Electric Pressure Cooker vs Stove Top Pressure Cooker

Pressure cooking is a fast and convenient cooking technique that has been around for centuries. The concept has just recently become more mainstream due to the snowballing of electric pressure cookers. Pressure cooking often simulates the effects of simmering or long braising but in a shorter time.

Generally speaking, a pressure cooker is a metal pot with a tight-fitting lid that has pressure seals. Both the electric and stovetop pressure cooker work under the same principle. Once the liquids inside boil, the steam gets trapped and this creates pressure inside the pot. This results in higher cooking temperatures and hence faster cooking. The best pressure cooker Malaysia is safe to use, has short cooking times, and is very convenient.

Stovetop vs electric pressure cooker
Stovetop vs electric pressure cooker

What is the difference between an electric pressure cooker and a stovetop pressure cooker? As is obvious from their names, an electric pressure cooker has to be connected to an electrical power source to cook while a stovetop pressure cooker has to be placed on top of a stove that either uses gas or electricity. They, however, have a whole lot of other differences that we’re going to look at later on.

How do you choose which one will best suit your needs? In this electric pressure cooker vs stove top pressure cooker comparison article, we’ll take a detailed look at the differences between electric and stove top pressure cookers after which we’ll give our top pick.

The Differences: Electric vs Stovetop

Are you ready to take the plunge and add a pressure cooker to your kitchen? Before you go to the store, you need to ask yourself – Should you go for an electric pressure cooker or a stovetop pressure cooker? While both of them serve the same purpose, they have their differences and for this reason, one of them will turn out to be a better option for you.

What is an electric pressure cooker?

Electric cookers are a great way to prepare scrumptious meals, fast, and conveniently. An electric pressure cooker is a cooking appliance that comprises a pressure cooking container that comes with an inner pot. It features pressure and temperature sensors as well as an electric heating element.

Multi-use electric pressure cooker.

To prepare your meals inside the electric pressure cooker, simply put all the ingredients inside the inner pot and set the cooking time and pressure. Leave the rest to the electric pressure cooker and within a short while, you could get a wholly cooked meal.

Over time, electric pressure cooker manufacturers have come up with profiles that have pre-set combinations of pressure, temperature, and cooking time. Some of the profiles include steaming, simmering, slow-cooking, warming, and braising.

What is a stove top pressure cooker?

Maybe you just bought or received one as a gift but have no idea about exactly what it is or how it works.

Stove top pressure cookers are uncomplicated, safe, and easy to use although lots of people fear them unjustifiably. They come with a steam regulator and for this reason, may also be referred to as the “jiggle top” pressure cookers. The safety valve and pressure-activated locking mechanism ensure that there’s no risk of explosion by preventing overheating which would result in accumulation of pressure. This variety of pressure cookers hiss and whistle as the food is cooking.

A standard pressure cooker on top of the stove.
A standard pressure cooker on top of the stove.

Stovetop Vs Electric Pressure Cooker – A Comparison

In broad times, the differences between stove top pressure cookers and electric pressure cookers come down to price, cooking times, functionality, and so much more. You will need a comprehensive comparison before you can decide which one to purchase for your kitchen. The good thing is we have done all the research for you so you won’t have to.

Take a look at the detailed account of the similarities and differences of the two types of cookers. You should take all the below-listed aspects into account before investing in either a stovetop or electric pressure cooker.

1. Price Range

Pressure cookers vary in cost but are available in a wide price range to suit everyone’s pocket. On average you should expect to pay anywhere between $30 and $300. Standard stovetop pressure cookers cost roughly $50. On the other hand, some electric pressure cookers are more expensive, costing up to several thousands.

Top-of-the-line electric pressure cooker.
Top-of-the-line electric pressure cooker.

Generally speaking, pricier models are of high-quality and they tend to provide much more cooking options. This means that the more you’re willing to spend, the more functionality you get. In general, smaller pressure cookers tend to be cheaper than larger versions of the same model. So yeah, the capacity also affects the pricing.

Thanks to its versatility and increased usability, an electric pressure cooker will tend to be more expensive than a traditional pressure cooker that requires a stove top.

Keep in mind that while stovetop pressure cookers do not require any additional accessories apart from a stove and a source of fuel which is mostly gas, an electric pressure cooker requires quite a number of accessories. For example, some may require an adaptor to provide the cooker with the ideal voltage.

2. Size / Capacity

Pressure cookers come in different sizes to cover a wide variety of needs. The sizes range from as small as 3 quarts to as large as 10 quarts. The capacity that you go for is solely dependent on the size of your family or the type of meals you plan to prepare.

Stovetop pressure cookers can range anywhere from small to gigantic. Electric pressure cookers, on the other hand, tend to fall within the range of 3-8 quarts.

A 3-quart pressure cooker is an appropriate option for singles, couples, or small families. If you need something larger that’ll allow you to do batch cooking for a medium-sized family, a 6 or 8-quart pressure cooker should be enough. If you need a cooker with an even bigger capacity go for the 10 quarts – it won’t let you down.

