Do You Have to Pinch Pennies to Make Ends Meet?
If you haven’t tried to use a pressure cooker, maybe it’s time to give it a world, not because of the novelty but because of the necessity to stretch the grocery dollars. If you’d invest $50 in a pressure cooker, I can guarantee that you will recoup your money in a few short months from the savings in energy bill, cooking time as well as from going out to eat.
Managing a household grocery budget these days is one of the most challenging tasks faced by home chefs. Gas price continues to climb here in the U.S. and in many parts of the world. We’ve all become recipients of sneaky practices by many food manufacturers such as shrinking the package, increasing the price or do both at the same time. One way to cope with the price increase is to shop smartly and cook more often at home. How I’ve managed to save some money is to buy cheaper cuts of meat and cook such in a pressure cooker.
You might be wondering what types of pressure cooker you can choose in under $50. Let’s take a closer peek:
You have the option to choose from well-known and lesser-known brands of pressure cookers. For instance, Presto is a household name to many of households in the U.S. Prestige, an English manufacturer of pressure cookers and Hawkins, an Indian company are among the mix of choices. While Prestige and Hawkins are not household names in the U.S., they’ve earned the reputation around the other parts of the world through product quality and unique designs.
Capacity Size and Material
Typically the price of the cooker is proportionated to the size. The bigger the size, the most expensive it is. For the price, you might be able to get up to 8 quart in size. Bear in mind, 8-quart is really not that big in the world of pressure cooking. You can never fill the pot in 100% capacity as you’ll have to leave some “head” space for the pressure to build up. When not sure, choose a bigger size.
At this price point, it’s more likely that you’ll get a pressure cooker made from aluminum. There is one exception though with a Presto stainless steel model. Hard-anodized aluminum is a step up from aluminum in terms of harder surface and less-reactive to acid and salt than plain aluminum.
You’d get basic safety features to regulate pressure level inside of the cooker such as a primary regulating valve and plus a redundancy valve of sort in case the primary one doesn’t function properly.
One pressure level setting is quite common in this price range. You should be looking for one with a 15 psi (pounds per square inch) because it’s a standard pressure level called by many recipes.
Pressure Release Methods
You won’t be getting a model with an automatic release mechanism where you turn on the dial to release pressure quickly and automatically. Chances are you’d be using either a “cold water” or “natural release” method.
For your convenience, I am including a comparison chart of the 5 best-selling models under $50. If a detailed review is available on the site, you will be able to click through the hyperlink to read more. To check the current price on Amazon, follow through the link in the chart.
|Model||Presto 307882||Presto 01365||Hawkins F10 Futura||Prestige PPAPC6||IMUSA A417-80401|
|Capacity in Quart||8||6||5.28||6.34||4.4|
|Material||aluminum||stainless steel||hard-anodized aluminum||aluminum||aluminum|
|Read Review||N/A||Read Review||Read Review||N/A||N/A|
|Check Best Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Who Is It for?
- For those who are new to pressure cooking and not sure if they’d like it or not. You can give it a try without spending a lot of money.
- For those who want to save money in grocery bill and energy cost.
- For those who are short on time or don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen. Using a pressure cooker will cut down the cooking time as much as by 70%.
- For those who want to cook once and enjoy many times. Cook a batch of food on Sunday and heat up the portioned dinner from the freezer during the week.