The best pressure cooker-Advantages and disadvantages of pressure cookers

The best pressure cooker-Advantages and disadvantages of pressure cookers

The best pressure cooker-Advantages and disadvantages of pressure cookers

We tested 10 pressure cookers. We like the BRA Vitesse series best. It offers long-lasting pots and solid safety devices at a moderate price. If you want convenience in a classic pressure cooker, Fissler is the right place for you. Tefal Clipso has a low weight and a compact format.

Time is money. Scrooge McDuck would certainly be a pressure cooker fan. Cooking in significantly less time, the hob can be turned off much faster – that saves energy and money!

Especially when your own culinary art is rediscovered due to home office, home schooling, and a health-conscious lifestyle, you want to approach the matter efficiently. Who wants to wait many hours for the cooking time in front of steaming pots?

The pressure cooker is now a technically mature product that is safe and no longer costs the world. In this test, we look at a selection of the pressure cookers available on the market, examine them in detail and make purchase recommendations.

TEST WINNER

BRA Vitesse

test winner

The BRA impresses with its high quality, classic handling, and three security levels. First is available with nine, six, and four liters. The BRA Vitesse pressure cooker series is available with four, six, and nine liters. Classic handling, high-quality pot, and a control valve as well as spare part options are available for a moderate price. We particularly like the dosed, safe release of steam with the thumb on the control valve.

 

ALSO, GOOD

Pintinox Monix Quick

The Pintinox is a great all-rounder. The solid, classic pot has an easy-to-clean control valve. Pintinox Monix Quick is an inexpensive all-around pressure cooker

They available in four, six, or seven liters. The solid, heavy pot has no frills and the control valve is easy to clean. The latter is identical to the ELO Praktika Plus XS and therefore not the ultimate in quality. In comparison to ELO, Monix Quick has three safeguards against excessive pressure.

SAFE & COMFORTABLE

Fissler Vitaquick

Classic with no frills: The Fissler has no control valve, the pressure level is set via the pressure display. We like the comfortable slow steam release on the handle!

The Fissler Vitaquick costs more, but it also has a convenient steam release button that no other pot in the test range can offer: the thumb can be used to release steam safely and in doses. So, you can open the lid quickly and don’t have to wait a quarter of an hour. The Fissler Vitaquick is available with three, five, six, and ten liters.

FEATHERWEIGHT

Tefal P4620733 Clipso Minut ‘Perfect

The Tefal is very light, with a convenient one-hand locking mechanism. The control valve is easy to clean.

The Tefal Clipso Minut ‘Perfect with six or seven and a half liters is as light as no other pot of comparable size. The highlight is the convenient one-hand locking of the lid. The Clipso, therefore, does not have a bulky handle. The black silicone seal appears to be more durable than other pots and the Tefal comes with a sturdy cooking insert.

MINI POT

ELO Praktika Plus XS 2.7L

The ELO is really mini – with only 2.7 liters! All in all, however, it is a solid, classic pot. Its control valve is easy to clean.

The ELO internships Plus XS is 2.7 liters, the smallest pressure cooker in a test field, but it is also available with six liters. Operation and structure are classic, the control valve can be easily removed and cleaned. However, the quality of the valve is not as high as in the above recommendations.

You should pay attention to this when buying

A pressure cooker can cook vegetables, meat, or other things in a significantly shorter time than in a conventional pot with a loosely attached lid.

It can also be used for juicing or for boiling vegetables, fruit, and meat. Even defrosting frozen food works.

Advantages and disadvantages of pressure cookers

One of the great things about pressure cookers is that you can cook with little liquid. This means that fewer vitamins and minerals are washed out and, for example, if you use a cooking insert, the food is not even immersed in the water.

Another plus point is energy saving: a shorter cooking time also means less energy consumption (around 30 to 50 percent). The residual pressure in the pot allows the food to cook to the end.

The device saves time and money

Time savings also play a major role with pressure cookers. Depending on the food, the pot needs 50 to 70 percent less time – this is very suitable for e.g., B. goulash, a soup chicken, or legumes.

Because no water escapes in the form of steam, a minimum amount of liquid is sufficient. That saves water. Pressure cookers also reduce odors. They are not distributed in the kitchen but stay in the pot.

Do you think you can’t hear anything with a pressure cooker? This is not a problem with the lid open! The prerequisite is that the pressure cooker is made of stainless steel.

