The best pressure cooker substitutes
If you’re like us, your pressure cooker is an essential piece of kitchen equipment. By cutting cooking time by up to two-thirds, pressure cookers are a great time-saver in our busy daily lives.
Pressure cookers really are one of the most versatile kitchen gadgets.
But what if your precious pressure cooker breaks? Or maybe you’re settling in at home and don’t have one yet?
Depending on what you’re cooking, there are some effective substitutes for the pressure cooker. Instead of a pressure cooker, you can use slow cookers, steamers, microwaves or conventional pots.
So what is the best pressure cooker substitute? The best substitute for a pressure cooker is a slow cooker (like the Crock-Pot). The slow cooker’s convenience and ability to steam food mimics a pressure cooker more than other options.
Whether you don’t own a pressure cooker or are interested in learning about other cooking methods, we’ve got the ultimate guide to the best pressure cooker substitutes.
What is a pressure cooker?
First, let’s take a look at pressure cookers to find out why they are so efficient and versatile.
Pressure cookers are a simple kitchen utensil that serves to drastically reduce cooking times. Using a pressure cooker means we can prepare a delicious meal after a long day at work in a fraction of the time of other cooking methods.
Pressure cookers work by creating a tight seal around the lid of the cooker, preventing steam from escaping.
This allows the water to reach higher temperatures than can normally be achieved by boiling , creating high-pressure steam within the pot.
This extremely hot, high-pressure steam is then infused into the food, reducing the time it takes to turn raw ingredients into a delicious meal.
So now that we know what makes our pressure cookers so great, let’s take a look at the best pressure cooker substitutes!
One of the reasons pressure cookers are so effective is that they use high-pressure steam to create heat. However, steaming is still an effective cooking technique even if it is not under pressure.
Steamers can be very versatile, and most people are familiar with using them to steam vegetables. However, they can also be used to cook potatoes, pasta and even rice.
Additionally, steaming preserves nutrients and is a low-fat cooking method. No additional oil is needed, and the steaming process also helps dissolve fat in meat, poultry, and fish dishes.
The drawback to steam cookers is that it can be difficult to create a one-pot dinner, since the cooking times of the ingredients vary so much.
It is possible to cook foods like casseroles and casseroles in the steamer, but the ingredients will need to be browned in a pan first.
Depending on the type of steamer, it can take a long time to cook using this method, as constant supervision may be required.
Steamers can be used as a substitute for a pressure cooker to cook foods such as
- stuffed foods
- thin cuts of meat
- Fish and seafood
Advantages : Quick, low in fat.
Disadvantages : Requires supervision, not ideal for casseroles and stews.
If you want to keep things simple, one of these bamboo steamers is a great option. Just place the steamer over a pot of boiling water, and the steam rises up the basket to cook whatever’s inside.
On the other hand, these electric steamers are a simple and hassle-free way to cook an entire meal.
Thanks to the timer and the different settings, you can add the ingredients, turn it on and let it cook dinner while you go about your day.
Microwave ovens may have been around for many years, but they are still an impressive piece of technology.
Food is cooked when the microwaves produced by the rebound from the oven are absorbed by the food. This creates energy and heat that cooks the food.
Many people believe that microwaves reduce the nutritional content of food, but this is not true. Microwaves are safe and effective, and the low temperatures and short cooking times help preserve nutrients.
These qualities make the microwave oven a great substitute for the pressure cooker. Most of us love pressure cookers because they save us time, and the microwave oven does exactly that!
The microwave can also defrost food and even cook food that is still frozen.
However, microwaves are not as versatile as pressure cookers. Using the microwave often changes the texture of the food, making it drier.
Microwaves also can’t create the lovely brown caramelization that other cooking methods create.
The microwave can be used as a substitute for the pressure cooker to cook food, among other things:
- reheat cooked food
- Steamed vegetables
- Roast potatos
Advantages : Fast, minimal supervision and cleaning.
Disadvantages : Food is easy to overcook, food may cook unevenly, food texture may change.
This microwave oven is a great all-rounder that would be a good substitute for a pressure cooker. We especially like the eco mode – great for saving money and the planet!
Slow Cooker (Crock Pot)
The slow cooker is one of our favourites: an incredibly versatile and simple appliance that can be used to create a wide variety of delicious meals.
The slow cooker, also known as a crockpot, is the perfect substitute for a pressure cooker for many popular dishes.
Slow cookers live up to their name: Instead of the speed of a pressure cooker, slow cookers work by cooking food very slowly over a long period of time in a crockpot.
The great thing about the slow cooker is that even though the cooking times are long, they save time!
This is because you can make everything ahead of time, put all the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning, and let it slow cook all day.
This means you can come home from work to a perfectly cooked dinner ready for you - delicious! Many slow cookers also have a “keep warm” setting so food is ready to eat at any time.
Slow cookers are great for cooking dishes that contain a lot of moisture, like casseroles and casseroles.
The low temperatures used preserve the vitamins and nutrients in the food, and minimal amounts of fat are needed when using a slow cooker.
With the addition of a few clever tricks, like using aluminum foil, slow cookers can be surprisingly versatile.
In addition to being perfect for cooking foods with a lot of liquid, slow cookers can also be used to bake bread, cookies, and even pizza.
The important thing to remember with slow cookers is to leave the lid alone. Unless your recipe tells you to stir or add more ingredients during the cooking process, keep the lid tightly closed.
Each time you remove the lid during cooking, you will add up to 30 minutes to the cooking time.
Slow cookers can be used as a substitute for a pressure cooker to cook foods like
- stews and stews
- Meat dishes, including large pieces of meat
- Roast potatos
Advantages : Does not require supervision, saves time, enhances the flavor of food, is ideal for the toughest cuts of meat.
Disadvantages : Long cooking time, food may be watery, food may burn if liquid dries up.
We love this versatile slow cooker; With multiple settings, a programmable timer, and a sealable lid, it takes slow cooker cooking to a whole new level!
stove and oven
It may seem old-fashioned, but some of us still like to use the oven. Cooking food this way usually takes longer than with a pressure cooker, but it gives great results.
A conventional oven is great for roasting meat and slow cooking dishes like casseroles and casseroles. The stove can be used for frying, sautéing and boiling, often all in the same dish.
One of the advantages of this method is the ability to brown and roast food, something that other pressure cooker substitutes lack.
No amount of steaming, microwaving, or slow cooking can recreate the crispy, golden edges of a roast fresh out of the oven.
The stove and the oven can replace the pressure cooker to cook foods such as
- meat dishes
- stews and stews
Pros : Great flavor, versatile, good for grilling and simmering.
Disadvantages : Slower, requires supervision.
If you’re going to cook stews using this method, we recommend one of these amazing cast iron Dutch oven pots.
They trap heat and moisture, allowing you to cook at a low temperature and keeping food juicy and moist.
Sure, there are great alternative options out there, but none of them measure up to the versatility of a pressure cooker in our opinion.
Ultimately, your choice of a pressure cooker alternative depends entirely on what you like to cook.
If you’re a big fan of flavorful stews, then the slow cooker is the one for you, but if you like fluffy rice and veggies, try the steamer!