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Pressure cookers

(16 Posts)
Sloegin Sat 04-Feb-23 13:11:55

Advice please- I want to buy a pressure cooker to cut down on cooking time but can't decide between a stove top or Instant pot. We had a scary stove top one years ago but gather they've much improved and much safer than they used to be. I've been researching pros and cons but still can't decide. We don't eat meat so mostly want it for veg, rice and soups. Anyone with experience of both the modern stove tops and the Instant Pot? Would really appreciate some help in making a decision.

MiniMoon Sat 04-Feb-23 13:45:26

I have a Ninja Foodi multi cooker. It pressure cooks, air fries, bake/roasts, sear/sautès and steams. I love it's versatility. Today I've made a beef and tomato stew in it, from start to finish it took about 40 minutes.

Sloegin Sat 04-Feb-23 14:31:10

Thank you. I should have mentioned that I do have an air fryer so don't need that function. If I go for an Instant Pot it'll be a basic one without air fryer.

merlotgran Sat 04-Feb-23 15:21:32

I have a King Pro electric pressure cooker and wouldn’t be without it. I use it almost every day.

It makes great soup/stews in under ten minutes, rice in three mins, pasta dishes in seven and of course various stocks.

Totally safe and easy to use.

Franbern Sat 04-Feb-23 15:29:50

I used to love my old High Dome Pressure Cooker. Never understood why people were so scared of these. When I had a large family, it did us such wonderful meals, soups, tenderising meat, steam puddings, made jam, etc. etc. Kept it for many, many decades. Only had to get rid of it recently as have had an induction hob installed and it will not go on that.

Over time, microwave took over some of its functions, and these days the Airfryer has taken over others. Limited room on worktops, and there is only me to cook for most of the time, so no need for one of the modern pressure cookers.

Sloegin Sat 04-Feb-23 16:23:41

Thank you Merlotgran, that sounds very good. I'll look that one up.

karmalady Sat 04-Feb-23 18:44:47

I have a duromatic 5 litre and made a shin beef stew a day ago, 25 minutes. Very safe

I was able to use a pressure cooker at age 9, wobble wobble top weight , hiss hiss, never scared me. Am getting much nicer results than a slow cooker

JackyB Sat 04-Feb-23 19:22:14

By my calculations a pressure cooker only really saves time if you're cooking meat or pulses. Just cooking vegetables or fish doesn't take very long and is simpler in a plain saucepan or in the microwave.

I haven't used a pressure cooker for years, mind. I had one as a wedding present and used it a lot, especially when camping. It was an aluminium pan so I stopped using it when the scares about aluminium started. I haven't been able to find one with a steel pan that I like. (I don't like those complicated valves, I prefer the simple Prestige cooker I had back then, with 3 weights on a spout for different pressures - nothing mechanical to go wrong.)

I think that unless you use lots of peas and lentils, you don't really need one as a vegetarian. A microwave and an air fryer should cover most bases and save you electricity.

crazyH Sat 04-Feb-23 19:50:59

I agree with JackyB - I’ve got a small , cheap PC - excellent for cheaper cuts of beef. That’s all I use it for. I live on my own. by the way.

Sloegin Sat 04-Feb-23 19:59:33

Thank you all for your input. Still deciding.

NorthFace Sat 04-Feb-23 20:12:23

I’m inclined to agree with you, JackyB.

Money Saving Expert's guide say an electric hob costs 88p per hour to run.

I don’t eat meat or fish. I do most of my cooking on the hob and can knock up a big pot of veggie soup, a one-pot “casserole’ or curry in around 30 minutes, say 44p in electricity. I throw the rice in with it so it absorbs the flavours from other ingredients. Tasty rice and less washing up. Using my big saucepan or wok, I easily make enough for four meals.

For whole lentils on the hob, cook time is typically 15-20 minutes. For split red lentils, cook time is typically only about 5-7 minutes. I don’t bother with dried peas as value cans or frozen peas are so inexpensive. Same for dried beans. I use value cans. Saves all the bother of soaking overnight and rapid boiling.

It’s hard to know precisely how much a pressure cooker will save energy wise but say it’s 50%. I think it depends on the size of the pot. If an Instant Pot costs around £70-£80 to buy, is used every day and saves 22p per day, it would take about a year to recoup the outlay on the pot. For me, it would take four years.

Blondiescot Sat 04-Feb-23 20:16:55

I have a Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 which has a PC function. I can knock up a big pot of stew or soup in a fraction of the time it would take to cook conventionally, which I then divide into batches and either freeze some or take to my elderly in-laws. I particularly love being able to make dishes like risotto or paella in under 10 minutes, yet they taste just as good as when cooked in the normal method.

merlotgran Sat 04-Feb-23 20:29:11

A 3ltr King Pro which is big enough for two costs £49.99.

I like the fact that I can make a quick vegetable pasta dish in under ten mins. I can have a shower, put my PJs on and it’s ready. It will slow release the steam and keep warm if I want to wait a bit longer.

Being able to just leave it until I want to eat is a big plus for me. The slow cooker function is a bit fierce though.

Hetty58 Sat 04-Feb-23 21:34:16

I'd recommend the instant pot as it's so versatile. Pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, slow cooker - and a keep warm function. Along with my old slow cooker, it's often in use for family gatherings. People can just help themselves. It even bakes at lower temperatures - and quickly makes veggie curries, soups etc. You can use the inner pot directly on the stove to brown onions etc. before cooking.

Doodledog Sat 04-Feb-23 21:49:30

Another IP recommendation here.

I have one, and use it a lot. I wish I hadn't bought the Ninja, but I wanted an air fryer, and thought the Ninja would replace the IP, which I could take to the lodge or give to one of the children. Instead I use the IP for pressure cooking as it is a lot better than the Nina, IMO.

I didn't realise you could use the inner pot on the stove, Hetty, but given the saute function is effectively the same thing, there's no reason why not, is there? I'll bear that in mind in future.

Sloegin Sun 05-Feb-23 22:14:31

Again thank you all for your input. One of the reasons I've been inspired to get a pressure cooker is because my husband, who was a keen gardener but sadly no longer able to do his own gardening was always keen on growing unusual potatoes but recently has taken to sending off for strange varieties- recently strange looking but delicious, Purple Rain variety. See attached photo. He prefers them cooked whole but they take ages. I'm also keen on making soups, vegetable stews and bottling plums in the summer. I think I'm veering towards IP or the King Pro.