These rather small potatoes only need ten minutes in the pressure cooker!

But pressure cookers also have disadvantages:

you cannot check the food to see when it is ready because you cannot open the lid. Especially with vegetables or legumes, too long a cooking time quickly leads to a mushy result. Therefore, it is better to plan less time and, if necessary, finish cooking without pressure.

Cooking with a pressure cooker also requires a little planning: if the pot is under pressure, you cannot refill anything. Food with different cooking times must be brought to one time using the piece sizes, or the pot must be opened and refilled after a certain period of time. The latter sometimes eats up the time saved because the pot has to cool down first.

You should be careful when releasing the pressure, otherwise, you could get burned by the hot steam. If you want it to be quick, put the pot under cold water in the sink!

Not suitable for thick soups

Please also keep in mind that you cannot stir in between! Thick, pureed soups burn-in pressure cookers. Therefore, they are unsuitable for pumpkin, risotto, or rice pudding.

Depending on the intensity of use, the large silicone or Sicomat seal must be changed at some point. The rubber lips of the safety or blocking valves or the valves themselves sometimes have to be replaced. In our own experience, however, a Sicomat seal can easily last ten years. We cannot predict what simple silicone seals will look like. The manufacturers speak of a replacement every one to two years.

How long does something take?

The pressure cookers usually have two pressure levels. Level one is recommended for delicate foods such as fish and vegetables, level two for stews and meat. Which food needs how long with a certain size (weight, in one piece), this is exactly shown in the cooking timetable in the manuals.

As a beginner, you should strictly adhere to the table of cooking times and put the food in pieces of the same size.

It makes a big difference in terms of time whether the food is cooked in one piece – for example a roast or a whole chicken – or in cubes, e.g., B. Goulash comes in the pot.

How does a pressure cooker work?

The pressure cooker is a saucepan with an outwardly curved rim. Bayonet recesses ensure that the cover is pressure-resistant. The lid has a rubber seal and both a control valve and a safety valve. Both limit the pressure build-up in the pot.

Modern pots also have a safety window on the edge of the lid: Here, the ring-shaped seal is pressed out of the lid when there is excess pressure.

The control or pressure display valve usually has a pressure-dependent rising pin with markings for the pressure display. Nowadays, one of the two valves is linked to the lid lock: the pot can only be opened without pressure.

Operating principle: The airtight lid creates water vapor pressure which, at around 1.8 bar absolute pressure, activates the control valve, which now keeps the pot closed.

INTERESTING

The pressure cooker can also be used to cook lowland dishes in the mountains, where water cannot be heated to 100 degrees due to the high altitude. On Mount Everest, the air pressure is just under a third of normal pressure at 0.326 bar, and water there already boils at 71 degrees. Due to the 0.8 bar overpressure in the pot, the water boils here at around 90 degrees.

Compared to atmospheric pressure, there is now 0.8 bar overpressure, which increases the boiling temperature of the cooking water to around 117 degrees. This means that the food cooks faster than in normal pots.

How do you use a pressure cooker?

Using a sieve insert, only fill in enough water that the bottom of the insert is just covered with water. The pots often have markings for the minimum and maximum capacity. The minimum amount is sufficient for cooking vegetables or meat; Max should not be exceeded for stews.

Overall, you must not fill the pressure cooker more than three-quarters of the total volume. But here too, depending on the pressure cooker, how much water is too much differs. Rule of thumb: A pressure cooker should not be more than two-thirds full of water.

Place the lid on the pressure cooker, let it click into place, and select pressure level one or two. Now heat the pot. The maximum level of the stove can also be used here.

The pot will now let steam escape through the control valve, it will close after a while. Now the pressure indicator rises – it can be a small red bolt or a larger pen with markings. Two red rings are typical. When the second ring is reached, the temperature has to be lowered, because now the pressure only has to be maintained.

Steam escapes from the pot during cooking

You cannot forget this point in time because the pan lets off steam with a whistling whistle through the safety valve. You now select the cooking level so that the pressure indicator moves between the two rings or so that the red bolt does not fall.

The cooking time starts when the pressure level is reached. It is best to use a timer on the stove or a kitchen clock for the cooking time. Stove timers are handy because they turn off the burner.

