Personally, I am very frugal. But if there is one thing over which I don’t mind spending money on, 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! It is 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 at a varied price range. I have 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 with 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 kitchen, we use 8-year-old Hawkins pressure cookers that have 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 have just needed an occasional change of rubber beading/ gasket.
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.
Which are the Best Pressure Cookers In India?
|Prestige Deluxe Plus||3.3 & 4.8 Litre|
|2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 8 & 10 Litres|
|2, 3 , 3.5 , 5 & 6.5 Litres|
|2 , 3 & 5.5 Litres|
|1.5 , 2 & 3.3 Litres|
|3 & 5 Litres|
|2.5 L, 3.3 L, 3.5 L, 4L, 5L & 6.3 L.|
|Vinod 18/8 Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker||2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 10 L|
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—aluminium, stainless steel and hard anodized aluminium. Let us take a look at each.
Aluminum Pressure cooker, as the name suggests, is made completely of aluminium and is the least expensive of the three materials. However, many aluminium cookers are not induction cooker friendly and lack durability too. They are not dishwasher friendly either.
There are numerous debates going on about the long-term negative effects of using aluminium utensils on human health. Certain studies find that cooking in aluminium 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 aluminium utensils for that matter.
Hard-Anodized Aluminum Pressure Cookers are the ones that appear greyish-black in colour. They are considered as a better alternative to aluminium cookware, as it is subjected to anodization (exposure to current to build hard and non-reactive surface of aluminium oxide) to create a 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 cooktop compatible too.
We have been using Prestige hard-anodized aluminium 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, a hard-anodized pressure cooker is more expensive than one made of stainless steel. They are not dishwasher safe either.
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 cooktops 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 aluminium base. Most of the ones available in Indian market have an aluminium layer in between.
Pressure cookers made of stainless steel are comparatively heavier—hence look for models with a sturdy handle. They are dishwasher safe too.
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 a 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
Find latest price: Amazon
Available sizes: 3.3 Litre and 4.8 Litre
We have been using this pressure cooker with 4.8 Litre capacity for the past 3 years without any problem. As it is made of hard-anodized aluminium, 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.
As mentioned earlier, it can’t be washed in a dishwasher.
Find latest price: Amazon
Available sizes: 2 L, 3 L , 4 L , 5 L , 6 L, 8L and 10 L
Made of high-grade surgical quality stainless steel, the Hawkins pressure cooker has always been a preferred choice for Indian kitchens. This pressure cooker has a 4.06mm thick aluminium 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.
The cooker is quite safe and easy to use. Unlike Prestige, the gasket lasts long and don’t need frequent replacement.
Find latest price: Amazon
Available sizes: 2L, 3 L, 3.5 L, 5 L, 6.5 L.
Hawkins Contura is one of their landmark models which was highly marketed and well-received by the Indian households. The pressure cooker is made of hard-anodized aluminium body and has a stainless steel lid. However, it is not an 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 aluminium 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.
The cooker is quite similar to the previous model in terms of safety and reliability. The handles too are so strong that it can last up to a decade without giving any trouble.
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 aluminium 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 stovetop compatible.
In order to ensure better durability, the Bakelite handles come with double screws. 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.
Find latest price: Amazon
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 a 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 aluminium and has a base that makes the cooker induction and stovetop compatible.
With easy to clean design and reliable safety features, it is an option worth considering.
Available sizes: 3 and 5 L
Butterfly is already a favourite among Indian homemakers. Their Blue Line stainless steel pressure cooker available in 3 and 5 L is gaining pretty good reviews among the users. With heavy induction friendly bottom, the cooking is even and quick. Butterfly also claims that unlike other brands, their food-grade gasket lasts longer. Overall, it is a pretty good alternative to Prestige as it both has a similar design.
Available sizes: 2.5 L, 3.3 L, 3.5 L, 4L, 5L and 6.3 L.
Stahl is one of my favourite brands. We use their Kadai and it has been running well since past 1.5 years without much of any trouble.
Their Xpress pressure cooker is made of 3-ply stainless steel. So heat is uniformly conducted resulting in even cooking. Also, the tendency of food scorching at the bottom is also less ( but not fool-proof).
The built quality is quite good. The main handle is comparatively a bit smaller, but the helper handle is broad and ergonomically designed to help you move the heavy cooker with ease.
The cookers are available in broad and lean design. Ones up to 4 litres come in tall shape, while the larger ones come in wider shape.
While gaskets of Prestige is made of rubber, Stahl uses Silicone rubber which has better durability.
Overall, it is one of the best premium pressure cookers available in the market. But the only drawback is that you won’t find spares as easily as Prestige or Hawkins.
Available sizes: 2L, 3L, 4L, 5L, 7L, 8L and 10L
Vinod stainless steel pressure cooker uses high grade 18/8 stainless steel just like the previous option from Stahl. But, it is comparatively priced better.
The stainless steel construction is pretty good. The valves and the pressure regulator whistle are strong and durable. The gasket is made of food-grade silicone, which is heat-resistant and long-lasting. The base is fairly thick and unless you forget to add enough water, food won’t get stuck to the base at all. It is also dishwasher friendly.
Something we really liked is that the cooker is available in various capacity and shapes so that you can utilize the one best for your needs.
Talking about the drawbacks, the handle of the cooker could have been stronger. It tends to develop crack. So, if you are buying a pressure cooker with more than 5-litre capacity, take special care while you move it around with food.
A few complain that the lid is hard to close. From our tests, we don’t find it as effortless as a Prestige cooker. But, it is not impossible so to speak. If you try to close the lid once the food starts heating up, then, yes, it is pretty difficult. The steam makes it hard to close the lid. More so, if the pressure regulator whistle is on the lid. But if you put on the lid (without the whistle) before keeping it on the stove, then it isn’t that hard.
A pressure cooker is one of the must-have cookware 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.