We all have been using or at least seeing a pressure cooker in our home as far as we can remember. Almost every household has adapted to create delicious foods within a sealed pressure cooker. As the pressure cookers have always been relevant in India, several different brands have proposed their own take with various designs and varying attributes.
When you look for a new pressure cooker in the market nowadays, you will find a lot of different options. With each variant providing a different set of specifications as well as coming at a significantly different price range.
In this article, we will try our best to explain various types and generations of pressure cookers that are currently relevant in the market and still being produced at a large scale. This way, you can make an informed decision about which option suits your needs the best before actually buying one.
But first, let us try to understand how a pressure cooker works.
How Does A Pressure Cooker Work?
A pressure cooker is as simple of a cooking appliance as any other utensil in your home. The only thing that differs it from other cooking appliances is its two-piece design. This includes a base cooker and a lid that seals it completely from the top.
The pressure cooker relies on the pressure to cook food at a faster rate. This is possible because of the significant amounts of pressure generated inside the pressure cooker. Due to high pressure, the heat remains trapped inside the cooker and allows a much faster yet reliable cooking method.
Before, pressure cookers were only powered by gas stoves. But mow, you can find a suitable pressure cooker that can utilize different sources of energy such as solar energy or electric energy for even more efficient cooking. Today, we will look at all different types of pressure cookers and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.
First Generation – Traditional
The first generation of pressure cookers is the traditional pressure cookers that we all probably have in our kitchens right now. The first generation of pressure cookers was designed with only the basic requirements in mind, which was providing enough heat on the inside to get a proper cooking experience.
As the first generation designs always lack in features and require some upgrades, the first generation pressure cookers have limited safety features and are useful for only basic requirements.
You will not find any smart features on these pressure cookers as they use a dead weight mechanism to release excess pressure. The deadweight knob sits on the top of the pressure cooker and gets displaced when a certain level of pressure is reached. This only allows the pressure cooker to operate on a limited designed pressure which the knob can handle.
Second Generation – Multiple Pressure points
To improve the performance offered by first-generation pressure cookers, a newer lineup of pressure cookers were introduced by many premium brands. These improved pressure cookers fall under the second generation of pressure cookers.
The second-generation pressure cooker variants feature both increased performance as well as safety for the user. The major change that can be seen on these options is the spring-loaded pressure valves instead of the traditional deadweight knobs.
The spring-loaded valves used for second-generation pressure cookers allow a much quieter operation and features a pressure indicator to determine the pressure on the inside. The second-generation pressure cookers are the perfect choice for gas stove powered kitchens.
Third Generation – Electric
Now, let’s talk about the most advanced pressure cookers that you can find in India right now. The electric pressure cookers, as the name suggests, does not require a gas stove flame to operate.
Instead, the electric pressure cookers use electricity as the primary energy source to get heated up to deliver outstanding cooking performance. Similar to current generation pressure cookers, the electric pressure cookers also use a spring-operated valve to maintain the inside pressure under control.
There are comparatively smarter options as you can see dedicated microchips installed in electric pressure cookers that allow automatic operation for pre-programmed meals.
Types Of Pressure Cooker In Terms Of Functionality
The list of Indian cuisine is pretty long and consists of a large variety of dishes as well as ingredients. Each cuisine from a different part of India is prepared with a different coking approach. Preparing such food in your kitchen requires you to get special appliances that serve a dedicated purpose.
While there are different generations of pressure cookers available in the market, each option has a dedicated set of functions that it can carry out. This allows the users to use the pressure cooker for multiple different applications without needing to get different appliances.
The pressure cookers can also be classified based on the tasks it can perform. Generally, the newer generation options are capable of doing so much more that was unavailable with the traditional options. Here are two basic types of pressure cookers based on their functionalities:
As you can guess by the name, the single purpose pressure cookers are designed to serve only a single purpose. For the most part, the single purpose pressure cookers offer limited pressure compatibility that is controlled by a static weight.
Naturally, you can try to cook different types of meals on a single purpose pressure cooker without any problem and even get satisfying results in most cases. But, you will not be able to customize the results according to your taste due to the limitations of the pressure cooker.
You can also find premium single purpose pressure cookers that offer electric connectivity or feature certainly shaped valves for a fancy design approach. But at the end of the day, a single purpose pressure cooker, even if it’s electrical, has limited applications that justifies its lower price tag.
The multi-purpose pressure cookers are nothing short of evolution for cooking enthusiasts as these options feature a wide array of features. As mentioned earlier, the newer generations of pressure cookers are designed for more than a single task in mind and perfectly suitable for cooking a variety of dishes.
The common difference that you will notice between a single-purpose pressure cooker and a multi-purpose one is the dedicated pressure indicators that can dictate the pressure inside the cooker. Thus, it is possible to keep constant monitoring of the cooking procedure and tweak it manually if required.
Although, you might not even have to think that far as most premium multi-purpose pressure cookers come with a pre-programmed cooking method for popular dishes. All you will have to do is take a look at the provided instruction manual and get the cooker set up for the said dish. After that, the cooker will automatically follow the necessary steps and get your food prepared in no time.
Aside from cooking, these cookers are designed for multiple other tasks. These other tasks include steaming, searing, boiling, and many other important kitchen tasks. Therefore, these options can replace many different appliances in your kitchen as you can carry almost all other necessary tasks with just one pressure cooker.
If you are in the market for a new pressure cooker, it is often advantageous to look around for multiple options and check what is new in the market. This way, you can ensure buying the latest and best product available in your budget and avoid many problems in the future.
To help you with that, we have given you a brief description of various different pressure cookers available in the market right now. Whether it is the generational difference between various options or simply the tasks it can perform, you will find all details mentioned here.
In case you haven’t decided which option to select by far, you should consider our advice and go with the latest generation electric pressure cooker from a reputable brand. The main reason behind investing in a premium pressure cooker is that you will be getting the most out of the value spent on it.
Almost all third-generation pressure cookers can be used for all basic tasks as well as features many advanced perks that are simply unavailable in traditional options. Hence, the cooking tasks get much easier with a new generation pressure cooker. Also, the new generation electric cookers are much safer to operate as it does not depend on a simple dead weight to control the pressure inside the cooker.