9 Differences – Stainless Steel vs Aluminium Pressure Cooker (Which is Better)

Stainless Steel vs Aluminium Pressure Cooker (Which is Better)

Confused between Stainless Steel vs Aluminium pressure cooker, and which is better for Indian cooking, keep reading the post, and you will have your answer soon.

Whether you are cooking a biryani in a dutch oven, or deep-frying pakodas in a stainless steel kadai, there is no way a kitchen can survive without a pressure cooker.

A pressure cooker in India comes in 3 main materials such as stainless steel, aluminium and hard anodized.

With the help of this post, we will focus on the main difference between aluminium and stainless steel pressure cooker, and which one is better for your health?

To make sure you are aware of everything about pressure cookers in India, we will also review the pros and cons of stainless steel and aluminium pressure cookers.

Quick Glance – Stainless Steel vs Aluminium Pressure Cooker
Stainless Steel Cooker – Expensive, Durable and Heavy
Aluminium Cooker – Lightweight, Prone to damages, Affordable

You can also check out other posts on Best Hard Anodized Cookware in India, Elica vs Prestige Gas Stove and Best Stainless Steel Kadai in India.

Stainless Steel vs Aluminium Pressure Cooker (Quick Glance)

Stainless Steel vs Aluminium Pressure Cooker (Quick Glance)

9 Differences: Stainless Steel vs Aluminium Pressure Cooker – Which is Better?

In order to figure out, which is better stainless steel or aluminium pressure cooker, we will compare these 2 materials on a parameter of different factors such as durability, price, cooking time, ease of cleaning and maintenance, weight, etc.

9 Differences: Stainless Steel vs Aluminium Pressure Cooker - Which is Better?

1. In Terms of the Durability

In Terms of the Durability

There is a lot that goes through in the Indian kitchens, and that is why, the cookware we use for daily cooking should be rough and tough. When you compare aluminium and stainless steel pressure cookers in terms of the durability, stainless steel cookers are a better choice. Aluminium as a material is prone to scratches, and over a period of time, it can get damaged easily. Stainless steel on the other hand is stain-less, as the name suggests. A stainless steel cooker can easily last for 7-10 years in the kitchen, if maintained decently.

Winner: Stainless Steel Cooker

2. In Terms of the Health

In Terms of the Health

One of the biggest question about an aluminium pressure cooker is “Is aluminium pressure cooker harmful for cooking?” We Indians use a lot of tomatoes, lemon and other citrus ingredients in our cooking. If you think about the daily food items we consume, almost everything contains some amount of citrus contents. Now, the issue is when the aluminium material gets eroded over a period of time due to regular cooking, the acidic contents may start to react with the aluminium material. This may cause health hazards to some people. On the other hand, stainless steel pressure cookers are absolutely safe, and can be used even with the acidic foods.

Winner: Stainless Steel Cooker

3. In Terms of the Heat Conductivity

In Terms of the Heat conductivity

When it comes to the heat conductivity, it means how fast the cooker can cook your food. Aluminium is known to be an excellent heat conductor, which means if you are cooking your food in an aluminium pressure cooker, it will cook the food faster, as compared to a stainless steel pressure cooker. Having said this, since aluminium heats up too quickly, there is always a chance of burning up the food, if you are not careful enough.

Winner: Aluminium Cooker

4. In Terms of Cleaning & Maintenance

In Terms of Cleaning & Maintenance

The ease of cleaning and maintenance has a big role to play in the life of your pressure cooker, whether it is stainless steel or aluminium. Since the aluminium material is prone to damages and scratches, you cannot use a metal scrubber to clean it. Thus, you have to be careful while cleaning and maintaining the aluminium pressure cooker. At the same time, stainless steel pressure cookers are amazing in terms of maintenance, since you can easily use them for 7-10 years.

Winner: Stainless Steel Cooker

5. In Terms of Affordability

In Terms of Affordability

If we have to compare the price of a 5 litre aluminium pressure cooker and a 5 litre stainless steel pressure cooker, the price of an aluminium pressure cooker is more affordable. The comparison gives you a lot of clarity, if you look at the prices of the same brand with the same capacity. For an example, you can get a 5 litre aluminium pressure cooker from Pigeon brand for around 1,000 rupees. At the same time, a 5 litre stainless steel cooker from Pigeon will cost you approximately 1,300 rupees. Though this difference is not very much, but it varies depending on the brand.

Winner: Aluminium Cooker

6. In Terms of Weight

In Terms of Weight

Aluminium is a relatively lightweight material as compared to stainless steel, and hence it is preferred by a lot of individuals, since it is too easy to handle. If you have aged parents who tend to cook sometimes in the kitchen, consider buying an aluminium pressure cooker for them, since handling and lifting will be very easy, without putting in a lot of effort. Stainless steel, on the other hand is a heavyweight material, and it may not go well with every age group in the kitchen.