The pressure cooker can also be used as a normal pot. Simply do not set the pressure level, just snap the cover into place. Now the steam escapes, you can regulate the gentle simmer on the stove.

What’s the best way to open a pressure cooker?

The best variant: Wait until it cools down by itself and the shut-off valve releases the opening.

If you want to go quickly, you put the saucepan in the sink and let cold water flow over it until the pressure indicator has lowered. The lid can now be opened.

Some pressure cookers can release steam by pressing a button or by gently pushing the control valve. Whether this works well in practice depends on the model. Either way, the pressure has to escape gently, otherwise liquid will flow out through the valve.

Are pressure cookers dangerous?

Are pressure pots exploding and food being catapulted to the ceiling? The fear is no longer justified. As long as you pay attention to the correct handling, nothing can happen. With two or three safety devices, the manufacturers help prevent a pot from building up dangerous pressure in the first place and subsequently bursting.

Test winner: BRA Vitesse

The BRA Vitesse pressure cooker does everything right at an attractive price: high quality including a robust control valve, three safeguards against overpressure and good operation with controlled steam release and two pressure levels. A classic pot all-rounder that is available in four, six or nine liters and doesn’t even cost a lot.

TEST WINNER

BRA Vitesse

The BRA impresses with its high quality, classic handling, and three security levels. First is available with nine, six, and four liters.

We tested the BRA Vitesse with nine and four liters. The latter is identical to the Pinti Inox Vitesse, i.e., the lid and pot are completely identical, and the BRA emblem is stamped on. Our recommendation also applies to the Pinti Inox.

BRA Vitesse does not cover the smallest pot size of three liters, our »price & performance small« recommendation would be an option.

Stability and value

BRA relies on solid, torsion-resistant pots and lids made of stainless steel. The pot has a thick sandwich base for all types of stoves including induction. The nine-liter pot weighs almost two kilograms without the lid.

That looks difficult in comparison, but in relation to the capacity, it is not that much. The pots are no longer as heavy as they used to be: our ten-year-old 4.5-liter Silit Sicomatic weighs an impressive 2.8 kilograms – the pot alone. In this respect, the weight class between 1.3 and 2.0 kilograms of the current pots is moderate.

security

The BRA also likes it because of the strong control valve. Not all valves are the same! There are simple versions made of plastic and silicone, guided with plastic noses. The pressure of the spring ensures the desired pressure in the pot.

Such spiral springs can gelatinize, plastic noses wear out. BRA relies on a valve made entirely of metal, weighs down the encapsulated spring with a solid steel weight, and dispenses with plastic lugs.

The chimney insert of the control valve has a hexagon nut with a cross-head cap for this purpose. This prevents the valve from clogging with the food.

The red pressure indicator rises and visually shows the pressure in the pot. Escaping steam – at overpressure – causes the gray ring to rotate.

BRA Vitesse has three safeguards against overpressure: the control valve, the pressure indicator valve, and the safety window on the edge of the lid. All three would allow excess pressure to escape, so nothing goes wrong if one of them becomes clogged.

If the lid is not closed correctly, the steam escapes from the handle, but the entire handle is not gripped and heated. The cook can make corrections quickly and without hand protection and close the pot.

handling

The handling is basically classic and the operator always knows what the pot is doing. The question “Why can’t I open the pot?” Does not arise, because a red shut-off valve visibly blocks the opening mechanism.

The lid is locked or unlocked by a slide; this is the case with every pressure cooker. With the BRA, the corresponding lever must be pushed up with the thumb. This is atypical, all other pots rely on a lever that is pulled down. With BRA you definitely need both hands to open it.

The instructions are well done: Sufficiently detailed and with a table of cooking times. Spare parts such as round seals or safety valves are available in stores.

Disadvantage?

If the lid is not closed, steam escapes from the handle but does not heat the entire handle. A small drawback: the control valve can only be removed for cleaning purposes after removing a hexagon nut with the wrench.

BRA Vitesse in the test mirror

No other editorial team has scrutinized the BRA Vitesse. Should we find any tests of the BRA Vitesse series, we will add them here.

Alternatives

If you are looking for another pressure cooker that offers more capacity, less weight or a cheaper purchase price, you may find the right device among our other recommendations.

