Electric pressure cookers work to prepare vegetables, legumes and meats. Most stovetop pressure cooker recipes also work with electric units, although the cooking time usually requires adjustment as the pressure is usually lower with the electric models. Pressure cookers reduce cooking times by using pressure to increase boiling temperature.
The electric pressure cooker is a good choice for boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes. It also works as a steamer for vegetables such as carrots. The unit helps to reduce cooking time for beans and legumes. It is ideal for preparing chicken broth or one-pot meals such as pot roast.
Electric pressure cookers have thermostats that regulate the built-in heating unit. With stovetop models, the cook must adjust the temperature of the stove’s heating element or burner and constantly monitor the pressure cooker. Cooking with either type of pressure cooker helps to save energy and preserve nutrients in foods. Since the pressure cooker reduces the amount of water that evaporates in the cooking process, water-soluble vitamins stay in the meal.
Once the meal finishes cooking in the pressure cooker, the cook must release the pressure before opening the unit. With stovetop models, he has the option of the cold water quick release of steam by immersing part of the pot in cold water. With an electric unit he cannot use this method, but must rely on the slower normal release of pressure through the main vent or natural release by allowing the contents to cool.