What Factors Determine the Price of a Pressure Cooker?

Many good quality pressure cooker options are available for the consumers primarily concerned about price. The range of choices is just as large at the lower price range as at the higher price range. So what factors determine the price of a pressure cooker?

Construction Features

Heavy gauge aluminum is a common construction feature used by many pressure cooker manufacturers. Many aluminum pressure cookers have a polished surface that provides an eye appealing appearance and easy clean-up. Aluminum pressure cookers are known for excellent heating characteristics, and many are dishwasher safe. Mirro, Presto and WearEver offer good quality aluminum pressure cookers under $50.

Stainless steel pressure cookers are known for a bright and easy to maintain surface. Stainless steel has different heat distribution characteristics than aluminum pressure cookers. Some stainless steel pressure cookers have copper bottoms to aid in heat distribution. Stainless steel pressure cookers cost a little more than aluminum pressure cookers, but several good options can be found for around $50. Presto and Prestige produce stainless steel pressure cookers in this price range.

A common construction feature you will find advertised by many pressure cooker manufacturers is 18/10 stainless steel. The 18% chromium content gives stainless steel its well known resistance to corrosion. The 10% nickel content stabilizes the structure of the steel through the full range of heating and cooling cookware goes through. 18/10 stainless steel is the industry standard for cookware and flatware.

Safety Features

Some pressure cookers manufactured in the years after World War II had a tendency to burst at higher pressures. The dangerous tendency for pressure cookers to rupture and spray out hot water and steam caused many families to abandon cooking with pressure cookers. Safety and construction features incorporated in modern pressure cookers have eliminated any chance of injury from pressure building up to dangerous levels.

Safety features to look for on modern pressure cookers include spring valve pressure regulators, adjustable pressure regulators and quick release mechanisms. Many pressure cookers will have a series of five or more pressure release mechanisms. Pressure cookers at the lower price ranges will be equipped with a full range of safety features that will keep you and your family safe in the kitchen.

Design Features

Pressure cookers and pressure canners come is a wide range of styles, sizes and applications. Many people are familiar with the large pressure canner grandmother used to produce all of the wonderful fresh foods she served through the long winter months. Some pressure cookers have long handles and look very much like a skillet, or are very similar to a sauce pan. Pressure cookers come in sizes ranging from four quarts to large pressure canners with over a 20 quart capacity. With some diligent shopping, consumers can find economical pressure cookers in the full range of sizes and design features.

Performance Features

Pressure cookers allow homemakers to greatly reduce the time it takes to prepare a complete meal. A pressure cooker will allow you to prepare chicken soup from scratch in approximately 20 minutes, beef stew in about 20 minutes and a veal roast in about 30 minutes. Pressure cookers equipped with adjustable pressure regulators allow homemakers to quickly and efficiently adjust for the full range of cooking pressures, cooking times and cooking elevations.

Price Expectations

Economical pressure cooker options that are available include the Oster Swiftcook 6-quart pressure cooker for about $80. The Tefal Simply Delicioso stainless steel 4.2-quart pressure cooker can be found for about $77. A 6-quart aluminum pressure cooker from Presto is available for about $55. Another economical choice is the WearEver 8-quart pressure cooker available for about $60. Consumers with access to the internet can find many more economical pressure cooker options in just a few minutes of time. Consumers who desire to shop locally can find good deals at large discount stores and kitchen appliance stores in the mall.

Consumers in the market for a good quality pressure cooker with a limited budget, should do some research and not be reluctant to look at the full range of brands that are available.

About the Author Chris

I'm a Chef and my name's Chris. I now run a culinary school and consultancy, however my first love was the type of cooking my Mom taught me when I was growing up. That was using a pressure cooker to create delicious, nutritious meals quickly and efficiently. I'm now using this site to pass on my tips and advice to you for buying and getting the best out of your new pressure cooker. Happy Cooking!

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