You are on this page because you are probably looking to buy a new pressure cooker but have not decided which one to buy amongst Stovetop vs Electric Pressure Cooker or what is the difference between Stovetop vs Electric Pressure Cooker.
Generally speaking, Stovetop pressure cooker is what most of us use in our Indian kitchens on a daily basis and Electric pressure cooker gives you more flexibility and saves a lot of time as you can handle other tasks while your food is being prepared.
Today, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about Stovetop vs Electric Pressure Cooker and which one should you buy in 2021. You can also check out our recently covered post on the difference between Induction Cooktop vs Gas Stove.
What is a Stovetop Pressure Cooker?
We as Indians are not unfamiliar with the concept of a Stovetop Pressure Cooker. This is a pressure cooker most of us use in our kitchens on a daily basis and it is known for its durability and cost efficiency.
A stovetop pressure cooker comes in various sizes ranging from 1 litre to 7 litres and material can either be Stainless steel, Brass, Aluminium, etc. The structure of a Stovetop pressure cooker is designed in a way that the container is airtight and does not allow moisture to escape.
One of the most important features that a pressure cooker should have is the operating pressure it can achieve. Higher the operating pressure, faster the cooking time.
When it comes to the higher operating pressure, Stovetop pressure cookers are the best as they can reach 15 psi at high pressure where PSI is known as “pound per square inch”.
In a nutshell, Stovetop pressure cookers takes the heat directly from the cooker, are usually inexpensive and can cook the food in a shorter time.
Advantages of Stovetop Pressure Cookers
1. One of the most crucial advantage of Stovetop pressure cooker is the cooking time it takes. Stovetop pressure cookers are energy efficient kitchen tools and they take around 1/3rd the time it would normally take to cook something.
2. The longer foods are cooked, you end up destroying more nutrients. Since a pressure cooker reduces the cooking time by around 70%, it also retains most of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals without loosing the colour and flavour of the food.
3. You don’t need electricity to cook food on a Stovetop pressure cooker, hence you are saving all that energy for other tasks.
4. A pressure cooker is able to retain the heat with the help of an airtight container, so your kitchen stays cooler.
5. When you are not cooking food, you can use the pressure cooker to store foods for future use.
Disadvantages of Stovetop Pressure Cookers
1. With a Stovetop pressure cooker, you cannot check the cooking progress as the container is locked. There are people who like to check how well the cooking is going at regular intervals.
2. Once you lock the container, cooking process starts in a Stovetop pressure cooker, so you cannot adjust or add ingredients midway.
3. Overcooking is always a risk with Stovetop pressure cooker as you cannot look inside while your food is being cooked.
4. Noise that comes from the Stovetop pressure cooker is not very pleasing and you will have to get used to it.
5. Be prepared for longer cooking durations if you live in a high altitude area as the atmosphere gets a lot drier and water boils at low temperature.
Best Stovetop Pressure Cookers in India
Hawkins, Prestige and Butterfly are some of the best pressure cooker brands in India. Price range of a Stovetop pressure cooker starts from 600 INR and can go up to 5,500 INR in India. Price mainly depends on the features, capacity, material used, etc.
Best Stovetop Pressure Cooker in India – Prestige Deluxe Alpha Pressure Cooker
Who Should buy Stovetop Pressure Cooker
Those who are looking for speed and power both
Those who are looking for durability over convenience
Those who want to try advanced pressure cooking technique
What is an Electric Pressure Cooker?
Going back to the Stone ages, all you needed was some fire to cook your food. Not that we were present in that area, but one thing is for sure everything was uncomplicated at that time.
With the advancement in technology, cookers have a new version which is an Electric pressure cooker. As the name suggests, you need electricity to operate this type of pressure cooker.
These days you have different types of pressure cookers especially designed to cook rice, porridge, pasta etc. The electric pressure cooker is believed to be a Chinese invention and it consists of a cooking container (aka Inner Pot), temperature and pressure sensors and a heating element.
To start the cooking process, you need to put all the food ingredients into the container and specify the cooking duration and that’s all, your food will be ready after the specified duration.
Electric pressure cookers in India come in different sizes from 1 litre to 8 litres and have multi-functions ranging from 5-in-1 to 19-in-1. Most Electric pressure cookers reach between 9 and 12 psi depending on the brand and make.
In a nutshell, Electric pressure cookers are good for slow cooking, steaming, sauteing, making rice, yogurt etc, but they need a lot of hours to do these tasks. Additionally, electric pressure cookers can be expensive too.
Advantages of Electric Pressure Cookers
1. One of the most important benefits of having an electric pressure cooker is that you don’t have to be a babysitter in the kitchen while your food is being cooked, you can lock all the ingredients, set the duration and come back after hours to see your cooked food.
2. Safety is yet another reason why people prefer electric pressure cookers these days. The electric cooker comes with features such as you cannot open the lid manually if the steam level is too high, auto-smart lock, auto-steam vent, etc.
3. Cleaning is much easier and less messy in an electric pressure cooker as compared to stovetop pressure cookers due to removable cooking inserts, stainless steel construction, etc.
4. Electric pressure cookers automatically takes care of 2 most important cooking mechanisms such as temperature and pressure, manual intervention is not required.
5. A lot of Electric pressure cookers allows you to delay the cooking, perfect for working parents when you want to prepare lunch for your kids without having to wake up early in the morning. You can set the cooker at night, wake up in the morning only to pack the lunch.
