A pressure cooker is one of the essential cooking appliances. The pressure cookers are of three types, each one having its own merits and demerits. If you purchase a pressure cooker without knowing its qualities, you might regret it.
To save you from regret, we have explained the distinct qualities of each type of pressure cooker. We have also curated a list of parameters to compare the different types.
First, let us start with the different types of pressure cookers and their features.
1. Aluminum Pressure Cooker
The aluminum pressure cooker is one of the oldest yet, the most common pressure cookers found in India. Aluminum is used to make cooking utensils because it is a great conductor of heat. It helps you to cook the food faster and save fuel. Apart from this, aluminum is one of the cheapest metals.
However, they tend to get damaged easily when you drop them or unknowingly hit them with other hard materials. Furthermore, they tend to react with salt and acidic foods.
Pros of Aluminium Pressure Cooker
- Cooks food sooner
- Lightweight and easy to handle
- Requires less fuel
Cons of Aluminium Pressure Cooker
- Less durable and easily damaged
- Reacts with salt and acidic foods
- Overheats quickly
- Stains quickly
- Bad for health
2. Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
The stainless steel pressure cookers overcome all the limitations of aluminum pressure cookers. They do not react with salt or acidic food items. They are highly durable and have high resistance to damage on impact. Furthermore, you can clean them easily.
The major drawback is that they are bad conductors of heat. Hence, you have to spend a lot of time to cook using them. Some models come with a layer of aluminum or copper coating at the bottom surface. This improves heat conduction.
Pros of Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
- High durability and resistance to damage
- High resistance against stains
- Easy to clean
- Lasts longer
- Appear shiny even after long use
- Do not affect your health
Cons of Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
- Cooking takes more time
- Consumes more fuel
- Very heavy
- Difficult to lift and use
3. Hard-Anodized Pressure Cooker
The hard-anodized pressure cookers are relatively new to the market. They are a popular option because they are very durable, conduct heat, lightweight, scratch-resistant, and easy to clean. They are made from the natural oxide of aluminum alloys.
Even though it says anodized, not all of these are anodized materials. You will have to check the label to know if they are anodized. Anodization is an electrochemical process for producing a coating of aluminum and its alloys. This coating protects the aluminum from scratches and makes it durable.
Pros of Hard Anodized Pressure Cooker
- Good conductor of heat
- Cooks food soon
- Consumes less fuel
- High durability
- Rust and corrosion free
- Scratch and stain-resistant
- Least heavy of all three cookers
- Do not affect your health
- Looks good and comes in multiple colors
Cons of Hard Anodized Pressure Cooker
- Expensive than aluminum pressure cookers
- Difficult to clean
Aluminum Vs. Stainless Steel Vs. Hard-Anodized Pressure Cooker
|Pressure Cooker Material||Aluminum||Stainless Steel||Hard-Anodized|
|Non-stick Coating||Not present||Not present||Present|
|Negative Health Effect||Yes||No||No|
Comparison Parameters of the Pressure Cookers
You have to consider specific parameters when comparing these pressure cookers. Each pressure cooker has its own merits and demerits. You have to consider these parameters to determine which one is best suited for you.
Durability is the first parameter that you need to consider, ‘How long does it last?’ The anodized pressure cookers are the most durable out of all three.
They have an anodized coating that protects them from damage. The anodized pressure cookers are highly resistant to scratches. Furthermore, they are rust or corrosion-free.
The anodized cookers are followed by stainless steel pressure cookers. They are resistant to damage and retain their shiny appearance even after long-use. The aluminum pressure cookers are the least durable.
Best: Hard Anodized Pressure Cooker
2. Heat Conductivity
The heat conductivity of a pressure cooker determines how soon you can cook your food. Additionally, the pressure cooker consumes less oil when it cooks food soon. Aluminum pressure cookers are good conductors of heat. They distribute heat and help cook food sooner.
The hard-anodized pressure cookers are made of aluminum and its alloys. Hence, these metals retain their heat-conducting property. The hard-anodized pressure cookers are equally good at distributing heat and cooking food sooner.
Best: Aluminium and Hard Anodized Pressure Cooker
It is difficult to clean and maintain hard-anodized pressure cookers. If you do not clean it properly, the coating may wear-off. On the other hand, if you apply too much pressure or use a metal scrubber, you will damage the coating.
Cleaning them using a dishwasher is also not an option. However, the food will not get stuck on the surface of anodized cookers due to their coating. It is the only good thing about cleaning them.
When it comes to aluminum and stainless steel, you can clean them using dishwashers. Among these two, the stainless steel pressure cookers are very easy to clean. Stainless steel is scratch resistant. Hence, you do not need to worry about cleaning them using a metal scrubber or dishwasher.
Best: Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
4. Non-stick Coating
This parameter is exclusive to hard anodized pressure cookers. Aluminum and stainless steel pressure cookers do not have any coating. The coating makes anodized pressure cookers more resistant to damage and scratch. Furthermore, it prevents food from getting stuck.
In the case of aluminum and stainless steel pressure cookers, the food will get stuck on their surface.
Best: Hard Anodized Pressure Cooker
5. Health Effect
We generally tend to overlook this parameter. Many people are not aware that pressure cookers can affect their health. Aluminum tends to react with salty and acidic foods. It can cause adverse health effects.
In the case of anodized pressure cookers, the coating will prevent aluminum alloys from reacting with food. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is non-reactive. Hence, they do not affect your health.
Best: Hard Anodized and Stainless Steel Pressure Cookers
Well, there are two ways to look at this. One, the pressure cooker that is the cheapest. Two, the pressure cooker that offers the most value for money.
The price of pressure cookers varies diversely based on multiple factors. There are different sizes, colors, and styles. However, when considering similar sizes and styles, aluminum pressure cookers are the cheapest.
The anodized ones are costlier than the aluminum ones. And lastly, stainless steel pressure cookers are the most expensive.
When it comes to value for money, hard anodized pressure cookers are right there at the top. They are durable, cook food faster, do not let food get stuck on their surface, and do not have any health effects. Furthermore, they are cheaper than stainless steel cookers.
Most affordable: Aluminium Pressure Cooker
Value for money: Hard Anodized Pressure Cooker
Frequently Asked Questions?
Ans: Aluminum pressure cookers react with salty and acidic food. Under high temperatures, aluminum materials dissolve into food. When you consume food, it can lead to health effects. On the other hand, stainless steel and hard-anodized pressure cookers do not react with food. Hence, they are very safe.
Ans: Both hard-anodized aluminum and stainless steel pressure cookers are very durable. They are resistant to damage and scratches. Anodized aluminum has an extra coating on its surface, making it harder than stainless steel.
Ans: Aluminum is a good conductor of heat. Hence, aluminum pressure cookers cook food faster and consume less electricity. Stainless steel cookers take more time and fuel for cooking. When it comes to durability, stainless steel is more durable than the aluminum pressure cooker.
Ans: Anodized aluminum is more durable than a non-stick pressure cooker. However, similar to non-stick, you should not scrub its coating using a metal scrubber. It is a good conductor of heat and cooks food sooner.
Each pressure cooker type has an advantage over the other in certain parameters. If you want to cook faster, you can opt for aluminum or anodized pressure cookers. Stainless steel pressure cookers have the most durability but are expensive. Aluminum pressure cookers are a great budget-friendly option.
If you have any other queries or doubts, let us know using the comment section. You can also post your thoughts regarding the article in the comments.