Winner: Aluminium Cooker

7. In Terms of Gas Consumption

In Terms of Gas Consumption

If you are cooking the food in an aluminium pressure cooker, you will be able to cook the food faster. Faster cooking means, you will end up using less gas. Less gas consumption also implies more cooking with the same amount of gas, and hence, you can save more money with it.

Winner: Aluminium Cooker

8. In Terms of Induction Cooking

In Terms of Induction Cooking

You can use both aluminium and stainless steel pressure cookers on gas stove burners, however, one of them is not compatible with induction cooktop. To give you an idea, aluminium does not work on an induction stove, because of the material’s magnetic and electrical properties. At the same time, stainless steel is a great choice for induction cooking.

Winner: Stainless Steel Cooker

9. In Terms of Variety

In Terms of Variety

If you look at the variety and number of options in a stainless steel pressure cooker and an aluminium pressure cooker, stainless steel takes an edge. You can buy an 18/8 stainless steel pressure cooker, which has an excellent durability and rust resistance. At the same time, you can also consider Tri-Ply stainless steel pressure cooker, which is a 3 layered cooker with 1 layer of aluminium sandwiched between 2 layers of steel. This type of cookware offers more efficient fuel consumption, and an even heat distribution. As far as aluminium is concerned, you can go for hard anodized pressure cooker, which is a better choice, if you want to go for aluminium material.

Winner: Stainless Steel Cooker

Advantages of Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

Advantages of Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

1. Long Lasting: Explore everything in your kitchen and you will not find anything that is more stronger and versatile than stainless steel, except for cast iron cookware. Stainless steel pressure cookers are a go-to choice for all the Indian kitchens, due to the fact that they are very durable and long lasting. As a matter of fact, do not be surprised if your stainless steel cooker lasts for around 10-15 years.

2. Cook at High Temperatures: A lot of Indian delicacies require heating and cooking at extremely high temperatures, some of those dishes are korma, tikka masala, or anything that requires deep frying. If you do cook these kinds of dishes in your kitchen, you should go for a stainless steel pressure cooker, since it has the ability to cook at very high temperatures, without burning your food contents.

3. Versatile: Not only your stainless steel pressure cooker is rough and tough for everyday cooking, but you can literally use it for any or every type of cooking. Aluminium pressure cooker is not ideal for acidic foods, and that is why, you need a stainless steel pressure cooker, which can handle all types of cooking requirements.

4. No Coating: A cast iron cookware comes with a nonstick coating, similarly, a ceramic or an aluminium cookware has the coating of the same material. When you use a coated cookware or a pressure cooker, the coating starts to come off with the time. This means, you have to reinvest in the cookware, since once the coating comes off, it is literally not of any use. This is not the case with stainless steel cookers, since they are 100% made from stainless steel.

5. Induction Cooking: A lot of us already have induction cooktops, which helps to save the cooking time, especially if you have a job. However, you cannot use an aluminium pressure cooker on an induction cooktop. The good thing is all stainless steel cookware and pressure cookers are induction compatible, and you can use them on gas stoves too.

6. Easy to Clean: With a stainless steel pressure cooker, you do not have to worry about scratches or stains, because of the way it is built. When it comes to the cleaning, you can use a metal scrubber, which will not dent your pressure cooker. Moreover, almost all the stainless steel pressure cookers are dishwasher compatible too.

7. Easy to Maintain: Maintenance of stainless steel pressure cookers does not require any special set of instructions. You can easily maintain them and they will last even for a decade. Additionally, they won’t look old even after years of usage, as you can easily shine them with a piece of cloth.

8. No Health Hazards: One of the most important advantage of a stainless steel pressure cooker is that there are no health hazards associated with it. You can easily cook acidic foods in it, and no harmful chemicals will leach into your food.

9. Huge Variety: If you are looking to buy a stainless steel pressure cooker in India, there are a plenty of choices you will come across in terms of brands as well as the choice of stainless steel.

Disadvantages of Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

Disadvantages of Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

1. Expensive: If you had been using aluminium pressure cookers till now, switching to stainless pressure cookers may be an expensive choice for you. As a matter of fact, be ready to pay at least 400 to 500 rupees extra for a stainless steel pressure cooker. Having said this, steel cookers are extremely versatile and durable, so, your investment will not go in vain.

2. Heat Conductivity: While it is true that you can cook everything and anything in a stainless steel pressure cooker, but it is also true that steel cookware does not have a very good heat conductivity, especially when you compare it to aluminium. It may take a while for the steel cooker to get heated up, which will increase the cooking time.

3. Heavyweight: A 5 litre aluminium pressure cooker weighs around 1.1 kgs, however, a 5 litre stainless steel pressure cooker will weigh at least 2 kgs, i.e. double the weight of an aluminium cooker. While this may not be a problem, if you are young, however, heavy weight will certainly bother an aged folk cooking in the kitchen.

