How to buy a Pressure Cooker...

If you don't own a pressure cooker or if you are considering upgrading to a newer model, you'll be faced with a variety of choices when you go shopping. To help with your decision making, we've prepared this buyer's guide to show you what to look for and to help you find the model just right for you.

How to select the right model for your needs

Should you buy an Aluminum or a Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker?

Aluminum cookers are lighter in weight and significantly less expensive than stainless steel models. Aluminum is also a good conductor of heat which will provide excellent cooking performance. Unlike most aluminum cookware, however, you won't find pressure cookers with nonstick coatings because those finishes don't stand up well in a pressure cooking environment.

Stainless steel pressure cookers are heavier and more expensive than aluminum models.

Economy is the main reason to choose an aluminum pressure cooker.

What size Pressure Cooker is right for you?

Most pressure cookers are sold by the size of their total liquid capacity even though their actual usable capacity is one half to two thirds of their liquid capacity, depending upon the food being cooked. Pressure cookers with 4-litre, 5-litre 6.5-litre and 8-litre liquid capacities are the most popular sizes.

4-LITRE: A good size for singles or couples; or for making one course for a family, such as potatoes or vegetables. Whole meal recipes for one or two persons can usually be accommodated in a 4-litre pressure cooker.

5-LITRE: The most popular size for many families with two or more persons.

6.5-LITRE: Popular for families with five to seven persons

8-LITRE: Popular for larger families.

What is the best brand of pressure cooker for your needs?

Over the course of time, many different companies have manufactured pressure cookers. Because the pressure cooker you purchase today should be expected to provide many years of service, it is important to select a brand that will allow you to get the most from your investment. Therefore, these guidelines should be considered when making your selection...

Which Pressure Cooker features are right for you?

NOTE: If you have not done so already, it is probably best to review the How to select the right model for you needs section to determine the type and size of pressure cooker you want before studying these specific features. If you are not familiar with pressure cooking, you many also want to check out the A Guide For Today's Cook section which provides a detailed explanation of how a pressure cooker works.

For more information on pressure cooking, go to the How to Use a Pressure Cooker section and discover how simple it really is.