After the World War II had concluded, there was a steep demand for pressure cookers. The reason being, aluminum, the then used material in the production of pressure cooker, had been used for warfare. Another reason for such a high demand of pressure cookers was, people were starting families and house-wives wanted these quick-cooking magicians to replicate their moms’ recipes.
As a result, more and more pressure cooker manufacturers began to show up. Soon there were as many as 85 companies in the market producing and supplying pressure cookers all across the United States. That was the point when pressure cooking had begun to fall.
Why Did Pressure Cooking Fall After the World War II?
You might wonder that this statement isn’t right. The demand was steep and there were many companies producing pressure cookers on large-scale. People were buying these items as well. All these factors indicate that the pressure cooking had risen, instead of falling.
- Low Quality
In order to meet increasing demand, the manufacturers were focussed on bulk production and supplied the models in record time. At that point, no one would have imagined it would have created a series of worst accidents ever to have occurred in home kitchens.
Manufactures tried to compete for revenues and had overlooked the quality factor, a critical factor in pressure cooker manufacturing. These pressure cookers had serious defects, material quality was compromised. Moreover, in order to save the money, people bought defective pressure cookers from the market.
- Kitchen Bombs
According to expert chefs and manufacturers, post war pressure cookers had many defects, such as:
- They had shoddy construction. The base of the cooker should be thicker than normal cookware, and this was the major design flaw in post war cookers.
- These pressure cookers had developed cracks after they were used a couple of times. It indicated that they were not tested for durability. Some of them were already vulnerable to heat and had exploded at 250 degrees.
- They lacked proper pressure and steam regulating features. In some pressure cookers, pressure regulation was impossible.
With pressure cookers, the main thing is to control pressure and steam. A slight flaw in design could lead to major accident, steam burns, injuries, even death. Since the internal pressure is 10 – 15% higher than normal, improperly placed lid or ineffective pressure release could cause the whole thing to explode.
- The Result
There were news from every corner of the country, about kitchen explosions leading to serious injuries. A large number of people were admitted to the hospitals. The term ‘pressure cooker’ took an entire new meaning. Soon, this term was used to describe large-scale accidents, political downfalls and riots in the country.
Modern Pressure Cookers are Not The Same
Thanks to geniune manufacturers who maintained their methods and improved their techniques to come up with safer and samrter cookers. Over the years, they have introduced several different models of stovetop and electric pressure cookers that ensure energy-saving, efficiency and stress-free cooking.
You can literally get confuse identifying the best electric pressure cooker for your kitchen. Here are some rules to make a safe purchase:
Choose wisely between aluminum and stainless steel. Aluminum is lightwieght, cheaper and better condutor comapred to stainless steel, but it cannot withstand high heat or heavy cooking. Stainless steel however, is expensive, but it’s long lasting and durable. New stainless steel models consist of aluminum layered base for heat conduction.
Electric pressure cookers for home kitchens are available in different sizes and their prices increase with the increase in size. 4-quart, 6-quart and 8-quart pressure cookers are very common for home cooking, while 16-quart, 18-quart and 20-quart models can also be used for pressure canning.
Take your time and see the all the safety features offered by the best electric pressure cooker. These may include:
- Pressure Regulator: Pressure regulator must have 15 psi operating pressure. You can choose from any of the following:
- Weighted valve
- Modified weighted valve, or
- Spring valve
- Cover Interlock: Cover locking helps maintain the internal pressure. It doesn’t unlock during pressure buildup, until it is reduced to safer limits.
- Pressure Release: There are two ways of releasing pressure; quick-cool method or natural cooling. The manufacturer’s manual must provide details about each method.
- Base: Base of the pressure cooker must be thick. Best electric pressure cooker has trimetal aluminum-clad base.
- Warranty: Good models offer after sales service and warranties. Popular brands often provide 10-year warranty for parts.
- Instructions and Recipes: Instruction manual is a critical item that must accompany the pressure cooker. The recipe book is also important, because some electric pressure cookers are programmed for common recipes, and you have to follow their instructions with respect to ingredients, spices and water level.