Just like other products, pressure cookers come at different prices depending on various factors such as size, quality, and efficiency. Your budget often decides the type of pressure cooker you will buy. Usually, there are three main categories budget pressure cookers, mid-range cookers, and finally the premium pressure cookers. Therefore, there is something for everyone regardless of the amount you are willing to part with.
Below is a guide on roughly how much to spend on pressure cookers and what to expect from the cookers.
1. Budget Pressure cookers (20-50$)
These are the cheapest pressure cookers in the market which usually range from $20-$50. The pots are fairly light as they are mostly made from aluminum. Despite the fairly low prices, the cookers are good heat conductors which make `even` cooking possible. The pressure cookers in this price range are commonly bought for camping or when light travel is desired. Also, it is a good option for beginners and users who do not use the cookers consistently on a day to day basis.
Some of the cons to expect with this purchase range include:
May discolor gradually upon increased use
Fairly difficult to clean, especially the gaskets, silicon seals, and rubber
Does not come with all features that enhance cooking (such as the quick release valve and other markings)
2. Mid-Range cookers $50- $15
This is the most used range out of the three categories. The pressure cookers in this category are made mainly of stainless steel which makes them longer lasting than aluminum cookers. Also, the pots are not damaged easily either through scratches, dents, corrosion or warps and have easier to clean parts such as silicon seals, rubber, and gaskets.
One of the features that make the cookers more expensive than the budget pressure cookers is their pressure release function. That is, you can select between high and low cooking pressure as well as a convenient steam release functionality. The pots do not retain flavors or odor upon usage unlike the pots made of aluminum and come fitted with either spring valve or jiggle top pressure regulators.
Be sure to choose a cooker with your preferred pressure regulator (jiggle tops are the popular option although they can be easily misplaced. Spring valves offer more accurate cooking but can come at a relatively higher cost).
Below are some of the cons to expect when using the mid-range pressure cookers
They do not have all the features in one kit. Although the pots have relevant features that enhance cooking, it is fairly hard to find one with all the necessary features inclusive of extra functions that make cooking easier and faster (be keen to select a cooker that has the features that meet your preferred cooking style)
The pressure cookers in this range might prove costly due to maintenance, especially if used frequently. Just like other products, the cookers might not last as long as one would intend due to the inevitable effects of tear and wear.
3. Premium Pressure cookers ($150-250)
The pressure cookers in this category are generally superior compared to the cookers in the other categories. They are made from a heavy stainless steel material which not only makes durable but also heavy enough to prevent dents, scratches, and pits. The pots in this category have a shinier, more elegant finish and the parts (silicone/rubber seals and gaskets) are easy to clean.
Additionally, the pressure cookers in this category come with additional pressure and steam release settings which make it easier and more accurate for use when cooking. The premium pressure cookers are equipped with accessories that allow for convenient and quicker cooking. This makes them easy to use by either new or experienced users. The mechanisms of the pressure cooker are modernized with more settings which play a pivotal role in reducing the cost of maintenance. Also, you can cook almost everything with premium pressure cookers as they don’t retain flavors or odors even after repeated use.
Cons of using premium pressure cookers
Premium cookers are no doubt the best and most reliable option of all the categories. However, they are costlier and may require you to part with a chunk of your earnings. Also, in the rare occasion of damage, replacing the parts might be more costly than when replacing parts of lower quality pressure cookers.
As indicated in the above guide, pressure cookers come at different prices based on the features offered. Therefore, before buying your pressure cooker, ensure you consider factors such as frequency of use, the desired level of convenience and ease of use. This will help you determine which price range to go for based on your budget.