BRA Vitesse in the test mirror

No other editorial team has scrutinized the BRA Vitesse. Should we find any tests of the BRA Vitesse series, we will add them here

GOOD all-rounder: Pintinox Monix quick

The Pintinox Monix quick is an all-rounder for little money that is available in four, six, or seven liters. The solid, classic pot has an identical control valve as the ELO, so it is also a low-cost valve made of plastic with a spring and two pressure levels. Wear is preprogrammed, but there are spare parts available (can also be used by ELO).

The Pintinox is a great all-rounder. The solid, classic pot has an easy-to-clean control valve.

When the pressure is exceeded, the pot emits a classic, bright whistle. In contrast to ELO, however, there are three safeguards, i.e., two pressure relief valves and a window on the edge of the lid. If the first two safeguards fail, the steam will push the silicone seal out of the window and the pressure will escape.

The instructions are useful, but nothing more. If the lid is not completely closed, the hot steam escapes directly onto the lower handle. Inconvenient because we now have to use a handguard to close the lid properly. We liked the gentle steam release on the pressure valve. The steam escapes away from the user.

The Pintinox Monix quick is for occasional users who do not value comfort but are still looking for a heavy, solid pot.

No Scalding: Fissler Vitaquick

The Fissler Vitaquick is a successful pressure cooker with contemporary convenience features. First and foremost, there is the steam release button, here steam can be released with a dosed pressure of the thumb. This takes one to two minutes at heat setting two, but this is still better than waiting 15 to 20 minutes for the entire pan to cool down – or putting the pan under cold soapy water.

SAFE & COMFORTABLE

Fissler Vitaquick

Classic with no frills: The Fissler has no control valve, the pressure level is set via the pressure display. We like the comfortable slow steam release on the handle!

Slow-release of steam is also possible with some competitors, but none of them succeed in such a dosed and safe way as with the Fissler. It is harmless because the fingers are far away from the escaping steam and this flows out towards the front, i.e. away from the end of the boil. Even if we are careless and press the lever with full force, steam and water will flow away from the operator.

How it works: For steaming off, the control valve is pushed to the side to a greater or lesser extent, so steam escapes. With high pressure, you have to push harder, with low pressure you have to push harder. In this way, you will notice that the pressure in the pot will decrease.

Very successful – the manual steam release. The steam is far from the finger.

Not so contemporary: The Fissler does not have a control valve on which the pressure level can be selected by hand. So, you have to watch the pressure gauge, wait for the second ring, and then reduce the temperature supply to keep the ring in place. This is more convenient for pots with two fixed levels, so you don’t have to think as much.

Several pots of the Vitaquick series can be stacked one inside the other to save space. Together with the removable handle, space-saving pressure cookers are on the shelf. Fissler Vitaquick is available with three, a half, six and ten liters.

The removable handle (without tools, thumb screw) also makes it easy to clean: the lid can be put in the dishwasher without a sealing ring, lid handle, or cooking valve unit. In our opinion, however, it is more efficient to rinse the lid quickly by hand than to repeatedly remove these three components.

Pot and lid are made of heavy, solid stainless steel – everything made in Germany. There are also spare parts. The sealing ring is more dimensionally stable and stronger than the silicone rings of the cheaper pots. We can only speculate whether it will therefore last longer. Fissler notes on the ring, replacement every one to two years.

The detailed instructions with fold-out illustrations are one of the best, but the multilingual format is unfavorable if you often want to look up the cooking table. The Fissler Vitaquick is for efficient cooks and space-saving fans.

With one hand: Tefal Clipso Minut ‘Perfect

The drives the approach comfortably and easily. Anyone who thinks that pressure cookers weigh 2.8 kilograms even without a lid, like our 10-year-old Silit Sicomat, has never had a Tefal Clipso in their hands. This six-liter pot weighs just 1.4 kilograms without a lid! The thin walls are not completely rigid, we can warp the pot opening slightly.

FEATHERWEIGHT

Tefal P4620733 Clipso Minut ‘Perfect

The Tefal is very light, with a convenient one-hand locking mechanism. The control valve is easy to clean.

There is also no need to handle and stow a bulky lid handle, the pot only has two handles on the side. The reason for doing without is the

convenient one-hand locking of the lid. The folded-down lid handle locks the pot using a mechanism. The precise positioning of the lid on the pot is no longer necessary.

The wobbly, because the movable plastic upper shell will not find friends everywhere, because it cannot be removed for cleaning. The control valve is easy to clean because it is simply removed in the zero position.