Advantages of Aluminium Pressure Cooker

Advantages of Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

1. Affordable: Aluminium is one of the most abundant metal available on planet earth. Anything that is available in abundance is certainly cheap. If you are looking to save money on a pressure cooker, your first choice should be an aluminium pressure cooker.

2. Lightweight: One of the main reasons people prefer buying an aluminium pressure cooker is its light weight. A 5 litre aluminium pressure cooker only weighs around 1 to 1.5 kgs, which is ideal if you do not prefer to do any kind of heavy lifting in the kitchen.

3. Cooking Time: Aluminium is not only lightweight and cheap, but it is also very good at distributing heat. This means, if you have an aluminium pressure cooker, you will be able to cook food faster since aluminium gets hot faster as compared to steel or cast iron.

4. Savings on Gas Consumption: It is a fact that you are going to consume more gas, if your cookware does not heat up fast. The longer the food will take to be prepared, the higher is going to be the gas usage, leading to more energy bills, and less savings.

Disadvantages of Aluminium Pressure Cooker

Disadvantages of Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

1. No Acidic Foods: While there is no doubt about the fact that aluminium is an excellent heat conductor, but it’s also highly reactive with acidic foods such as tomatoes, vinegar, and citrus. Cooking acidic foods in an aluminium pressure cooker can change the food’s taste and appearance, and moreover, leave the pan with a pitted surface. This is why, steel pressure cookers are a more popular choice for Indian kitchens.

2. Not Durable: Aluminium is one of the most softest metals in the cookware industry. Hence, if you keep an aluminium, cast iron, stainless steel cookware next to each other, there are high chances that aluminium will be the first one to get dents and scratches. Once there are enough scratches, you may have to replace the aluminium cooker quickly.

3. Not Induction Compatible: If you have been using an induction cooktop in your kitchen, DO NOT go for an aluminium pressure cooker, since aluminium as a metal is not compatible with induction cooktop, and hence, it only works with gas stoves.

4. Food Burns: Since aluminium heats up faster, this also creates a risk of overcooking the food, if you are not careful or used to cooking in an aluminium pressure cooker. Hence, you will always have to be very careful while you are cooking in an aluminium pressure cooker.

Is Aluminium Pressure Cooker Harmful for Cooking?

Is Aluminium Pressure Cooker Harmful for Cooking?

There is no direct answer to the question “is cooking harmful in an aluminium pressure cooker” since this depends a lot on the way you use the aluminium cooker. First thing first, you should not cook acidic foods in an aluminium cooker as that can cause the metal to leach into the food.

Large amounts of aluminium in your food may cause health hazards, but scientifically, there are numerous theories about this. Moreover, you should not use your aluminium pressure cooker at high temperatures, since at high levels, aluminium can be toxic.

In very simple words, if you are careful with your cooking and follow a basic set of instructions, an aluminium pressure cooker will not give you any trouble. Having said this, it may not be a bad idea to have 2 sets of pressure cooker, one aluminium and the other being, steel.

Is There an Alternate to Aluminium Pressure Cookers?

Is There an Alternate to Aluminium Pressure Cookers?

If you have any doubts or hesitancy in going for an aluminium pressure cooker, you do have a few alternatives. The first choice is stainless steel, which is certainly better for Indian style of cooking. The second and the better choice is choosing a hard anodized aluminium pressure cooker.

With a hard anodized aluminium pressure cooker, the durability is a lot better. This means, you will not have to replace your hard anodized aluminium pressure cooker every 3-4 years. In fact, the additional layer of oxide hardens the aluminium, and makes it resistant to corrosion.

As an icing on the cake, the hard anodised surface is non-toxic, non-staining and non-reactive with foods. It is thermal-efficient, heats fast and evenly, and is not spoiled by high heat. The main purpose to manufacture hard anodized pressure cooker was to overcome the flaws of an aluminium pressure cooker. Having said this, since it is a better choice, you will have to pay more money.

Conclusion – Stainless Steel vs Aluminium Pressure Cooker

Conclusion - Stainless Steel vs Aluminium Pressure Cooker

By now, you would have gone through the pros and cons of each aluminium and stainless steel pressure cooker, and would have understood none of these pressure cookers are perfect.

Both these types of pressure cookers have their own pros and cons, and the more logical decision is to weigh the individual’s requirement. Having said this, if I were you, I would have bought a stainless steel pressure cooker first, and then an extra pressure cooker, which is made from aluminium.

To save money on pressure cookers, one can also go for a hard anodized cooker as it overcomes almost all the flaws of an aluminium cooker, and in terms of durability, it is excellent.

We hope this post on “Stainless Steel vs Aluminium Pressure Cooker (Which is Better)” was useful and informative to you. We also encourage you to read the customer reviews of any product before buying. Should you have any questions on this, feel free to leave a comment. If you want our team to review a product you are interested in buying, you can reach out to us at [email protected], and we will be happy to review it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top