As I search the Web for information about pressure cookers, I see threads and inquiries about what kind and size of pressure cooker to buy, what characteristics to look for, pricing and so on. Once convinced that this kitchen helper would be a good item to own, the next problem is how to choose the right one for your needs.
I chose a pressure cooker set. What I got was a four quart pot and an eight quart pot with two lids. One of the lids is used on either pot for pressure cooking and the other lid, a clear, tempered glass is used on either pot for regular or ordinary cooking. This eliminates the need for another set of pots in the kitchen and the challenge of adequate storage space as well.
I like the smaller pot because I live alone and cooking for one is not always fun. I always seem to wind up with too many left overs. At least the smaller pot allows me to cut recipes in half and still savor a good, hearty stew on a cold winter day.
The larger pot is wonderful for making a dessert where you insert another container into the pressure cooker and still need space around the inside container to allow the pressurized steam to do its job. It's great for making a big batch of stew or chili or even giant size corn on the cob. Remembering that rice and beans tend to froth and that with these foods the cooker should not be filled to more than one-half of its capacity... a larger pot makes good sense.
The eight quart pot can be used as a canner for smaller jars. Unless you're into canning the produce from a whole garden or tons of vegetables and meats to last a whole winter, this combination of pots may be all you need for your lifestyle. You'll have the pressure cooker that will do the job and the correct high-level heat of 240 degrees or more to be sure to remove any health hazard.
The set I bought has two temperature settings - a low and high - allowing you to pressure cook delicate foods such as desserts or fish at a lower temperature and veggies and stews or roasts at a higher level.
Safety is always a concern. Keeping the pots clean and the vent holes clear will assure safe, easy performance. Today's models usually have two or three safety valves.
And pricing! Don't think "cheap" when considering this purchase. Prices for a good, stainless steel pressure cooker range from $60.00 to $200.00. You will use this cookware often, and expect it to last a lifetime. Quality and dependability are worth the investment.
Sue Wiskowski-Fair has developed a special site to provide a one-stop experience for the busy cook to assist in today's stress-filled lives. Check out the wide variety of pressure cookers and pressure canners and determine what fits your lifestyle. Cookbooks to help you. Check out http://www.pressurizeit.com/why-pressure-cookers/ for more information and assistance.