Don’t forget that the size of a pressure cooker also affects its portability and ease of storage.

3. Durability

Of course, pressure cookers offer different levels of durability. Overall, a stovetop pressure cooker will be a much more durable option that’s going to significantly outlast an electric pressure cooker. All you need to keep it working is an external energy source. With a stovetop, there are no worries about electronic parts breaking down. No menu to select, no knobs or buttons to figure out, and no sensors or indicators that require extensive repair.

A durable stove top pressure cooker.
A durable stove top pressure cooker.

Electric pressure cookers rely on an electrical component that conducts electricity from the power source to the interior. If these elements stop functioning, the whole pressure cooker becomes useless. Electric pressure cookers are also more susceptible to heat damage and the expected wear and tear of electronics. In short, most of the electronic parts will require replacement at some point.

It makes no financial sense to buy a product that doesn’t last long if you intend to use it over and over again. A good quality stovetop pressure cooker will last for decades while the average electric pressure cooker lasts for about 5 years.

4. Efficiency

The cooking time of a pressure cooker and its resulting efficiency depends on the amount of pressure created. Higher pressure translates to a lesser boiling point of water and as a result, the food cooks faster. A stovetop pressure cooker achieves maximum pressure in about 11 minutes while an electric pressure cooker takes about 14 minutes. Remember that these times will also depend on the amount and type of food being cooked. When it comes to time consumption, the average stovetop cooks much faster hence making it more efficient.

Get your meals ready in not time; all ingredients go in at once.
A pressure cooker will get your meals ready in not time; all ingredients go in at once.

On matters efficiency, we cannot forget to mention customizability. According to most people, the more customizable a pressure cooker is the more efficient it is. Stovetop pressure cookers aren’t customizable because the pressure cannot be controlled. On the contrary, Electric pressure cookers are endlessly versatile. When you look at it from this angle, it means that electric pressure cookers are more efficient.

5. Construction Material

When shopping for a pressure cooker, the construction material is an important consideration to make. Almost all types of pressure cookers are vulnerable to regular wear of the metal surface. Purchase one that’s made of the best material if you want a product that you will have around for long.

Heavy duty stovetop pressure cooker.
Heavy duty stovetop pressure cooker.

Stovetop pressure cookers are available in aluminum and stainless steel. The latter are extremely durable and don’t get damaged easily. Electric pressure cookers usually have an inner and outer casing. The outer casing is made of thermal-resistant plastic while the interior is made of aluminum with a non-stick coating.

The type of construction material also determines how easy the pressure cooker will be to clean and maintain.

6. Safety Features

Contrary to what most people think, pressure cookers are very safe to use. The misconception that they aren’t safe to use is most probably because earlier ones did not come with good safety features and so they would explode easily. Modern pressure cookers come with safety overrides that prevent any malfunction and this makes them very safe.

Keep in mind pressure cookers can also explode when used incorrectly. You should know how to use a pressure cooker properly if you expect to be safe. For example, you shouldn’t overfill it beyond the recommended levels.

Electric pressure cookers require electricity to function. This makes them susceptible to short circuits and electrocution. To avoid any electrical hazards, you should use adaptors that are specified by the manufacturer.

Stovetop pressure cookers are generally safer than electric pressure cookers. Ensure that you read reviews left online by other customers to avoid incidences of fires or burns.

7. Easy to Clean

The coating on a pressure cooker determines whether or not it’s easy to clean. Most modern models coming out are non-stick. They’re either clad with stainless steel, iodized with aluminum, or have ceramic-coated interiors. While the last two have features that lots of people love, they simply don’t have the lifespan of clad stainless cookware.

Pressure cooker cleaning in progress.
Pressure cooker cleaning in progress.

When you’re using cookers that have a coating, you need to be very cautious when preparing foods such as bones as these can scratch the coating. If you don’t maintain your cooker well you will have to replace it every few years and this requires that you dig deeper into your pocket.

8. Other features

Electric pressure cookers come out on top when it comes to additional features. One of the best features of an electric pressure cooker is its “set-and-forget” functionality. The results produced by the pre-set profiles are pretty satisfactory. These profiles make it very easy for you to time your cooking.

As if that’s not convenient enough, some modern electric pressure cookers allow you to go a step further and tell the device when it should start cooking. For example, if you’re leaving the house you can set the cooker to come on shortly before you get back home. You can generally set a delayed start of up to 12 hours.

Stovetop pressure cookers have no menus to interact with and so they’re pretty easy to use. As nice as this sounds, you have to stay around and turn down the heat when the cooker achieves desired pressure. If you have a stovetop pressure cooker and want to time your cooking, you should get a modern stove with timers on its burners. The burners switch themselves off so you don’t have to keep your eyes on a clock.

Lastly, stovetop pressure cookers can be used as a normal cooking pot without the pressure lid. Electric pressure cookers are not to be used for regular cooking without pressure but they may be used to cook in a variety of other ways like steaming and sautéing depending on the model.

Stovetop pressure cookers can be used as a regular cooking pot.

Which is For You?

