Electric Pressure Cooker vs. Conventional Pressure Cooker
Both conventional and electric pressure cookers operate based on the pressure cooking principles. Two key differences set them apart.
- Programmable electronic control capability in the electric pressure cooker is completely missing in the conventional pressure cookers. It’s the programmable capability that allows the electric pressure cooker to be more convenient and produce the best and consistent cooking results.
- Heat source: Conventional pressure cookers use a separate heat source, e.g. a gas stove or an electric range. Electric pressure cookers come with an integrated heating unit inside. The advantage of an integrated heating element is to create a full feed-back system which controls the entire cooking cycle. This makes an electric pressure cooker more convenient (no need to watch over it), pleasant (no loud hissing noise, no steam), safer and more energy efficient.
To determine which one is the right choice, you should look at your intended cooking tasks and the benefits.
Instant Pot has a minimum of 8 one-key operation buttons for the most common cooking tasks. It is at least a 6-in-1 kitchen appliance. On top of these, delayed cooking start, aut-off and keep warm allows you to plan the meal ahead of time. There is no need to keep time and set alarm when the pressure level is reached.
There is no doubt that higher pressure cooks faster. Conventional pressure cookers work at a range of pressure level, commonly at 15 psi (e.g. Fagor Duo) and also the complete range of 13psi (e.g. TeFal Sensor 2), 12psi, 11psi, 10psi (e.g. TeFal and WMF) and even 8psi (e.g. Lagostina Endura). Meanwhile Instant Pot operates between 10.15 and 11.6 psi. With the set-and-forget programmable cooking, combined with a consistent temperature and pressure, the slight difference in cooking becomes irrelevant.
When comes to energy efficiency, Instant Pot is an undisputed winner. Instant Pot has a fully insulated housing, minimising energy being dispersed without cooking the food. Its microprocessor controlled cooking programs turn off heating automatically when the desired pressure is reached, and switches on heat when the pressure drops. Heating is only on ~60% of time.
Conventional pressure cooker typically come with two or three safety valves, with the only mechanism of releasing steam being to reduce pressure. Instant Pot comes with 10 levels of safety protection, including safety valves, pressure control, temperature control and fool-proof operation detection. Experience shows that most pressure cooker problems are usually be attributed to user error. Instant Pot was carefully designed to eliminate and avoid most of the potential problems. If something has been done wrong or a problem occurs it will simply turn itself off.
Most chefs would agree that the difference between a 15psi cooker and a 11psi cookers is limited, i.e. 2~3 minutes of cooking time. However there’s a huge difference in the consistency of the cooking result. Thanks to its programmable cooking and micro-processor controlled precision, Instant Pot produces consistent tasty food 100% of the time.
With this benefit comparison, and taking all the factors into consideration, it is very clear that Instant Pot is the clear and undisputed winner.