When the handle is pressed down, the lid rotates into the bayonet.

A special feature is a bottom of the pot (six liters) with a diameter of just 15 centimeters. This means that the pot also fits on narrow ceramic hobs or stovetops. The pot itself is 21 centimeters wide, a common diameter for four or six liters.

The instructions are adequately detailed, but have an unfavorable, thick format: Because they are multilingual, you have to pick up a thick book every time you look at the cooking timetable. German-only instructions or a stable map with the cooking times would be much more practical.

The black, dimensionally stable silicone seal appears to be more durable than some of the soft silicone seals found on other pots. Whether it will hold out longer is only a guess here, too. As an option, the Clipso series has a timer ready, which is attached to the lid.

Tefal Clipso comes with a sturdy cooking insert on which vegetables or meat do not burn or the food is not in the water. A small negative detail: The control valve has no protective cap; food items could get into the valve opening more easily than with pots with a cap.

The Tefal Clipso Minut ‘Perfect is suitable for friends of lighter pots and comfort. If you are looking for heavy quality, you should read on.

Mini: ELO Internship Plus XS

The ELO internships Plus XS are 2.7 liters a miniature pot for the small bet. ELO also offers the model six liters. It is a solid, classic pot with two cooking levels and a non-removable lid handle. The control valve is easy to clean, it can be pulled out without tools or specialist knowledge.

MINI POT

ELO Praktika Plus XS 2.7L

The ELO is really mini – with only 2.7 liters! All in all, however, it is a solid, classic pot. Its control valve is easy to clean.

We like the dosed release of steam with the finger, the stream flows away to the front. The fingers are far enough away from the opening. However, this does not work as sensitively as with Fissler.

The control valve with the plastic lugs and the simple spring is qualitatively a low-cost variant that is not built to last. After all, there are replacements for little money. We like the detailed instructions; the cooking times can be looked up quickly.

If the pot boils with the lid halfway locked, the steam escapes between the handle shells – this is unfavorable. The two safety features are sufficient, once the control valve and once the pressure equalization window on the edge of the lid.

The ELO Praktika Plus is suitable for everyone who only occasionally uses their pressure cooker. The lower level of comfort and wear and tear are not as significant.

Pinti Inox Vitesse

The Sublethal pressure cooker comes with a modern, streamlined lid design. There is only the six-liter version. Lid and seals are made of high quality. Unfortunately, this does not apply to the control valve, which is made entirely of plastic with an internal spring. Basically, the valve works well, it is infinitely adjustable. However, we didn’t get it into the guide and the guide leaves the user in the dark about it.

In addition, the Silberthal has a number of advantages, such as three safeguards and the stable cooking time card for the drawer. If the lid is not closed, the steam does not escape to the operator, but to the right and left – at least that is better than to the front and is rated positively.

the gentle steam release by lifting the regulator is basically successful, but if you press too hard, hot water escapes all around the valve, i.e., also where your finger is. We didn’t like the wobbly, unstable food baskets, which in theory can be stacked.

Amazon Basics pressure cooker

With the 4-liter Amazon Basics, Amazon also has a pressure cooker in its range, which is the cheapest of all from the 02/2021 test. He does not get a recommendation because he keeps dripping on the handle (level two). It’s the blocking valve that just doesn’t close properly. The manual also does not have a cooking timetable.

The control valve with plastic lugs and a simple spring is the low-end version of the possible, but a replacement seal is included. Cleaning and replacing the control valve is easy.

The most important questions

If not careful, can a pressure cooker explode from the pressure?

Not really, the current generation has at least two safeguards against overpressure. That means if one valve fails, there is a second one that lets the steam out. The second fuse is often the sealing ring, which is then pushed out of the pot.

Is cooking with a pressure cooker complicated?

Occasional cooks who cook perhaps once a week could be bothered by having to repeatedly look up the table to see how long which food takes. Such a table, laminated, is best placed in a drawer. If you cook more often, you will benefit from the time saved and after a while, you will have the common cooking times in your head.

Can the pressure cooker go in the dishwasher?

The lid with the valves and the safety mechanism should not be put in the dishwasher. Harsh cleaning agents could attack the rubber seals. In a few models, the handle with the valves can be removed from the metal lid.

 

 

 

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