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Pressure Cookers Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy a pressure cooker.

Getting Started

Small appliances can perform large tasks. Take the tears out of chopping onions with a food processor or mini-chopper, mix dough with your food processor, make fresh smoothies in the blender, deep fry your favorite fish - the list is endless. For advice on selecting the perfect small appliance check out our quick reference guide to small appliances. If you need further assistance contact our Gourmet Shop Sales Associates at 888-228-5800.


Chances are, you have either heard or seen pressure cookers from your mom or someone else in your family. The old versions or pressure cookers released an awful noise and took forever to cool off. We never understood why they used it and what its real purpose was. Today pressure cookers are coming back to the market with much better options and less hassle. They give you a choice of a quick-release option, taking even less time to finish that meal and without the need for wasted water to cool things down.

Pressure cookers look like any other kitchen pots, except their lids are a bit more elaborate. Their lids completely seal the pot, while the liquid is boiling inside. Steam then builds the pressure, which results in higher cooking temperature and shorter cooking time.

When purchasing a pressure cooker keep in mind the 6-quart size. That’s a good family size and it’s standard for most recipes. Maybe it’s not a bad idea to buy even larger size in case you have friends over.


Select a cooker with a detachable pressure regulator that can adjust the pressure to low, medium or high. The higher the pressure, the higher the internal temperature and the less cooking time you will need. The safety valve will automatically vent the steam.

One of the most important accessories you will need is a timer. A couple of extra minutes of cooking probably won't harm a pot roast, but it could ruin a more delicate dish or any accompanying veggies.

Choose a pot with heat-resistant handles, a locking lid that is easy to maneuver, and a heavy bottom of stainless steel construction so you can use the same pot to do preparatory sautéing. You should also have a heat-diffuser, which prevents direct contact between the heat source and the bottom of the cooker. It will be needed when preparing rice, pasta or bean dishes to prevent sticking and scorching.

Considerations for all small appliances:

  • Determine your cooking needs and wants - both current and future. Is your family growing or growing up and moving out? Are you interested in increasing your culinary endeavors? Are you wishing to simplify and reduce time in the kitchen?

  • Evaluate your kitchen counter space. Where are you going to put all those new small appliances?

  • Check the height of the appliance compared to the height of your cabinets.
    Appliances that mount under the cabinet are available.

  • Decide on the color of your new small appliance. 

  • Determine the appliance capacity. The number of speeds and settings on an appliance usually increases with the size of the machine. Those who have large families or like to entertain may choose to buy larger appliances.

  • Decide whether you want corded or cordless appliances.

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