5 Best Pressure Cooker In India 2019
Personally, I am very stingy. But if there is one thing over which I don’t mind spending money, then it is kitchen utensils and appliances. My logic is pretty simple. A good quality stainless steel cooker, say for example, would cost about Rs. 2000, while a cheaper variety may cost me about Rs. 1500. The superior quality cooker will last for at least 6-7 years without needing any repair at all. But an inferior quality cooker might not even last for 3-4 years without giving trouble. So, should we really try saving five hundred rupees by sacrificing peace of mind and durability! Its common sense. Isn’t it?
Not to mention, the health hazards. If you check out stainless steel utensils at a shop, you will find different varieties in a varied price range. I have personally used cookwares in both ends of the pricing spectrum and what I have found is that the cheaper varieties start rusting (yes, even though it is “stainless steel”) quickly or its coating peels off revealing some sort of black metal, while the expensive ones last for years without causing any problem. It is anyone’s guess that cooking in a poor-quality cookware would be detrimental to your health in the long run.
For these reasons, the pressure cookers we have shortlisted below are from some of the long-standing reputed brands. In our six-year old kitchen, we use Hawkins pressure cookers that has never really given any trouble so far, while in my mother’s kitchen, she uses Prestige pressure cookers that have been in good standing for around 8-10 years and has just needed occasional change of rubber beading.
Though these two brands are very close in quality and durability, I feel that Hawkins has an edge. If you look around, advertisements for Hawkins are far and few. The quality of their products speaks for itself and has been working in their favour as their biggest advertisement and if I had to buy a cooker now, I would definitely opt for Hawkins.
So, now, let us take a look at the most important aspects you have to decide on while buying a pressure cooker—material and size.
You may also like our article on Best Healthy & Safe Cookware in India
Pressure cookers are available in three materials mainly—aluminum, stainless steel and hard anodized aluminum. Let us take a look at each.
Aluminum Pressure cooker, as the name suggests, is made completely of aluminum and is the least expensive of the three materials. However, many aluminum cookers are not induction cooker friendly and lacks durability too.
Moreover, there are numerous debates going on about the long-term negative effects of using aluminum utensils on human health. Certain studies are of the opinion that cooking in aluminum utensils could in the long-term lead to Parkinsonism, Alzheimer, breast cancer and other neurological disorders.
Hence, to be on the safer side, we do not recommend using Aluminum pressure cookers or aluminum utensils for that matter.
Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker, as the name suggests is made of stainless steel. They are expensive, but highly durable and can be used on induction cooker too.
Stainless steel, as it is, is not a good conductor of heat. So, usually, it is sandwiched on both sides of a copper or aluminum base. Pressure cookers made of stainless steel are comparatively heavier—hence look for models with sturdy handle.
Hard Anodized Aluminum Pressure Cooker are the ones that appear greyish-black in colour. They are considered as a better alternative to aluminum cookware, as it is subjected to anodization (exposure to current to build hard, non-reactive surface of aluminum oxide) to create non-reactive surface that is hard, easy to clean, nontoxic and less sticky ( don’t expect them to be non-stick like Teflon coated wares) . Certain models are induction cooker compatible too.
We have been using Prestige hard anodized aluminum pressure cooker since the past 3 years and so far, the coating has not peeled off (except for the screws) and has been easy to handle too. But if and when it starts peeling off, it needs to be replaced.
Note that price wise, hard anodized pressure cooker is more expensive than one made of stainless steel.
To conclude, considering the pros and cons, we highly recommend buying stainless steel or hard anodized aluminum pressure cooker.
Pressure cookers for domestic use are available in sizes starting from 1 Litre up to 11 Litres. Even if you are a small family of 2 or 3 members, you will need pressure cookers in variety of sizes to accommodate different uses and guests. You might require larger size cookers for rice, while curries might not need such large sized ones. So, here is a general idea on how to choose different sized cookers.
For families with 2-3 members, you might on a daily basis require two or three cookers of size 2-5 Litres. When you have guests, you might require cooker up to 7 Litre capacity.
For families with 3-5 members, you might on a daily basis require two or three cookers of size 3-6 Litres. When you have guests, you might require cooker up to 8 Litre capacity.
For families with 4-7 members, you might on a daily basis require two to three cookers of size 4- 8 Litres. When you have guests, you might require cooker up to 10 Litre capacity.
Now, let us take a look at the top picks.
Best Pressure Cookers in India
Available sizes: 3.3 Litre and 4.8 Litre
We have been using this pressure cooker in 4.8 Litre capacity for the past 2 years without any problem. As it is made of hard anodized aluminum, it is heavy and fairly easy to clean. Even if food gets smeared on the base, it can be cleaned easily using a scotch brite brush. The cooker has safety valves and pretty durable handle that is capable of bearing the weight. Also, the cooker is induction compatible.
The handi design actually adds slightly to the cost, but considering the aesthetics and easiness of cleaning, it is well-worth it.
Available sizes: 2 L, 3 L , 4 L , 5 L , 6 L, 8L and 10 L
Made of high grade stainless steel, Hawkins pressure cooker has always been a preferred choice for Indian kitchens. This pressure cooker has a 4.06mm thick aluminum base that is sandwiched between two sheets of stainless steel—this evenly distributes heat and facilitates faster cooking. Also, the base remains flat and never bulges. In addition, it makes the cooker compatible with induction cooker and gas too.
Available sizes: 2L, 3 L, 3.5 L, 5 L, 6.5 L.
Hawkins Contura is one of their landmark models which was highly publicized and well-received by the Indian households. The pressure cooker is made of hard anodized aluminum body and has stainless steel lid. However, it is not induction cooker compatible. My MIL uses this model and we found that over the long-term (around 8+ years), the anodized coating wears off, exposing aluminum base—at which point you might want to change the cooker.
If you use only non-abrasive scrub to wash the cooker, you might be able to extend the life of the anodized coating further.
Available sizes: 2 L, 3 L, 5.5L
Perhaps an important aspect of this model is its shape—which is higher width and lesser height, making it suitable as a pan.
Made of highly durable stainless steel, the pressure cooker comes with a thick base which is essentially a layer of aluminum sandwiched between two sheets of stainless steel—making it durable and facilitating even distribution of heat throughout the vessel. The base also makes the cooker induction and stove top compatible.
In order to ensure better durability, the Bakelite handles come with double screw. The ergonomic design makes it easy to handle too.
In addition to the safety valve, the cooker has a controlled gasket release system that releases steam in case there is any blockage in the main vent or safety valve, making it a pretty safe and durable option.
Available sizes: 1.5 L , 2 L, 3.3 L
If you are one of those persons who hate cleaning dishes, then you will love Prestige Deluxe Duo Pressure cooker. The cooker comes with a glass lid with ladle holder, making it apt for serving—so cook and serve in the same dish. Otherwise, features are pretty similar to most other pressure cookers from Prestige—It is made of hard anodized aluminum and has a base that makes the cooker induction and stove top compatible.
A pressure cooker is one of the must-have cookwares in any home. It saves time, keeps nutrition intact and is overall user-friendly.
If you have any doubts while buying a pressure cooker, drop us a comment and our experts shall respond to it as soon as possible.