You most certainly can get both products but we don’t recommend that. We would advise that you get a pressure cooker that best serves your needs. So which one of the two should you go for?

An electric pressure cooker requires almost no monitoring and to most people, this is its biggest advantage – that you don’t have to watch it as carefully as a stovetop pressure cooker. Everything on an electric pressure cooker is automated making it very easy to use, especially for first-time users. All you do is set it and keep going about your business as it does the work. The electric pressure cooker has its own timer that alerts you when the food is ready.

Once you get a sense of the time and pressure needed to prepare your meals, you can easily customize your cooking profiles. Another advantage is that it can be easily moved around and used anywhere as long as there’s a power source nearby.

Now that you know that you should purchase an electric pressure cooker, we recommend that you only go for the best unit on the market.

Advantages of an Electric Pressure Cooker

There are several benefits that you reap when you purchase the best electric pressure cooker Malaysia has to offer.

1. Convenience

The electric cooker adequately cooks food in a shorter time compared to other conventional cooking methods. It can handle making different types of food tender and flavorful meals just as you enjoy them.

If you’re back home from work and are feeling tired, all you need to do is prep your ingredients and toss them in the pot then wait for your food to be ready. This is so convenient for people with busy schedules who still crave healthy meals.

2. Versatile

Are you looking for an appliance that offers different cooking options? If yes, then you don’t need to look any further. This multi-functional cooker may not only be used as a pressure cooker but can also be used as a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, warmer, and yogurt maker.

You can also get a bunch of other accessories separately to make some of these functions easier to take advantage of.

Use a pressure cooker for stews, soups and more.

3. Saves on electricity/gas

All types of pressure cookers generally cook at higher pressure. As a result, the food cooks faster and with greater vigor.

Energy-efficient pressure cooker.

Modern electric pressure cookers are made to save you money. When the food cooks in less time, you end up saving electricity and/or gas. These cookers also allow you to reduce the heat when maximum pressure is reached.

4. Easy and Safe to Use

Cooking using an electric unit is very easy because the basic functions and cooking profiles are clearly labeled.

However, most models work differently depending on the manufacturer. It’s very important to read the manual before using an electric pressure cooker. it can get risky if you don’t follow the instructions properly.

Modern pressure cookers come with lots of safety features and there’s little-to-no chance that they’ll explode. When the pressure is too high, the safety valve opens up and the pressure gets released.

5. Keeps the kitchen clean and organized

As previously mentioned in point number two about versatility, an electric pressure cooker can replace several other kitchen appliance. This creates so much extra room on the kitchen counter and is a huge contributor to the level of organization.

Neatly arranged pressure cookers in the kitchen.
Neatly arranged pressure cookers in the kitchen.

It is also very easy to clean the food off the bottom of the inner pot. This will motivate you to clean up as soon as you’re done eating.

Our Top Pick – Here’s What We Recommend

Getting to decide between one kitchen appliance and another can be very overwhelming for homeowners. More and more people are now opting for pressure cookers. But they need to do some research and decide between the electric pressure cooker and the stove top pressure cooker.

If you’re wondering where to start, why not try the best pressure cooker in the market today – the Russell Taylors Pressure Cooker Stainless Steel Pot Rice Cooker (6L)? This budget-friendly kitchen appliance is a very reliable and efficient product. It features an innovative design with auto-pressure release as well as an easy-to-clean detachable inner lid design and an easy-to-program timer. With a 6L capacity, you’ll be able to feed your whole family with warm nutritional meals. The Russell Taylors Electric Pressure Cooker allows you to perfectly cook a diverse range of foods.

Enjoy 70% faster than conventional cooking.
Enjoy 70% faster than conventional cooking.

The Russell Taylors Pressure Cooker is ideal for you if you’re a first-time user and are nervous about fiddling with heat settings. It’s automatic, just set it and forget. With this, you’ll no longer drown in electric appliances like the slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, etc. – it’ll replace them all.

Pros

  • Safe to use
  • Child-lock feature
  • Sleek and stylish with an innovative dual handle design

Cons

  • Pricier
  • Time-consuming

Conclusion

There you have it! That’s our all-inclusive piece on the differences between stovetop pressure cookers and electric pressure cookers. Pressure cooking can give you ridiculously fast and delicious meals. This way you can turn dishes that take up lots of time from weekend-only affairs into weeknight dinners.

Keep in mind that all types of pressure cookers are safe to use. Earlier pressure cookers had a bad reputation for exploding but thanks to technological advancements newer models have safety mechanisms that offer a safety guarantee.

We hope that the information here helped you make a decision on which one of the two you should go for. If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comment section and don’t forget to share this piece with your friends!

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About The Author

Shervon

Shervon

What's a housewife without her cooking utensils and cleaning tools to keep the house in good order? Happily married with 2 cheeky kids, Mrs Housewife spends nearly 24/7 of her time around her trusty kitchen appliances or cleaning equipment well enough to know the ins and outs of those items (some say she's too obsessed with baking, cooking & cleaning for the family, and wonder if she's married to those appliances instead of her husband).

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