooker because one part is missing. You can still use your cook’s essentials to saute and slow cook (since you don’t need the pressure valve) if that’s any consolation.

      Though I know many who bought electrics BECAUSE they have a slow cook function – actually stopped using it altogether once they saw how fast and delicious the “fast cooking” is. : )

      Ciao,

      L

  18. The oval does do a very good job of saute and browning and cooking down gravy/sauces. I used it to prepare a roast we did on the High setting of a Crock pot when the pressure cooker stopped working. I never used the oval for slow cooking as I must prefer the pressure option. All day slow cooking is convenient but I always seemed to feel that the items in the pot lost their individual flavor and the finished result pretty much the same.

    The new pot has not arrived yet and I will be gone next week so a comparison may be a week or so.

    I do appreciate your site and look forward to your new book!

  19. Hello Laura. I used to cook rice or millet porrige on milk (not on water). I am trying to do it with my InstantPot IP DUO 60 using Porrige Mode. But the milk curds and becomes backed. It absolutely changes porrige taste. What do I do wrong? Maybe milk doesn’t like high pressure?

    1. Yes, and no. You can cook milk in the pressure cooker but not straight in the base (otherwise it curdles or burns as you experienced). What you need to do is put your porrige mixture inside a bowl and then steam it with water in the base (open with natural release). I have a recipe coming up that does just that – but in the meantime you can get details on how to do it and what containers to use here:
      http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooker-accessory-forms-and-molds/

      Ciao,

      L

  20. After having my mom’s pressure cooker blow up and the lid hit me in the back while I was standing in the kitchen (and getting a pretty bad burn on my back) I am very reluctant to use a stovetop pressure cooker. I saw a commercial for the electric pressure cooker and loved it, did more research, found the brand I wanted and am waiting anxiously for it to be delivered today!!

    1. Thank you for sharing your story – I think you will be absolutely delighted with your new electric pressure cooker. Following the instruction manual; never filling it more than 1/2 full for rice, grains and legumes and 2/3 for everything else; and making sure the valve is clean will ensure this kind of accident does not happen, again.

      Ciao,

      L

  21. I have four pressure cookers: A Fagor 10L cooker/canner, an electric PC, a T-Fal braiser style PC, and a giant Mirro canner. i love them all. I like the large Fagor for canning, both boiling water bath canning, and pressure canning I also like it for making large quantities of stock; some stock I do under pressure, others, like the stock for a Jewish style chicken soup, I do in this pot with the lid ajar (pressure-cooked stocks tend to be a bit cloudier … fine for most soups, but not if you want it crystal clear).

    I like the electric one for its simplicity. I like you can set it and forget it, and don’t need to monitor it. I use it for everything from rice and risottos, to smaller quantities of stock, to cooking beans and pulses.

    The brasier pot is great because of the shape. I use it for meat dishes like osso bucco; I also use it when the electric pot is in use.

    The Mirro gets used only for big batches of canning. It’s great because you can stack pint jars in two layers, and it gets stored in the basement.

    One thing I have found that my PCs aren’t great for is meat dishes that would normally require long, slow braising. I find that the flavours of wine, aromatic vegetable and herbs don’t permeate the meat (or the other way around). Each piece of food, whether it’s a piece of meat, or a vegetable, retains a distinct flavour, rather than the a long-simmered, melded flavour that I prefer. I notice this in particular with chicken. Maybe I need to experiment some more, but to date, I’ve not made a beef bourguignon or a coq au vin that under pressure that comes close to the slow-simmered versions.

    I’d be interested to hear what others have to say about their experiences.

    Oh, and check out my blog: http://theshegetzbalabusta.com; I did one entry on my PCs! (http://theshegetzbalabusta.com/2015/05/01/why-i-love-my-pressure-cookers-plus-my-shortcut-chicken-stock/)

  22. i watched my grandmother, mother, and mother-in-law all use a pressure cooker to feed us wonderful food. and while i heard the stories of the dangers of the stove top pressure cooker… it was all part of the important “safety” messages that came in my training :) probably the same as using any tool that COULD be dangerous… but respect the tool, respect the rules, and enjoy feeding your family :) my stainless steel is pushing 20 years, now. :) haven’t even needed to replace a part yet… and when the time comes, i will :) i do encourage and teach other ladies to use one… but if they are too scared…. or need the advantage of a timer… the electric ones work well. :) i grew up loving what the ryhthmic “sshhh, sshhh, sshhh…” sound meant…. and my family knows it well :)

  23. I have a stove top PC and I have to say I love it. You can tell that the pressure is higher. One of my favorite things is making fresh pinto beans with ham hocks for a base for my chili w/beans. with my stove top I know they are done in 40 minutes from hard washed beans. The ham hocks are completely tender and falling off the bone. It seems that the electrics seem to have a ways to go to achieve maximum results. And no I don’t leave it while it’s cooking because I am usually getting the rest of the meal together while it IS cooking.

    So I think I will just hang on for a while and use my wonderful stove top PC and observe where the electrics wind up. They are so new to the scene. After all the point of a pressure cooker is to save time. I am not necessarily enamored with gadgetry per se. I need max pressure in my pressure cooker, not another digital read out.

    People use to be afraid of pressure cookers but mine is very safe and the pressure would have to rip the steel pan apart to do anything. It does on the other hand take a bit of attention to get the pressure at just the right place, but then once I have done that. I can just forget it for a while.

  24. I initially got a new Presto 6 qt. and fell madly in love with the whole PC cooking thing. Stocks/broth are so easy and quick to do. No more slow cooker vampire sucking up electricity and counter space for hours and hours. I began researching and decided I’d like a model that wasn’t made in China. So I got a used Presto made in Wisconsin for $10., replaced the gasket and rubber safety button for another $10. and it works great. So great I decided I needed another and got someone’s Fagor Futuro, made in Spain, wedding gift on EBAY at 1/3 the cost of new and it still had the stickers on it. I’ve got two homes and decided not to haul my favorite PC to and fro so I found a Fagor Duo, made in Europe: = one 4qt. and one 8 qt. which uses the same lid. This recent purchase would not hold pressure. After a few emails to customer service they ID’d a leaking valve. A week later I had a new valve sent to me all without charge.
    I love these cookers so much I decided I needed one of those electric jobs. However, after further research via amazon.com’s reviews on many of these electric cookers I decided to skip the myriad of nightmares described by so many and stick to my stove tops. I must say the customer service at Presto and Fagor has been fantastic, friendly. and always very informative.
    There’s only two of us here and I was surprised to find there are times when I actually have two PCs atop the stove going at once.

  25. I have a 4-qt and a 6.5 qt stove top pressure cooker. I also have portable induction burners which have replaced my electric stove. I have three slow-cooker, small, medium and a 6-qt programmable one. I also have a small yogurt maker. I was swept off my feet by an electric programmable PC. It arrived and twice failed to come to pressure following Laura’s water test instructions. Could reach customer support two business days in a row. That gave me time to re-assess. Set-it-and-forget-it is an advantage, but I also would like to can food and a 10-qt stove top can do that and more. I already can make yogurt on the induction burner. And with the induction burner I can program multiple settings and times for different temperatures, so a slow cooker is not necessary. I’d think I am going to learn more about stove-top pressure cooking and canning in a 10 qt. stove top and leave the “diva”-style antics of the electric programmable pots as a future adventure.

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