Disadvantages of Electric Pressure Cookers
1. With an Electric pressure cooker, you have a learning curve especially if you are using it for the 1st time. With multi-functions and preset menus, you will initially take some time to get used to it.
2. An electric pressure cooker takes around 14 minutes to reach the maximum cooking pressure level whereas a stovetop cooker only takes 11 minutes. Electric cookers are technically slow cookers and takes 1.3X more time than the traditional stovetop pressure cookers.
3. If you have a compact kitchen already full of kitchen tools and appliances, an Electric pressure cooker may not be an ideal fit as it is bulky, heavy and takes up a lot of space in the kitchen.
4. If you are a fan of hands-on cooking and really like to improvise in the kitchen, an electric pressure cooker will not let you do the same as once you lock the lid, you have to leave the cooker for the food to get cooked.
5. Not all the vegetables require the same amount of time to be cooked, hence mixing onions and tomatoes at once may give you overcooked tomatoes or undercooked onions, so combining vegetables is a challenge with electric pressure cookers.
Best Electric Pressure Cookers in India
Instant Pot Duo, Mealthy and Geek Robocook are some of the best electric pressure cooker brands in India. Price range of an Electric pressure cooker starts from 2,000 INR and can go up to 40,000 INR in India.
Best Electric Pressure Cooker in India – Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker with a capacity of 5.7L and 14 One-Touch Programs.
Who Should buy Electric Pressure Cooker
Those who are working parents and don’t have enough time
Those who don’t like to fiddle much with the heat settings
Those who want meals without a lot of planning ahead
Difference Between Stovetop vs Electric Pressure Cooker – Which is the Best in 2021?
Both Stovetop and Electric Pressure cookers have their own fanbase, pros and cons. Let’s understand the basic differences between Stovetop vs Electric Pressure cookers on a scale of different parameters such as cooking time, safety, features etc.
1. Cooking Time: On an average, a Stovetop pressure cooker cooks 3X faster than conventional cooking whereas an Electric pressure cooker cooks 2X faster than conventional cooking. This is due to the different durations that both of these tools take to reach the highest pressure point. So, in terms of cooking time, Stovetop Cooker wins against Electric Cooker.
Scoreline: Stovetop 1 vs Electric Pressure Cooker 0
2. Cooking Pressure: Cooking pressure determines the time it will take to cook a certain dish in each of these appliances. An electric pressure cooker reaches the highest pressure in around 14 minutes as compared to 11 minutes for a stovetop pressure cooker. In reality, an electric pressure cooker can take anywhere from 1.3X to 3X times more to cook food than stovetop pressure cooker. Thus in terms of cooking time, Stovetop Cooker wins against Electric Cooker.
Scoreline: Stovetop 2 vs Electric Pressure Cooker 0
3. Heat Adjustment: A stovetop pressure cooker may require regular adjustment of heat or let’s say the burner knobs especially if you are new at it. With an electric pressure cooker, you can simply choose the desired pressure once and wait for the cooker to do its work and no constant adjustment will be required. Therefore in terms of heat adjustment, Electric Pressure Cooker wins against Stovetop pressure Cooker.
Scoreline: Stovetop 2 vs Electric Pressure Cooker 1
4. Integrated Timers: A stovetop pressure cooker has a very minimalistic setup. On the other hand, people prefer electric cookers as they have various functionalities such as preset menus, integrated timers, delayed timings, etc. You can even time your dish to prepared after “x” number of hours with an electric pressure cooker. In terms of Integrated timers, Electric Pressure Cooker wins against Stovetop pressure Cooker.
Scoreline: Stovetop 2 vs Electric Pressure Cooker 2
5. Noise: We all must be familiar with the sound stovetop pressure cookers can create. But when it comes to the electric pressure cookers, they tend to make little or no noise at all. So as far as noise is concerned, Electric Pressure Cooker wins against Stovetop pressure Cooker.
Scoreline: Stovetop 2 vs Electric Pressure Cooker 3
6. Space: In terms of who takes more space in the kitchen, Stovetop Pressure Cooker wins against Electric pressure Cooker as electric cookers are more bulky, heavier, etc. To give you an idea, an electric pressure cooker weighs 3X more than the stovetop pressure cooker.
Scoreline: Stovetop 3 vs Electric Pressure Cooker 3
7. Durability: Stovetop pressure cookers are made from Steel, Aluminium, etc. and they usually last for decades easily. On the other hand, the outer layer of an electric pressure cooker is made of thermal-resistant plastic whereas the interior is most often-made of aluminium with a non-stick coating. When you compare these two cookers in terms of durability, Stovetop Pressure Cooker wins against Electric pressure Cooker.
Scoreline: Stovetop 4 vs Electric Pressure Cooker 3
8. Wear and Tear Expenses: Accessories for stovetop pressure cooker such as silicone rubber, whistle, etc are very inexpensive and is available very easily in the market. On the other hand, electric pressure cooker is an electronic multi-functional gadget and any replacement expense may not be inexpensive especially if it is not covered under any warranty. So for regular wear and tear expenses, Stovetop Pressure Cooker wins against Electric pressure Cooker.
Scoreline: Stovetop 5 vs Electric Pressure Cooker 3
9. Price: Stovetop pressure cookers are quite affordable, you can get a 5 litre branded pressure cooker in India for around 2,000 INR. Similarly, a 5 litre electric pressure cooker in India will cost you at least 5,000 INR. Thus, in terms of pricing Stovetop Pressure Cooker wins against Electric pressure Cooker.
Final Scoreline: Stovetop 6 vs Electric Pressure Cooker 3